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Springs VS Coilovers


As with many things in life, “you get what you pay for”. That saying couldn't be more true then when it comes to the topic of springs vs coilovers. In this article we will discuss the difference of springs and coilovers and how they will affect your wheel/tire size choices. However, we will not be recommending any particular product or brand. There are many great brands of springs and coilovers out there and we highly recommend doing your research before making a selection. 

Springs (or Lowering Springs) are the most commonly used economical method to safely lower a vehicle's stance with only minimal mechanical knowledge required for installation. While additional parts for bringing the vehicle into proper alignment should be considered, we will not be touching on that aspect of springs in this article. 

Howey Industries Inc., has had experience with many spring installations. As a result of our experiences we have a saying we use when awaiting the results of our installs; “Not all springs are created equal”. What we mean by this is that we have taken the same vehicle (year/make/model/modifications) and installed the exact same set of springs, which have provided different lowering results. This can be a BIG problem for customers who are planning to install oversized wheels with aggressive offsets. It is very difficult to calculate a precise fitment based on inaccurate results commonly found with springs. Please note: This is an issue with all brands of springs and has not been found to be more common in one brand over another. 

Howey Industries Tech Tip: When installing a set of springs we highly recommend measuring the ride height of the vehicle before and after the installation. To properly do this, a point on both the front and rear fender(s) should be marked and measured from the ground (smooth flat surface) before the installation. After the installation is complete, we recommend driving and allowing the vehicle to settle prior to taking a second measurement. The final measurement should be taken from the same point on the fender(s). Once you have both measurements, you can subtract them to determine the amount of drop on both the front a rear wheels. This measurement is VERY important for determining proper wheel fitment later on. 

Spring Pro's: 

  • Price
  • Easy to Install
  • Minimal Mechanical Knowledge Required 

Spring Con's: 

  • Not Adjustable
  • Unreliable Drop Rates 

Coilovers are far more expensive then springs but offer the ability to adjust the ride height to accommodate aggressive wheel fitments. A coilover system replaces both the spring and strut. The springs in coilovers are normally either a single progressive spring or a multi-spring setup with a primary spring and what is known as a helper spring. The helper spring is much lighter and only comes into play when the suspension is at full droop during aggressive cornering. One of the biggest misconceptions about coilovers is that they offer poor ride quality. As with many products, coilovers have come a long way over the years and many systems offer ride quality that is similar if not better then the stock suspension system. 

Coilover Pro's: 

  • Adjustable
  • Perfect for Aggressive Wheel Fitments 

Coilover Con's: 

  • Price
As with any product installation, we highly recommend only having performance parts installed by a certified technician utilizing the proper equipment found in most qualified performance shops.

***WARNING*** Spring/Coilover Installation can be extremely dangerous. Vehicle Springs are under a considerable amount of tension and can cause serious injury and/or death if not properly removed/installed. Proper safetly equipment should always be used. This article is not to be used as an installation guide.