Raising the rear

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Raising the rear

Post by Shaunaconda on Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:11 pm

If I want to raise the rear an inch or two, is it a matter of replacing the shocks or do I have to replace the rear springs too?
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Re: Raising the rear

Post by Brainstain on Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:01 pm

If the rear shocks are blown out, new ones would help a little but I doubt it could make up 2". If you wanna go cheap they sell spacers on eBay for all those DONK guys that like to put 30" rims on stuff.

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Re: Raising the rear

Post by Joe73 on Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:35 pm

Springs are your ride height. Shocks dampen the bumps. Yes, gas filled shocks will raise the rear slightly but thats not the right way to do it. Just grab new springs.
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Re: Raising the rear

Post by BlackChevelleSS on Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:11 pm

Yes new springs will do the trick, over 40 years they sag down alot. Moog sells a new spring assembly with variable rate, worked out nicely in our 69 elcamino

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Re: Raising the rear

Post by 1973 454 MONTE on Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:50 pm

I put bigger springs on front and rear
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Re: Raising the rear

Post by texan01 on Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:32 pm

SPRINGS....

I had to replace the springs on my '77 sedan as it had the low-rider look with the cross member sitting about 3" off the pavement, and with 6 people on board it hit bottom and stayed there.

New HD springs all the way around picked it up a good 2-3" over the sagged originals. If I had to do it again, I'd still keep the HD springs up front to help with bottoming out, and put the softer standard springs in the rear. But then I like a smooth ride. The HD springs makes it a bit bouncy. I do have new shocks all the way around.

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Re: Raising the rear

Post by pila on Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:01 pm

The rear springs are easy to replace ( compared to the front). With the shocks un-bolted on the bottom end, you can jack the body up enough to switch the springs. Good time to replace the shocks too if needed.
A word of caution: when you jack the body up from the rear end, with the shocks un-bolted, pay attention to how much the rear brake hose is getting tight while jacking. You should have enough slack in the hose to R&R the springs.

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Re: Raising the rear

Post by Shaunaconda on Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:16 pm

Well I had all four shocks replaced and variable rate springs installed on the rear last week. It looks and feels better, but I'd still like it a bit higher in back. The shop that did the work said that they could put air shocks on it and it would work. Just wondering if this would be a good idea?
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Re: Raising the rear

Post by dynchel on Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:30 pm

I wouldn't. My recommendation would be to add spring spacers. Not the kind you wedge between the coils, but the kind that goes between the spring and rear end housing. You can buy them on eBay. Air shocks are meant more to carry loads than to lift, plus it will ride like a empty dump truck. Very Happy
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Re: Raising the rear

Post by Joe73 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:56 pm

dynchel wrote:I wouldn't. My recommendation would be to add spring spacers. Not the kind you wedge between the coils, but the kind that goes between the spring and rear end housing. You can buy them on eBay. Air shocks are meant more to carry loads than to lift, plus it will ride like a empty dump truck. Very Happy


X2 Those spacers are real easy to install and do the job.
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Re: Raising the rear

Post by pila on Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:28 pm

I disagree about air shocks riding like a dump truck, unless the shocks are aired up too much. I'm on my 4th El Camino (all G3s) and haven't had a rough rider yet.
One thing though, I did install some Gabriel air shocks once, and had to remove them because they were way too stiff. Not a good brand for our cars....worse than a dump truck...more like a farm wagon Very Happy

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Re: Raising the rear

Post by dynchel on Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:01 pm

OK fair enough, pila has a good point, However installing air shocks for the sole purpose of raising the ride height is silly (and kind of'70's hillbilly). On a elcamino where you might put something in the bed sure, i would say go with the air shocks. On a laguna (unless you carry a lot of weight) I would not use air shocks. Arrow
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Re: Raising the rear

Post by 77mali on Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:14 pm

X3 for spacers. They sit in the space on the rear axle where the coil would normally be in. The bottom part of the coil goes on top of them. Various thicknesses are available so you can adjust the height pretty easily. Global West Suspension makes them for 73-87 Chevelle & El Camino in 1" & 1.5" for about $30.00/ea

http://www.globalwest.net/globalwestcoilspringspacers.html

Scroll down on the page- ours are on the right side of the page for rear coils.

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Re: Raising the rear

Post by Shaunaconda on Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:20 am

The shop told me that with the variable rate springs, the tension would still be on the springs not on the shocks. But I'll check into some spacers.
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Re: Raising the rear

Post by 2fat2fly on Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:10 am

[quote="Shaunaconda"]If I want to raise the rear an inch or two, is it a matter of replacing the shocks or do I have to replace the rear springs too?[/quote
look into the station wagon springs, I don't think you'll be sorry ! happy bowtie happy bowtie happy bowtie
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Re: Raising the rear

Post by Brainstain on Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:02 pm

Wagon springs will definitely do it. Coupe springs lowered my wagon a good 1-1/2" and made it silly soft. So in reverse, it should give you some nice lift.

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Re: Raising the rear

Post by Shaunaconda on Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:39 pm

Where might I find some wagon springs?
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Re: Raising the rear

Post by G3NUT on Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:47 pm

I have a set of rear cargo springs that i removed from my car. here's a pic of it with them installed.

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Re: Raising the rear

Post by pila on Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:37 pm

I used the HD springs in my '74 Malibu when I restored it. Originals were quite sagged. It sits where it should now. Not sure how the standard springs height would have been, but maybe a bit lower (?)

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Re: Raising the rear

Post by texan01 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:33 am

pila wrote:I used the HD springs in my '74 Malibu when I restored it. Originals were quite sagged. It sits where it should now. Not sure how the standard springs height would have been, but maybe a bit lower (?)

It'd sit at the same height as it does now, just a lot more floppy action when working.

I do love the way the HD springs made mine feel, I loved the smooth stock ride, but always cringed when I saw a dip or bump in the road that I knew would really upset the car with the stock springs, even with great shocks on it. Now I don't worry as much as the suspension can soak up the impact quite well now.

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Re: Raising the rear

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