How could our society ever develop itself further, if we had never been given the adjustable suspension? In the meantime, there is no lack of performance and power, however, as far as hard springing is concerned, there's still a great deal of potential for normal cars. As a rule, the cars even become more safe, if we're talking about well known and accordingly well tested products and if they are approved for the particular vehicle.
In general it seems, at least in Germany, that for some people, the approval poses a problem. Whoever chooses to go ahead and do it, ok, then however, without the blessing of the MOT and with the knowledge that every two years it has to be replaced by a legal set-up before taking the car through the MOT-test, he/she also has no idea how the insurance companies handle car owners who install components which are not approved or indeed allowed. If one fancies oneself to be a tuner, then one should have no fear of their work being checked by (other) experts, otherwise one is nothing more than a self-proclaimed tuner.
The limits of adjustable suspension are vast, whereby, when exploited to the extreme, the “improvement” is generally, exactly the opposite. This does not concern only the height of the vehicle and the pre-tension of the springs, but also the shock absorbers where in most cases the rebound and the compression can be sensitively and seperately adjusted. With a certain amount of justification, the very low-lying vehicles are more than likely show cars, not really seen as serious rivals in competitions. Low lying is not necessarily the better choice.
In Germany there are clear legal limits, where e.g., the lowest part of the vehicle must have at least 8 cm of ground clearance. For this reason alone, front spoilers (parts) which can be lowered or raised while driving, are not particularly useful. The whole headlamp must be 50 cm above the ground and the tyres must have 1,5 cm clearance to the mudguard edge. More often than not, the, by far the most widely installed Mc Pherson-struts come very close to the lower spring-cup. Quite often, the spring is coiled at a slant around the shock absorber and towards the outside. In this case, a minimum of 5 mm from the wheel is allowed.
Because, in the case of the previously described measurement, e.g., the depth of the wheel rim plays an important role, after the testing this is legally determined, this is not valid for winter tyres. This means, as far as the height adjustment is concerned, it can only be increased and not be made lower. Thus, the nuts shown in the 2nd figure on the left (in the 3rd figure on the right) may not be turned further to the left. The positional regulations are stated in the registration papers of the vehicle. If after the MOT-test the suspension is once again lowered, the test was a waste of time.
When planning a conversion of this type, one must go ahead very carefully. The components must be purchsed from an approved manufacturer (in Germany they must have a seal of approval!), one must be sure that the components are designed for ones particular vehicle and finally the installation, which, for a competent mechanic, is not overly complicated. Nonetheless, during the dismantling a spring can, very unpleasantly, jump out of position or especially simple screws have been fastened too tightly and do not hold. The adjusting of the limits for the steering angle and spring compression requires multiple checking, even then, if the testing is somewhat more extreme. Of course, it goes without saying, that the results of both sides must be identical.
Because of the fact that, apart from the ever suspicious freaks, normal motor car enthusiasts are also among the prospective customers, it must be said that this sort of alteration does not only have advantages. A deterioration in the comfort is certainly taken into consideration, the higher wear and tear, also in the car body however, is often ignored. The fact that the loading capacity and also the space in the rear seating area may be resticted, must be given some thought as well. In addition, the feeling of the steering changes, in fact, with the mounting of special wheels it can change drastically. 01/11