TECH > AFTERMARKET WHEELS BASICS  
   

 





 
Aftermarket Suspension Basics
Ask yourself some questions and come up with the honest answers.

 

 

Useful Links

General Description from HowStuffWorks
Suspension bible
 

 

 

 

 

Introduction & General Notes


Accurately and honestly categorize yourself:

a. I want to improve their carís appearance.

  • I want to lower my vehicle a little to improve the looks and even out the wheel gap.
  • I want to lower my vehicle a lot to remove the wheel gap and/or tuck my wheels.

b. I want to improve my carís handling ability.

  • I want to improve my vehicle a little to improve the handling for spirited driving (limited budget owners, novice to advanced racers)
  • I want to improve my vehicle a lot to improve the handling (advanced to expert racers)

 

Suspension components are all about compromise. Here are the main points of suspension modification:

Good looks (even gap / low drop)
Ride quality (not too stiff)
Performance (maximizing handling)


Realize that you will probably only get two picks from this list and the third will suffer.

 

Many spring or strut companies will say that their product(s) will lower your vehicle X inches or XX millimeters; take that with a grain of salt. Each vehicle, though factory made, has its own unique configurations that will change the output of an aftermarket suspension.

Always, always, always get an alignment! Wait a few days or up to a week for the suspension to "settle" in nice and tight. Then follow the above listed steps to get a proper alignment. No matter how careful you were with your installation, you should NEVER swap out major suspension components without getting an alignment. More than one person has taken this shortcut only to realize they need new tires due to horrible wear within two weeks.

 

Sources:
Suspension bible
Unabomber @ NASIOC Forums