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Noob needs advise on coil and leaf springs...help...


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Good afternoon all!

What I've got is a 1965 Rambler American 440 232cu. I bought it knowing that it was going to be a project, and I have a good set of tools. It's time to tackle the first item of business - namely the front coil springs and rear leaf springs.

1. The car is riding really low, but...

2. I'm not sure of the standard ground clearance is for my can

3. The shocks look pretty ancient

4. The rear leaf springs are pretty durn flat, i.e., not springy

SO...my questions are:

1. Is there a way to tell if the F/R springs are shot?

2. Should I just go ahead and replace the coil and leaf springs? And if so, where might I find the parts?

2. If I'm going to tackle the leaf and coil springs, should I just go ahead and replace the shocks at the time?

My thinking is that coil/leaf springs are just plain tired out. I've heard that I could install an air compressor and air adjusters both front and rear. Ahhhh...how 'bout no on that idea.

Any and ALL input with my questions will be greatly appreciated.

John C. Galleni

Oakland, CA

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John,

Coil Spring Specialites or Espo Springs N Things can make both the coil springs and the rear leaf springs I think. I have purchased leaf springs for my 65 American 330 within the last year and half. They are doing OK but the spring clamps on the leaf bundle are more cheaply made than the originals. Eaton Detroit Springs can make the leaf springs but they will no longer wind those narrow AMC coils for the front. The Eaton Springs, from what I have heard are top quality. I requested an inch more height on my leaf springs and the car sits level and does not sag in the rear like most old Ramblers. I encourage you to join the AMC Forum which is frequented by several guys you own these cars and work on them all the time. Oen recommendation you will get is to purchase (or borrow) the aftermarket front spring tool made by a guy with a screen name of GarryJav. It's an updated version of the AMC dealer tool that was used to handle these narrow coil springs. They can be hazardous is not handled properly. Replacing shocks with new conventional shocks will not do much of anything for the ride height of your car. Gas shocks can lift it just a little if your springs are really tired, but shocks to more for the ride that the ride height. Another option for you leaf springs is to have them re-arced at a spring shop. If you do remove them, you should plan on replacing the old tire spring bushings. Welcome to the world of AMC and enjoy your Rambler. PM me if you want to know about the Rambler Club in northern California. Joe Fulton, Salinas, CA.

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