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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read countless threads on lowering a wagon. I am selling my Impala SS to buy a wagon but... I am worried I will have trouble lowering it. I see threads about impala ss springs, gbody springs spindles and so on. If I got a wagon I want a nice static drop where I will have no trouble running ridler wheels 20x8.5 front 20x10 back.

Can anyone clear up on the easiest and best way to get the look of the wagon I have pictured. Whether it be just springs and drop shocks or whatever, I have seriously been reading thread after thread and my brain hurts...
 

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It sits about like mine. I would say the easiest way is to put 2 inch drop springs in the back, and 2 inch spindles and Impala or 1 inch drop springs in the front. If you feel cheap, cut the front springs a half coil to get the spring drop. The difference in stiffness will be negligible because you are only cutting about 5% of the spring off. Cut the triangle portion of the lower bump stop, or install ZO5 bump stops. You can not get as low in front as the picture without the spindles, and have sufficient travel to drive the streets. I have a set of 2 inch drop springs in the front, and had to put a spacer under them, or it hit every speedbump and parking lot/driveway entrance in town. I still nick a few with my exhaust pipe, and have landed on the frame a couple of times. I have one dent in the oil pan as well from bottoming. Your choice brands of springs is up to you, If they get you where you want to go, and you are not racing, the difference should be negligible in road feel. Most of your road feel will be in the shocks and sway bar.

If you use the Impala springs or the 1/2 coil cut springs in the front you should be able to remove .060" from the shim stacks to get rid of the negative camber caused by the approximate 1 inch drop of the Imp springs (measure the axle drop for exact shim removal 0.030" per 1/2" of drop after the 2 inch spindle drop). 3 inches with the spindles and springs equals 0.060 shim removal. 3.5 inches drop with the spindles and springs equals 0.090 shim removal. The replacement of the spindles does not require any modifications to any other parts, and your alignment will be within specs when reassembled. I would pull the arms and put bushings and balljoints in while you have it that far apart. You might consider a larger anti-rollbar while you are at it.

It should be pretty much straight forward. The only issue you will have is that the rear springs will fall out when you jack it to change tires. If you weld a piece of exhaust pipe to the top spring perch, it will keep the springs aligned when putting the car back down. You also can tiewrap the spring to the bottom seat to make sure it does not fall off. (If you put lowering (short) shocks on the front to limit down travel, you can jack the entire side of the car at the rear jack pad.) You should not put short shocks on the rear, because you need the travel to remove the rear tires if you have to change them.

Your
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It sits about like mine. I would say the easiest way is to put 2 inch drop springs in the back, and 2 inch spindles and Impala or 1 inch drop springs in the front. If you feel cheap, cut the front springs a half coil to get the spring drop. The difference in stiffness will be negligible because you are only cutting about 5% of the spring off. Cut the triangle portion of the lower bump stop, or install ZO5 bump stops. You can not get as low in front as the picture without the spindles, and have sufficient travel to drive the streets. I have a set of 2 inch drop springs in the front, and had to put a spacer under them, or it hit every speedbump and parking lot/driveway entrance in town. I still nick a few with my exhaust pipe, and have landed on the frame a couple of times. I have one dent in the oil pan as well from bottoming. Your choice brands of springs is up to you, If they get you where you want to go, and you are not racing, the difference should be negligible in road feel. Most of your road feel will be in the shocks and sway bar.

If you use the Impala springs or the 1/2 coil cut springs in the front you should be able to remove .060" from the shim stacks to get rid of the negative camber caused by the approximate 1 inch drop of the Imp springs (measure the axle drop for exact shim removal 0.030" per 1/2" of drop after the 2 inch spindle drop). 3 inches with the spindles and springs equals 0.060 shim removal. 3.5 inches drop with the spindles and springs equals 0.090 shim removal. The replacement of the spindles does not require any modifications to any other parts, and your alignment will be within specs when reassembled. I would pull the arms and put bushings and balljoints in while you have it that far apart. You might consider a larger anti-rollbar while you are at it.

It should be pretty much straight forward. The only issue you will have is that the rear springs will fall out when you jack it to change tires. If you weld a piece of exhaust pipe to the top spring perch, it will keep the springs aligned when putting the car back down. You also can tiewrap the spring to the bottom seat to make sure it does not fall off. (If you put lowering (short) shocks on the front to limit down travel, you can jack the entire side of the car at the rear jack pad.) You should not put short shocks on the rear, because you need the travel to remove the rear tires if you have to change them.

Your
Where are you buying the spindles from? and are the belltech drop shocks good? I appreciate your help :)
 

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Bell Tech in general has good stuff. I would feel comfortable with their products. I have Sprint springs on mine, and I forget what brand drop spindles. If I were to buy drop spindles again, I would get Bell techs. I believe that Bell Tech makes different drops in their springs. Cut stock springs should work well. You might have to experiment a little to get the exact height you want. Make sure you index them properly when you install them.
 

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It is not any more difficult than lowering an Imp. The pic you posted has the front lowered further than what a spring can accomplish. It also has a definite rake. To achieve the stance you said you wanted, it takes more than what you did to the Imp. You also have to work with about an extra 400 pounds, mostly in the rear of the car. The 400 pounds makes the rear sit a little lower with the same springs, and since it is partially behind the axle, it tends to negate some of the weight on the front. So it isn't harder if you do not want to make it harder, but the results for just springs will not give you the rake you want. It can be easy, and it can get harder, depending on your desires for the finished look you want.
 

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I owned the grey one in the pic, it was one I built for my Son, i fitted 2.75" rear springs, 2" front and 18" Coys rims. This was a daily driver and the car rode great (all down to the extra side wall on the 18" tires I believe.)

My current wagon has been a bit more of a challenge.
The same 20" Ridler set up that you are considering plus Beltech 2" drop spindles to the front and 2.75" Beltech springs to the rear.
I am getting rubbing to the front left and passenger rear so have just ordered new body bushes as I believe the body is not central to the frame. The next job will be to replace the lot and centre it hopefully relieving the rubbing and saving the tires!

 

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You do not have to replace the body bushings to center the body on the frame. You only have to loosen them, and pry the body around until it is straight, and retighten them. Lifting the body a little makes it a little easier if you use wheeled stands. You do not have to actually lift it off of the chassis, just take the pressure off. A good long prybar makes short work of it.
 

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You didn't say that they were dry rotted. If they are dry rotted, then by all means replace them. Refer to your FSM for replacement instructions. It is not a simple pull and replace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Awesome, thank you both! And Dub20 thanks for the pics I do believe my car will be sold next weekend and I will hopefully be getting into a 94 caprice and going with that exact setup.

I appreciate the help.

-Buddy-
 

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I just procured a set of impala SS rear springs and also bought the airlift 1000 kit. I'm curious to see what this will do when just the SS springs are replaced from the belltech ones. The car sits too low in the back for my taste (read: michigan roads). From what I have read, the SS springs are softer and will lower the car 1-2 inches, which should in my case, raise the car by about an inch or so and I can then use the airlift springs to compensate for the rest of the spring rate I'm missing with the SS springs.

My best option so far. Have no idea if it will work. Going to try and install this coming up weekend. I'll take pics.
 
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