Q – I’m interested in new springs for my 64 Bonneville. I bought new springs from XYZ Company 2 years ago and I’m not happy with the results.
When I was having them installed the mechanic said one of the rear springs was bad so I got a replacement. I wanted a pair, but they only would send one.
My problem is the car sags on the driver’s side 2″-3″ and has this cock eyed raked look if I don’t use these auto part store spring compressors and extenders on the rear springs.
My second problem is the car rides real rough and takes bumps real hard.
My car has 225/70-14 Firestone 500 tires that are 7″ wide and aggressive.
I also have an Addco front sway bar, it’s a little bigger than the original.
I’m having a New AGR 13-16:1 variable ratio steering box installed tomorrow along with an alignment.
I have a constant ratio box on there now and don’t really care for it.
I want my car to handle well. I drive spirited.
Do I have to give up comfort to get good handling?
I would like it to sit close to the factory height which was on the low side. I like low it seems to handle better. – Karen and Jeff, Pittsburgh, PA
A – Karen, seeing your name is listed 1st, is this your car? If so leave Jeff out and I bet it will ride better.
OK, let’s solve the problem. Did the car lean before putting on the new springs? If so there may be a frame issue.
What you may want to try before getting all 4 new springs is to swap them side to side and see what happens to the lean.
As for the rough ride, consider the sway bar as the cause. Being a larger bar size than stock will increase the handling firmness and if urethane bushings were installed with the larger bar, that will greatly increase stiffness.
You may want to go back to rubber sway bar bushings. Comfort means cushiness, smoothness, floating, looking and feeling graceful. While handling means quick response in acceleration and braking, staying level through curves, feeling the road through the seat. So yes, there is a trade off.
If the side to side swap does not solve the problem, then new springs may be the answer. Both coil and leaf springs should be replaced in pairs to be sure the springs are from the same batch. Never replace just one spring.