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Lowering Suspension - pro's / con's

BB3Lions

Distinguished Member
I saw an a5 pass by with lowered suspension, looked tasty!

Got me thinking, and a quick research say's:

Advantages?

  • Improved aerodynamics.
  • Improved handling and traction.
  • Reduced risk of rollover.
  • Enhanced comfort.

Disadvantages?

  • Increased bottoming out.
  • Unevenness in the tire wear.
  • Conflict with other systems and component

Anybody got any advice?
 

un1eash

Distinguished Member
If we're just talking lowering springs then I wouldn't bother as the only thing you may improve on is handling as you lower the centre of gravity.
To do it properly including coilovers and having it setup your into 4 figures and on something like an A5 which I take it won't see a track its not worth it unless your into your modding and not doing it just for looks.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Circa £1400 suspension upgrade


3740C5D3-4BD2-4FE5-81CA-091586BDA6FE_zpse3nhtjjq.jpg
 

Drd

Well-known Member
Looks lovely, especially the wheels, but on it's own you'd be hard pushed to spot any suspension changes.
 

lovegroova

Well-known Member
My thoughts:

Advantages?

  • Improved aerodynamics. Unlikely to be any significant difference, and it may be worse.
  • Improved handling and traction. Again, it depends, less suspension travel means that you will have worse traction on a bumpy surface
  • Reduced risk of rollover. Maybe, but hardly worth thinking about these days.
  • Enhanced comfort. Again, debatable, it's more likely to be worse due to reduced suspension travel, but if you spend a fortune on dampers and springs, you might improve it

Disadvantages?
  • Increased bottoming out. Yup
  • Unevenness in the tire wear. Not at all, provided you get the alignment reset correctly
  • Conflict with other systems and component. Possibly
Having fitted adjustable Bilsteins to my old S2000 (mostly because the car was getting on a bit) the adjustablility was great for switching between track days and the road. On a barge like on an A5, you'll most likely make it worse.

Then again, if you want to make it worse, just spec the S-Line suspension (or M-Sport if you have a BMW).
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Those mountains and that car park looks very familiar....Mine wasn't as slammed, you must have had some rubbing front/rear looking at the wheel arch gaps (lack off ;)).

15364847949_efecb86abd_h.jpg

No rubbing, but it's close at the rear. However, even with full tank of fuel, a boot full of baggage and going round the hairpins........no rubbing :D
 

kryton85

Active Member
I've had lots of cars I've modified suspension on including going up & down (current jeep has lift kit). What I have taken from the experiences is don't go cheap or just springs as you will regret it & ground out easier on lowering. Had issues with all teins rusting & seals leaking quickly. Also worth taking into account the distance between your from wheel & the end of the bumper as some cars can be lowered more than others without catching. Example, had a Galant VR4 a while back that was only dropped 30mm but front overhang was huge. Used to scrub in a multi-storey that the M5 would get out of dropped 40mm due to a more blunt front end.
 

AceFactor

Active Member
As it's already been said, only worth doing it properly. Uksaabs recommended a full Bilstein setup with shocks and sport/fast road springs. Kept a generally nice ride comfort but no adjustments like a coilover kit
 

DubSteve68

Standard Member
How low do you need to go, and are you driving sensibly on UK roads or are you a trackday nutter? Assuming your car has decent handling characteristics to begin with you don't need to spend a fortune for normal road use.

I had a front spring on my Leon fail a couple of weeks ago (went with a hell of a bang) and as I had a set of new Eibach springs I'd bought ages ago it looked the time to put them had finally come. On a stock non-"sports" Leon the drop of the Eibach Pro-Kit is specified as 30mm but the actual drop on Cupra models is around 10-15mm - hardly noticeable to the casual observer. The car is now firmer, but not harsh in any way, cornering is distinctly improved with a reduction in roll, and pitching under braking is reduced. I bought the kit new from a German eBay seller a while back for around £110 inc shipping - about the same price as a pair of genuine standard front springs from Seat.

So, now I have a car that feels nicer - and safer - to drive, it DOESN'T bottom out and it can negotiate speed bumps as it could before, and it doesn't ground itself on kerbs. Best of all it looks "right", the wheels sit perfectly in the arches and it doesn't draw unwanted attention.

Everyone will have a slightly different take on the subject, but if you're simply wanting a better ride and don't want to spend a fortune then this is a sensible route to take. If you drive on normal UK roads and like a degree of comfort (and isolation from road noise) you'll want to avoid coilovers. Sounds good to your mates but for a daily driver they're too harsh on less than perfect roads. My local garage fitted the springs to new Sachs OEM struts for £100 labour, inc tracking.
 
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lovegroova

Well-known Member
H If you drive on normal UK roads and like a degree of comfort (and isolation from road noise) you'll want to avoid coilovers. Sounds good to your mates but for a daily driver they're too harsh on less than perfect roads.
Coilovers can be more comfortable than the OEM setup, but you probably have to spend significant money to achieve this. This was certainly the case with my adjustable Bilsteins (on the right settings). On the track settings it was a lot more uncomfortable.
 

DubSteve68

Standard Member
Coilovers can be more comfortable than the OEM setup, but you probably have to spend significant money to achieve this. This was certainly the case with my adjustable Bilsteins (on the right settings). On the track settings it was a lot more uncomfortable.

Coilovers more comfortable than OEM?

Tuning suspension is always a tradeoff between comfort (think lush compliant suspension that mops up potholes but limits enthusiastic driving) and handling (think reduced cornering roll etc., but transmits lots of road noise). You're not going to take a standard car and improve the comfort by fitting coilovers, and I've never heard anyone suggest that before. Unless you've got active suspension one will always come at the expense of the other, and for a normal road car the trick is finding the correct balance.

On the MkII Golf scene everyone I know with coilovers (and we're talking about enthusiasts fitting expensive kits) either lives with a ride that is much firmer or they use their car purely for trackdays. I've also know several others who couldn't live with the harshness and went back to standard struts or struts with adjustable damping.

And, you're missing the point of my response, namely that sensible, modest lowering that genuinely benefits a standard car can be done without costing a fortune - you yourself suggested spending significant amounts of money to try to achieve greater comfort with coilovers.
 

lovegroova

Well-known Member
Like I said already, my S2000 on relatively expensive Bilstein PSS9s with the adjusters towards the softer end of things was more comfortable than the OEM set up.

With the adjusters set to stiff, it was less comfortable than the OEM set up (but better for track days).

Quite simple, really.

Reducing suspension travel by fitting lowering springs (and keeping OEM dampers) is not going to help ride quality on bumpy roads. On smooth stuff there will be no difference.
 

kryton85

Active Member
I've had coilovers with adjustable firmness (both electronic & with a wrench) that were perfectly fine. Even on their softest, were still more harsh than oem but not far off. As my toys only average 1000 miles per year, needless to say I never adjusted to that end of the scale after initial setup but comfort is certainly achievable if you're willing to chuck the money at it
 

Rob8980

Well-known Member
Just remember if you do decide to lower your car, you need to inform your insurance company, and it may increase your premium. May be worth finding out by how much first.
 
D

Deleted member 27989

Guest
I would save the money, trade it in and get one with factory adjustable suspension. Can't remember what Audi calls it nowadays. Is it Magnetic Ride or something like that?

The airmatic we had on our GLS AMG was hilarious. The car was hissing and puffing and constantly adjusting itself to keep it as flat as possible :) And at high speed it got lower and lower and lower. Never forgot that in that big beast we had to look up to a Range Rover when overtaking it. Likewise when parked it would lower after a while and settle down.

Our current GLC AMG is similar in many way but as it is much smaller the extremes aren't as noticeble. But again fun when overtaking another as we are so low down :)
 

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