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This article aims to answer any questions you may have about the best way to lower your Civic.

What It Looks Like:
Just so you know what I'm talking about below, this image illustrates the various parts of a simple suspension system.

misc/img/spring.jpg

Why Lower Your Car?
It's all about your centre of gravity. The higher your centre of gravity, the easier it is for your car to slide on a bend or even roll over. The higher your car, the worse the road holding. Needless to say, you don't want to end up like this:

misc/img/roll.jpg

But lets not all forget the other reason. Lowering your car is one of the best looking things you can do. Here is a nice lowered Civic:

misc/img/lowered.jpg

OK! Let's Slam It!
No, no and no. Just because your friend managed to drop his car 40mm without any problems, does not mean you can. The amount you can lower your car depends on so many different factors including the weight of your engine, size of your wheels and tyres and even your own body weight.

The only way you can find the optimum lowering height for your vehicle is with trial and error. Lower it slightly, drive it for a while and lower it again until you find a good compromise.

So What Are My Options?
Let's have a look at all the different options available then.

Cut Your Springs
Why can't I just cut my springs a bit to lower my ride height?

OK this is just one big no. Springs on car are "progressive". It basically means the more you compress it, the harder it becomes to compress further. If it takes 30lbs to compress the spring half an inch, it would take 100lbs to compress it another half an inch. Why is this important? When you hit a bump, the springs compress allowing the wheel to move smoothly over it. If you cut the springs, suddenly that small bump isn't enough to compress the spring, so the car will jump over the bump. As you can imagine this is extremely dangerous since your wheels will have less contact with the road (not to mention you'll have a broken back from the jolt).

Buy Lowering Springs
OK I won't cut my springs, I'll buy shorter springs and leave the original dampers.

Better, but sorry still a no. By lowering your car, you are compressing the damper and forcing it to travel a shorter distance, but at a higher frequency. Dampers are made to dampen the bounce, and each one has a certain operating range. Your original dampers are not meant to be compressed for long periods of time, while at the same time travelling short distances very quickly, which is what would happen with shorter springs. It might feel fine to start with, but you will quickly boil the oil inside the piston housing (having the damper travel really quickly) and thus blow it out and render it useless. If you're going along at any speed when this happens, you're screwed.

Buy Both New Springs and Dampers
OK fine I'll buy new springs and new dampers.

Now we're talking :) the only way to guarantee your comfort and safety in a lowered vehicle is by installing new springs and dampers, preferably together from the same manufacturer. It's costly, but always worth while in the end.

Final Thoughts:
- The lower your car, the stiffer the ride becomes. Why? Simply because there's less room for the suspension to travel.
- You can buy adjustable and non-adjustable systems. The adjustable ones are more expensive, but you have full control over your ride height.

I hope this cleared up most questions. If you have any regarding this article, just reply below.
 

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installing new shocks and springs or a coilover kit does without questions help the handling dramatically, but in reality your only half way there! to really get your car handling you must get the car corner weighted. i actually only heard of this last year and its amazing how many people still havent heard of it!
 

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thanks for your information on lowering. i put on a set of apex lowering springs on a 1.4 EP1 Civic as well as a pair of 17. it has become very rattley. there was no bottom rubbers they just sat on top of the shock.
 

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on my scooby there is rubber around the bottom spring on the civic there is none the spring just sits on top of the shock .the springs i took of had none either so i thought the car haddened got any . a friend of mine said that most cars have a rubber around the last rung of the spring
 

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what do you think of tein super street coilovers? i was thinking of saving up to get some fitted with the onboard dash controller
 

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I got quoted £1400 to have the supersprint coilovers with the edfc kit fitted, I think it was a reasonable price
 

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Do you really need that level of control and convenience? They are really only if you are racing TBH.
 

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I wont be doing much racing lol what would you recomend for an ep3? seen some BC coilovers dunno how good they are though
 

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if using lowering springs is a bad idea, from what i just read it does make sense why it is a bad idea, why are top named manufactures like ebiach and other big names making them?
 

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Because you can get shocks seperately, can build your own setup then how you want it ;)
 

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R3DD3V1L said:
if using lowering springs is a bad idea, from what i just read it does make sense why it is a bad idea, why are top named manufactures like ebiach and other big names making them?
20mm+ drops will need new shocks to cope with the drop properly, some good brand standard shocks can cope with up 10-15mm drops....
 

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im a student, so ive got very little money :( would just getting springs that lower 30mm like spax or something on 17" rims be fine for normal road use?
thanks
 

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It would be OK but not what I would recommend, it would purely look better, any improvement in handling will be minimal and will result in more bouncy behaviour we is generally going to be detrimental to the overall handling quality.

You can pickup second hand sets at reasonable prices. For uprated shocks and springs second hand will be around £100-£200, depending on brand, for a set thats been looked after.
 
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