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Hot Rods Lowering 65 El Camino

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Cubic Inches, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. Cubic Inches
    Joined: Oct 10, 2019
    Posts: 9

    Cubic Inches

    I've been looking at lowering springs for my 65 El Camino. I want to give it the "STANCE". It's all stock suspension right now.Would like to hear what others think is the best way. Also what problems might i encounter, etc. ? What has been your experiences? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance. 1010191407_2 (1).jpg
     
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  2. Cubic Inches
    Joined: Oct 10, 2019
    Posts: 9

    Cubic Inches

  3. Cubic Inches
    Joined: Oct 10, 2019
    Posts: 9

    Cubic Inches

    I want my Red Elco' to sit like this black one above. ^^^^
     
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  4. Coil spring specialties..tell how far ya wanna drop it, what motor ya have...send them the money and install
     
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  5. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,703

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    When I was a kid and we lowered our Chevelles, we just cut the stock springs. No fancy-schmancy new coils or dropped spindles. We also removed the rectangular block from the frame that the rubber bouncer would hit on so we could go that much lower. All of this done with a torch and cutoff wheel. Mine was a '67 but I'm thinking yours should be pretty much the same.

    Sometimes we went too low. I remember we cut a bit more once, and then could roll a pop can down the street with the front crossmember. For your truck I'd recommend starting with cutting a half coil, then drive it for a couple days to see if you like it (it will take a few miles to settle). You can always cut more, but it's really hard to glue a coil back on.

    Wheel offset and tire size will get trickier the lower you go. Might want to do the dropping and find the optimal tire size with some spares before you order the good ones.

    An alignment will be required when done. Finding a shop might be hard, as many of them need to clamp onto the wheels and your wheelwells could be in the way of the equipment. An old-fashioned shop with drive-on plates will be hard to find, but could do the job easily.
     
  6. If you are thinking about disc brakes, it would be the time to go with dropped spindles that have the disc brake mounts built in. May or may not have some additional lowering via shorter coil springs. If not disc, then I agree just cut the stock coils. You may need to reduce the bump stop to allow for more susp travel. I have cut many stock coils, the spring rate will increase proportionately to the amount of coils cut: i.e. if you have 10 coils and cut off 1 coil, the spring rate will be 10% stiffer. Stiffer is usually good for lowered cars.
    Don't heat the coils with a torch while on the car, that will just screw them up. Remove the coil springs and use a cutoff wheel to remove the amount of coil needed.
    My old 60 El Camino lowered with just cut coils for an example:
    DSCF0018.JPG
     
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  7. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,862

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

  8. Cubic Inches
    Joined: Oct 10, 2019
    Posts: 9

    Cubic Inches

    I'll check it out.Thanks !
     
  9. Cubic Inches
    Joined: Oct 10, 2019
    Posts: 9

    Cubic Inches

    OK Thank you buddy.! Love your ride
     
  10. Cubic Inches
    Joined: Oct 10, 2019
    Posts: 9

    Cubic Inches

    Thanks for the detailed info..!
     
  11. Cubic Inches
    Joined: Oct 10, 2019
    Posts: 9

    Cubic Inches

    Thanks for the link.!!
     
  12. Cubic Inches
    Joined: Oct 10, 2019
    Posts: 9

    Cubic Inches

    Cool.Thank you !!
     
  13. cmarcus
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 948

    cmarcus
    Member

    Hey @38Chevy454, just curious how many coils you cut out on your Elky? I am getting ready to do my 63 Olds 98 Custom Sport Coupe (I understand, a lot bigger car), but looking for about a 3" drop. I am think 1-1/2 coils? Thoughts?
     
  14. Been many years, about 10 or more since I did that, but it was at least 1.5 coils. Maybe 2 full coils? I did trim the bumpstop as well since at static height it was almost no travel.
    You can sort of estimate the drop by measuring the coil distance when car weight is sitting on the springs, and then (assuming the spring is approx in middle of lower control arm) the drop will be about two times whatever the amount of coil cut due to the pivot point (inner bushings) vs the spring cup and the bushings to the ball joint. Example: if the coils spacing is 1.5 inches, then drop will be approx 3 inches. But in reality it comes out a little less than 3 inches because the spring rate increases after you cut the coils. So you kind of have to trial and see where it ends up. The spring may also be slightly toward the ball joint so the effective multiplier is less than 2.
     
  15. I used the ones from OPG. 2" drop with variable rate. I'm very happy with them. It's the red one in my avatar.
     
  16. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 894

    6sally6
    Member

    Anybody got an answer for this one??!........How much would it drop to just put coils from a SIX cylinder powered Elky under a V-8 one? Wouldn't destroy the ride(softer) AND sit low enough to get STANCE!!!
    Just a thought.
    6sally6
     
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  17. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 5,802

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Got no answer for that one but I can tell you what happens when you put a big block in a small block camaro without changing the springs and it isn't a happy story. Looked cool sitting still.
     
  18. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 15,784

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    772EB18D-A5EA-4299-975E-51427FC78D33.jpeg 64DA8E98-B643-4164-AF27-174643A1B0A8.jpeg It was the first thing I did, the instant I got a new car home was pull the front springs and cut them. I can tell you from experience that 1/2 coil does nothing. The first wrap of the spring is so tight that you don't lose much spring height until you get past one full wrap. I would cut 1 1/2 or 2 coils depending on the car. Also when you cut the snubber make sure you don't just cut it off flat. Reshape the top so it looks like it did. This way when it hits it will hit soft and not hard..../ cut springs are traditional and there is nothing wrong with it. My impala has been running on cut springs for the 36 years I have owned it and drives like a dream....
     
  19. ffr1222k
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 1,068

    ffr1222k
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I lowered my El Camino and Olds Cutllass with Eibach springs from Summit. They sit about like the black one you referenced.
     
  20. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,511

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    A friend in high school had one. We lowered it with S10 springs up front but I don't recall what we used in the rear. Ended up not low enough so we cut a coil. It sat right!
     
  21. cmarcus
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 948

    cmarcus
    Member

    Thanks Mark, this helps I did a 64 Caddy a few years back, and I think we only took like 1/2 coil out, and to your point, it didn't do much. Thinking I will go for a full 2 as the springs are very tall, and looking for a solid 3" drop.
     
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  22. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 15,784

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    you might try 1.5 rounds first and see.......
     
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  23. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,703

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    As I said above, you can always cut more but it’s hard to glue it back on.
     
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  24. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 693

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    Mark at SC&C has the perfect springs for the GM A Body. They are 1" lower then "original" factory. Todays so called original factory springs re always 2 or 3 inches higher then true factory.. He did a lot of work on these springs making them perfect so these cars can look handle best..
    https://scandc.com/product/spc-performance-springs-68-72-gm-a-body/

    Everything I ever read or heard says to stay away from dropped spindles because they leave a lot of better handling at the table compared to lowering thru springs and suspension.. Especially when you take into account how easy it is to cut a half coil off a spring.. The weird thing about cutting coils is its not linear, cut a quarter coil and it drops 1/2", cut another quarter coil and it drops and inch, take another quarter off and it drops 1/4".. lol
    Every time I cut coils, it always would drop a little more in a few months, so if you have it almost there but its still a little too high stop and give it some time.. Cutting the coil changed the whole dynamics of the spring and it will reset itself..
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
  25. If you really want to improve handling on the A-body suspension, it requires a taller spindle with increased distance between the ball joints. In the older days the second gen F-body spindles were adapted and required some additional work to put it all together. Now you can buy aftermarket spindles that are bolt-on and have the better geometry and taller ball joint spacing, and give dropped height all at the same time.
     
  26. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 5,728

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    Nice looking El Camino.. Your tires look to big and your rims look to wide to lower it much.. I would go with some nice narrower steelies and smaller tires to tuck them under the fender with dog dish caps and cut 1 1/2 coils....
     
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  27. Hren59
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 77

    Hren59
    Member

    That impala looks so good !
     
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  28. I agree with the "cut springs" suggestions above. I have cut way more springs than I have replaced with dropped ones in both GM A-body cars and lots of pickups. Depending on how much I cut, I typically had to modify bump stops, but never had issue with ride or tire wear after someone that knows what they are doing aligning lowered vehicles aligns them. Most folks I know that installed "dropped" springs were not happy with the actual ride height and they spent more than I did on just cutting a couple coils off...
     
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  29. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,154

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It’s 55 years old, it should have sagged enough to be just right on it’s own.
     
  30. cmarcus
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 948

    cmarcus
    Member

    Thanks Jeff, that is EXACTLY where my head is at. I figure cut out 1 1/2 to start after some more thinking, as I am sure they have sagged a bit as @jimmy six mentions. If it rides right, zero dollars out of my pocket and a win win. I need to get the control arms apart anyways on the front for new bushings, so no additional time lost either. I would hate to end up in a situation where I spent $700 and am not happy with it.

    Sorry @Cubic Inches to have jacked your thread, but I think we are after the same thing!!
     

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