Front coil spring replacement for 67 Impala - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Front coil spring replacement for 67 Impala

Back in the early 70's, I swapped a BB into a SB 67. At that time I believe I ordered BB station wagon A/C springs. Does any one know a replacement p/n for a similar spring? I'm now in the process of replicating that swap on my current 67.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 07:04 PM
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I'll be honest with you, The springs you buy now days over the parts counter at your local parts store will lead to a big disappointment. They are way to stiff. I and several here have been through this. The new springs have no travel. Its like having a straight axle in front and will sit like it to. I ended up cutting off one full coil to get some ride back. After a few months it settled down some. I have heard Detroit Spring has the best with less hassle.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 07:16 PM
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Eaton Spring and Moog wound the springs that factory used. They are still in business and will sell you a replacement 1967 spring by either application, though a better way is to get a four corner weight of the car. You can send them a request or order the parts from Summit or Jeg's after consulting their (Eaton or Moog's) on-line catalog to find your spring set part number.

Big Dave
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 12:30 PM
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Will there be a big difference by just leaving the SB springs in the car when you change over to a BB?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 04:16 PM
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Will there be a big difference by just leaving the SB springs in the car when you change over to a BB?
An all cast iron Big Block Chevy engine weights 218 to 220 pounds more than the Small Block Chevy engine does. Assuming you weigh 220 pounds, or close to it, go sit on the front fender of the car and observe what it does to the ride height. Your springs are rated at about 224 pounds per inch when new.

Knowing the springs sag with age I suspect your car will be sitting two to three inches lower than the factory ride height with a two to three inch loss of suspension travel required to keep from bottoming out your suspension. Your shocks have no more than a ten inches of travel over all (five up five down). If they are already compressed three inches that leaves only two inches of suspension travel before you hit the snubbers. Not very safe or comfortable.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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When I swapped to the BB I noticed the front tire wear became very evident which was resolved by replacing the front coil springs with BB springs.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 06:17 PM
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When I swapped to the BB I noticed the front tire wear became very evident which was resolved by replacing the front coil springs with BB springs.
In your case I will wager the wear was on the outer ribs of the tire as the camber became more positive with the increased ride height offered by BBC springs and a SBC under the hood.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 08:19 AM
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Just like everyone has mentioned, springs are a hit and a miss. Everybody has a different idea of what the prefect ride, handling and ride height is including the manufactures. I'm on my third set of springs on my 66 Impala and are maybe, kind of sort of, finally happy. You need to order what you think is the right set, put them in and go from there. That might sound a little rash but its tough getting exactly what you think you want or need.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 03:37 PM
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One of the reason I run coil over shocks on my car builds is that I can change the spring rate as easily as unbolting a shock from the car. Springs are cheaper as well especially if you buy them used as I generally do to get a bunch of spring rates to choose from. The other benefit is that I can adjust ride height as easily as turning a wrench.

Of course all of the cars I have put coil overs on have been either a Nova or a Camaro body. I didn't do it with my two B-body cars as they were not really race cars (made a great sleeper though). The BBC powered one could cover a quarter mile in 9.39 but it wasn't even remotely NHRA legal. The other was a mid eleven second 406 SBC powered Caprice, but not competitive in any class bracket other than a bracket racer (it was consistent). I know they make air rides for B-bodies so the technology is there if not the market supported since a coil over uses the same means to attach and carry the weight of the car as air bags do (they will not work with the stock shock mounts, you need to change the A-arms and reinforce the rear mounts to carry weight).

The reason I ran coil overs on my older race cars was that I drove them other than in a straight line all of the time. I loved autocross and sports car competition as well as drag racing and you can drive a competitive sports car on the road a lot more easily than a competitive drag car can be. In fact it is just plain fun.

Big Dave
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2016, 02:38 PM
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Question

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Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
An all cast iron Big Block Chevy engine weights 218 to 220 pounds more than the Small Block Chevy engine does. Assuming you weigh 220 pounds, or close to it, go sit on the front fender of the car and observe what it does to the ride height. Your springs are rated at about 224 pounds per inch when new.

Knowing the springs sag with age I suspect your car will be sitting two to three inches lower than the factory ride height with a two to three inch loss of suspension travel required to keep from bottoming out your suspension. Your shocks have no more than a ten inches of travel over all (five up five down). If they are already compressed three inches that leaves only two inches of suspension travel before you hit the snubbers. Not very safe or comfortable.

Big Dave
What about H.D front coil springs on a B body with a small block 350? Several years ago, I ordered H.D springs for my 68 Impala, as I was doing a 69 Impala disc brake upgrade. I wasn't offered a choice, nor asked if the car was a convertible, A/C or not etc. After instillation, the ride height was an inch higher, than the standard stock springs that came out of the car. I checked back with the supplier, and was told that H.D = big block springs. I'm just wondering if all of that spring tension between the control arms and the shocks,is a good thing on this car with a S.B engine?
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2016, 05:50 PM
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Springs are rated in inch pounds. That is to say to obtain one inch of compression you have to add "X" number of pounds. The same car has five to seven different springs installed from the factory with four or five them just being changed as the weight of the car changes with different options. The factory strove to get all of the cars to ride at the same height despite the different curb weights.


If you order replacement springs from Eaton and talk to their sales rep he is going to ask for the four corner weight of the vehicle. He is going to ask you what you want your ride height to be as he can tailor that by changing the free height and the spring rate. The spring rate he will determine when he asks you about ride comfort. If you order a spring rate that is too stiff your Impala will ride like a lumber wagon. If you order a spring too soft it will mimic the original "Jet Smooth" marshmallow soft ride that the factory originally used. Most want a "Goldilocks", in the middle spring, something similar to a modern German sedan ride. You can feel the road but it won't fracture your back.


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