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Opeler
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Discussion Starter #21
You pretty much HAVE to remove the shocks to allow the rear axle to drop low enough to slip the springs in. You should be able to loosen and remove them at the axle with ease. And it's likely that you'll have to remove one end of the pan hard rod, also.

The pan hard rod is attached at 2 locations with nuts holding them on. Are BOTH nuts resisting your efforts to get them off? They are massive nuts on giant bolts/studs, there should be little chance of them stripping or breaking, certainly you should be able to break them loose with a 1/2" drive ratchet or breaker bar or even simply a 12" adjustable wrench. There's no need for them to be torqued massively, the rod barely pivots and applies very little unscrewing force. Keep trying the Liquid Wrench-type products.

"Progressive" springs have some of the gaps between the coils smaller than what most of the other coils of the spring have, usually just at one end. The gaps between the coils on normal springs are roughly all about the same distance.
I have the shocks unattached at the axle, I feel like I need to take the wheels/tires off to give me the room to drop a side car enough down. It’s really close to going in, but I’m still afraid it’s going to be too high in the rear with the difference in spring heights.

As for the panhard bar....yeah, BOTH bolts are immovable objects at this point. I’ve tried long socket wrenches, impact gun, electric ratchet...those nuts are stuck. Under the car while it’s jacked up doesn’t allow for the best ergonomic position to wrench in these things. But it’s corrosion causing issues I’m sure. They’ll come loose at some point I’m sure.
 

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Opeler
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802 Posts
I've put new springs on all three of my old cars. The shocks need to be disconnected at the bottom, remove the wheels, and elevate the rear, and place it on jack stands. Use your jack, and a little piece of 2 x 4, to protect the metal at the jacking areas. From the side of the car, place the jack under the wheel hub, or axle tube, close to the hub. You want to compress the old spring on that side, while the other side is gradually creating space between the perches, so you can remove the old spring. Install, the new spring on that side. Then just switch sides, and do the same to the other spring. Finish by reattaching the shocks to the shock mounts. I never had to detach the pan hard bar.
 

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Opeler
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1,133 Posts
Discussion Starter #23
I've put new springs on all three of my old cars. The shocks need to be disconnected at the bottom, remove the wheels, and elevate the rear, and place it on jack stands. Use your jack, and a little piece of 2 x 4, to protect the metal at the jacking areas. From the side of the car, place the jack under the wheel hub, or axle tube, close to the hub. You want to compress the old spring on that side, while the other side is gradually creating space between the perches, so you can remove the old spring. Install, the new spring on that side. Then just switch sides, and do the same to the other spring. Finish by reattaching the shocks to the shock mounts. I never had to detach the pan hard bar.
I thought I would have room if I took the wheels off, but never had anyone mention it in any of the posts I saw. Thanks Wes, I appreciate it.
 

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Über Genius
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9,241 Posts
The height of a spring, with no load on it, is irrelevant.
Wait til there's load on the spring to judge how "tall" it is.
 

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Last night I attempted to swap out my rear shocks and rear springs. I figured it was time to refresh these suspension items because on my recent test runs after installing the Sniper unit, just trying to drive the car in & out of my driveway produced a rough ride in the rear, and I’ve felt too rough a ride for a while anyway....so what better time than now to make the switch!?

The shocks that were on the car were Monroe 5753ST shocks, and they were shot. I could take my hands and position them to any height I wanted and they wouldn’t move...anywhere from fully compressed all the way to full extension, they’d just stay there. I replaced them with KYB343039 shocks. Simple install, with the exception that the bushings were too thick to allow the shocks to be installed at the top. I had to trim down a bushing to allow the threads of the shocks to be visible andable to have the nut grab them. As you can see from the picture, the new shock has a much shorter top stud than the old one, and the difference in extended heights are quite noticeable as well. Old shock on the left, new KYB on the right in the picture below....

View attachment 432155

The rear springs have me puzzled though. The old (have to be original) springs came out fine and they were very crusty and so were the spring seats and hats. One huge difference I noticed was the difference in heights of the old springs vs the new stock height springs from OGTS. The ones I took out measured ~11 1/2” and the new ones are ~12 3/4”. I attempted to put the new ones in but haven’t been able to gain enough clearance to fit the new ones in.

View attachment 432156

View attachment 432157

I am concerned about how this will affect the ride height of the rear end. I’m wondering if I should try to go for a shorter spring knowing how much difference there is between what I’ve had in the car and what I was planning to put in. I am including a side profile picture of my car for everyone to see what the ride height looks like with original springs and Monroe shocks and if making the switch in springs will change this for the worse.

View attachment 432158

Thanks for any useful info you could share or other input anyone may have...

Eric
 

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1,251 Posts
Last night I attempted to swap out my rear shocks and rear springs. I figured it was time to refresh these suspension items because on my recent test runs after installing the Sniper unit, just trying to drive the car in & out of my driveway produced a rough ride in the rear, and I’ve felt too rough a ride for a while anyway....so what better time than now to make the switch!?

The shocks that were on the car were Monroe 5753ST shocks, and they were shot. I could take my hands and position them to any height I wanted and they wouldn’t move...anywhere from fully compressed all the way to full extension, they’d just stay there. I replaced them with KYB343039 shocks. Simple install, with the exception that the bushings were too thick to allow the shocks to be installed at the top. I had to trim down a bushing to allow the threads of the shocks to be visible andable to have the nut grab them. As you can see from the picture, the new shock has a much shorter top stud than the old one, and the difference in extended heights are quite noticeable as well. Old shock on the left, new KYB on the right in the picture below....

View attachment 432155

The rear springs have me puzzled though. The old (have to be original) springs came out fine and they were very crusty and so were the spring seats and hats. One huge difference I noticed was the difference in heights of the old springs vs the new stock height springs from OGTS. The ones I took out measured ~11 1/2” and the new ones are ~12 3/4”. I attempted to put the new ones in but haven’t been able to gain enough clearance to fit the new ones in.

View attachment 432156

View attachment 432157

I am concerned about how this will affect the ride height of the rear end. I’m wondering if I should try to go for a shorter spring knowing how much difference there is between what I’ve had in the car and what I was planning to put in. I am including a side profile picture of my car for everyone to see what the ride height looks like with original springs and Monroe shocks and if making the switch in springs will change this for the worse.

View attachment 432158

Thanks for any useful info you could share or other input anyone may have...

Eric
Personally, I think you'd be much happier with a slightly lowered look. If you used the median lowered rear springs from OGTS you'll need to use their Front median lowered leaf spring as well. If you go through all that you might as well install the front and rear sway bars. Then the car will feel much more like a sports car. Good luck.
 

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Opeler
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573 Posts
I'm also looking for rear shock options and it appears there is a wide variance in shock lengths. The KYB 343039 looks appealing but is there any concern with the springs falling out with that super long extended length of almost 19"? You know, in case "my friend" goes for that dukes of hazard jump?
 

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Opel Rallier since 1977
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2,130 Posts
It all depends on what springs you have, Mike. Stiffer springs will have a shorter free length, and moreso if the car is lowered, or if very stiff springs are used for auto-x or road racing. My Manta/Ascona stiffer, straight-rate springs for rally would come loose in the mounts at full shock extension, but were no issue to fall out, due to the 'buckets in the rear axle, and the upper ring on the body spring mount, extended inside the springs..... and we did plenty of jumps. (At one time I considered straps to limit extension, but it was not necessary; that idea was more for making sure the shocks did not take the brunt of the axle weight suddenly dropping.)

If you know your present shock extended length (pull one and measure), then with the car on jackstands, set the rear axle with a jack that much lower with the shocks disconnected, with the prospective new length, and see what the springs do.
 
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