I agree, sounds like a dead end. I will add this, I orignally had a small block in the car but decided to put the rat into it midway through the project. I have a brand new set of small block springs from Hotchkis, and compared them to the big block versions when I got them. The wire gauge is definitely bigger on the big block springs, but the free height looked pretty similar. I didn't pay too much attention to it at the time, not expecting to have an issue with it.
One question I had about my setup was that I don't have a hood on the car yet, as I am still completing the engine swap (hopefully finished this weekend, what a nightmare). In addition, I have aluminum heads, which weigh quite a bit less. I thought that maybe this was responsible, but the math doesn't add up. The spring rate is likely to be around 600 lb/in, the hundred or so pounds of less weight on my car could not "lift" the car up that much.
I think we're going to hacking springs, my friend.... By the way Mark, nice car!
69 SS, Stroker 489, Tremec TKO, Tight Road Suspension