der5er

Motivated by General Geekery

Springs, to cut or not to cut? (Plus, M6 Picture Goodness!)

Written By: der5er - Mar• 28•06

MyE28.com :: View topic – Anyone have experience cutting the stock springs?

“I’ve heard” that cutting springs can be a bad thing. I’ve also heard that there are no ill effects if it’s done right. There’s a good discussion over at MyE28.com regarding this right now. I think the consensus is: If you do it right, there’s no problem. Along with the old This Old House addage: Measure Twice Cut Once. If you don’t want to venture over to the board, here’s Jon in Richmond’s procedure:

When I replaced the SLS in my M6 I did exactly this. To dispell any rumors that I had heard and to find out for myself the end result, I cut my front springs. What I figured is that I could always replace with new springs if I didn’t like the result.

The procedure I used was as follows:

I first measured the desired drop that I wanted by measuring the distance between the top of the front tire and the wheel arch.
I then took the strut assembly out of the car and to the work bench. I measured the distance and marked the spring where I thought would give me the correct drop. Now, there is a little guess work involved as the car when put back on the ground will compress the spring some. So I erred on the side of – "You can always cut more off, but you can’t put any back on."
I placed my spring compressor on the spring and took the pressure off of the top mount/bearing. I did not take the mount off of the top of the strut. I got out my grinder with a cutoff wheel and cut the coil where I had thought would be correct. I then released the tension on the compressor and set the spring in it’s perch. As others have noted, the spring no longer will have the tapper it once had where it meets the upper bearing. This gave me a bit of concern but no noticeable ill effect.

***Disclaimer***

If you use the above method and you do not compress the spring fully before cutting the coil, may God be on your side!!! Wink

I then put the strut tower back on the car and did the other side. The first side took me about an hour and a half, the second side took about 45 min.
The end result was very good. I had the car lowered where I wanted it and there were no ill effects when driving. In fact, i thought it drove much better and I could not notice that it was any stiffer than stock.
HTH, good luck

M6 before:

M6 after:

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