Lowering Springs vs. Coilovers: Which Is Right for You?
If you are working on a project car, your suspension should be a high priority on your upgrade list. It can have an impressive impact on your driving experience and track times. Of course, if you are going to make a modification, you need to choose which is the right part. There are numerous options for upgrading your suspension. Below, learn a little about lowering springs vs coilovers to help you decide which is right.
Why Change Your Suspension?
Before exploring the difference between these two options for suspension upgrades, it is helpful to examine the reasons for modifying your vehicle’s suspension in the first place. In particular, lowering springs and coilovers are often used to help lower the car’s ride height. However, they can also be used to raise the vehicle or to simply change the ride characteristics.
Lowering your suspension helps to make the vehicle more aerodynamic. With less air going underneath the vehicle, there is reduced drag. Additionally, it helps to increase the downforce because there is less air pushing the vehicle up. Furthermore, with the car lower to the ground, it will tend to roll less when going around a corner. If you are racing or on a track, this can make a major difference.
Most upgraded suspension for track cars also improves the stiffness. Stiffer suspension helps to make the vehicle feel more planted when taking fast corners. It significantly counters body roll. In some cases, upgraded suspension can also help you customize the feel of your vehicle handling. Therefore, you can choose the right feel for your style and needs.
In short, changing your suspension lets you improve how your car handles, particularly in hard and/or fast corners. For anyone who wants to improve their lap times, this is seriously worth considering.
What Are Lowering Springs?
Example of lowering springs from H&R
Lowering springs are the simplest solution for upgrading suspension and reducing the ride height of the vehicle. Your suspension likely already has springs that are very similar to lowering springs. However, these are shorter than the stock springs.
So, when you install them, the vehicle will be closer to the ground. It is truly a simple solution for reducing the ride height.
Of course, it is also possible to get stiffer springs at the same time. These will absorb less energy from bumps in the road, giving your car firmer handling.
It is a good idea to upgrade the shocks at the same time. Although it is possible to use lowering springs with stock shocks, they may not be up to the task of damping in performance settings.
What Are Coilovers?
Coilovers are a single unit that includes both spring and shock. The spring is coiled around the shock, hence the name. They are a very popular choice for suspension upgrades. Therefore, there is a broad selection of options ranging from entry-level to very high-performance.
The upper limit of the performance of coilovers is much higher than for lowering springs. For example, Feal Coilovers or Bilstein coilovers are typically superior to most lowering spring setups.
One of the most notable and desirable characteristics of coilovers is that most are adjustable. You can change your ride height without swapping out the part. Additionally, many allow damping adjustments. Many high-end coilovers provide impressive levels of customizability. This means that you can dial in your suspension to match your driving style, the road conditions, and more.
Which Is the Right Choice for You?
An upgraded suspension setup could be a great project for your car. However, which of these options should you choose? These are some of the benefits of lowering springs vs coilovers:
- Inexpensive: The key reason that people choose lowering springs over coilovers is that the former are less expensive. Even with performance shocks included, high-end lowering springs are about half the price of equivalent quality coilovers.
- Simple: Lowering springs are much simpler than coilovers. They are easier to install in many cases. They can also be upgraded incrementally (the springs first, then other parts of the suspension). There is also less risk of getting them set up incorrectly. Thus, lowering springs may be a better choice for beginners.
- Effective in Many Cases: In a lot of cases, lowering springs are good enough to do the job. If you are just looking for something basic, this may be the option for you.
While lowering springs can offer a lot of benefits, coilovers offer even more. These are some of the advantages of the latter:
- Adjustable Height: With coilovers, you can adjust the ride height to meet your needs. For example, you may want to lower your car in the summer and raise it in the winter due to the snow. For a track car, you can home in the ride height to your preferences, even adjusting it to match different tracks.
- Adjustable Damping: Many coilovers allow you to change the damping characteristics. This means that you can change how your vehicle handles in corners. You can also set it to be firmer on the track and more forgiving on the road.
- Superior Performance: Overall, coilovers tend to be higher quality. They are designed to be used primarily on high-end track and road cars. Therefore, you can typically get better performance.
- One Piece: Although lowering springs are simpler, coilovers are an “all-in-one” solution with both the spring and shock. If you are going to upgrade your full suspension, it often makes sense to use coilovers.
- Reduced Risk of Rubbing: A common problem people experience with their lowering springs is rubbing. This is when the tire rubs against the wheel well or another part of the car. The solution with lowering springs is to buy stiffer ones. Coilovers, however, can just be adjusted to avoid rubbing. There is less risk of getting the wrong part.
Now you know a little more about lowering springs, coilovers and their differences. Both options can be great for your project car. Whether you opt for coilovers or lowering springs, you can be confident that upgrading your suspension will help you enjoy a superior driving experience. The MA Performance catalog is the perfect place to find your new suspension components.