Should you choose lowering springs, coilovers or sport suspension?
General information on lowering of cars
No matter how you choose to lower your car – be it with coilovers, a sport suspension kit or lowering springs, then you will get the following benefits:
How much increased safety and improved fuel economy you achieve by lowering your car depends not only on the type of product you lower your car with, but also the brand you choose when you lower your car. More on this further down in the buying guide.
Quick overview of benefits of the different products
Sport suspension kits
If you want to lower your car - or if your old springs are broken and you need new ones - then lowering kits are a good choice.
When buying lowering springs - or a complete lowering kit - you can mount them directly on the car's standard shock absorbers.
In case you have a broken spring, you always change at least two springs – one on each side. This is to achieve even lowering on the axles. If you only need to buy two lowering springs, we still recommend that you find out what the price is for a complete lowering kit, as it will often be cheaper to buy a complete kit, rather than buying the springs individually.
Advantages of lowering springs
Price, quality & the brands behind
At Cheap Coilovers we carry several different types of lowering kits and springs.
At this moment you might be thinking:
Well, isn't a spring just a spring?
To that question, there's only one answer – and that is:
No! A spring is definitely not just a spring.
There is a big difference in what quality you can expect from the different springs and what their characteristics are. Quality, features and price are unmistakably linked.
Lowering kits come in very different price ranges, and we review the different classes below.
In the low-end of the scale, we have a brand like TA Technix (but also brands like FK, Jom, Mac Johns and G-MAXX), who produce lowering kits made of the absolute cheapest steel. This steel is twisted to form a spring. Once the spring is formed, it's painted with the cheapest kind of paint that they're able to find at the time of the production.
Thus, it's important to be aware of the fact that, when buying products from TA Technix (and brands like it), the main purpose is not that driving comfort, handling and grip should be top of the line. No, the main purpose with lowering kits from TA Technix, Tuningart, FK etc., is that the price should be low, low, low.
In the middle class you'll find products like AP, ST and Vogtland. These three brands manufacture lowering kits which are made of steel in a really good quality. And with a coating (paint) that's also in a really good quality, which ensures optimal corrosion protection for the steel.
If you buy a lowering kit manufactured by one of these three brands, then you're sure to achieve great comfort, great handling and great road grip.
Lowering sets in this price range offer springs with good features without the price destroying your budget.
In the high-end of the scale you'll find lowering springs from Eibach and H&R. These are the two leading manufacturers within lowering springs - not just in Europe or America alone, but worldwide.
In relation to H&R and Eibach, it is important to mention that technology is an important factor during production. The two manufacturers process the steel, so that the finished springs co-operate in the best possible way with the car's original characteristics. The springs from H&R and Eibach are produced exclusively from the very best steel and are also exclusively covered with the very best coating.
During production, the springs are divided into three areas where each area is designed to handle different pressures. And that's precisely why springs from H&R and Eibach provide the absolute best characteristics. Which is also the reason why major car manufacturers like Audi, BMW and VW use these springs in their OEM production line.
It is different from manufacturer to manufacturer, which lowering height their lowering kit is designed to be able to lower.
A lowering height of 30-40 mm is the most commonly used lowering height. The reason is that it is in this area the best results are achieved - i.e. if you choose to only mount springs. If your car has already been lowered from the factory (as is the case with Audi S-Line models that are factory-lowered 15-20 mm), please note that the factory lowering should be deducted from the lowering height indicated on the product.
Extreme lowering height
If you wish to lower your car more than the most used 40 mm lowering height, as stated above, please pay particular attention to the fact that the lowering will result in increased pressure on your car's standard shock absorbers, which will increase the risk of shock absorbers becoming permanently damaged. Lowering over 40 mm should therefore be done with a sport suspension kit, rather than only using springs. Read more about sport suspensions and features for these below.
A sport suspension kit is also called a complete undercarriage, and consists of both suspension springs and shock absorbers.
Advantages of a sport suspension kit/complete undercarriage
When changing both springs and shock absorbers on all four axles, a complete undercarriage / sport suspension kit is a very good solution.
When you select this type of undercarriage, you will get shock absorbers that are tuned to the increased spring rate that will occur due to the use of lowering springs. You will therefore not experience increased pressure on your car's shock absorbers as shock absorbers and springs are perfectly tuned to each other.
By choosing a sport suspension kit, you can safely lower your car and be absolutely sure that everything is aligned 100% with each other.
Advantages of choosing a complete suspension kit
Is it more difficult to mount sport suspension kits than springs?
The process of mounting a complete undercarriage is rarely much greater than changing the springs of your car. In the vast majority of cases, you will still need to remove shock absorbers and springs in order to properly perform the installation.
Price, quality & the brands behind
We carry suspension kits in several price ranges and - as it was with lowering springs - quality, features and price are unmistakably linked.
As it was with the lowering springs, TA Technix is again to be found in the low-end of the product range. You'll be able to find a TA Technix (or other low-end brand) sport suspension kit at around a quarter of the price of a standard sport suspension kit.
As mentioned in the section on lowering springs, it is important that you are aware of what you can expect from a product from TA Technix, FK, Jom, Mac Johns and G-MAXX. Therefore, you should not expect a product that gives you optimum comfort and improved driving performance. No, what you can expect from a product like TA Technix is that your car is lowered and will look cool.
In the middle class you'll find the same manufacturers of sport suspension kits, as the ones we mentioned in the section on lowering springs, i.e. AP, ST and Vogtland. Middle-class manufacturers make sports cars of very good quality, where you can expect good driving skills, good comfort and nice lowering.
In the middle class, we highly recommend Vogtland products as you get much value for your money when it comes to comfort, driving and safety.
In the high-end we'll find H&R, Bilstein and Eibach. It is especially worth noting that Bilstein and Eibach make some of the absolute best sport suspension kits in the world. Especially the B12 model which is a collaboration between the two top-class manufacturers, Eibach and Bilstein, is extremely popular.
If you're the kind of person that wants the very best equipment, when you're lowering your car, then you definitely need to consider lowering your car with coilovers.
With coilovers you can adjust the height by means of a thread.
For some coilovers it will also be possible to adjust the stiffness of the undercarriage.
With coilovers everything is closely adapted to each other and therefore, it is also possible to achieve completely formidable driving qualities. This is both within 'normal' driving, but also - and in particular - when driving races. Professional race car drivers always use coilovers. One of the reasons is that it should always be possible to adjust the undercarriage accordring to the drivers wishes.
With coilovers mounted on your car, you have the option of the outer edge of the tire to follow the front and rear edge of the car. In short, when you choose coilovers, you have the ability to design you car according to your exact wishes.
Two different types of coilovers
For most people height adjustable coilovers will suffice – typically if you're just using your car for regular everyday driving and your primary wish is to be able to adjust the height of the car.
If you choose to instead invest in height and damping adjustable coilovers, then it's an absolute advantage to have a lot of experience in motorsport – this is to make sure, that you get the optimum out of the coilover kit.
A case where we'd recommend height and damping adjustable coilovers could be if you use your car for everyday driving but also like to participate in trackday races. In a case like this, it'll be an advantage with coilovers that are both height and damping adjustable, since you'll then be able to set the height of your car depending on how you want to use the car on the specific day.
Advantages of coilovers
Price, quality & the brands behind
As with sport suspensions and lowering kits, there are also different price ranges within coilovers. There's not much difference between the price ranges in coilovers and the price ranges of lowering kits and sport suspension. But we'll briefly review them anyway.
With the risk of repeating ourselves, you will once again find TA TechnixWith the risk of repeating ourselves, you will once again find TA Technix in the low-end of the coilover product range. And as mentioned before, the greatest strength of products from TA Technix is the extremely cheap price. As with lowering kits and suspension kits, it is not driving comfort or improved handling that are key selling points with brands like this. The lack of driving comfort is also what we receive by far the most complaints regarding TA Technix, FK, Jom, Mac Johns and G-MAXX - far more than if you choose middle class or high-end coilovers.
In the middle class, you'll find (from the lower middle class upwards) AP, ST, Vogtland and Eibach. Especially with Vogtland you get really good value for money.
In the high-end of the coilover product range you'll find Bilstein, H&R and KW. These three different manufacturers produce their coilovers a bit differently. Bilstein and H∧R make monotube coilovers, whereas KW make twintube coilovers. Which type of coilovers you should choose, depends a great deal on your own temperament.
The difference between Monotube and Twintube
You can see the difference between twintube and monotube explained in the video here:
Mounting springs, coilovers & suspension kits
When buying coilovers, sport suspensions or lowering springs, there's one thing in particular that's worth noticing:
For your own and others' safety, a suspension kit, coilovers or springs must be fitted by professionals - no matter the type of product. Mounting of suspension kits, coilovers and springs requires good experience and correct equipment.
When mounting coilovers, suspension kits and lowering springs, it is important that your car is 4-point measured to ensure good grip. The reason is that the car's camper angle is changed and if the var is not 4-point measured - to 100 % precision - then it's your own and others safety you're putting at risk. And at worst it can be fatal.