Cutting springs - pros, cons - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Cutting springs - pros, cons

I know that cutting springs can give BAD results, such as a car that sits way too low, or lopsided.

Cutting them with high heat can cause them to lose their springiness, which is bad.

But cutting a spring so it will sit lower, but cost you next to nothing - can't be a bad idea, right?

Well, I have 4 SC springs that I want to replace my 92 XR7 springs with. But if there's an easy way to cut them, and how much, I'd like to know .

What I'm thinking, is using an angle grinder with a wheel specifically for spring steel, and taking my sweet time hacking away at it so as not to produce alot of heat.

Think it'll work?

1992 Mercury Cougar XR7 5.0 - Rust In Pieces
1995 Mercury Cougar XR7, rust free Florida car - future 5.0 project
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 06:27 PM
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not good

I've heard nothing but bad things about the results of cutting springs rather than replacing. My .02

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 09:31 PM
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bounce bounce bounce.
Scrape, scrape, scrape.

You don't want your car to do either.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 11:18 PM
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check out the thread above you if you havent allready its called (lowering idea) theres some good info from About2beBad. I thought it might work too, my freind has been riding on his cut springs for quite some time, he owns a 67 mustang that might make a difference.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-26-2002, 11:34 PM
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If you don't care how your car handles at high speeds and around corners ......go for it, cut them.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-27-2002, 12:22 AM
 
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my two cents...

I have owned about 30 or so cars in my life and I have cut a few coils too.
I was taught how to do it from an old hot rodder. The way he showed me doesn't heat the springs much. you do have to be careful and take your time. If you have a power band saw with a coolant spout on it that is the best way. most of us don't have access to that so what i was shown was if you put the spring into a tub of water with just coil that you want to cut exposed you can cut it, and the heat transfer won't spread. you will get some heat but it is minimized. I use a 4inch makita grinder with a cutting wheel and it has worked out everytime. I have never had a failure and some of the vehicles were fairly heavy. The most I have ever cut was 1 1/2 coils, it was alot and it slammed the car. This way of lowering a car is for looks. I have never had the bouncing but I always use new gas shocks (usally kyb gasadjust), because they are cheaper heavy duty shocks. Now this set up is for looks not high speed cornering. All though I did auto cross this set up with an old cobra 2. Now I know that this is post will upset some people, but I am just giving my opinion and actual human experience. good luck with it
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-27-2002, 03:40 AM
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mikes97, no one should be upset at anything you said. You are correct. If you are out just for looks then the springs can be cut. However if you want better handling and so on you need proper lowering springs.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-27-2002, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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So cutting the springs regardless of how cool it stays (I like the water idea), it'll screw up the handling in corners?

Crap - I LIKE cornering hard !

I was planning on cutting them for the appearance only - but if it's going to hurt handling - screw it.

My brothers Tbird (where springs are from) did sit about 1" higher than my Cougar, and I don't even like how high the Cougar sits - maybe I'll just spend some cash and get some Eibachs....
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-27-2002, 07:18 PM
 
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Of all the cars i have done...

It didn't hurt the handling in my case but profesionally designed lowered springs are the way to go. Like I said before I even autocrossed a cobra2 with cut springs. there were no aftermarket springs for it. My thought though is that a larger, heavier car is not going to handle as well with cut springs as with aftermarket types. I think a lighter car would get away with it easier. this is my opinion. if you want a lowered car for cruising then you can get away with cut springs. If you use cut springs, get some good gas shocks and have your car realigned afterwards. good luck with it
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-30-2002, 10:52 AM
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All of the people who are telling you not to have offered no reasons...

For real, lets think about spring rates for a seccond. If you cut from the part that is the lower rate (tighter coils)...all your going to do is turn your springs into linear rate springs (all one rate...coils are all evenly spaced out). Therefore, around town it wont have the squish it had before. When cornering it will have the same stiff rate that it had before (assuming you don't get them really hot when cutting). A little heat will not ruin the spring. Cutting them with an aceteline torch will...due to the heat.

If you are careful cutting the springs and don't just start hacking stuff apart, you will end up with good results. It will not hurt cornering, and the car will handle like it did before. You are making the change from LX springs to the SC/Sport ones, you will notice that it handles much better than it did before.

An advantage of aftermarket lowering springs is that they are a little bit stiffer rate. Therefore if you hit a rather large bump, you will not drag your mufflers. If you cut the SC springs enough, you possibly could drag and scrape.

So many people say that cutting springs is bad and your car will blow up...but they can't offer any explination...there is a reason for that (they have no idea).

No offense guys, I'm not just talking about this thread...i'm talking about all of the spring cutting threads that have been on here for the last few years. I had one guy tell me "don't drive your car anywhere near mine, i don't want it to go out of controll and hurt me and my kids!"

You have got to be kidding...

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-30-2002, 09:11 PM
 
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I agree......

for what it is worth. I agree, just keep the torch away. the worst thing in the world you can do is heat a spring with a torch until it starts to lower the car. I have seen this done while the springs were in the car. very scary stuff!!!!
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-30-2002, 10:53 PM
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hahaha, we used to do that at the junk yard, and we'd get three people to jump on the car to help it drop lower. I love seeing an old short school bus tuckin'.

hahaha,
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-05-2002, 12:07 AM
 
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bahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally posted by MercCougarXR7
So cutting the springs regardless of how cool it stays (I like the water idea), it'll screw up the handling in corners?
I take most corners 65-70, dont tell me cutting springs screws up handling, i lowered my 3" all around by cutting the springs and have the Air Lift bags in the rear to even out the ride
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-05-2002, 06:16 PM
 
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Talking

Does ANYONE make custom springs? Danimal knows what I'm
currently dealing with.

What I would REALLY like is a set of springs that are
are linear, stiff as Sport springs and leave my car
at stock height or no more than .75" lower. I'd pay
to get a set made that had the specs I wanted if they
weren't way too expensive....does anybody make custom
coil springs....I've looked through Google, no luck
so far.....

Last edited by MagerThom; 10-05-2002 at 11:56 PM.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-05-2002, 11:03 PM
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yeah I know what your dealing with...but I don't know where you can find springs like that. Why are you so intent on not lowering it? You worried about ground clearance?

Honestly, I say cut the SC springs just slightly. If you take your time and do it right...they will handle just as good as they do now (i seriously don't know why everyone swears that it is dangerous) and you can get that 3/4" drop. I'm telling you man, the stance on my car is amazing. I used to get some comments about it but now i get tons. It really does look great...i'd think about some Eibach's if I were you.

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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-05-2002, 11:17 PM
 
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Unhappy

Well, I like the stiff feeling of the W type suspesions of
the real Muscle cars of the 60-70's. I have read comments
about too much softness in the early part of the Eibach's
compression and also some tendency to pogo - I do not
want a ride that even slightly starts to approximate any
of those tendencies. I like a slightly lowered look, but
don't really care that much about it. I do have to negotiate
speed bumps and "drain curves" across many of our side street
intersections and driveways.

Tockico's are linear and supposedly have a 1.25" on the drop
but their spring rates seem to be a bit low compared to Sport
springs. I guess I'm being too picky. What's your experience
been with your Eibachs...? I REALLY don't want to bottom out,
ever, not even once....
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-05-2002, 11:43 PM
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hehehe, i hear you on the bottoming out thing.

I have Intrax springs, which actually give about a 2" or more drop. So far, I think i've gotten almost (maybe a bit less) than 2" in the front, and 2.25" in the rear. NSANE told me that after a year I can expect 3" all of the way around with the Intrax.

I live in Manhattan Kansas (Kansas State University) and the streets here suck. Lots of dips and I have yet to scrape anything. I am not positive on the spring rate, but its comparable to the SC/Sport springs. It honestly handles a bit better, but the Tokico's may have something to do with that.

The car does pogo a bit, but only in the front. It's probably mostly because of the Tokico's though. I had the Tokico's on with the sport springs for about a month, and the 115,000 mile "sport" shocks that came stock on my 92 sport were firmer in the front. I really do like the rear Tokico's on the street. As far as high speed handling in the corners (i do quite a bit of that) it feels pretty good though.

Pair the Bilstien shocks with the Tokico springs and I bet you have a pretty solid ride that not only handles amazing (my car can outhandle all of the lowered little sport compact farts around here) but is only lowered about 1.5" in the end.

Ohh...and watch out for the Intrax/Tokico combo...the springs are purple and the shocks are blue. John stroede was calling me a flamer the whole time we swapped the springs

Don't know if I answered any questions...but I sure did ramble

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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-05-2002, 11:49 PM
 
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Dan -

Thanks...Thinking too much, somtimes just drives ya crazy
and gets you in trouble. I want to be happy with my choice
right out of the box.....I REALLY wouldn't want to have to
redo the springs for a second (third?) time.... appreciate
your comments...
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-05-2002, 11:52 PM
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I know what you mean. I like to get stuff right the first time too, especially when it comes to my baby

I've been having fun with simley's today, sorry...

Goodluck with what you decide, let us know!
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-06-2002, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Dan - you answered questions .

I think I will NOT cut my SC springs, for the pure reason that it's tough to get it right. Spending money having them cut, and having them either drop too far, or not enough would really piss me off. And, rather than ruin the spring by cutting too much off - I'll just leave it the way it is. I don't mind having a large fender gap .

What I probably will do, is get a set of Eibachs or Tokiyo (sp!) some day, but for now, I have SC springs for it - they'll go in.

Thanks all -

Kevin.
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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-17-2003, 12:59 AM
 
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eh gents, before we get into the long discusion of cut springs vs. lowering springs I'll say that i've already reviewed everyones opinions on various sites. I want to drop my 94 sc 2 inch up front and 1 1/2 in rear (rear hangs low now due to weight). I've only had her a couple short months and it's bad weather up here so I havnt had a chance to look under her yet. Not a mechanic and never lowered a car, just a carpenter but can grasp concepts. And now with the winter time and layoffs in construction, along with a baby on the way, finances are of biggest concern. I dont want to wait till next year to get around to hookin her up. I've checked out all the various lowering springs for her, 5 of them if I remember, and I've found some awsome deals em (check out dropzonesuspension.com for springs for 101 bucks for ours- model dz2200), but for various reasons, weather some too stiff, or not enough drop, what ever, I'm going to cut my springs. Some people say cutting springs makes them softer and you bounce and bottom out, which makes no sense, cutting a stock spring only would make it stiffer, which isnt that what the 200 dollar plus aftermarkets do. You may loose some of your progressive spring rate (depending on how much coils are lost) but any bouncy bouncy is from the shocks/struts..

so reguardless, I'm cutting my springs. if for whatever reason, later I'm not happy with my results, then once finances are back on top, then I can do it right.

So what I need from you guys is exactly how much coil to cut, and a step by step instruction. I've heard I just simply jack her up, rent or buy some spring clamps, and cut the desired amount of coil off the bottom (angle grinder with correct blade and friend squirting water to limit heat transfer), rotate spring around for cut to fit into perch, and your done. It's not that easy is it?????? and again how much coil exactly do I need to cut for the 2 inch front drop, and 1 1/2 rear. thanks for all the help guys.

eric
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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-17-2003, 11:29 AM
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I guess that I will be the only one to admit it. I have Eibach's in mine and I do not really like them. I liked the car better when I had sport springs under it. The Eibach's seem to soft at the begining. Plus with the tires that I am running I get some rubbing that I don't like.


MagerThom, I am kinda like you. I have gotten another set of sport springs and am considering cutting them to get about 3/4-1" drop. Since the factory springs are linear, I really don't see where cutting them a little bit would hurt the performance of them.
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-17-2003, 02:18 PM
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The factory springs aren't linear...they are progressive.

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