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Old 02-18-2006, 09:26 PM
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Lowering springs

Looking for other custom spring companies. Detroit/Eaton can only go 2" low, and my car almost sits that low now. Currently about 9" clearance, and would like to drop it another 2". Can't afford bags yet. Will spring companies build to order?

BTW, just got 1st place for custom wagons in my 1st show at Sac Autorama
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Old 02-18-2006, 10:41 PM
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Cut one coil off your current springs and you will gain your 2" drop w/ no discernible affect on ride quality. Use a cut-off abrasive wheel or Oxy/acetylene torch, which ever is handy. No need to pay for custom springs.
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Old 02-19-2006, 06:30 AM
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Why don't you....

How about getting another set of springs and cut them instead and use a cut off wheel not a torch. Torch will degrade the spring steel and will get brittle and break where you cut it. If you cut another set instead of the ones in it you can decide if you like the ride and the height. If you don't you'll have the original ones. This to me would be more logical.
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Old 02-19-2006, 08:19 AM
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My first thought is that since you are considering buying a custom set of springs anyway, why not just cut a coil out of the ones you have. If it works (and it will!), you save several shekels and if not, you can buy new ones as planned. One coil will get you the 2” drop so that would be much cheaper.

I agree that heating a spring somewhere in the active area is a no-no. The term “torching springs” arose in the 50s when it was a common practice to heat a spring somewhere in the middle to cherry red with the weight of the car in it and let it sag which got you an instant, free lowering job. VERY bad!! However, my suggestion of torching a coil off the end of the spring will result in at most a ½” heat affected zone at the end of the spring. Not only is the heat affected zone very small, it is captured by ~2” or 3” of dead coil that lays in the spring pocket of the suspension component. And by the time you grind the torched end of the spring smooth, you virtually remove the heat affected zone anyway. I have done many, many coil springs like that and zero problems as you would expect.

Also, just the practice of heating spring steel will not make it brittle. It will definitely remove the temper and remove its spring qualities but won’t make it brittle. That assumes you heat it and let it cool slowly. However if you quench the high carbon steel from red hot with water, that WILL create a VERY hard, VERY brittle metal that will shatter at the slightest stress. That is not a problem with cold rolled low carbon steel since that doesn’t contain enough carbon to form the super hard molecules.

Go ahead and torch a spring coil off. Very safe and very effective (and cheap!) lowering job.

Last edited by willys36@aol.com; 02-19-2006 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 02-19-2006, 01:31 PM
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Willys36 is correct. Torching the spring leaves only 1/2 inch of heated metal on the end. It poses no problem. Have been cutting off springs with torches for years and never ever had any problem.

Old Wives Tales die hard......

I have a set of springs with 250,000 total miles on them and they have been cut for about 80,000. No problem on this 63 Ford.
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Old 02-19-2006, 02:00 PM
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I have been cutting springs for 44 years with a torch and have not had any problems yet. Let it air cool though...no water.
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:02 AM
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Oops, sway bar in the way

Hi guys, thanks for the replies. I went to do as you suggested, but found that my sway bar is in the way of the car going lower. It hits the frame!!! (very frustrated with this Pontiac, remind me to do a Chevy or Ford next time)

What now? If I use a sway bar that has a 90 degree bend, won't it hit the wheel & tire when I turn? HELP!!!
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:25 AM
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not trying to hijack here...but i got a question about this too...i was going to cut my springs on my 85 gmc short wide...and was told that it will make the tire wear uneven...and i would have to get some bushings or something like that to make the tear wear the same on both sides...anybody know about this? and how much would i need to cut to lower it 3-3 1/2 inches?
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longboard
Hi guys, thanks for the replies. I went to do as you suggested, but found that my sway bar is in the way of the car going lower. It hits the frame!!! (very frustrated with this Pontiac, remind me to do a Chevy or Ford next time)

What now? If I use a sway bar that has a 90 degree bend, won't it hit the wheel & tire when I turn? HELP!!!
maybe you can use a shorter link and even make a spacer to move the bar mounting away from the frame.
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTex88
not trying to hijack here...but i got a question about this too...i was going to cut my springs on my 85 gmc short wide...and was told that it will make the tire wear uneven...and i would have to get some bushings or something like that to make the tear wear the same on both sides...anybody know about this? and how much would i need to cut to lower it 3-3 1/2 inches?
you must realign the front end after adjusting ride height.

I would suggest cutting a maximum of 1 full coil. Most people cut 1/2 then reinstall, then more if necessary. More than one coil tends to make the ride harsh, and you might not have sufficient spring travel.

Dropped spindles would be better.

Check with some of the truck sites. This is commonly done.
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:06 AM
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Yes. Dropped spindles would be better.
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:18 AM
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www.afcoracing.com

Every spring height, ID, rate, and pigtail style you could imagine.
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longboard
Hi guys, thanks for the replies. I went to do as you suggested, but found that my sway bar is in the way of the car going lower. It hits the frame!!! (very frustrated with this Pontiac, remind me to do a Chevy or Ford next time)

What now? If I use a sway bar that has a 90 degree bend, won't it hit the wheel & tire when I turn? HELP!!!
It is a little hard to see the total geometry but a slightly shorter link would help. Don't want to go too short 'cause the link moves quite a bit laterally to accomodate the bar and A-arm swinging differently. Can you add a 1 1/2" square tubing spacer between the bar bracket and frame? If that doesn't interfere with anything out of picture shot, that should give you 100% movement regardless of how short the springs are. A 1" spacer might even be enough.


Last edited by willys36@aol.com; 02-21-2006 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:40 PM
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Wow, Willy's, that seems like it would work. Gee, do you build rides? I wish I had a couple of local guys who can help figure some of this stuff out, now that I'm on my 3rd ride.

Thanks for the suggestion, I"ll give it a try and let you know how it works.
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Old 02-22-2006, 08:14 PM
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Here's another picture of the sway bar. If I install the block, it will only give me 1" moe than I have, and I want at least 2". Which also brings up the question, how could I install an air ride (bags) system, if it won't go low enough?
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