Most aftermarket coilovers work in conjunction with your suspension, allowing you to change the ride height, spring stiffness, damping stiffness, and more. It should be noted that not all coilovers are created equal; some are very basic and do the bare minimum, while others have innovative features that can drastically improve the way your car handles, accelerates, and looks. Whether you are more geared toward performance or just to show off your new stance at your next car show, a coilover kit will enhance your overall driving experience. Check out our selection of high-quality coilovers above.
Coilovers replace your entire factory strut and typically have height and damping adjustments. Some coilovers also offer spring preload adjustment separate from the ride height adjustment. A coilover kit is pretty compact compared to old-school spring and shock suspension systems, as it typically consists of a spring, damper, and top-hat. Below, we provide a brief description of each component:
The springs you'll find with every aftermarket coilover work very similar to the OEM springs on your car. They support the vehicle and allow the suspension to operate without letting the vehicle bottoming out on the road. Different styles of coilovers utilize different springs, but they all perform the same job: support the vehicle, control how road force affects the chassis, and allow the suspension to cycle without the vehicle bottoming out.
The damper helps keep your ride quality smooth and controlled by damping the spring oscillation. The damper is typically also the body of the coilover, which can include a threaded base for independent ride height adjustment on some coilovers. The body is typically built out of steel or aluminum, but some extremely high-end coilovers will feature more exotic and lightweight material. There are two different types of dampers: twin-tube and monotube. They operate in a similar fashion but each system has its own pros and cons which will be explored in detail further down.
The top hat covers the struts that work to keep the spring contained. The top hat is also what allows the top of the coilover to be bolted to your strut tower. With some top-hats you'll also find camber adjustment, which can have a massive impact on handling and braking performance, however, this adjustment is typically reserved for high-performance track-oriented coilovers.
When browsing the market for coilovers, you have the option of choosing between linear or progressive springs. Some springs deliver a smoother and more controlled ride, whereas others transfer more vibration to the cabin so you can keep track of exactly what your car is doing.
Most high-end and track-oriented racing coilovers will use linear springs, as the constant spring rate of linear springs creates very predictable handling when pushing your car to the limits. When the spring compresses, the spring rate remains constant throughout the entire compression. While a car on linear springs will be easier to control and navigate on road courses or tracks, they do have a rougher ride than progressive springs.
One of the main components of any coilover system is the damper. Without any damping, your suspension can compress and decompress freely, resulting in a bouncy ride and very poor handling. Performance coilovers typically come with two different kinds of dampers: twin-tube or monotube. From the outside, these two types of dampers may appear to be completely identical but, underneath there are quite a few fundamental changes that alter dampening performance.
The twin-tube design is found on most low-end coilovers, OEM shocks, and even mid-level coilovers that are designed for street use. Twin-tube damping uses an inner and outer chamber. The inner tube holds the piston shaft, valve, and oil, while the outer tube holds damper oil and nitrogen gas. This design allows for more suspension stroke without increasing the height of the body, thus providing better ride quality. On the street, you really want as much travel as possible for your specific ride height, so this design is the go-to choice for most aftermarket coilover manufacturers.
You will notice that high-performance vehicles and race coilovers use a mono-tube design. This is because the monotube design holds everything in one tube and separates components by way of a floating piston. While this design is simpler than the twin-tube design, it allows for bigger and stronger parts, better heat dissipation, and quicker response. Heat is rarely an issue with street driving since speeds are much lower and the dampers aren't working extremely hard to keep everything under control.
With the majority of aftermarket coilovers, the manufacturers determine the ideal spring rate either through testing or merely estimating. Even so, that spring rate is usually not completely fixed; there is some spring rate modification possible. This adjustment comes in the form of an adjustable collar that threads up and down the body and either compresses or decompresses the spring.
Adjusting the collar on the bottom of the springs affects the spring's pre-load which increases the amount of force necessary to compress the coilovers; at the same time, it does not increase the actual spring rate. With any of the adjustments mentioned below, it may be best to leave them up to a professional. This is because incorrect or improper adjustments can result in very poor handling and drivability.
On some coilovers, the collar that adjusts the spring rate also adjusts the ride height, however, many modern aftermarket coilovers have the ride height and spring pre-load adjustment seperate for improved adjustability
While it is rare, some coilovers are not height or spring adjustable. Though you will typically either find a partially threaded coilover or a fully threaded coilover. The former allows height adjustment at the cost of suspension travel, while the latter allows spring pre-load and ride height to be adjusted independently. Having the ability to alter your car's ride height and spring pre-load independently results in far greater suspension tuning and enhances your overall driving experience.
With coilovers that offer separate ride height and spring pre-load adjustment, you'll find the lower mount is threaded onto the body. To lower the ride height, you unlock the collar on the lower mount and thread it up the body of the coilover, which effectively makes the coilover shorter.
Many aftermarket coilovers also feature dampening adjustments. Some may only offer a few clicks of adjustability, while others can grant up to 32 clicks of adjustment. Some dampers also allow for the compression and rebound to be adjusted independently of one another. What's more, you will find that some aftermarket coilovers kits offer low-speed and high-speed dampening adjustments.
It's important to be careful with damper adjustments, as the wrong adjustments can have a major negative impact on handling and performance. For street use, it's typically best to leave your coilover set how it came in the box. On more basic coilovers, there is no damping adjustment and you're stuck with the factory settings, which can actually be a good thing in some cases since the factory setting is perfectly set for the given spring rate
With some coilovers you'll also find camber adjustment. This works by effectively shifting the coilover inwards toward the vehicle or outwards away from the vehicle. This is done without moving the location of the top hat. This adjustment is only available on a few suspension designs. For example, a double-wishbone suspension design, cannot utilize this feature and would instead need a camber adjustable upper control arm to achieve the same adjustability.
Apart from coilovers, Vivid Racing also offers a variety of performance suspension components, including leaf springs, lowering springs, air suspension kits, shocks & struts, and more. If you are interested in customizing your ride, we have got you covered! To learn more, contact us today by calling (480) 966-3040.
With its KW Solid Piston Technology, the four-way adjustable KW V5 Clubsport coilover suspension kit is more ahead of technology as the Special OE coilovers KW developed and produced for the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro.
Many consumers may be mislead into thinking that picking up a used set is always a better deal than buying new. If you are interested in purchasing a set of used TEIN coilovers here are some tips on what to look for to ensure you know what your getting into.
Coilovers are great for track use and for achieving the lowest static ride height. If you're looking to just lower your vehicle without losing the daily comfort of your stock suspension, go with lowering springs. Lowering springs also offer a lower price point than coilovers but do not give you as much performance. Let's break down the pros and cons of each option.
Depending on what coilovers you choose, you may even get more adjustment than that. If you find yourself going to the track frequently, it might be worth your investment to get into a more expensive and more advanced coilover. Aside from just performance, coilovers will allow your vehicle to sit a lot lower than lowering springs making it the perfect way to get a more aggressive fitment.
MaXpeedingRods has been engaged in the research of overseas racing products and culture for decades. If you are looking for coilovers, you have landed at the right place. On the basis of your vehicle make and model, you can choose from a plethora of automotive maintenance and accessories.
The dilemma most car owners face is between lowering springs and coilovers. Which is better? The answer to that question depends on your needs. Do you want to lower the ride height? Or, do you want a height adjustable car? Again, do you want your shocks to have rebound and compression adjustment?
Coilovers solve most of the problems lowering springs present. For starters, the coil spring and the strut are made to perfectly fit each other. That alone improves handling significantly. Moreover, understanding coilovers allows for height adjustments and improves the rebound on the shock. 781b155fdc