There are a number of things you can do to perform a suspension upgrade. The most common one being a suspension lift kit to add some ground clearance for your ride.
Though that’s not the only benefit you get from undertaking your car’s suspension customization. The stock car suspension parts are effective at performing various functions. For example, offering comfort, handling weight, offering better vehicle handling amongst others.
So, what’s the point of getting an upgrade?
Well, first, think about the above benefits that a stock car suspension system offers. Afterwards, think about the enhancement of those functions once you perform an upgrade.
Is there a downside to a custom suspension?
Of course there is a downside. But that’s coming right up.
In todays article we are about to embark on a journey of discovery. Whereby we are going to find out more about the car’s suspension system, types of suspension lift kits and how suspension lift kit works.
Car suspension system.
A brief summary of the car’s suspension will bring about your understanding of what to expect when undertaking a suspension upgrade.
The suspension system is an interconnection of different parts that work together to achieve a common goal. Suspension systems are available in three different types.
Types of car suspension systems.
1. Independent suspension system.
It involves a system where each individual wheel has an independent suspension set-up. Such that the bumps felt on one side of the wheel assembly won’t be felt by the other. Suspension customization in this type of system might involve one wheel at a time.
2. Dependent suspension system.
This one has a connection of wheels that are on opposite sides hence separating it as front wheel and rear wheel suspension. In this type of car suspension system the vibrations felt on the front or rear suspensions will be felt by both wheel assemblies.
There are a lot of other areas to cover about the suspension system.
Car suspension system parts.
Their function is to hold the vehicle’s body frame in place whenever the car goes over bumps. They minimize the number of up and down movements.
Further they keep the vehicle’s tires on the ground hence avoiding overturning. There are different types of car suspension springs;
- Coil springs.
- Leaf springs.
- Air springs.
- Torsion bar.
Their functionality depends on their design as they are in place to dissipate the vibrations coming from bumps. Hence they are able to keep the tires grounded in order to prevent overturning. Further, they also improve ride comfort .
They have oil sealed in a chamber and a piston which moves up and down in conjunction with the oil. This movement turns the vibrations into kinetic energy then into heat. The oil is very important in this case of the dumpers functionality.
3. Anti-sway bars.
They simply improve the vehicle’s stability during negotiation of sharp corners. This is possible because they reduce the swinging of the vehicle’s body frame.
Further, Anti-sway bars are able to enhance weight balance on the suspension system. By ensuring that vehicle body frame weight balances evenly from the left to the right side of the vehicle.
Types of suspension upgrade lift kits.
A suspension system lift kit is meant to increase the vehicle’s ground clearance. Apart from this they also offer other advantages that will be discussed later.
Meanwhile, lets look at the types of lift kits for your suspension.
1. Spacer lift kits.
They are amongst the easiest to install in our list. Their main effect on the vehicle is an improvement in ground clearance. Additionally, they also improve the vehicle’s exterior appearance.
A problem arises whereby the spacer lift kit does not offer better handling capacity. Because of the effect that it has on the vehicle’s center of gravity. You will need to install another suspension upgrade that focuses on improving the car’s handling.
Further, spacer lift kits do not take ride comfort improvement into consideration. Comfort and handling are essential benefits of the car’s suspension system. Spacers are installed on top of the stock car suspension coil springs.
2. Coil springs lift kits.
They are popular amongst most car owners especially if you like going off-road. Well, given the fact that they enhance the reduction in vibrations intensity from bumpy roads explains their popularity.
Alternatively, if you crave an improvement in ride comfort without the off-road aspect, these are the upgrades you need. Because their main benefit is better ride comfort.
Additionally, the coil springs lift kits are able to offer better ride handling. Because they keep a steady vehicle body frame whenever you drive over bumps.
It’s like the coil spring lift kit offers a total package. Because they also offer an increase in the car’s ground clearance.
3. Shackle reversal suspension lift kits.
You will find that this suspension lift kit is mostly for people who take their vehicles off-road through challenging terrain. For example SUVs and Jeeps.
One of the main benefit of having this suspension upgrade is vehicle leveling from rear to front. By leveling it means the vehicle frame rocking motion that takes place when you accelerate, brake or turn.
This upgrade ensures that your ride is well balanced by holding the vehicle body frame in place. As a result of this, you are able to experience the second advantage of the shackle reversal suspension lift kit. Which is an improvement in ride comfort.
Further, in the factory suspension system set-up, the tire and axle moves forward during compression. But installation of the shackle reversal suspension lift kit makes the axle and tire to move towards the rear during compression.
This helps to improve the handling by reducing whichever ”bump steer” that could take place.
4. Coil-over lift kit.
Their functionality is similar to that of coil springs lift kits. Thing is, unlike coil springs, the coil-over lift kits offer height adjustment capabilities. You can compare this characteristic to that of the air suspension.
Some of these coil-over lift kit fit right on top of the original stock coil spring without adding any stack height. However, those coil-over suspension upgrades are inflatable and can be deflated at your own will in order to adjust height. This process is called airing up.
I think this attribute gives coil-over lift kits superiority over the coil springs. Further, they are able to provide an improvement in ride comfort.
5. Spring over axle lift kits.
It involves the installation of new springs over the front and rear stock car suspension axle. One of the goals of this is to increase the vehicle’s height.
This is what makes the spring over axle lift kits popular amongst off-road rock crawler drivers. Secondly, the spring over axle lift kits balance the vehicle’s body frame weight evenly when the car sways to one side.
Hence minimizing any excess straining to that side of the vehicle. This lift kit is suitable for vehicles that carry heavy weight. Additionally, they suit the vehicles that have both front and rear leaf springs.
How does a suspension lift kit work?
This suspension upgrade is effective at the following things
- They improve ground clearance. This is important especially if you drive off-road.
- An improvement in the ride’s comfort by reducing vibrations during bumpy rides.
- Enhancement of the vehicle’s handling capacity.
- Improvement in safety by reducing chances of overturning and vehicle breakdown from suspension problems.
- Better load weight handling of the vehicle.
- Increase in vehicle stability.