Different Types of Car Suspension
February 19, 2020
Let’s be honest. We all love to modify our cars, and it is hard to keep anything stock. That is especially true when it comes to our suspension. Lowering your car can be one of the most drastic aftermarket modifications you can do in terms of both looks and performance.
With a large number of suspension options out there it can become a little intimidating when trying to pick out your next suspension setup.
Why are some components only a few hundred dollars versus a few thousand dollars? What are the benefits of air suspension, or how does air suspension vary from air cups? What is the best setup for daily driving? We tend to get a lot of questions like this when someone is interested in picking out a new suspension setup.
In this blog, we will go over some of the most popular choices when it comes to aftermarket suspension and help you determine which type of setup is right for you and your car.
1. Lowering Springs
Lowering springs really are exactly what they sound like. They replace your stock coil spring both in the front and rear of your car and maintain the use of your stock struts. As the most inexpensive option when it comes to lowering your car it is a very popular choice among those who are just looking to get a lowered look without breaking the bank. However, it’s always an option to replace or upgrade your stock shock absorbers while installing your lowering springs. Typically with lowering springs, you can expect anywhere between a 1-2 inch drop in ride height.
Pros: Inexpensive. Good for daily driving.
Cons: No adjustability.
Coilover suspension would be the next step up from the lowering springs that we just talked about. Typically, coilovers are a complete replacement of your stock shock and coil spring assembly and introduce the ability to adjust ride height and damping. A coilover is comprised of a damper, a coil spring, and an adjustable lower mount with locking perch. Almost all coilover suspension has the ability to adjust the “Stiffness” of the coilover by an adjustable damper piston which controls the flow of the fluid inside of the shock absorber.
Coilover suspension has something to offer to pretty much anyone looking to upgrade their suspension. From everyday driving to stanced cars, to full on race cars, coilovers can be found everywhere. Simply because of the amount of adjustability and customization that coilovers offer. Things such as specified spring rates, damping adjustability, and camber adjustment are just some of the things that coilovers are capable of offering.
There are multiple types of coilovers that all vary in the amount of adjustability that they offer. However, the most common type of coilover is the single adjustable. Meaning that when turning the damping adjustment knob you are changing both rebound and compression stiffness simultaneously. You can find out more about the different types of coilovers HERE
Coilovers usually start off right around $600 and can reach upwards to thousands of dollars depending on what you are trying to achieve from your suspension.
Pros: Adjustability. Performance. Customization.
Cons: Compared to lowering springs, it can be a jump in price. However, the pros definitely outweigh the cons on this one.
3. Air Suspension (Bags)
Contrary to popular belief, air suspension is not a new technology to the automotive world and actually dates as far back as the 1950s. However, the advancements that have been made in recent years by air suspension companies have taken the aftermarket suspension scene by storm. Companies like Airlift and Accuair have become some of the top air suspension and management companies on the market. Similar to coilover suspension, air suspension is a complete replacement of your stock suspension strut and coil spring. Instead, this time utilizing an airbag in place of a coil spring. The entire suspension system is run by a management system that is made up of; a compressor, an air tank, valves, an ECU, and a controller.
The management system is what provides the air to each individual air strut and is controlled by you, the user, by the controller. The beauty of air suspension is the ability to adjust your car's height simply by the push of a button. This allows you to get as low to the ground as possible when parked or driving, but still, be able to get over those nasty speed bumps or steep entryways. Most management systems have the ability to load in custom presets so you can have multiple preferred heights set to your liking.
Depending on the type of brand or management system you decide to go with, it will either be a pressure or height based system. With pressure-based systems, the management reads the amount of air pressure in each air strut to determine the height of your car. With a height based system, the management is reliant on height sensors that are installed in each corner of the vehicle to give an exact measurement of the car's height. Each system has its pros and cons. You can find out more about different air managements HERE
Air suspension has become a go-to suspension option for those looking to get a perfect stance or fender to lip fitment but still be able to have a functional car that is able to drive pretty much anywhere without worry. However, it does come at a price. A quality air suspension kit will start off right around $3,000. The installation of air suspension is definitely something that you want to get right the first time. Take your time to ensure that everything has been done correctly and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Overall, air suspension is a perfect option for those who want a killer low look when aired out as well as being able to daily drive their car with no worry about scraping or getting stuck somewhere, and in our eyes is definitely worth the price.
Pros: Adjustable ride height on the fly. The ability to absolutely slam your car.
Cons: Cost. The difficulty of installation.
Hopefully, this helped you out in your journey to find the right suspension for you and your car. All of the suspension and brands listed above are available at www.fitmentindustries.com. Email us at email@example.com