Your friend is not alone. In fact, at one time or another most (if not all
) GM A-Bodies will suffer from some sort of spring-related malady.
In any attempts to fix the situation be sure to keep in mind that the front springs will effect the rear springs and vice versa
. In other words, a change to the right rear spring can make the left front corner look odd. The first thing to do is put the front end up on jack stands or similar objects. You don't want to go high, just get the cars weight off the front springs
. Then inspect the rear springs to see if they've shifted or if there's anything bent or broken in the rear suspension (including the control arms
). Some rear springs are designed to be installed only on the right side (they will be tagged with a small band of metal
). Check for them and swap sides if necessary. Eyeball the car now: does still appear off? (if your answer is "no" go to the front spring paragraph
If your answer is "yes
" do this: With the front springs neutralized, measure both sides of the rear
at the frame in front of the rear wheels. Don't measure at the wheel wells because the quarters may be incorrectly installed (a whole nother problem
). Assuming the frame is not bent, and the springs are properly installed, you can now use extra rear spring isolators to shim the spring on the side that looks low. Loosen the bolts at the front and rear of the rear control arms, for now, leave them loose. Get the car to look level and take it off the jack stands. Is she level?
" then you've got an issue with the front
springs. The front springs
are more difficult to work with. Once again put jack stands under the rear
axle (just high enough to get the car's weight off the springs
). Inspect the front springs to be sure they are still properly installed. Measure the height of the frame just behind the front wheels. If the frame is okay, then the front springs can also be shimmed to produce the desired levelness. Be sure to loosen the front control arm bolts.
Get the suspension level by shimming and then retighten
all the suspension bolts.
DO NOT use any kind of spring spacers because they can fall out
. Generally, this is not a major issue (unless they fall out and smash into the custom-painted motorcycle of the Hell's Angel riding behind you
), but all your hard work at leveling your ride has now gone down the toilet.
: If your 68-72 A-Body is slammed or lowered even a couple of inches you should purchase and install some rear coil spring retainers
. These retainers were originally supplied with the 65-66 A-Bodies and they actually hold the rear coils in place. This is very important with a lowered car where the rear shock absorbers no longer hold the rear axle up sufficiently when going over a good-sized bump. With shocks that are original length
, if you hit a good sized bump or a dip (and your car "leaps" into the air
) it is possible for the rear axel to drop down so much that the rear springs will fall out!