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About rgauthier

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  • Birthday 11/09/1941

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  • Gender:
  • Location:
    Chandler, AZ winter / West Linn, OR summer
  • Interests:
    European sports cars, RC airplanes, golf

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  1. rgauthier

    Best way to lower 69 Skylark 2” front & rear?

    I gave serious thought to the order of installing these modifications. I know I want to swap 14” wheels for 15” wheels and I know I can buy tires for the 15” wheels that are wider but with less sidewall that yield stock total wheel diameter, 26.3”. Assuming my research is correct, I can calculate and do the suspension on the stock wheels and tires and the stance won’t change when I swap to 15” wheels with the proper tire size (need a little time to get the cash together). Is there anything wrong with my logic?
  2. rgauthier

    Best way to lower 69 Skylark 2” front & rear?

    First, I want to thank everyone who provided valuable information which I did use in my decision making process. As a newbie to anything American muscle car let along Buick I have much to learn. You guys helped, and of course I'll have to make my share of mistakes for things to sink in. So, here's what I did. I ordered 4 custom springs from Eaton Detroit. Two inch from stock drop in the front and one inch drop from stock in the rear. I'll install the springs and new shocks (the existing ones are shot). Then find and install a disc brake conversion kit on the front. After that's installed and working well, measure for tire width that will fit. I want to replace the 14x6 wheels with 15x7 Ralley wheels and red line radial tires to maintain the stock total wheel diameter (26.3") but with additional width. This should improve both the cosmetics and less tire sidewall improve the handling. And maybe the new springs and shocks will even improve the ride a little. I'm thinking this approach doesn't break the bank and still will give me most of what I want; improved stance, improved safety and better "drive level" handling performance. Thanks again to everyone who shared their experience.
  3. rgauthier

    Best way to lower 69 Skylark 2” front & rear?

    I really appreciate all the feedback I've received on this subject and am close to making a decision. I have a quote from CPP for a complete kit for 2" dropped spindles and front disc brake conversion. I like the front disc brake conversion idea because increased safety is one of my goals for the car. There cost is $800 and change. I also have a quote from Eaton Detroit Spring for (4) custom coil springs (2" drop in front and 1" drop in rear) with all the associated installation hardware. There quote is $499. I continue to search for an economical coil over kit, but haven't found one I like yet. Since my goal is the "right" stance, my initial thought was the car needed to come down both front and rear. There have been a couple of comments suggesting that if the front were down 2" I would like the stance and see no need to lower the rear. I do like some "rake" and one of the things that again draws me to the dropped spindles and disc brake conversion, is I could install that and the wheel and tire change I have in mind and evaluate the stance. If the rear does need to go down an set of Eaton Detroit custom rear springs would solve that problem. Oh, and KongaMan mentioned Mission Creep. Here is a picture of an Austin Healey Sprite that I was going to fix up a little 4 or 5 years ago. I'm trying not to get as carried away with the '69 Buick as I did with the Sprite.
  4. rgauthier

    Best way to lower 69 Skylark 2” front & rear?

    Janousek, I just sent an email to Eaton Detroit Spring explaining what I was trying to accomplish and asked for their recommendation on what I would need from them (springs, installation kit, shocks?) to meet my goals. It will be interesting to see what the total cost is compared to coil overs. Thanks for the "lead."
  5. rgauthier

    Best way to lower 69 Skylark 2” front & rear?

    Boy, that's a pretty '53. I have a long way to go before my '69 will turn heads like I'm sure your car does. I had not thought about dropped spindles as a possible solution but I will check it out. Coil overs, custom springs, dropped spindles, there are many solutions with differing price tags. I also want to increase wheel size and tire width just a little (go from the stock 14x6 Ralleye wheels to 15x7 Ralleye wheels with tires that increase total wheel diameter only slightly). I'm thinking that's not enough change to affect any of the potential methods of lowering the car 2".
  6. rgauthier

    Best way to lower 69 Skylark 2” front & rear?

    Thanks for the information. If I’m going to be installing coil overs and have the suspension apart it would make sense to replace the sway bars as well. I have a book that cross references most parts, including suspension, from my ‘69 Skylark to all other GM vehicles. I’ll check sway bars to see what is interchangeable, then all I need to do is see if any are of larger diameter. I assume there are after market replacements as well. If there are GM interchangeable sway bars but of greater diameter, for a little cleanup I could save some money which can be invested in the car elsewhere. Thanks again.
  7. rgauthier

    Best way to lower 69 Skylark 2” front & rear?

    This is helpful to me, thank you. My first goal is cosmetic, get just the right stance. The second is improved handling. This car is in the process of becoming a really nice “old mans” nice weather daily driver. Other than an occasional Buick Club event, It is neither a show car nor a performance car. Given its use, does anyone have a recommendation for which coil over kit(s) I should consider? Thanks.
  8. rgauthier

    Best way to lower 69 Skylark 2” front & rear?

    Matt, I’m sold. I’m going to do it. The car is in AZ and I’m in OR for the holidays, but will order parts sent to AZ as soon as I arrive on Jan 4th. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Here is the car I recently bought to turn into a really nice driver. It has some rust (nothing major) that is being removed now, so I can get work on everything else.
  9. rgauthier

    Best way to lower 69 Skylark 2” front & rear?

    Matt, I appreciate your expertise. I can manage the increased cost, but I do have a serious concern. I’m good with tools and have worked on European sports car restorations quite a bit. But, I have no experience with American muscle cars in general and never installed coil overs. Also, I will be working with basic mechanics hand tools, no air tools, no hoist, etc. Assuming I am patient, careful and can follow instructions well, can I do the coil over installation myself? Thanks again. Ray
  10. I’m thinking the best way to lower the car 2” front and rear is a custom spring kit. Anyone have a good experience with a particular kit manufacturer? To me quality and ease of installation are more important than cost.