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88 springs, stock ride height, but increased spring rate. by qwikgta
Started on: 03-19-2012 04:26 PM
Replies: 16 (1045 views)
Last post by: fieroguru on 11-27-2013 07:27 PM
qwikgta
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Report this Post03-19-2012 04:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for qwikgtaClick Here to Email qwikgtaSend a Private Message to qwikgtaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ok, so I have spent the last two hours reading about 30 threads about springs, shocks and struts. We have a lot of information out there, some of it very logical and some of it contradicts itself. Very confusing.

Car: 1988 Coupe w/ LS3
Front: 1.5" dropped springs, 400lb sping rate (WCF), KYB shocks
Rear: WCF coilover w/ KYB struts, 350lb spring rate.

I am not happy with my suspension, and I’m looking at making some changes. I have an 88 coupe and have checked my options at WCF, Fiero Store and Arrautmotorsports (HT/HELD) for KONI or another name brand shock/spring setup. I have KYB now and I don’t like them, so KYB is out. I also don’t want to go with Delco, Beilstein or Monroe. I was looking at the QA1 website for options on using a set of their shocks, and I have a few options but I needed some additional shock measurements. I already have the measurements for the stock shock, both compressed/extended and was looking to see how much travel I have under my setup. I decided to measure the shock travel on the front end, and I could not believe my eyes, I have about a ½ inch of travel before the shock body makes contact with the shock mount. Now I know why it feels like I am about to rip off the front end when I hit a big bump on the highway.

In my current setup I installed WCF 1.5” lowered springs on the front (400lbs). I was not happy with the ride height, so I cut off ½ of the top coil. As stated, I also have KYB’s up front. The ride height is perfect, and it handles like a dream but it is a bear to ride in on the highways (bad roads here). Again, when the road is smooth, it is a great ride. Firm, no body lean, it's exactly what I want. But with only ½ inch of travel, I need to fix this, bumpy roads just suck.

So I know I have many options, and as of today I'm looking at going with 1.5" dropped spindles, but what I do need to find is a set of stock height springs for an 88 that are already at the 375-400lb range. In other words, if I was going to run a set of 1.5” dropped spindles, and wanted a stock spring, where can I get one that is at the 375-400lb range. All the springs that have an increased spring rate also offer a lowered ride height. I don’t want the lowered springs, just the added spring rate. I don't want to install a set of stock 88 springs, because the rate is about 200-250lbs. To soft for me.

Does anyone have a vendor that they recommend for the stock height 88 springs at 375-400lb rate so I can run a 1.5” dropped spindle and still have the firm ride I’m looking for?

Thanks in advance.

Rob

------------------


88 Coupe, CJB T-TOP, LS376 and a GT clip
Build Thread: http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/083204.html
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88lambo
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Report this Post03-19-2012 05:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 88lamboSend a Private Message to 88lamboEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Did you raise your suspension bump stop? If not this would explain your 1/2" travel limitation
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Report this Post03-19-2012 05:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 88lambo:

Did you raise your suspension bump stop? If not this would explain your 1/2" travel limitation


On an 88 you do not raise it, you cut it down like this trimmed one in front of stock one):


Rob, I can take a look at my Moog spring catalog on Tuesday (it is at work). It list ID/OD, wire dia, length and spring rate for hundreds of springs.
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qwikgta
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Report this Post03-19-2012 08:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for qwikgtaClick Here to Email qwikgtaSend a Private Message to qwikgtaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 88lambo:

Did you raise your suspension bump stop? If not this would explain your 1/2" travel limitation


Nothing about my issues have anything to do with the bumpstop. The shock body is 8" or so long, and its in a space that is only 8 1/2 long. I lost about 2 inch's of suspension travel when I put in the lowered spring. I either need to get a shorter shock, or us a spacer below the shock to extend it. Or, I can put on a dropped spindle and go back to a stock length spring.

Rob
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qwikgta
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Report this Post03-19-2012 08:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for qwikgtaClick Here to Email qwikgtaSend a Private Message to qwikgtaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:


On an 88 you do not raise it, you cut it down like this trimmed one in front of stock one):


Rob, I can take a look at my Moog spring catalog on Tuesday (it is at work). It list ID/OD, wire dia, length and spring rate for hundreds of springs.


Thanks, I was attempting to find the stock size, I saw your post on a few threads with a picture of a 84-87 sping, a 88 stock and a 88 (-1 coil). I would assume that a 350-400lb spring would not be the same length, i'd assume it would be shorter. But i'll make up for it with the dropped spindle.

Rob
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fieroguru
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Report this Post03-20-2012 08:15 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Here are a few options after a quick look. The first one is an 88 ARD front spring. The 2nd one might be close to a drop in and get you close to the ride height you are looking for, but it is slightly over the 400 lb/in target. The rest are slightly too long and in the mid 300's for spring rate. By the time to trim them to your desired ride height they will be in the 375 to 425 range.

There may be other newer options, but my catalog is a June 2009 version.

Just google Moog Springs and the part # below and you can find the prices for the springs.

code:

Spring Coil ID Bar Dia Rate Free Length
ARD – 88 front 3.881 .493 205 lb/in 12.31 in
2278 3.420 .609 435 lb/in 11.00 in
6434 3.510 .593 373 lb/in 12.50 in
8578 3.510 .580 352 lb/in 12.75 in
8542 3.510 .565 324 lb/in 13.38 in



[This message has been edited by fieroguru (edited 03-20-2012).]

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qwikgta
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Report this Post03-20-2012 10:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for qwikgtaClick Here to Email qwikgtaSend a Private Message to qwikgtaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks a bunch, just what I was looking for.

I'll let you all know how it goes.

Rob
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Steven Snyder
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Report this Post11-26-2013 11:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Steven SnyderClick Here to visit Steven Snyder's HomePageClick Here to Email Steven SnyderSend a Private Message to Steven SnyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
WCF's springs are cut down for the drop. I think they come in at close to stock height if you order them that way. They are also custom made for WCF, so you should be able to order them in any spring rate or length you want. You can also get spacers which fit in the upper spring perch to adjust the height if it's a bit too low.

 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:

Here are a few options after a quick look. The first one is an 88 ARD front spring. The 2nd one might be close to a drop in and get you close to the ride height you are looking for, but it is slightly over the 400 lb/in target. The rest are slightly too long and in the mid 300's for spring rate. By the time to trim them to your desired ride height they will be in the 375 to 425 range.

There may be other newer options, but my catalog is a June 2009 version.

Just google Moog Springs and the part # below and you can find the prices for the springs.

code:

Spring Coil ID Bar Dia Rate Free Length
ARD – 88 front 3.881 .493 205 lb/in 12.31 in
2278 3.420 .609 435 lb/in 11.00 in
6434 3.510 .593 373 lb/in 12.50 in
8578 3.510 .580 352 lb/in 12.75 in
8542 3.510 .565 324 lb/in 13.38 in







For anyone else who's interested in looking at what off-the-shelf springs might work.. here's the Moog catalog: http://www.moogproblemsolve...oil_Springs_Spec.pdf
(Note: the pictures for square and tagential ends seems to be reversed)

[This message has been edited by Steven Snyder (edited 11-26-2013).]

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Patrick
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Report this Post11-26-2013 03:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by qwikgta:

I decided to measure the shock travel on the front end, and I could not believe my eyes, I have about a ½ inch of travel before the shock body makes contact with the shock mount. Now I know why it feels like I am about to rip off the front end when I hit a big bump on the highway.


 
quote
Originally posted by qwikgta:

Nothing about my issues have anything to do with the bumpstop.


... ???

I'm confused. What is the point of the bump stop if it doesn't limit suspension travel to prevent shocks from bottoming out and/or coil springs from binding? Did you shorten the bump stop? Or is the body of the KYB shocks simply longer than OEM shocks?

I have an '88 Formula that I'll be altering the suspension for autocross, so I'm hoping to find out what's going on with your '88. Thanks.
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Report this Post11-26-2013 04:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Steven SnyderClick Here to visit Steven Snyder's HomePageClick Here to Email Steven SnyderSend a Private Message to Steven SnyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Based on my measurements, the factory bumpstop will hit before the shocks do. If you shorten the bumpstop much at all, the shock will bottom out first (very bad). I don't have measurements of the KYBs but I don't remember them being any different in length than the stock ones.
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Report this Post11-26-2013 06:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The KYB's are longer than stock and longer than the Koni's so they are the first to bottom out.


With no spring or shock installed, the lower a-arm hits the bump stop as shown (16" wheel with 205/50/16 tire):




Here is where the KYB shock bottoms (no spring, no bump stop installed):



With the KYB shocks, I always add spacers to shim the shock further down below the lower a-arm to improve its range of motion in compression. I bent the t-bars pretty bad by bottoming the shock on my first set of KYB's.

Here is a stock front bump stop with the mark where I trim them:


Here is a trimmed front bump stop:

[This message has been edited by fieroguru (edited 11-26-2013).]

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Report this Post11-26-2013 07:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:

The KYB's are longer than stock and longer than the Koni's so they are the first to bottom out.


That's interesting (and helpful).

Do you happen to know how the length of Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks (for 88's) compares to the stock OEM shocks?
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fieroguru
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Report this Post11-26-2013 09:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

That's interesting (and helpful).

Do you happen to know how the length of Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks (for 88's) compares to the stock OEM shocks?


Nope, never had any of those.
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Report this Post11-26-2013 09:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:

Nope, never had any of those.


Well damn... that's not very helpful.

The next time I have the front end off the ground I'll look at the Sensa-Tracs I have on my Formula and see how they compare to an old stock set of shocks I have here. (And if I remember I'll post the info in this thread.)
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Report this Post11-26-2013 09:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

That's interesting (and helpful).

Do you happen to know how the length of Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks (for 88's) compares to the stock OEM shocks?


Sensa Tracs are what I just put on mine.
I didn't notice any difference between those and the ones that came off, but then I wasn't looking.

I can try to get a measurement of the Sensa Tracs over the next few days. I think I've already scrapped the originals.

FWIW, mine has 86 GT front springs, cut down by 1.25 coils. I also cut down my bump stops.
I haven't noticed anything bottoming out, abruptly. If anything, it rides better than it did with the original (shortened by one coil) 88 springs, and the old shocks.

Edit - I didn't realize that you had them too.

[This message has been edited by Raydar (edited 11-26-2013).]

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Patrick
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Report this Post11-26-2013 09:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Raydar:

FWIW, mine has 86 GT front springs, cut down by 1.25 coils. I also cut down my bump stops.
I haven't noticed anything bottoming out, abruptly. If anything, it rides better than it did with the original (shortened by one coil) 88 springs, and the old shocks.


I temporarily installed a set of Intrax lowering springs (for '84-'87) in the front of the Formula just to see what it would be like. It's lower than with the original (uncut) springs, but still way too high. I've got a lot of work to do with the suspension on this car before it handles as well as my duke powered tweaked '84!
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fieroguru
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Report this Post11-27-2013 07:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

Well damn... that's not very helpful.


These measurements were previously shared by Steven Snyder, but I don't know if the Monroe part # is the Sensa trac or not.

 
quote


The Koni shocks for the 88 Fiero have extended and compressed lengths of 12.25 inches and 8 inches respectively, according to my measurements. With the spring removed, I compressed my suspension to the bump stop (which I trimmed back some) and the Koni shock is around 3/8" from full compression.

For reference, the Monroe 5821, which is listed for the 88 Fiero, has extended and compressed lengths of 11.750 inches and 8 respectively, according to the catalog.


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