Installing QA-1s

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by walawdog, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. walawdog

    walawdog Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2004
    819
    Bluefield, WV
    Full Name:
    Anthony
    I just finished installing a QA-1 on the rear passenger side of my 1978 308. Everything came out and went back in without too much trouble. My QA-1 is the single adjustable type, has anyone else done this and did you face the shocks adjustor knob inward (towards the engine)? It didn't look like it was going to fit the other way.

    I was also wondering how many spacers (shims) did you use if you are using Verell's adapter kit. I am going to try to put the other shock on tomorrow in the back and then tackle the front ones on Thursday. Does anyone know if I have to use a spring compressor to get the shock out/in for the front shocks? I didn't have to use one on the back, just wondering.
     
  2. chrismorse

    chrismorse Formula 3

    Feb 16, 2004
    2,145
    way north california
    Full Name:
    chris morse
    Walawdog,

    On my 77, i installed the know pointing in toward the engine or it would have hit the hub.
    I got one of Verell's early kits, so not sure about what you've got. I installed two slim washers from the kit on either side of the shock bushings, then very slightly compressed them and installed the snaprings. nice fit.

    I used a speing compressor for the front spring, rears were fine.

    I would recommend a bit of wheel bearing grease or neverseize on the torrington bearings, (the thin,flatbearings if you got them) or between the steel washer and the barrell nut on the bottom. It is a bit tough getting the springs to their installed height and getting enough ground clearance.
    I am hoping to get a set of scales from the local sports car club, so i can get the corner weights and ride height set properly.
    hth,
    chris



     
  3. WaltP

    WaltP Formula 3

    Nov 1, 2003
    1,435
    Atlanta/Orlando
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    Walt P
    Walawdog, Please post when you do the front ones. I hope to do the front shocks on my 1980 308 before the end of the month. Does your car use HAL-DR4855P in the front and are you going with QA-1 springs in the front also?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  4. walawdog

    walawdog Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2004
    819
    Bluefield, WV
    Full Name:
    Anthony
    I used the DR4855P for the front and DR5855P on the back. I ordered them from a company that advertised on Ebay, so, the HAL designation was not used on my shock description. I will try to post photos of the install as soon as I can. I am using the QA-1 springs. 12" 350lbs on the rear and 9" 400lbs up front.
     
  5. WaltP

    WaltP Formula 3

    Nov 1, 2003
    1,435
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    Walt P
    Why did you go with 9" springs on the front or is that what your year comes with?
     
  6. spang308

    spang308 Formula Junior

    Jul 17, 2004
    887
    York, PA
    You may want to consider 10" front springs. You may not have enough threads on the shock body to get ride height reasonable with 9 inchers. If you truly do have 9" front springs, you probably won't need a spring compressor as mentioned above. You will with 10" however.

    I also mounted the rears with the adjuster facing inward. It won't work any other way. I wish the adjuster was rotated 90 degrees on the shock body. Would make tuning a lot easier.

    Spring rates look to be in the ballpark.

    Good luck,
    John
     
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  8. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    May 5, 2001
    6,908
    Groton, MA
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    Verell Boaen
    The Unobtainium Supply QA-1 mounting kit was designed for 2 SS washers on each side, but with a couple of additional washers in case the shock bushings came in a bit on the narrow side.

    BTW, remember you have to cut out a bit of the inside of the front upper A-frames to clear the QA-1 shock body.

    There are some pictures of the mod in one of the early QA-1 shock threads.

    I talked to QA-1 tech support about using some of their racing shock parts to avoid having to do the cutout. It looked doable, but might require machining a new upper spring perch, or modifying a racing one. I haven't had the time or money to pursue it further.

    Post some pix when you get a chance.

    BTW, anyone want to buy a QA-1 shock mounting kit at the group buy price? I've still got some, had more made up than were needed for the group buy.
     
  9. walawdog

    walawdog Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2004
    819
    Bluefield, WV
    Full Name:
    Anthony
    I hear you on the triming of the upper A arm, I am prepared for that, although I hear one guy here did this install and his didn't need to be trimmed? We'll see. I finished with the rears and the car dropped so low that it was hard to get my jack out. So far I have only taken my front wheel off to take a look and I do think I made a mistake on the spring length. The stock springs look to be about 10.25" long. I think I am going to get a set of 10" springs.

    About the spring compressor. Where did you guys get yours? I bought one from a local car parts store and it is way too long. Also, I was thinking, couldn't I put my jack under the bottom shock mounting point and try to remove the bolt and then slowly lower the jack to release the pressure? I assume that there isn't a lot of travel left when the suspension is hanging free like that?

    Just a thought.
     
  10. spang308

    spang308 Formula Junior

    Jul 17, 2004
    887
    York, PA
    Get the 10" springs. 9" will be too short. Even with 10" springs, you will run the lower spring perch up pretty high to get the desired ride height.
    I used a spring compressor that's in my shop. You will need to compress 10" springs slightly to get the shock/spring assembly together.
    Notch the upper A arm just to make sure you have enough clearance. Better safe than sorry.
    You don't need to use a jack under the A arm in the front. Once the suspension is in full droop, you can just unbolt the shock assembly. The shock is fully extended in full droop and has no compression at that point.

    Have fun,
    John
     
  11. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    May 5, 2001
    6,908
    Groton, MA
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    I think I remember seeing a post where someone mounted the QA1s upside down & didn't have to notch them. Or maybe QA1 tech support suggested doing that.

    I'm pretty sure I remember reading in their catalog that their shocks can be mounted in either orientation.

    Best way to check the clearance is to temporarily put the shock in place w/o the spring & move the a-arms thru their full travel.

    You don't need a spring compressor to remove the Konis, just to install the new springs on the new shocks. I'd just take the spring & shock to Midas or another shop that specializes in suspension work & ask them to install them. As you know, I have a well equipped shop, but that's what I do. They'll charge you $15 or so/shock, cheap insurance & usually quick if you call ahead. Spring compressors are known to slip off or fail & then you suddenly have either a bent shock, or a spring smashing into your face!
     
  12. walawdog

    walawdog Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2004
    819
    Bluefield, WV
    Full Name:
    Anthony
    #11 walawdog, Apr 6, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I just tried to use the spring compressor I bought and the first thing I noticed is that it fit all cockeyed on the spring, also, with the way the tangs protruded into the spring, there was no way I was going to be able to slip it over the shock with the spring compressor attached. I am going to take your advice and bring my shocks to a shop tomorrow to have them put them on for me. So, during my down time, I was able to remove both drivers and passenger side shocks in about an hour. It turned out to be a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. This is the way I did it: 1) Loosened wheel bolts; 2) jacked up the front and put jack stands on both sides of the front end, removed tire/wheel; 3) removed lower shock bolt (it goes through the shock eye and the sway bar link), I used a 19mm socket and wrench and a punch to push the bolt out; 4) removed the upper ball joint where the brake disc is held to the upper A-arm (not sure this was a must do, but it gets the disc out of your way); 5) removed both upper A-arm bolts that hold the A-arm and the shock to the frame; 6) pulled out upper A-arm and then; 6) removed the shock; 7) zip tied the disc to the upper A-arm bolt holed to keep tension off the brake line. I suppose I will reverse the process to get it all back in. I will try to post a couple of pics.
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  13. WaltP

    WaltP Formula 3

    Nov 1, 2003
    1,435
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    Walt P
    How much front end drop can you get using the QA-1's? I really neen to lower the front of my 308.
     
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  15. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Aug 3, 2002
    6,046
    Southeast USA
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    #13 Mike C, Apr 7, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  16. BT

    BT F1 World Champ

    Mar 21, 2005
    14,349
    FL / GA
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    Bill Tracy
    Nice ride height! I really like the concentric wheel arch / tire setup you have. Any rubs on dips etc...?
    BT
     
  17. WaltP

    WaltP Formula 3

    Nov 1, 2003
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    Walt P
    Thanks Mike, I also like the look the way you have it.
     
  18. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    Aug 3, 2002
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  19. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

    Apr 20, 2002
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    Mike, that is AWESOME! Also want to thank you for the lead on the Saner bars, got then installed this past winter and between the 400/350 lbs spring setup and the larger bars things are great. many thanks again for the lead!!! ALL help is ALWAYS appreciated.
     
  20. walawdog

    walawdog Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2004
    819
    Bluefield, WV
    Full Name:
    Anthony
    I just finished my install and it seems that 9" springs might have worked fine. I installed the front shocks with about twelve threads showing below the retaining collar, so, about half of the available adjustment (maybe?). When I lowered the car to the ground, it looks like the ride height is at about the stock level. I assume the shocks will settle a bit? That being said, I think 9" would have worked?
     
  21. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    Aug 3, 2002
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    Mike Charness
    It's actually the springs that will settle, not the shocks... but yes, you can expect a .3 to 1.0 inch of settling depending on the length (and quality) of the springs. My QA-1 front springs settled so much I had to throw them out because I completely ran out of adjustment; I replaced them with Eibachs.
     
  22. walawdog

    walawdog Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2004
    819
    Bluefield, WV
    Full Name:
    Anthony
    Tomorrow I will raise the rear a bit and then go for a drive to see if the springs settle and then try to re-adjust. I will also take some pictures to post. Thanks to everyone who chipped in their 2 cents.
     
  23. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

    Apr 20, 2002
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    Am sure you short springs guy know this but... Went with some really stiff (400 front/350 rear) short springs and the shocks here (not QA-1) at full droop left space for the shock to freely float (a bad thing). If at full droop the spring is free to play this is bad bad bad. Use Hyperco coils so went with their Zero Rate spring and Spring Divider.

    Again, am sure you guys know this but just in case. Be safe and keep the shiny side up.
     
  24. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    May 5, 2001
    6,908
    Groton, MA
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    Verell Boaen
    BTW,
    I have a few more 4-wheel kits of the all SS bushings that adapt QA-1 single or dual adjustable coil-over shocks to the 3x8 series Koni mounts. They can be used to mount other US shocks that have a 3/4" mounting hole & whose bushing is the same width as, or narrower than, the QA-1 shocks.

    The price is $127/4-wheel set + shipping. If you're interested, send eMAIL:
    TO: Orders@UnobtainiumSupply.com
    SUBJ: ORDER (or INQUIRY): 3x8 QA-1 Shock Bushing Kit.
     
  25. walawdog

    walawdog Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2004
    819
    Bluefield, WV
    Full Name:
    Anthony
    #23 walawdog, Apr 15, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Here are some shots of my car, sorry about the quality. The before pic shows a close up of my front wheel and you can see how much the car was lowered on the wider shot of the entire car. The last pic is of the a-arm and how much I had to trim. As you can see, it wasn't a lot I had to trim off to clear the QA-1. I've only had a chance to drive it a few times and the fronts don't seem to rub at all, but, since I have spacers on the rear, it rubs a bit on some serious dips at speed. I have a bit more room now in the rear so I am going to get smaller spacers and bring the tires in about .75", hopefully that will cure the rub.
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  26. hanknum

    hanknum Formula 3

    Nov 1, 2003
    2,014
    Santa Barbara
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    Henry
    Hey Anthony,

    I've been meaning to reply to this thread for a while now, but I've been sick, my son's been sick, then there was the taxes that needed to be done, etc.

    Looks like you got everything together. I don't know if I was the only one, but I didn't need to trim the A-arm. I did mine a few years ago and have been happy. I did a write up on it if you want to do a search. My right front did "grab" the fender lip a couple times (I had lowered the front by about 1.5" and rear about 1". This only happened when going right up a steep driveway.

    BTW, I also did point the rear adjuster knob in towards the engine.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Thanks

    Henry
     
  27. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    May 5, 2001
    6,908
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    walawdog, You've got eMAIL
     

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