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  • Lowering the 65....

    I have been pm'ing Starliner62 and oltrknut back and forth regarding lowering my 65. They have provided a lot of good info thus far. But, I wanted to toss this out to the mainstream.

    If I end up lowering it, will I have rubbing issues with the stock (or what came with it when I got it) 205/75/r15's? I will be heading to the used tire shop here fairly soon for some new shoes and want to make sure that I get the right size.

    I plan on lowering the back 2" inches and cutting coils in the front. Havent decided how much exactly. I have read that 1 coil may drop it as much as 2" after settling. is this true?

    Long term, I would like to get some wide whites. But, the change isn't in the bank for those yet.
    Last edited by cultural infidel; 04-04-2012, 02:31 PM.
    1960 Lark VIII Regal Wagon


  • #2
    I can't say for a '65, but here's what I experienced on the '57. My advice: Go mild and don't do anything too aggressive.

    I'm also running 205/75/15's.

    Here it is with 1 3/4 coil cut out. It scraped the fenders. Badly.



    I tried again, with only 3/4 of a coil cut out. It dropped the nose slightly and the stance is great. No scrubbing at all.

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    • #3
      Wide whites weren't used on 65s. By then they were using narrower whitewalls. You can use a lower profile tire if you do not go with Wide Whites.
      Jon Stalnaker
      Karel Staple Chapter SDC

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      • #4
        my son drove a 65 as a dailey driver for about 4 years. He lowered his by simply putting 14' wheels& tires on it. He liked the way it looked and said the handling improved greatly.
        Neil Thornton

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sdude View Post
          Wide whites weren't used on 65s. By then they were using narrower whitewalls. You can use a lower profile tire if you do not go with Wide Whites.
          I know that they weren't used... but I'm thinking about using them. I will probably end up with a lower profile tire with a thin white for the time being. Got a size suggestion?


          Originally posted by rockinhawk View Post
          my son drove a 65 as a dailey driver for about 4 years. He lowered his by simply putting 14' wheels& tires on it. He liked the way it looked and said the handling improved greatly.
          I may end up going that route if I can find a cheap set near me
          1960 Lark VIII Regal Wagon

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          • #6
            Joe's Cruiser is running 215/70 15 inch tires. I have no idea how many coils were cut out of the springs that are on the car. I got them already cut. The car sits pretty low in the front and there is no tire rub.
            Jamie McLeod
            Hope Mills, NC

            1963 Lark "Ugly Betty"
            1958 Commander "Christine"
            1964 Wagonaire "Louise"
            1955 Commander Sedan
            1964 Champ
            1960 Lark

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            • #7
              You can approximate the change by this method:

              1. Measure the distance from the lower A-arm pivot point to the spring. Since the coil of the spring has some width (3"-4") to it I would go to the mid point for an average.

              2. Measure the distance from the same A-arm pivot point to the outer edge of the tire.

              3. Mark these three points on a yardstick (use tape to keep the wife happy).

              4. Keep the starting inward edge secured (a lot of yardsticks have a hole to hang it up with, this would make a great pivot point).

              5. Pivot the the yardstick and check the corresponding changes that are measured at the mark for the spring and then the mark for the outer edge of the tire.

              Example: If you pivot the yardstick and measure the movement at the spring as one inch the movement at the tire outer edge should be a number greater than one inch.

              Basically what you are getting is a comparison of spring height change to movement at the outer wheel. It's not perfect, but it should be in the ballpark. I'm sure there are math formulas that can be used, but I not be that smart to tell um to ya.

              As has been stated be cautious in how much you cut. My general experience with many cars is that one inch is a typical maximum. Also take into account that most springs are wound to sit flat. Cutting the coils produces an elevated edge. This can cause springs to sit oddly and not seat properly.

              Ideally a dropped spindle is the best as it preserves the designed steering geometry while still lowering the car.

              Tom
              '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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              • #8
                Thanks Tom. Solid post with good tips. I had read somewhere, maybe the HAMB, about heating the cut end of the coil and flattening it out. Ill have to find that link again.

                Thanks for everyone else's input thus far. Looking forward to hearing more.

                Back to my research!
                1960 Lark VIII Regal Wagon

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rockinhawk View Post
                  my son drove a 65 as a dailey driver for about 4 years. He lowered his by simply putting 14' wheels& tires on it. He liked the way it looked and said the handling improved greatly.
                  To the OP: I'd try a set of 14 inchers first before messing with cutting springs, etc.
                  --------------------------------------

                  Sold my 1962; Studeless at the moment

                  Borrowed Bams50's sigline here:

                  "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

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                  • #10
                    Since I'm not near the car to measure, what is the pattern I should be looking for? Or what vehicles should I look at for wheels?
                    1960 Lark VIII Regal Wagon

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                    • #11
                      14" wheels will lower the car by 1/2". The only thing though is 14" tires are getting harder to find (aka pricey)
                      59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
                      60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
                      61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
                      62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
                      62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
                      62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
                      63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
                      63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
                      64 Zip Van
                      66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
                      66 Cruiser V-8 auto

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                      • #12
                        14" will also shorten the final gear ratio.. Increase rev's per mph. Maybe good or bad depending on your use..

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                        • #13
                          Don't put heat to the coils unless you reheat them in an oven at 450 degrees for one hour.
                          101st Airborne Div. 326 Engineers Ft Campbell Ky.

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                          • #14
                            I personally wouldn't go with 14" wheels. I just don't think they will fill the wheel wells very well. Also as said earlier in the thread smaller wheels lead to increased RPM's which is something I wouldn't want on a car to be used on the highway. As Jamie said earlier, my '65 Cruiser is using 15" MOPAR cop car wheels with 215/70 tires. I am using BF Goodrich Touring Pro tires. No problems with clearance. I am not sure how much lower than stock the car sits, but it is noticably lower. Also used 1 inch lowering blocks in the rear. I am looking for improved handling so the lower stance, wider wheels/tires along with an oversized front sway bar and a rear sway bar and quick steering arms should do it. We'll see before long.
                            Joe Roberts
                            '61 R1 Champ
                            '65 Cruiser
                            Eastern North Carolina Chapter

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                            • #15


                              Lowered 3" in front with a 7.10 15 tire. It rubs at full lock but not by much. Drive it a lot and have had no issues. Keep in mind that bias plys are narrower near the tread than a radial, when it had the radials on it there was a more rub, but it was near full lock and didnt interfere with normal driving.
                              Last edited by Da Tinman; 04-05-2012, 09:16 AM.
                              http://datinmanspeaks.blogspot.com/

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