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BarrettN

High ride height - springs or ?

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I just got tires (185/70/13s on 13x5.5 rims) on my car, when I bought it the poor thing was sitting on four flats. Maybe it's just me, but to me it now looks like it sits really high. A PO put Bilstein HDs on it - given how high it sits I'd have thought it still has stock springs in it, but I don't see any paint marks on them. Is there any way (diameter of the spring, # of coils or height, gauge of spring material, or ?) to identify what springs I have? Is there some other factor that determines ride height I'm not taking into account - maybe the strut tops are put together wrong? 

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It looks like someone tightened the suspension bushes up when the car was lifted up and suspension at full droop. 

 

The rubber bushes then act like torsion springs and hold the car in that wheel down position. 

 

Loosen the bolts on the rear training arm bushes and front control arm bushes. Push the car around a bit and then retighten to the correct torque with the weight of the wheels (or jacked up on stands with a floor jack under the hub to lift the suspension to the normal ride height). 

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Remove #8 from the underside and place it topside on the fender panel. That would lower the ride height a tad but from the looks of it you will still be higher than spec

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Do you have an engine in there?

 

Because there is no way otherwise for the nose to be sitting that high on a stock spring...

 

t

 

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Plus one on what Simeon has said.  It's way too high just to be normal suspension.

  Some will argue this , but gas shocks and struts like Bilstein will raise the car slightly  only slightly. Certainly this is not the cause of what you are experiencing

Many other factors are involved in ride height   Number one is springs  Stock springs for your year car have a high ride height. Don't jump into changing springs until you get the car back to normal, then determine what to do next 

Since you have a 74, 75. or 76 with the 5 MPH bumpers, you may have 1/2 inch spacers under your front strut caps  This raised the car so that the front bumper height met the US DOT minimum for 5 MPH bumpers. These can be removed or placed on top of the strut where it mounts under the hood and the car will be lowered by 1/2 inch

In the rear, there can be three different thicknesses of rubber spring pads at the top of the  coil spring These are identified by 1, 2 or 3 dots on the side of the rubber pad . 1 dot is the thinnest  and 3 dots is the thickest.  Detailed (minor) adjustment of rear ride height can be achieved with the use of the spring pad that will rest the car where you want it.  Don't be surprised to find that you have  3 dot pads in your car.

If you want to lower the ride height of the car. , start with a matching set of sport springs that will lower the car by 1 to 1 1/2 inches   H@R are very popular  Eibacks are also good. 

Do a search on this and there will be a wealth of information

Old timers say you can cut your stock springs by 1 and 1/2 coil, but I don't recommend that. Springs do not have a uniform coil distance. The tops and bottoms have a tighter wind that make for a proper seating of the coil into the mounts. There is a lot of discussion on this issue too if you search..  

Best regards

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21 minutes ago, TobyB said:

Do you have an engine in there?

 

Because there is no way otherwise for the nose to be sitting that high on a stock spring...

 

t

 

 

+1

 

Here’s my ‘76 —stock springs and suspension, then and now — in April 1977 and July 2018. Yours looks appreciably higher....😯

 

Regards,

 

Steve

 

 

 

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I may have figured out the answer as to what caused this - I went back and looked at pictures from when it was just sitting on four flat tires, and it wasn't sitting this high - still kind of high, but not this far. The car sat 48 hours on jackstands with no weight on the suspension while I had the tires mounted. I guess sitting with no weight something bound up in the suspension. I'd kind of thought of this and did bounce the front of the car up and down some there in the driveway, but it didn't drop down any. 

 

I suspect that once I take ti out and drive it some it'll settle - if not, I'll follow Simon's advice and see what loosening the bushing mounts gets me.

 

I can't wait to have this girl running!

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If you had all 4 springs out, make sure the longer ones went in the rear.. just a thought.

Cheers,
Matt


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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3 minutes ago, Schnellvintage said:

If you had all 4 springs out, make sure the longer ones went in the rear.. just a thought.

Cheers,
Matt


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Good suggestion, I'll check which are longer - I have done very little on the car so far, this would have been done by the previous owner. 

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FYI about '02 springs:  US spec cars in model years before 1973 have springs that cause the car to sit about an inch lower than the 73-76 cars--due to Federal bumper height requirements (as separate from the crash requirements). 

 

I wondered for years why my '69 sat an inch lower than my '73 when both had completely stock suspensions.  That's when I found out about spring heights.  So a set of stock pre-73 springs would do some lowering.  

 

But in those pictures it looks like you have the uber rare 4x4 option!

 

mike

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How do the aluminum spacers factor in to this? The early cars had longer springs AND the longer 3/4 inch spacers?

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(edited)
18 minutes ago, Jimmy said:

How do the aluminum spacers factor in to this? The early cars had longer springs AND the longer 3/4 inch spacers?

 

My understanding is that the spacers were added to increase ride height for bumpers and headlights as regulations changed.

 

The early cars were lower.

Edited by irdave

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1 hour ago, irdave said:

 

My understanding is that the spacers were added to increase ride height for bumpers and headlights as regulations changed.

 

The early cars were lower.

 

I've read here on the faq that all US-spec 02s shipped with front strut spacers for headlight and/or bumper requirements (as per Federal/state enforcement) as of (some month) 1968. I thought that square tails got taller springs in addition to the strut spacers that all US-spec cars received, supporting the implementation of 5mph bumpers. I've not seen any documentation one way or the other so I can't corroborate it.

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15 hours ago, Jimmy said:

I've read here on the faq that all US-spec 02s shipped with front strut spacers for headlight and/or bumper requirements (as per Federal/state enforcement) as of (some month) 1968. I thought that square tails got taller springs in addition to the strut spacers that all US-spec cars received, supporting the implementation of 5mph bumpers.

You are correct. AFAIK all US spec 2002s came into the US from the very beginning in 1968 with those spacers.  My Feb 69 production car had 'em, and I've seen '68s with lower VINs than mine with 'em also.  I think (but am not sure) that those spacers had something to do with headlight height, not bumper height.  

 

The first bumper regs began with the 1973 models--thus the heavier bumper brackets that are unique to the 73s.  Those regs also mandated a height requirement, so 73s also have taller springs than the 68-72 roundies.  Then for the '74 model year, the bumper regs were revised:  impact requirements were doubled, from 2.5 mph to 5 mph, which actually increased the impact load by a factor of four (have an engineer explain that--I was a history major).  Thus the forged aluminum bumpers and reinforced bodywork on the US squarelights.  Thus stock US squarelights look even more like they're on tippytoes not only due to the taller springs, but the higher bumpers.

 

mike

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