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SUSPENSION


Does it matter which way the springs are installed?

Yes. The springs should always be installed with the part numbers and manufacturerís logos right side up (so they can be read when installed). Most are marked front/rear. Eibach spring part numbers end in 001 for the fronts and 002 for the rears. H&R springs have VA marked on the front and HA marked on the rears. Other brands are typically marked front and rear. The ends of the spring coil should be indexed correctly in the corresponding notches in the spring perch. Failure to match the coil ends with the notches can affect the ride height as the spring will not fully seat on the perch.

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How do I know if my vehicle needs new shocks or struts?

Shocks and struts dampen the movement of your vehicleís springs. They minimize excessive movement as the vehicle moves over uneven pavement and help keep the tires in contact with the road. The internal valves and seals wear out and most dampers should be inspected and/or replaced after approximately 70,000 miles of normal use. Symptoms of worn shocks and struts include:

  • Excessive bouncing or sliding sideways on rough, winding roads
  • Vague or loose steering response after driving over a bump
  • Front end diving when braking
  • Rear end squatting when accelerating
  • Excessive body sway or a rolling feeling when turning
  • Bottoming out (thumping) when driving over bumps
  • Leaking oil on the shock or strut body
  • Worn or cracked mounting bushings
  • Pitted piston rods
  • Excessive wear of the front brakes
  • Abnormal tire wear including cupping on the inner shoulders

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Whatís the difference between a standard adjustable and an externally adjustable damper?

Standard adjustable dampers require one or both ends of the damper to be detached from the suspension before the valves can be adjusted. Externally adjustable dampers do not need to be removed from the vehicle for valve adjustment. They have valve adjustment knobs or buttons on the end of the damper rod or body where they can be reached and adjusted while they are still on the vehicle.

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What is alignment?

Alignment is the precise adjustment of the vehicle wheels and suspension components at specific angles. These angles are set to the vehicle manufacturerís specifications. The angles are calculated to keep the vehicle traveling straight without pulling to one side or the other. They are also calculated to minimize tire wear and maximize vehicle stability at higher speeds.

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When should I have my vehicle alignment checked/adjusted?

The alignment should be checked and adjusted anytime suspension components or the tires/wheels are replaced, upgraded, or otherwise altered. Even something as common as running over a pothole can damage the suspension components and knock the suspension out of alignment.

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What is the difference between a shock and a strut?

Shocks and struts are both dampers. They dampen the movement of the vehicle springs. Shocks perform only that dampening function. Struts differ in that they not only dampen the spring movement but also take the place of one or more suspension components. Some struts serve as the pivot point for the front steering mechanism, the mount for the hub/brake assembly and the mounting points for brake lines and anti-roll bars. Because of their multiple roles and the way they are mounted within the suspension, struts are also designed to handle side loads and horizontal friction forces.

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What are adjustable dampers?

Adjustable dampers have internal valves that can be adjusted to increase or decrease the rebound or compression rate. As damper valves begin to wear, they can be adjusted to bring them back to the same firmness they had when they were new. This procedure can be performed multiple times thus extending the useful lifespan of the damper far beyond that of a standard damper. These also have additional advantages for those customers involved in motorsports. They allow fine-tuning of the suspension for track use and the ability to soften it back up for daily driver use.

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How do I measure my vehicleís ride height?

Using a tape measure, start at the center point of the wheel and measure up to the very top of the fender arch opening. Record your results for all four corners of the vehicle. These are your baseline measurements. You will likely find slight differences in ride height from side to side on the vehicle. Thatís normal on most vehicles. Make sure the vehicle loading is as close as possible when making any before and after measurements. Remember, the springs support the vehicle body and as you add or remove weight (passengers, fuel, cargo, or accessories) the ride height will change slightly.

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How much will lowering springs actually lower my vehicle?

Most manufacturers list an average lowering amount. You can expect lowering amounts somewhere within that listed range but keep in mind itís an average, not an exact amount. Many variables can affect the overall ride height. These include weight distribution in the vehicle, optional, O.E. suspension packages or other accessories can affect the overall ride height. For example, if your vehicle has a sport package or other optional suspension from the factory, it may not lower as much as a base model vehicle. Having a full or empty fuel tank can vary the starting ride height depending on where the tank is on the vehicle. Thatís why itís critical to measure the vehicle before and after the installation of any suspension component. You have to establish baseline measurements on each corner to accurately determine how much the ride height has changed.

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Why doesnít my suspension kit look like the photo shown online?

Aftermarket anti-roll bar kits typically utilize larger diameter bars that require larger I.D. bushings. In most kits, new bushings will be included with the kits that are designed to be mounted in the O.E. mounting brackets. Typically the aftermarket bars are designed to be mounted using the O.E. end links if the vehicle has them. Replacement end links will only be included if a different design is required for the new anti-roll bar. Not all vehicle fitments require the use of end links.

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Why donít the part numbers printed on the springs match the kit number on the box label and my invoice?

Spring manufacturers mix and match front and rear springs to come up with the best combination for different vehicle applications. This means the actual part numbers on the springs may not always match the kit part number. This is very common. The same kit may also work on multiple vehicle applications and your exact vehicle many not be the one listed on the box label. When in doubt, please check the enclosed bill of materials that came with the spring kit or contact customer service at 888-541-1777, ext. 360, to confirm the part numbers on the individual components to ensure you have the correct parts.

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