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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Country Flag: United States

    Default Customizing Your Coilovers

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    If your car's coilovers bottom out or top out... If your springs are adjusted all the way to the top thread.. or if you have a set of coilovers that you want to install in another application, it is possible -- in many cases -- to modify your coilovers using off the shelf parts. I can't speak for every coilover manufacturer, but ridetech offers this capability.. This situation is common with cars that have custom suspension (as opposed to bolt on suspension) or applications where unusual ride height is applied to bolt on suspension.

    In my case, I own one of the first ever tubular subframes where the engineering is umm... primitive. Yeah that's a nice way to put it. The installed ride height on my front suspension is right at 14" from eye to eye, so a typical coilover with a 14" extended length and a 10" spring will top out AT ride height. Not good. The suspension would compress but not extend past ride height. The shocks would top out regularly and destroy themselves sooner rather than later. . That means I need front coilovers with longer stroke and extended length. But wait... Would the longer shock bottom out during compression?

    This concept introduced much uncertainty into my brain. It occurred to me that other people might be equally confused. Even worse, some of you might be settling for coilovers that are bottoming out or simply do not work right because shock stroke is insufficient. No worries. The fix is to combine the right coilover shock body with the right mount end length, plus the right depth spring cap, and of course the correct length and rate coil spring. Mix and match these parts until you get the best combination of extended length, compressed length, ride height plus a sufficient amount of adjusting threads on the shock body for fine-tuning ride height.

    Mounts: Speaking on behalf of ridetech, we offer 1.7", 2.7" and 3.7" eyelet type mount ends with 1.7" being the standard length for universal coilovers. If you convert to a 2.7" mount, for example, it increases the extended length by an inch. You might also use a longer mount to clear a crossmember or other tight mounting situation, but keep in mind that for a given pre-existing installed height, that longer 2.7" end reduces stroke by an inch. In my case, I tried the 1.7" and 2.7" eyelet mounts and found that the standard 1.7" mount worked best.

    Springs and Spring Caps: In my case, I used a 5.2" stroke shock body. It has a suggested 14.5" ride height and a 16.43" extended length. That's perfect! With a recommended 12" spring, I ended up with a car that had with almost no room for ride height adjustment and a car that sat a touch high in the front. I changed over to a 10" 550lb spring with a drop cap. This combination provided plenty of threads for adjusting ride height and a car that sits damn perfect with almost no spring preload.

    If you want to learn more about fine tuning your coilover specs, check out this article with fancy pics and charts. Don't be afraid to try out different combinations of parts and springs and don't settle for springs that are in coil-bind or shock bodies that crash into themselves. I learned a lot from this exercise and wanted to share. Hope it helps,
    Steve Chryssos

    My PT Garage:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Country Flag: United States



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Country Flag: United States


    Title made me think we where going to take them apart and change valving

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