Altitude and Attitude Adjustment

No matter what you drive, your vehicle’s development engineers were faced with considerations that ultimately affected its performance – bumper heights, snow chain clearance and the number of people the vehicle was designed to carry. To accommodate all of those variables, your car’s suspension had to be tuned for average conditions, acceleration, braking and cornering. But if you’re not average, you may want to tune your vehicle to better match your driving style.

If you want the performance look and feel as you cruise the streets and go through the corners, then springs can provide the more aggressive appearance and more sure-footed handling that will help even the world’s finest automobiles perform even better.

Without a doubt, there is no more cost-effective way to enhance a vehicle’s performance and make it look more distinctive than a set of wheels and tires. However, the additional cornering and stopping traction they provide may be limited by the ability of the vehicle’s stock suspension to manage all of the increased traction. So in order to get more performance out of high performance tires, a suspension upgrade may be beneficial.

The first step is to lower the vehicle and increase its spring rate. Caution: Modifying a vehicle’s original springs almost always ends with unsatisfactory results. Cutting off coils or collapsing stock springs with heat may adversely affect the spring rate, multiply internal stresses and prevent them from fitting the vehicle’s suspension correctly. Properly engineered aftermarket sport springs are not only designed to fit the vehicle, but will enhance its appearance and performance at the same time.

Vehicle appearance is improved in two ways. Sport springs will typically lower vehicles to give them a more aggressive stance and reduce the vehicle’s fenderwell gap (the distance between the top of the tire and the edge of the wheelwell). When the vehicle is viewed from the side, the wheel and tire will appear to properly "fill in" the wheelwell. But when the vehicle shows fender well gap, it may look out of proportion and even create the illusion that the vehicle has been "lifted." Sport springs complete the vehicle’s appearance by lowering the vehicle and reducing fenderwell gap.

Vehicle performance is also improved by sport springs in two ways: they reduce ride height and have higher spring rates that are carefully tuned to the vehicle. This ensures sufficient load capacity and lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity for added stability. It also improves the vehicle’s responsiveness by reducing body movement, allowing the tires to function more effectively when performing at their limits.

Another solution is a complete coil-over system that combines springs and shocks along with an adjustable perch to support the spring. This set-up is most like a race set-up in that it allows tuning of the vehicle through ride height adjustment.

Eibach and H&R are two of the world’s leading spring manufacturers. They supply everyone from casual driving enthusiasts to professional racing teams. Their products are built to the highest standards and meet Germany’s tough TUV standards.

For most cars the Tire Rack offers Eibach and H&R sport springs in two versions. The Tire Rack offers Eibach Pro-Kit and Sportline springs, as well as H&R Sport and Race springs. Give us a call or visit our suspension section. We can help you make your vehicle anything but average!

© 2012 Tire Rack


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