I'm thinking about using a torch to lower the rear of my car...Thoughts on this? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:59 AM
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I'm thinking about using a torch to lower the rear of my car...Thoughts on this?

Here is my problem. The 03 Cobra I just bought had an Eibach Pro Kit on it and it has a raked look. Everyone who knows about springs with a Mustang like mine avoids the Eibach kit because you get a nice 1 inch drop in the front and back looks like it didn't come down at all. Eibach claims a 1.4" drop in the rear. Eibach offers no support here. The guys on the Cobra forum suggested to either buy different brand spings, remove the isolators in the rear, or cut the spring. I don't want to replace all the springs, I'm not removing the isolators and getting noise when I hit bumps, and I don't want to cut a coil and ruin the ride quality.

I think I have a better idea. I need the car to drop only 1 inch. So I'm going to put a jack under my car and leave a 3/4" gap between it and the car. Then I'll take my torch and heat a spot in the center of the spring until the car lowers down onto the jack. I"ll let it cool for an hour and then do the other side. Hopefully it'll fall a little more than the 3/4" gap.

What do you think? Does this sound like a good idea?

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Last edited by Ghetto Jet; 11-20-2009 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:54 AM
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yup, it's a bad idea. heating springs for a drop is always a bad idea
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:11 PM
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I agree a bad idea.
I have dropped a few cars by cutting the springs, I have never felt the ride was compromised by doing so.

Is there a thinner isolator to replace the OE?
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:22 PM
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Heating the spring is the worst idea you have, what others have told you is correct. With heat you will ruin the rate AND have no control over the amount of drop, heat one side just a few seconds more and then that side ends up lower than the other, once it starts to move it don't stop until it cools enough. Cut the spring, thinner isolator, or replace the spring. I have also cut springs with no bad affects on ride quality, it will only be noticable if you cut more than 1 coil off.

Heating the spring is never acceptable, and will lead to fatigue and broken springs since you are changing the heat treat of the spring at the point you heat it.

Heating is definately "ghetto".
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:39 PM
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You want 1" in the rear or all around? What size tires? Maybe you could go to a shorter low pro tire.

Last edited by sqzbox; 11-20-2009 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:12 PM
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I would just buy new coils. If you are did set on using the existing ones then You can cut a portion of a coil off, heat the part right by you cut the coil off and bend that part flat to seat on your perch. Since you heated the spring(ruined its properties) you have to send them out and get them shot peened at the very least.
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:21 PM
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ericnova- thats what the jack is for, it stops it from dropping too far. And as far as I know if I use a center coil it's shouldn't throw off the spring rate because the center coils don't really have any give to begin with, its all the outer coils, which is why I didn't want to cut one

1ownerT- cutting stock springs usually doesn't hurt much because they are softer to begin with. From what I've been told cutting stiffer aftermarkets is not a good idea. As far as thinner isolators I've been told using a piece of heater hose is my only alternative.

sqzbox, just the rear needs to come down. I put a pic at the bottom so you can see what I mean. I'm running 315/35/17's and they are about even with my 275/40/17's in the front. However my prefered Nitto street drag radial doesn't come in many sizes.


Last edited by Ghetto Jet; 11-20-2009 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:12 PM
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[QUOTE=Ghetto Jet]ericnova- thats what the jack is for, it stops it from dropping too far. And as far as I know if I use a center coil it's shouldn't throw off the spring rate because the center coils don't really have any give to begin with, its all the outer coils, which is why I didn't want to cut one

QUOTE]
No, the jack won't help, it will stop the car body, but remember that the spring is preloaded into the mount, the rest of the spring's tension will continue to collapse the spring but you will have no way to visually see it with the body stopped.

You won't find anyone who will tell you heating is acceptable, there is no "Easy Button" for this job. Do it right or you will be doing it later, heating the spring in the middle is inviting catastrophic failure(breakage). That's not going to help the sheetmetal when the suspension drops at 70 mph on the freeway and puts you into the cement center divider.

$20,000+ car but you can't replace a $100 spring??
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:41 PM
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Damn you ericnova, now i'm convinced it should be done the right way.
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:42 AM
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Now that you're ready to open your pocketbook, you might consider adjustable coilovers. You can then adjust your ride height to where you want it.

And, incidentally, each coil in a coil spring works as hard as the adjacent coil.
http://www.racetec.cc/shope
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:42 AM
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"I" would cut the springs, I have done this with several cars without any issues. Don't cut too much as you can't uncut a spring, don't let it heat up so cut fast. Round the end of the spring so it looks like the end you cut off.
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Old 11-21-2009, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyShope
Now that you're ready to open your pocketbook, you might consider adjustable coilovers. You can then adjust your ride height to where you want it.

And, incidentally, each coil in a coil spring works as hard as the adjacent coil.
http://www.racetec.cc/shope

I would of said no before because it seems a coilover kit is $1400-2000. But there are coilover conversion kits for my stock Bilsteins that are around 600. I'll have to do more research.
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:19 AM
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for each 1'' of spring drop you go,,,,, it will settle another 1/2'' over time... and they will drop at different rates.. plus they will break sooner or later.. what kind of fool are you??? with a car like that,, SPEND a FEW dollers and do it right!!!!!! I've done it before on my $300.00 cars that i was lowriding,, but they were JUNKERS...
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:01 PM
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I guess that now that all have said that torching the springs are a bad idea, go ahead and torch the springs..... you will have to replace them anyway. That way you can become learned (learn ed) and understand why we say don't torch the springs, get the right ones to begin with.

I say this with a little humor as I would bet that each of us have torched the springs at least once and thus become educated. haha
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:05 AM
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If you hurry, you can use it to clean the snow off the drive this winter!
It's all funny, back in the 60's and 70's, everyone put air shocks on their car's
to keep the underside of the car from dragging on stuff like speed bumps and
stuff. I've driven semi's for a living for 27 yrs. and don't have enough fingers
to count how many times I've seen a lowered car bust the whole front clip when they smacked a recap semi tread in the middle of their lane on the interstate. Your setting yourself up for a big PITA if you go much lower.
I've also worked in many tire stores and gas stations (where they used to work on car's) and some of them you couldn't drive over the lift racks to change the tires, or hook them up on a wrecker. Had to send a roll back and they still dragged being winched up on them. I think the fiero was one of the worst. So.... my point is, do you really want to go lower? Think about it before you commit. Personally, I would want a little clearance under there especialy in your geographical location. PA is not an undercarriage friendly state

Last edited by sqzbox; 11-23-2009 at 05:30 AM.
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