WHAT`S THE BEST WAY TO LOWER MY CAR ON A TIGHT BUDGET?
Lowering your car need not cause too much damage to your bank account.
All you need is a set of lowering springs and a good mechanic to fit
them. You won`t see the massive handling benefits gained from fitting a
matched spring and damper kit, but cornering ability will be slightly
improved and you`ll get the low look you are after.
2) An up
rated lowering-spring kit is an extremely cheap option when lowering
your car. There are loads of good quality kits available and most will
cost less than the original parts.
Lowering springs can improve
handling by reducing the centre of gravity and, thanks to less flex, by
reducing yaw when cornering.
However, stiffer uprated springs can
overpower a set of old dampers. If your dampers are worn out handling
could be destroyed - this would show itself through excessive bounce.
that offer a drop over 40mm can fall out of the spring-cups on full
extension, this would be an MOT failure so be conservative on ride
3) Lowering springs
Buy progressively wound springs
as these offer a smooth ride over flat surfaces and can also cope with
big hits and extreme cornering.
Look for springs designed to be used with standard dampers, this will prevent po-go-stick handling and shock damage.
springs that offer a drop over 40mm, as going lower could cause poor
handling, wheel scrub and you may have difficulties passing an MOT.
HOW CAN I RADICALLY IMPROVE THE HANDLING OF MY CAR?
Improving your car`s handling is an easy job as
standard cars are set-up to offer a big compromise between handling and
comfort. If comfort is not top of your list, huge gains can be made in
the handling department. All you need do is have a set of matched,
uprated dampers and lowering springs fitted by a specialist.
2) Matched spring and damper kits can be expensive, but they do offer a massive improvement in handling over standard set-ups.
springs and dampers in matched kits are developed to work in harmony
with each other - maximising both handling and comfort. The ride will
be firmer, the chassis will roll less and your car won`t be worried by
swift changes in direction.
Top quality kits will come with dampers
that carry cutting edge features - such as adjustable damping, enabling
you to tune the ride to your liking and reduce bump-scrub.
3) Spring and Damper Kits
Look for kits with progressive springs - these offer an improved ride without compromising handling.
shock damping is great for anyone confident enough to play around with
the easy to use adjusters. This way you can set the feel just how you
like it - from soft to super-firm.
Also look for kits which contain
dampers with multi-position spring platforms - this will enable you to
tweak the ride height slightly for better handling or stance.
HOW DO I RADICALLY LOWER MY CAR AND FIT BIG RIMS?
1) There is only one type of kit you should consider if you intend to radically lower your car over big rims - a coil-over kit.
coil-over kits offer ride height adjustment of between 20mm and 80mm,
so you can dump it for shows and cruises and raise it for day-to-day
Shock damping can also be adjusted to help prevent bump-scrub between the arch and the large diameter tyre.
Coil-over packages are the only option if you want to get radical with
chassis set-up. They are expensive and hard to set-up properly, but the
payback for serious modifiers is massive.
On a coil-over kit the
dampers run a narrow coil-spring which sits on a threaded platform,
this can be wound up and down the damper body to alter the ride height.
As a secondary benefit, the narrow spring offers more room right where
it is needed - in line with a taller and wider alloy wheel and tyre.
The majority of kits will also have adjustable damping which can be increased as ride height is reduced to prevent bump-scrub.
can be a few trade offs for all the benefits though. If the shocks are
set-up to give a big drop, the short springs can pop out of the
top-cups on full shock extension. And ride will be hard - with a
Some kits come with short, secondary helper springs.
These are a great idea because they prevent spring dislocation - but
they also reduce the amount the car can be lowered. What choice you
make will depend on whether you are brave (no helpers) or sensible
Right at the cutting edge you can find kits which offer
in-car electronic height adjustment. This enables you to raise or lower
the car at a flick of a switch. But be prepared for a shock when it
comes to paying the bill.
3) Coil-Over Kits
Look out for kits with helper springs - these kits suffer less from spring dislocation.
Ensure your kit is fitted by a pro - the amount of adjustments which can be made on these kits require a skilled hand and mind.
around and make sure you are paying for what you want. If all you
require is a kit that offers a 80mm drop and the clearance for 17/18
inch rims - you need only fit a budget kit. But if you want the former,
plus great handling that can be adjusted for both road and track - you
need to consider a top-flight road/race spec kit.