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Author Topic: Cut the coil springs  (Read 6463 times)
Adz28
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« on: March 19, 2008, 12:02:38 PM »

On Muscle Car TV, they lowered the front ride height of the car by cutting off the end of the coil springs. I would like to "level" my car by lowering one side in the same manner. It is just a small amount, but it enough to bother me.

Has anyone tried this? Will it affect the integrity of the spring?

Is there any other way to lower the front ride height just a smidge?

Thanks for the input.
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Gramps69Z
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2008, 12:46:42 PM »

I would try spring spacers that go between the coils first.
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Captain John Wykoff
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Adz28
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2008, 01:01:38 PM »

I really don't want to raise the car any. I assume the spacers will lift, rather than lower, right?
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tom
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2008, 01:53:51 PM »

They used to sell coil spring clamps that could be used to raise or lower the car slightly. Two plates similar to a muffler clamp with a notch that fit the spring. Face them together to lower the car, face them apart to raise the car. I found a set on Jegs at: http://www.jegs.com/i/Mr.%20Gasket/720/1280/10002/-1

Tom
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69 X11 Z21 L14 glide
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Adz28
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2008, 04:11:58 PM »

Thanks guys. Looks kind of bulky to fit between the springs. I wonder if it will hit during a hard turn. Can't hurt to try. Thanks for the feedback.
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tom
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2008, 05:26:25 PM »

Most of the bulk goes inside or outside of the springs. I have used them in the past without issues. Not my first choice, but for small adjustments may be functional.

Tom
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69 X11 Z21 L14 glide
looking for a 69 export model (KPH) speedo
tim69camaro
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2008, 06:07:22 PM »

I have cut many springs. If the amount is minor (one coil or less) it does not have much if any impact on the ride quality. Use a cut off wheel or saw, don't use a torch.
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Tim Bailey
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2008, 03:56:53 PM »

Word to the wise: go with dropped spindles if you can afford them.

Cutting a coil spring has a lot disadvantages:

  • By cutting coils, the spring becomes stiffer and you will get a rough ride.
  • To make the spring sit in the saddle in the correct position you have to cut full coils.
  • If you only cut half a coil the spring can shift and creak.
  • Once you cut the coil it loses some of its tensile strength and the spring will sag; eventually your car won't sit level.

I cut the coils on my car to drop it years ago. It looks cool but rides like crap and the front end really shakes a lot over bumps. One side settled more than the other and I found myself adding spring rubber segments like the ones they use in NASCAR to level the front end. The coil then loses even more flex. I'm changing this over to dropped spindles this summer.

-Scott
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GaryL
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2008, 01:55:25 PM »

Cutting coils changes the spring rate. Possibly one spring is not seated correctly causing the problem or the springs were not replaced as a pair.
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Gary

Lemans Blue X33. DZ, M20, manual steering. Only BU code rear end is original.
Adz28
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2008, 03:11:45 PM »

Thanks Gary. They are a new pair (Hotchkis). I am probably going to leave it alone. I know it is not the proper place to measure ride height, but I am using the floor to the top of the wheel opening since it is easy to make the comparison. One side is between 1/2" - 3/4" off.

They are out of the car now (all new front suspension bushings and parts going in), but when I put them back, I will pay attention to the seating. Who knows... maybe it will level off a bit.

Visually, you can't notice the difference. My friend's Camaro has a similar discrepency. Maybe this is normal?

Thoughts?
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GaryL
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2008, 04:51:37 PM »

Using the fender well as a reference point depends on how the fenders were shimmed. Maybe they are off side to side. The AIM uses the rockers panel behind the fenders as the reference point. Maybe you are not of at all. Shocked
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Gary

Lemans Blue X33. DZ, M20, manual steering. Only BU code rear end is original.
pdq67
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2009, 03:33:22 PM »

I wished I'd installed the cheap adjustable roundy-round car cans that Speedway sells and cheap short stiff coils and been done w/ it.

And if you do cut, cut from the top and install a bolt down at the bottom end so that the bottom pigtail seats against it.

I say top b/c the top is closer spaced than the bottom so you will have less overall drop.

pdq67
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