Get the Right Altitude for Your
Ride: Adjustable Coilover
Suspensions, Shocks and
By Brian Stypula

Looking good that's what we all want. Looking good while doing it
good: that's the ultimate auto euphoria. I am going to attempt to
explain the ups and downs, and the differences between stationary
coilover suspensions, and adjustable coilover suspensions.

Let's break down the performance suspension for the newcomer. For
your car to perform better you need it to turn better. For your car to
go faster, you need it launch faster. Well new shocks/struts and
springs are the first step to this enhanced performance.

As you bring down the stance of your ride, or lower it, the center of
gravity lowers also. This means you can throw the car into the turn at
a higher speed. Think of a Ford Explorer taking horseshoe turn at 75
mph, the vehicle body would roll, and the top-heavy center of gravity
would probably make the vehicle flip. Now take the same turn, in a
Corvette at the same speed, no where near the body roll, and more
likely the vehicle will follow the path around the bend like a toy slot
car on a track.

Now image your ride, let's say its a 1994 Honda Civic. Minus better
tires and wheels, at stock ride height, it would probably roll similar to
the Explorer, not flip but you would have to slow down. Lower that
same Civic using Adjustable Coilovers, 3 inches lower, and try that
horseshoe bend. It will act more like the Vette.

There are two ways to do this performance upgrade; you could install
lowering springs, which are coil springs that are engineered to bring
the ride height of the vehicle down and replace the factory springs,
or Adjustable Coilovers which are essentially the same, but you can
adjust the height of your vehicle.

There are also two basic shock/spring set ups. For example, on older
vehicles and some late-model trucks, the shock/spring type is where
the shock is mounted in a separate location from the spring on the
same axle. In this type of suspension about your only option, with out
major modifications, is to use lowering springs, which are not
adjustable, but these are just as effective for performance. These
types of springs are also referred to as stationary springs.

Newer model cars and trucks usually have what's known as a
McPherson strut. This is were the spring is mounted over the shock,
in other words "the COIL is mounted OVER the shock". Hence
Coilovers. When these are adjustable, the coil spring mounting
block, is physically screwed up or down the shock to provide the
desired ride height.

In addition to being able to add or reduce height of your vehicle, you
can also adjust for different track conditions, or weather conditions.
Anytime you change the springs whether tohelp with tightening the
rest of the body roll. has a great selection of D2 Racing coilovers and
lowering springs for just about any application. Just make sure and
do your research for the best option for your situation. Air ride is
always an option, but that's for another article all together.
Written by Brian Stypula at
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