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Geoff Wootton
New User
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 6
Registered: 5-2012
Posted on Sunday, 04 November, 2012 - 03:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I've fitted 4 spring assisters to each side of my 74 SY1 and still cannot pass the test of sliding my hand over the top of the wheel with the back of it touching the wheel arch. Is it worth fitting another two to each side?
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Nigel Johnson
Frequent User
Username: nigel_johnson

Post Number: 91
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Sunday, 04 November, 2012 - 04:47 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Geoff, new springs is the only sure fix.
Regards, Nigel.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1151
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, 04 November, 2012 - 08:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Geoff,

I suggest you should contact Robert Chapman and purchase a set of front and rear Australian-spec replacement springs or, better still, the handling kits. IMHO this is the best and most economic long-term solution for your problem:

http://www.rachapmanautomotive.com.au/parts.htm#RACEng
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Jan Forrest
Grand Master
Username: got_one

Post Number: 412
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Sunday, 04 November, 2012 - 07:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

You don't mention the thickness of the assistors that you fitted, but I would hazard a guess that the springs have lost all their temper and need to be replaced. As an indication, the ones I fitted were each about 2" thick and the car's bustle is now well clear of the tarmac.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1152
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, 04 November, 2012 - 09:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Jan, the UK/USA specification springs do not lose their temper; they gradually compress over time because their loading exceeds the elastic limit of the rod diameter used to make the spring.

If my memory is correct, the R-R "colonial" spring is approximately 1/8" greater in diameter than the standard spring and this is sufficient to prevent the spring taking a permanent set when loaded. The Australian after-market springs were 1/8" greater in diameter and were slightly longer than new standard springs when compared prior to installation.

IMHO, the use of "assistors" is a retrograde solution as these reduce the bounce/rebound travel of the spring resulting in more frequent bottoming-out on rough roads resulting in a "harsher" ride. Might not be a problem in other countries with better maintained roads than those we have here.
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Geoff Wootton
New User
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 7
Registered: 5-2012
Posted on Monday, 05 November, 2012 - 05:04 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Many thanks for all your comments. Looks like I will be moving rear spring replacement up my "to do" list.

The assistors I used are Mr Gasket 1287 - http://www.jegs.com/i/Mr.+Gasket/720/1287/10002/-1 . I found that the best placement of the assistors were two at the top and two at the bottom of each spring, however I still only get a 1/2" increase in height as measured from the ground to the rim of the wheelarch. I was wondering if fitting another two to each side, effectively filling the entire spring would magically give me the extra 1 1/2" I'm looking for. There is a logical basis for thinking this in that the unsupported part of the spring when using 4 assistors may be compressing excessively causing the only marginal increase in height. Filling this gap with an additional 2 assistors may result in a jump to the correct ride height. Jan, could I ask how many assistors you use on your car. The ones I used just about fitted when the car was jacked up and the spring was in it's extended position, so I believe they are the correct size; any thicker and I would have had to have prised the coils apart to get the assistors in.

My guess is that we all agree with David about assistors being a retrograde solution. In my case I was just trying to postpone what is a major job for a few months. I will be looking at the Chapman rear springs although it does occur to me that they may not fit a US car. I need to study the manual. Certainly the heavier duty springs are very appealing.

Thanks again for all your help.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1153
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, 05 November, 2012 - 06:47 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Geoff - the springs and handling kits fit all Shadows as the only ex-factory differences were standard and colonial specification. Some models were fitted with rear anti-roll bars and others were not.

On a personal note, I prefer the heavier front roll bar from the Turbo R to reduce body roll when cornering and would fit a rear anti-roll bar for the same reason. Upgrading the shock absorbers all round with quality repairable units is essential IMHO as I prefer better handling to a boulevard ride.
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Jan Forrest
Grand Master
Username: got_one

Post Number: 414
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Monday, 05 November, 2012 - 07:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Even with the 2" assistors inserted into the turns of the spring I wasn't seeing much in the way of improved lift. That's why I put them above and below the springs rather than inside them! They fit into the top & bottom seats and the grooves in them accomodate the spring securely.
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Geoff Wootton
New User
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 8
Registered: 5-2012
Posted on Tuesday, 06 November, 2012 - 02:43 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Jan, All is clear now. I guess it begs the question, if you have taken the tension completely off the spring, which I assume involves removing the straps, then why not replace the actual spring. Or did you use a spring compressor to create the gaps at the top and bottom of the spring to allow the insertion of the assistor.
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Jan Forrest
Grand Master
Username: got_one

Post Number: 415
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Tuesday, 06 November, 2012 - 03:25 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

With the rebound straps and wheels removed, the dampers disconnected at the bottom, the drive shafts disconnected at the diff and the axle waving 2-3 feet in the air I was able to use a single spring compressor (there isn't room for two) to slip the springs out. This had the added advantage of allowing me to clean and underseal the top & bottom mounts so that there would be no further corrosion. I also undersealed the springs once they were back in place. I didn't replace the springs with new ones as I've been ... financially embarassed ... of late. Still am as it's been a bad couple of years on the finances front - Don't ask.

Fortunately the ride is as comfortable and stately as new, so the springs can't have really lost their temper, but just taken a bit of a set. Should her bustle tend to head back towards the dust again I will replace the springs, but for now there's no real need and I've 'saved' several hundred beer tokens for other and more urgent things.
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Geoff Wootton
New User
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 9
Registered: 5-2012
Posted on Tuesday, 06 November, 2012 - 03:43 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks for that info Jan and to everyone else on this thread. It has immediately saved me 80 bucks as I was considering buying 4 more assistors to see if they worked. I am now convinced the only way to go is with new springs. Many thanks.
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Brian Vogel
Prolific User
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 131
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Tuesday, 06 November, 2012 - 10:33 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Geoff,

Since I know you're in the U.S., if you want new rear springs there is a manufacturer in Kansas that has been used many times and has the data in their records to make the springs for SY cars:

Coil Spring Specialties http://www.coilsprings.com/
P.O. Box G
St. Mary’s, KS 66536
Phone: (785) 437-2025
e-mail: info@coilsprings.com

Brian
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Geoff Wootton
New User
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 10
Registered: 5-2012
Posted on Tuesday, 06 November, 2012 - 12:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Brian,

Thanks for that info. As you will know, international postal charges really notch up the price of items.

Geoff

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