Have you finally made the decision to start a suspension upgrade project on your vehicle?
Getting information about all the options can be overwhelming.
One of the most common questions we get at MGC Suspensions is, should I go with coilovers or lowering springs?
There will alway be the question of lowering springs vs coilovers.
To answer this question, you need to address a couple points of interest.
The first and most important point is to determine how you drive your car most of the time.
For a daily driven street car that doesn't get used on track, then a set of fully adjustable coilovers may not be necessary, especially if you're doing a budget project.
The second point to address is obviously your budget.
Combining your most common use with a budget limit will help you determine the answer to the coilovers vs springs battle.
Let's rewind a bit and discuss the basic differences between coilovers and lowering springs.
In simple terms it's very straight forward. A coilover is a coil spring mounted over a shock absorber that is assembled together as one unit.
Typically they have threaded collars at the base of the main spring so ride height can be adjusted within a certain range based on the vehicle.
Some coilover kits are also damping adjustable. This allows the user to adjust compression and/or rebound settings to suit different requirements.
Lowering springs are stand alone units that are used with aftermarket or OEM shocks.
Lowering springs are most commonly progressive rate in design allowing for a comfortable ride that isn't harsh or bumpy.
Note: Our customers tend to give feedback saying that the Eibach springs with their softer spring rates are more comfortable than the H&R kits.
We also get great feedback about the Vogtland kits being very compliant and comfortable.
Lowering springs are the most affordable way to lower your vehicle if your existing shocks are in good condition, or you plan to replace your shocks at the same time.
Spring kits offer different ranges of lowering based on manufacturer and product lines.
One of the few drawbacks of lowering springs is the static, predetermined lowering amounts that can't be fine tuned to taste like a coilover.
However, top manufacturers do a great job with engineering an eye-pleasing amount of lowering into their kits.
Most offer leveled front to rear lowering of 1.5 Inches (38 mm)
Some manufacturers now make adjustable lowering spring kits which is a great happy medium between coilovers and lowering springs.
Coilover kits differ greatly in features, materials, and cost. Finding a good kit that suits your needs and budget is possible if you do some research.
Entry level kits that offer height adjustment alone are a great idea for street cars that see some spirited weekend runs.
AST, H&R, and ST all offer full kits like this at fairly afforable price points.
Moving up from there into the fully adjustable class that offers both ride height adjustability and damping adjustment, these kits are suited more for enthusiasts who put their vehicles on different tracks requiring frequent adjustment.
Fully adjustable kits that we recommend are available from AST, Bilstein, Ohlins, and KW.
We've discovered that most people who have adjustable coilovers on their daily drivers never actually adjust them. They get set up the day of installation and are left there.
A set of legendary Bilstein B16 coilovers
A set of high quality Vogtland lowering springs.
Now that we have a basic understanding of the difference between the 2, it can now be a bit easier to make a decision.
If you feel like you’re really going to need ride height adjustability, and even damping control, then a set of aftermarket performance coilovers is what you need.
A high quality coilover kit made with corrosion resistant materials starts around 1500.00 and can easily climb to over 5000.00, depending on the manufacturer and features offered.
if you simply want the better aesthetics of a lowered ride height and some handling improvements, then a good set of lowering springs is more your speed.
Lowering spring kits of good quality will set you back around 300.00. But labor will be a bit costly if you don’t do it yourself, as your existing struts need to be disassembled and rebuilt installing the new springs.
But this is where the condition of your current shock absorbers comes into play.
The last thing you want to do is spend the time or money installing new lowering springs on a set of blown out, high mileage shocks, as it will all have to come apart again when it’s time to replace the shocks.
if you do have worn shocks, then looking into an entry level set of coilovers is a smart route to take.
You really can’t go wrong with either choice. As long as you buy an established, high quality brand like Bilstein, KW, H&R, Eibach, Vogtland, or ST.
Another happy medium option similar to the adjustable spring kits mentioned above is a complete suspension kit.
An H&R sport cup suspension kit
These kits come with brand new sport shocks tuned per vehicle combined with progressive rate lowering springs.
An easy to order, all in one kit that starts around 800.00
These kits are not adjustable for ride height or damping but have great out of the box lowering amounts and shock valving.
In the end, the answer to lowering springs vs coilovers is yours, (and your pocket books)
Determine how you use your car and buy the products that best suit your actual needs.
Many times a high dollar, fully adjustable coilover kit isn’t what you need.
We all want to enjoy our cars in different ways, and the way we modify them can help to achieve that enjoyment.
The debate of spring vs coilover will continue to fill our live chat box.
We do our best at MGC to steer customers towards what will make them happy rather than what costs the most.
If you need help with putting parts together for your suspension project please use our Suspension Builder for personalized product recommendations and a discount code to save some cash.
Also read all of our blog posts for more suspension and exhaust content.