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Performance Specialists Since 1963

IPD Suspension Series: Lowering Springs

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - Megan Russell - Editor: Chris Delano

The best way to improve the look of your car while enhancing the handling and performance is by lowering your vehicles ride height with a set of lowering springs, or sometimes called, sport springs. In this article we will go over why you should buy lowering springs, the benefits, the myths and the overall performance.

Firstly, let's talk about the performance logistics. When you lower your vehicle's center of gravity you decrease body roll and thusly help aid in keeping all four tires planted through cornering. If you are building a vehicle for power, you want that power to translate to the best handling and traction possible. By improving the aerodynamics there will be less air traveling underneath the vehicle.  You will have less resistance on the car and more tire contact with the road, translating to more control of your vehicle. Body roll can be controlled by many suspension pieces, however, lowering springs are the one component that will radically change the suspension geometry as well as the overall appearance of your vehicle.

Check out our series on suspension upgrades here:

https://www.ipdusa.com/news.asp

We like to think that lowering your car is also a added benefit to the aesthetics of the vehicle itself. Most lowering spring kits are between .5” to 2” at the most extreme. Most factory suspension setups on passenger cars have a wheel gap anywhere between 2” to 3” depending on the wheel and tire height as well. Lowering your car a half inch to an inch and a half is not enough to ruin your fenders or hurt your stock suspension. Most manufacturers including IPD, have built their lowering springs to work with stock suspension without having to upgrade every component to make up for the suspension drop.

Check out how to measure your vehicle's suspension height here:

https://www.ipdusa.com/techtips/10027/ride-height-measurement?crumbs=P0,P4919
 

Now onto the myths.

 

    1. Lowering springs will make my ride feel more harsh.

 

False.

Most lowering spring sets, like IPD’s lowering springs, are designed to maintain most of your car's factory suspension travel distance and are about 15% higher in spring rate design to preserve ride quality. You will have a harsher ride from stiffer shocks, otherwise known as HD models.  

 

    2. If I buy lowering springs, I need to upgrade my shocks.

 

          False.

          Although it does help with handling in performance driving, upgrading your shocks with your springs is not inherently necessary. If you are putting lowering springs on a much older vehicle with factory suspension, you might want to check the health of your shocks before putting on lowering springs but it is not necessary as lowering springs are built by most manufacturers with stock shocks in mind.

   

   3.  Lowering springs will make my car too low and unpractical for daily driving.

 

          False.

Although we do love watching cars creep over speed bumps, we can confirm that 99% of cars with factory suspension on lowering springs will not see enough of a dramatic drop in their suspension worthy of crawling over everyday obstacles. This is usually saved for people running more aggressive suspension setups, such as coilovers. High quality lowering springs, such as IPD’s springs are strength tested by heavy duty compression, above the range of normal passenger vehicle load, to ensure that the springs do not have excess give or sag.

 

   5.  I will need to buy a camber kit and adjustable suspension to run lowering springs.

 

          False, but sometimes true.

 Hear us out, most vehicles will not require any adjustable suspension or a camber kit to be lowered the minimal amount that lowering springs provide. However, there are some models of cars that do require additional suspension components. IPD springs do not require additional suspension components to be ran properly.  

 

   6.  If I use lowering springs, my car will have excess camber.

 

          False.

 With a minimal drop between .5” and 2.0” on most passenger vehicles, you will not get additional camber or excessive camber wear.

 Fun Fact: Most “camber wear” is actually Toe Wear and this is caused by a bad alignment. We always suggest having your alignment checked after any suspension work is done to your vehicle. Never “eyebal” your alignment, an alignment is not something you ever want to cheap out on.

 

Overall, lowering springs should be a benefit for daily driving handling as well as performance driving applications. When all four tires are planted on the road and your vehicle's center of gravity is hugging the road, you are safer.

 

IPD Volvo makes lowering springs for many makes and models of Volvo, and we also sell aftermarket brands such as H&R and Eibach. Check out your options here:

https://www.ipdusa.com/catalog.asp?numRecordPosition=0&searchwords=lowering%20spring

 

And, as always, if you have any questions about lowering springs on your Volvo, please contact our team of Volvo experts today!

 

800-444-6473

 

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