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picked up a set of almost new 550# front springs and Bilstein shocks from a forum member :)cheers:) to replace the stock (non F41) springs and KYB Gas-a-Justs I put in last fall. It cruised pretty nicely, but had too much cadillac float and not enough sportscar punch. Was also more than happy to drop the ride height about an inch.

before:


after:


new and old:


Having removed and installed the old springs once already I knew that using a spring compression tool was a PITA. Got the damn thing stuck up in there after I had the lower control arm all bolted on. :bang This time I got smart and used a trick I had heard of here on the forum. Got some 5/8" all-thread, a few washers, a few nuts, and a sturdy steel plate.

drill a 5/8" hole through the middle of the plate, remove the shock, put the all-thread through the shock mounts, and thread the nuts on. From there it's easy to put your floor jack under the cross shaft of the lower control arm to lower it out or lift it into place. This little trick gives you a lot more control over all that energy stored in a compressed spring. It was also a lot easier to install the new springs since they're about 5" shorter!

top end:


underneath (sorry it's sideways):


after driving a few miles with the new setup I'm very happy with it. I was afraid it was going to be a drastic change and my kidneys would hurt every time I hit a bump. Not the case at all! It's still very comfortable, but more controlled and not as floaty. Makes me anxious to get my new Bilsteins for the rear though. Starting to think that 330# rear leaf was a little light...
 

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after driving a few miles with the new setup I'm very happy with it. I was afraid it was going to be a drastic change and my kidneys would hurt every time I hit a bump. Not the case at all! It's still very comfortable, but more controlled and not as floaty. Makes me anxious to get my new Bilsteins for the rear though. Starting to think that 330# rear leaf was a little light...
Glad to hear this. I am thinking about the front spring to lower the car 1".
 

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12 years ago, on first go round, I put in VBP 460 front.. and 360? rear spring, KYB all around, being cheeep....

well I finally got argued into doing the Bill Stein changeout....and I have to say it was a nice improvement....the car rides so much smoother it's a joke....but the jokes is on me, actually...you see, the road uphill and round the corner in my hood was so full of patches it looked like an ocean...really really really bad.....so I was tired of beating hell outta the vette, and went new Bill Steins for the ride....which did improve greatly....same springs....

so that happens after TEN YEARS??? about 3 months after changing the shocks....so help me....

they repaved the whole damn road......swear it's true....smooth as an interstate now.....

:WTF :spanked: :spanked: :thud: :rolling: :crazy: :cheers:
 

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after driving a few miles with the new setup I'm very happy with it. I was afraid it was going to be a drastic change and my kidneys would hurt every time I hit a bump. Not the case at all! It's still very comfortable, but more controlled and not as floaty. Makes me anxious to get my new Bilsteins for the rear though. Starting to think that 330# rear leaf was a little light...[/QUOTE]


I had a 330# monospring on my '79 and had problems with bottoming out. I conatcted Pattie at VB&P and they exchanged the 330# for a 400# spring (they had suggested a 360# spring). I think that the 400# spring is just right, nice and firm but not too harsh.
 

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a slightly bigger front sway bar, a 7-leaf rear with a matching set of Bilsteins for the rear and you will be all set......after that maybe a caliper rebuild with some more aggressive pads.....and and and...OK, I am done spending your money now.....it was fun though now that I have spent all mine on my vintage racer. ...redvetracr
 

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Discussion Starter #6
a slightly bigger front sway bar, a 7-leaf rear with a matching set of Bilsteins for the rear and you will be all set......after that maybe a caliper rebuild with some more aggressive pads.....and and and...OK, I am done spending your money now.....it was fun though now that I have spent all mine on my vintage racer. ...redvetracr
:laughing: so true, so true.

The rear bilsteins arrived today and I got 'em on in no time. However, I also patched an exhaust leak and changed the trani oil while I was down there so I haven't driven it yet. The 1" or 1-1/8" front bar is very tempting. If I really start getting into autocross it might be a must.

I should mention that the front shocks are the "Heavy Duty" model (has a 0222 in the part #). The rear shocks are the "Sport" model (0232) which are supposed to be a step stiffer I believe. Not sure how much difference there is.
 

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nope...a 15/16 front bar is what Guldstrand suggests for a street car w/ #550 front springs.....
...redvetracr
with or without a rear bar?
 

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I have a stock rear bar, and 3/4 front....the car tends to plow a bit, but I"d rather that, as most cars do....than it do what happed a few years ago...
swap ends on me on account of that rear spring jacking my ass around...

I pulled it out by luck more than skill...

:crazy: :laughing: :devil:
 

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Mine should plow a bit. 1 1/4 front bar with 660# springs. The rear is probably 250#. But they are kind of progressive. Thats why I like the steel.

I might even get late model slicks that fit on a 10 inch wheel for the rear. Depends on how many my cousin has left over.


It handles very well down the driveway
 

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Opinions on my setup

This is actually on my list for the winter projects...seeing different setups all over the place, does anyone recommend anything specific for the budget builder (I'm really saving for a new motor since my great deal on one just fell through due to the guys wife not wanting to sell for the same price as he
did).

My car's a stock (suspension) 1973 L82 and I would like to freshen it up without necessarily making major changes. Basically, all the bushings are junk and I want to replace what's necessary and what should be done "while I'm at it." I have a pretty good lean in the rear so I was thinking a new spring was in order. Along with that, I am thinking of doing shocks all the way around and new coils up front. First, any recommendations on spring rates? I live in MI so the roads are terrible all of the year. Keep in mind, I don't want to blow the bank, as I'd rather save the money for a new motor. I'd rather stay away from the Bilsteins simply because they're at least twice as much money and I really think ANY improvement will be seen immediately.

Recommendations for the budget build with restoration being the goal, not necessarily improvement over stock? Thanks!
 

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1) Renew the rubber parts first. Takes time, little $$

2) Front springs are $90 a pair.

3) BIlsteins are worth the $$. Wait for them.

4) Rear spring last if you want to later.
 

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550 lb front spring cut one coil, TRW glass rear spring with 8" bolts, 17" front wheels, 18" rear wheels. Billsteins.
Bee Jay
 

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Love the tip, I will be using this on next set of springs installed. Thanks lsejlowe and the forum member you got the tip from.:thumbsup:
 
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