Lowering Springs Buyer's Guide
- Lowering springs differ from stock springs in terms of length and the subsequent height they hold the vehicle. They don’t raise the car’s body to the same elevation as factory-issue springs.
- These springs increase the tension between the frame and the suspension. They also increase the vehicle’s stability by moving its center of gravity downward.
- Lowering springs lend a sportier appearance to your ride. They change the vehicle’s appearance and height without altering its suspension. They also allow you to lower one end of the vehicle while leaving the other end as it is.
- Lowering springs may make handling the vehicle stiffer. Pick stiff lowering springs to prevent rubbing, and consider getting performance shock absorbers along with the springs if you can afford it.
- Depending on their manufacturer and the number of springs included in the set, the price tag of lowering springs can vary from about $115 to around $1,080.
- Keep the drop amount, position, and compatibility of a set of lowering springs in mind when buying lowering springs.
Car owners can modify their rides to suit their personal taste. One popular way to customize a vehicle involves replacing the stock springs with lowering springs, which moves the vehicle’s body closer to the top of its wheels.
This buyer’s guide covers the basics of this aftermarket suspension component, including important considerations when selecting a set to lower your vehicle’s height.
What are lowering springs?
Most suspension systems contain springs that support the vehicle’s frame and keep it at its intended height. These springs are installed on the shock absorbers but do not contribute to the latter’s job of dampening the shocks caused by crossing uneven terrain.
Lowering springs differ from stock springs in terms of the length and the subsequent height they hold the vehicle. Their shorter lengths mean they don’t raise the car’s body to the same elevation as factory-issue springs.
Another way to tell lowering springs apart from stock springs is the number of coils in each spring. Lowering springs have more coils despite being shorter than standard springs.
What do lowering springs do for your car?
Their name says it all. Lowering springs bring down the vehicle’s body by a specific distance called the drop amount.
By reducing the vehicle’s height, these springs increase the tension between the frame and the suspension. They also increase the vehicle’s stability by moving its center of gravity downward, making the lowered vehicle less prone to tip over when making sharp turns or crossing shifting terrain.
Benefits of installing lowering springs on your car
Lowering springs lend a sportier appearance to your ride. Even muscular vehicles like SUVs and pickups will look more striking when their bodies sit lower over the wheels.
Unlike other options that achieve the same effect, installing lowering springs requires less work and cost less. The springs change the vehicle’s appearance and height without altering its suspension, so you can keep the old shock absorbers and save both money and time.
Since lowering springs only affect the body and not the suspension, the vehicle’s underside doesn’t become more vulnerable to damage from hitting the road.
You can also lower one end of the vehicle while leaving the other end as it is. The rear end usually receives this treatment to bring it down to a level closer to that of the front end.
Things to keep in mind about lowering springs
Lowering springs may make handling stiffer
Car manufacturers design the car’s various parts and systems to work together. Changing the stock parts to different components may disrupt this coordination to varying degrees.
Replacing the stock springs with lowering springs may lead to stiffer handling. Most drivers who opt to lower their vehicle with springs accept the extra work for making their vehicle look better.
Pick stiff lowering springs to prevent rubbing
Although designed to bear the weight of the vehicle’s body, some lowering springs may not measure up to their intended capability. These faulty or underperforming springs can drop the vehicle’s body lower than the drop amount they advertised.
In the worst-case scenario, the car’s body can drop so low that the edges of its body panel may touch the top of the tire. When the tire spins, its surface will abrade against the edge in physical contact with it, resulting in damage to both the tire and the body panel.
Lowering springs vs coilovers, and the importance of performance shocks
While lowering springs work perfectly well with the shock absorbers that came with your car when it left the factory, performance shocks let you get the most out of them.
Unlike coilovers (coil-over shock absorbers), lowering springs offer no option to tweak their spring rates. You can compensate for this by installing performance shock absorbers of the same length as the stock shocks.
How much do lowering springs cost?
Lowering springs come in sets of two or four springs for the front wheels and the rear wheels. They can also appear as parts in a lowering kit.
Depending on their manufacturer and the number of springs included in the set, the price tag of lowering springs can vary from about $115 to around $1,080.
Picking the right lowering springs for your car
There are hundreds of options for lowering springs. You can make shopping for these parts easier by basing your decision on the following points:
This is the distance that the lowering springs move the car’s body down.
Some lowering springs offer just one figure. For example, the Eibach Pro-Kit 3831.140 lowering springs drops the body by 1.3 inches. On a related note, it sets a decimal number for its drop amount while many other springs whole numbers.
Other products offer drop amounts that can vary. The Belltech Pro Coils and Spacer 23754, for instance, can lower your vehicle’s body by 2-3 inches.
Before you look for a product, measure the gap between the vehicle’s body and the top of the wheel. Pick lowering springs whose drop amount leaves at least one or two inches between the body’s lower edge and the wheel.
Both stock springs and lowering springs go on the shock absorbers. While it’s possible to swap the driver side spring and the passenger side spring, the same doesn’t apply to the front springs and their rear counterparts.
Since the front end of the vehicle usually sits lower than its rear half, the front springs are correspondingly shorter than the rear springs. They also follow different structural patterns with the individual coils of a front spring, keeping even distances between each other while the gap between the rear springs’ coils grows bigger while going down it.
Car owners who intend to lower only one end of their vehicle must take care to pick the right lowering springs. Check the product details for the position where the springs go.
Wondering if the lowering spring set you’ve got your eyes on will fit your car? You can use the filter bar of our website to track down parts guaranteed to fit your ride. Enter your vehicle’s year, make, and model into the bar and let it go through our catalog to find the lowering springs you need.
Getting the Right Lowering Spring for Your Car
A lowering spring is a replacement part for your stock suspension springs. It lessens the drag of your vehicle with a lower center of gravity. Plus, it gives an aesthetic appeal because your car will almost hug the surface of the road. If you're interested in giving a new look to your sedan or pickup, then read on to know more about a lowering spring.
Lowering spring measurement is the key
Before you buy a lowering spring, determine how low your car can go. Do this by measuring the distance from your car's tire and the top of the wheel fender. A lowering spring that gives a longer measure will not fit. It will just stiffen you car because the suspension will be too strong. You should give an extra inch allowance in your measurement to be sure.
The different lowering springs
Lowering springs have three different varieties: normal, step linear, and progressive. Each one is designed specifically for performance. Check which one is appropriate for your driving style below:
Imagine a spring which has 10 coils, and the distance for each coil is 2 centimeters. In a normal spring, the distance of every coil will remain the same regardless of the weight. Hence, the compression rate in a normal spring is specific.
If a normal spring has an equal distance between every coil, a step linear spring has its half with shorter spaces. This is a good choice for race cars because of the high spring rate. The performance of a vehicle will be enhanced because of two distinct responses from the short and long coils.
A progressive spring has coils distanced differently from each other. This characteristic causes it to be sensitive to small road bumps, but it's very responsive to when you brake or turn hard. This type of spring is advised for street cars driven every day because it will give more comfort than a step linear spring.
- Normal spring
- Step linear spring
- Progressive spring
Some helpful tips to consider
- Since your car will ride close to the pavement, consider the roads and the bumps on the way. They can scratch the layer of protection underneath your car or the parts themselves.
- Never cut your stock springs to lower your vehicle. The compression rate will be uncertain and it will only risk the other parts of your car.
- Choose lowering springs that come from the best brands. They offer the best performing springs in the market.
Time to Get Down and Attach Your Lowering Springs
It may sound difficult to lower a car's height, but with this step-by-step guide along with the right tools, and a set of new lowering springs, you will definitely look like a veteran mechanic. Read on to discover how your car will become more attractive and how your driving performance will dramatically increase.
Difficulty level: High
Tools you'll need:
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Socket set
- Impact wrench
- Spring compressors
- New lowering springs
Step 1: Park your vehicle on a level surface, and engage the parking brake.
Step 2: Jack the car in front until it is possible to slide under and work comfortably.
Step 3: Use the impact wrench to remove the lug nuts and the front wheels of your car.
Step 4: Place the jack stands on opposite sides underneath the car. Disengage the floor jack afterwards.
Step 5: Again, use the impact wrench to remove the bolts that attach the front struts to the front wheel hubs.
Step 6: When the struts are already removed, attach the spring compressors before you remove the old springs. This will help avoid any part to shoot straight away when you remove the springs.
Step 7: Fit the new springs to the front struts, and use the spring compressors to help you seal the struts. Use the impact wrench to seal the bolts of each strut.
Step 8: Once the strut assemblies are complete, bolt them back to the same position.
Step 9: Use the floor jack to lift the car and remove the jack stands. Do the same lifting procedure in Steps 2 and 4, but this time, for the rear.
Step 10: Remove the bolts that hold the rear struts using the impact wrench until the current springs slide down.
Step 11: Place the new springs in place, bolt the struts, and disengage the jack.
Step 12: Test drive your car with the new springs. You should have a better feel for the steering because the car's center of gravity is closer to the ground.
The entire process will take an expert DIYer around an hour and two hours for a newbie.