Lowering (slamming the car to the ground.)
"How low can you go!"
Nothing looks better than a car which has been lowered - removing the huge tractor like gap between the top of the wheel and the arches.
On tracks lower is better for handling providing the track is fairly flat and smooth.
Manufacturers have to take speed bumps, uneven road surface, passenger comfort and road noise into consideration when setting up a cars suspension.
Most production cars have soft comfortable suspension that does little to maximise handling and driving experience. Track cars are set up for driver preference and style so there perfect setting is not just different for each model of car it is also a subjective thing.
If you have lowered the front of your car with a bodykit you will not be able to go quite as low on the suspension or you will quickly grind the front skirt on pavements, speed bumps and even ramps.
The new Ferrari raises the nose cone electronically to avoid this issue. You could add a grinding plate of rubber, or metal to the bottom edge to preserve the plastic - you get to replace the grinding plate instead of the whole front apron.
Common mistakes. Going through the 'chavsandtarts' car part catalogue and buying a suspension kit that lowers the car 50mm and expecting this to be the perfect set up. Most kits are very general in nature and imply that they can be fitted to all models in a cars range.
Different engine weights, wheel sizes and car weights need different suspension characteristics. If you go too low you risk grinding the tyres in the wheel arch requiring a rolling of the arches (making them bigger by folding the metal underneath) you also risk damaging the drive shaft and gearbox if the angle from the final drive to wheel hub is wrong.
Ride Height adjustment
Cars look good when slammed to the ground. You reduce your ground clearance and can cause problems with tyres rubbing in the wheel arches. Remember that roads have speed bumps and instead of slowing a lowered car down they will grab the sump and rip off the bottom of the engine and most of your front skirt. For most road cars I would not recommend going lower than 35mm for hot hatches which tend to have uprated suspension I recommend just 30mm. You might also read our article comparing Hydraulic and Air suspension set ups.
If you have changed the wheel size then these tolerances could be much lower a car fitted with standard suspension and 17” rims would be OK but if you lower it as well you may get all manner of problems.
The aim should always be to improve handling and appearance and with the car being lower there will be less air going under the car and this can help with stability.
Remember lower springs should be fitted to matched shocks and just cutting the springs is really bad idea – you are asking a piece of metal designed to a tolerance to work effectively with a big chunk of its structure missing.
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