3 Reasons Why Lowering Springs are a Great Option.
Here at MGC Suspensions, we get a lot of comments and questions about installing lowering springs. So I made a quick 3-point list of the basic features and benefits of lowering springs. If you haven't already read our last blog post about our vote for the 3 best German cars of the 1980's, check it out and cast your vote.
Suspension upgrade choices can be as frustrating as convincing your parents they don't need to write checks anymore. If you only want to change the stance and appearance of your daily driver, and also gain some handling improvement, a set of performance lowering springs is your answer.
Here are 3 reasons why you will love a set of lowering springs.
1. They are very affordable
If you are on a budget and don't want to blow a bunch of cash on an adjustable set of coilovers, then go with a set of lowering springs. A high quality set of springs usually cost less than $300.00. Adjustable height lowering spring kits are now available and run about $800.00. Use caution when shopping for a set though, and only consider brands that are trusted and make a well engineered product. Stay away from no-name kits on eBay or amazon that seem to be too well priced, you'll be throwing them in the dumpster in no time. MGC Suspensions trusts brands like H&R, Eibach, KW, and Vogtland. Also keep in mind any installation costs if you can't do the job yourself, be prepared to pay your mechanic for 3-4 hours of their time.
2. Better handling from lower center of gravity.
Lowering your car will drop its center of gravity which by nature will make it track flatter through corners and turns and even go through the air a bit better at higher speeds. Some people claim it will increase MPG, but who cares about that. Calculating MPG is as fun as getting a root canal. Better handling will make your car more enjoyable to drive and give it a whole new feel and attitude.
3. A lower stance that you'll love to look at.
Lets face it, most people lower their cars purely for the better appearance and compliments from friends and strangers. I did the same thing with my 2003 996 Carrera. It looks so much better now that its lowered, I usually find women laying on the hood when I leave Costco. Most cars from the factory sit up pretty high to meet safety standards and regulations giving them a docile look that nobody notices. Nothing (except a new set of wheels) will improve the look of your vehicle more than lowering it. But be careful how low you go, you don't want to slam your suspension and have people honking their horn at you as you slowly navigate a speed bump that seems like an iceberg. We recommend no lower than 1.5 inches for a daily driver. This seems to be a sweet spot that really looks great, but won't affect your day to day driving too much. Kits usually start at 0.5 inches of lowering, and popular sets usually offer drops of 1 or 1.5 inches. 2 inch kits are available, but should be used with caution.
Now I would like to offer some final tips and suggestions for anyone who has decided to install lowering springs.
The first and most important thing to keep in mind when ordering a set of suspension lowering springs, is to make sure the kit you choose is progressive rate in design. This means the spring is engineered to be easier to compress at the top and gradually gets firmer as it compresses. This will let you enjoy more of the suspension cycle which in turn gives ride comfort that is only slightly stiffer than stock. Unless you are building a track car that won't see any street use, stay away from any kits labeled "race springs" which will be linear in design. These kits will make your mother in law lose her dentures if you put them on your street car.
A second important thing to address is your shocks or struts. If you want to install lowering springs, but your car is still on the original, high mileage dampers, then this is the best time to replace them as you will save on labor. Some of our customers have made the mistake of installing new springs only to have to pay for labor again to replace blown out shocks soon after.
A final thought about shocks and struts. If you plan to lower your car more than an inch, then performance dampers made specifically for lowering springs may be a good idea. Lowering springs over 1.5 inches will work with your factory shocks, but is not recommended. This will greatly reduce the stroke cycle of the shock which can damage it, and cause less than optimal performance.
Also do some research specific to your vehicle to make sure lowering over a certain measurement won't create angle misalignment or issues with parts like tie rods, toe arms, or control arms, which can cause bump steer, binding, and increased tire wear.
We hope this helps if you happen to be on the fence about lowering your car with lowering springs. Stay with common sense and buy a name brand, progressive rate spring set that doesn't lower more than 1.5 inches for a great driving experience. Make sure the springs you buy are cold-wound, heat treated, and are powder coated for corrosion resistance and long service life. Also keep your shocks in mind and replace them at the same time if needed. Use sport dampers made for lowering springs for even better results.
If you need suspension parts for your German car please visit us at mgcsuspensions.com
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