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Opinions on Bratton's modern shock kit

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  • Opinions on Bratton's modern shock kit

    I am interested in any members' opinions/experiences on the modern shock absorber kit offered by Bratton's (see https://www.brattons.com/no-drilling...nting-kit.html). I like the idea of not having to remove the brake drums and the like to install the rears. I have asked Bratton's for any additional instructions they have, but what they have is just what is shown on the website. If anyone here has installed these shocks, I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences. TIA!

  • #2
    First post welcome to the VFF !
    I put on Stipe shocks and have no experience with Brattons
    Again Wecome !

    Comment


    • #3
      I would ask for a pic of the rear actually installed, and for the length of the rear shock.

      I just looked under my car ('31). I have the Ken Davis setup. See the pix. His setup drops the bottom of the rear shock down several inches below the axle, allowing for quite a bit of throw. There is way more vertical travel of the rear axle than is first suspected. It seemed to me that with the design you show, it might require a very short shock, with limited throw. I may be wrong. My rear shock measures 15 inches mount to mount. The front axle has much less vertical travel and the shocks are shorter. The Davis kit supplies gas shocks, the ad says theirs are hydraulic. I would want to compare with someone that already has hydraulic to compare the ride and handling. I like the Davis setup a lot.

      When I restored my car >30 yrs ago I spent more than $100.00 ea then for OEM style shocks and they only lasted 2000 miles. Never again will I spend hard earned money on Houdaille style shocks. There is a thread on here about modifying your car. One of my requirements for anything I buy is reliability. Had the Houdaille OEM style held up, I would not have opted for the modern shock option. Let us know what you find out.
      Davis shock1.jpgDavis shock2.jpg
      Last edited by tbirdtbird; 09-20-2017, 07:04 PM.

      Comment


      • CarlG
        CarlG commented
        Editing a comment
        I have the Ken Davis shocks on my pickup. I have had no problems with them and they work just fine. They were a breeze to install. However I did change out the bolts that secure the brackets to the rear backing plates with the regular rear radius rod bolts & nuts. They actually worked much better than the bolts that came with Ken's kit.

    • #4
      Have to weigh in on this as much research spent on this subject. Check other threads for "modern shocks". There are 2 Bratton's kits, the 1st requires removing the rear drums and installing the brackets. Only issue is getting drums off and drilling cross member. The 2nd kit doesn't require drum removal but the rear bracket clamps on the radius rods which may be subject for concern ? Kit 1 has supposedly oil filled (no gas) shocks ( couldn't identify manufacturer) with eyelets both ends. Kit 2 according to Bratton's sales guy are supposedly Monroe gas charged shocks. The 1st kit rear shocks are OK for our large sedan, but the fronts we found to be too stiff. We replaced the fronts with EMPI 60's oil (no gas) VW shocks ($27 each) which so far work very well. They needed to be painted black and the eyelets modified for the 5/8" shafts.
      Also, the front axle clamps need to be carefully tightened to ensure they stay put, also so far so good.

      In summary, the kits are well finished and appear to be similar to Snyders. We called many shock manufacturers to find oil -only shocks (no gas enhancement) and the EMPI's were the best we found for the money with the sizing parameters close for an A.. Shocks mounted at an angle are also OK for loading/ rebound purposes which Chrysler products have in their later 30's configurations. The bracket shafts center to center dimensions may vary per car spring heights, but the Brattons kit 1 shocks fit well on the brackets. There are adjustable oil filled tube shocks out there but much more expensive..
      Would appreciate feedback / input as well.
      Last edited by plyfor; 09-20-2017, 07:27 PM.

      Comment


      • tbirdtbird
        tbirdtbird commented
        Editing a comment
        hmm, people might wanna know that the radius rods are hollow
        Also the kit I have uses gas-filled Monroes. The ride and handling are very smooth
        Last edited by tbirdtbird; 09-21-2017, 12:43 AM.

    • #5
      FWIW, I bought the Snyder's kit for my coupe. I have only installed the modern oil filled shocks on the front of the car. The rears are still the original type Model A shocks. I must say that even with this setup, there is a big improvement in the ride and handling.

      Installing the modern shocks in the rear requires a hole (on each side) drilled in the rear cross member. You also have to remove the brake drum and emergency brake bands to complete the install.

      Instructions from Snyder's here: http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/Co...10-15-2968.pdf

      Comment


      • #6
        To be clear, the Ken Davis setup does not require the rear cross member to be drilled.
        If you want to have his modern kit on the front, the front axle has to be drilled on each side (one hole each end)

        Comment


        • #7
          Thanks very much to all who responded with such good information and suggestions. I have talked with Ken Davis and will be ordering a set of his front and rear shocks as soon as my lovin' CFO approves. I'll post the results of my installation after I have used them for a few days.

          Comment


          • Mitch
            Mitch commented
            Editing a comment
            Your certainly not making the wrong move

          • CarlG
            CarlG commented
            Editing a comment
            When you do order Ken's shocks, spend another $18 for the correct backing plate bolts. Snyder's part # A-2248 for the bolt, A-2250 for the nut. You will need 4 of each. You won't be sorry.

        • #8
          The parts Carl suggests will make the installation look period correct. If you look at my pix above I used the hex bolts that came with the kit. Having the correct appearing bolts is a nice way to go, and I think the shoulder will be better.
          Just about everyone around here (The Dallas club) has his shocks and I have never heard any complaints. I suspect the location of the rear mounts will be stronger/better.

          We have seen pix of people putting As up on a lift having the lift arms under the rear radius rods and it makes me cringe.
          If you have any problems, Ken is very good about product support, or just ask me here.

          If you need a rear hub puller, I suspect Ray Horton out your way (he posts here) can find a way to hook you up

          Comment


          • #9
            Pix of the correct appearing bolts: (I couldn't figure out how to attach pictures to my comment above in post #7.2)
            Not only do they appear correct, but the shoulder on the castle nut fits the backing plate better than the standard hardware that comes with Ken's kit.
            You do not have permission to view this gallery.
            This gallery has 2 photos.
            Alaskan A's
            Antique Auto Mushers of Alaska
            Model A Ford Club of America
            Model A Restorers Club
            Antique Automobile Club of America
            Mullins Owners Club

            Comment


            • #10
              I will look under my new roadster tomorrow when I get home and see whats on it. Heck, I haven't had a chance to get past the topsides yet. If not converted yet, I might go with a set of these.

              Comment


              • #11
                Personally i would spend for the original style shocks by Bill Stipe. Here is an older thread we had here on this..
                https://www.vintagefordforum.com/for...l-style-shocks
                3 ~ Tudor's
                Henry Ford said
                "It's all nuts and bolts"


                Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                Comment


                • #12
                  Mitch, can anyone comment on the durability? Having them on the car for a year, for example, is not long enough to make that judgement

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    I have not read anything negative but can't comment personally either. I have rebuilt originals from John Holland. This is the avenue i would take if i needed shocks because i like to have a more original look.
                    I am just stating my personal preference
                    3 ~ Tudor's
                    Henry Ford said
                    "It's all nuts and bolts"


                    Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                    Comment


                    • Dennis
                      Dennis commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I thought you would go for Stipe shocks. I'm very pleased with my full set of Stipe's. No drilling, no welding, no changing bolts etc. Just use the original hardware, bolt on, check valve adjustment, connect arms and links. I wouldn't be surprised if Bill's son were to continue to make them.

                  • #14
                    well i tried that and it was a waste of money, big money, which is why i asked on durability. I would have stayed OEM if they had held up..... someone somewhere must have an idea of durability.....gotta be on a touring car tho to really know

                    Comment


                    • Mitch
                      Mitch commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Maybe we can call and ask how many problems he had come back..

                    • Dennis
                      Dennis commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Which shocks are you referring to? Rebuilt? Modern shocks? Stipe's?

                  • #15
                    Just talked to someone at Stipes on the phone and a set of 4 new shocks is just over $1K. Said they would have a new website up in a little while with online ordering.

                    Comment


                    • Mitch
                      Mitch commented
                      Editing a comment
                      It's well worth it

                    • dmdeaton
                      dmdeaton commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I crawled under and took a look. I will take a pic and post, don't know what brand I have.

                  • #16
                    ansenshocks.pdf To stay on somewhat on topic for tube shocks, we found this Ansen set, from possibly decades ago, now on ebay. Note the curved brackets to be welded to the axle housings and the other attachments similar to modern kits. The Hercules shocks may be associated with Boge, but they must be oil only (no gas) from the period and similar in profile to the Bratton's and others' kits and to the EMPI's we installed on the fronts.
                    Though not endorsing any shock brand, the EMPI's were easier to open and close by hand than the Bratton's, and there is no comparison to the stiffness bench test performed on some gas charged eyelet end shocks we had on hand.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by plyfor; 09-25-2017, 08:52 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #17
                      those shocks don't appear long enough to give the rear good travel.
                      Stand at the back of your car and tilt the body back and forth as far as you can each way and you will see the amount of travel

                      Comment


                      • #18
                        Update on tube shock, original question:2nd kit Brattons are Gabriel 81039, gas shocks (red color), not Monroe. Sorry for the mistyping. I believe Mr. Davis' shocks are gas charged as well. Another (pricey) option @ $125 each is Stocker #513 oil only ,adjustable valve , 11.6" compressed/16.8" extended which appear would fit the vendors' kits.

                        Last edited by plyfor; 09-27-2017, 02:57 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #19
                          I was going to post a question about modern tube shocks but I found this old thread so I will wake it up.
                          The Ken Davis shocks sound like a good way to go but will they work with hydraulic brakes?
                          I have a friend who put the CMR shocks out of Charleston on his car. He likes them because there’s no drilling and they’re real easy to install.
                          Anyone have experience with tube shocks on an A with hydraulic brakes?

                          Comment


                          • #20
                            I would call Ken directly on the phone. His cell is posted at his web site. Evenings only, he has a day job. He is very accessible and will know the answer

                            Comment


                            • #21
                              I’m in Alaska so it’s a bit late down in the states. I just sent Ken an email. I will post when he answers.

                              Comment


                              • Curly
                                Curly commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Ken emailed back and said it will work fine.

                            • #22
                              I purchased no drill front and rear modern shocks from brattons. Front went well, use medium locktite on all threads sure. Back....mount on rear axle. Great fit. Rear upper, well working on that. My best idea is this. Mount bracket to bottom of cross member. Using holes from originals. That is next week project. Any ideas please post

                              Comment


                              • #23
                                Stripe shocks installed. Great performance!

                                Comment


                                • #24
                                  Welcome Tinkie2 to the VFF!
                                  3 ~ Tudor's
                                  Henry Ford said
                                  "It's all nuts and bolts"


                                  Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                                  Comment


                                  • #25
                                    Originally posted by Tinkie2 View Post
                                    I purchased no drill front and rear modern shocks from brattons. Front went well, use medium locktite on all threads sure. Back....mount on rear axle. Great fit. Rear upper, well working on that. My best idea is this. Mount bracket to bottom of cross member. Using holes from originals. That is next week project. Any ideas please post
                                    I installed the Brattons rears types that were drilled thru the crossmember. Easy fit with no floor pan area interference. It may be too late but you may want to consider drilling the crossmember utilizing the upper shock eyelet and the stud bolts provided . Also, check your rear radius rods if they are solid to receive the lowers.
                                    Attached Files
                                    Last edited by plyfor; 06-10-2019, 08:24 PM. Reason: Here is photo of the drilled rear shock

                                    Comment

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