1971 Riv - OPGI Springs? Your Suspension Experience Welcome

Discussion in 'The whoa and the sway.' started by FriendofaRiv, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. FriendofaRiv

    FriendofaRiv New Member

    Hello folks! I'm helping a friend work on his newly-acquired 1971 Riviera. Currently, it's all-original, and a very decent car. Non-Buick-types may think the boattail design is controversial, but there is NO denying that this thing is built SOLID.

    maybe a little too solid...the crossmember drags on bumps at speed, and we're thinking that the springs are tired, so we're looking to upgrade the springs and shocks. ;P

    OPGI offers a dizzying array of spring configurations...They offer std-spec stock ride height (for cars w/AC), as well as aftermarket 1/2/3" drop, for 1971. They also offer an "HD" option for 1972 cars.

    To add to the options...Jamco offers 1/2/3" drop springs online as well.

    Have any of you had any experience with either OPGI or JAMCO spring sets on this or a similar car?

    Any reason why the quoted-1972 HD springs wouldn't suit our 1971 car?

    I think the 1" or even 2" drop could look very good...but we are wary of dropping the car into more ground clearance issues, and are probably leaning towards a stiffer Buick-fit spring set if we can find one. Would we need special shorter shocks to work with shorter springs?

    I called OPGI, and got a very, very courteous sales person who assured me that the drop springs were designed to give a "stock ride feel"...dunno if that means shorter springs are stiffer, or just shorter.

    I'm hoping to hear some input from people who've experienced these cars and products firsthand. Forgive my scattergun approach...I'm new here, and I appreciate your input, folks!
  2. PaulGS

    PaulGS Well-Known Member

    First of all, be aware that OPGI is a RESELLER. They do not design of manufacture anything.

    Any advice they give is second hand and anecdotal.

    They will not be able to discuss design or engineering specifications on anything.

    The sales people are nice because they are measured on SALES.

    Go to Eaton Spring.

    They have all the experience you need.

    OPGI is not a good place for anything.
  3. JZRIV

    JZRIV Platinum Level Contributor

    First check the trim height and compare to the service manual specifications to find out exactly how much the car is sagging then make a decision from there.
    Ordering springs for these cars is a crap shoot for some reason. More often than not the car sits higher than it should. Personally I would not order springs from OPGI.....or anything for that matter.
    Some folks have had good luck here. http://www.coilsprings.com/ as well as Eaton as mentioned http://www.eatondetroitspring.com/
  4. FriendofaRiv

    FriendofaRiv New Member

    The Eaton website looks strong...a LOT of options, and a lot of cars. Hopefully it will not be too much trouble ($$) to get them to make up a set for the '71 Riviera.

    Will I need special-length shocks with a 2" drop in ride height?
  5. flynbuick

    flynbuick Super Moderator Staff Member

    Order these from www.espo.com. Many of us use her to source springs.

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