What Does A Suspension Kit Consist Of?
Suspension upgrade kits are diverse when it comes to what many contain. Some are basic spring, shock, and strut packages, but others are more comprehensive, featuring upper and lower control arms, sway bars, tie rods, bumpsteer kits, complete axles, brake upgrades and the like. We have front suspension kits for everything from gassers, Mustang II conversions, GM-style subframe kits, Model A four bar kits, and everything in between, including many a universal suspension kit for custom chassis fabrication/builds. Rear suspension kits mostly center on upper and lower control arms, or leaf spring upgrade packages, but can also include a complete rear end. The rear suspension kits also fit a wide variety of applications, as well.
It all boils down to your vehicle needs. If you simply need new springs, we have those, but if you need everything up front, out back, or a comprehensive rebuild of both front and rear suspension systems, we have you covered there, as well.
Are Aftermarket Suspension Kits Worth It?
Of course they are, but again, as we have been stressing, choosing the right suspension kit is the key. Lowering kits are popular because many enthusiasts want a lowered ride height compared to stock. Many complete suspension upgrade kits are based on lowering kits, featuring lowering springs, relocated perches, coilover springs, etc., but the whole package doubles as a suspension drop kit. Since every factory suspension system is designed to provide a comfortable ride, the factory engineer is not so much concerned with a lowered ride height, but one that provides the proper clearances. They are more concerned with a compliant ride, but many of us find the ride height to be somewhat excessive. Therefore, many aftermarket suspension kits or lowering kits are based on lowering the car’s ride height. So, if your vehicle’s ride height is higher than you would like, adding an aftermarket suspension kit, which is designed to provide a lowered ride height for better handling, is exactly what you need.
What Shocks Give the Smoothest Ride?
The quick answer is “new ones.” However, to be more concise, gas-charged shocks and struts do a great job of handling the bumps. Your vehicle’s shocks and struts are designed to take the abuse for you, while also providing optimum handling characteristics at the same time. As far as shock and strut designs, there are gas-charged, heavy-duty shocks and struts designed for trucks and SUVs, air shocks, and coilover designs where the spring encompasses the shock and/or strut. Each can provide the ride you desire, but again, this is another area where doing a little research goes a long way. Most of the shock and strut designs found in the suspension kits we sell are designed to give a compliant ride. The last thing any suspension manufacturer wants is for someone to be unhappy with ride quality. Therefore, many manufacturers have done their homework on the shocks and struts that work best with their suspension kits. Many of our suspension kits feature single or double adjustable shocks which will allow you to dial in the precise shock dampening you prefer.
What Are The 4 Types of Suspension Systems?
Leaf spring, coil spring, torsion bar, and airbag systems; these are the 4 types of suspension systems found on most vehicles. Leaf spring suspensions are popular on trucks, and older cars. Coil spring suspension systems replaced many leaf spring suspension designs, and in many cases, offer more compact packaging. Torsion bar suspensions use a bar that acts as a spring by using its length in a twisting motion with one end fixed to the chassis and the other fixed to the control arm. Many Mopar products and import trucks use this type of suspension. Ride height adjustments are as easy as turning the torsion bar. With airbag systems, ride characteristics and ride height are based on using airbags in place of a traditional coil spring and air pressure to vary the spring rate. With many airbag suspensions, both factory and aftermarket, adjusting ride height is as easy as hitting a few buttons. Most airbag suspensions are electronic, which makes them easily adjusted right from the driver’s seat.
When Should I upgrade my suspension?
When you feel your vehicle’s ride quality or handling characteristics are deteriorating, it could be time for a suspension upgrade. Increased body roll or continued suspension feedback going over bumps or rough terrain are two behaviors of failing suspension components. Increased squeaks going over bumps and while turning from control arms or ball joints are sure-fire signals that your suspension needs work. Also, if doing a restoration or getting a car back on the road after sitting for several years, this is a good time to give the suspension a little love. Anything from new bushings or a complete suspension overhaul is just a click away.