I’m watching the early Perry Mason DVDs, and I notice how the [probably new] Ford Fairlane Skyliner bounces, when it comes to a stop. If this is not worn shocks, what can it be? I don’t see it as much with the Buick, or the Cadillac, is this a Ford thing?
Not worn shocks, just really soft ones. Many early cars were very softly sprung with very soft shocks for a soft ride. They were built for highway cruising, not canyon carving.
So this may explain why I hated riding in 1970s era big cars–yuck! I tried driving a
1976 225?, I couldn’t; it was not only the soft ride, it was the dang steering.
Think back to how everyone needed to “saw” left and right with the steering wheel on a fairly constant basis with the cars back in “the good old days”, just to try to stay in one’s lane. Part of this was likely due to the old bias-ply tires, but a lot of it had to do with loosey-goosey steering. If you did the same with a modern car, you would be darting all over the place.
So, between the marshmallow suspensions and the loosey-goosey steering, handling was pretty abominable in “the good old days”.
This makes me wonder how I was able to drive my first car, a Chrysler Newport,
it had the bias-ply tires, but the steering was not so much loosey-goosey. Driving it
was a lot easier than a Buick of the same vintage.
Handling wasn’t great, but the ride sure was comfy.
Take a look at old Dragnet shows from the first TV version and then the version from the 1960’s. Those cars flopped like fish out of water.
That’s because Buick was the worst offender when it came to overly-soft suspensions. Most cars of that era were bad in that regard, but Buick was the worst of the lot.
When Chrysler introduced their torsion bar front suspension in 1957, all of their cars became the best-handling of all Detroit products of the era.
All the 60s Ford automobiles that I ever worked on had zero compression resistance shocks as OE. When I replaced shocks for people and installed larger bore 50/50 shocks they were(imagine this) shocked at the improvement in ride.
Buick did that too even through the 80s and 90s.
That reminds me of a time years ago when I borrowed a coworker’s Buick. I could turn the wheel 1/4 turn in either direction with no effect. Nothing like my Mercury. I nearly had an accident before I learned to compensate.
Hence, my earlier statement…
For the most part Americans have forever tended to prefer under steer from their land yaughts while Continental Europeans preferred over steer. “Unsafe at Any Speed” was responsible for trashing cars that were quite safe when driven by people accustomed to European cars.
And when people who drove them read and understood the owners manual when setting correct (correct for the Covair) tire pressures!
Yep, tire pressure extremely important for Corvairs. I would assume you would use the same pressures if using radials.
When Chevrolet dealerships were polled in regard to the correct tire pressures for the Corvairs that they were selling, the vast majority of them just gave the boilerplate “26 psi all around” advice, even though that type of misinformation was likely to kill their customers.
When you design and market a vehicle that requires very unorthodox tire pressures for safe driving, it is incumbent on the manufacturer to make an extra effort to inform their customers, and GM failed to do that, unfortunately. The fact that even their dealerships were usually clueless on this issue demonstrates GM’s failure to properly notify folks of the need for unusual tire pressures in this car’s tires.
On a side note, one of my mother’s work colleagues had persistent starting problems with her new Corvair, and the service manager brushed her off by telling her that because it had an aluminum engine block “the engine gets too cold”. What’s the chance that this moron knew the correct–highly unorthodox–tire pressures for a Corvair?