5 Ways to Lower Your Vehicles
Here are 5 methods to use when lowering a car. Whether you prefer the sporty look of a slightly lower stance, or a more dramatic drop in height, learning how to lower a car is a straight-forward process which requires manipulating the vehicle's suspension. We'll show you what it's all about.
Method 1 of 5: For Leaf Springs
1 Alter your vehicle's leaf springs. Leaf springs consists of thin strips of spring steel banded and bolted together.
2 Remove the leaf springs from the rear suspension of the vehicle. Take them to a spring shop and have them de-arched, or use a reverse shackle. Another option is reversing the set up by placing the axle on top of the leaf spring, which is called a flip kit. This can be done by a home mechanic with common hand tools. To get even greater or increased drop, couple the flip kit with lowering blocks. These are available online or from your local auto parts store. They come in differing heights and will enable the vehicle to drop extremely low. They can be installed by a home mechanic.
Method 2 of 5: For Coil Springs
1 Manipulate your car's coil springs. Coil springs can be found on a car's front and/or back suspension, and are attached onto the A-frame or the axles. You can remove the stock coil springs and replace them with shorter springs, or take your springs to a spring shop and have the coils softened and shortened.
2 You can also cut the coils yourself. Use a grinder, cutting wheel, or torch to cut them. Start with cutting in quarter- or half-coil-turn increments, because cutting a coil is a permanent action.
Method 3 of 5: Replace Springs
1 Replace the springs and shocks. Trade them out for adjustable air bag units available at a local auto supply store or from an online auto parts seller. In addition to installing the airbags to replace the springs, this method of lowering your car also requires installation of air lines, an air compressor, air reservoir tank and system activation switch. This process can be done at home.
Method 4 of 5: Hydraulic Cylinders
1 Replacing your car's springs with hydraulic cylinders. Hydraulics can be installed on 1, 2, 3 or all 4 suspension corners of your car. Installing a hydraulic system also requires installing an internal control system, hydraulic pumps and batteries to operate the pumps. One drawback to this method of lowering your vehicle is the large amount of battery power required to operate each hydraulic pump in the system.
Method 5 of 5: Lower the Torsion Bar
1 Adjust your car's torsion bars down using the torsion bar key. This will sag your vehicle so it is lower to the ground. Torsion bars come factory equipped on vehicles and consists of a spring steel bar that's used in place of a coil or leaf spring. The torsion bar key is part of the torsion bar, which allows the vehicle ride height to be adjusted at the factory when the vehicle is built and as needed afterward. It's easily adjusted with a small hand wrench at home.
An advantage to installing the air bag system is that the vehicle can be raised and lowered while moving or sitting still. This enables the vehicle to appear almost sitting on the ground while still being able to be raised to clear speed bumps and other obstacles that could potentially damage the undercarriage.
Replacing your springs with an air bag system requires a lot of fabrication, from removing the existing springs to plumbing the new air system and its components. Air bags also provide a rougher ride. Lowering a vehicle exposes it to road hazards which unaltered vehicles are typically positioned high enough to avoid. In some locations, it may be illegal to adjust the stance of your vehicle while in motion. Changing suspension elements may void some vehicle warranties. If in doubt, check with your dealership, insurance agent or finance company before proceeding.
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