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Old 01-26-2006, 08:07 PM
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coil spring lowering

my friend is trying to lower his '64 chevy shortbed pickup and it has coil sprins all around. he says he could just cut a couple loops off the spring but I think that might be unsafe. how is it really done with a low budget?

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Old 01-26-2006, 09:03 PM
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Don't cut coils. Period. The localized heating can cause stress fractures, and the end result is very unpredictable. Since you are removing active coils, you are increasing the rate. Depending on the spring's construction, cutting off some of the coils can actually raise the car. If the cutting raises the rate more than you've shortened the spring, the car will end up being higher. That is particularly true of wishbone suspensions where the spring rate is much higher since its located inboard on the lever.

You can guess what it will be like, but it will always be just that... a guess. You may also end up with different heights/rates at all four corners and have to do further trimming/tuning which gets to be a never-ending chase of heights, rates, and ride height.

The best way to do it is determine your requirements for a spring, then call Afco and they can send you a pair of springs for about $200. Even cheaper, do the research on what you need, then see what cars come with them stock. Then hit the junkyard and scavenge them for $20 a pair. I wanted to lower a 66 Bonneville by 2" after installing a lighter Caddy engine and ended up with late model caprice cop car springs. This last option gets you the proper drop and ride without the dangers of cut coils, and should cost you less than $100 to do including the alignment.

Do it right, which means never cutting coils.
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:21 PM
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Coils

Low Budget...?? There is only one answer.. Cut those springs...

Springs can be cut and be safe. First thing is to cut springs with a cut off wheel or saw zall. DO NOT USE cutting torch. Do not cut more than two coils. And I would recommend cutting 1/2 coil off the spring at a time until the desire ride height is obtained.

I used to run springs that where cut 2 coils front and back on my six six impala with no issues and good ride.

Now purchasing a set of lowered springs is better than a set of cut springs because you are getting a calculated spring rate at a specified drop. But the " Do Not Cut Coils Springs " theory is an old hot rod myth. In some cars cut springs ride fine. In others, not as good.

In my six six Impala the cut springs lowered my car over 3 inches up front and I was still able to align the front end with no issues.

Quote:
If the cutting raises the rate more than you've shortened the spring, the car will end up being higher.
I have only been "officially" Hot Rodding for 6 years. But in my short time I have never seen a cut spring raise a car.??? Very interesting...

If you need any help with the spring lowering hit me up at dave@westcoastimpalas.com

Dave
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