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Old 11-11-2007, 12:39 PM
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55 bel air front suspension question

my question is, i have a 55 bel air conv. i need to raise the front of the car. I'm pretty sure the springs were cut 2'', it has disk brakes and might have drop spindles, i bought new stock height springs but could not get them in the thing, after three frustrating hours i gave up and took them back the the parts store. i need to lift the front of the car 2'' to 3''. would there be any reason drop spindles would make stock coils not fit?

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Old 11-11-2007, 01:25 PM
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Dropped spindles or not, the springs should go back in..On cars with really long springs, I always disconnect the A arm at the crossmember and spindle, then using a LARGE grade 5 or better piece of threaded rod with some big washers and a plate with a hole on the bottom of the A arm, compress the spring until you can get some bolts in the crossmember and hook the spindle up to the lower ball joint.


You assemble the threaded rod through the lower A arm, (with the big plate on the bottom), spring and upper shock mount, then compress all of them together until they can be assembled. Grease the threaded rod and don't let the threads gall up. other wise you are in a bad situation.

It takes some prying and I've even put a ratchet strap and pulled the A arm around until I could get it in place.


I've done it that way on several cars and it will work on a car that you can't get the spring into the spring pocket for installation with a floor jack.


HTH, Mikey
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:29 PM
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Drop spindles have nothing to do with fitting new springs. In general, here is the procedure; after supporting the frame with stands, disconnect the lower control arm ball joint-to-spindle connection. Compress the new spring with the appropriate compression tool and insert the new spring. Reconnect the ball joint, lower the car, then get it aligned. Hope this helps. Oh, depending on the design, you might need new shocks to account for the added height.

Antny
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Old 11-11-2007, 02:01 PM
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On my 59 Chevy----the front springs seem to be very long.
Absolutely essential to use an internal spring compressor.
The spring needs to be compressed nearly to the point of coil bind.
And still you may have some fun in getting tool removed once you have the spring in place.


Then---on my 79 Chev p-u----no tool needed, it just drops in and out.

Bryan
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Old 11-11-2007, 03:38 PM
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changing coil springs

I put 60 348 coils under a 57 chevy. I cut 1 round off the top end with an electric welder. I removed the old springs, set the new spring in place and raised the lower arm up to the spring bottom and placed a block under it. Then I let the front of the car down, and It didn't come close to hokup. I then when to the opposite side , rear and with a bumper jack and jacked the rear and it put all the weight transfer to the front and then I installed the lower ball joint. then went to the other side and did the same. The rear springs, I cut the ends off of another set of main springs and bolted them together with a tie bolt and reinstalled them. The car sat with the bottom edge of the car level with the center of the front and rear axles. Drove like a dream. rode a little rougher. hth
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:46 PM
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what kind of spring compressor will work the best for my bel-air?
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:57 PM
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Internal spring compressor-----rent em at autozone.

This is not the same as the external compressors (for struts)
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:09 PM
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Here is a pic of the setup I described in my first post. The page is from the 55-57 Chevy section in a 1957 Motors manual.



See my spring compressor below that I made out of a piece of threaded rod and some junk aluminum I had laying around..



Like Bryan says, you can rent one also.But be careful, some of those spring compressors are dangerous. That's why I like going through all of the parts at once. Nothing to let go and fly across the shop.

But we still do it with floor jacks too when the urge strikes us..


Later, mikey
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