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Pros and cons of cutting spring coils.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 53vicky, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. 53vicky
    Joined: May 18, 2009
    Posts: 916

    53vicky
    Member

    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?
     
  2. Slick Willy
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 2,951

    Slick Willy
    Member

    No matter how many times you cut em, they're still to short...
     
  3. Mattilac
    Joined: Oct 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,114

    Mattilac
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    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.
     
  4. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 7,836

    flatheadpete
    Member

    What kinda car?
     
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  5. special-k
    Joined: Mar 24, 2009
    Posts: 35

    special-k
    Member

    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.
     
  6. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,362

    rd martin
    Member
    from indiana

    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.
     
  7. Bad Bob
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 23,771

    Bad Bob
    Member
    from O.C. Baby

    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.
     
  8. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 7,836

    flatheadpete
    Member

    What kinda car?
     
  9. Bad Bob
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 23,771

    Bad Bob
    Member
    from O.C. Baby

    I think it's probably the Ford in his avatar...
     
  10. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 7,836

    flatheadpete
    Member

    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!
     
  11. Al Von
    Joined: Nov 19, 2005
    Posts: 258

    Al Von
    Member

    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!
     
  12. agshelby
    Joined: Jan 6, 2010
    Posts: 261

    agshelby
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    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.
     
  13. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,145

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  14. Bad Bob
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 23,771

    Bad Bob
    Member
    from O.C. Baby

    I wouldn't do anything til after the engine is in.
     
  15. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 26,319

    squirrel
    Member

    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.
     
  16. BOWTIE BROWN
    Joined: Mar 30, 2010
    Posts: 3,256

    BOWTIE BROWN
    Member

    I thought you might have to cut a complete coil to make fit back right. Man i feel lost .
     
  17. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,845

    carcrazyjohn
    Member
    from trevose pa

    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.....
     
  18. metalix_421
    Joined: Mar 24, 2010
    Posts: 890

    metalix_421
    Member

    you can messure twice and cut twice if needed just go a little at a time.
     
  19. morac41
    Joined: Jul 23, 2011
    Posts: 233

    morac41
    Member

    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......
     
  20. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,053

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    Shit you guys have some real Nazi's in your government!!
     
  21. morac41
    Joined: Jul 23, 2011
    Posts: 233

    morac41
    Member

    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...
     
  22. 53vicky
    Joined: May 18, 2009
    Posts: 916

    53vicky
    Member

    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
     
  23. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 26,319

    squirrel
    Member

    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.
     
  24. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 25,737

    porknbeaner
    Member

    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.
     
  25. George/Maine
    Joined: Jan 6, 2011
    Posts: 956

    George/Maine
    Member

    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.
     
  26. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 26,319

    squirrel
    Member

    thus defying the laws of physics....
     
  27. Ranunculous
    Joined: Nov 30, 2007
    Posts: 2,434

    Ranunculous
    Member

    If you reverse the "U" blocks,will these lift also?
     
  28. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 25,737

    porknbeaner
    Member

    yea everyone knows that you heat them to get a softer ride.:p
     
  29. 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...
     
  30. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 2,977

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

    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. Gasket/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.
     

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