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Cutting front coil spring help

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rsil1972, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. rsil1972
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 17

    rsil1972
    Member
    from boston

    Hello all I need some advice I have a Buick special with front coil springs I'm looking to lower the front about 2 to 3 inches tops. Question is how much of the coil would I have to cut off to get it at this height and is it a good idea to do it this way if its done right. I've read multiple posts some people say go for it and some say its a bad idea. Let me know your thoughts and any advice would be great thanks
     
  2. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,076

    Torchie
    Member

    Cut off a coil and a half. Should get you close to where you want to be.
    I won't even get into the "don't cut your coils" debate.
     
  3. yblock292
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,937

    yblock292
    Member

    back in the days we would put the front tires up on cinder blocks, then put jack stands about 2 " under the frame, heat the springs untill the car settled on the jack stands , let i sit over night to cool, instant 2" drop! Got a couple i did still running around 67 chevy and 67 olds, still look good.
     
  4. BubbaG
    Joined: Aug 4, 2013
    Posts: 27

    BubbaG
    Member

    I've cut coils many many times. Generally one coil gives you about a 2" lower. You end up losing a bit of the ride quality because basically you're cutting of the "comfort" coil.

    Personally, I will never heat a coil. You kill the tempering that they have and if you get a little happy with the torch you're hooped. It doesn't take much to pancake a full coil spring. Then you have a poor poor quality ride.


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  5. roaddog
    Joined: Sep 26, 2005
    Posts: 80

    roaddog
    Member

    from my experience my advice would be cut half a coil at a time,try it and cut a quarter at a time as you go,if you cut too much you cant add to it,i know I did that with my first set.takes a little more time but you will be glad you did
     
  6. rsil1972
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 17

    rsil1972
    Member
    from boston

    thanks for the advice guys what would be one coil would I make a line straight down at the end tip of the last coil to make one does anyone have any pictures or videos to share...
     
  7. rsil1972
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 17

    rsil1972
    Member
    from boston

    I've alot of posts on don't cut your coils but I really don't see anything wrong with it only losing ride comfort which you lose anyways when you lower anything
     
  8. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,544

    oldsman41
    Member

    you didnt say what year buick you had, my olds weighs about 3400 lbs. i cut 1 full coil out and it dropped about an inch. if you have heavy front end or weak springs you might get more. however i would nt cut more than one coil at a time.drive it for awhile let it settle than cut again if needed.
     
  9. primed34
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 1,201

    primed34
    Member

    Don't cut over 2 coils or you'll kill the ride. I use a cut off wheel on a die grinder.
     
  10. hotrodpodo
    Joined: Jun 28, 2006
    Posts: 1,300

    hotrodpodo
    Member



    This is what I would do. Like roaddog said, you can always cut more off, but you can't put it back.
     
  11. rsil1972
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 17

    rsil1972
    Member
    from boston

    Good idea on cutting a little bit at a time..
     
  12. raff23089
    Joined: May 15, 2010
    Posts: 70

    raff23089
    Member

    Just cut the coils on the front of my 50 Plymouth. Took off a half coil put it back together and it was about 1 1/2 " lower, took it apart a second time and took off about a third of a coil and it was down close to 3". I used a cut off wheel. I would cut a bit at a time to be on the safe side.The ride is noticeably harsher but I can live with it. I might try a set of Aerostar springs over the winter. A few threads here discussing that.


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  13. BLAKE
    Joined: Aug 10, 2002
    Posts: 2,776

    BLAKE
    Member

    Exactly - start with 1/2 coil, and expect to install/remove/repeat multiple times as you nibble away smaller pieces to get it just right. Also, cutting coils from a spring will stiffen the ride.
     
  14. teddyp
    Joined: May 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,197

    teddyp
    Member

    i used the posie front springs that are 3" lowed and then cut a coil and ahalf that gave me 4 1/2 in the front on my 50 chevy i used the 3" on my 58 ford
     
  15. rsil1972
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 17

    rsil1972
    Member
    from boston

    Sounds like its safe to say taking off a full coil will drop it about 2 inches ?
     
  16. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,955

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    I've got one coil cut off my front springs (not a Buick) and plan to cut more but I'm curious about something: With the coil cut off I have lost the flattened end of the coil so now it does not sit in the seat even like it did before, the end of the coil hits first and foremost. Anyone do anything about this or just live with it?
     
  17. special-k
    Joined: Mar 24, 2009
    Posts: 45

    special-k
    Member

    I've lowered a couple of vehicles by cutting 1 turn off and I've always heated the last quarter turn or so of the spring and bent it down so the coil sits in the pocket nice. I had both vehicles for a long time after with no issues.
     
  18. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,955

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    Yes I suppose that's the thing to do. Even if it weakened the spring to the point of breakage it shouldn't cause a catastrophic result. Plus that section of the spring should be sitting in the pocket and not flexing like the mid coils.
     

  19. You should cut the end that isn't flat, need that flat area to seat properly, there is a recess for the end that isn't flat...
     
  20. zacattack
    Joined: Feb 29, 2012
    Posts: 27

    zacattack
    Member

    you could get them reset lower. any spring shop should be able to do it easy, then you don't sacrifice ride quality.
     
  21. peter schmidt
    Joined: Aug 26, 2007
    Posts: 660

    peter schmidt
    Member
    from maryland

    like said start with half a loop and go a quarter loop at a time from there take paint or somthing and make a line strait down it makes it easier to keep the cuts even
     
  22. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,930

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    Some times the only option is 1 or 2 and so on because of the spring seat.
    If you cut in 1/2 the end of the coil will not seat properly.
     
  23. hoop98
    Joined: Jan 23, 2013
    Posts: 1,362

    hoop98
    Member
    from Texas

    From Eaton http://www.eatondetroitspring.com/articles/cutting-coil-springs/

    So how are Tangential Coil Spring Ends cut?
    Using a torch is a great big No, No.
    Remember, heat is a spring’s worst enemy.
    The reason is it only takes 400 degrees F to start annealing spring steel. Anneal means the steel begin’s to soften and a soft spring can not hold up your vehicle. You, the spring owner, can not do anything to make a soft spring hard again. A heated spring is a ruined spring.
    A hacksaw or cutoff wheel is the best way to cut a Coil Spring.
    OK, you have Tangential End springs, a hacksaw, and are wearing safety goggles. Now how much do you want to cut off?
    The first thing you need to know is that cutting a coil spring will not only lower the vehicle, but it will also stiffen the spring making the ride and handling a bit firmer. But this is a good thing because lowering a vehicle reduces the amount of suspension travel. A stiffer spring will help reduce bottoming out.
    A safe place to start is by measuring how much you want to lower the vehicle. Then cut 1/2 that measurement off the length of the springs and reinstall them. Then take her for a drive, and drive it like you stole it to get the springs well worked and seated properly.
    Now check your ride height. If she’s still too high, repeat step 1 until you get the look you want.
    Remember, you can always take more off, but you can never make them longer
    What if you have Square or Pigtail Ends?
    Fear not, for chances are we have other Square or Pigtailed end springs already designed to give you the lowered ride you seek.
    How far can a coil sprung vehicle be lowered?
    We limit the amount of lowering to 2 Inches maximum. Why you ask? Because as a vehicle is lowered, the amount of travel left in the suspension before there is a jounce, metal to metal contact, condition is reduced also. Too much lowering can cause other parts of the vehicle to hit each other, and this would be a bad thing. So we say, and only do 2 Inches so this problem does not occur.
    And a final bit of advice: Don’t go perpetuating the old myth of touching a torch to them until she sinks to where you want her.
    You’ll end up not only with springs that are about as effective as marshmallows,
     
  24. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 21,293

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Something I gotta ask..... What's wrong with the stock ride height???....:rolleyes:
     
  25. 2racer
    Joined: Sep 1, 2011
    Posts: 960

    2racer
    Member

    McDonalds drive thru...
     

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