Pros and Cons of Lowering Spring Conversion - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Pros and Cons of Lowering Spring Conversion

I had a hard time finding articles specifically addressing our cars. I know about the, it makes these cars look cool, aspect, the lower center of gravity effect on handling.

But what, if any, are the negatives? I know to watch out for curbs and such.

What is the best size spring for lowering?

Thanks for responding. Back in the 1950s I remember people were heating spring to lower cars.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 04:53 PM
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Go Vogtland or Eibach. By size I guess you mean drop amount. Vogtlands come in 1.6 and 1.0" drop sizes. I don't know much about the Eibachs, IMHO Vogtland is the best.

Cons are a harsher ride - you trade comfort for performance. You'll need an alignment after they're installed and that's about it. You'll want to replace the shocks with something firmer. There really is no point in putting performance springs on a car without performance shocks IMHO.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 05:25 PM
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I don't really think there's a "best", as long as the specs fit your desires. Me I way prefer my cut Tokicos to Eibachs(I utterly hate the way those ride). Vogtland has the prettiest color

Negatives other than firmness(which I don't consider negative) and scraping, which is inevitable with any drop over an inch, is really that you're close to the ground and these cars in relation to most 2016 era CUV/SUVs infesting the roads out there, so if you have a hard time seeing around other cars in traffic now, it'll only get worse, but you'll look cool so who cares .
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 05:47 PM
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Just read this thread for all you want to know about springs.

http://forums.tccoa.com/44-suspensio...ront-rear.html
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 08:01 PM
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On the cons list...

Depending on how low you go, scraping over speed bumps/surface irregularities can happen more often. You lose wheel clearance to the top of the fenderwell, but in most cases that's not a big deal. Hasn't been an issue on my 18x9 wheels yet.

I am running Eibachs and I like them. It is more firm than stock, but still a very comfortable ride even with my 255/40/18 tires and KYB GR-2 shocks. I plan to upgrade to Tokiko Blues eventually.

From what I hear, the Vogtland springs are the superior choice for cornering ability, but have a harsher ride than the Eibachs. From my understanding, the eibachs are out of production for our cars.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 06:04 AM
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One thing to take in to account is condition of the roads. When I lived in GA I had no problems with my 1.5" Eibachs, now in AR the roads are so poorly maintained I scrape going down State Highways (ruts from lack of resurfacing or not properly done job to begin with).
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowez View Post
One thing to take in to account is condition of the roads. When I lived in GA I had no problems with my 1.5" Eibachs, now in AR the roads are so poorly maintained I scrape going down State Highways (ruts from lack of resurfacing or not properly done job to begin with).
Northern MN isn't much different. I have to drive all over the road to avoid frost heaves, pot holes, etc.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 12:19 PM
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If I remember my research correctly (its been a while) the Eibachs (if you can find them) are progressive springs meaning the more they are compressed the firmer they get. The Vogtlands are a... forgot the word... anyway they have a constant spring rate. What that means is that the Eibachs are softer on the interstate and firmer when pressed into corners. The Vogtlands are the same in both conditions. For this reason I liked the Eibachs. But, as they are out of production now unless you can find some NOS or used ones your only choice is the vogtlands. In my opinion the pros far outweigh the cons as far as lowering. (so long as its reasonable anyway)
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 12:55 PM
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Would a simplified statement that accurately describes the information said above, be if you prefer a smooth ride with less NVH with a floating type feel then one would go with a progressive spring rate such as eibach, the flip side being if you want to feel your car firmly planted and be in tune with your cars entire handling then one would go with the linear spring rate such that of the Vogtlands. Orr am I way off here?

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 01:12 PM
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They're Coke and Pepsi. There isn't any difference except for personal taste.

The most important difference - as Traveler said - is availability - the Eibachs are out of production.

For the sake of argument, if you don't want to feel a speed bump at 20 MPH then stick with stock.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
If I remember my research correctly (its been a while) the Eibachs (if you can find them) are progressive springs meaning the more they are compressed the firmer they get. The Vogtlands are a... forgot the word... anyway they have a constant spring rate. What that means is that the Eibachs are softer on the interstate and firmer when pressed into corners. The Vogtlands are the same in both conditions. For this reason I liked the Eibachs. But, as they are out of production now unless you can find some NOS or used ones your only choice is the vogtlands. In my opinion the pros far outweigh the cons as far as lowering. (so long as its reasonable anyway)
Linear is the word you're looking for but a few clarificationss: ALL springs get firmer the more you compress them. Meaning if you compress a linear spring rated at 326 pounds per inch, it will take 652 pounds to compress it 2" and so on. Progressives work like two linear springs on top of each other, one with a low rate and one with a high rate, one will compress quick for minor bumps and whatnot and when it compresses enough to reach the second rate that firm section of spring is now doing the work.

Vogtlands are in fact progressive, and I believe most lowering springs made for these cars were, minus Tokico and I think ST(H&R maybe? Some acronym lol), but Vogtlands just use a much higher initial rate than Eibachs do. Think of it this way:

Vogtland = Shorter Sport(JJJJ) springs

Eibach = shorter LX springs

Eibachs initial rate is about as soft as non-sport springs LX springs(which are linear) at 270lb/in IIRC, whereas Vogtlands initial rate is in the 340 lb/in range like sports. Both get into the 400s when you push them, but that super low initial rate is why I dislike Eibachs personally, I don't like the way non-SCs/sports ride in any situation, Eibachs try to preserve that mush and the transition to firm when you push them is like an on/off switch.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 02:10 PM
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Thunderbird Lowering Springs

http://forums.tccoa.com/44-suspensio...ml#post1280536

Those hash out some of the same points as this thread and may be worth a read.

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 03:28 PM
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I noticed that plopping my hefty ass on the rear quarterpanel only moves the rear suspension, about 1".

A well damped motion, but damn. I'm not a small guy.

Further analysis made me realize that as light as the rear of the car is, I can't really use sport springs.

I'm going to go back in with the OG springs, and see.

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 04:07 PM
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Oregon's full of cool twisty roads, some of which are bumpy.
Looking at it from that perpective---
-- lowering a car generally puts it at risk of hitting the suspension bump stops in a corner when traversing a bump or a dip in the road. If the car car does hit the stops, and you are driving fast, the end of the car that is bottomed will momentarily loose traction. Sometime you can trim the stops back a bit if they are rubber or urethane to help maintain bump (jounce) travel in the suspension.
Dont know the specifics of a T-bird, but it is something to look out for.
Since most of the twisty roads here in Washington are bumpy, I find that when I lower a car to make it look good, I generally end up regretting it, and revert
back to the stock ride height.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 03:46 AM
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This conversation makes me think I would be better off lowering the front but not the rear. By the time I reinstall my sound system and add a battery into the trunk my rear tires will perhaps have an inch of 2 of clearance again. I suppose the right lowering springs could leave me just as much clearance but it still looks like I only need lower springs in the front. Then again if I had my way I'd have smaller wheels in the front as well.

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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 10:33 AM
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You might want to consider your tire height too. I have tires that are shorter than stock and I got a deal on the 0.9" Voigtlands. My car rides pretty close to what 2" lowering springs would give on stock tire size. I have been hitting the tips of my exhaust when I try to enter steep residential driveways but that's about it. Not too bad.

I didn't drive my car very much or very hard during the replacement of the front end, all new springs, new Tokiko shocks, new brakes, and new steering rack, so, I can't say what the springs would do by themselves. There is definitely less body roll than my stock springs with 170k on them.

What Grog said above kinda hits home with my setup. There's still some softness in the ride that is just enough for highway cruising but if the bump is any size at all I'll feel it more than I used to.

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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
Linear is the word you're looking for but a few clarificationss: ALL springs get firmer the more you compress them. Meaning if you compress a linear spring rated at 326 pounds per inch, it will take 652 pounds to compress it 2" and so on. Progressives work like two linear springs on top of each other, one with a low rate and one with a high rate, one will compress quick for minor bumps and whatnot and when it compresses enough to reach the second rate that firm section of spring is now doing the work.

Vogtlands are in fact progressive, and I believe most lowering springs made for these cars were, minus Tokico and I think ST(H&R maybe? Some acronym lol), but Vogtlands just use a much higher initial rate than Eibachs do. Think of it this way:

Vogtland = Shorter Sport(JJJJ) springs

Eibach = shorter LX springs

Eibachs initial rate is about as soft as non-sport springs LX springs(which are linear) at 270lb/in IIRC, whereas Vogtlands initial rate is in the 340 lb/in range like sports. Both get into the 400s when you push them, but that super low initial rate is why I dislike Eibachs personally, I don't like the way non-SCs/sports ride in any situation, Eibachs try to preserve that mush and the transition to firm when you push them is like an on/off switch.
Thank you for the clarification. Based on what you have said, I think a set of Vogtlands may be in the future of my wife's Sport Tbird.


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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 03:10 PM
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.9 or 1.6?

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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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In case of a flat tire will I wish I hadn't lowered the car because the factory scissor jack won't fit? I suppose I can keep a short piece of lumber in the trunk to use as a ramp to raise the car. Has anyone faced this issue?

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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 03:43 PM
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The factory scissor jack will definitely fit, they're very low.

That is a good point to bring up though, shop jacks are in fact more difficult to use on a lowered MN12 depending on design, I need to use a smaller one to raise the car back up to stock height to get my big floor jack underneath the K member.
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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
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In case of a flat tire will I wish I hadn't lowered the car because the factory scissor jack won't fit? I suppose I can keep a short piece of lumber in the trunk to use as a ramp to raise the car. Has anyone faced this issue?
I went to Harbor Freight and bought the steel 3 ton, low profile high lift jack (goes up to 14" high) and I LOVE it. It gets the car up in the air so much better than my old walmart hydraulic jack. They have a lighter aluminum one that goes up to 12" high on sale right now too for less than $100.

For the side of the road, the scissor jack will be more than enough. Just make sure that you're on solid ground, you do not want the dirt getting pushed out from under it.

Regarding the springs themselves. I've not had the opportunity to ride on a sport spring equipped car, nor a vortgland equipped car. I have ridden in my old Thunderbird on stock springs, and my current bird on Eibachs. I have to say that I like the Eibachs very much. For a regular, street driven car they are very compliant even with my 255/40/18 tires, and the only time I feel a lot of bumps is if I happen to be on an old, poorly maintained dirt road. I like the on/off feel when I'm cornering, because the springs are soft pretty much until I NEED them not to be, so it works for me, but I may be inclined to change my mind once I try some Vortgland springs.

Either way, they take an already good cornering car and improve upon it. Doing other things like what Traveler did to mine like shock/strut bracing, thicker sway bars, better shocks, etc will all improve on the cornering abilities of the car, but at some cost of comfort. As is, my car is so much more comfortable than my 1999 Mustang GT was on lowering springs.
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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
The factory scissor jack will definitely fit, they're very low.

That is a good point to bring up though, shop jacks are in fact more difficult to use on a lowered MN12 depending on design, I need to use a smaller one to raise the car back up to stock height to get my big floor jack underneath the K member.
They will not, ask me how I know.... Floor jacks do fit though.

The factory jack may fit a LX but not a SC with a flat on the front.
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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 06:00 PM
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The tokico's I bought were this kit:

Tokico HPK221 HP Suspension Kit for Thunderbird/Mercury Cougar

The springs are light purple, lol.

It says it's a 1.5" drop, but the pix DO NOT match what I have, obviously.

They're progressive for the first ~inch, and you have to Set them into a corner, if you need to do that, lol.

The sport springs and konis on Lazarus corner really well, but it's too stiff for daily use; that's due to the weight reduction, if I added 200lbs of weight in the rear, they'd be fine.

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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 06:01 PM
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They will not, ask me how I know.... Floor jacks do fit though.

The factory jack may fit a LX but not a SC with a flat on the front.
Even if you jack it from the K-member?
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post #26 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowez View Post
They will not, ask me how I know.... Floor jacks do fit though.

The factory jack may fit a LX but not a SC with a flat on the front.
Perhaps you have a different scissor jack for your car than what mine came with, I've seen some scissor jacks that have shorter threaded rods so as to fit inside the space saver rim, mine is full length though, it'll go all the way flat and that's lower than any low profile floor jack I've ever seen.

Quote:
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Even if you jack it from the K-member?
Good lord, do not use a scissor jack on the K member!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
The tokico's I bought were this kit:

Tokico HPK221 HP Suspension Kit for Thunderbird/Mercury Cougar

The springs are light purple, lol.

It says it's a 1.5" drop, but the pix DO NOT match what I have, obviously.

They're progressive for the first ~inch, and you have to Set them into a corner, if you need to do that, lol.

The sport springs and konis on Lazarus corner really well, but it's too stiff for daily use; that's due to the weight reduction, if I added 200lbs of weight in the rear, they'd be fine.
Those springs sound awfully like vogtlands to me - purple, progressive, 1.5" drop - I have the same kit on my car, albeit purchased in 07 or 08 thereabouts, the springs are linear front and back, bright red and advertise a 1.25" drop(which is why I cut them). Could be that they're outsourcing the springs from other manufacturers for their kits now a days.

-Matt

Last edited by XR7-4.6; 03-21-2016 at 06:47 PM.
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post #27 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 06:13 AM
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Here's my situation

V8ThunderCat and Tbird Bob like this.

If all else fails get a bigger hammer!

93 SC Tbird
MPII w/ Plenum,90mm MAF, 85mm TB, 40# Injectors, 255 lph FP, Double IC w/fan, SCT Chip (Tuned by Jerry),3/4" Raised Top, F52-TT TC, SilverFox AOD 550, SPT-R VB
96 1/2 XR7 Sold and Salvaged
93 5.0 Tbird
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