Non-thunderbird springs? - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Non-thunderbird springs?

Okay, so I've been searching about the forums and for the most part have had my questions about shocks answered. However, in looking for a solution to getting a 2-3" drop, I have not yet come across an adequate answer for lowering springs that will give me the drop I'm looking for. Please feel free to link articles I may have missed or articles/build threads from other sites.

So my question is, has anyone attempted to use springs from another vehicle (mustang, ranger, explorer, some oddball chrysler) that fit the spring perches on the shocks yet have enough spring rate and low enough overall height to achieve a 2-3" drop?

The reason I ask is I'm not fond of cutting springs. I personally think the act of cutting a spring is dangerous, and the resulting immeasurable change in spring rate is hazardous to driving conditions. I am not going to rag on anyone who has cut springs, but I just choose not to take that risk. And before anyone asks about the Trailblazer listed in my description, I am currently putting together a parts list and whatnot for a thunderbird I am planning to purchase in the near future.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 09:59 PM
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The spring rate change on cut springs is easily measurable. Take the initial spring rate, multiply by the original number of coils, then divide by the new number of coils. I would feel much safer with cut sport springs than springs out of some other car. If you don't want to cut springs, I would look for some used vogtland 2" drop springs. Any more than that, and first off you are going to have to cut springs, and second you will actually hurt the handling because the suspension and shocks will be outside their normal operating range.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 07:08 AM
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+1 on the Vogtlands. Get the 2" (1.6") springs and call it a day. If you can't find them used just buy them new. They're not that expensive.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the replies guys. Thank you.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
The spring rate change on cut springs is easily measurable. Take the initial spring rate, multiply by the original number of coils, then divide by the new number of coils. I would feel much safer with cut sport springs than springs out of some other car. If you don't want to cut springs, I would look for some used vogtland 2" drop springs. Any more than that, and first off you are going to have to cut springs, and second you will actually hurt the handling because the suspension and shocks will be outside their normal operating range.
So what is too low? And is that still true with aftermarket shocks? What about earl's green car? I ask because i like it I little extra low. Not super low but 2 inches just don't seem to be enough
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 07:13 AM
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The only limit is the ground. You can set the car on the ground if you want to. Joel Benders car has a air suspension that can literally set the car on the ground. The answer as to how low is too low is only something that you can answer for yourself.

Having said that, as Mikey said, any lower than 2" and you're sacrificing not only performance but day to day driveability. There is a point of diminishing return where you're giving up driveability just for looks. You also risk damaging the unibody from bottoming out the suspension.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Trunk Monkey View Post
The only limit is the ground. You can set the car on the ground if you want to. Joel Benders car has a air suspension that can literally set the car on the ground. The answer as to how low is too low is only something that you can answer for yourself.

Having said that, as Mikey said, any lower than 2" and you're sacrificing not only performance but day to day driveability. There is a point of diminishing return where you're giving up driveability just for looks. You also risk damaging the unibody from bottoming out the suspension.
Yes that's what I meant. At what point does it hurt performance. As far as day to day drivability....well I'm used to extremely low cars. My bone stock mazda 5 just had a bit of wheel gap. These thunderbirds are insanely high.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 09:21 AM
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> 2" drop and you're looking at performance/driveablility issues. The question was answered.

Springs aren't the only variable though; shocks and bushings also play a major role.

Do some looking around in the suspension forum. These questions have been asked and answered many times over the years.

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Best 1/4: 1,320 nanoseconds @ 670,616,629.2 miles per hour

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by A.Baker View Post
These thunderbirds are insanely high.
I dunno, all the lowering my 1991 Cougar XR7 has (with the JJJJ springs!) is age, and I STILL can't get out of some driveways without angling carefully because it'll drag.

Insanely high is a stock Ram anything nowadays - gotta have a ladder for this fat boy to get into'em. I still have to slide down a bit into the Cougar.

But eh. Your car. Take it to the ground if you wish. !I! think it's silly as long as it drives on the road, but for a show car, that's cool.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 10:12 PM
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I think the more accurate statement would be these cars have insanely large wheel openings, which make them look higher than they actually are. These cars are super low compared to most cars made today, only exceptions being Corvette type sportscars. 2" of drop pretty much leaves only a fistful of room under these cars.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2014, 06:20 AM
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I think the more accurate statement would be these cars have insanely large wheel openings, which make them look higher than they actually are. These cars are super low compared to most cars made today, only exceptions being Corvette type sportscars. 2" of drop pretty much leaves only a fistful of room under these cars.
I was just checking it out last night and measuring and I can say I agree with this. Maybe just fill those voids up with some 19s or something. I don't know.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2014, 11:10 AM
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With the Tokico springs and blues, I can't get my 3t floor jack under the car; I have to hit ramps first.

They're ~2" drop, iirc. They look great with 16" wheels.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2014, 01:03 PM
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My 92 Sport I bought in 2006 from the original owner up the oad had 130K on it then. I soon cut the JJJJ springs by 1 full coil in front on bottom end and then smoothed the tip, I did the rear coils 5/8 of a coil (that's 45 degrees past 1/2 coil looking at it end wise) which lowered it beautifully and she still rides great. I installed new Tokico blues at the same time ... all this in early 2007 as I recall. I also placed the last 3" of cut end on the rear in the spring bucket out nearest the rear sheel end of LCA as the anghle there suits the spring end. Near 1.75 or 2" drop, just enough to close the fender gap at top and make it look more "even" and 2" is about the max drop you want on a street driven MN12. I "snuck" up on my cuts in two sessions.

Liked it so well, when I bought the '95 I also looked for and found a set of JJJJ springs from a '96 or '97 and cleaned them and cut them the same .... just haven't put them on yet. Have new shocks too, but the '95 only had 51K miles when I got it. But here real soon, gonna swap them.

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Last edited by CrystalPistol; 11-15-2014 at 01:12 PM.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-25-2014, 07:09 PM
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My 95 was as low as I could get it. I think it came out to be 2.5 lower in front and 2.25 in back. I think the shop I got them from put in v-6 springs or something. I lived in San diego where the streets are for the most part even. I could not go over 6 inch speed bumps, deep drive ways or anything higher then a turned over beer can. I scraped everything, and when I added my three kids and wife it was freeway or nothing. The nose on these things sticks out a long way, is seems the nose is longer then a mazda 5. You will regret it...

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