Nice wheel, shiny paint or extraordinary color of the car wrap? Often, all these operations should be completed with something else. All around the world, modifications such as lowering the car are becoming more and more popular. A lower car usually looks better. However, even the prettiest and largest of the possible rims do not look too good if we can fit the phone between the wheel and the wheel arch. Especially one of the newer phones, the one with an over 6-inch screen.
The simplest method of lowering the suspension
The simplest method of lowering your car is to replace the springs. It’s worth choosing products from reliable manufacturers. That can ensure us that the spring has the right characteristics for the vehicle. We distinguish springs with constant characteristics and progressive characteristics. The latter change their parameters depending on the degree of deflection. By replacing the springs themselves, you can not overdo it. Too much lowering can guarantee a problem – the shock absorbers have their operating range. With a radical level of lowering your car you should use shortened shock absorbers.
Springs and shocks kits
Many manufacturers offer ready-made kit sets. Sets consist the lowering springs and appropriately adapted shock absorbers, which have strictly selected work characteristics. There are sets for typical use on public roads and for motorsport. The latter usually have a higher degree of lowering and a harder work characteristics than the version intended for everyday use. Most sets lower the suspension by 20 – 40 mm. It is a happy medium between attractive appearance and improvement of driving characteristics of a given car.
Coilover kits with height adjustment
For more advanced, coilover kits are intended. This type of suspension offers height adjustment in a fairly large range. Often the adjustment range is much larger – you can adjust the shock absorber response time and damping. This adjustment is especially useful for people who use their vehicles in sport.
Air Ride suspension
An interesting solution is the air suspension kit, which is the air ride. Such a set consists of a shock absorber and an airbag acting as a spring. The solution itself is derived from luxury vehicles and provides ample opportunities for adjusting the ground clearance. The biggest advantage is the ability to adjust the suspension height via the remote control. Thanks to this, we can change the height of the vehicle in just a few moments – e.g. when driving through a large bump. It is also a relatively expensive solution, and the compressor and air tank often limit the luggage space of the vehicle.
Wheel alignment is important
Remember that after lowering the suspension you need to check and correct the car’s wheel alignment. In addition, it is worth unbolt and bolt the bushings connecting individual suspension elements to avoid bushings tension during driving, which can significantly reduce their service life. The suspension behaviour with tighten bushes is shown in the picture below. If you want to significantly improve driving confidence, you should consider installing polyurethane bushings at this time.
Bushing motion after mounting the lowering suspension:
I lowered the car – can I use it on a daily basis?
The legal aspect of lowering the suspension in a car is not without significance. Please check your country laws and requirements in that matter. The best way is to contact your transportation department. A radical lowering of the car may also cause the occurrence of negative camber, i.e. a strong tilting of the wheel in the vehicle, which leads to limited contact of the tire with the surface. Apart from the destructive effect on the tire, such a vehicle does not drive very safely and can react nervously to any sudden changes in direction. The braking distance is also increased due to the limited contact of the tire with the ground.
Even if we can avoid excessive wheel inclination, remember that with a radically lowered suspension, the vehicle may behave nervously when cornering. Each suspension is designed to work in its optimal conditions. When lowering the vehicle, the position of the wishbones relative to the other suspension components often changes. Therefore the behaviour will also be different. In extreme cases, the vehicle can be very nervous when negotiating bends at a higher speed.
Lowering the suspension can bring many benefits. The lower center of gravity has a positive effect on the road behavior not only in corners. In addition, in some cases it can shorten the braking distance. Driving comfort can be limited, but this is not always a huge difference. When carrying out this type of modification, moderation, awareness of the technical limitations of the vehicle structure and legal conditions are indicated.