Whatever you do to make your car look sporty, you cannot achieve perfection without removing that glaring wheel gap that is common to every passenger car. There is a simple and affordable way to do just that using a set of lowering springs.
Wheel gap is the distance between the outer diameter of the tire and the edge of the wheel well. This gap is an inevitable but unsightly thing to have in a car. This gap is necessary for vehicle suspension to work well. Although you cannot eliminate it completely, you can bring down this gap by using some modification techniques. One way of doing it is to use larger tires. But this will be an expensive undertaking. Instead, reducing the ride height of the car using lowering springs is much more affordable than that. But there is a lot more to it than simply installing a new set of lowering springs. This article will give you a basic understanding of using lowering springs in your car.
All vehicles have a suspension system to absorb shocks. They provide comfort to the passengers by dampening the vibrations due to unevenness on the road. Some cars are optimised using give soft suspensions that have wider wheel gaps and softer springs. Other cars have stiffer suspensions. A stiff suspension means you will feel the minor bumps on the road. But a stiffer suspension allows for a narrower wheel gap. By using a set of lowering springs, you can reduce the ride height of the car and make the suspension stiffer. There is a long list of pros and cons to doing this. This article will tell you the basics of using lowering springs on your car.
Stock springs in passenger cars are always optimised for the maximum ride comfort. The manufacturers also take into account the condition of the roads the vehicle might be riding on. Therefore, in countries with bad roads, they make the wheel gap larger to deal with potholes. But from a purely aesthetic perspective, this is a bad idea. Lowering springs, on the other hand, gives priority to the looks of the car. Because they are shorter than stock springs, the ride height lowers, and the suspension gets stiffer. But this makes the car more susceptible to bottom out on bad roads.
These suspensions are for performance cars enthusiasts who are more concerned about the speed and handling of their car more than the riding comfort. Performance suspension provides better handling in corners and also while moving fast on straight roads. By providing a stiffer suspension, they reduce the ‘lean’ of the vehicle in turns. This reduces the chance of a rollover when taking corners at high speeds. Another benefit of a performance suspension is that they improve the grip the tire has on the road. But the downside is that they won’t provide you with a smooth ride. And if you are riding on a bad road, you will feel even the tiny cracks on it.
One downside of reducing the ride height of the car using lowering springs is that the shock absorbers of the car take more stress than before. Due to the decreased tension on the springs and reduced ride height, the shocks now have to travel more distance to dampen the vehicle than before. This will increase the wear and tear on both the shock and strut. The more you drop the height of the car, the more is the stress on the shocks. Also, the effect multiplies if you have already put on a lot of kilometres on the car.
These are also used to change the ride height of the vehicle. But unlike springs, coilovers come as an assembly of both springs and shock absorbers. There are multiple benefits for this construction as compared to a lowering spring. The main one is that, with a coilover, you now have a shock that is well suited to the spring. This ensures that the shock is not overworked when you change the stock spring of the car. Coilovers also have height adjustment. So, if you do not like the handling of the car, you can easily adjust the coilover instead of replacing the springs. But coilovers are quite expensive as compared to springs.
Customising suspension is one of the main things that will impact the comfort and handling of your car. In order to install the right lowering spring in your car and get the perfect amount of drop in height, and handling, there are a few things you have to be mindful of. By following these tips, you can ensure the optimum adjustment to the suspension and ride height.
Apart from these, there are some minor things to take care of while choosing the suspension. The suspension and the tire work hand in hand to provide the grip. So, choose a suspension that is right for the tires to get an optimal grip. Also, when you are shopping look online to get cheap lowering springs. If you are lucky, you will find a lot of great lowering springs on sale online. Also, don’t forget to check out all the other amazing products in the car supplies category.
Unlike coilovers, lowering springs are not adjustable. So, once you have purchased a set of springs for your car and you feel that you want to change the ride height, your only option is to buy a new set of springs. Therefore, if you are not sure how low you want your ride to be, you will be better off with purchasing a coilover. But there is one obvious way to reduce the height of spring — by cutting it. Using a spring holder and angle grinder, a suspension spring can be cut. But all the four springs should be cut precisely to match their lengths to each other. This is not a recommended option, though.
What lowering springs basically do is to lower the centre of gravity of the car. This brings about a lot of benefits in terms of handling. A car with a lower centre of gravity is less likely to rollover. This makes the car more stable in turns. By reducing the lean of the car in corners, lowering springs ensure that all four tires are stable on the road. This reduces the chance of understeering and helps keep the vehicle on the road. Lower ride height also improves the aerodynamics to a certain extent. All these together contribute to providing a better handling character of the car.
If you are using lowering springs with stock shock and strut, this will increase the stress on them for sure. Because stock shocks are designed to go with taller springs that offer more support, shocks will have to travel more distance to deal with the same amount of impacts on the road. Over time, this will cause wear and tear in the suspension. To avoid the increased wear on the suspension, you have to take care of two things. Firstly, do not go overboard when you are lowering the ride height. Secondly, if you want to lower the height a bit too much, replace the shock and struts as well. Or use a coilover suspension.
When you install a new set of lowering springs, the initial ride height will be a few centimetres more than what you actually want it to be. This tolerance allows accommodating for the spring to settle. The amount of settling and how long each spring takes to settle varies between different brands of springs. But generally, the springs settle in about one or two weeks. This is also depending on the kilometres driven. Most of the settling occurs in the first 30 kilometres after the installation. So, you shouldn’t be worried if the ride height is more than you wanted right out of the garage.
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