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Lowering...how low can I go?


jrhone
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First thing, my passenger side is about 1/4 inch higher on the passenger side so I plan on trimming the coils down just a tad to even it out, but in addition to that I'd like the entire car lower 1/2".  What's the lowest people have gone without bottoming out?  If I don't want height adjustability can I do a modified shock that's shortened and maybe revalved by Bilstein?  Just looking at all my options. Here is the car as it sits now. 

 

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  If you are avoiding an adjustable setup, you could hypothetically section a portion of the strut tube out (below the upper spring perch) and weld it back together.  Then run the VW insert with a set of shorter/stiffer 5" springs.  It'll be harsh, but assuming you get a suitably-stiff spring rate, it won't bottom out.

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Lol. That sounds like the same work for coilovers. I already have a second set of strut tubes and 2.5" ID springs. Just need to cut strut tubes and weld on adjustable perches and then add shocks. I was wondering if there was a way to drop it a hair more on the current setup. The fronts are Ireland Stage II with a half a coil cut already. With the strut spacer removed it was too low and bottomed. With the strut spacer back in place feels great. Nothing is ever easy lol. Just want that last 1/2"-1 inch. Some days it looks fine, some days its just not low enough. 

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If you want the car to look lower to the ground it's hard to achieve because of the vanishing (recessed) rocker panels. It's what makes the 2002's look like a roller skate.

 

It's why a 1" lowered Datsun 510 looks lower than a 2" lowered 2002.

 

On a scale of 1 to 1.5 please let us know who helpful this information was?

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Fatherof3
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1 hour ago, jrhone said:

Lol. That sounds like the same work for coilovers.

 

Ha, you would be right!  I've seen it done though (for whatever the reason).  The problem is just bottoming out.  The length of the front struts just won't allow for anything shorter.  

 

Another thought is to run a camber plate with provision for a 5" spring and a shorter stack height (vs. the factory mount).

 

 

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You want some 10" Mini wheels, then.

 

That'll get you lower.

 

As Andrew says, the absolute limit on the stock 2002 is the front strut tube and rear shock length-

you will bottom the struts before the subframe hits, and it'll sit on the rear shock before the rear subframe hits.

 

Cutting and rewelding the stock tube IS easier than coilovers- but you don't get the camber adjustability that a 2.5" spring and camber plate gets you.

 

There are several suspension geometries that go to hell as you go lower than about 2" below stock, I caution you....

 

he says, just for the record.

 

t

 

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1 hour ago, Tommy said:

 

This is confusing to me. What do you mean with strut spacer? If it's the US spec spacer on top mount it shouldn't have effect to bottoming.

 

So what I did was install the Ireland Stage II springs and Bilstein sport shocks in the front. I moved the US spacer to the top of the car. It still wasn't low enough so I cut half a coil off the springs. That was too low and there was no suspension travel and the car felt as if there were no shocks. Felt everything in the road and the bumps were harsh. That what I mean by bottoming out but maybe more accurately the shocks were riding on the bump stops which are internal on the Bilstein Sports. So I moved the spacer back to under the car and that restored shock travel and the car feels great. So I assume I'm at the end of my shock travel so going any lower would risk me riding on the bump stops. So my question was really, is there any way to get more shock travel while also lowering the car another 1/2 inch.   Like Andrew said you could cut the strut tube and user a shorter shock. That's basically what they do when making coilovers so if I do that I'd do adjustable spring perches and now I have adjustability. I'm no expert so I wanted to know if I wasn't missing something obvious. It's happened before. 

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5 hours ago, Tommy said:

Even more confusing. Moving the spacer should not affect the way you describe. It has no effect to suspension travel as it simply raises body in relation to suspension. Can anyone else figure this out? 

 

I agree with your thoughts Tommy, the spacer in no way affects suspension travel or bottoming. It seems the ride improvement might be mental because there is no physical reason for it unless the body of the car was making contact with something. 

Edited by Lorin
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Having a very low car is a complete pita, speed bumps, pot holes, tramlining on crap roads, driveways. I forgot one day after suspension work, pulled up outside the inlaws by going up a lowered kerb then realising as I travelled back up to normal kerb height that I had less room, made a pretty good mess of a couple is suspension components. What I also found was the car would follow any rut in the road, pull the steering in my hands (bump steer) and almost hop around roundabouts if the road was poor. I was 18, and just liked the look. I get the astetic thing, but it's just shit to live with! It gets old real quick. But hey your car your way. What about air suspension, one of the lads in Aus has done it, what are the Alpina specs for a track car?

love the wheels btw....

Edited by SydneyTii
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2 hours ago, Lorin said:

 

I agree with your thoughts Tommy, the spacer in no way affects suspension travel or bottoming. It seems the ride improvement might be mental because there is no physical reason for it unless the body of the car was making contact with something. 

 

It wasn't mental as the car was nearly undriveable. The spacer below the body restored something. I wonder if the suspension geometry changed at that point that wheels were rubbing the struts?  I'll have to pull those spacers and really to see what's going on there. Maybe tires are hitting the springs?  I'm now confused as well lol. 

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