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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am going to be starting to restore my 70' chevellle in about a month or two and i am planning on what i want done. i want to lower it about 1 inch. i dont want it to look like a low rider, but to have a lower stance. here's the problem. i dont have an unlimited supply of the great american greenback (money). i heard somewhere that you can cut the springs in the front to lower the front. is this really a good idea. if so, how many coils must be cut off to lower the car 1 inch. the car is a 2 door malibu, w/air and weighs about 3411 lbs.
 

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I am just going through the same thing. I was told by many people not to cut the springs because the destroy the load characteristics of them.
So I just ordered a pair from Hotchkis. They had them instock for $135 for the 2 fronts.
 

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Dave, cutting front springs is, IMO, the best way to lower the front end of your ride...especially if you are on a budget - and who isn't?

So far, I have never heard of any problems associated with cutting the front springs. Another Team Cheveller, Jesse, sent me an email recently and had this to say after cutting his springs last week...

"To make my new springs indexed just like my old ones I ended up cutting off 3/4 of a coil. Put it back together yesterday and I am a happy man, thanks to you. It really looks good, nice and just a small amount of height in the front. Based on my before and after measurements by cutting the 3/4 coil, it dropped the front by 1-1/2."

My 70' weighs 3,450 and 2 years ago I removed 1.25 coils from the front springs which dropped the front-end about 2.5+". It looks much better (IMO
) and the ride improvement was/is awesome. Just make sure that you keep the springs cool (bucket of ice water worked for me) while making the cuts and DO NOT USE A TORCH. Excessive heat kills a springs' temper and you will be bottoming out all over the place if that happens. Use a high speed grinder or cut off wheel instead. Hope this helps some and have fun with your new look.

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1970 Malibu - 383 'Fog Fed' Stroker. Houston, Texas...Gold Member #39
http://www.chevelles.com/showroom/wescolby2.jpeg
Keep America Beautiful - Drive A Brute Force Chevelle!
 

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I was kinda under the impression that cutting springs falls in the "rice" category. Whatever works, though...
 

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Oh dear...if that's true Lev I'd better get those high stockers back in there, eh?!
Eeeek...no rice for me man! Next thing ya' know I'll be sporting some cool stickers across the windshield.


Just ribbin' you bro! Hey Lev, click the link below...man, I hope you don't think that car looks like a rice rocket.


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1970 Malibu - 383 'Fog Fed' Stroker. Houston, Texas...Gold Member #39
http://www.chevelles.com/showroom/wescolby2.jpeg
Keep America Beautiful - Drive A Brute Force Chevelle!
 

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I'm with Wes, cutting works very well. My 66 has one coil cut off and it dropped the front almost 2". There isn't any hard rule on how much you cut to how much drop you get, so it's a little of a hit or miss deal. When they were first installed (new TRW springs), the drop was only about 1.25" after a few months it dropped the remaining .75". I guess the springs had to settle.

When a spring is cut the spring rate actually goes up and the spring becomes stiffer. I never bottom, except on one major local dip if taken too fast. I'm not sure about this, and you might want to ask your front end man, but I think you need to cut in one coil increments to get the spring to seat properly in the pockets.

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Pat Kelley
66 El Camino, daily driver
67 El Camino, STRIP/street
 

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back 10yrs ago i use to LOWER full size pickups (gm) and a lot of people didn't have cash so they wanted me to cut the springs.

in ALL the trucks who's springs were cut, they ended up on the ground after a short time, the spring charactaristics were ruined when they were cut and sometime they got noisy since they didn't fit properly anymore.

i'd buy new lower springs IMHO

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John Krenn
1970 malibu SS look-a-like well kinda
350/200-4r (soon to be 383)

Ft.Worth, Tx
 

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If you cut the next coil even with the end of the bottom coil this should index it properly.And that would be one complete coil...FRED

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Nice car Wes, I think I have told you that before...you have the 10 inch wheels on back, right? but, I bet you don't have a big block with Hooker Headers on it, sitting that low...


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Bob West
Monett,Mo.
1972 Malibu,461 cid.
 

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Thanks Bob...no rat between the fenders this time around - besides that, I prefer a fat mouse on steroids instead. You're right though, there would probably be less room down under with a rat set-up.

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1970 Malibu - 383 'Fog Fed' Stroker. Houston, Texas...Gold Member #39
http://www.chevelles.com/showroom/wescolby2.jpeg
Keep America Beautiful - Drive A Brute Force Chevelle!
 

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I put Moroso big block springs in mine and ended up cutting 1 1/2 coils out in order to get the height that I wanted. 1 1/2 would be too much for the street IMO with a big block. I think if I would of stopped where Fred said it would of been perfect for the street.
Hey Wes, looks like you turn Rice Burners into Rice Crispies. Keep it up Bro.

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Mike Hurta
(Aug98)
Gold#25
Clute, Texas
www.chevelles.com/feature/aug98.html
 

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Not that anyone asked but if you want a shorter rear spring for a 68-72 TRW has one which is 2" lower than stock. It is part #CC504 has the same rates as the sock HD spring. This comes in handy since the 68-72 A-bodies rear springs are pigtailes on both ends which precludes cutting.

Steve R.
 

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chev-hell posted that the springs that were cut end up putting the car on the ground after a while. Very true from what I've gathered. As for the rice factor, it was a joke. Wes, your car looks a lot meaner than a bowl of rice. I should know, I eat rice everyday, for lunch and on the streets
 

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Chev-hell,

What did you use to cut your springs with? In a few other post I noticed that after installing new springs some guys were not happy with how high their front end was sitting. Then I noticed a few replied that in time the front end would settle and the front end would drop some. Could this be the same thing that is happening after installing modified springs? I haven't noticed my front end dropping any (yet) and I can't afford for it to (smashed header tubes).
If you guys don't mind and sense we are talking about front springs, I would like to ask DragRacer, Fred or Racer1320 a question. The front of my car weighs less than 1680 lbs. with a big block. I have 250 lbs/in springs that have been cut in front now. Moroso lists their springs according to front end weight which determines what spring rate=(lbs/in) you should be running. Moroso also recommends cutting/trimming their springs to achieve desired ride height. What determines spring rate? Is it the size of the coil wire only, or is the height of the spring cosidered as well? And if I went to small block springs (242 lbs/in) do you think I would I have to trim them as well to achive the same ride height I have now?
Sorry guys if I interrupted. My front end bounces a little and the front tires shake just after the front end settles on launch. I thought that maybe the (cut) 250 lb. springs might be the culprits.

Thanks,

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Mike Hurta
(Aug98)
Gold#25
Clute, Texas
www.chevelles.com/feature/aug98.html
 

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GO AHEAD CUT THE SPRINGS!!!! Sometimes people get too technical when it doesn't count. Yes, technically, cutting them does change their characteristics, but sneezing also changes the rotational speed of the earth, and peeing in the Mississippi raises it's level. Neither worry me. Tens of thousands of springs have been cut and successfully used - you decide.
PS - most guys that cut springs want a slightly harsher ride anyway !


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Gotta have a Chevy !In Durham N.C.
Make it look the way you like it, forget what the other guys say! :D
 

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Okay...everything I have to say on this subject has probably already been said, but I have to put my .02 in.

My recent front end rebuild on my 68 elcam revealed what I had known all along. I had cut coils in my car. But...When I pulled them out and compared them with the 1" drop coils I had just purchased, not only were they uneven, they had been untempered and were almost a full coil shorter than my drop springs. When the car was put on the ground with the new coils, it sat almost an inch higher and the ride is MUCH better. The old coils had been cut SO MUCH that the ball joints were completely destroyed. And before I got my hands on the car it was running A/C!!!


IMO: Cut your coils if you want, but (1) don't go out of control and (2) don't use a torch (it'll untemper the spring).

People who have cut coils usually love them, and people who buy drop springs usually love them. You're a strapping young lad now, make your own decision!




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--Amanda :)

Proud owner of a 68 ElCam

http://www.geocities.com/el_camino_ca/

"A truly wise man never plays leapfrog with a Unicorn."
 

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Geez, guys, I must be the only one here who just took off and threw away the cut springs on the '66 SS I bought last summer. I love the look of the factory stance but with a 15" wheel. Plus I hated the fact that I couldn't slide my floor jack under the center.

Wish I'd known they were in such high demand!

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Stan Hanek
'66 SS - 396 4 sp.
[email protected]
 

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If you dont have the cash then cut them , if you do have the cash , do it right and buy new springs

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John
Catapiller Mechanic
Salinas,Ca
70SS 454 Clone {in construction}
 
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