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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I was ordering parts for the project, I mistakenly orderered stock front springs for a car with A/C. I have since done an A/C delete and moved the battery to the trunk. This is causing the front end to ride way to high for my liking. I am considering two options, a complete set of Eaton springs or a full set of PMT Fabrication coil overs, but would like to get some feedback from the community.

Wheels & Tires
Now:
Rear 255/60/15 These rub the quarter lips so I have added air shocks. Likely due to incorrect backspacing, they are what came with the car.
Front 215/65/15

Planned:
Rear 275/45/20
Front 235/50/18

The Eaton springs I am looking at are +1.5 in the back and -2 in the front (without A/C) ~ $820 shipped.
The PMT coilovers are $886 before shipping.

Below is a pic of the front ride height without the hood and bumper installed. I know the springs will settle a little with time, but not the 6.5" i am currently seeing from the top of the wheel arch to the top of the tire.
Tire Wheel Car Automotive tire Vehicle


This is the stance I am shooting for.
Wheel Vehicle Tire Car Hood


Any advice on lowering springs vs. coilovers and tire backspacing would sure be appreciated so that I can achieve the overall stance I am looking for.
 

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I'd toss 50 lbs of something up front to simulate the bumper and hood and fluids.

Then measure the pitch between the coils as is. I'd count across several of them and divide. Say 3 coils and how x inches. Then get the inches/coil.
Then I'd get a rough idea of motion ratio. Measure from lower arm pivot to the center of the spring and the distance of the lower arm pivot to the lower ball joint. Decide big number by small number.

Let's say motion ratio of 2.5 pulling from thin air. Inches per coil of 2. And you want a 6 inch drop.
6/2/2.5=1.25 coils need removed. It is rough but it will get you close.
 

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When you cut the springs, ride will be harsher, but lower. Springs are not fun to change on the front. Eaton springs that I have used in the past were exactly what I ordered. I would think the right height regular spring may take more work initially but probably last in the long run. If your running aluminum intake and water pump along with moving battery to rear you have shifted some weight.
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When you cut the springs, ride will be harsher, but lower. Springs are not fun to change on the front. Eaton springs that I have used in the past were exactly what I ordered. I would think the right height regular spring may take more work initially but probably last in the long run. If your running aluminum intake and water pump along with moving battery to rear you have shifted some weight.
Your right, the weight reduction is more and more as I think about it.
  • No A/C
  • Aluminum intake
  • No A/C condensor
  • Battery in the trunk
  • Aluminum radiator
  • Aluminum pulleys
  • - 400 vaccum lines and controlers
  • Aluminum water pump


5851a - would you suggest the Eaton lowering springs or the PMT coilovers? I don't mind spending the money, but want to do this once and not look back or coulda shoulda. Can I get the drop I need to obtain that stance with coilovers all around?

I know these are opinions, but it's more than I am working with at the moment.
 

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If they are adjustable coil overs are the way to go. Can fine tune the height to meet your whim of the day. No chance of a spring being not quit right for ride height. If buying new I say coil overs are the way to go. Especially on something as custom as your car.
Without corner weight scales to give exact weights I think ordering from Eaton will be a little bit of a shot in the dark.
 

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1963 Galaxie 500 Fastback
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@craving77494 I spoke with eaton about the front coils and rear leafs on my 63 during that stage of the project. They know their stuff. They accounted for the 1" drop spindles, aluminum intake, radiator, fiberglass hood, etc. My car sits with a slight forward rake, maybe 1/2 inch and rides better than anything else in the driveway. I recommends speaking to them without any hesitation. I dont have a current profile picture of the car since having new front tires installed. This picture is from April/May, eaton 1" drop coils up front and 1in drop leafs in the rear. They've not settled much in the ~500 miles ive put on it.

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Motor vehicle
 

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1963 Galaxie 500 Fastback
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They are modified granada spindles that a company out of California called DropnStop used to sell. I bought and installed them back in 2013 or 2014 after dragging the car out of a 20 year slumber. I don't know if he is still in business.
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update: Emailed PMT about a set of coilovers and Mark gave me a call. He does not recommend coilovers with stock control arms, which then led to an estimate of $4,200 for control arms and coilovers for the front and spings and shocks for the back. That is a WHOLE lot more than I think I willling to invest. Cutting the A/C springs I bought is looking better and better.
 

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The old school way I used to lower my old cars was to heat the springs and let the cars weight collapse the springs. Just need to make sure you do it in small increments. A rosebud on a torch always worked the best. It's also a good idea to have a fire extinguisher nearby.
 

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Heating the coils to get them to sag is the very old school "cheap and dirty" way to do it..... also...

NOT recommended!

Heating spring steel takes the "temper" out of the metal and they WILL fatigue and break at some point.

It's also very difficult to control the amount of sag, and they will continue to sag as the car is driven,
not to mention difficult to do this evenly and get the "same amount" of sag on both sides.

This is also why cutting coils with a torch is NOT recommended.

If you are gonna cut coils, use a cut off wheel and cut slow and cool the spring often during the cut.

BTDT
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Will be using a cutoff wheel for sure. A car buddy of mine raised a good point. He said you need the wheels/tires your going to use before you lower it. BRILLIANT!!!Based on the following site my front wheel/tire combo (235/50/18) will be 27.3". I made a template and what a difference!!!! I do not need as much drop as I thought.

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Vehicle Locking hubs
Furniture Drum Wood Membranophone Ball
 

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Heating the coils to get them to sag is the very old school "cheap and dirty" way to do it..... also...

NOT recommended!

Heating spring steel takes the "temper" out of the metal and they WILL fatigue and break at some point.

It's also very difficult to control the amount of sag, and they will continue to sag as the car is driven,
not to mention difficult to do this evenly and get the "same amount" of sag on both sides.

This is also why cutting coils with a torch is NOT recommended.

If you are gonna cut coils, use a cut off wheel and cut slow and cool the spring often during the cut.

BTDT
It's not recommended to heat springs if you don't do it correctly. Most don't know how because it's an old school art that hasn't really been passed on how to do it correctly. The same can be said for certain old school tricks for getting a clean and smooth paint job that doesn't need to be cut and buffed. I have saved many hours because of the things these old time tradesmen taught me about body, paint, and frame work.
You don't lose the temper where you heat it if you quench with oil. It re-tempers the spring. The amount lowered can be mitigated with jacks. I did numerous spring loers with heat and quenching in the late 60s and early 70s. Never had one complaint about broken springs or sagging over time. One 57 Ford was still running the same lowered springs 20 years later. So I guess it's just a matter of opinion.
 

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here's the selling point w the coil overs. if something down the road changes you can adjust it. aluminum heads, different wheels and tires etc. IMHO, it just makes more practical sense wise since its within budget. I'd think adjustability is always preferred over a 'maybe'. also, things will settle after its been driven, so may need to be tweaked even if initially its the right spring when installed, it may not be after its driven a few times. .02.
 

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1969 Galaxie XL - 390 FE
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Investigating wheel/tire combos and the following was recommended as a direct fit. Wondering if the rears will rub and hoping someone can provide some insight? Both rims have a zero offset.
Rear275/35/2020 x 10
Front245/45/1818 x 8
 
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