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Author Topic: Racing shock absorbers  (Read 14593 times)
Jon Mello
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« on: March 03, 2011, 10:41:01 PM »

We'll start out with horizontal shocks for the rear suspension. Not everybody used these shocks back then but some did so let's have a look.

First is an NOS set of Koni shocks, part # 76E-1256. These happen to be dated 9-67. Koni called these "axle dampers".

As you can see by the little yellow decal, the poofed-out part of the shock body would face up.


Koni also made these for Mustangs but as you can see, the part that goes forward has a longer extension, probably
to hook up with the factory bracket on a Shelby up inside the car's interior. Koni listed these as part # 76E-1225.



Here's a set of horizontal rear shocks as installed on the '67 Chaffey College Camaro.



Below is an advertisement from Competition Press/Autoweek from the 1969 era. It shows Hi-Tork as a brand of
horizontal racing shock. Note the fancy terminology "hydraulic traction bar". Well, that's pretty much what it is.


Another view of a Hi-Tork horizontal shock mounted on a car.


Yet another angle showing the installation of a Hi-Tork horizontal shock.



Below is a page from the late '67 Koni catalog showing part numbers for Camaro shocks including the horizontal version.
Check out the price of $22. Try finding any Koni shock for $22 now, let alone a pair of these rare horizontal ones!

                Make                        Description                              Year          Front P/N     Price             Rear P/N       Price
« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 04:50:30 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

Jon Mello
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2011, 03:03:39 PM »

Front Koni shocks for Camaro will be inserted here shortly. Part # is 80-1914.
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Jon Mello
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2011, 03:07:49 PM »

NOS rear Koni shocks for '67 Camaro, part number 80-1915. Koni "winged" decal is the correct one used on
these shocks during that '67-'72 era. Diameter of the shock body (the left half in the photo) is  1 - 11/16".
Larger upper part of shock assy is 2" in diameter. Stud at top mounts into factory reinforcement in trunk floor.
Bolt runs through lower eyelet hole to mount shock to lower shock plate under axle/leaf spring.




Here are an NOS pair of rear shocks for '68-'69. They are part number 80E-1953.

« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 11:23:47 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2011, 03:34:18 PM »

Used front double-adjustable shocks taken off a '69 Camaro Trans-Am car. Part number is 8210J-1016.
Main body diameter is 2 - 5/32". I have seen some of these shocks with red plastic knobs on the side
and others with black plastic knobs. I've got no idea why there were two different colors.



Close-up of the part number and date.


When installing these larger diameter double-adjustable shocks on an early Camaro, the
hole up in the spring pocket should be enlarged to accommodate the larger diameter of
the shock. You don't want to have any potential for bind going on.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 10:52:22 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2011, 03:37:42 PM »

Used double adjustable rear shocks, also from the same '69 Camaro. Part # is 8210J-1021
and they are identified (stamped) as to being either left or right. Diameter of shock body
is also 2 - 5/32". Left one is on the top, right one on the bottom. These are dated 8-68.
I believe Koni did not begin using the double-adjustable design until the 1968 racing
season and that all Camaros raced during the '67 season used the type as shown at the
top of the page. If someone has different information, please chime in. Double-adjustable
shocks were available for the '67 body and were part #8210J-1017.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 04:11:22 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

Jon Mello
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2011, 04:03:13 PM »

Jon,
Wheeler Engineering was Gary Wheeler, the engineer who would go on to work at AAR for Dan Gurney.  Master fabricator Phil Remington used to call Gary "doubleshock" since he was the fellow who designed them for Gurney's Cudas in 1970.  Gary had developed his horizontal shock setup while autocrossing his own Camaro in Southern California.  I have a photo of Gary and his Camaro.  He also used the Camaro to tow test rigs.  Gary later went heavy into aerodynamics where he worked on many different racecars and aircraft.  He even worked on Kenny Bernstein's funny car!

Mike Camicia
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2011, 11:12:21 PM »

Cool information, Mike. Thanks for that. Was the name in reference to two horizontal shocks "per side" or just for two horizontal shocks, or what? I ask because a friend has a '69 Camaro with two horizontal shocks "per side" (total of four) and that was something I had never seen done before. Would love to see a photo of the Gurney 'Cuda rear suspension if you have one.
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2011, 06:52:46 PM »

Jon,
Yes Gary's original design had 2 Delco horizontal shocks (side by side) on each side (for a total of 4) not to mention the traditional Koni adjustables for vertical.  Remington later swapped in the horizontal Konis for the Delcos.

Mike
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2011, 06:00:06 PM »

Mike,

Here's a couple of pictures of the double horizontal shocks on a car that Dick Guldstrand built for Gerry Gregory for the '69 Trans-Am season. These are obviously in an unrestored state, as-found condition. They are the Hi-Tork shocks, so maybe Gary Wheeler had some direct involvement with Dick Guldstrand on this.

Have any of you out there seen another Trans-Am Camaro with a shock set-up like this? I haven't. It would be nice to know if there were any others.



« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 11:03:25 AM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2011, 06:12:13 PM »

Hi Mike,
 
I think I can still see my Hi-Tork labels wrapped around each shock!  The rear disc brakes and also the thee-leaf spring certainly looks exactly like the ones Dick put on my 1967 white SS350.  However, I never ran four Delco units like that.  Apparently someone subsequently did what I did on the early works AAR 'Cuda's and just doubled-up on the Delcos.
 
I was told my old Camaro was totaled within a year of my selling it to a Chaffee College student of mine in 1969.  Even if that were false, I don't think this one in you pictures could be mine, because my sub-frame was mighty battle-scared from dozens of different mounting bracket having been welded onto it.  Also, I removed the factory bump stops completely, and this car still has 'em.  So alas, I doubt this could be a photo of my car.
 
But the Hi-Tork dampers were some that I sold somebody while I was in the original Guldstrand Corvette Club - a year or so before I joined AAR.
 
Cheers,
Gary Wheeler
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2011, 01:59:22 AM »

Hi Mike and Gary

I recognise that last name of Wheeler from the shock ad in one of the previous posts from Jon.

I happen to own the 69 Gregory/Guldstrand built Camaro that has the four horizontal shocks that are pictured above. It was so cool when I first cleaned off the dirt to see the "Hi-Tork" decals. This was yet another clue as to the validity of this car. The car had been featured in the January 1970 issue of Motorcade magazine. The shocks were described as follows;  "Hi-Tork brand shock absorber-cum-traction arms are mounted above each spring to control rear axle wind-up during braking or accelerating". Those pictures were just taken the other day so the shocks have remained there all this time. Good to hear that you recognise the leaf springs as well.

Robert Lodewyk
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Robert Lodewyk
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2011, 12:08:38 PM »

Robert,
That is so cool! I'm sure we'd all like to see some more pics of your car.

Mike Camicia
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Jon Mello
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2011, 06:37:15 PM »

Mike,

Robert sent me these photos to post. The first is of the car right after it was built and was featured in a Sports Car Graphic article where Paul van Valkenburgh drove it on the street and to the grocery store.



These other two shots are of the LH side of the rear suspension. Not sure why the angle iron is welded to the frame next to where the horizontal shocks mount. The bolt-on bracket on the axle would maybe be for a panhard rod. It doesn't look like anything has been bolted to it in a long time, if ever.





There will be more posted on this car but it might be better to put it all into a different thread.
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tmodel66
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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2011, 08:55:03 PM »

How cool is that for a "grocery getter"   Grin
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Daniel  
'69 SS 350/4 speed  Fathom Green--POP
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2011, 12:20:02 AM »

Thanks Mike and tmodel 66 for the kind words about my "heap". Shocked

During the next week I will try and learn to post some pictures on my own so Jon does not have to do it. Embarrassed

My first thought was the angle iron was put there to help hold a floor jack yet there is not one on the other side. Closer inspection tells me that it was wounded and they tried to brace it with that piece--only a guess. As for the bracket on the rear end housing the u bolts appear to be the same manufacturer as the ones added to the leaf spring perches. I do not see any evidence of anything being mounted to either frame rail. The fuel cell was clearly moved forward to facilitate the more Penske style fuel filler that was apparently added in a later update. Thus a fair amount of the trunk floor was removed. Perhaps whatever was there was removed when the fuel cell was moved forward and any evidence left as well---only a guess.

Robert
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Robert Lodewyk
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