Examining the Pros and Cons of Lowering Your Vehicle

Guest Blog by Sam Mauzy

1973 Mazda Lowrider Trick photo from Wikipedia Commons

Lowering your vehicle (if done properly) will result in a street machine that catches the attention of all
who see it. A modified street rod is meant to hug the ground, but if done in the wrong way can cause big
problems. There are many ways to accomplish lowering your ride of course some are better than others. When thinking about lowering a vehicle, take into consideration the end results. With the look you gain, you will lose ground clearance. Depending on the roads that you travel, this can be an issue.

A properly lowered machine will have a lower center of gravity which will vastly improve steering and reduce body roll. The ride might be a little stiffer, letting you feel more of the road improving handling. If done improperly, the ride you have will be rough and hard to control to the point of being unsafe to have on the road.

There are several lowering kits that can be purchased from different sources. After market springs are
manufactured, to lower your vehicle safely. When selecting your springs, keep in mind your entire suspension and not just the look you are after. Too much spring rate will cause your tires to lose contact
with the road, but too soft of a spring will let your vehicle hit the bump- stops. Either condition can be
dangerous and uncomfortable. There are companies that have invested a great deal of time and money, into research to help you select the proper spring package for your vehicle.

Another way to lower your vehicle, is to simply cut the springs down. Great care must be taken if you consider doing this. Cut the springs in small increments, if you cut too much you will have to buy new
springs. Cut with the wrong tool the spring will be over heated, which can reduce the strength of the
steel and cause the spring to sag. This can be a long process to lower a vehicle in this way, but it can be accomplished with patience. Some vehicles have been lowered by the use of a torch to heat and collapse the springs. This may achieve the look you want, but is not the safest way to get it and may cost more in later repair.

Careful attention must also be paid to the tire clearance in the fender; a lower profile tire might have to be installed to resolve rubbing problems. It is also a good idea, while you are working on the suspension, to replace any worn bushings and ball joints. You may have to reroute the brake lines as well. Once you have gotten your vehicle to the height that you desire and achieved proper tire clearance. The next step is to have an alignment done on your vehicle. This will make your vehicle drive better and stop
premature tire ware.

When properly done, your machine will have a new, eye catching look. The drawback is, you just lowered the ground clearance of your vehicle. Things in the road, that you have passed over before may hit the under carriage now. Special care has to be given where you go, when driving a lowered machine. An air assist suspension can be incorporated to lift the vehicle when needed. The cost of which can vary with the type of vehicle you own.

Sam is a blogger who has an interest in the automotive industry and writes about a variety of truck and
car parts including the leaf spring and other suspension parts.

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