If you are thinking of upgrading the suspension of your vehicle, without a doubt, a coilover is one of the upgrades worth considering. It can be effective in changing the height of the vehicle and in the improvement of its handling. While it is beneficial in more ways than one, all the good things will be realized only if you end up choosing the right product.
While there is an abundance of options for the best coilover kits, this should not give you an excuse to choose just any product and expect that it will deliver superior quality and functionality. You have to be a responsible buyer and take time to assess the possibilities, which is exactly why you need to read this guide before you make a purchase decision.
What is a Coilover?
When it comes to vehicle suspensions, you will have two main choices – spring and coilover. In the rest of this post, the focus will be coilover. The latter is a shorthand for coil spring over the shock. A kit is inclusive of a shock absorber, which is encircled with a coil spring. They are already pre-assembled upon purchase.
In a coilover, the spring is the one that is responsible for carrying all the weight. The shock absorber, on the other hand, has the main purpose of dampening any bouncing that could be possibly created by the spring.
Benefits of a Coilover
A lot of you might see coilover as an unnecessary and expensive upgrade. Once you are familiar with the benefits, however, you might find it easier to be convinced that this can indeed prove to be an excellent investment.
- Good Handling: This is perhaps the best thing that could summarize the advantage of having a coilover suspension. Compared to other stock suspensions, this can deliver a better performance.
- Adjustability: If you want your suspension to be customizable, you will have another good reason to choose a coilover. This will allow you to enjoy a low ride for your vehicle and will provide you with complete freedom to adjust your suspension.
- Specialized Setup: Some people do not really need to be provided with a concrete reason on why they should install a crossover. They are only after the prestige, being able to tell their friends that they have performed a great upgrade in the suspension of their vehicle.
While it can indeed be beneficial, it is also important to point out that there are also some weaknesses. One of the most commonly cited drawbacks of a coilover is its stiffness. There is also a possibility that it will fail. Nonetheless, these concerns will only be true if you opt for a product that comes with inferior quality. This makes it important to be a wise buyer and choose carefully.
Types of Coilover Kits
Before you decide which one will be the best pick, you first have to be familiar with the types that are available and how they are different from one another. When you are aware of the mechanism by which they work, you can easily reach a well-informed decision:
- Coilover Sleeves: From the four types that will be mentioned, this is the one that comes with the cheapest price. Their height can be adjusted. It is almost similar to the way lowering springs work.
- Non-Shock Adjustable Coilovers: This also comes at an affordable price, although not as cheap as the one identified above. Its height can also be adjusted, but you won’t be able to customize its stiffness and compression, as well as the shock rebound. Most of those that fall under this type already come pre-assembled.
- Shock Adjustable Coilovers: This is quite the same as the non-shock adjustable coilover, with the main difference being the fact that it comes with a better shock.
- Shock Adjustable Coilovers with Camber Kit: For a balanced suspension upgrade, this is the best type that you have to take into consideration. The height and the shocks are adjustable. It is also inclusive of a camber kit, making it able to provide value for money.
How to Choose the Best Coilover Kits
To create a shortlist of choices and decide which one can provide the best value for money, here are some of the most important buying considerations:
- Reviews: There is perhaps no better way to get started with your search than through reading reviews of other people. Through the feedback and real-life experiences that they are sharing, you will be able to learn a thing or two and make the right decision.
- Price: Truth is, most of you will probably think of choosing a cheap product because it is easier on the wallet. Nonetheless, you have to proceed with caution as this could compromise performance. You should not hesitate to spend a little more if this means that you can enjoy a product with functionality that is hard to rival.
- Inclusions: Because you are buying a kit, you have to take a look at what is included in the package. Some options can be cheaper compared to the others, but this can be because they are incomplete. It would be better if the kit comes with everything that will be needed to complete the installation.
- Construction: This refers to the materials that are used in the coilovers. Aluminum and stainless steel are two of the most popular, which are both great in terms of their durability. It will also be good if you will choose one that is zinc-plated, which is known for its ability to resist corrosion.
- Compatibility: Take note that not all coilover kits are created equal. Before you buy, you have to make sure that it is compatible with the vehicle where it will be placed. Otherwise, you will just end up wasting your money.
- Outcome: Of course, you have to think of how the overall performance of your car will change after installing the coilover. This will be easier to determine if you look at the technical specifications of the product and see what it can do to your suspension. The ride must be smooth and the desired height must be achieved.
- Warranty: Look for a coilover that comes with a long warranty coverage. Perhaps, choose one with a limited lifetime warranty for your peace of mind. Do not forget to read the terms and conditions of the warranty. In the case of some models, the warranty will not be honored if the installation was not completed by a professional.
Top Picks for the Best Coilover Kits
In this section, we will briefly go through five of the best products that you can find on the market, as well as the features that give them an edge over others.
In sum, the best coilover kits mentioned above will indeed be great choices for providing the suspension with a quick upgrade. To differentiate the options available, be sure to look beyond price. Consider how durable they are and how comfortable the ride can be once they are already installed.