10 Great Muscle Car Tips
Refresh Your Ride With 10 Tips
Photography by From the Car Craft Archives, Jamie Seymour
In fact, even if you can't swing the bucks for a new set of wheels right now, you can still give your car a powerful attitude adjustment by giving it a simple altitude adjustment. A recent trend that has spread to the musclecar world is lowering. With classic muscle, the drop is best applied sparingly to give vintage performers a down-and-dirty vibe and enhance their meanness, although some might prefer a full-on in-the-weeds look. In many cases, this makeover might simply involve setting your car back where the factory intended.
Most of the cars we deal with have front coil springs, so lowering one involves either swapping springs or cutting the existing set. Again, if you've got the cash, predetermined-ride-height lowering springs and even drop spindles are available for a number of popular vintage musclecars and certainly for '80s-and-later stuff. These pieces can help you avoid the process of removing the stock springs, cutting a little off, and reinstalling them to see if you got it right. However, if the springs are to be cut, make sure it's done with a proper saw or cut-off wheel, not a torch, and don't heat the coils to sag the springs-the heat can alter the temper in the steel. Mopar guys have it easy here. They can just crawl under and adjust the torsion bars for the desired ride height.
Out back, you'll be dealing with either more coils or leaf springs. Lowering with leaves can often be accomplished with spacer blocks placed between the rear axlehousing and the spring pads. The aftermarket also has lowering leaf springs available. If your car is too low in the back, skip the air shocks and shackle kits and get new springs.
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