Suspension Upgrades, How to and Why

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Having stacks of power under the bonnet of your car is worthless if you can't even get it to the ground or turn corners, thats why suspension upgrades, and i don't mean chopping stock springs so your ride quality is similar to being in a washing machine full of rocks.
There are a couple of important things to take into consideration when  upgrading handling...

1. Chassis Stiffening
2. Lowering Springs and Shocks
3. Bushes

1. Taking corners, especially at high speeds changes the geometry of the chassis of your car, even if only slightly, you really don't want this, it impedes your turning capabilities and can damage components on the undercarriage of your car.
Thats why increasing the rigidity of the chassis is important, it reduces component flex and keeps the car on the road. There are a few parts that can be used to do this...
The Strut Tower Bar, this bolts in between the strut towers (surprisingly enough) of the front or rear shocks.
This is probably the most popular method because it makes such an immediate difference and comes at a reasonable price, from a generic $40 model to a high tech $200 Cusco model.


Tie rods, also called lower arm bars, these bolt between various points under the chassis depending on the vehicle, these come in front and rear and increase steering response

Sway Bars, All cars come stock with sway bars, but often they are either too thin or hollow, aftermarket sway bars are thicker and prevent the body from rolling when taking corners, they greatly improve steering control and response, they come in front and rear


2. Lowering Shocks and Suspension, depending on your budget and needs anything from slightly lowered springs to new shocks and springs or coilovers could be used. Lowering should not be excessive to keep performance, and camber kits may be needed to keep the tires perpendicular to the road, all we need to do here is lower the center of gravity.
You can set up a good shock/spring combo by buying aftermarket shocks and putting lowered springs on them but if you want the ultimate set up go for coilovers which are fully adjustable though expensive ($1500 >) but worth it and some top models can even adjust the ride height without jacking up the car.


3. Bushes, Bushes are the rubber bearings that fit in joins of most suspension components, they are made out of relatively  soft rubber, some with metal sleeves, stock bushes degrade and hamper ride quality and steering. Aftermarket bushes are usually made of polyurethane, of another hard polymer, replacing bushes with polyurethane counterparts increases the rigidity of the chassis and the steering feel, as well as being more durable, you can buy bushes either separately as you need them or as a full kit.


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