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Front springs

Kid_Again

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Joined
Jul 6, 2004
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1,171
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NJ - Which exit you from?
Corvette
65 SB Roadster, 66 BB Coupe
When I rebuilt my front suspension on the '66 (bb with A/C) I was really just starting out and made a mistake. I bought "ghymkana" springs which are a higher rate than stock (not sure of the rating but they are shorter than stock with a thicker wire). I just don't like the way the front looks, it's too high.

So, I'd like to bring it down between 1 and 2". I understand that if I cut a spring, the rate goes up. I don't think that's a big deal because it rides surprisingly soft right now.

Any thoughts on modifying the current springs or suggestions on a new set of springs that will bring the front down (probably a little lower than stock)?

Thanks
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
7,246
Location
Washington, Michigan
Corvette
'67 Marina Blue Convertible
Front coil springs are a crapshoot since the GM springs were discontinued many years ago, but I've heard good feedback on the reproduction springs sold by Long Island, and they list a set for '65-'67 BB with A/C, standard suspension. :)
 
S

Sky65

Guest
I put VBP 460# springs on the 65 and it sat too high for me. I cut 1/2 a coil off with a cutoff wheel. Looks much better now.
 

4WDVETTE

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Oct 1, 2004
Messages
201
Location
Waterford, NJ
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1966 Coupe
Joe - I have a set of front springs that lowered the front end on my 66 big block at least 1". I don't like the idea of cutting springs. In fact when we were running the Busch car, Nascar did not allow altering the springs in any way - they considered it a safety matter. You are welcome to try my set out and, if they work keep 'em. I ran into fender clearance issues with them in combination with the Crager SS wheels. E-mail me when you are coming down or I could drop them at the OC property. let me know.

Steve
 

IH2LOSE

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May 24, 2001
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We Will All Meet Again
Corvette
1966,and a 1962 thats almost complete
I watched my brother in law lower a car once. He took a cutting torch and cherried a small section of the spring and then watched the car settle in

Not to scientific but it worked
 

Kid_Again

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Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
1,171
Location
NJ - Which exit you from?
Corvette
65 SB Roadster, 66 BB Coupe
I watched my brother in law lower a car once. He took a cutting torch and cherried a small section of the spring and then watched the car settle in

Not to scientific but it worked



:eek:hnoes



NOW THAT IS NEAT!!


guys, thanks for all the advice.......steve, since i'm in no rush to work on the springs (project BLOW on the sb and project SUCK on the bb), i'll give you a call with plenty of advance notice.......


....for once, i'm trying to plan ahead
 

4WDVETTE

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Oct 1, 2004
Messages
201
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Waterford, NJ
Corvette
1966 Coupe
Let me know. I will come down and give you a hand, or we could do it at my shop with the lift. Your call.

Steve
 

00fxd

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Joined
Feb 14, 2003
Messages
358
Location
B.C. Canada
Corvette
'65 Convertable
I watched my brother in law lower a car once. He took a cutting torch and cherried a small section of the spring and then watched the car settle in

Not to scientific but it worked

Thats an old school way to 'perform the lowering technique' but one must not forget to set blocks to the ride height that you want so the vehicle will settle to only the desired height, and remain uniform from side to side. :ugh
 

Tom Bryant

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Edgerton, Ohio, United States
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1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Heating a spring removes the tension over the area that's heated. Even if you block it to the height you want it will continue to settle some more as time goes by. Cutting a portion of the coil and regrinding the bevel on the end, if there was one, is the preferred way of shortening a spring as the heat is localized at the cut area only. Just remember that when the spring wire is shortened the rate increases. Custom springs are the way to go if you want the car lower and the ride to remain the same.

NASCAR sets allowable spring rates for many races. Legal springs are marked clearly so the inspectors can tell what's in there. Even then they may remove a spring and measure it's length (length of the wire). Even a 1/2 inch or so cut off will stiffen the spring some and when you are tuning a suspension even a couple of pounds of rate increase may give you an unfair advantage over the competition. This is one reason that NASCAR mandates the length of wire for each part number of spring. Then there is always the safety factor associated with modifying suspension components that see stress levels that our street use parts will never come close to.

Tom
 

Kid_Again

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Jul 6, 2004
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1,171
Location
NJ - Which exit you from?
Corvette
65 SB Roadster, 66 BB Coupe
...thanks for the advice.......and for the offer, 4wdvette


not sure what i'm going to do but i DO get all kinda' nervous about breaking open the A-arm and ensuring the spring doesn't decapitate me...my previous technique was to secure the A-arms with a chain, break it open and set the lower arm on a floor jack and SLOWLY lower the jack...


any better ideas?
 

BLACK MOON

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Oct 21, 2003
Messages
654
Location
KNOXVILLE, TN
Corvette
15 Shark Grey 3LZ Z06
...thanks for the advice.......and for the offer, 4wdvette


not sure what i'm going to do but i DO get all kinda' nervous about breaking open the A-arm and ensuring the spring doesn't decapitate me...my previous technique was to secure the A-arms with a chain, break it open and set the lower arm on a floor jack and SLOWLY lower the jack...


any better ideas?

I just finished doing the same to mine. I disassembled the a arms several times cutting a 1/4 of a coil each time. I got the height right but hated the soft feel. I went with the #460 springs from VBP. If you have the 'shorter' #460 springs removal is easy with no danger of decapitation. With any spring I loosen the upper ball joint but leave the nut on. Spread it or bang it until it pops. This initial movement reduces alot of the spring rate and lowering the jack is pretty easy and safe from there. Stock springs are a bit mire dangerous. Spring compressors suck, peroid, end of discussion. If you rent or buy a good one you will find limited room in between the a arms to work with. Secondly, if you buy a new 'made in China' compressor you run the risk of it breaking, a piece flying into your finger (nuckle) and breaking it. It then swells up to the size of a cucumber for a few days. Very painful and you wake up with a stiff finger for a year.

Just my opinion.
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
1,074
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Trois Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
Corvette
63 Resto Coupe-Red 65 Roadster
Don't waste any time or money on a spring compressor. The easiest, safest, and least expensive way is with a thick threaded rod. Find yourself or purchase a length of threaded rod 5/8" or 3/4" by 30" long.

Remove the shock absorber, and replace it with the threaded rod. At the bottom, I use a thick metal plate about 4" square, and at the top, a few thick flat washers. After threading a nut at the bottom to keep the plate in place. tighten up the nut at the top, while paying very close attention to any upward movement of the lower A-arm.

The minute it starts to rise, you may then completely remove the nut that hold the top ball joint in place, and then all that you need to do is get it out of the spindle, ( a pickle fork, or a few choice blows with a MAN'S hammer ) will usually do the trick. Now unscrew the top nut on your threaded rod and watch the lower a-arm sink low enough to remove/reposition or do what ever else you wish to do with the spring.

No chains or anything else are needed, since even in any worse case scenario, the rod will keep the spring from flying across the garage floor.

Stepinwolf
 

Kid_Again

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Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
1,171
Location
NJ - Which exit you from?
Corvette
65 SB Roadster, 66 BB Coupe
Excellent advice, gentlemen. I appreciate the attention to detail.

Now that I see this thread evolving, it's obvious that I have the short spring rated at 460#. Another bit of information essential for me to know.

It's amazing how much I've learned from experienced people over the last 5 years or so. This forum is an excellent resource!


Although, there is a bit of excitement in heating a spring and watching th car sag. I'll lie down 'till that passes.
 
S

Sky65

Guest
I have VBP 460# in my 65 sb. It sat too high for me. I ended up taking 13" of coil off. That is 13" of wire. I have small flairs so I can't give you a measurment of fender well distance to the ground. I would not take any more than 1/2 a coil, 8" of wire, with a bb.
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
1,074
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Trois Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
Corvette
63 Resto Coupe-Red 65 Roadster
Kid,

I have been following this thread for a few days now, and although I have contributed, I have also managed to keep personal opinion to myself.

Although you might not be ready to make the move, the best solution would be to replace your technically challenged springs, with a " Duel Mount " fiberglass spring from VBP.

Then, not only could you adjust your Corvette to four different spring rates, within a few minutes at that, you could also raise or lower each side independently one millimeter at a time, and with no effort what so ever.

You will never go back to using the old metal springs, once you have experienced them.

Just my 0.02$

Stepinwolf
 

magicv8

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Joined
Mar 18, 2003
Messages
656
Location
Going too fast over the hill.
I just got done replacing the aframe bushings, and I don't see how my BB original springs could come out without a pry bar.

I wasted time puting in a spring compressor, only to find out that with the lower aframe all the way down, the coil spring is bowed out - but wouldn't come out untill I removed the rubber rebound block from the aframe and pried the spring out with a tire iron. I should have just let the aframe down with a jack, and pried the unloaded spring out.

Putting it in was a pita too. The spring needed to be bowed to the outside so I could jack up the lower aframe. I achieved that effect by engaging 3 of the 4 spring compressor hooks, so that I could insert the spring into its sockets. I then jacked up the aframe and removed the loose compressor in pieces (it won't come out in one piece.

Stepenwolf: I am guessing that the threaded rod method may work better, but I could not find 3/8 allthread rod in grade 8 (for thread strength), and I would have to find a shop to make the square steel plate with a hole in it (I would bend the corners up to keep it from slipping) - so I just rented a spring compressor.

I will purchase a rod and plate setup (if someone makes them) before my next spring removal project, or plan way in advance and get the the plate made and the fine thread grade8 allthread on the web.
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
1,074
Location
Trois Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
Corvette
63 Resto Coupe-Red 65 Roadster
Dave,

I don't use any grade 8 hardware on the nut/rod setup. If you want some extra insurance, buy one of the long nuts ( see pic ) that are used to join threaded rods together, and once all the threads are into the rod, you could life the car with it.

Sorry for the fuzzy pic, but I think you will see enough of it. !

Stepinwolf

nut.jpg
 

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