changing rear leaf springs!

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering, Brake & Wheel Topics' started by arnies81camaro, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. arnies81camaro

    arnies81camaro Member

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    do you know what modifications need to be done, to change from three leafsprings to four or five leaf springs? most of the springs I see for sale are four or five leafs, and my camaro has three leafs! I want to bring my camaro back up to stock height. what spring bushings should I go with? Thanks...
     
  2. warped

    warped Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Ride height isn't dependant on the number of leaves in the spring pack. It is mostly a factor of the arch the springs are given. If your current springs are not maintaining proper ride height, you can either have them re-arched or replace them. The advantage of re-arching them at a local shop is that you already know they fit and if you have any problems, you don't have to worry about shipping them all over if you buy new from the net.

    If you choose to buy new, be certain the springs are for a Camaro and not a Nova. If the seller claims the same spring will work in both, run. Look at spring rate and arch for your needs. If memory serves, the correct arch for stock ride height on our cars is about 6-1/2" Good luck.
     
  3. Cardinal

    Cardinal Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Follow what Warped said and you cannot go wrong.

    Personaly, unless you are looking for suspension for a road course car, buy your leaf springs from a local spring shop. I wish that I had when I bought our rear leaf springs. Granted, the catalog place made good on fixing the (Nova) rear leaf by paying to have them re-arched at our local spring shop BUT it was a PITA to change the rear leaf springs three times instead of once.

    You will need new hardware not matter what you decide to do. IMHO, buy the hardware from a local spring shop. Some of the catalog places stock substandard (my opinion) hardware that just isn't up to my standards. Hardware being mounting bolts, chassis nuts, shackle bolts, etc.
     
  4. arnies81camaro

    arnies81camaro Member

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    why did you have to have them re-arched? what does that do to the springs? every place that I've looked for springs, list the same 5 leaf spring for camaro's and nova's. Jeg's, D&R classics, Classic Industries , John R. Spring!
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  5. Camarolina

    Camarolina Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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  6. Cardinal

    Cardinal Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    ALL of the dimensions of a Camaro and Nova rear leaf springs are the same EXCEPT the arch.

    A Nova rear leaf spring has 3" more of arch because (as I was told by Tri Cities Spring, Binghamton NY who have been in business for over 60 years) the Nova has more weight over the rear wheels than a Camaro.

    What re-arching did for me was to take that 3" larger arch out so that my shocks reached the shock mounts.

    TRUST ME, Nova and Camaro rear leaf springs are NOT the same!

    Buy your rear leaf springs from a local shop. The local shop will have American made rear leaf springs that are made for your Camaro. Not some "one size fits all" Chinese crap.
     
  7. wayback

    wayback Veteran Member

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    Seems your current springs were modified at some point. Its possible a previous owner removed a couple of leaves to lower the rear.
    No changes are needed to go with 4 or 5 leaf springs, although you will need a spring installation kit.
    Moog shackle bushings are good and RockAuto carries them.

    Camarolina got lucky with his springs. I contacted JRS before buying mine and was advised 21-297 and 80-335 were the only part numbers recommended for a '70-81 Camaro. Others here have tried different spring numbers and had the same experience as Cardinal. Went with the 80-335s (Z28 4-leaf) on my car.

    If it matters to you, JRS springs are now made in India. Local shops use the same part numbers for springs made in North America and their prices usually aren't that much higher than what JC Whitney lists.
     
  8. Camarolina

    Camarolina Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Lucky? I took advice from other members who did the same thing with the same very good results. So I'm pretty darn sure the 21-339 part # works just fine. The old stock leaf springs I removed where the same dimensions as the replacements.
    That was almost two years ago.
     
  9. ks71z28

    ks71z28 Veteran Member NastyZ28 Sponsor NastyZ28 Sponsor Lifetime Gold Member

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    The 1st gen/nova spring has less arch IIRC
     
  10. HyPer

    HyPer Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Same here, I ordered the 21-339's and they accidentally sent a 339 and 297(shipped separately). They corrected their muckup ofcourse, but it didn't take much to see the difference in quality and style/arch between the 2 different model numbers. The 339 looked well made with a satin(baked) finish....whereas the 297 had a glossy finish that was scuffed and the steel honestly was a cratered finish that resembled "pot metal".
     

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