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72 CS right side is 1" higher than the left need some help

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72 CS right side is 1" higher than the left need some help

Old June 10th, 2019, 06:47 AM
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Question 72 CS right side is 1" higher than the left need some help

After finishing the restoration I have the right side of the car higher than the left. All the springs are the same spring rate and all springs are clocked correctly. I did notice that the right side springs I took off where heated to collapse a coil to level the car. I don't care for this type of correction and with the other issues I found during the restoration and fixed I was hoping that I fixed this condition.

So what is the best way to correct it?
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Old June 10th, 2019, 07:51 AM
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Are you sure the spring is seated correctly in the frame pocket? Not familiar with the '72 frame but on my '65 it was possible that the spring didn't seat right as there's an elevated portion that sits "inside" the spring. Maybe remove the shock and look up there?
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Old June 10th, 2019, 08:03 AM
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Yes they are all seated correctly this was something I made sure of in the build up of the chassis. And they are still where I set them both front and back.

Last edited by AJFink; June 10th, 2019 at 08:05 AM.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 08:26 AM
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Swap sides and see what happens
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Old June 10th, 2019, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by TripDeuces View Post
Swap sides and see what happens
When I did the install I measured all the springs these are new springs both sides where the same front and back respective of each other. The front and the rear on the right side are the same as being 1 inch higher.
Not saying that swapping springs is a bad thing but both front and rear being the same issue......Possibly?
Swapping the springs will be the last thing due to it being such a PITA.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 09:22 AM
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is it just the body that is higher or is the frame higher?
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Old June 10th, 2019, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Fun71 View Post
is it just the body that is higher or is the frame higher?
All measurements are from the frame. I did measure from the body and it is following the same. So all of my bushings are compressing the same. When I built the chassis it was level will all suspension hanging freely.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 09:45 AM
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When you torqued the Control arms, did you have the the car weight on them?
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Old June 10th, 2019, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Allan R View Post
When you torqued the Control arms, did you have the the car weight on them?
Yes when the alignment was done after we verified front and rear was checked.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 10:02 AM
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Did you check the bare frame for level and square before you began restoring it?
The fact that you found altered springs tells me something was wrong before you got it.
When you swap the springs side to side also check the shock compressed height. You could have one that's not fully compressing and that side is sitting high.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by droldsmorland View Post
The fact that you found altered springs tells me something was wrong before you got it.
When you swap the springs side to side also check the shock compressed height. You could have one that's not fully compressing and that side is sitting high.
"The fact that you found altered springs tells me something was wrong before you got it"...........Precisely and checked the frame and could not find anything referencing the chassis and assembly manuals. When we did the alignment the tech said that my rear to front alignment was near perfect, said he has not seen one this good in a long time.

"check the shock compressed height. You could have one that's not fully compressing and that side is sitting high"...... I could agree to one but both on the same side??? all new shocks. But I will check anyway.........Building a check list from all replies.

Keep them coming
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Old June 10th, 2019, 11:35 AM
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Ok, here's a long shot but - did you check the depth of the upper spring pocket on the front? Any possibility the spring could be hanging up on something on one side?
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Old June 10th, 2019, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Allan R View Post
Ok, here's a long shot but - did you check the depth of the upper spring pocket on the front? Any possibility the spring could be hanging up on something on one side?
When I put the springs in the ends have to be between the holes shown in the assembly manual. As far as I know nothing has changed but will put it on the list to check.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 12:12 PM
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Doesn't Washington lean left?
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Old June 10th, 2019, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by AJFink View Post
When I put the springs in the ends have to be between the holes shown in the assembly manual. As far as I know nothing has changed but will put it on the list to check.
That's one way to have spring height difference, but not what I was referring to. I was asking if there was anything at the top, as in the hole in the frame where the flat part of the spring sits. I think what you're referring to is where the coil at the bottom has to seat. That's a critical part of the spring placement too. Sometimes I wonder every time I see a car 'leaning' to the side whether the passenger or driver shoulda pushed away from the table a few years earlier...
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Old June 10th, 2019, 12:34 PM
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^^^
Check the top of the spring it might be hanging up on the locator tabs at the top..
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Old June 10th, 2019, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Allan R View Post
That's one way to have spring height difference, but not what I was referring to. I was asking if there was anything at the top, as in the hole in the frame where the flat part of the spring sits. I think what you're referring to is where the coil at the bottom has to seat. That's a critical part of the spring placement too. Sometimes I wonder every time I see a car 'leaning' to the side whether the passenger or driver shoulda pushed away from the table a few years earlier...
I will be checking everything again but I was so critical when I put the suspension together this one has me puzzled.

I'm maybe 175 soaking wet, I need more time at the table LOL.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 12:47 PM
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Make absolutely sure the springs are sitting in the pads correctly. Make sure the weight of the car (with driver,fuel, etc) is on the suspension as things are torqued. If things are still leaning, swap springs. Hopefully things either level out, or the lean follows the spring swap. If so, you have a spring that isnít right for the application.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by matt69olds View Post
Make absolutely sure the springs are sitting in the pads correctly. Make sure the weight of the car (with driver,fuel, etc) is on the suspension as things are torqued. If things are still leaning, swap springs. Hopefully things either level out, or the lean follows the spring swap. If so, you have a spring that isnít right for the application.
Ok when you buy a set of springs they are not specific as being right side or left......I did not see any identification???? If so then what are the chances that I installed opposites......I should have bought a lottery ticket that day then. LOL

So if everything checks out springs are clocked and set in there place. Can a person loosen the right rear end control arms compress the high side and re-torque? Then loosen the right lower control arm bushing bolts compress and re-torque.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 01:33 PM
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That may work, but be aware that the bushings will be in a constant state of tension (torsion?) and will wear prematurely.
There are devices that fit into the spring coils to increase the height. That may be a better option.

Last edited by Fun71; June 10th, 2019 at 01:35 PM.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 01:45 PM
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I Lean

https://classicoldsmobile.com/forums...prings-133975/


A shim under the spring is a MUCH better option than any spacer gizmo in the coils of the spring
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Old June 10th, 2019, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 11971four4two View Post
https://classicoldsmobile.com/forums...prings-133975/


A shim under the spring is a MUCH better option than any spacer gizmo in the coils of the spring
When I did a search on this subject I noticed that spacers could be an option but is this best practice for this issue. I am also wanting to know if this is common or known for my year and model.
Beings the rear is easier to swap should I loosen the control arms swap the springs and of course re-torque.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TripDeuces View Post
Doesn't Washington lean left?
That's the West side of the state.......... I live in Eastern Washington The Right side of course. LOL
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Old June 10th, 2019, 02:08 PM
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To change the springs and or add a spacer

support frame and axle
remove lower shock mount
lower axle slowly

springs should be easy to swap side to side
and maybe add a spacer Under left rear coil spring


re install
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Old June 10th, 2019, 04:12 PM
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Not unusual for there's old cars to have a tweaked frame, any evidence of previous accident? Mine was bent so bad that the motor mounts three bolts wouldn't go into the frame. Best bet at this point might be have it checked at a frame shop if springs are installed correctly.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 04:23 PM
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I have notice with all the spring set I have installed they specify with or without A/C, but no instructions on left or right spring. I assume most of the added weight from the A/C (especially on a Olds) is on the passenger side. So why no left or right spring?

i would assume there is a number in the instructions for technical questions. If the have no useful information, get one of the spacers that fit either under or over the spring. I would guess that it would have zero effect on ride quality. Unfortunately, it may take a couple tries to get the right thickness spacer to level the car.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by AJFink View Post
I am also wanting to know if this is common or known for my year and model.
Yes, it is fairly common. I have read many posts about cars with "the lean" but not many where folks actually discovered why.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by classicmuscle.442 View Post
Not unusual for there's old cars to have a tweaked frame, any evidence of previous accident? Mine was bent so bad that the motor mounts three bolts wouldn't go into the frame. Best bet at this point might be have it checked at a frame shop if springs are installed correctly.
X2......When my 72 was in the paint shop the 80 something owner ( son now runs the shop) saw the ďleanĒ told the son to get that car on the frame machine. Sure enough the frame was slightly tweaked. All good now.
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Old June 11th, 2019, 06:30 AM
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There's probably nothing wrong. Cars of this era often don't sit perfectly level. Mine doesn't/didn't. These cars were designed and built from pencil and paper. The frames were welded by hand. Weld quality is all over the place and these frames are built up from many parts. It's a miracle they are as good as they are. I've owned my 72 442 from 47k to today at 77k it's always been low on the left front about 3/4 inch. I used to run my rear air shocks with separate lines to balance the front. Now I use a couple of spring spacers in the left front. Some day...i will cut the coil on one side to balance it. Tom
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Old June 11th, 2019, 09:34 AM
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Cars of this era often don't sit perfectly level. ..........The frames were welded by hand. Weld quality is all over the place and these frames are built up from many parts.
Except one thing. By 1972 Oldsmobile had introduced the Sentinel Quality Control measure. They were the first division to implement that. A car that sat that far off would have been caught and sent for corrective action. The ones I've seen sag on one side were owned by some very heavy people.
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Old June 11th, 2019, 11:26 AM
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By cutting or adding height to just one spring you risk uneven ride and handling problems. You'd have to do each "axle" the same. This won't help as the problem will still follow.
On variable rate springs, you can affect the compression characteristics of the spring.

Loosen all of the front and rear control arm bushings with the car on the ground. Retorque. See if it improves. Take before and after data points.
Put the car in the air and loosen the control arms again (safely) remove springs, reassemble without the springs and test the axle(s) deflection. (Rear and both independent fronts. Remove all 4 shocks too).
You can temporarily assemble the BJs on the tapers finger tight so you dont risk on off damage. If you use a fork replace the BJs.They don't need to be tight for this test. You are just looking for equal movement
Does everything work smooth?
Measure each springs unsprung height. Are they even?

You could take it to a frame shop first. That is what Id do.

Last edited by droldsmorland; June 11th, 2019 at 11:29 AM.
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Old June 11th, 2019, 12:23 PM
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I can vouch for a lot of stress loading and some twisting in frames. When I narrowed my 66 convertible chassis, I was making the final cut to remove the spring perches and the frame 'popped' and came off the floor about and 1/8 inch. I had welded legs on the rear frame behind the tire using 3/4 inch square tubing. It was the leg that popped up. 1/8 inch isn't much but I'm sure on an unboxed frame it's worse.
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Old June 11th, 2019, 02:50 PM
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Okay the last few points have me concerned (Do I have a Bad Frame?) As I said from the beginning noticing the original springs where heated and collapsed on the right side only got my attention that something might be wrong. When the frame was bare I did all the measurements checking for square and all was well within tolerance. All of the sheet metal was original and had no signs of ever being in a major accident. Leveling the frame and nothing was found from the main jacking points on the frame. However the rear box, the two side rails and rear cross bar did have a little tweak. But the spring pockets were level to each other. Tweak was nothing more than a 1/2" and was from what I understood was within tolerance. and thinking that the body would fix it. Now could the spring pockets be out of tolerance Maybe Did not measure from the inside tops of the pockets to the floor. When I had the frame on jack stands all stands where at the same level and the frame sat solid and was level no teetering. All of the springs are Moog and new, and measured the same laying side by side with there respective twin. Shocks are new Gabriel's, all bushings are the rubber and Moog as well.

So unless I am missing something and will be checking again what was brought up during this thread how bad is this condition? I feel it needs to be addressed but need a path forward starting from the easiest less evasive. Most times it is something simple, I did build this car from a bare frame and could very well have missed something.

However driving the car there is no evidence of anything wrong practically drives itself and rides very nice, hardly any roll in corners and very stable. I love driving these older cars and feel really good about what I have accomplished.
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Old June 11th, 2019, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by tangokilo View Post
There's probably nothing wrong.
There is something wrong or he would not have asked, weld quality is not to today's standards but they used a jig to put these frames together. If there was something wrong it was repaired in the fab stage.
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Old June 12th, 2019, 05:25 AM
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I don't suppose there is a missing pad on the left side of the body at the frame connectors.
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Old June 12th, 2019, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Koda View Post
I don't suppose there is a missing pad on the left side of the body at the frame connectors.
There were no missing pads.
We are talking 1" and that would be fairly noticeable and it is all on one side high or low but consistent front and back. After looking things over last night I'm getting ready for my first car show and shine this weekend. The right side is suppose to be the heaviest, up front the AC system and the rear the spare tire. Yes I did buy the front springs for AC. but there is no right or left, but the front springs are tagged as top and yes I did.
After I get through this week end I'll be confronting this issue full on. I am going to go back thru the build in a reverse order and check and measure the best I can with it all together. As I said I'll be taking all those who gave me points to check again and verify measurements. I am going to try and jack it up high enough to get the suspension to hang with the bottom of the frame and body level and measure the sag to the floor at each wheel and see what comes up.

If those in the past did not figure it out, this Engineer is going too.
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Old June 12th, 2019, 10:16 AM
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From one Engineer to another do the simple working towards complex...you already knew that.
Sometimes when we're immersed into our own troubleshooting hell we lose sight of the simple, or sight outa the box isnt working...been there done that and learned
1. First, take the data points. Determine where its outa spec.
2. Consider maybe the other side is low?
3. Try what I suggested...loosen everything with the weight of the car on the wheels then retorque.
4. if the data from the ground up to the frame in the four corners shown in the Assembly Info manual are on then it has to be the body or and or the bumper alignment. if the bumper gaps are equidistant then the body is off somewhere. You could have a stack-up additive thing going on too?
5. If all chassis components, suspension articulation and body assemblies are found to be in spec, what's next? Can the body mounts be shimmed to compensate? More on the low side less on the high?

This thread will be historic if you find the root cause(s). Two or more root causes pegs the fun meter....fun to the 10th order kinda fun.
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Old June 12th, 2019, 12:16 PM
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Since we're all engineers here., I can just call it like it is.

First, make sure you're actually checking the ride height the right way. See factory documentation.

Once you've verified that you are, in fact, off, start measuring both ways.

Do the unsprung components sit at the same height, ie, bottom of control arms and the axle on both sides? If so, you've ruled out jacked up tires, wheels, etc. Now, are the frame rails the same height to the ground? If so, you've ruled out the springs and such. Next, are the body mount flanges the same height to the ground? If so, you've ruled out bushings and pads. Now, at this point, the sheet metal body might be tweaked.

This is assuming you are sitting on level ground. A construction laser would help here. Also, putting the car on a lift and lifting really slowly might show what shifts to set it level and may help.
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Old June 13th, 2019, 08:45 AM
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I want to thank all that have given me things to check and verify.
Last night after taking care of a few things to get ready for my first car show did a little checking to mark off some of the easy stuff. This is on all four wheels and tires at 36psi and 3/4 tank of gas. I took measurements at all four wheel wells center of wheel to center of well moldings Right side front and rear 27 3/4" , Left Side 26 3/4"
1. The body to frame is the same all the way around, equal compression on all the bushings that are bolted and the four non bolted pads over the rear end all look the same. Exposed pinch weld along the frame rails are the same on both sides. (Its not the body to frame)
2. Checked the clocking of the rear springs top and bottom and are dead on as per the assembly manual. Cannot check the fronts due to how low they sit to floor.
3. I made several measurements from bottom of frame to floor, between the wheel wells under the front edge of the door gaps the difference from right to left was only 5/8" at about 6" in from the front of the rear wheel well it was about 3/4" from right side to left sides. From the bottom of the front spring pockets (Lowest points to floor the difference was only 1/2" from right to left).

After going back to the assembly manual and checking I found that there are preloaded specs that where made during assembly without the body on. Preloading the front and rear to a +/- as much as 1/2". Also noting that the clocking of the springs tolerances can make up or take away as much as 3/4" in height. Also in the assembly manual finished ride heights where to be within +/- 3/4".

Not coming to a conclusion here yet but I just may have a stacking issue, After this weekend I'll be continuing this effort with still an open mind. One thing to note, after checking the manual for the springs that where originally on the car I went up one category in spring weight on both the front and rear by only 75#s I was getting ahead of the normal sag that develops over time with these cars. This is adding to the overall and is consistent.

So the quest will continue after my show this week end.........Maybe it will "Lean" into some Hardware ????? Sorry Couldn't help it!!!
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Old June 17th, 2019, 07:24 AM
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GOT 2nd PLACE in Restored Original!!!!!....Not bad for my first show.........So back to our regular scheduled programing......

What better place to do a market research on this issue than a Show & Shine car show...... "I am chasing a ghost"...... After looking at all the 70s A body's they all have some form of lean to the left side. I talked to a few and they have done correction by adding air shocks to heating springs to spacers. Some that are survivors have left the factory look and there it is a lean to the left. I got responses that have thought that this was built into these cars to account for the engine torque and just the stance for the time. Some came and looked at mine and said......SO WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM? ......Oooooh! this is a bad *** restoration you did.

So I still was not satisfied, so yesterday I spent the day jacking up the car and went through all of the suggestions good thing the alignment person did miss a couple of bolts.
1. Anyway my frame is almost perfect as far as level in fact it is 1/8" higher on the left side not the right in the front, rear is level.
2. All springs are clocked perfect and the spring pockets measurements are the same left to right.
3. Loosen all the control arms with weight on the tires and re-torqued.......no changes, other than everything now is properly torqued.

The Chassis Service Manual measurements and mine are a match the only difference is the manual says max side to side is 3/4" mine is 1" I am thinking that due to my springs are new and the next step up in spring rate is why mine is 1/4" higher all the way around from the manual specs.

So I'm thinking of putting a 1" spacer in the left rear, did a test and jacking this point now levels the car all the way around. If I do I will have the alignment done again just to see how the moments shifted and if it affects my alignment.............So there you have it.
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