When it comes to upgrading your suspension for either looks or performance, the difference between a lowering spring and coilover setup can be night and day. The definitive difference between a comfy daily driver with good looks or a planted race car comes down to your suspension set up and what you want out of it. You must decide exactly what your car’s purpose is before choosing the suspension. Your main options for most vehicles will be springs or coilovers, so what should you choose? Let’s discuss the pros, cons and uses of both lowering springs and coilovers.
People that are just getting into cars often look into springs as a solution for their height. Springs will often allow you to lower your car without sacrificing the soft stock suspension feel. A proper spring and shock set up can make your car lower and slightly stiffen up your suspension, which provides a cheaper alternative to coilovers with nearly similar performance. However, springs do not allow you to adjust your damping or height on the fly like coilovers allow you to.
Ksport GT Lowering Springs have been designed to give your car superior handling with an aggressive race look. Most other brands use a linear rate, but Ksport utilizes a progressive rate for several reasons. A progressive rate allows a plush comfortable ride under normal travel, but since the rate shifts higher during compression, it stops “body roll” during heavy braking, hard acceleration, or fast cornering. By lowering the center of gravity from OE height you dramatically improve performance and handling characteristics.
So, what are the downsides? Well for one, springs do not give you the adjustability range to lower or raise your suspension when needed – when you buy a set height spring, that is your only height. For example, if you decide to go with a larger wheel or tire and need to raise your car by 1.0”, in this case you are entirely limited to the lowering springs you installed and will have to think around them for any drastic change in wheels or height of the vehicle in the future. Alternatively, coilovers allow you to adjust your right height.
An additional problem with lowering springs is accelerated shock wear which often results in poor ride quality over time. The ride can start to feel “bouncy” or “soft” when your shocks are going out, so if you have this feeling in your suspension before doing springs you will have the same issue in a more exaggerated way after. It is suggested to upgrade your shocks when you upgrade your springs to be able to take on more load.
Coilovers are a great alternative to a lowering spring set up because they allow you to adjust your ride height and come in many setups, from daily use to full track rated. Unlike lowering springs, you are not stuck with one height and stiffness. A common misconception is that with coilovers you automatically sacrifice ride quality for performance, thus creating a harsh ride quality. This simply isn’t true. Some coilovers, like our Kontrol Pro kit for example, are geared toward street comfort. We can do this through valving and damping that has been built into the coilover itself. While it’s true that the ride is about 10-15% firmer, the well matched damping results in minimal differences in comfort while making the car feel significantly better and making you, the driver, feel more in tune with your cars every move.
As noted on our website, “The Ksport Kontrol Pro Fully Adjustable Coilover Kits provide the ultimate in suspension technology for your vehicle, both on the street or at the track. 36 levels of damping adjustment allow fine tuning of the damper to suit both handling and comfort needs. The damping adjustment alters compression and rebound simultaneously, for more effective and user-friendly setup changes.
The Ksport system uses a Monotube design in which the oil and gas are separated within the cylinder. When compared to twin tube construction, the Monotube design dissipates heat faster and more evenly, allows finer damping adjustments, and requires more expensive design process. Aeration and cavitation issues are a lot less common in a Monotube design, which results in a more consistent ride quality. The Ksport Kontrol Pro Coilover system has been designed with professional road racing in mind, offering extremely high value and performance for any application.”
The options available for modifying your vehicles suspension oftentimes can be overwhelming. There really isn’t a one size fits all solution – it all comes down to how you plan to utilize the car, your budget, and your expectations.
The evolution of suspension has led to great advancements in coilovers, making them a great alternative to the conventional shock and spring set up. If you want to go low without sacrificing ride quality and have the budget, a good set of adjustable coilovers is a great option for any vehicle. However, if you’re looking for an option with a lower price tag and similar capabilities, there really isn’t anything wrong with a convention shock and lowering spring set up for daily and some light track use.
Ultimately it comes down to what you plan on doing with your car and your level of comfort in that type of driving condition. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our team – we’re a staff of enthusiasts that would be more than happy to help answer any questions you might have.