Lowering Springs misconception - Subaru WRX Forum
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post #1 of 60 Old 12-05-2005, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Lowering Springs misconception

I believe it's time to just flat out explain why lowering springs do not improve your handling. It infact should worsen it. The rate of your stock springs and your stock shocks were made to work with each other. The fact is that the stock shocks were not designed to handle the increased rate of an aftermarket spring. This also causes more wear and tear on the stock shocks. The wheels on the car will oscillate in a manner that will actually reduce wheel contact with the ground. The more the springs are compressed the larger the oscillations will be, thus meaning the harder you push your car, the worse it will handle.

What, you want proof? Okay, here it is. This following is an excerpt from the book Training WRX 2nd Edition by Nick Warne. These are track times provided by Whiteline's Project REX I and II. NOT QUARTER MILE. Car was required to do atleast a minimum of 4 laps, more if the driver felt he could do it faster. Professional driver running with Falken GrB's 205/50/16 tires with moderate tread.

Vehicle: MY99 WRX sedan

Session 1
Conditions: Steady light rain
Suspension: Stock
Seconds: 0.00 (base)

Session 6
Conditions: Light rain, standing water
Suspension: Stock w/ KCA319 Anti-lift kit
Seconds: -0.79 (.79 seconds faster)

Session 8
Conditions: Light rain, track drying
Suspension: Stock w/ same ALK and aftermarket lowered heavy duty springs
Seconds: -0.23

Let's recap. If the ALK provides a gain of 0.79 seconds, that means the lowering springs made the car atleast a half second slower. Keep in mind this is also while track conditions were improving.

... I'm sure someone will ask later, so I'll just say it now. Larger rear sway bar alone provided a full second faster track time.


It's plain and simple, if you want it for cosmetic reasons, there is nothing wrong with a set of springs. It's cheap and accomplishes your goal of eliminating that crazy front wheel gap. Most people probably never push their car hard enough under daily driving to feel the effects of it. Just be mindful that your shocks will probably go sooner than with stock springs.

To lower a car properly, you need to either match up the spring with a set of shocks, or do a full blown set of coilovers.

Also check out this write up. They did an excellent job. http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1030221

Jon
"We live for a good time, not a long time."
RIP Colin McRae

Last edited by Vew; 07-01-2006 at 03:05 AM. Reason: added content
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post #2 of 60 Old 12-05-2005, 03:31 AM
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i would just like to thank you for providing such useful information. I didn't know that lowering you car the "improper" way would actual slow your quarter mile times.

I knew the rear sway bar is probably the most important handling mod, but i didn't think it would make 1/4 mile times 1 second faster.

Great thread...

Thanks

-KJ

Cobb Stage II 2006 WRX
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post #3 of 60 Old 12-05-2005, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUBXTCY

I knew the rear sway bar is probably the most important handling mod, but i didn't think it would make 1/4 mile times 1 second faster.

Thanks
Where does it say that rear sway bar makes your 1/4 1 second faster?

Brent
2007 Satin White STi, 1989 Nissan Sil-Coupe, 1998 Toyota 4runner (to be built..)...
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post #4 of 60 Old 12-05-2005, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vew

... I'm sure someone will ask later, so I'll just say it now. Larger rear sway bar alone provided a full second faster track time.
I may have interpreted this wrong but this is what i read.

-KJ

Cobb Stage II 2006 WRX
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post #5 of 60 Old 12-05-2005, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vew
This following is an except from the book Training WRX 2nd Edition by Nick Warne.
Excellent book, I suggest everyone to get it and read it.
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post #6 of 60 Old 12-05-2005, 09:47 AM
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im pretty sure he meant auto-xing, not drag racing
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post #7 of 60 Old 12-05-2005, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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I guess I should have explained it a bit more. It was conducted at a track, not a drag strip. The driver was required to do a minimum of 4 laps and more if he felt he could do it faster. Professional driver of course. Tires were Falken GrB's 205/50/16 with moderate tread. Again, all information about the track, tests, and times were straight out of the book since I do not have the means to test such a thing.

As a side note, although I did not talk about quarter mile times, an ALK MAY improve your 1/4 mile times (I don't really know), because it's supposed to reduce dive under hard accelleration. Unfortunally, it also has a side effects where it increases dive on braking (although nothing I would be to be concerned about safety wise). I do have an ALK installed on my car and it really takes higher speeds to appreciate the advantages it gives.

Jon
"We live for a good time, not a long time."
RIP Colin McRae

Last edited by Vew; 06-23-2010 at 02:01 PM. Reason: unsafe driving
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post #8 of 60 Old 12-05-2005, 01:37 PM
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very cool, i like seeing comparison test data.. you got anymore from that book?

one of the reasons i would get lowering springs is so the cops can't look under the car and see if i'm catless lol

02 WRX Sedan
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post #9 of 60 Old 12-05-2005, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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There is just way too much information to post regarding all the track results. However, since it was done by Whiteline, I was able to find the article on their website. Here's how to get to it.

Go here http://www.whiteline.com.au/default....-1/default.htm

Scroll down to the bottom. On the right, it says Click here to read the lastest WRX suspension test results in Hot 4's magazine.

Click next page until you find the tables.

Keep in mind, Project Rex I is on the older model WRX's that we do not have here in the states. Items like the strut tower brace will not provide as much benifit for us than it did for the older model cars. The 02+ chassis are much stiffer. They do later state that after a heavily suspension modified car, then you may begin to feel the benifits of chassis bracing.

Jon
"We live for a good time, not a long time."
RIP Colin McRae
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post #10 of 60 Old 12-05-2005, 06:18 PM
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very useful info,
a lot of people think the lower center of gravity would have a positive affect on handling, which it does but when the spring rate differs with the spring to the shock, you basically have conflicting parts in a sense. working against eachother and not with eachother..

Gregory-
keep it in the dirt.
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post #11 of 60 Old 12-05-2005, 06:59 PM
 
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Nice writeup Vew. I have been preaching that for a while, just never got to posting reasons/proof. Thanks . O yeah, stickied.
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post #12 of 60 Old 12-05-2005, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBAUCLAPlaya
Nice writeup Vew. I have been preaching that for a while, just never got to posting reasons/proof. Thanks . O yeah, stickied.
Yeah buddy, we represent!

Jon
"We live for a good time, not a long time."
RIP Colin McRae
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post #13 of 60 Old 12-06-2005, 01:59 PM
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I taught Vew everything he knows.

I guess ALK is good for the car in terms of getting lower times as well as rear sway bars.
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post #14 of 60 Old 12-06-2005, 08:17 PM
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ok, question for vew or anyone who has the answer.

arent there springs out there that are designed for the stock shocks? so they will give you a lower ride, but the spring rate is designed for the stock shock?
i dunno just curious, incase there is someone out there that wants to lower it but scared of shock damage.

Gregory-
keep it in the dirt.
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post #15 of 60 Old 12-06-2005, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eighth08
ok, question for vew or anyone who has the answer.

arent there springs out there that are designed for the stock shocks? so they will give you a lower ride, but the spring rate is designed for the stock shock?
i dunno just curious, incase there is someone out there that wants to lower it but scared of shock damage.
That was the exact question I asked Big Sky when I was looking at springs. Plus, I needed something which would work on a wagon. His answer: Prodrives.

I believe Eibach manufactures them, but they don't have the same rates as the Eibach sport springs, or whatever they call their lowering springs. I also took his advice on finding donor struts to build a complete set of street/track struts, without chopping up my stockers. My dealer buddy found 2, now I need 2 more.
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