Yes, it is possible to lift a car with coilovers, but it may not be the most ideal method for achieving a significant lift height, and it also may not result in the best driving experience.
Coilovers are a type of suspension system that combines a coil spring and shock absorber in one unit. They are designed to provide better handling, improved ride quality, and the ability to adjust the ride height of the vehicle.
If your car sports coilover suspensions, and you are thinking of raising them to lift your car, this article is for you.
Read through to the end to find out how to lift a car using coilovers, what challenges you’ll be facing in doing so, what are the complications, pros, and cons of this method, and all that shenanigans.
Lifting my Car with Coilovers
How Coilovers Lift a Vehicle
Coilovers are typically designed to lower a vehicle’s ride height, but they can also be adjusted to lift a vehicle.
To lift a vehicle with coilovers, you would typically adjust the spring perch height. The spring perch is the adjustable collar which is located on the coilover assembly that allows you to adjust the ride height of the vehicle.
By raising the spring perch, you can increase the amount of preload on the coil spring, which in turn increases the ride height of the vehicle.
It’s important to note that there are limits to how much lift you can achieve with coilovers. Coilovers are typically designed for lowering a vehicle. The amount of lift that can be achieved is limited by the design of the coilover and the car’s suspension geometry.
Also, the coilovers may not provide enough adjustment range to achieve a significant lift height.
Additionally, lifting a vehicle with coilovers can affect the handling and performance of the car, so it’s important to consider these factors before making any modifications.
There are some coilover systems that are specifically designed for off-road use and may provide more lift height adjustment, but these are typically more expensive and are not commonly used for lifting cars.
If you want to lift your car, there are other suspension modifications that are more suited for this purpose, such as lift kits or air suspension systems.
These systems are designed to provide more lift height and may be a better option for achieving the desired ride height and handling characteristics.
It is important to choose a suspension system that is designed for your specific make and model of car and have it installed by a professional to ensure proper fitment and performance.
What Changes When You Lift a Car with Coilovers
When you lift a car with coilovers, you’re not just increasing the ride height and ground clearance of the car; you’re changing a lot of other things that are interconnected.
Let’s take a look at some changes that happen when you lift a car by just adjusting the coilovers.
- Affected suspension geometry: A car’s suspension geometry is affected when it is lifted with coilovers. As you raise the ride height, you’re changing the angles and positions of the suspension components.
As an example, lifting a car can make the suspension stiffer, causing it to ride rougher.
- Rougher Rides: The suspension travel increases when you preload the coilover to lift a vehicle. This affects how the car responds to bumps and changes in the road surface.
The preloaded spring is much stiffer, which makes the car ride shakier. The bumps and jolts are dampened less effectively, and you’ll feel a lot more vibrations. All of this, in turn, affects the handling of the car as well.
- Handling and balance: Lifting a vehicle raises its center of gravity further off the ground, which means the car’s tendency to stay upright gets lessened.
After lifting a car by adjusting its coilovers, the stiffer coils will make it harder to steer, and you’ll have to slow down a lot more when cornering so that the car does not roll over.
- Wear and tear: Lifting a car with coilovers affects the vehicle’s drivetrain more than anything else.
For example, when you lift a car with a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive setup, it can conflict with the axle and CV angles, as well as the angle of the control arms. The CV joints and other drivetrain components will experience a lot more pressure.
Also, the extra vibrations and jolts caused by the stiffer springs will affect every other component of the car.
All of this translates into faster wear and tear on every component of the car, especially the drivetrain components and other moving parts.
- Performance and fuel efficiency: When the ride height of a car increases, the drag increases as more air can pass underneath the body. This will slightly reduce the car’s ability to speed up and its fuel efficiency.
Adjusting the coilovers does increase the wheel well space by 1-2 inches, depending on the build and model of the coilovers. So, there might be space for some bigger tires.
But, they will most certainly rub against the fender walls during bumps, full locks, or sharp turns. And keeping the coilovers in full load will make them wear faster, along with other components, as I’ve explained earlier.
Lowering your car’s springs is a cheaper and easier way to lower its center of gravity and improve its handling. Coilovers can lower the car and make it handle much better with more adjustability.
Coilovers do not make a car bouncy if they are set to the right stiffness.
If the coilovers are set too stiff, there won’t be enough suspension travel to dampen shocks and bumps and the car will vibrate a lot.
If they are not set stiff enough, the suspension will travel more than necessary, making the car jump on every little imperfection on the road surface.