Cutting Hotchkis coils?

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering, Brake & Wheel Topics' started by Evil81, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Evil81

    Evil81 Member

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    I had Hotchkis 2" drop coils and rear leafs installed awhile back(3 years) and they have yet to "settle." I'm starting to think the shop that ordered and installed them maybe installed the Hotchkis springs meant for a big block? The car hasn't seen much road time but enough to settle them. The car handles decent but the gap is annoying so i'm wondering if I should cut the coils or just try again and order new coils myself? I've attached a pic to show what i'm talking about. Thanks!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. 70moneypit

    70moneypit Veteran Member

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    You might be right, maybe the wrong springs. Also, are you running aluminum heads, an LS motor or other parts that have severely lightened your car? I have heard of others (with heavily modified engines) who have had to cut a small amount off Hotchkis springs, but I figured it was because they were putting their car in the weeds so to speak.

    Before you do any unbolting or buying more parts, it wont hurt to grab a flashlight and double-check to make sure they were installed right. I would think you'd know after driving it for so long (plus it's on both sides) but it never hurts to make sure. Forgive me if you know all this already.

    The end of the coil on the bottom should be located between two inspection holes in the lower control arm, but not touching (or God forbid, riding on) the hump at the end of the a-arm channel the spring fits into. The top of the spring should also be seated securely completely encasing a circular row of 'teeth" formed into the roof of the frame cavity, which are made to go inside the spring to center and locate it.

    You can see them with a flashlight if you lift the car. Sometimes they are darn hard to see, but try looking through the shock hole on the bottom. Do it at night and your flashlight (and eyes) will be much more effective in finding them.

    If the spring is seated wrong and intersecting any of those big teeth (instead of surrounding all of them), it will add something like an inch of so of unwanted height to the front of your car. It's very easy to do that accidentally when you install them if you let them slip down just a hair while you are wrestling (and concentrating) to get the control arm back in place. Don't ask me how I know, hehe!

    Anyway, it's a long shot (especially if a good shop put them in), but it cannot hurt to check anyway. There's also a part number silk-screened onto those springs in white, it's hard to find since it is generally up high inside the frame instead of down low where you can see it without a lot of trouble, but you can check the numbers if you can find them. Might have to remove them first, dunno.

    Anyways, I'd try all this before buying new parts or taking them out, or cutting coils. If they are the BB springs, maybe you ca try to sell them here at a good price and get the right ones for your car. Those lowering springs are already very stiff, so if you cut them they will be even stiffer since there will be less coil to compress, and I'm not sure how stiff you can stand the front end being.

    Anyway, hope that helps and good luck to you!
     
  3. Todd80Z28

    Todd80Z28 Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    moneypit has it for checking the proper install.


    What are the current wheel center to fender lip measurements front and rear?
     
  4. POS71RS

    POS71RS Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Mine came up a bit after putting in an engine with aluminum heads and water pump.
    Problem for me is that there's hardly an inch between the bumpstop and the frame now, so I don't want to cut the springs to lower. I haven't come up with a good alternative yet.

    Do you still have all the stock bumper supports, etc up front? If those are gone, and you have a fiberglass hood, what else have you lightened?
     
  5. Evil81

    Evil81 Member

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    I'll have to get the measurements. It's an iron head 377 and it has a steel goodmark hood and the bumper supports are still in place. Thankyou 70moneypit you've given me a good start of things to check!
     
  6. CorkyE

    CorkyE Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Do you have receipts from the shop that shows what spring part numbers they used? Just my thoughts but with a iron heads and steel hood, you should be lower than you are. I have a bunch of aluminum - heads, intake, water pump, radiator, but a steel hood and recently installed Moog 5610 front springs. They seem to sit a bit lower than your picture shows.
     
  7. DMSTAINLESS

    DMSTAINLESS Veteran Member

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    I didnt get a nice drop with either hotchkis or ptfb 2" drop. And i cut 1/2 a loop out of each pair to get my car where i wanted it.
     

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