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Discussion Starter #1
First time I called them they told me that their springs won't work well with adjustable Konis or HALs because both shocks are way too soft. They only work with the special Bilsteins Hotchkiss sells. I overlooked this as just someone trying too hard to make a sale.
However, here's what they told me today:
1) Hotckis tech support: How high the frame sits from the ground has nothing to do with the compressed height of the spring.
Correct answer: Spring compressed height determines lower control arm angle and therfore frame-to-ground distance.
2) Hotchis tech support: The static ride height of a car depends on the shock used and the condition of the shock.
Correct answer: I don't think so unless the shock is too long or too short or bent/stuck in overextended or compressed state.
3) Hotchis tech support: Hotchkiss springs make Impala/Caprice sit perfectly level, the rear is no higher than the front. The guy told me that he has done "several" Impalas.
Correct answer: Not based on what I have seen.
4) Hotchkis tech support: Since you have aftermarket rear trailing arms, the aftermarket trailing arms are pushing the rear up and the nose down. We cannot guarantee desired results when AFTERMARKET parts are used.
Correct answer: Aftermarket? This is an aftermarket parts manufacturer bitching about aftermarket parts. I thought that this was reserved for the dealer warranty people. And since neither spring seat is located on the trailing arms, the trailing arms are just there to locate the axle.
I keep thinking there was still something else, but I cannot remember right now.
Tim
 
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After reading all the points and the reply to each from Hothckis, I would say that Hotchkis is right on the money every time (except on the use of other brand shocks). As for the ride height being "level" with their springs, I guess they are correct if by being level they mean that the wheel wells are all the same distance from the ground. Mine are all at around 26 1/4" as measured at the center of the wheel with the Hotchkis set. On a side note, the Edelbrock shocks I have on the car will be changed to Bilsteins when the time comes because of the ride quality with the Hotchkis springs.
 
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NO! The strange claims are what a guy working Hotchkis tech support tried to tell me yesterday. The answers are from me. I changed my original post a bit to make that even more clear.
Thanks,
Tim
What size tire are you using?
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, that guy on the tech line really WAS pretty clueless!

Guess he'd be shocked to find out just how stiff a HAL on "full stiff" really is, eh?

As for #2 (static ride height depending on which shock is used) there IS a little truth to that . I'm sure THAT was an accident on their part though :D. Namely, high pressure gas shocks (i.e. Bilstein) will make the car sit a LITTLE higher than low pressure designs (i.e. Koni or HAL). It's not much......less than 1/4" in my experience on the B-bodies......but it does exist.
 
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BackInBlack:

I received a phone call today from John Hotchkis asking me to ask you who you talked to?? He wants to know so he can send that person to remedial training.

No joke this is for real he did call and needs a name. Please post or e-mail it directly to me.
 
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Tom,
Wow, I'm impressed! Unfortunately, I did not ask for a name. He sounded fairly young, if that can help any.
I called to find out what the ride height is supposed to be and how much settling they consider normal over time. And yes, he actually tried to tell me that spring height does not effect how close to the ground the frame sits. I believe that I convinced him of the correct answer (or he already knew, I hope).
The part about AFTERMARKET trailing arms causing problems really killed me. :D
I did get this info from him: 1/8" settling over time at the most. They are willing to check my springs, but I have to pay freight both ways.
Ed,
I neglected the gas pressure effect because the car weighs quite a bit. However, just a few minutes ago I played with one of the original De Carbon rear shocks and it took about 30 lb to keep that one compressed (could be different for a new shock). I didn't realize it was quite that much. However, all of these shocks will "push" by some amount, so only the difference between different shocks counts, just like you said. (I don't know how big the diffence between Bilstein, Koni and De Carbon is).
Thanks,
Tim
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Oops, left something out. The first time I called and someone there told me that Konis and HALs are too soft was quite a while ago so I'm not sure if that was the same person I talked to recently.
Tim
 
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