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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts David Shearer's Avatar
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    Icon10 404 Suspension

    Hi,

    My brother just bought and old 67 404 and is wanting to know some of the suspension mods he can do to get it a bit stiffer and handling better. We know some people put the wagon bits in but are there any other options??? eg. other models 504 505 604 etc??

    We're talking things like lower control arms, sway bars, springs etc.

    any help appreciated,

    cheers Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Shearer
    Hi,

    My brother just bought and old 67 404 and is wanting to know some of the suspension mods he can do to get it a bit stiffer and handling better. We know some people put the wagon bits in but are there any other options??? eg. other models 504 505 604 etc??

    We're talking things like lower control arms, sway bars, springs etc.

    any help appreciated,

    cheers Dave
    Hi David, the wagon/Ute front springs are very good as long as you fit very good front shocks as well, can get a bit bouncy otherwise. You need the strut tops and spring platforms to go with these. One of the nice things about these is that you can then move the tops (being smaller) to get some negative camber.
    504 struts will fit onto the 404 lower control arms but you need to carve out the top of the inner guard with a jig saw and also cut the springs so that the car does not sit ridiculously high, not really recommended. You also need to use early struts (pre 1975) so you have the same stub axles. You can't move these to get negative camber.
    Apart from cutting and shutting the originals you can't change the lower control arms.

    The rear springs are fine and the roll bars likewise.

    If you are going to use the 4.5 inch rims and 165 tyres and just drive around then don't change anything, fit new LIP shockers from EAI along with a set of bushes and strut tops then enjoy the superb ride and handling.
    The car at present is likely to be in need of a complete suspension overhaul, it will most likely have either 40 year old original front shockers or some inferior aftermarket brand. The rears are most likely the original Armstrong Greens, not nice.

    If you want to use 195 tyres on 6 inch rims you will find the steering precision will be downgraded and you really need to go the wagon/negative camber route.
    Additionly if you are going to use the car for any form of competition you'll find the stiffer wagon front springs help to keep the rear wheels on the ground on cornering.

    Your'e welcome to bring the car around if you like.

    Graham Wallis

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS
    Hi David, the wagon/Ute front springs are very good as long as you fit very good front shocks as well, can get a bit bouncy otherwise. You need the strut tops and spring platforms to go with these. One of the nice things about these is that you can then move the tops (being smaller) to get some negative camber.
    504 struts will fit onto the 404 lower control arms but you need to carve out the top of the inner guard with a jig saw and also cut the springs so that the car does not sit ridiculously high, not really recommended. You also need to use early struts (pre 1975) so you have the same stub axles. You can't move these to get negative camber.
    Apart from cutting and shutting the originals you can't change the lower control arms.

    The rear springs are fine and the roll bars likewise.

    If you are going to use the 4.5 inch rims and 165 tyres and just drive around then don't change anything, fit new LIP shockers from EAI along with a set of bushes and strut tops then enjoy the superb ride and handling.
    The car at present is likely to be in need of a complete suspension overhaul, it will most likely have either 40 year old original front shockers or some inferior aftermarket brand. The rears are most likely the original Armstrong Greens, not nice.

    If you want to use 195 tyres on 6 inch rims you will find the steering precision will be downgraded and you really need to go the wagon/negative camber route.
    Additionly if you are going to use the car for any form of competition you'll find the stiffer wagon front springs help to keep the rear wheels on the ground on cornering.

    Your'e welcome to bring the car around if you like.

    Graham Wallis
    Hi Graham,

    thanks for all the info. If I could get the bugger started I'd love to bring it round, needs a tune badly. Currently, we're pulling out the seats, carpets and re-rustproofing it all. But when its running I'll get my brother to bring it around to show you,

    cheers
    Dave
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Shearer
    But when its running I'll get my brother to bring it around to show you,
    I hope it's not in Vermont! That's a damn long way from Melbourne!

    Dave
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    Quote Originally Posted by davemcbean
    I hope it's not in Vermont! That's a damn long way from Melbourne!

    Dave
    A bit over 20km, are you thinking of the one in the US Dave?

    Graham

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS
    A bit over 20km, are you thinking of the one in the US Dave?

    Graham
    Must be thinking Vermont US cos I'm in Vermont Melbourne, right down the road from box hill where I used to live
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    I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would try to change anything in a 404... they keep their wheels on the ground pretty well as they come.

    But I would echo Graham's comment about the AT9s...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would try to change anything in a 404... they keep their wheels on the ground pretty well as they come.

    But I would echo Graham's comment about the AT9s...

    What are AT9s Ray?
    Graham

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would try to change anything in a 404... they keep their wheels on the ground pretty well as they come.

    But I would echo Graham's comment about the AT9s...
    Depends how hard you are trying. They roll like a ship at sea, and love to cock the inside rear on the tight bits. On the limit my 404 cabriolet was an evil dog. And yes, it had new strut inserts at the front and new shoks at the rear.

    Actually, compared with 203 handling, a standard 404 is a piece of crap.
    95 MI16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi 03
    Depends how hard you are trying. They roll like a ship at sea, and love to cock the inside rear on the tight bits. On the limit my 404 cabriolet was an evil dog. And yes, it had new strut inserts at the front and new shoks at the rear.

    Actually, compared with 203 handling, a standard 404 is a piece of crap.
    The post 1967 ones don't roll much at all (certainly not as much as a 203) but lift the inside wheel worse.
    Graham

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS
    The post 1967 ones don't roll much at all (certainly not as much as a 203) but lift the inside wheel worse.
    Graham
    What is different in the suspension of a post '67?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi 03
    What is different in the suspension of a post '67?
    Anti Roll bars front and rear.
    Graham

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS
    Anti Roll bars front and rear.
    Graham
    My NZ assembled 67 sedan had front and rear anti-roll bars and it wasn't flash. The cabriolet was also a 67 but they don't have a rear one. I was going to put one on, but it wasn't looking like a simple task, and I ended up selling it before it killed me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi 03
    My NZ assembled 67 sedan had front and rear anti-roll bars and it wasn't flash. .
    It must have had something wrong, since my standard post-67 404 sat so flat that even a Cooper S driving friend of mine commented on it.

    I now have a 505 with GTi springs and stiffer than GTi swaybars (K-Mac front with stiffer mounts, 604 rear bar) and it's the only other RWD Pug I've ever driven which sits as flat as a standard post-67 404.

    I have to say, though, that since my father put Mobil 1 in his 203's shocks, it sits surprisingly flat also. It also has less than 80,000miles since new so the springs are still in good condition.

    Dave
    Last edited by davemcbean; 4th August 2004 at 01:43 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Shearer
    Must be thinking Vermont US cos I'm in Vermont Melbourne, right down the road from box hill where I used to live
    Must be like Wyoming on the central coast in NSW. I thought that might have been the case, but thought it was worth questioning since we have a few members from eastern USA.

    Dave
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    Quote Originally Posted by davemcbean
    It must have had something wrong, since my standard post-67 404 sat so flat that even a Cooper S driving friend of mine commented on it.

    I now have a 505 with GTi springs and stiffer than GTi swaybars (K-Mac front with stiffer mounts, 604 rear bar) and it's the only other RWD Pug I've ever driven which sits as flat as a standard post-67 404.

    I have to say, though, that since my father put Mobil 1 in his 203's shocks, it sits surprisingly flat also. It also has less than 80,000miles since new so the springs are still in good condition.

    Dave


    a couple of my 504's cornered pretty damn flat

    i remember seeing some 203's going around warwick farm that had a fair bit of work done to them and they didn't look too flat to me where as i have seen a 403 in apendix J go around corners fairly well

    i won't comment on 404's as i will upset too many people
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    Quote Originally Posted by pugrambo
    a couple of my 504's cornered pretty damn flat

    i remember seeing some 203's going around warwick farm that had a fair bit of work done to them and they didn't look too flat to me where as i have seen a 403 in apendix J go around corners fairly well

    i won't comment on 404's as i will upset too many people
    Go on - comment on 404's - the most over-rated car I have owned/driven/thrashed!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi 03
    Go on - comment on 404's - the most over-rated car I have owned/driven/thrashed!!!
    The only bad things I've got to say about 404s are:

    -exterior bits of trim have a habit of falling off (including headlight surrounds)

    -the flat panels mean they dent REALLY easily

    -they rust REALLY bad

    -the handbrake is in a horrible position

    -they eat their radiators when the gearbox mounts get soggy

    -they have a habit of developing severe stress fractures in the boot area

    -the disc brake cars have a remote brake booster

    -they don't have dual circuit brake, head restraints or a collapsible steering column (but not too many cars released in 1960 do)

    -it's getting difficult to find standard front brake bits


    These are the reasons why I no longer own one, but I have to say they are the most communicative handling car I have ever driven, although the handling did bite me when I had a 13" steering wheel (too twitchy).

    Dave
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    Quote Originally Posted by pugrambo

    i won't comment on 404's as i will upset too many people
    Anyone who can get a 604 to handle flat must realise you can also get a 404 to handle flat if you want to.

    Dave
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    Quote Originally Posted by davemcbean
    The only bad things I've got to say about 404s are:

    -exterior bits of trim have a habit of falling off (including headlight surrounds)

    -the flat panels mean they dent REALLY easily

    -they rust REALLY bad

    -the handbrake is in a horrible position

    -they eat their radiators when the gearbox mounts get soggy

    -they have a habit of developing severe stress fractures in the boot area

    -the disc brake cars have a remote brake booster

    -they don't have dual circuit brake, head restraints or a collapsible steering column (but not too many cars released in 1960 do)

    -it's getting difficult to find standard front brake bits


    These are the reasons why I no longer own one, but I have to say they are the most communicative handling car I have ever driven, although the handling did bite me when I had a 13" steering wheel (too twitchy).

    Dave

    The two main reasons I gave up driving them are:

    1.They leak OUT oil.

    2.They leak IN water (the main reason) , I got sick of rushing outside to put buckets on the floor whenever it rained! And yes I know about the drain hoses on the air vents. This is a by product of the rust that Dave mentioned.

    Graham Wallis
    Last edited by GRAHAM WALLIS; 4th August 2004 at 07:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davemcbean
    Anyone who can get a 604 to handle flat must realise you can also get a 404 to handle flat if you want to.

    Dave


    i agree dave it's just that i wouldn't put my time into a 404 as much as i would put it into any other pug

    i understand 2pugs has got his 604 handling pretty flat now
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    WTD long range fuel tank for 605

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS
    The two main reasons I gave up driving them are:

    1.They leak OUT oil.

    2.They leak IN water


    Oh yeah, I forgot about those two.
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    1000+ Posts David Shearer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davemcbean
    Must be like Wyoming on the central coast in NSW. I thought that might have been the case, but thought it was worth questioning since we have a few members from eastern USA.

    Dave

    Fair point,

    I had a guy from UK PM me about where Box Hill was the other day, must be one of those in UK too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Shearer
    Fair point,

    I had a guy from UK PM me about where Box Hill was the other day, must be one of those in UK too.
    Yeah, it's the reason why my location says "Camden, NSW, Australia". There are atleast two towns called Camden in Australia and in the USA as well as the suburb of London and I have a feeling there might also be a Camden in Canada and South Africa.

    Dave
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    Graham...

    AT7 was the type of Armstrong that was fitted to most regular cars. About 1.5" diameter body. AT9 was the bigger bodied shock, often referred to as 'heavy duty' (what a misnomer when it comes to dampers!) and this was the type fitted to the rear of late 404s.

    And to hell with the leaks, I want that 'communicative handling' Dave mentioned... fix the rust, fit an extra 350cc and an overdrive top gear and drive them like they were built!

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