Ah, the eternal debate: Should you get coilovers or lowering springs for your car? Well we here at Switch have a pretty good understanding of both, as we've had both on our personal vehicles. As for you, well let's walk through some of the basics first.
What are lowering springs?
If your vehicle is equipped with springs, then it also has shocks or struts. That's because the spring is designed to hold up the weight of the vehicle and allow it to move up and down, while the shock dampens the ride, giving you a comfortable cruise down the road. Struts perform the same task as a shock, except they're mounted with the coil in one unit.
Since the stock spring holds up the vehicle, it also determines the height at which it sits. If you were to cut the coil in half, you would lower the car — but you'd also mess with the spring rate, and that's a whole other conversation. Instead, you buy lowering springs. These are designed to lower the vehicle a specified amount. You'll usually need lowered shocks or struts as well, but this all depends on the car or truck you own.
The advantage to lowering springs is that you're going to get exactly what you want out of the box. If you buy 2.5-inch lowering springs, your car or truck will go down 2.5 inches. The downside is they're not adjustable. Once they're in, they're in.
Now if you want something adjustable ...
What are coilovers?
If you've ever seen a strut, then you already know the basics — but just in case, here you go. A coilover is a coil spring positioned over a shock absorber. It mounts as one assembly into your vehicle (usually where the shock went before) and is a complete unit. Basically, it's a strut for a vehicle that doesn't usually have struts, or it's a replacement strut assembly in a strut-equipped vehicle.
The magic happens with the lower spring perch. See, the body of the shock is threaded, as is the lower spring perch. By rotating the lower spring perch up or down the shock, you can raise or lower the height of the vehicle. This is usually done with specialized wrenches that come with the coilovers.
The advantage is now you have a height-adjustable vehicle, and that's pretty cool. It isn't instant adjustability; if you want to lower your car, be it at a show or the track, you have to reach into the suspension and adjust the perch accordingly. You might have to remove a wheel to do so, depending on your particular car. But you do have the ability to fine tune your suspension. That gives you impressive handling capabilities, plus it looks cooler, too.
The disadvantage is the bit about how you actually do it. Jacking up your car and pulling a wheel isn't a lot of fun, particularly when you have four corners to do. It's not like you have to do it at every stoplight or anything, but it can be annoying.
No matter which path you go down, you're winning out. Your car or truck will be lower, handle better and look sweet. If you need help finding what you need for your ride, hit us up. We're at the shop all the time accepting phone calls, or you can email us, too.