The sedan lowering kits on the www all show a 40mm drop (1.6"?).
A 3" drop is rather severe and usually requires rolled fender wells if fat tires/wheels are mounted.
I agree that the stock Amazon rides with high-water trousers and cutting coils seems a reasonable option if the existing springs are not fatigued.
I was under the impression that you couldn't cut the springs safely because of how the top and bottom coils are flat, and not angled like the rest of the coils. Seems like it would put too much tension on the top and bottom coils but I could be wrong seeing as how I've heard of others doing it.
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122 springs are square end on both ends, meaning the top is flat and the spring mount on the car is also flat. Tangential springs can be easily cut because the spring continues to spiral all the way to the top. Cars with these springs have spring mounts to fit the end of them (they aren't flat).
I'm not saying it can't be done because I know people have done it before. I'm just not really sure how they do it. Once you cut the end off of a square-end spring, it basically becomes tangential. The 122 isn't set up for that type of spring.
I recently replaced about every front end part except the sway bar. Once I got everything disassembled, I found that the dead coil on top was broken completely off, so I went ahead and replaced all four springs with progressive fronts and single-rate TME rears. Buying stiffer lowering coils is a good way to drop the car about 1-2" (depending on how worn out your suspension is). I can't imagine the stress that the top coil would be under if you cut it and it couldn't sit flat on the spring mount.
Last edited by andrewnance21; 04-20-2012 at 10:14 PM.
The spring mounts are basically rubber, so you just put the spring in there and ignore that it's not seated properly. It works well enough but what I've heard is that eventually it'll break the last coil off due to it being a bit over-stressed. But I ran cut coils for about 6 years in one and never had a problem.
It's really more of a "less than ideal" situation than a "totally wrong and dangerous" situation. Also, they make rubber coil spacers that could effectively be used to convert the flat seats to tangential seats if modified for it. Heck, my V70 rear springs have a big tangential seat that if you just cut a chunk out to reduce the diameter, would work perfectly in a 122 front or rear.
Found a pic:
Last edited by LloydDobler; 04-20-2012 at 11:56 PM.
2003 C70 T5M Convertible - Eibachs, Koni FSDs, Pegs, OBX downpipe, Snabb intake, ARD Green tune, Quaife LSD, Summer fun car
2001 V70 T5M - Black on black, H&R springs, Triton wheels, Koni FSDs, Daily driver
1966 122s - Collectible project, restoration and many mods on the way.
RIP - 2004 C70 HPT Convertible, 5 speed swap
Thanks for all your input. Looks like some new springs would be ideal. Any idea on the free height of the new aftermarket springs? I can get race springs in 11,13,15,16" tall. Just a starting point will be helpful. I have not removed any springs or rated them yet.
It is easy to calculate the spring rate for any coil spring. All you need is the diameter of the "wire", the diameter of the coil, and the number of coils (the length is not relevant as far as the spring rate is concerned, but of course it will affect ride height). All steels have the same modulus of elasticity.
I looked at the volvo racing recommendations from the 60's. They recommend to cut off 2 inches from the front and 3 inches from the rear springs. They don't say anything about what do do with the non-flat end. But they say, "let an experienced spring person do it" ... Note that 2 and 3 inches of the uncompressed coil will lead to less than 2 and 3 inches ride lowering with compressed springs (on the other hand, the spring engages the lower control arm about 2/3rds in from the ball joint, so the two effects may offset each other). I do not know how many coils 2 and 3 inches eliminates, but that is why your spring rate goes up. If the uncompressed spring was, say 12" long, cutting 3" off will increase the rate by 25% (not due to the effect of shorter spring, but due to the effect of fewer number of coils. Example: if you collapsed your spring by heating it up instead of cutting coils off, your new spring would have the same rate, but of course you may have compromised the heat treatment, so this is a BAD idea).
So, if you want to cut off springs that may have sagged, you need to make sure you cut the same number of coils rather than the same length.
The ipd springs have flat end coils, BTW. Progressive springs may be even better because you still get a reasonable ride.
Yes you can calculate springs with simple math or you can use a digital spring checker. The tool is more accurate. As far as race springs I come from dirt track stock car racing back ground so there are a dozen spring makers. Afco, SSS, Eibach, Hypercoil, Speedway Motors, etc. Not looking to debate the merits of one over the other either. Last thing I want is a thread entitled 'Primal2 vs ???????' lol. These springs are inexpensive especially used on certain auction sites.
I have not tried progressive springs either, but the fundamental idea is good, if you plan to drive the car a lot on the road.
I can see why a spring rate measurement can be more accurate. The coil of the springs may not be perfectly round, and your measurements can be off. But my guess is that the errors will not be large. The point is, its the number of coils that matters, not the length.
Even using a calipers to measure the wire diameter rates can easily vary 30 to 50 pounds when double checked with a good rater. I have come to the conclusion that 4 new springs will be needed. I'm going to pull the springs and rate them myself and go from there. Probably 4 conventional springs slightly stiffer and sitting 2 to 2.5 " lower. Thanks to all for your input.