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Old 06-11-2019, 11:26 AM   #1
EagleChief
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Help me lower my 71 C10

Hello everyone. I'm sorry in advance, because I know this has been covered plenty of times - but, when I search and read all of threads, I'm more confused than when I started. I knew what I wanted to do before researching, but now, I have no idea what all I need to get there, or how to do it.

Here's the scoop - I have a '71 C10 (attached a photo for visual) at, what I assume, is stock ride height. My fender measurements are, from center of the wheels, about 19.5" +/- about 1/4" front and back. I have a set of aftermarket Corvette Rally's (15x7, 15x8) that are going on shortly. I would like to lower it about 3"-4". I do not want to C-notch, and for me, I think 4/6 is lower than what I want to go.

My question is - how can I go about this without spending an arm and a leg? I made up a quick spreadsheet of the different kits that I know are available - I attached a pic of it as well. The problem is, I don't have the budget to purchase the ECE kit. I know it's the preferred kit on this forum, but it is just too expensive for me. We have a new baby and a 3 yr old, so my "toy" budget is pretty tight.

1) Do I really need all of the parts that are listed in these kits? Panhard bars, track bars, etc?
2) If my measurements are pretty close to level front and back, then a 3.5"/5" kit seems like it would put me nose high, wouldn't it? Would I be better off using the same drop coils front and back?

To me, the Classic Industries 3/5 kit (Part # CSSK6572D35) is something that I can probably afford. But, it does not come with drop spindles, just drop coils. Is there anything wrong with that?

I am just confused as to what all I need and how to go about getting the parts to buy, or what I can do without to get this truck dropped down. Again, I apologize for the repeat of a subject, and all of the questions, but I'm lost here. This is my first attempt at lowering a vehicle.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:19 PM   #2
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

Just my opinion:

If you want to lower your truck you need to do it correctly or wait until you have the money to do so.
You are lucky your truck has disc brakes up front, because it makes the swap to drop spindles cheaper. (you already have the disc brake master cylinder and prop. valve)

First, forget about the height of your truck now. It has sagging original springs.
All drop components are based on the "drop" related to NEW stock height components.
So a 3" drop spring might only lower the front 1" more than where you are now.

Personally I would do a 4/6 drop.
With that you need rear shock relocators, drop shocks, and adjustable track bar (to recenter the rearend) And a set of drop spindles at a minimum.
You can cut your stock front springs if you like. But I would use drop springs up front as well.

I think the answer you want is to buy 4 springs and be done.
There are plenty of trucks with a 3/5 drop and no other mods.
But you really need to look at all the front suspension, brakes, and shocks.

Personally I stay away from CPP springs. I've heard they sag over time.
Good luck with your decisions.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:23 PM   #3
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolife99 View Post
Just my opinion:

If you want to lower your truck you need to do it correctly or wait until you have the money to do so.
You are lucky your truck has disc brakes up front, because it makes the swap to drop spindles cheaper. (you already have the disc brake master cylinder and prop. valve)

First, forget about the height of your truck now. It has sagging original springs.
All drop components are based on the "drop" related to NEW stock height components.
So a 3" drop spring might only lower the front 1" more than where you are now.

Personally I would do a 4/6 drop.
With that you need rear shock relocators, drop shocks, and adjustable track bar (to recenter the rearend) And a set of drop spindles at a minimum.
You can cut your stock front springs if you like. But I would use drop springs up front as well.

I think the answer you want is to buy 4 springs and be done.
There are plenty of trucks with a 3/5 drop and no other mods.
But you really need to look at all the front suspension, brakes, and shocks.

Personally I stay away from CPP springs. I've heard they sag over time.
Good luck with your decisions.
I appreciate your reply. For some reason, I haven't had much luck in get any answers to questions lately, it seems.

Now, I know drop spindles and lowering springs are the way to go, I'm not against that. I'm curious about all of the other parts that the "kits" contain. How much of that is actually needed?

From my research, stock height from center of wheels is 19" up front, 19.5" in the rear - Mine is within about a 1/4" of that, so I think my ride height is pretty close to stock height - UNLESS, the original ride height is different than what I found on this forum. I don't know, that's why I brought it up.

I know I do not want to go as low as the 4/6 drop, so that's why I was wondering if I could do without some of the "kit" parts. I realize a lot of those parts are needed when going to that level or lower. If I do a 3/4 drop, do I need the shock relocation stuff and panhard bars, etc? Can I use shorter shocks instead of relocating the mounts?

I'm not looking to just replace the springs and be done. I'm just trying to figure out if I can just buy the parts I actually need and not have to spend the extra money on things I won't necessarily need.

Like I said, I'm trying to learn and figure this out, as I've never lowered a vehicle before. So, I'm taking all answers and thoughts on what I need to do. If I wait to drop it, I'm fine with that. If it comes down to spending the money and buying the full kit, I'm ok with that as well (eventually). I just don't want to waste money on things I don't need. Know what I mean? Again, thank you for chiming in, though. I do appreciate any and all help I can get.
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:01 PM   #4
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

No rear shock relocators are needed if you stay at 4" rear drop or less.
(My opinion) The relocators change the angle of the rear shocks on a 5"-6' rear drop.
You need this.
Otherwise they just pivot on the shock bolts because they are laying too flat.
You can probably do without the adjustable track bar at a 4" rear drop, but you always need to measure and see if the rearend is centered under the truck.
I would always use one.
That's really the only 2 things I would associate with your "other stuff" comment.
You need the rest.
Good quality springs, shocks and drop spindles.

You also need a front sway bar with good bushings if you don't have one.
Best bang for the buck on these trucks.

It's funny, most people that install a set of 3/5 or 3/4 springs always want to go lower.

Here's a picture to help motivate you,...
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:42 PM   #5
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

If you have stock front springs you could get drop spindles and rear springs. Install those. If you want more drop in the front. Replace those front stock springs with lowering springs.

You could also use a grinder to cut a coil on your stock springs to get additional drop in front. Some people don’t recommend it but a lot of people do it. Depends on your budget i guess.

You didn’t mention budget. There are adjustable Coilover kits that allow you to dial in what you want.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:50 PM   #6
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

Thank you! That picture is nice, just a tad too low for me... about an inch or so .

If I could get the parts I need for about $500 or less, then I think I could pull the trigger.

I want to say I've read that Western Chasis drop spindles are the ones that work best with the 15" wheels and don't cause any rubbing issues. Anyone know if that is that true? Performance Online currently has them on sale for $239.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:05 PM   #7
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

I have POL units on mine with 15" wheels and they work. Won't be staying with those wheels but they do work.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:23 AM   #8
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbeef61 View Post
If you have stock front springs you could get drop spindles and rear springs. Install those. If you want more drop in the front. Replace those front stock springs with lowering springs.

You could also use a grinder to cut a coil on your stock springs to get additional drop in front. Some people don’t recommend it but a lot of people do it. Depends on your budget i guess.

You didn’t mention budget. There are adjustable Coilover kits that allow you to dial in what you want.
I missed your reply yesterday. That's what I have been curious about... can I just add spindles up front and springs in the rear and be good? Probably add a panhard bar in the rear as well?

If I do that, do I need to replace the shocks and relocation brackets? That's my big question about all of these kits that I see.

I see where people are cutting springs with no issues, but then you hear all of the naysayers and their stories of mangled cars and death (exaggeration of course) from cutting the coils.

Budget is pretty tight - I was all set on purchasing the ECE kit. But, when when it came down to it and looking at our budget, it is just too pricey right now. I have a feeling I'm going to have to do some motor work over this next winter.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:42 PM   #9
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleChief View Post
I missed your reply yesterday. That's what I have been curious about... can I just add spindles up front and springs in the rear and be good? Probably add a panhard bar in the rear as well?- Im in the same boat with the kiddos, oldest turns 3 at the end of the month. I would buy 2 1/2" spindles, 4" rear springs, and an adjustable panhard bar for now. if you want the front lower cut a 1/2 coil if you want it even lower cut the other half. if you want the rear lower add a lowering block, you can go up to 1 1/2" blocks before having any scrub issues with 15" wheels.

If I do that, do I need to replace the shocks and relocation brackets? That's my big question about all of these kits that I see.- I would advise modifying the rear upper shock mounts already on your truck if you are concerned. There are many write-ups on how to do it here for free, but I wouldn't worry about it now.

I see where people are cutting springs with no issues, but then you hear all of the naysayers and their stories of mangled cars and death (exaggeration of course) from cutting the coils. -The safety of cutting a spring depends on what kind of spring it is, meaning how the spring terminates. If the spring just ends like someone cut it off perpendicular to the material (tangential) then it can safely be cut. If the spring has a pigtail like on the rear springs or the top side of the front springs of the truck it cant be cut because it would compromise the mount/securing apparatus to the vehicle, same would go for what is called square end where the spring meets the previous winding.

Budget is pretty tight - I was all set on purchasing the ECE kit. But, when when it came down to it and looking at our budget, it is just too pricey right now. I have a feeling I'm going to have to do some motor work over this next winter.
article on Cutting springs from a spring mfgr- https://www.eatondetroitspring.com/cutting-coil-springs

POL spindles $240
Super track Bar ECE $130
4" rear springs ECE $114

Total $484

Also, keep in mind that you may run into needing new ball joints if you find out they are shot. (often overlooked)
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:28 PM   #10
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleChief View Post
I missed your reply yesterday. That's what I have been curious about... can I just add spindles up front and springs in the rear and be good? Probably add a panhard bar in the rear as well?

If I do that, do I need to replace the shocks and relocation brackets? That's my big question about all of these kits that I see.

I see where people are cutting springs with no issues, but then you hear all of the naysayers and their stories of mangled cars and death (exaggeration of course) from cutting the coils.

Budget is pretty tight - I was all set on purchasing the ECE kit. But, when when it came down to it and looking at our budget, it is just too pricey right now. I have a feeling I'm going to have to do some motor work over this next winter.
For a truck-arm application, if you just want drop & don't care about ride/drive quality, just buy 4 drop springs & replace hardware as needed.

If you want drop while improving the ride & drive quality, here are things to consider:

1) Just adding the spindles mentioned won't get your desired front drop amount (Western Chassis spindles are 2.5" drop). There are 3" drop spindle options, but those usually increase the probability of interference.
There are 3" drop springs for the front. They are not optimum (when all things are considered) but will work. A combo of the 2 is best. Keep in mind, advertised spring drops are compared to stock heights & can vary the resulting amount of drop.

2) Even @ 3-4" of drop, I would use rear shock brackets to stand the shocks up @ a better angle vs. stock. In my opinion, any rear spring lowering hurts shock effectiveness by changing it's designed working angle. I would also avoid marketed/kit 'drop' shocks. Shorter shocks don't help ride quality unless valved properly & they're installed @ good working angles. Typical drop-kit shocks are just shorter shocks that were made for a different application (usually the front of a diff vehicle) but can work on a C10. For the best ride quality, use good quality replacement length shocks (or as close as possible) & tweak the brackets as needed to put the travel where it should be. 'Kit' drop shocks are a typical added expense where it might not be necessary. What condition are the stock shocks in??

* REAR truck-arm shocks/mounts: If you are mechanically capable & can fab, tweaking the original rear shock mounts for improved travel can be done in a couple of hours for free or new mounts that improve the working angles can be made for pretty cheap:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=451200
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=359399
* FRONT shocks/mounts: Once dropped, taking some measurements will guide what your needs are. You may/may-not need to do anything for the shock mounts/shocks to work as intended (esp. if using spindles for a mild drop).

3) When lowering a truck-arm C10, the axle will/does shift over. If you don't mind it not tracking straight, it can be driven. However, some trucks might experience rubbing depending on wheel size, back-spacing, & body placement on the frame. Adjustable Panhard bars help correct this & keep the tracking straight.

If it were me? I'd start by seeing what condition my front suspension & shocks are in. Take apart one side of the truck & inspect things. That helps kick-off educated decision making.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:29 PM   #11
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69gmcc10 View Post
article on Cutting springs from a spring mfgr- https://www.eatondetroitspring.com/cutting-coil-springs

POL spindles $240
Super track Bar ECE $130
4" rear springs ECE $114

Total $484

Also, keep in mind that you may run into needing new ball joints if you find out they are shot. (often overlooked)
Thank you! That is very helpful! And, in my budget, which is always a plus.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:39 PM   #12
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69gmcc10 View Post
article on Cutting springs from a spring mfgr- https://www.eatondetroitspring.com/cutting-coil-springs

POL spindles $240
Super track Bar ECE $130
4" rear springs ECE $114

Total $484

Also, keep in mind that you may run into needing new ball joints if you find out they are shot. (often overlooked)
Good info
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:47 PM   #13
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOTI View Post
For a truck-arm application, if you just want drop & don't care about ride/drive quality, just buy 4 drop springs & replace hardware as needed.

If you want drop while improving the ride & drive quality, here are things to consider:

1) Just adding the spindles mentioned won't get your desired front drop amount (Western Chassis spindles are 2.5" drop). There are 3" drop spindle options, but those usually increase the probability of interference.
There are 3" drop springs for the front. They are not optimum (when all things are considered) but will work. A combo of the 2 is best. Keep in mind, advertised spring drops are compared to stock heights & can vary the resulting amount of drop.
I know (from reading here) spindles and new springs are the best combo. I was just searching some pictures on here of lowered trucks - there were several 2/4 drops that look like they were the height I'm after. I know the difference between 2/4 and 3/4 or 3/5 doesn't sound like a lot, but it really is when it comes to this. The more I think about my current ride measurements (from center of wheels/hubs), the more I think a 5" rear drop will be too much.
Here's my info for stock ride height: http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=746570


2) Even @ 3-4" of drop, I would use rear shock brackets to stand the shocks up @ a better angle vs. stock. In my opinion, any rear spring lowering hurts shock effectiveness by changing it's designed working angle. I would also avoid marketed/kit 'drop' shocks. Shorter shocks don't help ride quality unless valved properly & they're installed @ good working angles. Typical drop-kit shocks are just shorter shocks that were made for a different application (usually the front of a diff vehicle) but can work on a C10. For the best ride quality, use good quality replacement length shocks (or as close as possible) & tweak the brackets as needed to put the travel where it should be. 'Kit' drop shocks are a typical added expense where it might not be necessary. What condition are the stock shocks in??

* REAR truck-arm shocks/mounts: If you are mechanically capable & can fab, tweaking the original rear shock mounts for improved travel can be done in a couple of hours for free or new mounts that improve the working angles can be made for pretty cheap.
* FRONT shocks/mounts: Once dropped, taking some measurements will guide what your needs are. You may/may-not need to do anything for the shock mounts/shocks to work as intended (esp. if using spindles for a mild drop).
I'm not sure on the current shock condition - the truck rides extremely smooth! But, I've thought about going ahead and replacing the shocks at the same time, just so I know they have been updated. I work at a manufacturing company with full weld shop and capabilities. If needed, there are a few guys here that could probably help me out. I could probably even design some new brackets and have them made.

3) When lowering a truck-arm C10, the axle will/does shift over. If you don't mind it not tracking straight, it can be driven. However, some trucks might experience rubbing depending on wheel size, back-spacing, & body placement on the frame. Adjustable Panhard bars help correct this & keep the tracking straight.
That's good to know about the panhard bar. I definitely don't want the truck tracking oddly. I'd rather have it driving straight down the road. That's the kind of info I need.

If it were me? I'd start by seeing what condition my front suspension & shocks are in. That helps kick-off educated decision making.
Thank you, sir! Very good info. Sounds like the panhard bar is a must.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:56 PM   #14
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

Here is a picture of my 68 2 1/2" spindles and 2" rear springs with 1" blocks for 3" total. Like what has been said just go with the spindles and rear springs. forget the panhard bar you may not need it. ball joints are a do it now when apart if needed.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:57 PM   #15
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

What wheel type, size, & tires are planned (front & rear)?
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:54 PM   #16
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

I dont know how much this will help but I will tell you how NOT to do it. I have attached pictures of my truck. I did not lower it, and it rides pretty rough. It looks decent, but it gets tossed around when hitting bumps at speed, it fairly noisy, and low speed bumps like going up into a driveway it feels like its mostly bump stops.

It was lowered in front by using stock spindles and cutting the springs. One coil was probably cut, luckily, when on jack stands with suspension hanging the springs dont move, I have heard cutting more than one coil can cause springs to fall out when suspension hangs. You can see how close the stock bump stop is, I could trim it but I am changing everything to QA1 coilovers this winter. Keeping the stock height springs and using drop spindles would keep geometry much more stock than my setup.

Rear was done semi-correctly. They used lowering springs, but you can see in the pics the angle of the shocks. Used stock track bar, which doesnt seem to be an issue. No c-notch. It doesnt seem to need one. Bump stops are fairly close and I can see where they do make contact causing a clean spot on the axle.

1) how it looks I think the tires are F: 235or245/65R15 R:295/55R15
2) shows how close front bump stop is
3/4) shows shock angles
5) rear bump stop

Look at lowered trucks, find one with similar tire/wheel size and find out what they did. Bare minimum you could do drop spindles, and lowering springs in rear, lots of rears for sale near me. I see so many posts about "installed springs only, wanted more drop so my loss is your gain..." pick up a cheap set and see if they work, if they dont you can make a similar sale haha. I cant recommend a spindle as I havent done any yet, but 2.5" drop is popular, but do plan on incidentals such as bearings etc.
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:53 PM   #17
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

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What wheel type, size, & tires are planned (front & rear)?
Wheels are 15x7 front and 15x8 rear - Aftermarket Corvette Rally's. I'm not sure what brand or build they are. I do know they are dual bolt pattern. Bought them off of a co-worker for $75. Had them sandblasted and painted. Now just waiting for a chance to install some tires. Plan is to put 255/60 on the front and 275/60 on the rear. Depending on what's available, I may end up with 255's all around.
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:55 PM   #18
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

Thank you!
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:20 PM   #19
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

255/60-15's = 27"
275/60-15's = 28"

Good F/R tire diameters for a mildly dropped truck.
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:30 PM   #20
EagleChief
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Location: Tulsa, OK
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOTI View Post
255/60-15's = 27"
275/60-15's = 28"

Good F/R tire diameters for a mildly dropped truck.
Thanks. Researched on here to find the best set up. That seemed to be a pretty popular choice.
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:05 PM   #21
Rick Bollinger
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Re: Help me lower my 71 C10

I have 255/70/15 on mine. Around 29 inches tall.
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