View Full Version : Is lowering-for-looks worth it?
06-04-2000, 07:52 PM
I have a car and I'm not a racer but I love the look of a lowered car. I would really like to get performance shocks and springs. But I've heard so many horror stories about cars literally being dragged along the road. Is it really worth it if I'm doing it only for the looks? Will I mess up my car? If I do end up doing it how much is too much? And Can somebody please explain in detail what Sway/Strut bars are and what they do?
06-04-2000, 08:08 PM
depends on the car. for example i would never lower a civic, but i would if i had a car that at least looked like it could go fast or else it looks cheesy
06-04-2000, 08:25 PM
What car do you have?
[This message has been edited by Renski (edited 06-04-2000).]
Well, if you really like it for the looks, you can lower practically any car if you do it correctly. Cutting and/or heating your springs isn't the way to go. You definitely want to get performance springs. Cutting really screws with the handling traits of your vehicle. Heating, even when it's heat treated after causes the springs to become very weak. I've seen em, not a pretty sight.
Also, you have to match your springs with your shocks. You want to get shocks/struts that match the stiffness of the springs. If you use your stok shocks/struts, they'll tend to wear out rather quickly and your car will get bouncy (you've probably seen this a lot with lowered cars, especially hondas on the highway). If you decide to get a good set of adjustable shocks, this well cure that problem. Simply set it at the right level of stiffness. I personally suggest the KYB AGX if they make them for your car. They are great in terms of performance for the cost.
Sway bars are below the vehicle, what they do is keep the vehicle square with the road, so that when you corner, the vehicle does not lean to the outside corner. This tends to increase the agregate contact patch of all 4 tires, giving you more cornering grip. It also makes for an easier to control turn AT THE LOWER LEVELS OF GRIP. However, since they increase the cornering potential of your vehicle, as you start to push those limits, the transition between stick (in control, tires making little or no noise) and slide (out of control, tires making high pitched squeeling or rubbing noise) is much more abrupt.
Strut bars are bars that connect the upper strut towers (the top of your shocks/struts)). Some are connected in 3 points (strut tower to chassis to strut tower). What this does is stiffen up your chassis. Your chassis stiffness is the base on which everything else is built. If you have a stiff chassis, everything else you do to your vehicle handling wise makes a bigger difference. If your chassis is flexible, many times, other improvements do not get you the entire desired effect.
06-04-2000, 09:47 PM
Apex is the man!!!!
not only does he bring us good deals, he also gives us car advice.
06-04-2000, 10:23 PM
Apex sure knows his cars! http://www.gotapex.com/ubb/smile.gif
06-04-2000, 10:30 PM
Okay. The look is up to you. What I can tell you is that droping a car does add a performance aspect in that your car will corner harded. A side note though is that droping you car will change the quality of the ride. For example Eibach tends to make springs which have a soft compression. This makes there ride somewhat hard. Sprint makes adequate springs but they tend to suffer at high speeds. Basically what you want to do is go with some hard springs and complemente them with adjustable gas shocks. This will allow you to set the level of the drop, its compression which in turn will give you a smoother ride.
Rebeljd www.streetracing.org (http://www.streetracing.org)
06-05-2000, 02:04 AM
Lowering your car has its advantage/disadvantages. You have to weigh it out yourself. First of all, if you're going to do it, do it right. Like Apex said, get performance lowering springs and shocks. It WILL save you money in the long run. On one hand, you will have a stiffer ride, better looks and handling, A FUN CAR. On the other hand, you will sacrafice luxury for sporty because the ride will be somewhat more harsh. Noise will also increase. You'll feel every bump or crack on the road. Your camber will be off, which means your tires will wear out faster. Then you'll have to get a camber correction kit (again, if you're gonna do it, do it right). Also, as the "fun-factor" increases, the tire wear also increases =) Well, it's up to you to look at all these ups and downs and decide. Hope this help a bit http://www.gotapex.com/ubb/smile.gif
06-06-2000, 12:33 AM
Yea, don't skimp on anything. The tires are one of the most important pieces of equipment on your car. If you have a nice a$$ suspension with $hitty tires, your car won't handle any better.
06-06-2000, 11:08 AM
I agree with everyone here. If you're going to lower your car, do it right. Make sure you get at least the cambers and shocks. Don't forget that the bumps on the road can also take your wheels off alignment more severly when lowered.
what you want to look for is a constant rate spring, it will perform much better on your car. if you're interested in having a car that really handles well you might consider adjustable shocks, say by koni. they have a few different models and also offer reconditioned shocks at a very reasonable price. reconditioned meaning that they lost their "spring" and were refilled, new bushings and hardware are added, and no bent parts or damaged parts are sent back out, they do not recondition shocks that were in an accident or anything.
06-07-2000, 09:33 AM
I have a Civic 4dr Ex 5spd.
I is lowered for twisty road of SoCal.
Drop it 1.5, any lower and it would suc.
I have neuspeed springs/tokico shocks & struts.
Gotta love the 25-35mph cornering.
06-07-2000, 07:01 PM
wow! I forgot I posted this topic for a couple of days and when I got back to it, there are so many replies! This forum is great! Thanks for all your help. Especially Apex. My respect for you grows day by day. HAHA. Anyways this is great! I have a '94 Prelude. And I think the "Fun factor is great" But after a certain age bracket, the women get over the "be my wild hunk" attitude and appreciate the luxury of a "comfortably driven home" gentleman. No that that's all I drive for,=) but I heavily weigh the ride quality also that's all. So I'll probably lower the car a slight bit but use quality performance parts and "do it right." One thing I couldn't understand is the phrase "stiff ride." Some people seemed to say that's good and some not... Does stiff mean comfortable or not? And how much would I expect to have to pay to "do it right?" With all the shocks, springs, camber, etc....? Once again I am excited to wait for all your help!
Well, if you want to keep a rather cushy ride, it's going to be rather difficult. Your absolute best bet is to either use coilovers (ie. Ground Control), or custom coiled Eibach's. However, Suspension Technique's are a pretty good compromise for the Prelude, especially for the cost. They'll give you about a 1.4-1.6" drop and are progressive, so you'll retain much of your ride softness. In terms of shocks to go with them, Koni's are probably your best bet. Tokico's adjust for both rebound and compression, but even at the same stiffness, tend to FEEL stiffer than Koni's. I believe it has to do with the valving. The KYB AGX are overall a better shock (especially for the money), but I believe the ride harshness will be pretty close to the Tokico's. The advantage of the AGX is the overall wheel control. This is actually a very high end shock/strut for a low cost.
In terms of installation, do NOT pay a lot of money. Honda struts/springs are VERY easy to replace. My friends have cut it all the way down to about 45 minutes to replace all 4, and this is without benefit of a lift. It should take a shop less than 1.5 hours at the very most.
06-08-2000, 05:26 AM
wow.... so here's the big question. Where's a good place to find these parts. Are online stores reliable? Or should I check out local shops? Any stores you people recommend? (If it helps at all I live in the SF Bay area). Bring it on people!
06-08-2000, 01:21 PM
I think the only online place i'd trust is NOPI, dunno about any other sites though...
BTW, they're located on the east coast though... shipping might be a grip. It'd probably be better if you buy from a dealer near you.
There are a lot of online places that are reasonably reliable. Just do a search for what specifically you want. SF should also have a large number of shops. I got my little sister's Eibach Speedtech springs for her 96 Eclipse GS-T there ($90, slightly used, definitely worth it).
06-09-2000, 03:30 AM
I can help you out with some cheap parts. I assume you're from berkeley? I'm in the bay area too (Fremont, ~25min from berk). Well if u need any help feel free to email me at [email protected]
06-09-2000, 03:34 AM
Funny you should mention, Apex. I got my older sister's 96 Eclipse GS-T springs for $90 also, slightly used. Don't tell me your sis's eclipse is also white!
Black, naturally. http://www.gotapex.com/ubb/wink.gif
06-11-2000, 11:40 PM
I think ever bone car stock is way too high. With the exception of SUV's, i think every car should be lowered a couple of inches.
06-12-2000, 12:03 AM
Trust me,you don't want to lower your vehicle.It will make it ride like sh!t.I tried to lower my 2000 Silverado and I got bounced to death in it.I had to raise it back up.
06-12-2000, 01:32 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pdizog:
I think ever bone car stock is way too high. With the exception of SUV's, i think every car should be lowered a couple of inches. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I think that too somtimes, but I then remember I use my car in the snow, where I might need tire chains..and the car is already low enough that putting on chains is a total PITA. Not to mention, the underside of the car scratches once in a while on speed bumps and entrances. x_X
06-12-2000, 01:34 AM
If you're in the LA/OC area try South County Autosports (SCA). I've had them do all kinds of stuff to my car from lowering, headlight replacement, clutch upgrade, rims, etc. The guys that run the shop know their sh*t, and they make sure the customer is always happy. Their prices on parts aren't always the best, but you could always buy the parts and ask them to install them. If you ask them to do bulk buys for you and your friends they can do that.
They even went out of their way to import Mondeo Koni springs for my Contour SVT because I got in a group of 6 people to order.
I'll try to find their website. And they work on everything from Civics to BMWs from what I can tell, but you should check before driving down.
Ço£o§§ü§ - yeah you can read into it...
06-12-2000, 04:24 PM
Guess it's a matter of taste. Personally, I always drive in a tired state as I'm never getting enough sleep from frickin med school. A bumpy ride is a plus.
I love turning interchanges at 30 or more mph above the posted speed and feeling my intestines pushed into the bottom of the seat. My passengers always hate it, but I just flat out love it!
Just don't lower it too much or you worry about driveways, hitting curbs when parking, going over lane markers and such http://www.gotapex.com/ubb/smile.gif
Ço£o§§ü§ - yeah you can read into it...
Bouncy just means your shocks are inadequate for your spring rate.
06-12-2000, 05:02 PM
It wont matter Apex...if you change the way a car sits,,it will never ride as good as the way it was enginered for.
06-13-2000, 02:02 AM
Naw, I got the whole deal worked on in my SVT. Aluminun Tower strut braces, silicone bushings all over the place, shocks upgraded, camber adjusted, battery moved to rear of car, no audio equipment, and other gizmos and changes.
I guess it's hard to keep the car on the ground when you're near take off speed. Most Piper Cesnas could take off at the speeds I've hit haha http://www.gotapex.com/ubb/smile.gif
My favorite part of driving this car is going into a turn and then spinning out the tail while pulling hard (hard to do in this FWD car). Just enough traction to finish the turn, but enough screeching to feel yourself sliding at the envelope.
I need to ditch cars and get into planes!
Ço£o§§ü§ - yeah you can read into it...
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>lower my 2000 Silverado and I got bounced to death in it<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I just lowered my 1990 Silverado about two weeks ago, and it rides great.
-So I sez to him, getch yer own monkey.
06-14-2000, 08:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gh0st-In-The-Machine:
It wont matter Apex...if you change the way a car sits,,it will never ride as good as the way it was enginered for.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
so not true. i'm not an expert at lowering (i hate the idea), but i have and have driven vehicles that are raised that ride better then stock. With good suspension mods you will be all set either way you go.
06-15-2000, 06:55 PM
If there is one place i would NOT order from online it would be NOPI. I have ordered from them before and it is not pretty plus they overcharge like mad. with just a little searchin round the web u can find much better deals. here are a few i can think of off the top of my head:
and this one i think is run by a fellow member of gotapex: www.tuning-garage.com (http://www.tuning-garage.com) i havent really tried it out yet but he has good products plus u get a discount if your from this board!
06-15-2000, 07:06 PM
Mine is a 1 ton though
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.12 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.