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darkside daveWed Jul-21-10 11:15 AM
Member since Mar 26th 2010
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"'97 Mark VIII suspension questions..."


          

Hi Folks,
I'm new here so take it easy on me. I don't have a '97 Mark VIII but I do have the opportunity to buy the complete suspension system from one that has been in a wreck and sustained slight body damage. I have read that the independent rear suspension system has been used in custom built rolling chassis for street rods and restomods. I have designed and built a number of chassis using other late model suspension systems but mainly for early '50s pickups. The chassis I am getting ready to build now will be for a '34 Chevy pinch nose roadster.

Here are my questions... Are there any sources online to find specifications or dimensions? Since I will be using the whole set up including hubs and brakes I need to know the bolt circle size for the wheels. I understand that there are aftermarket coil spring substitution kits to replace the air bags. What are the sources for these parts? Is the differential housing cast aluminum? Are there aluminum parts in the suspension set up? What ratios were offered and were there limited slip options offered? Finally, I have the VIN for this vehicle. Is there any way to use it to determine some of these specs?

If I buy and use this set up I am not sure which way to go concerning springs or bags. I was told the bags were leaking so if I do go that route it would mean replacing them. What is the best source for replacements? Even if I do go with the bags I would not be using the stock compressor and control system. Therefore I would also need to know the max inflation pressure the stock Lincoln bags are rated for and regulate the system accordingly.

Any help or info would be appreciated. Thank you.

Dave

  

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rrischSun Mar-28-10 02:18 PM
Member since Nov 27th 2008
418 posts
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#1. "RE: '97 Mark VIII suspension questions..."
In response to Reply # 0


          

Hi Dave
It isn't going to work! I own a 33 Chevy "Mercury Standard" with narrowed 9 inch rear end, and I believe the rear distance hub to hub at 53 and 1/2 inches. With 8 inch wheels/standard offset, I have less than 1/2 inch betwen frame/tire and between tire/fender lip. I also have both front/rear sub assemblies from 97 Mark VIII. The rear assembly is about 63-64 inches hub to hub. Besides modifying everything narrower, which I won't say can't be done, the work would be extreme and the drive axles are CV joints on one end, but not sure of other end. I believe it is splined, which can be shortened if proper diameter, but again not sure. The largest problem with rear assembly is it extends back about 17 inches from the center of axles. This would eliminate the area that your gas tank normally goes. And you didn't mention the front assembly, but again to wide and bulky. However, after saying all that, I someday will use both front/rear in hopefully a 60 Ford Starliner. So there are possibilities with these sub assemblies, but just not on early Chevy's. And yes your 34 has a different frame design in the front than the 33, but there basically the same.

On a side note though, an independent rear end in that 34 is a great way to go, because if your going to slam it, you will not have to modify the floor above the rear end pumpkin area for clearance. My nine inch standard rear end up/down motion comes seriously close to the stock floorboard in the pumkin area.

  

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darkside daveSun Mar-28-10 08:30 PM
Member since Mar 26th 2010
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#2. "RE: '97 Mark VIII suspension questions..."
In response to Reply # 1


          

Thanks Man,
you have probably saved me from buying something that I can't use for a while. We were hoping for a solution that would be a lot cheaper than buying one of those high dollar 4 link kits. Heidts is just way too proud of their stuff. In the case of this car it is totally a build as it is an aftermarket fiberglass body. It is not a real '34 being fixed up.

What do you know about the current series of Lincoln MKS? Is their suspension a more narrow set up? I know where there is one of those that still has the complete rear suspension.

I agree with you about narrowing the existing set up not being worth the effort even if it is possible.

Dave

  

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bracketracerThu Apr-08-10 04:59 AM
Member since May 28th 2008
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#3. "RE: '97 Mark VIII suspension questions..."
In response to Reply # 2


          

Uh Dave, the current Mark (called an MKZ, very similar to a Ford Fusion) is a front wheel drive setup. Not sure how that would work on your '34 Chev. Were you planning on building a FWD hotrod or are you putting the engine in the rear? Stephen

  

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