Cutting coil springs..fact or fiction - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 99, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: thompson,ohio,usa
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I have a desire to lower the ride height
of my 68 camaro.I have heard alot of theories
on the subject.Anybody out there have any
real life experience with doing this.Or
any horror stories why I shouldn't cut coil
springs.I would like to lower the ride height
only 1" to 1.5".......thanx


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 99, 03:02 PM
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Trimming coils is a time honored way of adjusting ride height. For many well named companies it is still the way to adjust ride height. There are some other systems out there, such as Landrum jack system, which requires a bit more work and money but makes the ride height adjustable. If you are on a budget then trim the top of the coils a little at a time (1/4 coil max per trim) and reinstall for checking the ride height. Do both sides at the same time. Have the rear ride height close to where it is supposed to be because will have an effect on appearance. Measure twice and cut once.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 99, 05:06 PM
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Just remember that when a coil spring is cut, the rate goes up. Also when the ride height is changed, the suspension geometry is altered to the point of bad handling if the change is significant. I personaly don't think an 1"-1.5" is significant. Have you thought of using dropped spindles? That's considered the best way to lower the front end.

Larry
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 99, 03:52 PM
 
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You have many options actually:

If you want the primo-cheapo way to lower your front springs that is adjustable without taking apart the front end (or even taking the spring out), AND something that can be put back to original, then take a trip to your local Discount Auto Parts Store or similar. They sell removeable brackets for around 3 bucks a side just for that purpose, that compress the springs to a specific height.

Or you could buy lowering springs, which is cheaper and just as effective as dropped spindles.

Just a few notes if you are going to cut: Don't cut more than 1/4 of a coil at a time as was previously mentioned. That 1/4 cut roughly translates to about 1" lower ride height I believe. Also, use a hacksaw or cutting wheel, not a high-heat method (torch or plasma cutter or whatever) though, since the heat will screw with the tension and weaken the spring too much.

Some people have used just this method for lowering a car though, heating the coil to weaken the tension. Not generally recommended.

Let us know what you decide and how it turns out!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 99, 02:55 PM
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The guy I got my SB-'69 from used BB springs cut down just a bit so the car sits at stock height with the SB weight difference. Combined with Koni's and urthane bushing it handles like a dream in the corners.

I wonder about overall travel when you cut the springs though!

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 99, 08:33 AM
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1st choice...drop spindles or adjustable coilovers

2nd choice...cutting springs or replacement springs that lower ride height.

cutting springs or heating springs adversly effect the way your car handles in more ways than one. If your only interested in a look or dont care about spring rates or ride quality...then hack away...but a safe way is to get drop spindles or coilovers that you can adjust the ride height. $$ is also a factor as always!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 10th, 99, 04:59 AM
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A long time ago on a real tight budget I lowered a '67 by trimming 3/4 of a coil off. really put it in the weeds, about 3" drop. It's real hard to cut a coil spring with a hacksaw. In the back, I used a rearend made for multi leafs with mono leaf springs. Made some alluminum blocks to fill the space. dropped the rear an inch.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 11th, 99, 02:43 PM
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I've cut a number of coils over the years and it can work out just fine.

Most recently, I cut one full coil off the front springs on my '69. It's about 2" lower (to match the rear with 2" blocks) and does ride a little rougher. I also put polyurethane bushings in and that tightened it up as well (along with a bigger sway bar in front, polyurethane body mounts, subframe connectors, fiberglass rear springs with more poly bushings, gas shocks and 17" Comp TAs). It drives great! but I used to slalom race a lot and I like the car low and tight.

The best way I've found to cut coils is with a pnuematic cutoff wheel. One big advantage of cut coils is the front end just falls back together - no need for a spring compressor!

I've never tried replacement spindles - although I would have to say they sound like a great alternative if you can afford them.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 16th, 99, 11:39 AM
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Jim
 
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I used Bell 2" drop spindles on a Monte SS, worked great, fit perfect, no problems.
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