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any benefit to this steel ring under front coils? (57GHawk)

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  • Frame / Springs: any benefit to this steel ring under front coils? (57GHawk)

    Hi, pulled out the old coil springs to compare with my new ones. Identical; no difference in coil spacing in them either (replaced at one point perhaps?). Weren't Golden Hawks supposed to have variable rate coils in '57?
    Regardless, my question is this; I'd forgotten my car had these ~1/4"thick steel rings under the bottom of each coil spring. Do they add anything? (I don't recall them in the exploded view in parts catalog, though don't have it in the house to double-check honestly).
    Guessing they were a "boost" to give a little stiffer ride?
    Planning to leave them out unless some benefit... (or unless I DO find them somewhere in the catalog yet)
    Thanks.
    (also, new springs have three yellow dabs of paint; both are identical and on same coils; probably mfg. marking but thought I'd ask if any significance for assembly or other meaning?)Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    The spacers add oh, about 3/8 inch of ride height. They do not make the spring stiffer.

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    • #3
      As noted by Ross...they are "just" height spacers. Will lift the front a small amount. Seems strange someone would go to the trouble to do that to raise the car by such a small amount.
      They will "not" add or subtract any stiffness to the spring in any way.

      Mike

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      • #4
        Spacers were usually only used by the Factory on Air conditioned Cars to regain the proper Height.

        With all the added weight of a Supercharger plus the usual Power Steering and Brakes ALL on the forward end of the Car, it would not suprise me to find it was Factory!

        If the Hawk ever had a rare Factory A/C that would be why.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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        • #5
          Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
          Spacers were usually only used by the Factory on Air conditioned Cars to regain the proper Height.

          With all the added weight of a Supercharger plus the usual Power Steering and Brakes ALL on the forward end of the Car, it would not suprise me to find it was Factory!

          If the Hawk ever had a rare Factory A/C that would be why.
          Thanks all; Rich, that makes sense, as VERY LITTLE of this car was ever taken apart (or CARED FOR, unfortunately; replacing SO many components that LOOKED fine upon buying it...). BUT, those springs, and the control arms (no rubber AT ALL in three of them!) all look untouched. (And along with everything else, ungreased, for the last owner's tenure anyway).

          So, I could believe the spacers WERE factory per your explanation of WHY they would be installed. I have power steering (and supercharger of course), and being and early serial number (Oct.1957 build-date), maybe still experimenting with what was 'best' setup for the replacement for the big Packard......
          Thanks guys!

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          • #6
            If my Stude history is correct, the "factory" air conditioning/power steering spacers were not only aluminum, but they were also 1/2" thick.
            I removed a set of these from my...factory air conditioned/power steering Lark. Look in the parts books, I believe there is only one part number and the photo is/was of a thick, aluminum spacer.

            Mike

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            • #7
              I have found those spacers on most Studes, and always on the driver's side. They are usually 3/16" thick, but sometimes 1/4" or 5/16". Not to be confused with the thicker spacers, used on both sides of Avantis. The driver side only version is similar to longer shackles and lower front bolt holes for rear springs, it pre-loads the heavier driver's side, so it sits level when going down the road. If you add up the extra weight on the driver's side (driver, battery, and steering gear box), its easy to see why the need for pre-load.

              Not long ago, I experimented to determine how much difference a spacer makes, and found it to be a 1 to 1.5 ratio; if the spacer is 1/4" thick, it will raise the car 3/8", and also the other side, about 1/8".

              I leave them in place, even if installing new springs.

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              • #8
                All OEM coil springs have their part number stamped on the inside of the first coil.526123 etc.

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                • #9
                  Well, here's the deal. I checked the 57-58 Parts Catalog, (you ask "why didn't you before you posted?"; old age (I'm 52!! come on!), and comfort of own home and SURE from memory that "that picture didn't show spacers"....). BUT, there they are, and when I look up the number, ONLY application for them are: 56J, ONE spacer, 57HK, TWO spacers.
                  So mine are original.
                  And, they are ~1/4" STEEL, so different than those mentioned in the above post (aluminum 1/2" must have been ADDITIONAL spacers for A/C equipped cars?)

                  (funny, I actually found the correct drawing by looking at the BACKWARDS imprinted numbers on the spacers, crystal clear after all those years..., looking that up in the Parts catalog, finding they were the RUBBER cushions for the springs, going to that drawing and there were the spacers :-)
                  In fairness to above posters, I now can NOT say I looked up and down the list to see if OTHER spacers were shown for other models; I saw 57HK and zoomed right to it. So, maybe certain thickness for Golden Hawks, and other models had there own. I'm not going out to the shop tonight just to look. ;-)
                  Last edited by bsrosell; 08-14-2017, 04:50 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I would use the Buick CC655 coils with the spacers or the CC653 coils intended for the heavier Electra. CC655's can still be found at O Reilly Auto parts.
                    james r pepper

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                    • #11
                      Agree on the CC655s. I have had them in both GTs for a few years and 20,000-30,000 miles now, and they are great. I doubt the OP's 57GH weight more than either of my GTs, since they both have AC, PS, and super HD radiator. I also have them in the 56J, with AC, and Saginaw PS. Might try a set of CC53s the next time I have to tear a front end down in any of those three cars, just for comparison. But hopefully that won't be for a loong time. LOL

                      Not sure if I used the spaces on the driver's side but, knowing me, I probably did.

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                      • #12
                        Re post #5: An Oct. 1957 build date would be a 1958 model. Did you actually mean Oct. 1956?
                        -Dwight

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dwight FitzSimons View Post
                          Re post #5: An Oct. 1957 build date would be a 1958 model. Did you actually mean Oct. 1956?
                          -Dwight
                          Yep! You caught me! Oct 18, 1956; (one day before my birthday, plus 12 years; I'm a '64 model :-). Comes into play with the shocks (mine have the '56 style mounts, so had to send my new ones back and swap) and several other fairly minor things, maybe more to come!.... But "trying to keep as close to the way it came off the factory floor" as I can, so..... I didn't mention it in previous post about the parking brake brain-fart (where I didn't see the 'groove' in the rear brake backing plate 'ears' to lock them in). But, MINE, being "late '56 production", actually had the '56 "welded" bolts on those ears. So I have NO idea how they got the parking brake cables in there, where you could not loosen a screw and tighten up again. What did they do, insert cables, put in the bolts and weld them on the factory floor? I don't know (they broke off trying to loose them; probably because they were welded ;-)

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