Drop spring problem - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old Dec 29th, 13, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Andy
 
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Drop spring problem

So, I have a puzzling problem. I have a 68 SS with all stock suspension. I wanted to tighten things up over the winter so I decided to replace the springs, shocks and all bushings. I wanted a much stiffer spring than stock but almost everything out there is a drop spring. Given header clearance issues, I didn't want to drop much so I had spacers at the ready just in case I needed to raise the car.

Anyway, I ended up using Detroit Speed 650 lbs 2" drop springs with KYB springs and rubber bushings. After the install, the car now sits over an inch HIGHER than it did before the install. I am baffled how this happened. If I bounce the car at bit, I can get it to settle about a quarter inch. It's winter in Chicago so I haven't driven it yet but I imagine it might settle a touch more but certainly not three inches.

Any thoughts were I went wrong?? Thanks for any input.

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old Dec 29th, 13, 07:14 PM
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Re: Drop spring problem

Your old springs were shot.

And this too shall pass.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old Dec 29th, 13, 08:24 PM
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Re: Drop spring problem

Gas shocks will raise the car a little too. They raise the rear 1/2".

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old Dec 30th, 13, 06:05 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Drop spring problem

I haven't changed anything in the rear.

As for the old springs, you'd think that but they were only about a year old. Could I have possibly destroyed a pair of Moog springs in 12 months having driven the car under 1000 miles? I find that hard to believe.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old Dec 30th, 13, 06:14 AM
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Re: Drop spring problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyecell007 View Post
I haven't changed anything in the rear.

As for the old springs, you'd think that but they were only about a year old. Could I have possibly destroyed a pair of Moog springs in 12 months having driven the car under 1000 miles? I find that hard to believe.
I've seen the roads in Chicago...

Sounds like they aren't settled. I'd drive it once around the block before moving forward. It's possible that the old springs were also drop springs (or cut) as well.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old Dec 30th, 13, 07:09 AM
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Re: Drop spring problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyecell007 View Post
So, I have a puzzling problem. I have a 68 SS with all stock suspension. I wanted to tighten things up over the winter so I decided to replace the springs, shocks and all bushings. I wanted a much stiffer spring than stock but almost everything out there is a drop spring. Given header clearance issues, I didn't want to drop much so I had spacers at the ready just in case I needed to raise the car.

Anyway, I ended up using Detroit Speed 650 lbs 2" drop springs with KYB springs and rubber bushings. After the install, the car now sits over an inch HIGHER than it did before the install. I am baffled how this happened. If I bounce the car at bit, I can get it to settle about a quarter inch. It's winter in Chicago so I haven't driven it yet but I imagine it might settle a touch more but certainly not three inches.

Any thoughts were I went wrong?? Thanks for any input.
Andy,

You mention having spacers at the ready just in case your replacement springs brought the car too low, and then later mention rubber bushings. Do you mean that you purchased rubber coil spring spacers (I assume the type that sit in the spring pocket under the spring) and installed those with the drop springs?

If that is the case, what thickness spring spacers were/are they?

When you use spring spacers under the front coil springs, due to the geometry of the suspension whatever thickness of spring spacer you use usually ends up lifting the vehicle approximately twice the amount of the spring spacer.

And of course as others have mentioned, new springs usually will settle some after having the weight of the vehicle on them for a period of time.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old Dec 30th, 13, 07:13 AM
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Re: Drop spring problem

It sounds like it's not in the perch properly. Check that first.

You can also try jacking it up with a floor jack and letting it fall a few times to settle it.

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old Dec 30th, 13, 08:01 AM
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Re: Drop spring problem

I had put new springs on mine and had about the same problem. Once I started to drive it some they finally settled down. It took several months to get to there final resting postion. It will take more than driving it around the block a few times to get there. They will settle some at first but not all the way. As stated above check to see if sitting right in the pockets. Also if you changed all bushings and tightened everything up while it was in the air it will also hold the suspension up . Best to leave things loose until you set it on the ground and then tighten everything up. This will hold one up alot. New gas shocks can contribute also. All thing added up it can hold the front up quite a bit. Just drive it, it should all settle down.

Last edited by lspowered; Dec 30th, 13 at 08:15 AM.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old Dec 30th, 13, 08:16 AM
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Re: Drop spring problem

A couple things:

The spring indexes into the helix in the subframe, not the lower control arm. If not indexed properly there, the car will sit higher than it should.

If you lowered the front of the car with a floor jack under the big crossmember on the subframe when you were done with the job, the suspension was in full droop and had a ton of positive camber (the outside of the tire tread hitting the ground) and the front will sit higher. This won't settle out by bouncing the car, you need to roll it back and forth.


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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 14, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Andy
 
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Re: Drop spring problem

Sorry guys - haven't been able to respond in a while. Let me see if I can answer your questions.

First, the car was lifted on a hoist with lift points at the frame and not the crossmember up front. The car was bounced a number of times and rolled a bit but like I said, it hasn't been driven yet. It just seems like it would have to "settle" a significant amount to make them even the same ride height let alone lower.

Scott - the bushings I mentioned were simply replacing all of the A-Arm bushings that had been worn out. There are no rubber bushings/spacers in the springs. I had/have aluminum spacers at the ready in case I need them.

As for the springs being seated right, that was my first thought as well. When I lift the car up, everything looks to be in the right spot. That said, they would both have to be out of place or both be in place since the car sits evenly at both sides.

I'm still baffled by all of this.

Oh and the previous springs were not drop springs. They were factory replacements installed about a year ago.

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 14, 12:10 PM
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Re: Drop spring problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyecell007 View Post
Anyway, I ended up using Detroit Speed 650 lbs 2" drop springs with KYB springs and rubber bushings.

Any thoughts were I went wrong?? Thanks for any input.
The first rule of problem solving is to ask yourself what changes were made, of course.

First, springs. Did you compare the new spring height with the old springs side by side on the floor?

Did you call Detroit Speed for their input?

What happens to the ride height if you unbolt the shocks?

Are you SURE the new springs are seated properly in the pockets?(this should be #1)

That's about it. Others will chime in, again, I'm sure. (we know that you weren't calling the KYB's 'springs' on purpose)

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 14, 03:10 PM
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Re: Drop spring problem

You need to tighten the control arm bushing bolts after the car is on the ground and bounced and rolled a few times. It is best to do this without the shocks installed. Did you do this work yourself or hire it out?

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 14, 04:19 PM
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Smile Re: Drop spring problem

I think that you meant to say "KYB" shocks. The "KYB" shocks are the problem if they are the gas-a-justs. Those shocks are so stiff they will "lift" the car and not even ride on the springs. I installed 2" lowering springs and with those shocks, it sat higher than the standard springs. I removed the shocks and it dropped immediately. I now am running Monroe shocks and it looks and rides great.

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 14, 04:27 PM
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Re: Drop spring problem

Kind of points to Al's thought on the a-arm bolts being tightened before being set at ride height.

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 14, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Drop spring problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by allanjs View Post
You need to tighten the control arm bushing bolts after the car is on the ground and bounced and rolled a few times. It is best to do this without the shocks installed. Did you do this work yourself or hire it out?
Did the work with my father. He had an auto repair shop for almost 40 years and retired a few years ago. We have a "hobby shop" with a lift etc where we work. We are certainly not the most qualified suspension guys out there but changing springs etc is something we have done many many times.

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