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Old 17th November 2007, 23:56   #1
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Default How to lower a car...?

Guys, what all are the ways by which u can lower the height of a car. I know u can by changing the suspension but this guy told me about an easy way of doing it. I dunno if its the correct or good thing to do but still....

He said we can cut one coil of each shock and replace the springs so that the car will lower. But then, how will its action be? Will it become stiffer or softer? And what would be the after effects??
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Old 18th November 2007, 00:22   #2
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Originally Posted by karthik247 View Post
He said we can cut one coil of each shock and replace the springs so that the car will lower. But then, how will its action be? Will it become stiffer or softer? And what would be the after effects??
If u are planning to do so then get new springs and try on them.
If u are planning to cut the exisiting springs then u would compromise the structural integrity of the spring.
Cutting the springs should make the suspension stiffer.
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Old 18th November 2007, 00:25   #3
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Cutting the springs should make the suspension stiffer.
Stiffer suspension is always good rite... So u say the handling will also improve?
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Old 18th November 2007, 01:33   #4
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The proper way to lower a car is to install new springs with the correct spring rate but this method is costly, plus there might not be any aftermarket springs available for your vehicle. There are alternatives.

You could cut one or two coils from the spring. This works most of the time but your ride quality will probably suffer.

Another option is to use coil spring clamps to squeeze together a set of coils. This will increase your spring rate and also lower the ride height. The nice thing about this approach is that it is reversible and cheap.

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Old 18th November 2007, 02:10   #5
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Cutting existing OE spring is not a good idea as the spring wont have the capability to handle more compression with lesser support. The Indian road conditions makes it more difficult.

Do you want to improve handling? I want to increase the ground clearance in my car without compromising handling. The bumper bottom hits stones and touches ground on inclines. The worst Ground clearance I have experienced is on Lancer.
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Old 18th November 2007, 09:13   #6
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@Sabre..
So if u do this, will the shock get stiffer or anything? And i think by cuttin/squeezing a coil the car should lower by arnd 0.5-1inch rite... Since the car will be lowered equally on all sides, will it result in better handling??
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Old 18th November 2007, 09:39   #7
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"Cutting the springs is the epitome of A Really Bad Idea. You're weaking the spring's structural integrity and the chances are that when you've finished a ham-fisted attempt at hacking off all 4 springs with a grinder, the result will be 4 springs all slightly different lengths."

Source: Car Bibles : The Car Suspension Bible

Also,
"Lowering kits typically consist of shorter, stiffer springs and gas shocks - often nitrogen-filled. Don't do it by halves. Get a matched kit from someone like Spax or Jamex. Matched kits have springs and shocks designed to work together. If you get shorter springs, your factory shocks will be under a lot of stress because they'll be operating a much shorter throw than they were designed for, and ultimately, they'll normally fail much quicker. Similarly, don't get shorter shocks and the cut the springs."
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Old 18th November 2007, 09:41   #8
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So what about the method Sabre said..??

And if we need to lower a car, we need to get shocks and coil overs as well?
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Old 18th November 2007, 09:45   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karthik247 View Post
Stiffer suspension is always good rite... So u say the handling will also improve?

i dont think stiffer suspension is directly equated to better handling....

stiffer suspension would defenetly give you better inputs and minimize roll while cornering...but at the same time, stiffer suspension also means, loss of traction while going over bumps or even minor undulations which would mean temporary loss of handling...im guessing here..not an expert..
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Old 18th November 2007, 09:49   #10
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hey kartik,

if you use spring clamps there is every possiblity of damaging the original springs when you hit a bump.the coil above and below would hit the clamp and it may bend.cutting a spring coil is not that harmfull.,maybe your friendbabloo could help.he has already done it on his sonata.the ride height reduced and the ride became more stiff .no other issues so far ,you know better,

ram
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Old 18th November 2007, 10:08   #11
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Sorry about the negativity in this post, but...

Look at the structure of that spring in post #4: how the end coils are flattened out to bear on a surface. You can't just cut a bit off!

When was the last time you took a hacksaw to a piece of spring steel? You'd better have a a strong arm, a box of blades and heaps of patience.

If taking half an inch off the springs improved the car's handling, don't you think the designers/manufacturers would have thought of it?

If you were an experienced (theory as well as practical) engineer, you wouldn't need to be asking these questions: should anyone without such experience be undertaking such an experiment?

You could very easily make your car unsafe, possibly even undrivable (and unsellable!). Your first pothole could do major damage.

Maybe people do this stuff: maybe they know what they are doing. I'm very, very, sceptical.

But, hey! If you can afford to throw away cars, then, whatever! Just hope that that that accident your 'new' suspension causes doesn't injure someone else!

<cross-posted with last few posts> --- yes, if you are going to do it, do it properly, with proper kit and properly fitted!

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 18th November 2007 at 10:10.
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Old 18th November 2007, 10:15   #12
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Why cut OE springs ? Pick up after-market springs and do your RnD .

One main reason why I have held back on modifying the existing suspension on my car. Not worth the head-ache.

Patiencewins if you want ground clearance spacers is the way to go else get some stiffer after-market suspension setup.
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Old 18th November 2007, 11:15   #13
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Karthik
Cutting the springs would also affect the caster/ camber angles which can cause problems with upsized tyres.

Last edited by kpzen : 18th November 2007 at 11:16.
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Old 18th November 2007, 11:34   #14
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I agree with the others who have suggested you do not cut your OE springs to reduce height.
The springs are designed in a way that their length and stiffness are in sync with each other. Chopping off a portion of the spring is going to mess with these calculations, and is highly inadvisable.

For example, take a look at the picture below of an OE Lancer spring on the right next to an aftermarket Pedders Lancer spring. The Pedders spring is approx 1.5 inches shorter than the OE one, and this leads to a lowered suspension. But also note that the shorter spring has the same number of coils (I counted 10) as the OE - it's just that they are packed closer together. The shorter spring also has greater stiffness, which means they compress less compared to the OE's (this reduction in play leads to improved handling, but a stiffer ride). Chopping off part of the OE spring will not increase it's stiffness.
Since you want better handling I am assuming you will be pushing your car at times. If I were you, I would not be too comfortable doing that on a "juggad" suspension. Go for an aftermarket set of springs if you want to lower your car. Yes, these cost more, but are safe and they add a new dimension to your car's handling.




Quote:
Originally Posted by PatienceWins View Post
The worst Ground clearance I have experienced is on Lancer.
Somehow I've not had that issue on my Lancer. I've actually lowered it a bit, but (touchwood) no problems with scraping or bottoming out so far, even with a full load. Maybe the stiffer springs have something to do with it.

Last edited by razor4077 : 18th November 2007 at 11:37.
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Old 18th November 2007, 11:45   #15
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karthik get in touch with jerry for coni shocks-learn about it and then decide.somehow in the above post the pedders coil base is lower than stock.the distane between coils are almost same maybe a tad bigger on stock,but the stiffness settings would count for your handling needs.if you cut the coils -stock ones then your stiffness remains same thats not good.
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