There were a couple of threads on the VMF that indicated that binding in the lower control arm bolts could cause a car to ride high but I was certain that this was pretty unlikely since I'd had the car aligned and one of the adjustments was the LCA eccentric bolt which would have had to be loosened to be adjusted and then re-tightened all while the car was sitting with it's weight on the wheels. So, the bottom line is that even though I bought supposed 1" drop 560 springs, there's still some fine tuning to get the old girl sitting up straight.
So, how to "adjust" springs? Some guys take a torch and heat the suckers till they drop, some guys buy new springs that are a bit shorter, and some guys just cut the top coil off the spring. Well, it turns out that I'm the kind of guy that has an angle grinder that I've never been afraid to use so I popped a fresh cutting wheel on my trusty DeWalt and revved it menacingly.
The first question was, "how MUCH coil to cut?". To answer that, I had to crawl under the car and measure the distance between (compressed) coils. The fraction of that distance would earn me the net drop in the front of the car. The second question was, "how much higher is the front than the back?". This was answered by measuring the distance from my garage floor to the top of the wheel arch of the well opening. My front was almost exactly 1" higher in the front fender than the rear wheel well (25 1/4" for the front and 24 1/4" for the rear).
I reasoned that a small amount of error too low would give the car a little rake while not quite enough would still be better than the 1" as it currently was. A win-win! The magic number for 1" drop turned out to be 1/2 coil.
|Standing proud with her nose in the air.|
|This side shot in front of an awesome vintage "Flying A" gas station shows the higher front fairly well|
|Front: 25 1/4"|
|Rear: 24 1/4"|
I left the fenders on for the surgery but had to remove the shock tower caps and shocks to get the spring compressor in and the springs out. Because I have a internal compressor that I had built for removing the front suspension which bolts to the spring perch, those perches had to come out as well.
Once the springs were out, I marked off 1/2 of a coil with a wrap of masking tape and let the sparks fly. I copied the bevel of the cut edge from the original coil end and painted the exposed steel black.
|Removed the spring covers to gain access to the victim|
|Shock removed and spring compressor ready to go.|
|Lower end of the spring compressor on the perch.|
|Spring is out and marked for the cut.|
|After the cut|
|After "dressing" the end.|
The springs were then re-installed and the height was measured again which came to 25 1/2. Dang it, 1/4" too high but still an improvement. I decided to see if driving the car would help to "settle the springs" another 1/4" or so before repeating the process.
|Front: 24 1/2"|
|My lovely models (wife, Kelly and dog, Angel) showing off the car's new stance.|