Customize Coilovers With The Right Combination of Parts

For some of us, custom configured coilovers are the only way to go. If your car’s coilovers are bottoming out, binding or rubbing against other components, RideTech can help. Ideal shock stroke, spring rate and packaging can be fachieved with the right combination of parts including shock mounts, spring cups, coil springs.

The hot rod universe is full of custom and one-off frames that often require equally unique coilovers. You should never settle for poor ride quality, coil spring bind,  parts-rubbing or incorrect ride height — regardless of frame and/or suspension brand. The process may involve one or more calls to our tech department as well as a couple of parts shipments in the name of trial and error. Be patient. Once your coilovers fit properly and have the correct spring rate and stroke, your driving experience will improve dramatically.

Reasons why you might need custom-configured coilovers:

  • Your car’s coilovers are bottoming out or topping out during suspension travel.
  • Coilovers are coming in contact with shock crossmembers, shocks mounts, frame, exhaust, sway bars, etc. 
  • The springs in your car’s coilovers have reached the limits of adjustability. You are unable to adjust preload.
  • The springs in your car’s coilovers are at or near coil-bind  — meaning the individual coils are touching each other at ride height or during compression.
  • Your car has an unusual or extreme wheel and tire package such as very short or tall tires. Standard “recommended” coilovers do not work.
Shown here are short and long eyelet mounts, assorted spacer bushings, flat and “dropped” spring cups. The tool at bottom right makes it easy for you to adjust coil spring preload.

Solutions: Various fixes are available for coilover fitment issues:

By swapping coilover parts, you can fine tune the length and installed stroke of coilovers. 

Steps to take before ordering custom coilovers and parts:

  • To get your head around your car’s coilover dimensions, start by measuring the distance between upper and lower mounts at the three key heights – compressed, extended and at ride height. For best results, remove the coilovers and safely jack the vehicle up and down to the three measuring positions. Compare your findings with the following chart to zero-in on a coilover shock body.

Coil-Over Dimensions and Part Numbers

CompressedRideExtendedHQ SpringTQ SpringHQ SingleTQ Triple
StrokeLengthHeightLengthLengthLengthCoil-Over BodyCoil-Over Body

Available coilover shock bodies typically include standard 1.7″ eyelet mounts along with a recommended spring length. However, you can change mount and spring dimensions to better suit your specific needs. For example, the car used during this install ended up with a 5.2″ shock body with a 10″ coil spring. We also tried 2.7″ mounts and 12″ springs.

  • To better communicate with RideTech support, take photos of existing coilover installations. Pictures really help with communication. Take good overall shots with the car on the ground, then remove one of your car’s wheels to shoot suspension photos including A-arms, spindles, frame mounts and coilover components including top and bottom mounts, spring retainer cups, adjusting collars, bearing spacers. Last but not least, take a good, overall coilover photo.

You will also need to know your car’s total weight and corner weights. If you don’t have access to scales, come see us at an upcoming show or approximate your car’s weight using our vehicle database found HERE. Weight data can then be fed into our Spring Rate Calculator found HERE

Here is our final combination of coilover components as assembled and installed. We used a 1.7″ eyelet mount on a 5.2″ long shock body. The standard length spring for use with that body is 12″ long, but to achieve preload adjustability in both directions on this application, we used a shorter 10″ coil spring. Spring rate for this application is 550lbs/in.
Here’s the bottom of the coilover installed in a custom fabricated lower mount. Plenty of threads are visible above and below the adjusting collar for setting spring preload. With a 12″ springs installed, the adjusting collar was at the very bottom of the shock body.
We offer a variety of eyelet and stud type shock mounts to suit specific installations. We also offer a special to that makes it easier to R&R mounts. Note that the length of the mount may impact stroke length.
To facilitate eyelet mount removal, RideTech sells a special tool designed to clamp the shock shaft. You will need a source of heat to dissolve the red loc-tite applied during factory assembly. A vice will be required as well.
One of the most important steps in this process is knowing your car’s weight. You have options. Let us weigh the car at an upcoming event, buy or borrow a set of race car scales such as those made by Intercomp, or approximate the weight of your car with our extensive database found HERE.
Here’s a longer 2.7″ eyelet mount installed. This fitment robbed us of 1″ of shock stroke, but provided no additional mounting clearance, We swapped back to standard 1.7″ mounts. The longer mounts would have caused the shock bodies to bottom out.
Here is the standard 1.7″ mount used in conjunction with a dropped spring retainer cup and a 10″ spring. This combination of parts provides ample shock travel (stroke) and spring preload adjustment. If you need help choosing the right combination of parts, give us a call.
Here’s a great example of a custom fitment on a 1932 Ford. Street rods have particularly tight packaging. This combination has short stroke shock bodies, standard eyelet mounts, flat cups and short springs. Everything you see here is about compactness. You also need to make sure that you have sufficient shock stroke.
Our subject for this installation is a 1968 Camaro. The car has a very old custom subframe made by a long defunct company. We had no choice but to take measurements and test fit different coilover components until we achieved the right combination of stroke, spring rate and clearance. Coilovers are used in the rear as well.
Coilover Springs:  RideTech offers a wide range of lengths and rates
Free LengthIDSpring Rate
8″2.5″125, 150, 175, 200, 225, 250, 275, 300, 325, 350, 375, 400, 425, 450, 475, 500, 525, 550, 600, 625, 650, 675, 700, 725, 750, 800, 850, 900, 950, 1000, 1100, 1200 lbs/in. To order 8″ springs, click HERE
10″2.5″125, 150, 175, 200, 225, 250, 275, 300, 325, 350, 375, 400, 425, 450, 475, 500, 525, 550, 600, 625, 650, 675, 700, 725, 750, 800, 850, 900 lbs/in. To order 10″ springs, click HERE
12″2.5″125, 150, 175, 200, 225, 250, 275, 300, 325, 350, 375, 400, 425, 450, 475, 500, 550, 600, 650, 700, 750, 800, 850 lbs/in.  To order 12″ springs, click HERE
14″2.5″150, 175, 200, 225, 250, 275, 300, 325, 350, 375, 400, 450, 500, 600  lbs/in.  To order 14″ springs, click HERE
  Additional spring rates and options are available.

4 thoughts on “Customize Coilovers With The Right Combination of Parts

  1. Terry Skrzypiec says:

    Are you going to have your scales available at the Syracuse Nationals in July? I would like to weigh my 31 Ford Model A Tudor sedan. I currently have your coilovers on the front and by the time Syracuse rolls around I hope to have the rears mounted as well.
    Terry Skrzypiec

  2. Mark says:

    The springs in my 1968 mustang ( small block with RideTech control arms) coilovers have reached the limits of adjustability. I was told my our staff that I need a 25 more pound spring. The front tire is almost touching the fender.

    • Jody Glenn says:

      Measure your spring (when compressed on the car) along with your ride height of the shock. Once you have these measurements, give us a call at 812.481.4787 so that we can double check the spring rate change recommended by your staff and get you taken care of accordingly.

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