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Old 07-16-2006, 06:05 PM
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Preloading Adjustable Coil-Over With Longer Springs

Is it unsafe or bad practice to use a spring compressor to mount a longer softer spring on a coil-over shock?

For instance, if a coil-over shock will accept a 12 inch spring when fully extended, but is one inch short of being able to accept a 14 inch spring, could you temporarily compress the spring one inch to get it mounted on the coil-over, then take the compressor off to mount the assembly?

I am looking for a softer ride, but don't quite have enough space to mount the longer shock for a 14 inch spring.

John

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Old 07-16-2006, 06:50 PM
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Seems fine to me.
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Old 07-17-2006, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnTN

Is it unsafe or bad practice to use a spring compressor to mount a longer softer spring on a coil-over shock?

For instance, if a coil-over shock will accept a 12 inch spring when fully extended, but is one inch short of being able to accept a 14 inch spring, could you temporarily compress the spring one inch to get it mounted on the coil-over, then take the compressor off to mount the assembly?

I am looking for a softer ride, but don't quite have enough space to mount the longer shock for a 14 inch spring.

John
It seems to me putting a spring on the assembly longer than what it was designed to accept would hinder shock travel, resulting in lose fillings and aggravated hemorrhoids...
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Old 07-17-2006, 06:47 AM
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I don't know about others, but I almost always have to use spring compressors to get my coils on my shocks...and I'm using the correct length springs. However, I think Kultulz is also right that if you put a 12" spring on a 10" shock it is going to have an unpredictable effect on shock travel and ride.

I don't think you'll hurt anything by trying it, but you may not end up with the desired result.
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Old 07-17-2006, 07:46 AM
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This will not affect shock absorber function. The shock hasn't a clue as to the conditions when fully extended. It only reacts to loads and velocities in the working range and, hopefully, you won't be encountering pot holes that deep.
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Old 07-17-2006, 08:05 AM
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Billyshope,

You're the man when it comes to suspensions, but I have a follow up question to your response. By loading a shock designed to accommodate a 10" coil with a 12" coil (or let's say a 14" coil to really test the theory), isn't it possible to load the shock incorrectly so that it is no longer functioning within it's design range and thus compromise its efficiency. Yes, you might be able to force the coil onto the shock, but will the shock function correctly once you have it together?
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Old 07-17-2006, 08:10 AM
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One safety concern might be that an unknowing person could remove the assembly and try to remove the spring without realizing it is preloaded one inch. If he tried to remove the top spring perch by twisting it with force to release it, that perch could become a projectile.

But I think I have decided to stay with the recommended 12 inch spring -- the softer 14 inch spring would have to ride a little above the recommended ride height range with two people in the car which is the typical situation.

John
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Old 07-17-2006, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyShope

This will not affect shock absorber function.

The shock hasn't a clue as to the conditions when fully extended. It only reacts to loads and velocities in the working range

and, hopefully, you won't be encountering pot holes that deep.
You have just contradicted yourself...

If the shock is not allowed to travel the full transverse of it's designed travel, it cannot perform as it was designed/intended. The shock will not be able to compress to the point it was designed to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnTN

One safety concern might be that an unknowing person could remove the assembly and try to remove the spring without realizing it is preloaded one inch. If he tried to remove the top spring perch by twisting it with force to release it, that perch could become a projectile.


You know something? That is a very good point and something I did not think of...

I would most likely be the one to try and remove the spring and loose a few teeth...

I am not an expert, but I have stayed in a Holiday Inn Express before...

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Old 07-17-2006, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cboy
Billyshope,

(or let's say a 14" coil to really test the theory)
Let's make it 14 feet long. So long as the rate is correspondingly lowered (and it doesn't go solid, of course), so that the ride height remains the same, the shock will be unaffected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KULTULZ
You have just contradicted yourself...
Normally, the shock is never fully extended unless the car is up on a lift. And, even then, many competition cars...such as the Cup cars...use a chain or some other means to prevent full extension.

I hope you're not concerned about shock damage during spring installation. These forces would be small compared to those encountered during normal operation.
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Old 07-17-2006, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyShope
Let's make it 14 feet long. So long as the rate is correspondingly lowered (and it doesn't go solid, of course), so that the ride height remains the same, the shock will be unaffected.
Ah, okay, I get it once you include those two caveats - corresponding lowering of the rate and retaining original ride height.
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Old 07-17-2006, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyShope

Let's make it 14 feet long. So long as the rate is correspondingly lowered (and it doesn't go solid, of course), so that the ride height remains the same, the shock will be unaffected.

Normally, the shock is never fully extended unless the car is up on a lift. And, even then, many competition cars...such as the Cup cars...use a chain or some other means to prevent full extension.

I hope you're not concerned about shock damage during spring installation. These forces would be small compared to those encountered during normal operation.
The shock will be extended more if a longer higher rate spring (especially longer than what the shock was designed to accept) unless the vehicle is one heavy mutha (and in this case, the spring is specd incorrectly).

This is why if one changes the trim height on a normal suspension, shock travel has to be figured in or the vehicle will not ride/handle correctly.

The spring will be doing the majority of the work in this instance, not the shock. Most shocks have internal limiters for extension or external limiters for compression.

Just the safety aspect of it says no.
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Old 07-25-2006, 09:45 AM
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I'm suprised nobody has mentioned the possibility of coil bind issues. Using a longer spring in a shorter space...well it could happen.

Russ
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