There’s something impressive with a lowered car. Admit it– you have always dreamed of driving one. Not only does a lowered frame give any car the X-factor on the road, it also increases the stability of the vehicle through turns. It can also improve the car’s handling. If you’ve always wondered how to properly lower your car, then read this article and find out how.
Countless motorists around the world are attracted to lowered cars. A car that is closer to the ground not only looks visually stunning. It also is more aerodynamic because there’s less air going underneath. This, in turn, reduces the amount of drag imposed on the car.
Motorists also point out that a lowered car is easier to handle. It sits flatter through turns. While it has its drawbacks like resulting into a rougher ride, many motorists put premium on aesthetics over ride quality. It’s not surprising that lowered vehicles have become a common sight in many roads.
There are different ways of lowering your car. You could do it by installing coil over springs. You can also lower your vehicle by installing lowering springs, or installing air bag suspension.
You can lower your car by installing lowering springs. You don’t really need professional help for this job. With the help of an able assistant, you can pull off the job.
You would need the following tools for this chore:
- Cross wrench
- Sockets/socket wrench
- Spring compressor
- Ball joint separator
Once you have everything you need, follow these steps:
- Start by getting lowering springs with the appropriate spring rates to prevent underchassis and ride troubles in the future.
- Loosen the lug nuts with a wrench.
- Jack up the car. This should be done on a level surface. You can use a jack stand to stabilize the car.
- Once the car has been jacked up, you can now remove the loose lugs by hand. You can also use the wrench in finishing the lug removal. Then pull the wheel off of the wheelbase.
- It’s now time to remove the coil springs. Place the jack beneath the lower control arm, disconnect the sway bar, and then remove the shock absorber.
- Compress the spring using the spring compressor. You can do this by latching the hooks of the spring connector onto the spring then turning the bolt.
- Install the lowering springs by putting these in the same place as the old springs. Fasten the springs in the same way as the old coil springs were attached before putting other hardware.
- Replace the tires.
Adjusting Coil Over Springs
Another way to lower your ride is to adjust the height of the car’s coilover springs.
Like in installing lowering springs, adjusting coil over springs can be a DIY job. You’ll need a flat head screwdriver, hammer/mallet, gloves, and tape measure for this chore.
Once you have the tools complete, follow this step-by-step guide:
- Loosen the lower nut buy putting the flat head of the screwdriver into one of the slaps. Tap the back of the head of the screwdriver using your hammer or mallet. The nut must go counter-clockwise so that it can be loosened.
- Once the nut has been loosened, spin it a bit with your fingers to completely remove it.
- Using a tape measure, measure how much thread is there in the coil over spring. This will guide you in determining the height you want it to be.
- You can lower the spring by turning it clockwise.
- Spin the lower nut clockwise to get it back down, and tighten it up again using the hammer and screwdriver.
Air Bag Suspensions
A more costly way of lowering your car is by installing air bag suspension kit. As the name suggests, air bag suspension kits have rubber bags filled with air. These are then use in raising or lowering a vehicle with a simple press of a button. Air bag suspension kits are more widely used in high end SUVs and mini trucks. It allows drivers to slam their ride a few millimetres off the ground.
Air bag suspension kits usually consist of air bags, compressors, and air tanks. It also has air lines which connect the compressor to the tank, and the tank to the bags.
Unlike in installing a lowering spring or adjusting the coil over spring of a car, fitting an air suspension system is much more complex. There is lots of wiring and hose installations involved, that a DIYer may find it too complex to understand and pull off. Thus, installation of an air suspension system for lowering a car is recommended to be done by a professional mechanic.
While there are lots of DIY kits available online for the mechanically inclined motorist, the fact is that air suspension kits need a lot of tools that a newbie motorist may not have. Thus hiring a mechanic is often the best option for installing an air suspension system.
But we’ll give you an idea on how air bag suspension systems are installed. The process begins by measuring the height of the car. The mechanic may also conduct a short road test to get a better feel of the car and find out any pre-existing faults. The kit is then installed based upon the car owner’s requirement (particularly the height of the car).
After installation, the mechanic would test the system for leaks then conduct another short road test.
As you can see, there are many ways to lower your car. You can opt for adjusting coil over springs or replacing them with lowering springs. You may also want to have an air bag suspension kit installed, although this would require professional installation and moreover, additional costs.
Now that you have known how to properly lower your car, study your options well. Consider your budget, as well as your technical know-how (especially if you’re considering DIY).