Suspension kits. Lowering kits and handling improvements with coilovers.

Everything You Need To Know About "Suspension kits"

The biggest impact on a cars handling performance is the suspension.

The main parts of a suspension package are a spring and a damper (sometimes called a shock absorber although this really describes the whole thing.)

Springs control the ride height of a the car and determine the amount of road bumps that are absorbed.

A stiffer spring is more resistant to movement and a softer spring will allow the wheels to better follow the undulations of the road surface.

Generally the lower the better. A car that is low has a lower center of gravity and axis of movement.

This allows faster cornering. We need to bear in mind that whilst tracks are perfectly smooth our roads are not.

A low car will often grind the sump of the engine on speed bumps and the ride quality will be seriously compromised on rough surfaces.

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For road cars then we recommend that you fit a slightly stiffer spring.

If the coil size decreases this will help to maintain the amount of travel and allow you to achieve a good balance between comfort on the road and good handling.

The damper is what prevents the car from jumping and bouncing up the road by absorbing as much of the vertical motion of the wheel as possible.

A damper is a cylinder filled with oil or filled with gas and oil with a piston that moves inside the cylinder.

The friction of the fluid will create the damping effect. If the damper is too soft the car will start to bounce and wallow. If it is too hard the car will skip over bumps.

Again a careful balance is needed. The uprated shocks with gas and oil are a good compromise as the gas layer allows for some compression and the oil maintains the friction required.

When lowering and uprating a cars suspension you should always go for a fully adjustable suspension kit.

Each car and indeed each driver is unique so you will have adjust your handling set up to suit your personal driving style.

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One Response to “Suspension kits”

  1. CHRISTOPHER says:

    when i buy a car usually the first thing i do is replace the suspension, lower it 2″, then add a small steering wheel. These older cars just don’t feel stable at highway speeds. And when you most need stability you discover they are not! I had racing springs once many years ago and i liked them, but they are really just too harsh for daily driving.

    I really have a thing for German products, like Bilstien, but not surprisingly they had nothing sporty for my car, a 1992 corolla 4AFE base model 5 speed. I never before heard of KS-SPORT, but they are said to be top notch when it comes to what you get for your money (~$1k @4/ea). Anyway, the installation was easy but somewhat time consuming because you have to uninstall and re-install each coil-over as you measure, adjust, and re-measure the ride height. Anything lower than 2″ under stock is going to make you wish you had a heavy duty skid pan here in America. Even at that height you have to go very slow over any ‘speed bumps’ or you will dent the uni-body when it comes back down on the other side. I went with the K-SPORT recommended initial damper setting (#15 of 1 thru 30) and am very satisfied with the ride and quality of these coilovers.