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kdml

Choosing Coil Springs

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I am trying to select springs for my '65. I was hoping to lower the car slightly with a little stiffer spring to improve handling. Understanding that the optional suspension for '65 allowed for a slightly lower/stiffer spring I figured I would purchase a set of springs with the same specs.

I contacted Eaton springs, but they did no have specs for the optional suspension. They indicated the standard suspension had spring rates of 420lbs (front) and 200lbs (rear). They did offer a front spring that would be approx 1 to 1.5 inches lower, which had a spring rate of 600lbs. This sounded too stiff to me. There only option for rear springs was something .75 to 1 inch lower with a spring rate of 230 lbs

I also contact coilsprings.com and they offered a spring which dropped the car 1 inch and was 25% stiffer then stock.

Anyone have specs on the optional suspension for '65? Anyone have any other thoughts; I am not looking to drop the car too low or stiffen the suspension to the point of being uncomfortable.

Thanks

Doug

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I saw your thread on lowering your car and I had checked out Jamco's website. How do you like the ride - how stiff is it?

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Jamco is the choice for me. I have used 4 sets on a variety of cars including a 65 and a 71 Riv.

very nice ride.

Just bought another set for a 70 Cad

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I lowered mine 3". It has a more stiff ride than factory. If I remember correctly they claim a 30% stiffer spring rate. You don't have to buy the deluxe lowering kit. You can get just springs.

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Here is another option I know some folks have used. I'm surprised Eaton didn't have the 65 GS spring specs. I had heard in the past they did.

This is a tough topic because most feedback from people who install "factory replacement springs" is based on that individuals perception of what is right and/or what makes them happy and not physical trim height measurements vs whats in the shop manual.

Do as much homework as you can before buying springs and try to get as much feedback as possible. My experiences have been all bad in the area of factory replacement springs for the 67 GS.

Coil Spring Specialties

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Thanks for the advice Jason

That's what I am trying to do with this post - gather as much information as possible. I will probably post similar threads on other sites as well, before making a final decision

Anyone else who has some experience with purchasing springs please chime in

Thanks again

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I used Coil Spring Specialties and purchased the GS coils which lowers the car just slightly, it will take a few months for the front end to settle in to the correct height and I am very happy with height, I can give you the final meaurements if you would like.

Eric.

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Eric,

Measurements would be great. Did you just ask coil spring specialities for GS springs and the had the specs? I tried this with Eaton and they did not have the specs.

Thanks

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I too, am looking for some quality replacement OEM style springs for my 65 Riv GS Restoration Project. Any other input would be appreiated.

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I just called Coil Spring Specialties. The sales lady asked their engineer, and they do have the specs for the 65 GS springs. I just ordered a set of fronts and rears.

I plan to restore my rolling chassis first, so hopefully these springs are correct. Currently the front end of my car sits really high. I imagine at some point in time they must of been changed. Here is a pic of the car as it sat in 1978, and here is a current pic. in both pics, you can see the front is way too high.

65_Riviera_sitting_in_yard_at_308_West_Pine_St_in_Wake_Forest.jpg

87GNand65Riv040.jpg

Here is a couple of different restored 65 GS's. This is how I think a nice stock GS should sit.

65RivGS3.jpg

1965buickrivieragsdws.jpg

Edited by Rob J (see edit history)

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Finally got an education from Kevin at Coil Spring Specialties as to the differences between the standard '65 Riviera springs and the optional springs. I will be ordering a set of optional springs.

Spring rates and load rates for optional springs differ from the standard springs. Rates are as follows:

Front Spring Rates:

380#/in standard with ac

400#/in standard w/o ac

500#/in optional

Rear Spring Rates:

170#/in standard

220#/in optional

Front Load Rates:

2410 standard

2310 optional

Rear Load Rates:

1270 standard

1170 optional

The optional springs have a higher spring rate, but a lower load rate.

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I just received my 65 GS springs from Coil Spring Specialties. I'll try and get a couple of pics up of them when I can.

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Wow. I would think the spring rate would be higher for an A/C equiped car. I wonder what the logic is behind that?

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Hi Rob,

Please post the wire diameter, the number of coils and the standing free height. I`m curious whether coil spring specialties is selling Electra rear springs as heavy duty replacements as was done in the aftermarket for many years. They make the car sit too high in the rear and make the ride too stiff and abrupt.

Tom Mooney

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Hi Rob,

Please post the wire diameter, the number of coils and the standing free height. I`m curious whether coil spring specialties is selling Electra rear springs as heavy duty replacements as was done in the aftermarket for many years. They make the car sit too high in the rear and make the ride too stiff and abrupt.

Tom Mooney

Tom, when I get home this evening, I'll take some pics and measurements of the springs. According to the folks at CSS, they are supposed to be correct. I hope they are.

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Wow. I would think the spring rate would be higher for an A/C equiped car. I wonder what the logic is behind that?

You are correct. Think thats just a typo.

kdml,

Interesting info. It appears there is a difference in specs from the standard spring between what Eaton told you and Coilspring Specialities. Someone has to be wrong which doesn't improve my opinion on aftermarkets ability to provide exact factory rated springs. I would tend to lean towards the info from Coil Spring Specialties though. At least they differentiate between an A/C and non A/C spring.

Note spring rate is determined by the amount of weight it takes to compress the spring 1". Thus a 500# spring compresses 1" if a 500lb weight is placed on it.

Did Kevin say what the defintion of load rate is? I think it has something to do with how much weight the spring carries at a certain amount of deflection but I'm just not sure. I don't quite understand how the load rate decreases on a spring with a higher spring rate. Might have something to do with deflection.

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My bad - that is a typo.

The ac spring rate should be 400#/in and the w/o ac rate should be 380#/in

Your definition of spring rate is correct.

Kevin did not mention the definition of load , but based on my limited understanding it is the amount of weight the spring is designed to carry at a certain height. The optional springs have a lower load; thus, they are not designed to support the same weight as the standard springs. Assuming the spring height and vehicle weight are equal the optional springs will cause the a car have a lower ride height, as it cannot support the same weight; although when hitting a bump the optional spring will be harder to compress, due to its higher spring rate.

Thanks

Doug

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Here are a couple of pics of the Coil Spring Specialties 65 GS Springs.

The fronts are 15 1/4" high, and the rears are 16 5/8" high.

Diameter is 3/4" for the fronts, and 5/8" for the rears.

65GSSprings001.jpg

65GSSprings003.jpg

65GSSprings002.jpg

65GSSprings004.jpg

Edited by Rob J (see edit history)

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Rob,

Do you have a set of calipers/micrometer that you could check the exact wire diameter of the coils? A few tousandths difference (not distinguishable to the naked eye) in wire diameter has a considerable impact on spring rate.

Its a good idea to take measurements in 3-5 locations and average it.

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I paid $419.36 with the mafia rate shipping fee's.

Jason, I do not have a mic. Been meaning to buy one for a while now, so I guess now is the time.

Will check the dims and post when I get a mic.

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I paid $419.36 with the mafia rate shipping fee's.

Don't bother, I will pay more for shipping ;)

Rob, are you making also engine restoration, or your engine is OK ?

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I paid $419.36 with the mafia rate shipping fee's.

Jason, I do not have a mic. Been meaning to buy one for a while now, so I guess now is the time.

Will check the dims and post when I get a mic.

After seeing this price I checked Jamco's price and discovered they are on sale. The price in for the front springs I don't know if the rear springs are the same. But this looks like a steal! Jamco Suspension - <b>Front Suspension & Steering</b> Buick 63-70 BUICK RIVIERA FRONT COIL SPRINGS Jamco Suspension, Your #1 Source for Hot Rod Brakes and Suspension!If my memory is correct. I gave under $330 for mine shipped. I had a 10% discount. But this is alot better deal. You can get stock, 1",2",or 3" drop.

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