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Ok I measured with new wheels and tires and flairs mounted. I have 13.5" hole to hole where the shocks mount. Couple things I noticed with stock and aftermarket stuff the compressed coil over dimension is 13" and extended to 20".

The pair I did buy new from one of the vendors will not go down to where I want the ride hieght to be ??? what to do ?

Advise on spring rates ??

Advise on a street / race shock ..adjsutable ??

Thanks Ron
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I'm not sure what you mean by go down to what you want. However I was really bummed out the night after I installed my new wheels and shocks. It looked horrible even after rolling it around. But after test driving it settled in just right. Smiler

Just for your information
I went out and measured my rear shock length on the car resting on the ground I came up with 14" center to center on the rear. That puts the lower rear A arms about level with the ground.


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Last edited by markm

I did some research on shocks previously and will share what I found and based upon personal opinion;

A lot of people seem to like the Aldens, to me they are damned expesnive and have a tendency to leak, as they are basically Hot Rod shocks not street/strip. I have a set of the Hall Alden's (Alden bodies with 4.5" dia Hall springs) and they will be coming off the car and getting replaced, mainly due to the fact they are 480# FR and 600# Rr spring rates that are just too damn stiff for me.

The HAL/QA1 (previously Carrera) shocks appear to be about the best cost/function compromise available. At least one of the vendors (Larry Stock) is selling these as direct Pantera replacements.

The QA1's are available in single adjustable or double adjustable and when I contacted QA1 Tech they recommended the 'DR5855' model, either DR5855P (Single Adjustable) or DDR5855P (Double Adjustable). Note: There is also a 'B' suffix version to each of those part #'s for bearing application instead of 'P' (Poly bushings), so make sure you get the correct one.

The DR/DDR5855's are 17" uncompressed length and 11 5/8" compressed. They have a recommended ride height of 13 1/4" to 14 1/2" which would seem to be where you are at. They use a 12" long spring available in multiple rates. The beauty being Summit Racing sell the shocks (bare shock bodies $170 single adjustable, $285 double) and springs at $37 ea. making obtaining springs for rate changes pretty easy. Larry Stock's package is around $1100 for the single adjustables, but he says it comes direct bolt on with fabricated bushing inserts, whereas you may have some fab work if you go the Summit route.

See QA1's website and catalog's at

Spring rate recommendations seem to be as individual as Pantera's themselves dependent on your use. Larry regularly races (ORR and track) his narrow body Pantera and has 375# Fr with 400# Rr spring rates. Personally, I will start out at 350# Fr and 450# Rr and go with a 1" solid sway bar with the ball ends on what will be a wide body car that is intended to see some track use.

Hope this helps some,
[quote]I'm not sure what you mean by go down to what you want.

My car with a slight pitch in the arm is 13.5 I;m thinking the middle should be about 12.5" on the rear ..I didnt measure the fronts yet. It also leads me to another question on if the upper a arms should be level also .. a question for another post.

Joules ,

The QA1's are available in single adjustable or double adjustable and when I contacted QA1 Tech they recommended the 'DR5855' model, either DR5855P (Single Adjustable) or DDR5855P (Double Adjustable).

I have the QA1's PROMO STAR printed out sitting on my desk .. the DDR5855P ..states they are for the rear and the ride height compressed height at 11.5 only leaves me 1" I may have to drop to the 4855 .. they also state front / rear ?? I;m just slightly lower but think your correct QA1 is right for our application.

The spring rates seem like I need to wiegh my car when its done first ??? I may make up solid bars for it until its done then wiegh the car. But 350 and 450 seems like your on the money.

I sure do love my steel body gas filled Konis equipped with the optional spring pre-load adjusters and Hyperco springs, but I'm a little prejudiced. I have installed Koni shocks on every car I've ever owned if they were available for that car. Koni's provide a well dampened ride without ever being harsh, it suits me very well. I have no idea what the spring rates are of the Hyperco springs.

In general you'll find 300 to 400 lb/in front springs and 400 to 600 lb/in rear springs paired with modern gas shocks. These spring rates are about 50% greater than the spring rates of the oem springs. Some owners fear that heavier springs will make the car ride too harsh, but that is not the case. The modern gas shocks have far less "stiction" than the old school shocks. The car actually rides better with the new set-up, stiffer springs and all.

The long standing recommendation for lowering the Pantera is to set the rear control arms paralell to the tarmac, and then lower the front to level the car, or a bit more to give the car a nose down attitude. The nose down attitude helps the aerodynamics of the car significantly. But if you do so, you'll find you're running out of front wheel travel, and getting to a point where its easy to bottom out the car, so you can't go overboard with the nose down setting. Also, the handling of the car gets twitchy as you lower the nose, because there just isn't enough caster, so it would be recommended to have Pat Mical do his upper front control arm mod if you are going to lower the nose of the car. I would like to lower the front of 6018 a bit more, but I'm waiting until I get the control arms modified, because the steering is already too twitchy for my tastes. Add the spherical ball ends to the anti-sway bars and you have the beginnngs of a good handling Pantera.

For the benefit of others, I would like to mention that the US Panteras were spec'd by Ford with a 3/4" rear anti-sway bar, the Euro Panteras had a 7/8" rear anti-sway bar. The US cars need to be upgraded with the rear anti-sway bar from the Euro Panteras.

cowboy from hell


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George I do agree KONI makes fine product but also sometimes a little pricey ... have you part numbers for the Pantera ??

Spring Rates I still need to do some research .. my problem is the ride height level the rear arms and level the front a arms ... NO DROPPED floors ... I think the stiffer springs will be a must to avoid bottoming out.

With the car set where both lower a arms are almost level. The rockers are level ..the tire diameters are the same ... Tomorrow I will pull a string and see what I have to for ground clearance.

Thats next some minor mods to the suspension to make it all work .. what I have observed is the upper a arms in both front and back will have an steep upward angle to meet the ball joint .. this worries me .. more research.

The sway bars .. I;m on it I agree this is a must ...

Thanks Ron
I'm still at work, so I don't have access to my car or my notes, but I believe the part numbers on my Koni shocks are 30-1301; something like that. They are the steel body versions, about $1000 less per set than the aluminum body versions.

Contact one of the vendors who sell Konis for pricing, its in the ball park with your QA1's. No external adjusters however.

My car is set as described in my last post, the rear lower control arms are level with the road, the fronts are adjusted so that the door sills are level too. If you put a contractors level on my door sills the bubble will be in the middle. My ground clearance is so low an aluminum "racer jack" just barely fits under the jacking points. My car will bottom on big bumps "at speed". I've contemplated installling a 1/8" sheet of aluminum beneath the car as a skid plate (must be the dirt biker in my blood).

When I jack the car up so the wheels are off the ground, the front springs are loose in the shocks, they rattle around, the rear springs are loose enough I can turn them by hand on the shock body, but they don't rattle.

cowboy from hell
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