Spring Alingment - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-21-2004, 11:53 AM
93wagonman
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I just got done with my suspension rebuild and I am just about ready to take teh car in for an alingment. The car is sitting a little bit too high so I went through and checked everything. The only thing that is not right are my springs. The end of the spring (both sides is about the same) is about 1" past the second drain hole, is this the likely caouse of my height issue? Also short of taking the LBJ back out of the knucle and taking the weight off od the spring is there anyway to turn it?

Thanks
Nick
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-21-2004, 05:28 PM
Navy Lifer
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Nick,

For the problem you describe, it's certainly a start to get the springs where they are supposed to be.

No personal experience, but a few on Forum have stated that they were able to force the springs to rotate around to the correct position. You will need to raise the front of the car until suspension is in full "droop" and see if its possible to get any movement of the springs. Otherwise, your only choice is to pop a ball joint loose to relieve the load on the spring(s).
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 08:06 AM
93wagonman
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I read that post and it gave me great confidence. I couldn't turn them, so I took out the shock, and put clamps on the spring 180 degrees from each other. I then put a 2' pry bar through there and I still couldn't turn it.
I need to do some checking on these springs (these are not the springs I took out of the car) and make sure they are what I think they are. I will be taking them out next saturday so I can either put the old ones back in (stock cut 3/4 coil) or cut these and put them back in.
Thanks
Nick
 
post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 09:00 PM
coprice
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Nick,
Yes..!!! With the [front] springs indexed with coil end one inch past the second lower A arm hole the car will sit heigher. When the front spring is removed, you can look up into the upper frame spring pocket and see that WHEN the front springs are indexed correctly [lower coil end between the two holes of the A arm] that the upper coil end is exactly at the end of the deepest part of the upper spring pocket...

My best guess is that your car would sit 1/2" lower if the FRONT springs were indexed correctly... At the rear, index the lower coil end on center & facing to driver's side... Doing so will cause the rear spring lower coil end to be on the rear side of the axle...

I would recommend a redo of the indexing because your front springs are not sitting flatly against the upper spring perch...

Been there & done that twice now in the month of March...

Respectfully---George
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 09:02 AM
93wagonman
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Thanks George.
Ok so now I am a bit confused. I thought the spring perch (top pocket area) was flat? So if you cut say 3/4 of a coil off of a spring in order tpo lower the car would you then need to re-examine where you put the "end" of the spring on the LCA? If thi is the case, I must have gotten lucky the last time I put springs in this car.
I did not replace the rears, I just took out the air assist shocks and put in the severe service shocks along with air lift bags.
I bought some ZQ8 bump stops yesterday too and I am thinking about going back to my old springs, which are stock with almost 1 coil cut off of them.
Looking at the car with the ride height it is at now it just doesn't look right, even if it goes down half an inch from the properly indexing it will still be too high.
But please give me your .02 on the spring perch with a spring that has been cut so I put them in correctly.

Thanks
Nick
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-03-2004, 12:05 AM
coprice
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Nick,
Just saw your post & your point/question is a good one. I forget now which end [top or bottom] of a spring should be cut; someone please help here? TOP, I THINK..? I believe the lower coil is basically wound flat to sit into the A arm correctly; so it should not be cut.

Anyway, yeah, if you cut a spring it could very possibly throw the location & "clockwise" relationship of the ends off from each other from what they were originally. Good point & one I never thought about; especially cuttng more or less than one full exact coil...

I installed Hotchkis springs in my car 9C1 & helped my friend install same in his ImpalaSS. While doing so, I took a very good look [my car was torn apart for three months] up into the frame [upper spring perch]. It is not a completely flat area within the frame. It has a circular depression just outside of and around the set of stiffening tabs which face down from the frame. Those tabs hold the upper rubber/poly cushion as well as the spring in place; the shock absorber shaft passes up & through the center hole that these tabs encircle and finally through the upper most bolting hole in the very top of the fame [talking shock absorber shaft].

Part of the uppermost coil on the front springs sits down [up actually] inside this circular depression area. The deepest [3/8"~1/2"~3/4" deep?] part of this impression/depression is where the end of an original [and Hotchkis] spring is located when the bottom coil end is indexed properly on the lower A arm...

So, yeah... Just cutting & slapping springs into the car could cause the spring's upper coil end to not sit into the depression properly AND not fully lower the car to it's SPRUNG ride height... Beware..!

So, if I was going to cut my springs [anything other than exactly one full coil] then I would index the top coil end to this original depressed area [deepest part & the end of the depressed area]. The bottom would then fit wherever it wants to into the lower A arm and not necessarily between the two index holes.

You could verify & easily see what I mean by compressing a front spring with an internal type spring compressor and fitting it into the frame & lower A arm. Do so the first time without using the upper poly/rubber cushion & make up the ball joint & lower the car onto the suspension. It should then be easy enough to see exactly where your new lower coil index point would land.

I feel correct in these statements & hope my jabbering is understandable?
George
post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-03-2004, 09:30 AM
spaughman
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It is easy to "rotate" your front springs without taking anything apart. Just use one of those crappy spring compressors you can rent from autozone that go inside the spring when the susp. is in full droop. That will take just enough force off to let you rotate it.
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-03-2004, 11:33 AM
impala_1995_ss
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Nick,
Just rotate the springs so the end of the spring sit BETWEEN the 2 holes.
post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-03-2004, 02:23 PM
93wagonman
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I did, I got the ride height right finally, thanks. Interesting side note, I finally got it where I wanted it, had my new tires put on, got it aligned, picked it up and I think I blew the front seal out of the tranny before I even drove it 20 miles. Oh well. I will know more on Monday...
Thanks for the help.
Nick
post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-04-2004, 09:03 PM
ironroad9c1
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just a note guys the quickest and easiest way to change springs is with a floor jack ,2x4 block about 2 inches long place the block on the jack pad stick the floor jack pad under the inside of the a arm in the lip between the bushings support the arm and remove the 2 pivot bolts and the swaybar linkage and the shock ,no need to break apart the ball joint and tierod lower the arm after the bolts are out ,STILL BEING CAREFUL OF THE SPRING but its not as likely to spring out pop the old one out put the new one in place jack under a arm and reinstall its a peice of cake ,i can do both fronts in an hour
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