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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it normal for the frontend of the GT to have 4-5" between the top of the tire to the lip of the fender (looking at it from the side).
The rear of my car has about 2-3" from top of tire to lip of fender. I was looking at getting the sport spring from OGTS to lower it and make it look not so awkward. Could there be something else like the POwner replacing something in the front suspension with something other then stock? Its kindof funny you look at it from the side and it looks as if the body is going up hill and the tires are level.

Thanks ahead of time.
 

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boomerang opeler
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3 thoughts
1 are the tyres the same size front and back?
2 is the tracking correct as if its out it can make the car raise up as the tyres try to push the suspention out of place?
3 dose anything look bent or broken?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1 Tires and rims are the same size.
2 Tracking seems to be correct.
3 Nothing seems to be bent or broken nor out of place.
I will have to post a side shot of the car. I have to say drivability is not effected it just looks peculiar.
 

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Civin;
Try pulling out the rear springs and putting in a set of Manta or Sportwagon springs. They're cheaper than the lowering springs from Gil (not that I'm taking anything away from Gil) and easier to remedy your problem. I had the same problem with my GT, and did what I just told you, and now it's nice and level.
 

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I think that would make the problem worse, its the front that need to be lower (If I read this rightly)

My GT is the same and its all STD suspension. Although I didn't really think it looked out of place until you mentioned it.

3 CHEAPER solutions as far as I can see ....

BODY SPACERS They will lower the front Chasis height

SPACER BLOCK under the top of the spring, Stops spring bind and helps lower the car too.

SPRING SHACKLE

See this thread for pictures

The plan is in the Technical section on how to make these
 

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Old Opeler
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Chrome and Welds

The "Spring Shackle" method is probably the best method BUT neither chroming nor welding is acceptable on critical front suspension or steering components due to the "hydrogen embrittlment" (sp?) Bob speaks about.

Chrome the main cross-member, if you must, but leave the highly stressed parts painted. The shackles are better machined from solid medium tensile material with attention paid to the minimisation of stress risers and nice wee radii - certainly DON'T chrome anything that has been welded!

Welded shackles done by a certified welder and properly heat treated may be just acceptable.

Just another Health and Safety Officer - and Certified Machinist;)
 

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What you are seeing is the sag in the rear springs that has come about over time. I think the idea of replacing the backs is the easiest fix. That will put everything back were it was originally. There are alot of issues to contend with in lowering the front. The spring from OGTS is extremely stiff and leaves 1 inch or so clearance over stock tires, and makes the back look high. Just a few items about lowering the front are shorter shocks, changed steering geometry and all your clearance points. Mine has been lowered and it makes a stock configuration look like a 4 wheel drive.
 

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4ZUA787
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well i measuered my gt at teh jack points they were all 7 inchs from the ground up except one wus a little less like 6 3/4 but i have just put new shocks on so it may be if u have bad shocks the ride hieght could be diffrent all around just a guess.
 

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I've rebuilt the front end of my GT and find too that it just sits too high. Would any of you machinists be willing to share a drawing of the shackles I've read about? I did see the one picture that RallyBob posted and I imagine I can machine as set out of solid stock. What type of material do you recommend? I've already got enough 4140, would that be sufficient? What thickness of material is used? What effect will lowering the front end in this manner have on caster/camber?
Thanks guys.

Now that the download section is working again, I found the drawings that Bob Legere made, Nice. But I think I'll machine mine to keep from welding. Welding tends to weaken the metal around the weld by making it more brittle.
 

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Old Opeler
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Material

See you found Bob's drawing - dug it out of my archives too.

Mild steel is perfectly adequate and infact superior to higher tensile steels like 4140. The higher tensile steels can crack and break when subject to side to side bending stresses, whereas mild steel is more maleable and its ultimate tensile strength is far above its yeild point so it will bend lots before breaking.

The UTS of 4140 is higher than mild steel but its yeild point is closer to its UTS so when it bends it is well on the way to breaking.

Mild steel is a very under-rated material and is pretty stong in its own right.

I have considered narrowing the spring eye so that the shackel plates would not need the step in them and the center to center distance could be reduced to reduce the lowering - thoughts on that?

Bob's drawing:
 

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Re: Material

GTJIM said:
I have considered narrowing the spring eye so that the shackel plates would not need the step in them and the center to center distance could be reduced to reduce the lowering - thoughts on that?
This would work if you narrowed the eyelet, but you must still have adequate clearance for the head of the bolt and nut that secures the eyelet.

Also, you must allow for the substantial 'swing' of the spring end, which is why my shackles have the radiused 'inner' flange, because a square edge will strike the a-arm underside edge under suspension travel and bind the suspension solid.

Just a few points to consider, and the reason I never tried to sell these things...liability issues.
 

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Old Opeler
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Cart Spring

Thanks Bob - the last "cart spring" suspension I had anything to do with was on a 1938 Ford V8 Coupe' !!

The mind boggles at the thought of what happens to the standard front spring set-up in the Opels without the shackels.
The flexing of the spring must place some awsome side loadings on the lower "A" arm bushes and be constantly bound up.

I would think that with the shackels the binding will be seriously reduced - unless the bolt heads or the spring end itself comes into impact contact with the end of the "A" arm at the outer edge of travel. Or a shackel that is too short goes parrallel to the ground at the outer limits of travel.

I see what you mean by liability issues.
 

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Thanks Guys, good stuff. I like the idea of narrowing the spring eye but don't want to go through the hassle of removing the spring so I can get it on a mill.

Bob, How did this effect the caster/camber, and did you have to remove the rubber bump stops or is there adequite clearance even after lowering the front end 2 inches?
 

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Washout said:
Bob, How did this effect the caster/camber, and did you have to remove the rubber bump stops or is there adequite clearance even after lowering the front end 2 inches?
With a 2" drop, the bump stops will be contacted and compressed somewhat, which takes the shocks and spring out of the picture completely. What this means is that the bump stops are doing ALL your suspension work. This makes the ride very 'jiggly' and harsh over bumps.

I usually cut the bump stops in half. This will make the bump stops a bit less progressive when impacted, but the alternative if they are removed completely is metal-on-metal contact, which can be catastrophic.

Caster will be minimally affected, but it will increase very slightly
(positive). Camber will become more negative, and will probably have to corrected for a street-driven car.
 

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I like GTJim's comment about spring bind and lower control arm bushing stress. We noticed this, too, and copied Bob's shackle idea for Speedway GT. Also we sectioned 3/4 of an inch out of the frame where the suspension bolts in. May possibly modify the mount on the suspension crossmember a bit to lower the car.
As long as the major components are all stock, it is legal in our compact class rules, so long as no part of the car is less than three inches off the asphalt.
This is what is so awesome about GT.com. The killer high tech stuff that helps make a great little car even better!
 

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I finally built and installed a set of Bobs shackles today and I guess I must have messed something up. They fit fine but when I turn the wheel full travel left or right the edge of the tire rim is hitting the lower part of the shackle. The only measurement i didn't see in the drawings was the width of the shackle plates, I used 1 3/8" for lack of a better number, Is that too wide? I have exactly 2 inches center to center on the bolt holes and everything seems to fit great until the car is on the ground and the wheel is turned to near full travel. My rims appear to be original so It looks like I will have to use spacers to get the clearance I need. Any other ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Spring Shackle Inner dimension upper and lower

The diagrams I am looking at has a 2 different dimensions for the upper and lower space between the insides/sides of the shackle. One has a dim 2.95 from the outer edge of the upper and 2.95 of the inner side of the lower part. The other has 2.95 from the inner of the upper part of the shackle? Confused, I am. Didn't notice it until just now, I am in the shop cutting the metal now. As soon as I get the MAC address for my Puter I will post the 2 diagrams. Since my GT is no where close any one at least have the Dim that the Shackle has to fit for the upper and the Dim for the spring at the lower end of the shackle. Sorry for the confusion of the post I will post the Diagams to clarify.

Thanks.:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Spring Shackle Dim images

Here are the diagrams I am going off of. Should mention reather than 14 inch I am going with 3/8, have larger rims and will be radiusing the lower edge so I don't think the thickness will be an issue as long as I use the correct dim.

Thanks......
 

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Old Opeler
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Measure!

Just measure the width of the inside of the lower A-arm as that is what the upper end of the shackles fit into. It looks like the first drawing is not as well dimensioned as the 2nd .......The front spring is near 2.5" wide so I guess the shackles need 2.95" inside at the lower end to allow for the flange on the spring-eye bushes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Control arm

I do not have a control arm on hand to measure my car is at home and I am about 15 miles away. So assuming the spring dimension is 2.95 as long as I am 1/4" smaller on the control arm end it should fit? correct?
 
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