Suspension & Brakes Theory, alignment, spring rates....

You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

 
Old 07-08-2009, 05:22 AM
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Default You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

I've seen this asked sooo many times lately that I guess it's about time for a sticky on this subject. I see so many people asking how to get their vehicle super low (slammed) and yet they still want a smooth ride. Hate to burst your bubble, but this just is not possible on a Honda, or probably on any car for that matter.

Due to the space limitations in the wheel wells, you have to greatly increase the spring rate in order to keep the suspension off of the bump stops. Yes you can install extended top hats or shortened shocks to gain some suspension travel, but then you run into issues with the upper control arm contacting the shock tower, especially on double-wishbone Civics and Integras. Yes you can cut holes in the shock towers to allow more UCA travel, but then you run into issues with the axles hitting the frame rails. Yes you can notch the frame but... just how far are you willing to go?

So to prevent all this, high spring rates are required (along with dampers that can handle those spring rates), and you end up with a pretty harsh ride. If you do not do this, the suspension WILL bottom out A LOT, which also makes for nasty ride quality.

I have heard that air ride may give a more compliant ride quality, but I have my doubts about that, too, since you still have to have a pretty high "spring rate" to keep the suspension from bottoming out.

Feel free to post questions or comments in this thread.

4 Feb. 2010 - edited for emphasis and additional comments. With excessive lowering, it's either stiffer springs or bottoming out. That's it. No other choices.

Last edited by PatrickGSR94; 02-04-2010 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:26 AM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

yes, slammimg your car will cause you to have to give up some of your ride quality! but to me its worth it. its not like its a cadillac anyway. i will always ride slammed. its just suits my taste.
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:33 AM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

Well in SC you can run slammed. The roads are oh so great compared to where I reside now. KS. The roads are booty. They have the expansion joints to let the sections expand and contract depending on weather, and it's just a rough ride all together.

But, Yes, Pat, your right. People need to open their eyes and smell the tulips. There is a great compromise when it comes to suspension setups.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

BEST THREAD EVER! Thanks Patrick!
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Old 07-09-2009, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

I'm so feelin' the pain right now. My car running pretty low on RS-R race springs and Skunk2 shocks. Just brought a Hardrace camber kit and now the arm is smacking the shock tower. The ride is freakin' unbearable. Its like whats the point of having that race car setup when i'm drivin' like grandma so i want feel the bumps ridin' down the street. I see the light now, gotta get a nice setup with lower spring rates. Ya live and ya learn.
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

it would depend on what you consider smooth, i guess.

i've lowered all sorts of hondas and other cars, and i've never ended up with a harsh ride. tight? sure. but never harsh.

i will agree that in lowering the car, you diminish the amount of room the suspension has to move around and soak up bumps, but in normal spirited driving on a well tuned, stiff suspension (performance car kind of stuff), your suspension doesn't really move all that far.

more often than not, when i've had customers come to me complaining about a harsh ride (after they've done their own swap), i've found mis-assembled spring/shock assemblies, improperly clocked bushings, full height bump stops, control arm interference, and a dozen OTHER problems. occasionally, i'll run across someone running some stupid high rate springs...but nearly every ride problem i encounter has nothing to do with the spring and the shock.


so far as airride is concerned; again, with proper tuning, it's no more harsh or less smooth than any other performance oriented setup.



basically, unless or until you are hitting the ground with the car, the ride can always be bettered.
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

Originally Posted by MrScrogg View Post
Well in SC you can run slammed. The roads are oh so great compared to where I reside now. KS. The roads are booty. They have the expansion joints to let the sections expand and contract depending on weather, and it's just a rough ride all together.

But, Yes, Pat, your right. People need to open their eyes and smell the tulips. There is a great compromise when it comes to suspension setups.
soooooo true!!!! roads in KS, AK, and over here in OK are BEYOND F*CKED UP!!! trust me shane, you know my car isnt even slammed and its taking a beating out here man. i would almost rather pay for a cab everywhere i go than to ride on these roads. btw hows ur civic doin?
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

^psychoboy, being from norman im sure that u can at least admit that I-40 near downtown OKC and most of the surrounding areas look like they have been hulk-smashed with the fists of God?
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Old 07-11-2009, 05:52 AM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

Originally Posted by psychoboy View Post
but in normal spirited driving on a well tuned, stiff suspension (performance car kind of stuff), your suspension doesn't really move all that far.
That is the problem, though. If the suspension doesn't move very far, then much more of the road imperfections and vibration is transmitted into the cabin.

I simply made this thread because I've seen so many people lately asking how to get their car low while still retaining stock or near-stock ride quality, and I'm saying that is simply impossible.
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

Originally Posted by Bro. Darkness View Post
soooooo true!!!! roads in KS, AK, and over here in OK are BEYOND F*CKED UP!!! trust me shane, you know my car isnt even slammed and its taking a beating out here man. i would almost rather pay for a cab everywhere i go than to ride on these roads. btw hows ur civic doin?
its doing good man! thanks for askin. bout to head out for ia in a couple weeks.
also my car is all the way down on skunk 2 sleeves and the ride was better than my sprints.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

when your as low and explained in the first post ive heard your axles will actually not last too long before you start hearing ..clunk clunk clunk clunk clunk..
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

great thread, now sticky a camber kit
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

Originally Posted by batallic View Post
great thread, now sticky a camber kit
I assume you mean the fact that camber kits are NOT required.
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Old 07-11-2009, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

YUP
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Old 07-11-2009, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
I assume you mean the fact that camber kits are NOT required.
yes
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

i can't even imagine why someone in the midwest would ride slammed. the tires will literally loose contact with the road if you bomb through some rough patches on light springs. not to mention beating the hell out of the car. around portland about the only people i see rolling dumped are mexis.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

I like a little bounce in my ride so I stay slammed!! unfortunately most chicks don't lol. I always tell them "It's not my car thats the problem, its the road" when riding around my dads are in Irvine where the roads are nice new a paved its wonderful, when riding in areas like riverside or la county.. i'd rather die
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

all my cars have been pretty dumped and i just accept that the ride is gonna be rough. price you pay for being dumped. im used to it i guess but dont think a rough ride is a big deal
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

Silk Road Spec R-M dampers FTW! I'm dumped as FK and the ride is reasonably smooth. I used to run Koni/GC and it road like ****, but not since im now running full coilovers...
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

Your ride is still nowhere near stock, though. If you think it is, you're really only kidding yourself.
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

true but it definetly doesnt ride as shitty as the Koni/GC set-up everyone raves about... i rode dumped on it for over a year and it was nice but the silks are 10x better.. of course nowhere near stock, but thats a good thing..

BOT: OP is correct, you cannot have a slammed and smooth ride.. smooth= cadi ... we drive hondas.....
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

Originally Posted by idrivesideways View Post
i can't even imagine why someone in the midwest would ride slammed. the tires will literally loose contact with the road if you bomb through some rough patches on light springs. not to mention beating the hell out of the car. around portland about the only people i see rolling dumped are mexis.
i lowered my car while i was living in SC before i joined the military and got unwillingly sent to Oklahoma. not really pissed about it cuz it comes with signing up but i gotta make the car adapt too i guess. the roads over here are a whole new ball game!
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

I agree and disagree.

You can be slammed and have a really good ride. Will it be factory? No, but just as good as any lowering spring.

Do not think you can get it by buying the HT brainwashed koni/gc combo with high spring rates and a 195/45-15 then just slap them on. It requires modifying just about every piece of suspension and car body itself but it can be done.

Like stated above, if it is not hitting the ground then you have plenty of travel left to find
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

who slams their car to drive like stockk ? i would slam my car with good suspension good bushing for better and tighter turns. if you want your car to ride like stock then leave it stock hahahaha. DRIVING DAILY SLAMMED ! dds
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Old 07-14-2009, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: You CANNOT ride slammed AND have a smooth ride!

Originally Posted by luciferi View Post
I agree and disagree.

You can be slammed and have a really good ride. Will it be factory? No, but just as good as any lowering spring.

Do not think you can get it by buying the HT brainwashed koni/gc combo with high spring rates and a 195/45-15 then just slap them on. It requires modifying just about every piece of suspension and car body itself but it can be done.

Like stated above, if it is not hitting the ground then you have plenty of travel left to find
Let's try to stay on topic. I made this thread to answer the many threads I've seen in here where people specifically ask about slamming their ride but retaining stock or near-stock ride quality.

That's what I'm trying to dispel with this topic.
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