Hydraulics Suspensions

Umeracle

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This is probably going to sound stupid and I know my car is not a low rider but for childhood purposes living in the UK and hard to find an actual low rider

Do you guys reckon if it is possible to add hydraulic system on a 1966 Chrysler 300 Convertible?
 

CBODY67

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From a post long ago in another C-body forum . . . it might be reasonably easy to do on the rear, even a 4-link air suspension back there, BUT the main issue is in the front. The tubes in the stub frame where the shocks go through is only about 1.5" in diameter, so no room for air bags as it was built. Have to do LOTS of fab or even make it a full-frame car as the popular Fords and GM cars are. Which also have coil spring front suspensions and ample room to replace the coil springs with airbags.

The OTHER thing is the front and especially rear body overhangs. NO fun having to drive/creep over entries into businesses or even just driving around. I went through that on my no-low rider '77 Camaro with the low-hanging mufflers on the factory dual exhaust system. I had roughly 5" of clearance between the muffler and the road, which was not nearly enough.

Which brings up another area . . . the center section of the car. You might learn to drive across "obstacles" diagonally, but you still have the center section of the rocker panels to worry about dragging. NONE of this is really "fun" and as you slow down to do them, it also impedes the flow of traffic for those behind you. As long as you are on flat ground, no problem, but when you unexpectedly might encounter "obstacles" which other cars can drive over with no issues, THEN YOU become the center of attention of others behind you.

One night, I was driving down a two lane road when a railroad crossing came up. I was behind a small import car that had been lowered (the inexpensive way). That car suddenly stopped to creep over/bounce over the uneven tracks. I nailed the brakes and luckily the '70s GMC pickup behind me could stop too. All so the guys in that little car could ease over the tracks on a 40mph roadway in their little lowered sedan. Once past the railroad tracks, they drove at the posted speedlimit. No big deal for them, but it could have caused a multi-vehicle accident that would not have been THEIR fault, although they were a significant factor, to me.

But to me, one of the great things about the Chrysler Torsion Bar/Leaf Spring suspension is its great handling/cornering characteristics. Especially on the open road which might have some turns and twists in it. Lowering the car (by whatever means) diminishes those things. Sure, I like the styling too, but it's those driving dynamics that I like more. And a lot of that will also be lost if you lower the front torsion bar adjustment, too.

The other dynamic is that when you lower the ride height (not by using drop spindles on the front), you also greatly decrease the compression space of the suspension. Which then means you are riding too close to the jounce bumpers and "bottoming out" happens way too much. Which can also put stresses on the UniBody too much, too, to me. Which also decreases ride comfort.

It can be done, but at a cost (many costs).

Respectfully,
CBODY67
 

Big_John

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This is probably going to sound stupid and I know my car is not a low rider but for childhood purposes living in the UK and hard to find an actual low rider

Do you guys reckon if it is possible to add hydraulic system on a 1966 Chrysler 300 Convertible?
Anything can be done... Just have to be prepared to do a ton of work and spend a lot of money.

The conversions I've seen use either GM or Ford front suspension pieces and involve substantial, no going back modifications. If it isn't done correctly, it will pretty much make the car worthless. Since you're asking if it's possible, I'll assume you haven't done this conversion yourself, and may not have the tools/knowledge/experience to do the work, so do you have a shop in the UK that does this? And does it right?

Everything is going to be expensive.... Even more so since you would be importing most of the parts.

Now, here's my opinion... I think the low rider "look" is passé. Your car would look stupid and out of date. It's an easy car to lower a couple inches without breaking the bank (adjust t-bars and add lowering blocks) and that's a classic look that can be "undone" when you get sick of it. I never hear about how these cars handle and steer after this is all done.. Again, if not done right, it's going to be horrible to drive. Even if it was done here in the states, the shops are doing GM cars primarily and Mopars are far and few between.

There's very few members that have attempted this conversion, and I can only remember one that documented the work... and I don't think they showed the completed car. IMHO, a lot of these projects are started, ending up failed or stalled, and never finished. There was also a fuselage convertible that was documented on another site and quite frankly, I was not impressed with much of the work. So, if you start the project, you aren't going to get any help here...

I gave this opinion (with some basic facts) and got called some names before. I just try to be honest.... and I really don't care what you do with your car.. I'm not the purest that I'll probably be called. Got a lot of money and somebody to do it correctly? Or.... Got the cash, skills, and tools to do it yourself? Great go for it... Just post the pics and driving impressions after the fact.
 

Umeracle

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Thank you both @CBODY67 and @Big_John - it does look like its going to be very very expensive so I think I'll just stick to as it is and get a real low rider in the future. Also been doing allot of research and cant find anyone doing hydraulics.
 

CBODY67

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IF you notice, there are gaps in the brand coverage of the conversions. ALL of them have coil spring suspensions front and rear. No coil fronts and leaf spring rears, by observations. No easy '57 Chevies, but many '58-'59 Chevies (which have coil springs at 4 corners). Same with full-size Fords. 1965 and up but very few, if any, '62 and back cars . . . unless they have a new 4-coil chassis under them.

Now, the '65-'68 Chryslers are somewhat already "lowered" in the way they were built. Just add some shorter/wider tires all around and then add another inch or so from suspension adjustments, etc. That should get you into the "draggin' rear bumper/tailpipe" or "high-center" territory. Ever wonder why some of the BMW M-model ground affects on the rocker panel had a thinner section in the middle than on the ends? So they wouldn't drag off when going over "peaks" in the pavement. NOT to foget the possibly least expensive way . . . load up some hefty friends in each seating position and drive around "profiling". FWIW

ONE other thing is that Chrysler convertibles are somewhat rare items anyway. Probably fewer than 5K were built in any one model year. Modding one in ways that might destroy it a bit would not be a good plan of action considering the ultimate value of such. Enjoy it for what it is and not change it into something it was not meant to be, for example. But there will always be people who want to do things irregardless of what it might do the vehicle's later value, by observation. BTAIM

Enjoy!
CBODY67
 

Umeracle

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IF you notice, there are gaps in the brand coverage of the conversions. ALL of them have coil spring suspensions front and rear. No coil fronts and leaf spring rears, by observations. No easy '57 Chevies, but many '58-'59 Chevies (which have coil springs at 4 corners). Same with full-size Fords. 1965 and up but very few, if any, '62 and back cars . . . unless they have a new 4-coil chassis under them.

Now, the '65-'68 Chryslers are somewhat already "lowered" in the way they were built. Just add some shorter/wider tires all around and then add another inch or so from suspension adjustments, etc. That should get you into the "draggin' rear bumper/tailpipe" or "high-center" territory. Ever wonder why some of the BMW M-model ground affects on the rocker panel had a thinner section in the middle than on the ends? So they wouldn't drag off when going over "peaks" in the pavement. NOT to foget the possibly least expensive way . . . load up some hefty friends in each seating position and drive around "profiling". FWIW

ONE other thing is that Chrysler convertibles are somewhat rare items anyway. Probably fewer than 5K were built in any one model year. Modding one in ways that might destroy it a bit would not be a good plan of action considering the ultimate value of such. Enjoy it for what it is and not change it into something it was not meant to be, for example. But there will always be people who want to do things irregardless of what it might do the vehicle's later value, by observation. BTAIM

Enjoy!
CBODY67
Yup that's true dont want to ruin the value of the car - just asking because I actually saw another Chrysler 300 with hydraulics in USA
 

Isaiah Estrada

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It’s easy to add hydraulics (juice) to a C Body. Hydraulic cylinder goes where the shocks go w/ a power ball welded to the LCA. Your setup is almost bolt on for juice. Expect to raise the transmission tunnel so the driveline doesn’t rub but you really need to do that to any car you juice. Torsion bars stay in place but the adjusters are removed. You’ll need to reinforce parts of the frame. It won’t be able to hop but perhaps with subframe connectors do side to side. 4 link rear is ideal.

I’m a lowrider guy, you build your car how YOU like it. My 68 New Yorker is going to be juiced. My friend Chris Anders juiced his the same as I just said. It is way easier to juice a C Body than to bag one. You can even add accumulators for a VERY smooth ride close to stock. People hate to see it, but a style is a style and we have to respect everyone’s builds. I love C Bodies in all shapes and sizes! I just happen to like mine riding low :)

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Isaiah Estrada

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Also too, the ORIGINAL purpose of hydraulics was “lay and play.” This meant that you only raised the car when necessary. Here in So Cal, the story goes - Lowriders and Kustomizers were tired of getting stopped by traffic cops for low cars. The fix? A suspension where you can change the ride height on a whim. Also, because it became difficult to drive without constantly bottoming out or having to take dips at an angle, go up driveways etc etc - this new style of suspension made it possible. The first car with hydraulics was Ron Aguirre’s X-Sonic Corvette in 1959.

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The “trend” isn’t new. Rather it’s a lifestyle we live! Shaved door handles started in the 40’s… lowered, chopped, custom paint etc all 40s early 50s and still timeless to this day. These cars are art! It’s what makes it so special for us.

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Umeracle

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It’s easy to add hydraulics (juice) to a C Body. Hydraulic cylinder goes where the shocks go w/ a power ball welded to the LCA. Your setup is almost bolt on for juice. Expect to raise the transmission tunnel so the driveline doesn’t rub but you really need to do that to any car you juice. Torsion bars stay in place but the adjusters are removed. You’ll need to reinforce parts of the frame. It won’t be able to hop but perhaps with subframe connectors do side to side. 4 link rear is ideal.

I’m a lowrider guy, you build your car how YOU like it. My 68 New Yorker is going to be juiced. My friend Chris Anders juiced his the same as I just said. It is way easier to juice a C Body than to bag one. You can even add accumulators for a VERY smooth ride close to stock. People hate to see it, but a style is a style and we have to respect everyone’s builds. I love C Bodies in all shapes and sizes! I just happen to like mine riding low :)

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Veryyyy niceeee - looks really good
 

BLIMP

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The previous owner of my white 72 used blocks in the rear and adjusted the torsion bars so it sat low. These pics are from the sales post when I purchased it. Eventually I put it back to the proper height because the ride quality was really poor. It kept bottoming out on the bump stops, and the front tires wore badly. I admit that it looked neat.

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commando1

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This is probably going to sound stupid and I know my car is not a low rider but for childhood purposes living in the UK and hard to find an actual low rider

Do you guys reckon if it is possible to add hydraulic system on a 1966 Chrysler 300 Convertible?
I say what the others are afraid to say.
Slamming any car is absolutely stupid.
I can tell that you know nothing about bagging a car and wanna hang with the cool kids.
You can't afford it.
Give it to a shop to do it, and they won't know how to bag a torsion bar suspension. They'll rob you of a ton of money and end up screwing up your front end permanently.
Dragging a car on the ground is no longer cool and you're late to the party.
 

Isaiah Estrada

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I say what the others are afraid to say.
Slamming any car is absolutely stupid.
I can tell that you know nothing about bagging a car and wanna hang with the cool kids.
You can't afford it.
Give it to a shop to do it, and they won't know how to bag a torsion bar suspension. They'll rob you of a ton of money and end up screwing up your front end permanently.
Dragging a car on the ground is no longer cool and you're late to the party.

Another thing I see a lot too. Most people who “attempt” to do this modification really end up screwing up the car to the point where this work is irreversible, or they actually do bag it but it turns out terrible. There’s an art to doing this specific kind of suspension.

When you mess with one thing it’s a whole line of other things that must be accounted for. But it’s not impossible, especially with the new technology we have for cars like these.

I think C Bodies look really cool lowered but not slammed (scraping.) Personally late 60s to the early 70s style of Mild Kustom turning into Lowrider is my favorite. When they’re low, it really accentuates those aggressive lines on these C’s and really makes them look longer and (to me) meaner!

I would definitely do my homework on a setup like this and honestly, you’d be better off fabricating your own setup as the bolt on parts are junk. It’s also a matter of safety for you and keeping the car functional also. It’s a lot, but not impossible:) Regardless, the 66 300 is a beautiful car in its own regard!

If my 68 wasn’t such a hot mess when I got it I probably would’ve just left it. But now it’s just going to be a really cool (tasteful) mild kustom.
 

Lagoo

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This is probably going to sound stupid and I know my car is not a low rider but for childhood purposes living in the UK and hard to find an actual low rider

Do you guys reckon if it is possible to add hydraulic system on a 1966 Chrysler 300 Convertible?
Did this with no hydraulics

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