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need help (ride height)



After replacing the front springs twice my front end is still riding high. The first set of springs I believe came from Ekler's, the 2nd from a local Corvette shop.
Does anyone know if the problem is from using a different year frame. 1974 frame, 1968 body

Is there a way to figure out what will work without taking everything apart again and again.

Thanks, Rick

You might want to get in touch with Guldstrand or Vette Brakes and Products. You can search out through the Portal on the very top of the page.

Both of them are experts.

One thing I will mention. If you tightened the control arm bolts while the car was up on jack stands, the front will be way too high. You have to loosen all those bolts up, let the car down and bounce on the front end until it settles. Then drive it up on ramps and tighten them down.

I helped a young fellow a couple of weeks ago change out all his front bushings and joints on an old Pontiac. He went up, reassembled and came over to show me his handywork. However, the nose of the car was 2 or 3 inches higher than before and he used the same springs. Well, you guessed it, he had torqued it up while up on jacks.

Try that first.

Otherwise, you may also not have the spring spun and seated in the notch. That would hold you up maybe 1.5 inches or so.

Good luck,

Thanks Chris, I'll check it out this spring and let you know what I come up with.

I got burned on this

I had rancho suspension on my 73... wanted to lower the ride height by 2 more inches, and the springs were to heavy.

I went to stock springs from my local Vette wrecking yard.

Now, my front end looks like I'm off road ready!

Almost 5 inches from top of tire to bottom of fender.

Now the Mid America catalog states 63-82 all same

I think not.

So my rancho's are going back in, but the stock springs were about 3" higher ( unsprung )

Somethings fishy here!

And the end cap bolts have yet to be tightened

We did find a shorter set ( of stock springs )
but they were the same height as my ranchos
( and VERY ugly )

Will let you know

Thanks Mike,

I've had these changed twice by a local corvette only shop, car looks like it should have a bb in it or maybe like the motor's out.

I hate everyone pointing out that it looks wrong, you know!

I'm going to try one more time, then take it to a suspension shop and refuse to pay unless I'm pleased.

Rick :mad

It may be too late to mention this, but have you checked out Vette Brakes and Products yet?

I went for the full blown Performance Plus suspension in the 69 that includes front and rear FIBERGLASS springs and special brackets and adapters to install. I am using the full custome tubular front upper and lower control arms. But.........you don't have to go to that extreme.

They make a less evasive kit for the front that lets you put the fiberglass spring on and toss the coils out the window. Why would you do that? Well first of all, it is a bolt on job so you are not hacking the car up. Two, it will allow you to set the ride as high or low as you want as it adjusts on the extreme outside shackle bolts just like the rear does right now.

I love it when sharks are slammed in the front with no daylight between the top of the tire and fender lip as long as there is still some rake from back to front.

With this product you can put it wherever you want, then take it to the alignment shop to have it dialed in.

I was talking to PST in 99 about the complete poly bushing and spring kits they offer. You will see their ad on the back of almost any hot rod style mag. My biggest question was not ride quality, spring rates, rebound etc, I wanted to know how high or low to expect the car to sit. The fellow at PST said I would have to buy two or three sets of springs. Install them one at a time to see which one gives me the preferred ride, then send the other two sets back. They could not guarantee a full refund either because they would have been installed. The other option is start with big block springs, then cut coils until you hit the desired spot.

Thank goodness I stumbled upon Vette Brakes. Gary took plenty of time with me to explain how it all works, then met me in person at the Winter National Show in Orlando almost exactly this time last year.

Like I said, it may be too late for you now since you are already this far along with the coils.

Good luck. We would all enjoy pictures.


I just found my receipt for the coil springs, I thought I'd be safe buying from Ekler's. Most everything else bought from them has been fine.

I bought all the other suspension parts from PST ( polygraphite )

I've got the fiberglass rear spring which is also set higher than it should be to make the car look even. I know this can be corrected quite simply.

I will look into Vette Brakes & Products.

I'd like to get this thing done in time for the Sharkfest, Thats a new motor redo the interior and the ride height.

I guess it's time for me to buy a digital camera, I'll try to get some good pictures.

Rancho's back in

I have about 2 1/2 inches between the top of the tire & the bottom of the fender.

The Stock springs for a 78 were 3" higher then the rancho's or the shorter stockers.

I had the unsprung height written down, but that secret document went thru the wash, OOPS.

Whew whata mess

I just ordered a Energy Suspension Hyper Flex bushing set for mine. It should be here in a day or so. I was going to change the front springs when I installed the control arm bushings. As mine sits at the right height now and after reading the last few posts I think I'll just reuse the ones I have now. I guess I'll just use the theory that "if it's not broken don't fix it."


I'm assuming the 78 was a misprint as your's is an 88 and mine is a 68.

I just measured mine and it's a full 3 1/2 " from the top of the tire to the bottom of the fender. ( not acceptable ) Most sharks I've seen that looked correct to me looked like the space was only an inch or less.

Thanks for the input though,



I think you've got the idea, it ain't broke don't fix it.
That'll safe you alot of work and money, that is unless you were going to upgrade for even better handling. In that case I'd bring it to someone and let them know they don't get paid until your pleased.

Good luck,


I just noticed that you've got a shark too. Now we're talking apples to apples.

No no misprint

First I had the rancho's in and the ride was a bit to stiff.

The springs we tried put in first( swap) were out of the junkyard rack.

My 73 was now off road ready.

We pulled the springs back out and compared them to a 1978 that was sitting there, that was a treat!

And found that the 1978 springs and the ones we put in were the same unsprung height.

We found another set of Stock springs the same height as the Rancho's but they were VERY ugly.

Then the Rancho's went back in.


Got ya Mike

Sorry I didn't understand, are you going to stick with the rancho's?

If not what are you plans.

I may go with Chris's idea, see above

After all I've been through

The Rancho's are just great..
Savin up for a new mill in the shark,
trying to find a fairly close to stock 73 motor to build.
Mine ( currently ) is a 4 bolt main truck engine.
It has the wrong cam in it.

Feels like a smogged 76

But that's after the re reg!


With the rancho's you've got 2 1/2 " between tire top and fender bottom , Right?

After installing my set from Ekler's it looked like there was no motor in the car, being down to 3 1/2" I only want to drop another 2 1/2"


With the Stock 1978 springs looked like
"motor out of car syndrom"

Rancho ( or stock short ) same height on unsprung springs.

Top of tire to bottom of fender 2 1/2 inches.

I can get the measurement of the shortys monday ( late afternoon )

LIVE from the boneyard

The Spring scores

The Tall 1978
15 & 1/4 inches

The mystery shorter one
13 & 1/4 inches
( the spring material seems a BIT thicker on this one by a 32 nd or so)

And there you have it!

TRW spring specs

Here's some front coil specs from 1997 Federal Mogul spring book; it applies to 63 thru 82 Corvette; both pn are categorized as "heavy duty" regardless of application:

For both small blocks with AC or big block w/NO AC, CS5762 is what both TRW & MOOG catalogs call out. Here's TRW specs for CS5762: Free Height=13.13", Bar Dia=0.656", ID = 3.825", Install Height=11", Rate=474 lb, Load=1062 lb.

For Small blocks with NO AC, TRW & MOOG recommend pn CS5758 as OEM replacement; it's only stated differences are Free Height=12.94" & Load=936 lb.

Curiously, the 1996 book has slightly different specs for same pn; makes no distinction regarding AC; here's the differences:
CS5758... ID=3.770", bar dia=0.650", load ht=10.00", load=1400lb, free ht=12.812", rate=507lb.
CS5762... ID=3.770", bar dia=0.650", load ht=10.00", load=1500lb, free ht=13.062", rate=507lb.

Maybe this helps ... maybe serves only to further confuse ... I know I'm toast.
68 fenders vs 69-82

68 fenders & 74 frame: I seem to recall that the 68 had a different look to wheel well openings (& narrower rims too) ... maybe 69 up had more of a flare ... maybe someone else here could verify this. If so, then maybe 68 has a different "effective" ride height / top of tire-to-fender lip than later years. Hmmm?
Jack, you're right on the flare openings having a stronger line in the years after '68. The tires kicking up stones and chipping the paint were a customer complaint that GM tried to correct with the later models. I'm not sure if this contributes to the ride height or not. It would definitely be a different look, though. --Bullitt

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