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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, I finally got the GT suspension on my car (LX). I have an issue now that wasn't such a huge problem before: I'm riding very high. The car could easily drop 2" to return to normal ride height. I'm guessing this is due to having taken a lot of stuff out from under the hood on my car. Anyway, since I've never cut or heated a spring before, are there any pointers for doing it to a 1st gen?
If I cut the spring, where should I cut (top tightly coiled area or lower loosely coiled area), and would I have to heat whichever end I cut to flatten it out some and conform to the spring cup? Would the spring conform on its own? I'd like to jump on this today, and get the car back on the road. I'll take a picture and try to post it up in a little bit to let everyone see how high the car rides. Thanks for any relevant info.
 

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cutting the springs will change the spring rate and make your car ride like crap. If you don't care about the quality of the ride in your car, then go ahead. If you do care, then search out some drop springs or coilovers that will work instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That is not what I was asking. The 1st gen GT springs are compound rate, so that will take care of the "ride like crap" issue as far as I'm concerned. I'm not that concerned about it anyway. Furthermore, there aren't a lot of options that I've found for 1st gens, and the ones who've bought aftermarket have mentioned a rougher ride, or not low enough drop. I'm not worried about dropping an extreme amount, only getting back to stock ride height and not looking like an AMC Eagle.
 

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I have ridden in a 1st gen EGT with cut springs on multiple occasions, and the ride is not very pleasant (89 EGT).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Do you know what size tire they had? What struts, if it was turbo-charged, had A/C, power steering, power brakes, or lighter bumper? What about interior stuff? All these things would make a difference, mostly due to weight in the nose. Do you have any actual tips on cutting, or is this just going to be another case of "don't do it?" Mind you this is only on the front of the car, as the rear rides right where it should. It's either cut, heat, or compress (which is the last option).
 

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It had aftermarket 15's, I believe AC and PS were removed from the car if I remember correctly. He had the springs cut the whole way around, to get rid of most of the wheel well gap. I was a very bouncy ride compared to how it was prior to cutting. He ended up modifying a set of coilovers, which improved the ride quite a bit.

As for cutting, I never cut a set of springs personally. I used a set of compressors to lower my old 89 Tracer, which I would advise against as well. It was a bouncy, unsafe mod.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Those are a few differences. I'm still running 14" wheels with 195/60 tires. I'm not looking to get rid of wheel well gap entirely, but I have 4.75" of gap between the top of the tire and the fender edge. That's a bit excessive. The only other option to at least make the car look slightly more normal is to block the rear springs, which will give them about the same gap (they're about 1.25" less without blocks). With cut springs the ride could not possibly be worse than the original suspension it had....worn out struts, and constant rate springs meant for much more weight. At least these springs provide a modicum of car-like ride, instead of hammering around like a truck. It wasn't bouncy, just hard..thus my lack of concern for a hard ride. I'm not looking to replace the springs because of no budget for such a thing... No work = no money, and having to scrape just to get by. I'm also not talking a serious cut...no more than 1 coil, but I'm simply asking for specific methods in doing so, and if any heating would be required after the cut to level off the bottom (or top) to make it as close to stock as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Alright, I blocked the rear springs, and they're level with the front for the most part. Here's a pic to convey more of what I can't explain...I think it's silly looking. That is exactly how it sits, even after driving, trying to load it down, bounce it, etc.

http://img136.imageshack.us/my.php?image=suspension.jpg
 

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As I remember we cut the springs with a saw, taking frequent breaks so as not to temper the springs. Then we flattened the end with a lot of low speed grinding, again with lots of breaks.
Just make sure the end s line up right and have the proper seating angle.
Can you at least get some junk yard springs to 'practice on' in case I gave you bad info from a bad memory?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have the original LX springs here....that's all I've got to practice with. And, they're not quite the same as GT springs (constant rate vs. compound). No junkyards in this state carry anything 1st gen as far as I know, and I've called around a LOT looking for stuff. The last one I found was an '89 LX crushed in '05, about 3 days after I snagged the distributor off it. Anywhere reasonably close did the same thing apparently, and has nothing 1st gen...or Tempo.
 

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Cutting coil springs is just not a really good idea in general. And if you do, new ones would be best to cut vs. old used ones. But if you buy new ones, do like Dave suggested, get ones made for what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I understand the reasoning why you and Dave are saying it's not a good idea...the results can be unpredictable, and the spring rates change...something has to be done...did you even look at the link I posted to a picture of how the car sits now (or the rest of the posts I made)? I also doubt there is an aftermarket spring maker who makes a "lowering" spring to ride at stock height, which is where I'm trying to get...not lower, just not jacked up. Capice? The only one to have even responded with an actual answer to my question is zx24me.
 

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Hooray for the 4x4! I would say cut the widely spaced springs. Do not heat the spring or you will mess the temper up, as mentioned. I would use a hack saw or sawzall to cut the coil off. Start with one coil, if it doesn't drop it as much as you want, cut another. When we did my friend's ZX2 we didn't bother with flattening the bottom of the spring, didn't have any problems.

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/431940

Also, like everyone else said, it is not a recommended procedure, but you gotta do what you gotta do to get by sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, it's down to four options:

1. Leave it up and live with it (lowers 1/2" when I'm in the car)
2. Install the LX springs again (with the better struts)
3. Install the interior, full stereo, and carry my tools (basically add about 200 pounds of weight in the front half of the car).
4. Cut the GT springs a little.

Another thought I had: using the Tempo swaybar mounts could be causing the issue with jacking the front end up. I'd forgotten about that until now. It's basically the same as a GT swaybar, but mounted about 2" higher at the front. I'll try installing the stock swaybar mounts and see if that effects how the car sits in front. And the rear blocks are being removed...no need to have the car that high up (it's also affecting the camber severely...the rear now has positive camber, and the front is way knock-kneed).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
zx24me said:
If all else fails I have some "4x4" stickerw I can mail you! :lol:
Lots of luck with this.
Hehehehe, I appreciate it...might just have to take you up on it, as it would get lots of laughs in this area (******* truck country). I'll make some progress, take some pictures, and post up if anything changes...hopefully tomorrow if the weather is nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You can easily fix that with some spring blocks. It'll jump the rear end up just enough to make the car level with a stock ride height. Or you can just spend $50 for a set of stock rear springs (yes, they're not incredibly expensive).

Update: I need to get new bushings for the sway bar, as I don't have any Escort specific ones around (only Tempo, and they're not the same). I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if that actually helps drop the ride height after that. I expect it to. And then it's on to fixing the rain leaks, installing the interior again, and I guess making it a normal car again. I'll miss the gutted look/feel.
 

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UnexplodedCow said:
And then it's on to fixing the rain leaks, installing the interior again, and I guess making it a normal car again.
No you won't. Next you'll say you different bumpers to put on :lol: . That'll ruin the ******* look you worked so hard to achieve.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Nah, the LX bumpers will be around to stay...no need for the GT bumper (kind of making my own). I have some ground effects from a (you guessed it) Tempo that will be grafted onto the bottom of the bumper, smoothed, and hopefully made to look right (or at least not completely fuck ed). I didn't try to achieve the ******* look...just sort of happened from no funding. It's being amended, one part at a time. Now it's onto the brake system, and new bushings are on the way (be here tomorrow) so I'll have the regular Escort swaybar mounts again. I should start my own epic "how to unredneck a car" thread.
 
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