Rear suspension - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-21-2018, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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Rear suspension

I'm trying to correct the rear ride height on my 69 LeMans since it is sitting a bit low. Should I start with the struts or go straight for the rear coil springs?

Also do the rear struts typically have coils on them as well? Mine currently do, but I'm not finding many aftermarket parts with them.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-21-2018, 09:07 PM
 
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I'm trying to correct the rear ride height on my 69 LeMans since it is sitting a bit low. Should I start with the struts or go straight for the rear coil springs?

Also do the rear struts typically have coils on them as well? Mine currently do, but I'm not finding many aftermarket parts with them.

Pontiac's DO NOT have struts. They DO have upper and lower control arms. If you have struts with coils on them, then you most likely have an aftermarket set-up. Need pictures of that set-up for a better answer.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 02:40 AM
 
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Hi 69 237, I think you might be confused on what your seeing, your car has springs and shocks only. There are shocks that have a spring wrapped around them and I believe that’s what your referring about. You do have options as far as putting a little lift in the rear and there are posts from other members on this issue.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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You're right. I just called them the wrong thing when I posted. I do have rear shocks with helper springs.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 06:49 AM
 
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👍, I figured so, no worries, I’ve seen guys on here order spacers that fit under the main springs to help with the rear sag, air shocks which depends on who you talk to isn’t the best idea ( for handling sakes ),replacing the main springs with more firmness , etc just depends on what one can afford, otherwise just play it safe on what ever you decide.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 06:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Is the best route to replace the rear springs theif so, how difficult is that? It looks like it'll be a challenge to even get the springs in and out.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 11:47 AM
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Is the best route to replace the rear springs theif so, how difficult is that? It looks like it'll be a challenge to even get the springs in and out.
Yes, and it's actually an easy job.

Jack up the rear of the car nice and high, support it at the frame with jack stands, then use your jack to lift the rear axle just a bit and support it. Disconnect the shocks at their lower mounts. Lower the rear axle down as far as it will go. You should then be able to pull the springs out without too much trouble, and install new ones. You might consider using station wagon springs to get a little more oomph. You may have to use a long 2x4 or something to pry down on the axle to get a little more room, but it's not hard to do. Lose the helper springs and don't use air shocks -- the shock mounts are not strong enough to support the weight of the car (queue the long line of people who say they've been doing it for years with no problems - they've been lucky). If after replacing the springs you still don't like the stance and think it's not high enough, then consider either converting to real coilovers on the rear ($$$) or installing AirLift bags into your springs. I've had AirLift bags on my car for years. I didn't put them on to address a ride height problem, I put them on prior to us going on the 2013 Hot Rod Power Tour and wanted to be able to carry a full complement of tools, extra parts, etc. in the trunk. I mounted the Schrader valves for the air lines in the trunk pan next to the latch mechanism, with a separate valve for each side, to make them individually adjustable and easy to get to.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 06:38 PM
 
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Hi 69 237, I think you might be confused on what your seeing, your car has springs and shocks only. There are shocks that have a spring wrapped around them and I believe thatís what your referring about. You do have options as far as putting a little lift in the rear and there are posts from other members on this issue.
They probably still make these, but you could buy a helper coil spring that goes over the shock and gets clamped into place with what looks like an exhaust type clamp. I have used them in my younger years to lift up a sagging rear.

One thing I have to admit to is that the technology and computers have really enhanced what we can learn about with regards to our cars and at a click of the mouse find all kinds of parts & pieces from a host of manufacturers and suppliers. Did not have this in my time - we had junk yards and a JC Whitney catalog. So we did what we knew and worked with what we had - sometimes blindly and sometimes learning lessons of "ut-oh, that ain't goin' work." LOL We also did things that should not have worked, but did. LOL And some things we did almost killed us.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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That's great news. Any advice on specific parts to go with? I was looking at the moog oem replacements

Jim sometimes that's the best way to learn. I am glad we have forums now though.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 08:49 PM
 
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That's great news. Any advice on specific parts to go with? I was looking at the moog oem replacements

Jim sometimes that's the best way to learn. I am glad we have forums now though.

Depends on what you are going for. This has been covered a number of times in past forums and you can do a search just to get some ideas.

You can go stock height, or raise it up a little. So you have choices. Moog typically is a good brand. Get new rubber isolators while you are at it, they go on the top of the springs and then up into the spring pocket - Summit, Ames, OPGI, or.... has them.
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