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What You Didnt Know About Coilovers

October 23, 2018

Today, we're going back to basics talking about one of the biggest parts of the aftermarket industry. Coilovers.

You may be new to coilovers and know nothing about them, or you may be a pro and feel like you know pretty much everything you need to know.

Well, hold it right there because today we're breaking down the facts and telling you what you probably didn't know about coilovers!

BC Racing CoiloversG37 BC Racing

See more BC Racing photos in our gallery!

1. Not All Coilovers are Created Equal

If you don't know already, a coilover's design consists of a coil spring over a shock absorber. The shock body is improved when compared to factory and comes with adjustability settings. 

What you may not know is that not all coilover setups are created equal. While they may look the same in their basic construction, it's what you can't see that really separates the name brands like Fortune Auto from the private brands you see for sale for $250 a set on eBay. These private brands are able to make their prices cheaper by leaving out some of the things that make coilovers so great in the first place.

  • They may not have bump stops, strut covers, and threaded bodies.

While you can't usually see these parts, they are crucial for making the coilovers adjustable, comfortable, and reliable.

  • They are private label coilovers and probably made overseas in places like China.

These are the most basic coilovers on the market and are built almost with a "one size fits all" mentality. This applies to the fluid and dampers as well and you probably won't know what is actually going on inside the coilover. Some are built to suit a variety of different cars and while they may work well on a WRX, they may be horrible on an S2000.

If you plan on doing any sort of spirited driving, you are going to want to know that the parts inside the coilovers are well built and you're going to want to know exactly what is going on. You're probably also going to want some real adjustments to dial in your ride. Well, those adjustments that private labels say they have probably don't actually do anything.

350Z CoiloversMustang Coilovers


2. Springs are Important Too

When doing your research on coilovers, it is important to not only look at the shock body but the spring as well. It doesn't just absorb bumps but also controls body roll and helps control your squat on launches.

If you want to run a crazy static setup or have the perfect setup for track days, then you are going to want to contact the manufacturer about getting a custom spring rate. Most of the time, you can tell them what you intend to use your car for and they will help you pick out a spring rate that is best suited to your needs.

However, you don't have to get a custom spring rate. The coilover will already come with a preset spring which is designed to be a well rounded coilover setup. It won't be killer on the track or perfect for dialing in your fitment. It's just meant to give you a well-rounded experience. If you're not looking to dial in your ride, then the springs that come in your coilover kit will work just fine.

300ZX CoiloversVeloster Coilovers

See more coilover photos in our gallery!

3. Preload

If you don't know already, preload is how much a spring is compressed when the shock is fully extended. Most coilover systems use linear rate springs which means that the spring won't change stiffness even under compression. This allows you to use the perch to adjust the springs but keep in mind that the springs are linear.

The coilover will have a certain level of tolerance so that you can adjust it to what you need without completely destroying something. Just know your limits. Don't loosen the spring so much that it is moving around, you're going to have a bad time.


4. Some Coilovers Can Be Rebuilt

Evo Fortune AutoFortune Auto

See more Fortune Auto photos in our gallery!

Let's say you love your coilovers. They're everything you dream of and more. You want to keep them forever and ever. Well after years of abuse, you notice that they aren't performing like they used to. They started leaking fluid and are just getting plain old.

Well, the good news is that some brands will actually allow you to send in your old coilovers to be rebuilt! Brands like Fortune Auto offer a program like this which is a HUGE thing to consider when looking at what brand you are buying from and how long you plan on keeping them. 

Fortune Auto coilovers are also upgradable which means when they're starting to get old and need some parts replaced, why not get even better ones than you had? Sounds like a pretty solid deal to us!


Wrapping It Up

So there you have it. Some things we bet you probably didn't know about coilovers. We hope you learned something and are able to make an educated choice for the perfect coilovers to suit your needs. There are a lot of great options out there so find out what you need and go for it! 

When you find that perfect setup, be sure to let us know by adding your car to our gallery!

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