There are a lot of different components that go into lowering your car, truck or SUV, but one of the big ones are lowering shocks. But why do you need them? Turns out they're a pretty critical component to the whole system, so let's lay it out.
We'll start with the springs. Why those? Because they support the vehicle's weight, as well as establish its height. Now a spring does allow the suspension to cycle, and that's good. But without a shock absorber of some kind, there's no way to dampen the ride.
So when you lower your vehicle, then you also need to have lowering shocks, and there are a few reasons why. When you get a lowered spring, your spring is now physically shorter in height than the stock model. That means the suspension will not travel as far as it would from stock. If you kept the stock shock in place, it would bottom out before it reached the end of the spring's travel, and the ride would be poor. Instead, if you use lowering shocks, you'll get the full amount of travel. Also, those lowering shocks are valved differently, which means your ride quality will be better, and oftentimes, improved. It's a great situation.
Lowering shocks are important no matter where on the vehicle they're installed. On the back end of a truck, for example, lowering shocks help a ton once the rear is lowered. The distance between your shock mounting points has shrunk so dramatically that some lowering kits include shock extenders to give you more travel. Lowering shocks give you that ride improvement and travel required.
Another benefit to lowering shocks is their improved handling. A lot of lowering shocks have stiffer valving. They're built that way so if you are building a truck or car that's designed to take the corners hard, you'll stay flat throughout the curves. There are a lot of different ways to set up your shocks, but these stiffer models are great for autocrossing and even just fun weekend trips.
Some lowering shocks are adjustable as well. These models let you tweak the valving on the fly, giving you a more comfortable ride for daily driving or tighter for track days. These kinds of lowering shocks can also have remote reservoirs. They hold the fluid in a separate container that's linked to the lowering shocks, and this can give you some additional features as well.
Lowering shocks are critical in air bag installations as well. For those applications, a custom lowering shock works pretty well, as you can dial in exactly how long a throw you need, the overall height of the shock and the kinds of mounting points you require.
Sometimes, lowering shocks are also known as struts. A strut is essentially a shock and coil assembly, so some vehicles require having new struts when you lower them. Lowering shocks, in this case, are lowering struts, and perform the same function. You'll also get the improved ride quality and handling, and they work great with lowered or performance springs.
If you want to install lowering shocks on your car, truck or SUV, let us know. We've got a full staff of people who know how lowering shocks work and what works best for what application. They can walk you through your options and give you a few picks for your ride. Just call or email and we'll get back to you ASAP. Or, should you happen to be in the Phoenix area, stop on by our showroom in Mesa, Ariz. Then we can tell you all about lowering shocks face to face.