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Repost: Lowering FAQ, just to get things rolling

23050 Views 43 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  nightrise420
origionally posted by LordAccord 4-16-01

What are springs and struts? Why do springs effect my ride? Whats the difference between shocks and struts? Why stiffer?

Ok, first you have to understand the difference between the springs and the shocks and their stiffness. Its not the same thing. You dont want a stiff spring and a soft shock, but you can be just fine with a soft spring and a stiff shock.

the principal behind it is that as a spring gets smaller, the rate gets higher. The higher the springrate, the quicker and harsher the bouncing of the spring. However, the higher the springrate, the less the spring compresses where it usually would the most on stock springs. This is what causes bad rides and also what gives better performance as in less body roll. Frankly, thats what it gives you.

The principal behind shocks is that the shock compresses a certain amount (of course) as the spring does, but it really isnt absorbing the "shock" per say. No matter what shock you have, no matter how stiff or soft it is, whatever, its not doing the work, the spring is. The shock works to STOP the spring from the bouncing caused by its compression and decompression. However quick the shock reacts or rebounds will affect how much of it you feel and how much the car moves.
Why shouldnt I put an aftermarket spring on stock shocks?

This is why you dont just throw any damned spring on the stock shocks - you all that want a technical answer - this is it. It takes power to stop a progressive rate spring. Your stock springs are not progressive. They are evenly spaced apart. This means when you hit a bump in the road, the entire spring can compress, there are no dead coils persay. It takes a lot less power to stop a non progressive spring. Think of it like you have a 1 foot long spring with evenly spaced coils, you hold it down, and let it go. Now you do that again with a 8 inch tall spring that has all the coils near the top all close together, even touching. THis means that you have a lot less spring pushing it. BUt principal physics says its going to decompress a hell of a lot quicker, thus faster.

Now, I am a supporter of Eibach, they have awesome quality springs. They are a world renound company. But despite whatever they say, over and over, and whatever your friends or people on this board say, you cant make a shorter, progressive rate spring to work with stock shocks. Its springrate may be at the limits, it may feel about like stock, but it aint. under your car your shocks are working the hardest they have in a while to carry that springload. Now, whatever the claims, however long your friends have had them, is absolutely fabulous, go for it. If they say they are for stockers, then they are. But I have seen prokits blow stock shocks as fast as race springs. It happens easily. However, they are the least likely to do it. So if you are gonna cheap out, cheap out the right way. (I wonder if I could get that published in an oxy moron book...)
What has more effect on my ride and performance? Springs or Shocks? Both?

Now, addressing the question of which has more of an effect on the ride. Well, the spring. But the shock has an equal effect WHEN you have the spring. Heres how that works. You know how I talked about the spring absorbing the shock and compressing, and the shock matching it to stop the compression? Well, the same principal applies going into, say, a hard 75 degree turn at 75. What happens? Your spring compresses. You can certainly tell on stock springs, its less obvious with aftermarket springs though. But anyhow, in this instance, the quicker that shock can come out of compression and stop the springs compression, the more even your car will remain. Thus less body roll, and a still yet centered center of gravity. This equals control. Good control. Cant just the spring do this? Yes yes, of course, but even when you put that spring on stock shocks and head to the twisties, your car will still roll. Not as much, of course, but it will fluxuate. You lack evenness and clarity and preciseness. Your crux lies in how well that shock will respond.
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I heard that I can cut and melt my stock this a good way to save money and lower my car?

NO!! Since your stock springs arent highly pro rate, you will be cutting off your springrate as you go. You will have a very stiff, often uneven, harsh ride and you will blow your stock shocks. You also can never revert back and if you screw one thing up you are basically screwed alltogether. Its a money trap.
What are the differences between different brands and genres of springs?

Well, generally springs, as they get lower, have a higher and higher springrate, which is how close together the spring coils are to each other - but a prorate spring gathers coils together towards the top and spreads out as they move down. The lower the springrate, the softer the spring, the higher the car sits.
Eibach is the choice spring for many people as they claim compatibility with stock struts, which is not all that far off, however they are still a highly progressive spring, even though they have a relatively lower springrage, and really are still putting a lot of pressure on your struts, its just unrealized since the springs have a lower springrate at the bottom.

Neuspeed springs and H&R springs are basically the "next step" up. They offer an allright ride, but they are a lot stiffer than eibach springs and a tad less progressive. They still progress down, except the coils are closer together. These offer higher performance.

There are others, like Suspension Techniques, Intrax, Sprint, BBK, etc. Most of these springs are as high or high of a springrate as the Neuspeeds, but some of them are notorious for sagging or being to stiff. However, The designs can be nice and great for the right application, like using S/T sport springs which are a very small drop.
Ok, enough technical jargon, what about the actual drop height of the springs...what are some different springs?

Here are some springs and their average drops (it varys from generation)

S/T Sport or Neuspeed Sofsport about a 1.0" drop, 3 finger gap
Eibach Prokits are about a 1.4" drop, 2 finger gap
Neuspeed / H&R Sports are about a 1.8" drop, 1 finger gap
Eibach Sportlines are about a 2"+ drop, 0-1 finger gap
Neuspeed / H&R Race are about a 2.25" drop, usually no gap, depends on strut

and the catagories for most sport and race springs from other companies (intrax, suspension tech, sprint are about the same drop as neuspeeds.
Thats nice, but my parents dont want me to lower my car, is there anything I can do that they might be OK with?

Sure, you can go with a minor drop spring like S/T Sport or Eibach prokits. Im sure you will notice the stance of the springs but your parents may not unless they just stare at the car or they always have something to compare it to. Most of all you get rid of a lot of that ugly gap.
I dont race, I just want people to see me and like my ride. What should I do?

The thing is, if you want the look and comfort and are not extremely concerned about performance, grab up the prokits or sportlines... they are just a softer spring to put it bluntly.
Whats up with that guy? Why would you lower a car just for looks? I want the best performance baby.

In that case, I would say go with Neuspeed springs. There is a noticeable difference in the performance, but the ride suffers more. The best performance springs are the high springrate springs, but your comfort is compromised. If you are really into it, go for some Race series springs, but I mean if you are really into it.
Ok, you mentioned struts earlier, but what do I need to do about them?

Well, on just about any car, if you replace your springs, your stock struts arent going to take it near as well, they cant stop the springs. First off, the springs are matter what. THe thing about eibachs is they still they arent uniform and they arent stock springs, and they will be stiffer. Eventually with any spring, especially the very stiff ones like Neuspeed, etc, you are going to blow out your struts...eventually. some people take weeks some months some can go a year but it doesnt matter - Ive seen people blow shocks with prokits just as fast as H&R Race, its still money you have to spend later if you dont do it now.
Oh crap, what kind of struts are good?

Some good struts are Koni yellows (the "best" by some) which have adjustable dampers on them (awesome) to match the rebound with the spring you are using or the situation you are in. They also have movable perches, which arent why you should buy them, but if you had to be in a height adjusting need situation, then it might be a nice choice. There are also Neuspeed Konis, which have 5 perches and not just 3. These cost more, but are better geared towards someone who wants to move the perches when paired with Neuspeed springs...
Before Konis, I had Bilstein HDs which are a non adjustable strut, they are my favorite and I say they are the best N/A strut, perfect for a budget street application, though the Koni Red had a bit stiffer ride.
KYB is another good strut maker that you hear great things about, but their warranty is null and void past a certain drop, I beleive 1.5. Still, for a lesser drop that you want an adjustable strut on, the AGXs remain a definite best value.
TOKICOs, well, I say they blow balls. I have grown to hate them the more I ride on them.. no offense to anyone with tokicos but they are best used in a low stress situation, IE with prokits that are on there solely for looks. However, If you choose tokicos for money, I would highly suggest getting the illuminas over the blues, so you can stiffen them up.
There are a few other options like the Bec Tec ride height adjustable struts, but I personally have not learned enough about them or seen enough people with them for an extended period of time to draw a conclusion.
How do you know that if you blown a strut or not? Do you feel any difference?

You will know when your struts blow. Your ride will be come very bouncy as your shocks no longer do their job. You will be very harsh over bumps... even with stock springs you will know. Its pretty bad. Basically what is happening is that your shocks no longer control how much the spring compresses, so when they are gone, your spring just keeps on boucning up and down until it stops. Thats it. All Im saying is that you should know.
What do you think is the best combination overall?

Now, as for that, my Ideal functional look and good ride combonation is Neuspeed sport and Koni Yellow. You can get your cars ride excellent with Eibach springs, and you can really get your ride down close to the ground with Neuspeed Race and Koni Yellow. H&R springs would be my next choice, and Bilstein struts respectively.
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BUT I want to raise and lower my car, what should I do?

IF you think that you might be lowering and raising your car often, like car shows, etc, then something that might suit you better is a coilover setup.

Now moving on to coilovers- thats a different ballpark. You ask if a spring shock combo can match that performance and ride of coilovers.

Whats a mean those uppey downy thingys?

The definition of a coilover is a spring threaded on to an adjustable shock body. Thats it.
Wait a second, I saw some "coilovers" that were just a spring looking thing, there wasnt a strut.

There are companies that make what are called coilover sleeves. Dont be confused. These are just the spring on an adjustable perch that sits on a strut ,like konis,...but the real coilovers are actually combined into all one unit.
Oh, those coilover sleeves are a lot cheaper, why not just get those?

There are many complaints and problems with the coilover sleeves, Harsh ride, slipping threads, blown shocks, etc, but THey do serve a purpose and many people that dont care about the actual ride but want an adjustable perch for the looks will get them. I don't recommend them.
What brand of coilover sleeves are the best?

Some popular ones are Skunk 2s, Weapon R, and Ground Control. Most others are generic and made from the same place and have different names on them. Its really up to you, but for the best ride and compatibility, the above listed is the better choice. Best performance being Skunks, best quality and ride being Ground control.

Will I need struts with coilover sleeves?

Most definitely, these are some of the stiffest springs you are going to come by when lowering your car. If there is a time when you need struts, this is it. THis is also a good reason why many people go to a full coilover setup instead of sleeves and shocks, because the cost becomes almost equal and you can get so much more out of the full setup.
Well, if I have that sleeve for 300 bucks and shocks for 300 bucks, why would I want TRUE coilovers?

True coilovers are the s--t. Really. Since height is adjustable and sometimes the dampers are adjustable, and the spring and shock body are tuned very well to each other, these make for a very nice comfortable ride that performs much better than most strut / shock / coilover sleeve combos. However, you have to pay a price, usually a High one, for the all out compression/rebound/height adjustable coilovers. But when it comes to just height adjustable but well matched setups, like Apexi WS, the price you pay is only 100 or 200 more than what you would for coilover sleeves and shocks. Ask anyone with that kind of a setup, and they will tell you, as I do, its worth the money to go all out.
What are some good Full coilovers?

This is a mod I will more than likely make in the future. Some popular ones are Tien, H&R, Koni, Neuspeed, Tanabe, and Apexi.

You talk Coilovers up to be so good, so could a spring or coilover sleeve / shock combo match the performance or ride of a true coilover?

Well, theoretically, by what Im saying, yes. But there is a difference between the construction of a coilover and a spring and a shock. When you have a coilvoer that is tailored together, never to leave one peice, you gain a rigidness in design for the suspension movement. It changes. The ride is smoother because of how well matched the rebound is, but the performance is at its peak as well because of how matched the compression is. IF the shock doesnt have to work as hard to rebound, your performance increases soley with its ability. With say, sportlines and konis, your compression is set. You can match the rebound, but that may not be your peak performance. That may actually be with a stiffer rebound. Take for instance my konis and neuspeeds. My peak ride comfort is at a 180 degree turn. But if Im taking hard turns, I will set it at 360. What I lack is the fine tuning. Its matched, but not tuned. And then you have another issue to throw in. Height and damper adjustable coilovers... hehe. Now you are talking. Taking an already tuned pair and tuning it even more based on your height adjustment. Its a setup that costs money for good reason. It can be almost flawless. Almost perfect.

So coilovers really are the best?

You are right in your thinking, coilovers are the ultimate in ride and performance, but they arent for everyone. If one is out to spend a little and get as much as possible, a spring shock combo has a LOT to offer. And i mean a LOT. If you arent going to be machine setting your stiffness to .002 with a springrate dialed to 250lbs to match with blabla blah blah... you know, not many will go this far...not racing far, not perfect suspension far. This is WHY I push that a spring shock combo will get the job done, as do most of the other suspension "experts" on the various boards around you gotta think about it before you jump into it. UNderstand it. And you will figure out what is right for you.
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The suspension setups-

Cut springs-
Pros: dropped look
Cons: very bouncy and rough ride, blown shocks quickly, no height or damper adjust, uneven springrates

Just springs-
Pros: dropped look, good performance
Cons: rougher, bouncier ride, blown shocks quickly, no major height or damper adjustability

Springs and Shocks-
Pros: great ride, best performance, dropped look, no maintenence
Cons: sometimes bumpier ride in places, no major height adjustability

Just coilover sleeves-
Pros: adjustable dropped look, OK performance
Cons: thread slip, blown shocks quickly, very harsh ride, no damper adjustability

Coilover sleeves and Shocks-
Pros: adjustable dropped look, better performance, semi smooth ride
Cons: thread slip, no damper adjustability

True Coilovers-
Pros: adjustable dropped look, great performance, damper adjustability, springs threaded directly on shock
Cons: some w/o damper adjustability

Others (airbags and dubs)
Pros: instant adjustability, smooth ride
Cons: for show, performance lacks, constant maintenance

Ok LoRdAccord, I know what I really want, but how much is it going to cost??

here is a good breakdown of approximate prices

Springs: $130-230
Sleeves: $250-400
Shocks: $250-500
Coilovers: $800-1500+

Wow, thats pretty salty for those coilovers.

Yes, but add up a spring and shock or a sleeve and shocks...Unless you are cheaping out and only buying springs, then it almost gets up to the price of coilovers. However, if you can save money and you dont need coilovers, then dont get them!
Well, why cant I cheap out and just buy springs, I can replace my shocks when I get the money.

You can, go for it, but
LABOR is usually1 $100-300 depending on setup- this pricing usually is true whether you do Just springs/sleeves, or springs and shocks, or just shocks. This is another reason why you can save money doing it now, enough that you could just go for those coilovers. Puts things in perspective.
Plus you ALWAYS run the risk of being out that money if your stock units blow. Better safe than sorry is the best way to play it. Instead of hurting your pocket and your car unexpectidly, do it correctly the first time.
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Wow, I didnt know that how you lowered your car was this important. Are there any other adverse effects that I should be aware of?

Yes, there are. one of the first things is what is called negative camber. As you drop your car lower and lower, your tires angle in towards your car causing wear. The larger the drop the more the camber. The effect is like this if you were looking at a car head on
When will I get camber, is it a problem?

Yes and no. Negative camber occurs anytime you change the suspension geometry with springs / struts to make the car sit lower. Usually, a drop above 2" is not affected that much by camber. But you will notice it as you drive harder. The most noticable problem is that the inside of your tires wear.
Is there any way to prevent problems like negative camber?

YES! the best and most effective way is to keep your car in allignment and to rotate your tires every 3000-5000 miles. But, if its becoming a terrible problem for you, you can use a camber correction kit. A popular one is Ingalls. Also the rear camber can be corrected with washers on the control arm bolt on MOST hondas, A nice alternative to an expensive kit.
Should I get a camber kit???

Wait until you lower your car and get an allignment printout. If the camber reading is within .2-.5 degrees of the stock spec (generally 1.0 to -1.0) then asess your need by looking or the next time you rotate your tires. If its past negative 1.5, then it might be a serious thought to get a camber kit.
Ok, I decided I need one, Are there problems with camber kits?

Sometimes, on a few Hondas, people have problems with the kits affecting their control arms. I personally have delt with that problem on my accord. I shaved off a tiny bit of my fender well lip, and a little bit of my control arm. So, If you need to fix the camber problem, there may be more than just a camber kit that you have to add, you may have to move something or change it in a small way to make the kit work to its full effectiveness. That is a bridge that every person must cross when they come to it.
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Ok, youve read get [email protected]

You keep talking about all these brands and all of these thing, where do I get them????

well, good question. Some popular sites online to buy from are

That should be enough to get you started, always check sites and magazines as well as local stores when trying to find a deal.
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My tires rub when I turn around. (Mostly rear)

See my sig. and tell me what I should do.

Yes. I dropped my car 2" and have 17" rims w/ 205/40/17 tires.

Do I have to roll my fenders or remove rubber things on fenders?

I hate to hear that sound when my tires rub. :(

I will appreciate if you give me a solution.

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I would remove the rubber lip thing on the fender and then roll them. I swiped a really good how-to on rolling fenders and put it on my webpage.
The adage of "higher spring rates=better performance" only holds true on a glassy smooth racetrack. If there are any bumps, a more compliant spring will be able to absorb it better than a super stiff one, which will actually momentarily launch the wheel into the air off the ground.

Otherwise, great FAQ! :)

Oh, and coilovers can cost all the way up into the $3000's. :)
What you said about spring rates is true...the bumpier the road the softer you want your springs for best performance...I didn't notice that stiffer springs = better performance was in this FAQ.
I would just like to throw in some facts.....

From above:

Neuspeed / H&R Sports are about a 1.8" drop, 1 finger gap

On a 98 Civic LX with Neuspeed Sport Springs and Bilstein HD shocks you are going to get a 1 finger gap in the rear and a loose 2 finger gap up front.

Not very appealing IMO.

That's 1.75" front drop / 1.5" rear drop
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Bampf said:
What you said about spring rates is true...the bumpier the road the softer you want your springs for best performance...I didn't notice that stiffer springs = better performance was in this FAQ.
It says:
the FAQ said:
The best performance springs are the high springrate springs, but your comfort is compromised. If you are really into it, go for some Race series springs, but I mean if you are really into it.
Not always true. :)
Eibach sportline, H&R sports, Neuspeed sports

Out of these three listed, which will offer the smoothest ride? I'm going 2 couple them w/bilstein HD's 4 my integra.
Rolling Fenders

cryogen97 said:
I would remove the rubber lip thing on the fender and then roll them. I swiped a really good how-to on rolling fenders and put it on my webpage.
Cryogen...I heard that rolling your fenders with a bat is bad for the car. Can rolling it cause the paint to chip later on? Or mess something else up? What are other options for getting rid of rubbing tires? I have an accord with 225/40/18 and they rub like crazy. I don't know what to do. I used to have 225/35/18 and they didnt' rub at all. But they dont' give enuff cushion and i've bent my rims. I'm thinking of either getting pro kits and ditching my sportlines or maybe getting ground controls. I would prefer to have a 2 finger gap all around. It pisses me off though cuz you dont' get an even drop all around with springs. Anyway, can't you shave the fender too? I dont' know but it is really bothering me. Any thoughts from you or anybody else reading? Please let me know! Thanks!
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the use of a hot air gun is recomended to warm up the paint in the area to help prevent chipping. And work at it slowly. You can rent a profesional tool for rolling the fenders from discount tire I think. It was something like a $750 security deposit too. But you would take off the tire and mount it on the lugs. Then you could slowly roll the fender with a lot more precision.
how much are Bilstein HDs??.....i am on a very tight budget so please let me know what the cheapest shocks are that i can get that are still reliable?...(i will use the shocks with probably pro-kits)
i have been calling around for the cheapest prices for neuspeed springs..and peeps keep telling me that progressive is better and cheaper. i think they are just trying to get rid of their overstock. i have a 2000 civic coupe..i want to lower it about 2"...
any suggestions??
hey guys, help me out.




:confused: :confused:

sorry for the caps
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Hey Cryo.....I have a 92 Accord with 205/50R16. I just bought a set of bilsteins w/ Eibach sportline springs for $561 shipped from They told me that i'll get a drop of 1.8" f and 1.7" r. Is this a good setup for nyc...?? Also could I inch up to Konig Traffik 205/40R17..??
what do you think about nuespeed sports and tokico blues for about 500?
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