Q – Mike,
I just completed a frame off restoration of a 68 Camaro but I put the old mono leaf springs back on the car with new bushings and pads. I’m not happy with them as when I put 3 people in the car, it rides like a low-rider in the back. I’m debating whether to replace the mono leaf with new mono leaf or multi leaf springs.
On the Camaro web sites, I’ve seen people convert to multi leaf springs and some say you have to replace the
shock plates and others say they used their original mono shock plates. I keep getting different answers.
Several Camaro mono leaf owners went with a 3 leaf spring that they said bolts right in without replacing
any shock plate or perch. On your product page, it shows you make a mono, 4 leaf, 5 leaf and a 3 leaf.
I want to do the simplest thing but have good springs in the back. I replaced my front coil springs
so now my car rides a little high in the front – hopefully it will eventually settle down.
So I don’t mind the rear end coming up about an Inch and it needs it. I’m not sure if just replacing the mono
leaf spring with another mono leaf will correct this but I’m still concerned about it riding too low if 3-4 people are in the car.
So after all that, I need a recommendation from someone that actually knows what they are talking about and since it appears you have been in the business a long time, I’ll listen.
First question is do you make a 3 leaf spring that be an easy swap and would you recommend it.
Second, can you convert easily to a 4 leaf or 5 leaf using the original mono leaf perch welded on the axle housing and original mono leaf shock plates? Seems that you would just have a gap on both sides as the multi leaf is much higher than the mono. And if not a 3 leaf, would you recommend a 4 or 5 leaf and what is the real load or ride difference.
In the National Parts Depot catalog, it shows your Eaton mono leaf with an OE rate of 126, your 5 leaf with an OE rate of 89 and a 4 leaf with an OE rate of 103. Going by this, it seems that the mono has a better spring rate if I’m reading this right???
I’ve been struggling with which way to go for over a month now so I’m hoping you can lead me in the right direction. I would greatly appreciate an email or call back as I’m ready to get new springs and Eaton has been recommended as the best.
A – John,
Springs can be confusing, that is why there are just a few of us who do them, so don’t feel bad. Chances are the mono leafs on your car may be original and is just old and tired. Old springs do not lose their rate, they just lose the ability to hold weight.
While we still make mono leaf for not only the Camaro/Firebird/Nova, we also make them for the 62-67 Chevy II’s. Plus we make a 3 leaf replacement for them both.
Multi leaf springs are held together with a center-bolt. The center-bolt also locates the spring on the axle. As you know there is not a center-bolt through a mono leaf but there is a protrusion on the bottom to locate the spring.
The 3 leaf replacement we offer for the mono leaf has a center-bolt but the head of the bolt on the top side of the spring has been peened flush with the main plate so the 3 leaf will bolt directly to the mono leaf spring perch.
The 4 and 5 leaf springs do not have the peened center-bolt head and require our conversion kit to install on mono leaf perches. The mono shock plate will work with the multi leaf springs. And do not worry if there is a gab between the top and bottom plates.
The spring rates of the mono and 3 leaf replacement are the same, 126 Lbs. Going with any of the springs listed will sit the car at factory stock height. And the height can be altered up or down a max of 3 Inches.
The easiest way to go is to replace the stock mono with a new mono. You will also want to order the Install Kit which has new eye bolts, cage nut w/bolts, both u-bolts and t-bolts, new urethane axle pads, shackles and shackle bushings. The front bushing is in the springs.One kit does both springs.
And do not forget shocks. Do not settle for the lowest price shock, always go with the best quality shock you can afford. Many a fine ride has been ruined by low quality shock absorbers.