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Do I have the wrong shocks?

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  • Shocks: Do I have the wrong shocks?

    I have a 1966 Avanti II, RQA0084, Jon Altman's old car. Way back in 1991, I had a shop remove the cast iron 3 speed automatic tranny and install a much lighter chevy 4 speed automatic. As part of that work, the front springs were replaced. When I picked it up, the front end sat up too high. They said it would settle down. It did not.

    I took one spring off tonight (since I need new shocks anyway - every 20 years!). I am wondering if they gave me some springs that are not for this car. They seem too long - 15 inches, with 7 coils excluding the top and bottom of the spring. It is so tight in the space that they bend significantly, nearly rubbing against the shock. Also, the tranny is probably a lot lighter.

    It still had the 1/2 inch spacer at the bottom of the spring. I could take that out, but I need more drop, 2-3 inches. The stude parts book says the part numbers are stamped on the end of the spring. These have no numbers stamped, but Avanti II put different springs, didn't they?

    Any suggestions on how to get the front end down?
    sigpicStude Steve

  • #2
    Avanti II

    I cannot imagine a huge THM 350 Automatic being much lighter than a Power Shift Borg Warner.

    Avanti Motors used Studebaker Avanti Springs as far as I know, what they changed is the body to frame mounts to raise the body to clear the taller GM Engines. Also the front fender well openings, were filled in to hide the huge gap.
    If you lower it that much the tires/wheels will be lost in those fenders!

    Your story says nothing about wrong Shocks!
    Those do not effect ride height and are standard issue Studebaker Avanti H.D. Gabriel shocks.

    You took the spring out to change the SHOCKS???
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner
    SDC Member Since 1967


    • #3
      small point - gas charged shocks do push the car up in the air a bit as a product of pressure and shock shaft area. Low pressure shox, not much. i've had a few cars levitate visibly after High pressure Bilstein Macpherson struts (with their large diameter shafts) were installed. Most recently a Volvo 940 that looks so goofy I will likely snip a coil or get lowering springs.


      • #4
        StudeRich - not that I needed to pull a spring to change the schock, I was just down there, so I thought I would.

        If this this rode like a normal Avanti II, I agree with your statement that a 2-3 inch drop would lose the tires in the fender wells. But this thing has a reverse rake to it. The front is almost higher than the rear of the car.

        How can I find out if these springs are not avanti springs?
        sigpicStude Steve


        • #5
          FWIW, the GM automatic is not enough lighter than the B-W to make that much difference in the stance and the mass is toward the center of the car anyway.

          Does anyone who's tried them think using the GM rear coils as described on another thread would be an option on an Avanti II? The combination of the GM engine and transmission is probably 150-200# lighter than the Studebaker V8 and B-W transmission.

          Another FWIW; while trying to get the stance the way you want it, take the opportunity to put the battery in the trunk. It is ne of the single best improvements one can make to an Avanti or any of our nose-heavy Studes for that matter.

          jack vines


          • #6
            I have a 1970 dated parts list for Avanti Motors and it lists the coil spring used for production was the standard duty coil spring for without a/c. They possibly could have simply used the coil spring available that was purchased from Studebaker or felt the lighter weight of the Chevy engine made use of the heavy duty spring undesirable. No idea on that...just a guess.

            It's possible that the heavy duty coil springs might have been installed but could that have made a 3" of a difference in height?
            Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.