The 5 Best Suspension Upgrades for 2020
Should I lower my car? Coilovers? Lowering Springs? C'mon man! We at MGC know that suspension upgrades can seem confusing. There is so much content and opinion out there, it can be very stressful. It can also be very simple once you have some basic information.
So whether you are building a dedicated track car or just a good looking weekend cruiser, suspension parts are available to fill any need. Take a look at our list of the 5 best suspension upgrades for 2020. Although they aren't anything new, sometimes the basics are still best.
What are coilovers? They're called "coilovers" simply because a coil spring is set over a shock absorber to make one suspension unit. They are engineered per vehicle at different spring, compression, and rebound rates for great performance. Typically, the springs are set on threaded collars so the ride height can be adjusted within a set range.
Coilover kits are the best suspension upgrade you can start with if adjustability is attractive to you. Get improved handling and complete suspension control with one of the many coilovers kits on the market. Choose from a top of the line Bilstein kit or a budget friendly Koni, KW, Vogtland, or Eibach set. Usually, coilover kits come complete as a 4 corner set of dampers that are assembled and ready to install.
Coilovers should be considered if ride height adjustability is needed. If you have a daily driver that won't ever need ride height adjustment, a static lowering kit may be a better, more affordable option for you.
When shopping for coilovers, make sure they have high quality, powder coated, progressive rate coil springs and shocks made by a reputable, well known company. Also make sure they are made of stainless steel or that they are treated for corrosion resistance (especially the threaded shock bodies) for long life and service.
Many kits offer separate compression and rebound adjustability for complete ride control. These kits are more suited for race or track cars that need the setup adjustability for different road courses.
Spanner wrenches are also included so you can easily and quickly adjust your ride height. Installation instructions are included. Not sure how to install coilovers? View our list of recommended installers, or contact us for help. A 4-wheel alignment should be done also.
We have a variety of great coilover brands available. Performance coilovers, adjustable coilovers, and affordable coilovers, all at MGC.
2. Sway Bars
Sway bars, sometimes called stabilizer bars or anti-roll bars, whatever you want to call them, they are an essential component to any proper suspension upgrade project.
Their job is to keep a vehicle from rolling side to side when maneuvering through corners and turns. From the factory, to keep the ride soft and comfy, most cars come with very wimpy sway bars. That is where great companies like Eibach, H&R and Tarett step in. A high quality bar will have seamless, no weld end tabs, clean mandrel bends, and a thick layer of fresh powder coating for years of corrosion resistance.
Typically engineered as larger diameter bars, made of stiffer metal compounds paired with tighter urethane bushings, these kits greatly reduce body roll in the corners, giving much flatter cornering and a much better driving experience. Some bars have options for drop link mounting position, giving you control over the roll stiffness. Kits come complete with new bushings and any needed hardware.
High quality bar kits are made to be used with your factory end links or aftermarket links. Easy installation in your garage with simple hand tools is possible, so this would be a great idea for a first DIY suspension project.
We partner with best sway bar brands to offer you the best in sway bar options.
3. Static Suspension Lowering Kits
Fixed height (static) lowering kits are a smart, affordable way to dramatically improve the handling, character and looks of your vehicle. Custom valved dampers are paired with progressive rate lowering springs tuned to each vehicle.
The average kit offers lowering between 20-40mm, perfect for your daily driver. A performance suspension kit will be engineered to fit and perform perfectly without sacrificing ride comfort. Also make sure whatever kit you are looking at offers great corrosion resistance so they will last a lifetime. Some cheap kits on ebay or amazon may be tempting, but believe us when we say you'll be throwing them in the dumpster in about 6 months.
Superior handling and a clean new stance in one suspension lowering kit is what make these examples so attractive to people just starting a car modification project. If ride height adjustment is not what you need then one of these kits is exactly what you need, especially if you are driving around on old, blown out shocks.
Most lowering suspension kits cost under 1000.00, and everything you need will be in the box. Be sure to align your car after installation.
4. Lowering Springs
Suspension lowering springs are without a doubt the most affordable way to lower your vehicle. They improve handling, stance, and appearance. Modern materials and cutting edge winding technology yield lowering springs that are progressive rate in nature, which basically means, as the spring is compressed, it gets harder to compress.
This allows the ride to remain smooth, comfortable and safe. If you are lowering a daily driver that is used on city streets and highways, be sure to get a quality set of progressive rate springs. Otherwise the ride will be too stiff and no fun for your mother-in-law. Look for performance lowering springs by top name brands like H&R, Eibach, KW, or Vogtland. These companies have engineered their springs to be the proper, balanced spring rate for each vehicle, so the ride is tighter but not harsh.
A quality kit will be cold-rolled, heat treated and finished with a thick layer of powder coating for long service life and great value. Dont EVER cut your factory coil springs and reinstall them to lower your car. The ride is bumpy, unsafe, and your car will hop so much people will point and laugh.
Lowering springs vary in drop, typically between 1-3 inches. 1.5 inches is usually a good amount for a daily driver. Aggressive lowering springs over 2 inches should be used with dampers made for specifically for lowering springs, otherwise you won't benefit from the full suspension cycle.
If you decide to run lowering springs, this is the perfect time to replace old or high mileage shocks or struts, or even consider a complete lowering suspension kit to make ordering much easier.
5. New Shocks or Struts
For those of you who are not interested in lowering or modifying your car in any way, but just want to restore ride comfort and maintain tire life, then replacing your vehicles shocks or struts is a must. Most auto manufacturers recommend replacement at 60,000 miles or so, depending on usage.
Performance and direct replacement shocks and struts by Bilstein and Koni are a wonderful way to renew ride quality, road grip, and safety. Your old factory dampers were not designed to last a million miles, and they can start to make your daily commute bumpy, noisy and uncomfortable.
Bilstein and Koni offer great options for replacing worn, blown out parts without breaking the bank. Twin tube and monotube designed struts and shocks offer consistent, smooth operation that will make your car ride like new again.
Not sure how to install shock absorbers? Then professional installation is recommended. Most shocks and struts are designed to work with your factory coil springs, but dampers are available that will work perfectly with lowering springs. It is always a good idea to have a 4 wheel alignment done after any new suspension parts are installed.
We hope this made things a bit easier for anyone just starting out in the suspension parts world. Just remember, unless you are building a dedicated race beast, car modification should be seen as a relaxing hobby and enjoyed. Stick to the basics and we promise you'll be happy.
Do some research and find brands that have a great track record and have been in business for a long time. Be honest about how you actually enjoy your car, and then buy the appropriate parts. The most expensive parts may not be what is best for you. Follow us on social media and leave your info on the website for notifications about new blogs, contests and giveaways.