Informational 1: Why Shouldn’t You Depress the Springs of Vehicles?

Vehicles rely on several key factors for road grip. Among these are the wheels and suspension system, which are paramount. Designed through extensive engineering processes, these components are tailored according to the vehicle’s intended use. For instance, in a family car, longer springs may be used to provide greater ground clearance, and these springs are typically chosen for their softer characteristics to enhance comfort, whereas the opposite is true for a sports car. So, what happens if we change the springs of a vehicle, install coilovers, fit an air suspension, cut the springs, or compress them?

When designing a suspension system, efforts are made to characterize it in a way that minimizes the vehicle’s body roll. As springs and dampers soften, this roll motion increases, whereas it decreases as they stiffen. Neither the underdamped nor the overdamped conditions depicted in the above graph are desirable. Vehicles with excessively stiff springs may offer a less comfortable ride on rough roads, and even though they may feel like they have improved road grip, they can lose grip unpredictably when pushing the vehicle to its limits in corners. Moreover, such vehicles tend to transmit more road imperfections, potentially causing long-term damage to the vehicle’s electronics and resulting in interior trim noises.

When you replace the vehicle’s original springs with non-original ones or install an air suspension, you may negatively impact the driving characteristics of the vehicle. Altering the suspension geometry by lowering the vehicle can accelerate wear on the suspension system, as lateral forces increase. If the vehicle gets too close to the ground, you risk losing control and potentially crashing due to a phenomenon known as porpoising, which is seen even in Formula 1 cars, caused by disrupted airflow at high speeds.

If you cut or heat and compress the original springs of your vehicle, you fundamentally alter their characteristics. When a spring is cut, it essentially becomes a different spring with an increased spring rate, which affects its behavior. The same principle applies when applying heat or compressing the springs. Even if the component in your vehicle is original, such modifications can lead to undesirable outcomes.

It’s important to steer clear of actions performed by individuals who may not fully understand the implications. Rather than assuming that you know better than the engineers at the factory, it’s advisable to avoid aftermarket modifications performed by those lacking expertise. Stick to reputable engineering-oriented modification companies like Brabus, ABT, Alpina, Khan Design, and avoid aftermarket processes. Furthermore, refrain from blaming tire manufacturers or automobile producers when you experience tire blowouts due to imbalanced loads resulting from these modifications.

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