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Discussion Starter #1
I haven’t logged onto the Impalassforum in a long time, but I still look when I need information. My name is Black Caprice. I am writing for a suggestion on a set of front springs for my Caprice.

The car is a 1995 Caprice with a 5.7 model B4U. The codes are FE3, and the spring codes are 6TS and 7TN. The passenger side height to the center of the wheel trim is 29”. The car has 159,000 miles, the chassis is rusty but not broken anywhere. The driver side front spring has broken. I would like to replace just the front springs & shocks, to keep cost low. The car is a daily driver in upstate New York with road salt and ruff paved roads. With replacing the front spring with a basic stock replacement, I fear would result in the front sit higher than the rear. I first thought get a set of new stock SS springs, but I see they are not made.

In asking for input on a suggested spring, I am asking for a lower spring (approximately 1” lower), trying for height to end match aged rear stock springs. I am not looking for any huge change in stiffness (higher or lower). The car has stock size 235/70/15 tires on 8” rally wheels. I realize what is provided for a suggestion may not be perfect (I don’t know what perfect what be) in height but I believe it will not end up significantly higher in the front than the rear. I plan to use the Monroe Severe Service Shocks.

I am also asking for alignment spec. recommendation. The forum used to have 3 different recommendations and last I looked for that it was lost.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions. I believe I have attached enough information.

Alan
 

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I tried your way on a 76 Cutlass and the results were not good. The front was new and firm and the back was soft and bouncy, I know it is not my money but I would recommend new coils and shocks all around. At a minimum do the shocks so the front and back have a similar damping rate. Your tires are (I think) the maximum stock size and that should be considered when lowering a car.


Sorry I do not know who on the forum wrote this:

Specification (deg) Tolerance (deg)
Front Left Camber -0.25 0.25
Front Right Camber -0.25 0.25
Front Cross Camber N/A 0.25
Front Caster 4.00 0.50
Front Cross Caster N/A 0.50
Front Total Toe 0.00 0.06
Rear Camber 0.00 0.50
Rear Total Toe 0.00 0.12
Thrust Angle 0.00 0.25
Don't let your dealer con you into charging you extra for setting these specifications up. If he can't/won't do it, then go somewhere else. You'll immediately notice a difference in handling, response and tracking once you get the alignment dialed in correctly. Also, note that all of the above specifications are well within factory tolerance, so there shouldn't be any issue with warranty or liability.
 

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https://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/17-suspension/258165-alignment-snafu.html


Tire & Wheel Alignment Specifications For The 94-96 B-Body



GM Factory Service Manual Alignment Specifications For 15x7 Wheels & OEM 70 Series Tires.
Here's some improved, more precise alignment specifications for 17" wheels/tires and others larger than stock 15" wheels/70 series tire size.


FRONT

Caster


Left.............................................3.25° +/- 1.0°


Right...........................................3.75° +/- 1.0°


Cross Caster.....................................0.50° +/- 0.7°


Camber.............................................0.0° +/- 1.0°


Cross Camber....................................0.0° +/- 1.5°


Individual Toe.................................0.08° +/- 0.1°


Total Toe.........................................0.16° +/- 0.2°


Steering Wheel Angle.......................0.0° +/- 2.5°


REAR


Thrust Angle..................................0.00° +/- 0.15°

FRONT

Caster


Left...........................................4.00° +/- 0.50°


Right.........................................4.00° +/- 0.50°


Cross Caster...................................N/A° +/- 0.50°


Camber...........................................0.25 +/- 0.25°


Cross Camber.................................N/A° +/- 0.25°


Individual Toe...............................0.00° +/- 0.00°


Total Toe.......................................0.00° +/- 0.06°


REAR


Camber.........................................0.00° +/- 0.50°


Total Toe.......................................0.00° +/- 0.12°


Thrust Angle..................................0.00° +/- 0.25°


Not for use with 60 series tires.
Don't let your dealer con you into charging you extra for setting these specifications up. If he can't/won't do it, then go somewhere else. You'll immediately notice a difference in handling, response and tracking once you get the alignment dialed in correctly. Also, note that all of the above specifications are well within factory tolerance, so there shouldn't be any issue with warranty or liability.
 

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You can get coils of known pedigree at a JY, and ain't none cheaper than there if cost is key. Off an Impala SS would be a coup, but I should think 25-year old sacked out Caprice suitable - if cost is key.


For new, have you checked the coil stickie and suspension stickie - and all the other related threads?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have read numerous threads, the stickies at the top. As I am unaware of the specs of my stock springs it is hard to go from.

Looking up my spring codes of 6TS & 7TN in the one factory sheet it is mid firm for sedan and firmest for wagon. Now looking at Moog stock replacement the 8000 is the replacement for the wagon. So using the 8000 specs and the Excel sheet ( I apologize I don't recall who created), and using his weight of 2290 or the weight shown for the 8000 spring of 2555. The springs that are slightly lighter in spring rate are 586 which would drop .41" and the 8002 which would drop .61".

So the 586 and the 8002 I am intrigued with. Does anyone have the stock specs for the FE3 suspension or the 6TS & 7TN springs? That is the only thing I can think might help in finding slightly lower springs. Remember ideally I am only looking for the car to sit fairly level with the aged rear springs.
 

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Not sure which rev of spreadsheet I left at here, but I at work I'm up to Rev D1 or later. Both the 586 and 8002 would be lower that stock SS springs, according to the math. Where as the 584 would be 1/2" higher than an SS at the wheel well.


Also, unless you're looking to save the originals, nothing wrong with cutting them. Then you're just about guaranteed to get the drop you want.


If the .2" difference between each spring in the GM chart holds true through out the range, we can probably figure out what your springs started out as.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not sure which rev of spreadsheet I left at here, but I at work I'm up to Rev D1 or later. Both the 586 and 8002 would be lower that stock SS springs, according to the math. Where as the 584 would be 1/2" higher than an SS at the wheel well.


Also, unless you're looking to save the originals, nothing wrong with cutting them. Then you're just about guaranteed to get the drop you want.


If the .2" difference between each spring in the GM chart holds true through out the range, we can probably figure out what your springs started out as.
The reason I am replacing the front springs is one is broken in 2 places, so saving or using them I don't think is a reasonable option.

The springs on the trunk label are 6TS and 7TN, if you or anyone can get the specs on the original springs would be greatly appreciated.

I am looking for a lower spring for the front, as the original rear I believe have settled some (what amount I have no idea). My goal is to not have the replacement front springs have the car sit higher in the front than rear and to have similar (or slightly stiffer) ride that the car has.

The paved roads I typically drive are very rough, wash board would be an understatement. This is mentioned to give more information for better guidance and suggestions.
 

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I know this isn't much help, but it's all I could find about your springs.
6TS Spring - Computer Selected, FRT, LH
7TN Spring - Computer Selected, FRT, RH
I got it from here: Caprice Classic dot COM -- Some SPID codes for 9C1 Caprice's
My thought is you're going to have to rely upon the wisdom on this forum.
Best of luck.

Mark: Snowman-33
 

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Ok, did some updating on my spreadsheet to add in the GM springs. The info of 0.2 inches per spring looks to hold pretty true.


A TN spring would be 440 lbs/in @ 16.84" for an installed height of 12.09
A TS spring would be 440 lbs/in @ 16.64" for an installed height of 11.89
all things being equal


For reference, the factory impala spring has a 11.31 installed height in my latest spreadsheet. If the one you're looking at has that number at the top, then the quoted heights would be right. Older spreadsheets would have different numbers.


So, if you want an inch drop as stated, you'd be looking for a roughly 11.39-11.59 installed height.
 

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Get a set of original springs from the junk yard. You can get all 4 for less than a pair of new ones. Rears are easy to replace. You then have a set that matches. If you want the front to be lower, cut a half coil off of the front springs.
 

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Lol Fred - eveil minds think alike. That crackpot on Post #4 thought eggzakry the same. Trying for the life of me to figgure what the criticalityness of .2" cross-car ht. diff. (minus desired 1") is worth trying to replicate on a 25-year old Chevy driver.



For the OP, seems pretty assured you're going to better your current position considering a double broke coil. Why not figure the first set of replacements won't be PERFECT, but anything you get (as we're both saying) will be cheap for a Caprice from a JY and put you close. If you must, then cut from there (about 1/3 coil for 1"). If it makes you feel better I did 3 R&Rs with the originals cut and then 2 other sets of coils before settling on "perfect" for one of my cars.
 

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I try to get all my parts from the JY, unless I can get them for cheaper, which is seldom. I get springs from the local JY for about $13 each, so that makes all 4 about $52. If I consider paying myself $50 per hour, I can get them for an hour's work, so the total is $103 for all 4. If you only make $15 per our it is $68. A pair of new front springs is about $45 plus shipping from Rock Auto. Rears are about $60 plus shipping. So, you get good used springs for the out of pocket cost of about half, or less, than of a set of 4 new ones. If you only get the front ones, you can get 2 sets for experimentation.

I do respect their ability to cause injury, and am careful removing them.

96 Black, I guess eggzakry is a personal twisted way of saying exactly, sort of like me calling a Prius a Prissius.
 

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eggzakry = just lo-brow humor, plus I had them on my mind as I had them poached on toast with mustard/mayo and leftover v.v.v. rare strip steak this morning. = yum. Copy all on the Prissius. The relatively new DIL had been postmistress for a bodunk town and all gravel roads. She got 240k out of hers, which (I had to admit privately) is impressive for that little spud. But, I told her now that she's in the family there are certain "expectations" regarding quality of life. It took a bit but 6 months ago they got a loaded up Caravan, and the nasty little Toyota is getting auctioned this month.



For the OP, if the detailed info in the stickies and related threads, and what has already been responded on here are not enough for a confident decision, then it's try your own luck with new, or hit the JY. If you buy used just be certain that the seller provides reliable provenance. Then there's the shipping cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
91ss could you post a link to your most recent spread sheet? And what is the front weight I should use in it for comparison?

I have said that I believe the rear springs have settled and I don't have a clue how much. This is why I am trying for a slightly lower replacement front spring. The pick a part jy is over an hour away and if the one caprice is not a FE3 suspension I would end up with a way softer spring.

I keep reading and rereading the threads. I see the Moog 7268 is recommended to use a softer shock not a Monroe Severe Service shock, more of a regular type replacement.

I do appreciate all the information that everyone is posting.
 

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Alan! Long time no see. Any interest in my stock SS springs? They’re still in my car, but if you have a little time they could be yours. I just need time to swap them (and everything else under there) out and this could be the impetus that gets that project done. Let me know.

Luc
 

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91ss could you post a link to your most recent spread sheet? And what is the front weight I should use in it for comparison?

I have said that I believe the rear springs have settled and I don't have a clue how much. This is why I am trying for a slightly lower replacement front spring. The pick a part jy is over an hour away and if the one caprice is not a FE3 suspension I would end up with a way softer spring.

I keep reading and rereading the threads. I see the Moog 7268 is recommended to use a softer shock not a Monroe Severe Service shock, more of a regular type replacement.

I do appreciate all the information that everyone is posting.
PM me an email and i'll send it tomorrow. Not sure how well attaching files is working on this site these days.
The weight in it was one user's measured weight minus estimate/measured front end components. It's good enough getting a comparison and relative change. Your weight should be about the same.


If you could measure how tall the rear springs are as installed, then we'd have a better idea. Sliding under the car can be tough :) A tape measure reading from perch to perch. Or bottom of upper coil to top of lower plus coil thickness twice works too. An SS sits at about 10.2" My 91 with SS springs and uninflated airbags is 10.5. And only has single exhaust so could account for the 0.3 inches easily. I only measured left side.
 

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Alan! Long time no see. ....

Luc

Well dam! Looks like we hyjacked your thread long enough to get a friend's attention. lol I'd jump on that quick, especially at that attractive price - and pedigree. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
No one hijacked a thread. All information keeps me looking at more options. As I mentioned the pick a part has 1 b body and the odds of it being a FE3 suspension are not good, plus the yard is over an hour away.

I did call my friend, the number I have may not be good. I pm'd him this morning to get his number and a time to call.

I also pm'd for the spring spread sheet this morning.

My dad whose garage I would use doesn't want me to replace the springs myself because of the possible danger with a spring. So I will be hiring this out, which explains why I am leaning towards a new pair.

As I have said I read the forum postings before posting. Once I saw what someone would think to be easy and is not is why I posted.

I appreciate all the input and options presented. Once I figure out what I will do I will post that.

I look forward to all additional comments.
 

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I respect your dad's regard for safety, and depending on his prior experience specifically with a coil R&R I'd have to defer recommending whether to recommend you follow his lead or strike out and go ahead on your own - in your own driveway. While the job may not be considered 'easy', it is rather simple which makes it better able to safely prepare for in terms of focus and collecting the proper tools. And for what you're going to pay a shop, there's no better way to use those same $$$ to begin or add to a credible tool collection for all your future projects.



I personally would not start without the minimum of rolling floorjack, 3-ton stands, a 6' align bar, and a decent complement of handtools. Most libraries have FSMs you can copy pages from, and there's got to be a million YouTubes. Most parts houses have a 'deposit rent for free' for the needed coil compressor and ball joint pickle fork. All pretty straightforward stuff.
 

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I have swapped out numerous springs. It is not as dangerous as some would have you believe. If you have an issue while doing the work, you can call me at 727-692-5510. Have a second car available in case you need to get parts, or tools while yours is out of commission.

If you treat the springs with due respect, they will not hurt you. You need an internal compressor for the front, and an external for the rear. I have put springs in without a compressor. Your main issue will be removing rusted bolts. With the rust issues you say you have, if you can get new bolts and nuts for everything you loosen, it will be easier to put it back together. Remember the isolators on the tops of the springs.

There are some tricks that make swapping them easier, but it is a lot to write.
 
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