Standard, fixed-height struts won’t give you full drop on your classic Ford without bottoming out. Here’s what’s involved in creating adjustable struts and corresponding inserts to make your own coil-overs.
The normal solution’s to convert the front struts to 2.25 inch inside diameter (ID) springs with adjustable platforms; meaning you can wind the springs up and down and therefore alter the ride height to suit. This is a job you can do either by buying purpose-made/converted struts, or the budget way, do it yourself with an abutment kit and fitting new inserts at the same time.
The problem is that you can again only lower the springs so far before you run out of damper travel, because the strut bodies have a fixed length meaning they bottom out on the lowest setting – which isn’t low enough for us.
The ideal solution is to shorten the strut bodies, while fitting shortened inserts – we had an idea we could do this ourselves but consulting with the experts at Gaz, Dave Lyon shook his head and said, “not sure I’m happy with that…”
The problem is, the strut tube has a thread at the top so you can’t simply cut it off and fit a lowered insert as you can’t screw the cap back on! And cutting and shut the strut tube itself (minus 2 inches in our case) isn’t a reality because the load going through a strut and the forces on the weld could be too extreme. The strut has all the steering leverage going through it after all… The only safe way is to remove the stub axles from the strut tubes and replace them with lowered ones with corresponding shortened inserts. To see what’s involved, we went to Gaz Shocks to be shown the complete process, step-by-step.
To download the feature as a PDF, click here: make your own coil-overs
This tech guide first appeared in the September 2013 issue of Classic Ford.
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