: About how many shims / different left-right spring height?
Mar 18th, 00, 08:51 AM
This morning (saturday) I called up Dallas Frame and Alignment to find that they are closed on the weekends. Crap, I really wanted to drive this thing! Can any of you running the Guldstrand modification tell me how many shims you are running to give me a ballpark idea for my alignment? I want to at least be able to drive it around the block today. Also, has anyone had to cut the drivers side / passenger side springs different lengths before? With a 1/2 coil cut off each spring, the passenger's side sat about 3/4 in higher than the drivers side. Could this be due to the extra weight of the ps,pb,alternator on that side? Should I trim the passengers side? I already took another 1/2 in worth of coil out of the passengers side, and now the difference is only about 1/2 of an inch. Thanks.
Mar 18th, 00, 10:09 AM
When checking ride height, do you have the swaybar disconnected at one end?
Start with about 3/8" thick shims at the front, half inch at the rear.
If the car is on level ground, use a carpenters level against the side of the tires, miss the exact center a little cause the tire bulges a little where it touches the ground. Shoot for about a quarter inch in at the top.
If the ground is not level use a carpenters square against a 2x4 laid on the ground. One degree = 1/4" measured over a 14" spacing.
To set the toe in, put a 2x4 about 6 to 8 ft long against the side of the tire about 6 inches off the ground. run them back along the side of the doors. Adjust the toe so the 2x4's are parallel to the doors, or maybe just a half inch wider at the rear each side. Keep the steering wheel straight when you do this or your steering center will be off.
[This message has been edited by davidpozzi (edited 03-18-2000).]
Mar 18th, 00, 01:22 PM
Thanks davidpozzi. I have both sides of the sway bar disconnected, the shocks out, and the car on level ground. I have gone ahead and cut another 1/2 in section from the passenger side coil, and it seems to have helped a little bit. I will try your shimming suggestions for a baseline. Thanks.
Mar 18th, 00, 02:13 PM
How DO you guys get so much time in the garage? My wife would shoot me. Making progress, tho. Got the pass side back together today, except for the brake and outer tie rod. This time I got the new holes perfect, and for some reason, I had to trim the lower rear corner of the a-arm. It was hitting the frame at full rebound. Tomorrow I'll finish it. It'll be a while before I'm on the road, tho. PG to muncie swap is next!
Mar 18th, 00, 03:46 PM
I really don't have a problem finding time to work on my car, I'm 17 (no wife). It has been a real chore lately, balancing my time between 4 AP classes at school and my car, but I've had this week off for spring break. I've been working on it too much, and need to spend some more time driving it. Life is too short to not drive your Camaro.
Mar 18th, 00, 03:53 PM
John - I invite anyone else to comment on this, but I believe you are making a very big mistake by running different height springs. A couple of things come to mind immediately:
1) There is no good reason your car would not sit level if all components on both sides are correct and in good condition, and everything is installed correctly, and your frame is straight. "Fixing" the ride height by cutting more off one spring is ignoring whatever is really wrong.
2) As you cut the springs, you change the rate. You will now have 2 different rate springs - maybe OK for circle track but not the street. On every bump and corner one side will react differently from the other!
3) Different spring rates can also affect the way your car will brake - the weaker side will drop more and cause the weight to shift.
4) Whatever is causing this ride height difference will no doubt have it's own affect on your handling and braking - although since we don't know what it is the effect is impossible to predict.
I strongly encourage you to take a break and go back over the car and figure out what is wrong. Otherwise, you're going to have quite a handful when you drive it and it will likely be extremely unsafe.
'69 400SB, Richmond 5-speed; '99 HD Road King Classic
Mar 18th, 00, 05:32 PM
RockyMtnRacer is right.
Unless you are using either Eibach or Hyperco springs, you will see a loss of ride height as the springs settle. Don't trim them different lengths, and don't trim them to the final ride height, or in about 6 months your car will be sitting about 1 1/2" lower. One of the problems of trimming springs is that they don't sit right on the A frame spring pocket anymore.
Mar 19th, 00, 09:13 AM
I bought the Guldstrand GT springs. Can I expect them to settle any, or will they remain the same height?
Mar 19th, 00, 04:19 PM
I don't know which brands settle and which don't. But whether they do or not - you still have the same problem with different spring rates and not fixing the original problem.
Let me present it a different way. When you put your car back together without cutting the springs then it sat unevenly - right? Would it be OK to put different size tires on the right and left sides to even it out? Maybe even a radial on one side and a bias ply on the other? Of course not! But that's what you're doing by cutting the springs to different heights.
You need to figure out why the car wants to lean in the first place. Maybe it's something as simple as the new bushings are too tight and holding one side up - or something more serious. Nevertheless, fix it and don't crutch the problem with uneven springs or tires.
'69 400SB, Richmond 5-speed; '99 HD Road King Classic
Mar 19th, 00, 05:06 PM
Thanks for your replies. I went through and disassembled the driver and passenger sides at the same time and cut the springs the same length. I think the problem may have been that the pass. side spring was not seating fully in the frame pocket. I dropped the car on the ground and it seems to be sitting level. I installed the shocks and attached the sway bar, as well as approximated the shims a la davidpozzi's suggestion. It will be going into the alignment shop tomorrow. Thanks.
Mar 19th, 00, 05:27 PM
If you are using the stock rubber bushings on the A frames, tighten them only when the car is sitting on the springs or they will be twisted when the car is let off the jacks.
The lower bushings have teeth on the ends to bite into the frame.
Better quality spring steel is used by Eibach and Hyperco and pre stressed to stay at ride height. Cheaper springs are made of crome vanadium, not pre stressed so they sag more with age.
Hyperco makes most of the Indy Car and Winston Cup springs the pro's use.
Mar 19th, 00, 05:30 PM
Hey John, (and all the rest of you gearheads) It must be nice to be young and single and able to give your Camaro all the time it deserves. I'm married, 42 and have three kids (if you're counting, that makes for 5 full time jobs) If you look in the section of this site where you can post your picture, you'll see the '67 Ragtop I did wwhen I was a little older than you.
But the wife was kind to me this weekend. Lots of garage time. The front end is 100% now. I even started pulling the trans and the remains of the exhaust system. Unfortunately, it'll be a few more weeks till she's on the road again, but I'll keep you posted.
For you spring cutters, even a propane torch will got it hot enough to beat the cut coil flat. If you clamp it in a vise downstream, the vise will absorb the heat, the rest of the spring won't even get warm. Get an inch dull red, and beat it with a hammer, do two places. It works.