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80 Stock Suspension & Upgrades

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by cary, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. cary

    cary

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    Okay, a few observations on the stock suspension and upgrades via OME. This is in part due to my planning on upgrading to the OME low lift springs or the Eibach springs and trying to figure out the stock spring rate.

    First, I think I know why there is such a split concerning feelings about the stock suspension. I took 3 passengers in the back of my 80 this week with stock springs and Bilsteins and the ride changed considerably. With 3 people in the back seat, the rear drop exactly two inches. Given this is 600 pound load nearly centered over the rear axle it appears the stock spring rate is about 130-150 pounds per inch. When empty the cruiser handles fine, and rides fine. With 600 pounds the rear suspension bottoms quite easily. It is not floaty however in large part due to the bilsteins greater dampining over the stock shocks. I can see how with just a different bumper and some other items in the rear people gripe about the handling.

    Second, I think that OME is not accurate in their pounds/inch measurements. Comparing the 862 rear spring and 860 spring, I find that the 862 is rated at 240 pounds/inch with a 460mm free length, while the 860 is 220 pounds/inch with a 480mm free length. This does not add up. If the 860 were lighter I would expect it to be much longer than 20mm taller the 862 since it provides approximately 2 more inches of lift. Given that it is only 20mm longer it must have a higher rate than the 862 because it compresses less. (not to mention is is 18mm instead of the 862 17mm in diameter). So I believe it has a lower rate.

    Third, After figuring out the stock spring rate, I believe the Eibach springs will be to soft. Given a 1.5" lift and their rate being 150-200 pounds, I am concerned that they make the vehicle higher without firming up the stock rates.

    Bottom line is I am going to return the Eibachs and go the 861/862 route.

    Cary
     
  2. Junk

    Junk

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    Just beware one thing. The lift stats OME produces aren't accurate :flipoff2: I haven't heard too many folks say, gee that is 2-1/2". More say it's closer to 2 or 1-3/4".

    Personally, I don't care so long as my tires fit. :flipoff2: But it may throw off your calcs.