What are coilovers in a car, their advantages and disadvantages

Cylovers: what are they. Cylovers: what are they Cylovers full tap

This design unfortunately has much more than pluses. Leaving the factory (stock) shock absorber and changing the clearance of the car, we force it (the shock absorber) to work in extreme modes. As a consequence, a degradation of drivability, frequent crashes and fast failure.

The next level – budget coilovers (helical suspension)

These are struts with a shock absorber where instead of the stationary support for the spring the support is threaded and allows shifting the springs up and down, thus changing the car height (clearance).

The main representatives of this segment are well-proven suspension TA Technix, Jom Blueline, Jom Redline, FK Automative.

The advantages of

inexpensive cost, a wide range of manufacturers.

The main drawback

The absence of possibility to regulate the shock absorber compression/rebound (stiffness).

Fully adjustable Full-Tap screw suspensions

– allow you to adjust the clearance of the car, regardless of the stroke of the rod, stiffness (compression / rebound) shock absorber, as well as the preload of the spring. Often, Full-Tap coilovers come with support bearings on the pivot with the ability to adjust the angle of wheel camber.

The main representatives of the adjustable Full-Tap coilover suspension on the Russian market BC Racing, KT Racing…

The advantage of Full-Tap coilover

is the availability of all kinds of adjustments and settings for suspension, allowing the best quality and most efficient use of a set of coilovers.

The main disadvantage

is a higher price.

Top of the line coilover suspensions

can have all imaginable and unimaginable options of settings, remote adjustment of rebound/compression stiffness, in general as they say “Any whim for your money.”

Tuning is often quite expensive. As a rule, all trends come from the West, therefore there are a lot of foreign words, not known to an ordinary man in the arsenal of inveterate motorists. So, for example, not many people know, what are downpipes, dampers and autobuffers. The same situation repeats when we come across the term “coylovers”.


– is an adjustable shock absorber strut, which allows you to change the stiffness of shock absorbers and the height of clearance (ground clearance). Basically, coilovers act as an adjustable suspension and consist of a support and a spring wrapped around its rod. Cylovers were first developed by western professionals and used in sports and drifting competitions. The word consists of two parts – “coil” and “over”. If you translate each of them separately (the first is a spring, the second is around), you can understand what coilovers are.

The main task of the device is to raise or lower the suspension. At the same time it is possible to adjust in a wide enough range. Consequently, every day you can ride with a completely new settings, because the product helps to seamlessly change the height of ground clearance (clearance).

If you have a question about what adjustment range has a screw suspension, the value is 8-10 cm when it comes to A-arms. When we are dealing with a separate spring and shock absorber, the values vary and are 6-8 cm. However, there may be some fluctuations within different models.

Principle of operation and construction of coilovers

The basis of the adjustable suspension is the usual shock absorber strut. The only difference is that it has different characteristics that allow it to function in large ranges (from the lightest (on increase) to the most rigid (on compression)). On the body of the rack is threaded, or a special cover is put on, which already has it. At the bottom is a stop that can move up and down.

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The spring is between the two stops and the position of the lower one can be changed. The upper part of the adjustable suspension arm has a special attachment. Its lower component is put on the thread by screwing it on, which allows unobstructed movement in up or down directions. The main advantage of coilovers is the ability to adjust the height without interfering with the suspension and use with conventional shock absorber struts.

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What are the Cylovers

Depending on the features of the device, there are several types of the product:

  1. The most primitive consist of a shock absorber, in which the support is made on a threaded connection (instead of the traditional support for the spring). It is this design that allows you to adjust the clearance by shifting the spring up and down. The main advantage is cheapness, the disadvantage – you can not adjust the stiffness of the shock absorber.
  2. The second type has the ability to change the rigidity of the suspension. True, for these adjustable struts will have to pay a higher amount than for the previous ones. In such a product, the stroke of the rod directly depends on the change in ground clearance. The main plus – coilovers can be installed on any car. The disadvantages are quite a lot:
      deterioration of drivability;
  3. rapid failure;
  4. frequent breakdowns.

All this is provoked by the fact that the shock absorber works for wear, because we leave both the clearance and the factory settings of the shock absorber.

  1. The last class are more advanced products. You can use them to adjust the low- and high-velocity compression settings in even greater ranges.

What changes when coilovers are installed?

In addition to the types of coilovers, there are two product series. Each is responsible for making their own separate changes:

  • The Street series allows for a slight increase in suspension stiffness. However, even such modifications will lead to the fact that the suspension will not lurch in the corners, become less swaying and dangling. If you take advantage of the maximum adjustment of the presented coilover, then the handling of the car will approach the sport class – you will notice how its behavior will change on the alignments and corners.
  • The Track series makes the suspension even stiffer and more composed, and the car more stable on the road. Using even the softest settings, you will give your ride comfort.

Pros and cons of coilovers

Like any other item, coilovers have their pros and cons.

The pros of coilovers include:

  • simplicity of design, its uncomplicated and quick installation;
  • The ability to raise and lower the car (to adjust the clearance) without interfering with the suspension;
  • Optimal cost, because there is no need to make expensive tuning of suspension;
  • universality – installation can be carried out on any car model;
  • Ability to change the rigidity of shock absorbers, as well as the installation of standard seats.
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Disadvantages of helical suspension:

  • the price of coilovers exceeds the price of even the highest quality shock absorbers;
  • sometimes there is no possibility to install it on the existing racks;
  • adjustment of coilovers leads to the need to adjust the camber;
  • if you change the settings, the car can loosen and its performance can be significantly reduced.

Once you get acquainted with what “coilovers” are, it becomes clear that it is simply a shock absorber, which is additionally equipped with a spring. The latter gives the ability to adjust various parameters, such as the stiffness and clearance of the car. Hopefully, it is now clear whether your car needs to be installed such a device.

Cylovers are adjustable shock absorber struts, used most often as part of the sports suspension. In Russian this word came from the West together with the fashion on sports tuning, and it stuck, as it is shorter and easier to pronounce than “adjustable suspension” or “adjustable strut”. Installation of coilovers can improve the functional characteristics of the car, but can also reduce them, so it is necessary to understand what coilovers are, how they differ from each other and from standard struts, and when it makes sense to use them.

Coylover installation kit.

A coylover is a traditional element of sports car suspension. The name of this part is formed by the English words coil and over, which literally means “spring around”.

Coylover is a shock absorber, which allows you to adjust the spring stiffness and ground clearance of the car by compressing or uncompressing it. In essence, it is a rack-and-pinion, on which the spring is mounted, moving relative to it.

In sports cars, the helical suspension appeared due to the need to promptly change the stiffness and height of the suspension. The ability to quickly change these parameters and improve the handling of the car became an integral chip of such disciplines as rally, where before every start of the technical team carries out almost jewelry car calibration.

In sports tuning, coilovers are installed on cars to adjust the clearance, stiffness and nature of shock absorption. The convenience lies in the fact that to change the height of the suspension you do not need to disassemble it – the shock absorber struts simply twist a little, and that’s it.

What are coilovers

From the name of the unit, it becomes clear that coilovers first appeared in the West among sportsmen and street racers. Coylover due to its design, is able to change not only the stiffness of the shock absorber, but also the height of the car’s clearance. The setup process is simple and easy, so the driver can ride for a week on a light suspension, and at the weekend to make it lower, stiffer and go to the racetrack.

Coylover is also convenient because its clearance can vary in the range of 10 cm. Which is quite tangible for any type of car.

Types of coilovers

What does the coilovers look like on the car.

According to the method of installation, there are different kits for complete and partial replacement of the struts:

  • Partial retrofit kits (essentially threaded shrouds) are installed on existing struts. However, if it turns out that the strut is not designed to handle the loads that come with the coilover, it can break.
  • One-piece kits, ready to be mounted in the suspension . To install these coilovers, you have to remove the old struts from the car and put the adjustable counterparts in their place. In this case, the strut is initially designed ready for different types of load, so the suspension is more reliable and durable.
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There is also a division of coilovers into series according to the conditions for which they are designed:

  • Street . The suspension gets high stiffness, but there is less swaying, wobbling, and no lurching in corners. The difference in the car’s behavior when cornering, shifting and other maneuvers becomes especially noticeable at maximum adjustment – there is a palpable sporty “disposition”.
  • Track . Products of this series give the car stability on the road, making the suspension even more collected and rigid. Even with the softest settings it responds well to steering and steering stability.

Depending on the adjustment possibilities, the following types are also distinguished:

  1. Primitive screw-bearing shock absorbers . These are the types of coilovers that are most in demand. From a technical point of view, they are not suitable for anything other than changing the clearance. The advantage is the low cost. The disadvantage – they do not allow you to change the rigidity of the suspension.
  2. Simple coilovers with the function of changing the stiffness. Cost a bit more expensive than the first type, but can be installed on any car. The stroke of their piston rod directly depends on how much ground clearance is set. The advantage is suitable for different cars. Minus – it worsens the drivability.
  3. Full-tap coilovers (or DGR), which provide adjustment of ground clearance, suspension stiffness and spring preload. Manufacturers often equip such struts with support bearings for camber adjustment. The advantage – a flexible adjustment of the suspension. Minus – they are difficult to install and expensive.
  4. Professional coilovers with high and low-speed compression capabilities. Car enthusiasts practically are not used due to the high cost and impracticality of installation.

How much do coilovers undercut the car?

On average, you can achieve 20-35 mm lowering by using the adjustable suspension. Pretty good for city tuning – you just need to twist the bottom stop, not cut the springs. If you are guided by road clearance, the result is even more impressive – up to 20-30 mm from road level. For comparison, with the same trimming, as a rule, it is possible to achieve clearance of 30-50 mm.

Advantages of helical suspension on coilovers

  • These suspension elements are developed taking into account the different workloads, so they are made of high quality materials.
  • Inexpensive coilovers to adjust the rigidity of the suspension and ground clearance do not require special skills and equipment for installation.
  • The car’s suspension can be adjusted promptly just before each trip.
  • It is possible to retrofit existing struts and, if necessary, switch back to standard suspension.
  • When used with care, coilovers retain their performance for a long time and do not break down.

Disadvantages of adjustable shock absorbers

  • To guarantee quality and performance, you need to buy models from proven manufacturers. And the cost of even medium-function products in this case is comparable to high-quality counterparts for the standard suspension.
  • When adjusting coilovers, it is often necessary to additionally work with camber and misalignment.
  • Suspension adjustments can adversely affect maneuverability, handling, behavior on rough, wet or slippery roads. All this additionally affects the fuel consumption, wear and tear of other units and car parts.
  • When installed on the original suspension struts, the latter quickly wear out.
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Thus, with reasonable installation and well-thought-out tuning, the coilover suspension makes driving more comfortable, easier and more confident, as well as allows you to give it the necessary sporty look. The main thing is to choose the right part for installation, do not skimp on quality and make sure that its operation, in fact, does not impair the driving qualities of the car.

Coylover with your own hands

Since the price of such an upgrade is high, it is always possible to make the necessary components. Although this task is quite difficult, if necessary and some skills, it is feasible. This will save a significant amount of money and pick up a part for your car. Before starting the work, it is worth choosing a shock absorber. It is necessary for the further functioning of the system, being its base. It is recommended to buy sports variants, whose stiffness is much higher than that of the classic ones. This will allow them to work in any position of the washer.

Next, it is necessary to sharpen the parts. For the coilovers you need two – the shroud and the coupling. The role of the coupling will be a nut, supplemented by a support washer. After fitting the parts to the threads, you need to move on to the next step – assembly. It is carried out as follows.

  1. The protective casing is removed from the regular rack.
  2. The previously milled billet is placed in its place.
  3. The nuts are screwed on the blank and the bearing washer is put on.
  4. The silentblock and the dust cap are installed.

The last step in creating this design is installing the spring. The process is very problematic if you do not have the proper equipment. It can be found in the nearest car repair shop, the task itself takes a few minutes.

As a result, the homemade coilover is ready, you only need to put it in the car

It is important to test its performance and maximum load, so that in the future it will not lead to a dangerous situation. It is recommended to test it in different positions, which will allow you to determine the approximate range of loads

The process of creating coilovers is quite complicated, and the effort may not be worth the result achieved. Therefore, it is often easier and more reliable to buy a ready-made product than to make its components yourself.

And this video clearly shows the process of making coilovers nuts. Although the workpieces already have internal threads, it is quite easy to apply them. The video will allow you to understand the nuances of manufacturing such nuts, which are the main components that fix the spring in the required position:

What are coilovers (coilover) and what are they for. Pros and cons of coilovers

What is a coilover? Coilover or Coil-Over is another invention that came to us from the western motorsport. In English “Coilover” can be translated as “coil” – coils or spring, and “over” – around. If you look at the invention itself, it becomes clear why the name is so. A coylover is a shock absorber strut, in the upper part of which there is a spring (hence coil or spring) that wraps around (hence the word over) the strut itself, or rather its stem.

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A coilover is a helical suspension, with the ability to adjust the height and stiffness of the spring without having to remove the shock strut. The spring at the top of the strut moves relative to the strut itself and allows you to make the strut itself stiffer or softer, depending on the requirements of the driver himself. In addition, with coilovers you can effectively change not only the stiffness of the suspension, but also the height of the clearance (ground clearance) depending on your needs. And the best part is that you get all these changes in the suspension without taking it apart, with the same shock struts.

Types of Coilovers

There are two options for installing coilovers – retaining the original shock absorbers and installing completely finished coilovers

The first option involves modifying the installed shock absorbers by installing a screw thread with a spring on them. The disadvantage of this method is that the conventional rack is not designed to work in different extreme positions, so instead of coilovers you risk to ruin shock absorber and get rather mediocre characteristics and bad handling.

The second variant is installation of factory coilovers with full replacement of regular shock-absorber struts. In this case the manufacturer takes into account all the nuances, and the screw thread is applied during manufacturing to the shock absorber body itself. Ready-made coilovers are more convenient and practical option, which does not require any manipulation, time or money.

How much you can lower the car with the help of coilovers? It is hardly possible to name an exact figure, it all depends on the specific car and the size of its clearance. Very often, the coilovers have lowering of about 20 mm at the lowest point and the adjustment range varies between 20 and 100 millimeters.

I should note that not always coilovers are lowering of the car, there are those who increase clearance of their cars for certain purposes and tasks with the help of screw suspension.

Pros and cons of coilovers

Pros: Simple design, fast installation; ●Clearance increase/decrease without dismantling the suspension; ●Ability to adjust shock absorber stiffness for any purpose; ●Compensable price and no need for high-tech and expensive suspension tuning; ●Ability of separate installation on standard shock absorbers; ●Universal. Coilovers can be installed on almost any car.

Disadvantages: ● The cost of coilover shock absorbers is twice as high as the price of high-quality shock absorbers from well-known manufacturers; ● It is not always possible to install them over the old struts; ● Certain skills and time are required for adjustment. Differences in the adjustment of the two coilovers can lead to imbalance and further deteriorate the driving characteristics; ●After adjusting the coilovers, it is very often necessary to adjust the camber/discrepancy.

As you can see, there is nothing complicated, and underneath the “scary” word “coilovers” there is an ordinary shock absorber with a spring and adjustability. Now that you know what coilovers are, I think you can easily answer this question and decide for yourself whether to install coilovers on your car.

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