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Old 12-12-2013, 12:01 AM   #1
Saturnkid36
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Default Lowering Ideas? Cut springs?

I want to lower my 2001 sc2 quite a bit and as we all know coilovers are the best option to go with. But being on a budget doesn't make that option available for me as i don't have $400-500 just to lower my car. I looked into some lowering springs as well. Still not in my budget. So my other option is.. of course cutting the springs. I dont want to hear rants about stupidity please, i'm open to all ideas and opinions, i drove a 2001 civic that had cut springs, drove it 45 miles it didn't ride as bad as i thought it would have and its manageable. I'm solely going for the look more than actually handling better, what are some things i should know or be warned about doing this, im aware that i need to get an alignment if they do get cut but im not sure about other suspension parts wearing down because of too much stress on them instead of the spring. Thanks

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Old 12-12-2013, 12:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: Lowering Ideas? Cut springs?

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Originally Posted by Saturnkid36 View Post
what are some things i should know or be warned about doing this,
It will make driving more hazardous, don't do it. What happens when you load the car down with your buds and their gear? Bottoms out, rough ride.

What if you cut too much off?

Get proper lowering springs- increased spring rate, though lower, makes it handle reasonably better.

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Old 12-12-2013, 01:31 PM   #3
Saturnkid36
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Default Re: Lowering Ideas? Cut springs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billysvue View Post
It will make driving more hazardous, don't do it. What happens when you load the car down with your buds and their gear? Bottoms out, rough ride.

What if you cut too much off?

Get proper lowering springs- increased spring rate, though lower, makes it handle reasonably better.
Yea, but like i said the budget im on isnt helping at all, is there anyway besides cutting and heating?

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Old 12-12-2013, 01:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Lowering Ideas? Cut springs?

How much drop are you looking to do?

If you want to lower on a budget try searching out a set of Sprint Extreme lowering springs. They were one of the least expensive lowering springs that were available and had more drop than most of the aftermarket lowering springs at about 2.5". Here is a new set for $199 as an example http://www.grounddynamics.com/product-p/spsx8500.htm

With a little luck, you may find a used set a lot cheaper.

There is a set of H&R springs on eBay right now for $186. They lower about 1.4" http://www.ebay.com/itm/H-R-96-02-Sa...e76ec5&vxp=mtr

I have never cut springs, I chose a set of Eibach's when I did mine. I would check all your suspension bushings for wear before hand. Front hubs will take more stress and axles may shimmy a bit if you go extreme. Don't trim the bump stops too short or they won't be very effective. Also your struts will wear faster as the spring rate changes from the reduced length. Unbalanced spring rates in all four corners can affect drive ability and handling in odd ways.

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Old 12-12-2013, 02:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Lowering Ideas? Cut springs?

Sure you can cut springs. There are lots of things to keep in mind though.

Length is not the only thing you are changing, as you make it shorter it is getting stiffer. This is a good thing in many ways, but you will have to be able to control that stiffer rate. Are your struts up to the task? How much more rate will that be able to take?

You also need to watch the cutting method. Heating up the metal is a big no no. It changes the spring's properties. So you can't cut with a torch. You need to have control of the springs temperature, you can probably make it happen with an angle grinder. But you need to take measures to not heat the spring while cutting it. Wrapping it in a wet cold towel could work

Going too short will mean the spring is only held in a compressed state on the strut. It will fully unload and you will have done yourself no favors.

Also watch that overdrop. dropping the car more than an inch or so will introduce some interesting issue with your alignment under compression. These car don't drop like a Civic and you'll end up with a car that turns in ok, but holds far less Gs. Really cutting one coil is probably all you should attempt as any more will probably be hurting you rather then helping.

Lastly comparing the Honda and Saturn suspension isn't going to give you any idea of what the Saturn will be like.Most Civic generation run very different suspension designs, with mute harshness and have great camber control. Saturns do neither. Doing agrssive changes will lead to a far greater attitude change than with a double wishbone Honda. It is realy easy to make a horrible, hard riding riding Saturn that can't handle worth crap.

Understand that although I give this advice, I'd just scrounge up the money to buy some springs. In going cheap you will be doing a decent amount of work to end up with a less good product. A good set of used springs shouldn't cost you more than $100 + shipping and chances are you need new struts as well.

Cutting your springs is a cheap way to do a lot of work and there is a high likelihood you'll see minimal results, only to have to come back later and do it right. I'd say stay on the standard length stock springs and save up some cash. If you have trouble finding used springs ask here. I know I have 2 sets of springs (ST and H&R Race) I could be talked out of for a decent price. One pairs it a great street spring and the other is an amazing race spring, just really rough on dampers. I even have have a set of good GR-2s and a good set of low mile stock struts squirreled away. And or the right money I'd sell my Agility Coilovers.

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Old 12-12-2013, 02:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Lowering Ideas? Cut springs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim97sl2 View Post
How much drop are you looking to do?

If you want to lower on a budget try searching out a set of Sprint Extreme lowering springs. They were one of the least expensive lowering springs that were available and had more drop than most of the aftermarket lowering springs at about 2.5". Here is a new set for $199 as an example

With a little luck, you may find a used set a lot cheaper.

There is a set of H&R springs on eBay right now for $186. They lower about 1.4"

I have never cut springs, I chose a set of Eibach's when I did mine. I would check all your suspension bushings for wear before hand. Front hubs will take more stress and axles may shimmy a bit if you go extreme. Don't trim the bump stops too short or they won't be very effective. Also your struts will wear faster as the spring rate changes from the reduced length. Unbalanced spring rates in all four corners can affect drive ability and handling in odd ways.
Don't get me wrong or anything, thats a great deal, but still not in the budget, i'm trying to fill in the ugly wheel gap that my sc2 has between the tire and wheel well. I'd like to fix that and it be around 2in from the ground, so pretty low, for the slammed look I suppose

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Old 12-12-2013, 02:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Lowering Ideas? Cut springs?

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Originally Posted by Saturnkid36 View Post
Don't get me wrong or anything, thats a great deal, but still not in the budget, i'm trying to fill in the ugly wheel gap that my sc2 has between the tire and wheel well. I'd like to fix that and it be around 2in from the ground, so pretty low, for the slammed look I suppose
Going that low on cut stock Saturn springs would be dumb. You really need a full adjustable coilover set and a lot of camber control to attempt it and even then you'd have a car that can't handle.

I've had my car that low for a few weeks on coilovers and while looking pretty cool the car sucked.

After that the suspension arm changes from down stream to the wheel to upstream to the wheel (as seem from the chassis), our cars start doing stupid things.

The other side of things is to run a bit more tire. it can suck up some of that gap, then take up a bit more with either a small spring cut or a good set of springs.

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Old 12-12-2013, 03:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Lowering Ideas? Cut springs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud819 View Post
Going that low on cut stock Saturn springs would be dumb. You really need a full adjustable coilover set and a lot of camber control to attempt it and even then you'd have a car that can't handle.

I've had my car that low for a few weeks on coilovers and while looking pretty cool the car sucked.

After that the suspension arm changes from down stream to the wheel to upstream to the wheel (as seem from the chassis), our cars start doing stupid things.

The other side of things is to run a bit more tire. it can suck up some of that gap, then take up a bit more with either a small spring cut or a good set of springs.
I'm not worried too much about handling because its not a track car, if my car was that low i wouldn't be going fast period because of bumps in the road and what not, let alone take a corner at a high speed. I'm really just going for the aesthetic look. I just don't want to be in that situation that if i did cut them, it would cost me more money than just leaving it how it is now. Because i can get them cut for cheap, or free but if other suspension parts can't handle it and make it worse then i'd be in bad shape compared to if i just didnt do it at all

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Old 12-12-2013, 05:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: Lowering Ideas? Cut springs?

I'd go for the later then, and just leave it alone. Cutting them, especially that low, will cost you in the long run. If your struts are not dead now, they'll be dead soon because of the increased spring rate. I understand not modding for performance, but in the style you are talking about you'll end up with a dangerous ride.

I say if the budget is 0, then don't do anything. Never mod anything you can't afford to replace. Keep on top of maintenance, enjoy a trouble free car and work on the increasing income instead of the car.

I had a car I dumped money into when I was younger and I had no money. It was a big mistake. I got into an accident and that car went away along with the little money I managed to spend modding it. I scraped enough money together to get a different car and I left that one completely stock. But that stock car saw me through community college and into my first real job in the field I studied in. I'd probably have a far more limited life had I spent money modifying that second car.

I don't mean to tell you what to do, but if money is that tight you should probably look at the career and cash side of the equation and not the car side. You'll be better off in the end and then you'll have some money to play with.

Playing with car is more fun when you have a bit more change to play with. And while it may seem lame to drive a stock car around, they get from point A to point B and let you worry about other things.

This is a mod forum and we are hear to offer mod advice, but sometimes the best advice is to not modify the car.

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Old 12-12-2013, 06:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Lowering Ideas? Cut springs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud819 View Post
Sure you can cut springs. There are lots of things to keep in mind though.

Length is not the only thing you are changing, as you make it shorter it is getting stiffer..

I think you misspoke. The only thing that will increase the spring rate
( stiffness) is new springs- that have an increased spring rate.

It's the same as saying that if you put a high pressure nozzle on a water hose it increases the water pressure- which is false( the velocity is increased).
The springs will bottom quicker which will feel more bumpy or 'stiffer' as you call it, but the springs are just shorter- that's all.

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Old 12-12-2013, 06:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: Lowering Ideas? Cut springs?

Save your money and do it right.

Or you know, just use spring compressors, it seems safe/legit and well within your budget.

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Old 12-12-2013, 06:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: Lowering Ideas? Cut springs?

As you can see I also have a big gap between the top of the tire and the fender opening. I'm going to cut the springs on my Sportsman class 1996 SC-1 but since the only turns it ever makes are onto the return road from the end of the 1/4 mile and never goes any more than 5 MPH from the pits to the starting line it's not going to be a problem for me and might even help my ET and MPH by cutting down on the airflow(drag) under the car. It would be a totally different story if the car was still on the street - no way would I do it then. All the advice you've gotten in this thread is for your own good. Cut coils on a street car is just asking for trouble especially if the roads in your area are not in the best shape.


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Old 12-13-2013, 01:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Lowering Ideas? Cut springs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billysvue View Post
I think you misspoke. The only thing that will increase the spring rate
( stiffness) is new springs- that have an increased spring rate.

It's the same as saying that if you put a high pressure nozzle on a water hose it increases the water pressure- which is false( the velocity is increased).
The springs will bottom quicker which will feel more bumpy or 'stiffer' as you call it, but the springs are just shorter- that's all.
Nope, no misspeak. It is kind of hard to completely explain without a model. Comparing a spring to a hose is not a reasonable comparison.

I tried to explain this here but ended up with it getting a bit too wordy and requiring of a physical model, the site below does a good job.

http://www.eatondetroitspring.com/cu...scalculations/

Feel free to search further, but you'll find that the information on spring rate increase is true, even if a bit counter to normal logic.

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Old 12-15-2013, 04:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: Lowering Ideas? Cut springs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturnkid36 View Post
Yea, but like i said the budget im on isnt helping at all, is there anyway besides cutting and heating?
how about "get a better job" or "save your money"? performing an idiotic mod simply because you can't afford to do it right is not the answer here...


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Old 12-15-2013, 06:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: Lowering Ideas? Cut springs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud819 View Post
Nope, no misspeak. It is kind of hard to completely explain without a model. Comparing a spring to a hose is not a reasonable comparison.

I tried to explain this here but ended up with it getting a bit too wordy and requiring of a physical model, the site below does a good job.

http://www.eatondetroitspring.com/cu...scalculations/

Feel free to search further, but you'll find that the information on spring rate increase is true, even if a bit counter to normal logic.
No neeed for explaination.

I was wrong. I bow to your greater intellect in SaturnaliaSpringology:

pressure required to deflect the spring a given distance.,

Even though the given tempering of the spring hasn't changed,the overall length has -which means that to deflect a given distance, a shorter,cut spring, has fewer coils and has to have more deflection of each given coil to equal the same distance in deflection as a longer coil( that has more coils by comparison.)

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