View Full Version : Pros and cons of cutting spring coils.


53vicky
12-04-2011, 05:58 PM
I know i have started a couple dif threads about lowing but when it comes to cutting the coil springs what are the pros and cons??

I only want to lower it about an inch or so and the aerostar springs do like a 2 1/2 inch drop i think.

So who has cut there springs? Does it make the car sit funny or anything if its not done perfectly right?

Slick Willy
12-04-2011, 06:03 PM
No matter how many times you cut em, they're still to short...

Mattilac
12-04-2011, 06:04 PM
I've never had a problem with cutting coils. As long as you don't take too much out, you'll get the car down some. They say your spring rate increases. Well, that's fine with me, since the car is lower anyway, I'd rather it be a littler stiffer than too soft.

flatheadpete
12-04-2011, 06:12 PM
What kinda car?

special-k
12-04-2011, 06:13 PM
I'd do half a coil for a 1" drop. Thats just a guess without seeing your springs.I usually heat the last 1/4 turn to make the spring fit the pocket nicer. I've done that on my last 3 daily drivers without any issues overs the last 20 years.

rd martin
12-04-2011, 06:13 PM
really theres no problem cutting them, use a good air powered cut off tool, makes it easy. just be careful taking them in and out. one coil will take you down about 1 to 11/2 inches on a new coil.used coils may take you lower. coils are not that much money if ya have a problem.

Bad Bob
12-04-2011, 06:27 PM
That's BULLSHIT!!!! It depends on the coil! A thinner coil will drop more than a thicker coil. Cutting 1 coil isn't the same on different coils. There's many factors to consider. New vs old,thick vs thin.
Example;1coil removed off a 1/2 ton Chevy coil= 2 1/2" drop. 1coil removed off a chevy S10 coil= 4" drop.
1/2 Ton coil was about 3/4" thick.
S10 coil was about 1/2" thick.

PROS= Cheap way to lower.
CONS= You can cut too much off.

You need to sneak up on it. Cut no more than a 1/2 coil at a time. Also,you have to remember....it will settle after a week or two. Especially on thinner coils.

flatheadpete
12-04-2011, 06:33 PM
What kinda car?

Bad Bob
12-04-2011, 06:36 PM
What kinda car?

I think it's probably the Ford in his avatar...

flatheadpete
12-04-2011, 06:39 PM
Dunno. He didn't specify.....my handle is flatheadpete. I'll be damned if you can find a flathead anywhere near me right now....
If it is, Aerostar coils. New springs. Dropped my '50 Ford about 2". And they're new!

Al Von
12-04-2011, 07:09 PM
Last set of coils I cut were on a OT '79 Cadillac Coupe. I Cut 1/2 coil at a time, reinstalled and drove it for a few days to let it settle. 1/2 coil was perfect to drop the back. It took 1-1/2 coils off the front to get it where I wanted it to sit. THAT was a lot of work, but I got pretty fast at swapping the fronts after the third time cutting!

agshelby
12-04-2011, 07:16 PM
I am getting ready to install the coils (new) on a 57 T-Bird and trying to determine how much, too. I don't have the engine in - so won't be able to tell if half a coil is enough. My plan is to cut half a coil now - and wait until it's all back together to check the height.

CutawayAl
12-04-2011, 07:39 PM
It is important that the cut spring still fit the spring seat. Some springs have a compressed last coil, or are ground flat. Cutting one of those springs will cause the spring to seat improperly, and over time it can cause premature spring failure.

To prevent bottoming with the lower ride height you would ideally use a stronger spring. The spring rate does get stiffer as the spring is shortened, but not enough to fully compensate. That said, lots of people do it, and so long as the spring seat situation is ok, and you don't get carried away, things should work out ok.

The amount of lowering you will get depends on the spring itself, and on the suspension. A spring sitting directly over the axle will lower the car nearly as much as the spring is cut. When the spring is pushing on a linkage or control arm it is typical that whatever you cut off the spring will lower the car some amount(depending on spring to wheel movement ratio) more than that.

Don't get too carried away on a street car because you need some travel to cope with real world roads.

Bad Bob
12-04-2011, 07:41 PM
I am getting ready to install the coils (new) on a 57 T-Bird and trying to determine how much, too. I don't have the engine in - so won't be able to tell if half a coil is enough. My plan is to cut half a coil now - and wait until it's all back together to check the height.

I wouldn't do anything til after the engine is in.

squirrel
12-04-2011, 07:47 PM
Pros: don't cost nuthin.

Cons: might take a couple trys to get it right, and if you go to far you gotta find new springs (or find some used ones for free, if you're lucky like I was)

These pros and cons are for someone trying to lower the car just a little bit, not a bunch.

BOWTIE BROWN
12-04-2011, 09:00 PM
I thought you might have to cut a complete coil to make fit back right. Man i feel lost .

carcrazyjohn
12-04-2011, 09:17 PM
If there aftermarket you have to cut them they sit way to high ,This was on my ot car the 69 firechicken .I cut a coil and a half that was 2 inches,Sits perfect now,Half inch below ride height factory measured at the rocker molding.....

metalix_421
12-04-2011, 09:36 PM
you can messure twice and cut twice if needed just go a little at a time.

morac41
12-05-2011, 01:12 AM
Hi .. Cut coils and lowering over 2 1/2 " is illegal in Australia ..have a wreck and no insurance......get some new ones made to you specifications ..there not the expensive......

Shaggy
12-05-2011, 01:22 AM
Hi .. Cut coils and lowering over 2 1/2 " is illegal in Australia ..have a wreck and no insurance......get some new ones made to you specifications ..there not the expensive......

Shit you guys have some real Nazi's in your government!!

morac41
12-05-2011, 01:45 AM
Hi Shaggy They would have all of us off the road if they could....the goverment was trying to bring scrapping all cars over 25 year old...Greens are the problem...

53vicky
12-05-2011, 04:38 AM
Hey guys, sorry just got home from work.
I want to cut the spring on my 53 ford. my car stands wayyyy tall in the front and i really need to lower it down but i dont want to lower it a whole lot.
I just wanted to see if anyone has had any problems doing it. I was planning on going a half coil at a time just to be safe and going till its just right

squirrel
12-05-2011, 09:45 AM
The first coil you cut off won't do as much as the second, so you might try cutting one coil, then drive it around and see how it does. if it's still too high after a week or so, then cut another half a coil. But be sure to drive it around a lot before deciding, and carry some passengers, etc so you see how it works with a load in the car.

porknbeaner
12-05-2011, 09:54 AM
No matter how many times you cut em, they're still to short...

Ha Ha.

Pro is it is a cheap way to do it.

Con is you loose some suspension travel so you may notice a rougher ride. You probably won't notice much at 1".

Con it is not easy to get right the first try so you may have the springs out several times.

Here is a trick that I use. I set the car on its wheels then get under there and measure the distance between the coils. That is approxamately how much cutting one coil will drop you. Cutting a partial coil to achieve a minute drop can be tricky, one coil on most cars will give you between 1 and 2" So get your best guestimate and then don't cut the full amount the first try.

George/Maine
12-05-2011, 09:55 AM
I have cut one coil from MII to make it ride softer and it did but it also lowers it,went up one tire size.Rides to my likeing.

squirrel
12-05-2011, 10:42 AM
I have cut one coil from MII to make it ride softer and it did

thus defying the laws of physics....

Ranunculous
12-05-2011, 10:55 AM
Why not use those little spring clamps that Auto Zone sells....

http://www.midwayautosupply.com/images/PRODUCT/large/MRG-1280.jpg

If you reverse the "U" blocks,will these lift also?

porknbeaner
12-05-2011, 11:20 AM
thus defying the laws of physics....

yea everyone knows that you heat them to get a softer ride.:p

exwestracer
12-05-2011, 11:43 AM
Why not use those little spring clamps that Auto Zone sells....

http://www.midwayautosupply.com/images/PRODUCT/large/MRG-1280.jpg

If you reverse the "U" blocks,will these lift also?

Oh yeah, AND they are also a cure for the common cold, E.D., and will have supermodels with beer lining up outside your garage to have sex with you...

JeffB2
12-05-2011, 11:49 AM
Hey guys, sorry just got home from work.
I want to cut the spring on my 53 ford. my car stands wayyyy tall in the front and i really need to lower it down but i dont want to lower it a whole lot.
I just wanted to see if anyone has had any problems doing it. I was planning on going a half coil at a time just to be safe and going till its just right If you have been reading the many posts about the Aerostar springs most that have used them have found a big improvement in the ride and handling of the cars,that has to do with the spring rate. By cutting the original 56 year old springs you are going the wrong direction,here is the right way to go http://www.jegs.com/i/Mr.%20Gasket/720/1287/10002/-1?CT=999 use this with the Aerostar springs and overall drop will be 1"-1 1/2" just where you want it and you get the nice ride and handling as a bonus.

53vicky
12-05-2011, 05:00 PM
Thanks Jeff, yeah i do follow them but from what i have seen they have made the car pretty low and i dont want the front that low. I still want the back to be lower.. but anyways will these spacers with the areostar springs but much different???

Where is the best place to get the aerostar springs??

53vicky
12-05-2011, 05:05 PM
http://images54.fotki.com/v564/photos/4/266534/8159695/118_1894-vi.jpg

...because this is the difference between the stock springs and aerostars...i just dont know if i want it that low.

Jeff, do the spacers make the ride real rough??

junk yard kid
12-05-2011, 07:07 PM
you gotta remember that the areo star springs havent been in a car 60 years. they wont sag as much. my buddys 51 had heated springs and we replaced with aero stars and it had the same ride height but drives way nicer.

slickhale
12-05-2011, 07:22 PM
Why not use those little spring clamps that Auto Zone sells....

http://www.midwayautosupply.com/images/PRODUCT/large/MRG-1280.jpg

the cool thing about these is when one fails it looks like the car is launching off the line, they also make great projectiles but are hard to aim.

hotrod fozzie
12-05-2011, 07:41 PM
I have cut many sets of s10 coils 1 1/2 coils cut off give you 3" drop , they ride good , just index the coil as far as start of the spring, make sure it seats back in the pocket correct and then take it out and drive it plus bounce it a little to get it to settle( about a week) then re measure then get it aligned before you eat up tires

carbed87
12-05-2011, 07:46 PM
pros: good looks for almost no cost

cons: you get shit from the internet know-it-all crowd for not doing it "the right way" (i.e. buying drop coils)

shocker998md
12-05-2011, 07:46 PM
I cut a coil and a half out of my coils on a 66 f100. Lowered it about 3 inches and road soo much better. I guess those springs where just old and lost its spring rate.

mj40's
12-06-2011, 11:42 PM
I'm in a little different dilemma. My Mustang II in my 40 pickup project came with 300# springs. I installed a 401 Buick Nailhead at 675 lbs. TCI exchanged the lighter springs for 375#. These are designed for big block cars. My problem is they are 14” tall and I have to stuff them into a 8 1/2” space. I attempted to install one today and even with the weight of the nailhead I could not get them to seat in the pockets right and the ball joints were cocked out of shape. I'm going to try a internal spring compressor tomorrow to see if that will work. I also changed the spindles from 2” drop to stock to raise the car some. If I do have to cut coils, I'm not looking to drop it much but just enough to get these damn things in there and still have the lower A arms ride level.

TubularGoose
12-06-2011, 11:46 PM
:cool:To far is just far enough.


But seriously my car rides like shit haha. the price you pay to look cool.

Snegrah
12-07-2011, 10:21 AM
thus defying the laws of physics....

This one got me!

Have a 53 Chevy coupe w/Mustang II. Had stock spindles and stock springs. Cut the stock springs 1 full coil to lower it about 1.5 inches which made for a stiffer ride. Eventually went to 2" dropped spindles w/300# springs. Got the same height and a softer ride.

Pro - Cheap but may not work out to your satisfaction

Con - May not work out to your satisfaction

38Chevy454
12-07-2011, 09:57 PM
As the rest said, cutting is free except labor. It will increase the spring rate by the percentage of the coils you cut off. So if the stock coil has 10 coil windings and you remove 1 coil, it has a 10% stiffer rate. Remove 2 coils and the rate is 20% stiffer. The drop you get you can approximate by comparing the distance between coils when the car is sitting. The coil is about halfway between the A-arm pivot and the ball joints. So if the coil spacing is 1 inch, the drop for one coil is *about* 2 inches.

Cut the spring with a cutoff wheel for the best way. Do *not* heat with a torch to lower. This dows two bad things: it destroys the heat treatment in the spring, and it makes it change dimensions in non-uniform way. If you want to ruin your springs and your ride quality, then heat the springs. Or do it the right way and remove the springs first and cut a coil or so, then reinstall.

mj40's
12-08-2011, 12:00 AM
I'm in a little different dilemma. My Mustang II in my 40 pickup project came with 300# springs. I installed a 401 Buick Nailhead at 675 lbs. TCI exchanged the lighter springs for 375#. These are designed for big block cars. My problem is they are 14 tall and I have to stuff them into a 8 1/2 space. I attempted to install one today and even with the weight of the nailhead I could not get them to seat in the pockets right and the ball joints were cocked out of shape. I'm going to try a internal spring compressor tomorrow to see if that will work. I also changed the spindles from 2 drop to stock to raise the car some. If I do have to cut coils, I'm not looking to drop it much but just enough to get these damn things in there and still have the lower A arms ride level.

The internal spring compressor worked great but all this didn't work or look to well. With the stock spindles and the 375 springs it raised it another 5" and is 10" from pavement to bottom of the grill chin. Too high now.

skoh73
12-08-2011, 12:37 AM
Use the Aerostar springs for all of the reasons we have stated in the past. If you want the ass end lower afterwards use lowering blocks. Mine only lowered 2 inches- Just right for me.

George/Maine
12-08-2011, 07:41 AM
I had a 56ford pu mII frontend,guy said he put v8 mustang spring,has a 302 v8 and rode stiff and a arms were not level.
I took a hack saw and cut one full coil,it lowed now level but to low and went to larger tire.Maybe the 56 is nose heavy ,Mine went down NOT up.My spring maybe were olded Mustang v8 and not after market.