Take a stroll through your local car show, and you’re sure to see row upon row of classics, customs and street machines with a variety of eye-catching mods. More commonly, you’ll see rides that sit low and mean on custom suspension components known as “coilovers”. But what are they? In a nutshell, the term “coilover” stands for “coil spring over strut”, and consists of a custom shock absorber & adjustable spring. This gives you the ability to tweak and tune your car’s suspension for better handling and an aggressive stance.
Key Features of a Coilover
The shock absorbing portion of a coilover is also known as the “damper”, which reduces bumps & vibrations from the road surface. Many coilovers use dampers with adjustable compression and rebound characteristics, ensuring your car’s wheels stay in contact with the road. A key feature of a coilover’s damper is an adjustable metal ring called a “spring perch” that’s threaded to the damper’s body. The beauty of this design is that you can easily adjust ride height by spinning the spring perch up or down, moving the spring higher or lower relative to the damper body. This establishes the vehicle’s ride height. You can also make performance shocks or struts ride-height adjustable in the same manner, and more affordably, by modifying them with a set of coilover sleeves.
Types of Coilovers
There are many different types of coilovers, but all use coil springs that ride on top of the spring perches and support the weight of your car. These springs are made from high-quality spring steel and are designed with progressive spring rates that are matched to the coilover’s dampers. This gives your car a comfortable ride, great handling and prevents the uncontrollable “bounciness” you see from some lowered cars.
There’s no doubt about it, coilovers are a sure way to give your car a new attitude and make it much more enjoyable to drive. Want to read more about coilovers or maybe share an experience you’ve had with them? If so, feel free to browse through our suspension customer reviews or post a comment.