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View Full Version : I wanted it low, but this is ridiculous.



PT Goat
03-15-2008, 08:03 PM
Finally got my GTO on the ground and it's just too damn low up front. So low that I'm wondering if something is wrong. I've got 1.5" of ground clearance at my downpipes (with R/A manifolds, not even headers), and just about 2" at my scattershield. I can't get my low-pro aluminum jack under the frame or even past the front swaybar. That's low! It looks great, but I sure can't drive it this way.

Here's my current front setup: SPC upper and lower arms with Howe tall balljoints on stock spindles. Eibach springs and Hotchkis shocks (as recommended by SC&C). The balljoints lowered the car .75", springs are 1-2", and SPC lowers are 1", for a total advertised drop 2.75-3.75". To offset that, I've got .75" spacers on top of the springs and 1" of spacers in the SPC lowers. So I should only be looking at a 1-2" drop, and it's obviously much, much more. And I don't even have any front sheetmetal installed (no hood, fenders, inners, header panel, grilles, etc).

Right now, my upper control arms are at almost a 25-degree angle, which certainly doesn't look right. It's so low that the front sway bar is laying on the outer tie rods. I've got to do something - considering swapping to BB Hotchkis springs, but I might just reinstall the stock springs.

Thoughts?

parsonsj
03-15-2008, 08:10 PM
If your lower control are pointing up (balljoint farther from ground than pickup point) at a 25 degree angle, that is a problem. I'd start with springs. Wonder if Eibach shipped you the wrong length? Or wrong rate?

jp

Damn True
03-15-2008, 08:10 PM
Jeez without a photo it sounds like something is installed incorrectly, or you were possibly mistakenly sent springs without the right free length.

zbugger
03-15-2008, 08:46 PM
I've seen quite a few sets of Eibach springs that actually drop the car up to an inch more than advertised. I've also heard that with the Pontiac motors you should use the big block springs. Honestly, I'd love to see pictures of your situation if at all possible before making any assumptions.

MrQuick
03-15-2008, 09:07 PM
remember the front suspension is set on a near 2 to 1 ratio. Take an inch off of free spring height will lower the car close to 2 inches.

Roadrage David
03-16-2008, 02:21 AM
I've seen quite a few sets of Eibach springs that actually drop the car up to an inch more than advertised. I've also heard that with the Pontiac motors you should use the big block springs. Honestly, I'd love to see pictures of your situation if at all possible before making any assumptions.
actualy a pontiac with alu heads and manifold ecetera is mutchs closer to a iron headed shevy smal block in weight

PT Goat
03-16-2008, 05:19 AM
I'll take pics today and post. I think something must be wrong as well.

When I bought the Eibachs, there was no SB/BB designation like the Hotchkis springs, and I think that's still the case. I chose Eibach over other brands, because that's what SC&C recommends with their Stage II+ package.

And just to clarify, the control arms are indeed at a 25-degree angle, with the lower balljoints being farther from the ground than the LCA mounts.

Will report back later.

PT Goat
03-16-2008, 10:20 AM
Took another look at things today, and took some pics. I think they speak for themselves that there is a problem here. Note the car is that low without any front sheetmetal.

PT Goat
03-16-2008, 10:27 AM
First pic shows distance from my swaybar to the ground - about 3.75" - obviously unacceptable. And that's with almost 2" of spacers on the front springs.

Second pic is of one of my other early GTOs - stock suspension, but also with a 1.25" front bar. That car has 10.5" of ground clearance at the front bar.

How could this front suspension possibly lower the car almost 10" over stock?

Damn True
03-16-2008, 10:27 AM
I'm guessing somone sent you the wrong spring. Way wrong.

PT Goat
03-16-2008, 10:30 AM
I'm guessing somone sent you the wrong spring. Way wrong.
I thought the same thing, but I double-checked the part numbers and they appear to be right: http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?autofilter=1∂=EIB%2D3855%2D140&N=700+4294908153+4294907393+4294924707+400280+115&autoview=sku (http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?autofilter=1&part=EIB%2D3855%2D140&N=700+4294908153+4294907393+4294924707+400280+115&autoview=sku)

Vegas69
03-16-2008, 10:33 AM
Do you have the spindles on the correct sides? Otherwise it has to be springs or wrong low control arms.

zbugger
03-16-2008, 10:53 AM
actualy a pontiac with alu heads and manifold ecetera is mutchs closer to a iron headed shevy smal block in weight

Yeah, well, I read his sig and figured all iron. Sue me.


Took another look at things today, and took some pics. I think they speak for themselves that there is a problem here. Note the car is that low without any front sheetmetal.

It does look like something is wrong there. The tie rod looks pretty damn close to the frame from the angle of the picture. It also looks like you have less than an inch till the bump stop hits the frame. Do you still have the stock springs? I know it's a bit of work, but just for giggles it would be a good experiment to reinstall those to check actuall drop from the eibach's in comparison. And it totally looks like the angle of the lower control arm is wrong, but I haven't seen the SPC lowers in person to compare them against the stock stuff.

MrQuick
03-16-2008, 11:04 AM
I agree, that and the spring cup looks pretty deep too. Remember the spring will set your height and every mount surface change will effect everything.

PT Goat
03-16-2008, 11:07 AM
To answer a few questions - heads and intake are iron. Eibach doesn't have the BB/SB designation like the Hotchkis springs.

Spindles are stock and definitely on the correct sides.

I already have the shocks out and bar disconnected in preparation for re-installing the stock springs, but I really wanted some feedback (and I need to talk to Marcus tomorrow) before I start throwing parts at it.

PT Goat
03-16-2008, 11:09 AM
I agree, that and the spring cup looks pretty deep too. Remember the spring will set your height and every mount surface change will effect everything.

The SPC lowers have a 1" drop built into them, and they sell shims to allow ride height adjustment. I think the new Hotchkis lowers are the same design. Anyway, I've got a full 1" of spacers already installed, so the spring is sitting up at the top of the cup already. Without those spacers, the car would be sitting on the headpipes.

zbugger
03-16-2008, 11:21 AM
Like I said before, I've seen Eibach's with a greater than advertised drop. I've seen them go from the advertised 1" to damn near a 3" drop if not a little more. It's usually the opposite that I've seen with the Hotchkis springs. Those I've seen drop less than advertised. Do us a favor and take some measurements off the stock and Eibach springs while they're out. Free height, wire thickness, coil count, that kinda thing. Not that it'll do us any good, but it'll get us a ball park of what you're working with.

MrQuick
03-16-2008, 11:28 AM
If its a true 1" at the LCA that would translate into a 2" total drop at body line. Combined with all the other parts your probably looking at a 5" drop total at body line. Take your measurments Allen stated then pop that stock spring back in. See where it goes.

Roadrage David
03-16-2008, 11:41 AM
Yeah, well, I read his sig and figured all iron. Sue me. whats the matter did you had a bad day!!!!!:machine:

zbugger
03-16-2008, 12:29 PM
whats the matter did you had a bad day!!!!!:machine:

No, I just made an assumption from known variables that were given to me by the first hand user and after much debate decided to use my assumption to my best abilities to create a suggestion that would fit the imposed situation. Not a shot at you. I'm just also known as an *******, smartass, jackass, and a punk ass. It's my born spirit. Feel free to use it against me. I do.

MrQuick
03-16-2008, 01:16 PM
whats the matter did you had a bad day!!!!!:machine:

anytime he has to wake up before 1pm is a bad day! LOL

you took it wrong.....AGAIN. heee heee :box2:

PT Goat
03-17-2008, 05:33 AM
...Do us a favor and take some measurements off the stock and Eibach springs while they're out. Free height, wire thickness, coil count, that kinda thing. Not that it'll do us any good, but it'll get us a ball park of what you're working with...

I will try and get those measurements done this evening. I need to clean up and paint the original springs if they are going to be reinstalled anyway. Might as well be doing something while I wait for the paint to dry.

tom_a
03-17-2008, 03:53 PM
PT Goat,

I assume you have talked with Marc @ Sc&c and you most likely have seen the thread on Team Chevelle? I read where others had concerns with ride height with these new LCA's from SPC, but I don't recall anything like yours. I have the same upper and lower arms but not the same BJ's or spindles that you have. I also have coil overs and have concerns mine may sit too low also. I still have some adjustment to go up so I think I will be okay. If that does not do it I may add 2" Colman spacers. Here is a picture of my frame with 650lb springs. As you can see mine (UCA's) are more level but still seems a little off to me. I for the moment have moved on to solve other problems and will address this later on my end. As you already know these arms have a built drop over other brands and after looking at them on the frame I worry about catching something with how low they hang. I wish I had an answer for you and don't know if my post will even help you but I would say with these arms being so new you should really talk with Marc or SPC.
http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x82/passperf/fr31000.jpg

PT Goat
03-17-2008, 04:17 PM
Thanks for the post Tom, that's one sweet project! Since you're arms are level with minimal weight on the frame, I suspect you're going to be in the same boat when all is said and done.

Could you post a link to the Team Chevelle thread? I did a search over there and didn't see any relevant hot topics.

I have not talked to Marc yet, but I did email him some pictures and I plan to speak with him on the phone once he's looked them over.

tom_a
03-17-2008, 04:53 PM
Thanks for the post Tom, that's one sweet project! Since you're arms are level with minimal weight on the frame, I suspect you're going to be in the same boat when all is said and done.

Could you post a link to the Team Chevelle thread? I did a search over there and didn't see any relevant hot topics.

I have not talked to Marc yet, but I did email him some pictures and I plan to speak with him on the phone once he's looked them over.

Matt,

Here is one of them. I believe there was another also but did not see it. It is under Pro Touring section
http://www.chevelles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=207397

Thanks,
Tom

PT Goat
03-17-2008, 05:00 PM
Ah, that makes sense. I was only looking in the suspension forum - forgot it wasn't a PT site!

MrQuick
03-17-2008, 08:03 PM
Tom, what height spring are you using? 12" or 10"? Theres a bunch of thread down there.

bochnak
03-18-2008, 05:03 AM
How about using an adj. hidden shim on top of the spring? There is a "tall" and "short" one available from speedway motors.

tom_a
03-18-2008, 06:59 AM
Tom, what height spring are you using? 12" or 10"? Theres a bunch of thread down there.

Vince, I am not sure what height they were....it seems to me they were shorter than 10" ? I may be mistaken and will have to look for the paperwork. These are Varishock coil overs. I am thinking that the QA1's use a taller spring because that style seats the spring in the upper spring pocket?

Tom

MrQuick
03-18-2008, 11:31 AM
What the shock number?
Coil overs manuf. should specify which spring should be used. Get the spring size wrong and you could run into a bottom out situation.

Marcus SC&C
03-18-2008, 03:18 PM
Why post stuff on a forum for people to speculate wildly about BEFORE calling the place where the parts were bought? It`s like yelling Fire! in a crowded theater. It doesn`t matter that there`s no fire,people panic anyway. People take posts from threads like this out of context for years. Next time please call or e mail us first and 99.9% of the time we can straighten it out with no fuss at all. That`s why we`re here! :)

They`re the wrong springs. We`ve had a few other clients run into this same problem with Eibachs lately. Eibach denies there`s anything wrong and won`t stand good for them. We stopped recomending them and have switched to SPC Performance springs. Rates and performance are comparable but they stand behind their products 100%. I`m fairly certain they`re just labeled and boxed wrong. They may have simply labeled 3856-140 front springs as 3855-140 springs. The earlier A bodys use taller front springs. Send em back,get new springs and you should be fine.

The SPC lower arms only have 1/2" drop built into them and there`s virtually no change in ground clearance. They look a little different installed because they`re made to center the lower ball joint at 0* travel at lowered ride heights. With 8* of spindle inclination that puts the end of the arms angling up at about 8*. The angle you should be concerned about is the one created by drawing a line through the pivot axis of the lower ball joints and the centerline of the bolts where they mount to the frame. At proper ride height it should be angled slightly downward toward the balljoint pivot axis even though the end of the arms themselves "look" like they`re angled upward. In other words it doesn`t matter what the arms look like,only the orientation of the pickup points matters. Marcus SC&C

Vegas69
03-18-2008, 10:07 PM
I agree, it always used to piss me off when someone came to me for advice in the shop and proceeded to ask every other tom, ****, and harry. The source has the answer more times than not.

MrQuick
03-19-2008, 09:58 PM
I must say I am a bit surprised by the reaction of this thread. A fellow member had an issue then a question and it was answered the best we could. I agree that Marcus should have been called first but I believe Matt was just trying to get an idea of what might be going on. To add in his defense it was a Saturday and sometimes suppliers are not available.

I don't think anything was negative and any misinformation was passed. Looking back most info was expressing the same concern and what might be wrong.

I would like to think I could post a thread and receive some help if I ever had a problem. With all of the wealth knowledge on this board I believe problems can be solved.

I know what you are saying Vegas but everyone is entitled to a second and if need be third opinion. A different person might shed some extra light on a situation. I hope you remember your statement when you might need quick help. I enjoy helping others but am open to the opinions of others even if we tend to disagree.

Vegas69
03-20-2008, 07:29 AM
I agree this community is all about sharing ideas and tech. My point was, the first call would always be to the guy that sold me the parts to see if he had crossed that bridge before.

PT Goat
03-22-2008, 09:52 AM
Anyway...

For those who asked, here's a comparison of the Eibachs vs. stock springs:

free height: 14.25" / 17.25"
wire thickness: .691 / .642
coil count: 8 / 10

By my measurements, I need an installed height spring of around 16".

Stock springs are back in, but I will wait until I speak with SC&C before I post the status.

PT Goat
03-25-2008, 05:12 AM
Out of curiosity, I re-installed the stock springs on Saturday, but even with spacers it would be marginal. And I'm sure handling would suffer with stock springs anyway. I therefore spoke to Marcus at length yesterday and he gave me several options.

Apparently there is a new aluminum spacer for the SPC LCA which is just coming out. That should raise the car about 1.5", and along with an Energy suspension 3/8" insulator on top, it might get me close.

I could also have a custom spring made.

The third option is to use the Eibachs with an adjustable hidden spring shim like this one: http://www.speedwaymotors.com/p/3389,157_Adjustable-Hidden-Spring-Shim-Extended.html

I have to do the math, but I'm leaning towards option #3 because of the adjustability. I need to make up about 2" just to get the Eibach spring to an installed height of 16". I like that I can dial-in the ride height with the adjustable spring shim, rather than guesswork with shims and spacers.

Tony_SS
03-25-2008, 05:22 AM
So did those end up being the correct Eibach spring for your app? Or is that still an unknown?

PT Goat
03-25-2008, 05:36 AM
So did those end up being the correct Eibach spring for your app? Or is that still an unknown?

They are marked with the correct part number (3855.XXX), but I don't see how they can be correct, just based on the fact that they are so short to begin with. I guess I'll never know if they are right, but I'm going on the assumption that they are not.

Tony_SS
03-25-2008, 08:18 AM
I wonder if it would be worth it return the Eibachs and try Hotchkis or ST one's before resorting to any shims?

PT Goat
03-25-2008, 09:21 AM
I've had the Eibachs since around when I started this project in 2004, and although they've never been "on the road," they have probably been installed and uninstalled a half-dozen times and they look it. I'm not even going to bother trying to return, especially since then I'd need new springs out back too.

I did think about trying Hotchkis or custom springs, but if I can fix the problem for $60 (two adjustable spring shims) and gain some adjustability, I don't want to spend several hundred on new springs that may be off again one way or the other.

PT Goat
04-13-2008, 05:54 PM
Finally got the adjustable spring shims in today and I think I'm going to be okay. Right now I've got a 3/8" isolator up top and the adjustable spring spacer below the spring (for easier adjustment). I cut the adjuster down and right now I've got it at exactly 2" (for a 4" lift). So between the isolator and the adjuster, I needed to raise the car almost 5" to get it right. Might need to go up another 1/2" once the front sheetmetal is on.

I just have minor shock and swaybar mounting issues that I need to work out - going to talk to Marcus about that tomorrow.