When bowtie6 was built the first time, we used coilovers on the rear suspension. A special bridge was made and welded to the frame to hold the top part of the coilovers and tabs were welded on the aluminium control arms to hold the lower part of the coilovers. This was nice, the horrible “lever shocks” used on stock TR6’s were removed and all was good.
We thought about using coilovers up front but the way the original Triumph frame is constructed did not allow for a very good placement. So instead, I used SPAX shocks with upgraded aftermarket “racing” springs. This setup worked quite well – but with a huge shortcoming. What shortcoming?
We all know factory Triumph TR6’s require the dreaded “spring compressor” to take the front suspension apart. This in itself is not a big deal (provided one uses the correct type of spring compressor), however the constant tension from the spring loads up the front suspension something fierce. This load forces the driver use great effort when turning the front wheels at parking lot speeds. What?? Well – until you drive a TR6 with coilovers you will have to take my word for it. With coilovers, one can turn the steering wheel with very little effort. Huge difference. Coilovers also allow the use of different spring rates. One can tune the suspension to his needs very accurately. Finally, one can control ride height very nicely with coilovers.
The downside is price. Good quality, rebuildable coilovers are not cheap. Sure, one can source coiloves from eBay or some half-quality supplier. Good ones will run you about $400 a pair. By the time you order the appropriate springs you can have $1000 a set. But they are worth it!
The following gallery show some pics of my coilovers mounted on the new frame. There are some pictures of the front as well as the rear suspension, with the solid axle. One interesting note: Take a look at the frame: there is nothing that hangs below the frame line.
Oh and the coilovers, yes, they perform as nice as they look!
I’m building a 1974 TR6 with a 60 deg 3.5/3.9 V6 and every mod that I can think of. Love to try the coil overs’ and any information would be appreciated, make of shocks, length, spring rate, lower/upper mods required.
Since the frame on bowtie6 is completely made from scratch, we had the liberty to design it as we pleased. We ended up selecting a coilover setup that would fit our new frame and quite frankly, we also made provisions in the frame to fit the coilovers. Even though we are using the stock TR6 front suspension components, none of the ‘factory’ mounts were retained. New mounts were built from scratch so the coilovers could bolt on. The rear suspension is a complete different matter because we are using a narrowed solid axle.
Having said the above, it is very difficult to advice you what length and make of shock to use. I have no idea what you are using for a frame. If you have modified the POS original frame then you are in for a surprise because it will fail just like mine did especially with that new engine you are going to use. If on the other hand, you are using a different frame, then you would be better suited asking the frame’s manufacturer what they would recommend. Again, what I am using is not necessarily going to work on any frame other than mine.
As far as spring rates go: The ECOTEC is considerably less heavy than a V6. Therefore the spring rates on the front have been matched to the weight we are carrying across the front suspension. The same can be said for the rear: it is a different animal from the IRS on the ‘stock’ TR6. Also, the coil rate will depend upon how and where you mount the coilover. This particular aspect has taken us a considerable amount of time, effort and resources to get ‘just right’.
So was the coilover change worth it? Absoloutely! A Triumph with coilovers has a completely different ride characteristic from the spring/shock setup on the original car.