Hope you can help. I am in the process of rebuilding the front end of my ’57 Chevy car.
If I use 2″ lowering springs, can I use the same front shocks or do I need to get something else? Would it be better to install the 2″ lowering spindles instead of the springs?
Wonderful question. Your question qualifies for my “Tech Question” because it asks for more info than meets the eye. I send an EATON Flamed T-shirt to those whose questions I use. Let me have your size and address.
Now onto the answer…
You hit on the two ways to lower the front of your ’57, cutting the coil or using dropped spindles. Let’s look at the pro’s and con’s of each way.
Yes, coils can be cut, see Cutting Coil Springs for more information. Both will provide detail information as to how to cut and how to calculate the result of cutting.
Cutting is the down and dirty way of getting your ride down. A couple of draw backs is the ride quality becomes stiffer and the old shocks may not be useable.
Increasing the ride stiffness may not be a bad thing because there is less suspension travel, so a stiffer spring may stop you from bottoming out the suspension.
The easiest way to check to see if you would have enough shock travel is to measure the length of the shock while it is still on the car. Measure from the bottom attaching point to the top attaching point.
Then remove the shock and fully collapse it. If the collapsed length is less than 3.5 Inches shorter then the installed length the shock will not work and will have to be replaced.
Shock length, both collapsed and extended will vary from one manufacturer to another so be sure to check the length before buying a new set of shocks.
The advantage of going with dropped spindles is stock springs and shocks can be used. Dropped spindles will lower the ride height yet maintain normal suspension clearances.
The draw back is cost and additional labor.
Choice is yours.