14 Feb Lowering Springs Vs. Coilovers Vs. Air Ride Suspension
Lowering Springs Vs. Coilovers Vs. Air Ride Suspension
Part 1: Introduction to Suspension Types
Many of us desire added style and performance for our car, and there are multiple ways to improve both by lowering your car with a new set of Lowering Springs, Coilovers, or installing an Air Ride Suspension. Decrease the altitude and you increase your car’s attitude or as they say “stance your whip.” There is a lot of design work and math used by engineers that go into making a suspension work properly for a desired performance level of a car and the market segment for which it is designed. Much of this is beyond the scope of this article. My goal here is to assist the buyer in making the right choice based upon their desired outcome for the car. I intend to answer a lot questions that I see posted in the automotive forums and asked in our office regarding the various types of suspension upgrades available while addressing what the customers wants to achieve with style and performance for his or her car.
Therefore, I decided to create a multiple part series of suspension articles to help answer the many questions that are asked and review the pros and cons of the various types of suspension upgrades in the marketplace.
Part 2: Suspension basics of lowering for performance versus lowering for style and the point at which point the handling of your car will become affected adversely.
Part 3: Lowering Springs
Part 4: Coilovers
Part 5: Air Ride ( Air Suspension )
Part 6: Conclusion and bringing it all together.
Before choosing the right type of spring and suspension upgrade for a car, the vehicle owner must be able to answer the following questions confidently:
- What are your objectives or desired outcome for the car? Is it for show, street, track or a combination of those activities?
- What sacrifices are you willing to endure to achieve the objectives for your suspensions? This includes such attributes as ride roughness, reliability, adjustability, tire and suspension component wear. Does a significant other drive the car? Will you be hauling your kids with the car?
- What is the current maintenance condition of the car, especially the suspension and steering components, and current set of tires?
- What is your budget or how much are your willing to spend?
Before I continue, I would like to mention as a side note: We would never ever recommend cutting suspension springs in order to lower a car. This technique makes the car’s handling and suspension unpredictable and dangerous to drive. I will post a separate article about this poor technique.
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