Suspension modifications are one of the most popular and effective ways to both enhance a car’s ride and looks. Since hot-rodding began people dropped their cars in various fashions to achieve just the right stance and hopefully improve handling as well. Sometimes that last part didn’t work out so well, but with modern coilover systems, readily and inexpensively available from a huge number of makers, it is pretty easy to achieve a killer look and great handling. So this week for tech Tuesday we are going to dive into coilovers.
Of course before we dive in too far we should cover the very basics, i.e. what is a coil over. Simply put it’s a coil spring over a strut, which is all mounted on common perches. Of course designs vary by company, purpose, and cost. A coilover may be as simple as allowing ride height adjustment by a ring that is positioned on a screw, or as complex as allowing ride height adjustment, damping, and other functions. The advantage is simple, you get a compact design for your coil spring and strut/shocks and this provides damping without adding a torsion load to the suspension. This means more predictable performance and easier adjustability based on road or track conditions.
Check out my bitchin’ home made diagram that explains the parts of the coil over.
A = perches and mounts
B = spring and height adjustment nuts
C = height adjustment thread
D = strut/shock absorber
E = coil spring
F = damper adjustment
While much more expensive then a traditional spring and strut, coilovers offer better performance and ride quality than most aftermarket spring and strut combos. This is because most people will piecemeal a spring and strut combo causing different lengths, odd damping characteristics, and ride heights that do not match the damping settings needed to safely run the spring rate and height of a lowered spring. This is why coilovers are the preferred application because they pair a matched spring and strut with adjustable damping and ride height.
Photo Source ChippyCheeky
Kick ass Diagram Source: Jason of Infinite-Garage.com