Coil springs and torsion bars are the easiest way to lower a truck. Let’s face it, you can for almost no money, either heat or cut coil springs. Torsion bars are even easier. Its so tempting, too many people have either turned back their torsion bars, or cut their springs and tried to live with it, only to finally say “I can’t take it anymore”. If you have ever ridden in a truck lowered this way you know what I am saying. Ladies must wear sports bra’s, no piping hot drive-thru coffee on this trip. Well enough of that, it is the cheapest and oddly enough, the absolute worst way to lower a truck. But why does cheap have to be so bad? Lets explore – when you heat a coil, at the very least the area you heat up loses its spring temper (the ability of the steel to rebound or remember to return to its original position after it has been compressed) or in other words it just sets there like a lump. If the rest of the spring is not damaged (a big if) the rate will still increase a great deal while the stress applied to the spring increases even more. The spring is severely over levered. If you cut your springs the same thing happens. This is of course dependent on how much you cut. It is possible to trim springs to balance or fine tune a ride height, but were talking about removing 1/4 coil or less, and is generally done by very experienced installers, and it’s not going to lower your truck very much.
Coil Springs and Alignment
About the same time that dropped spindles came along, engineered lower coil springs hit the market place and are used every day by enthusiasts to get the stance they want. Used by themselves you can get up to 3″ of drop or combine them with a spindle or control arm you can get more. Remember though, dropped springs cause you to lose travel (ride quality), always have a higher spring rate (ride quality) and require different shocks (more money). You also have to deal with the alignment issue. When you lower your truck with a lowered coil spring (or heat/cut) you induce negative camber. And negative camber is not good, (check out the alignment tutorial for very important detailed information regarding proper alignment). Negative camber is the top of the tire pointing in, remember the control arm tutorial, the upper control arm is how you correct this problem. So you can run the upper arm out as far as it will go and hope that’s enough, sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not. Important stuff to consider when deciding how to lower your truck. If you want to go really low your best bet is to use CALMAX Control Arms with your drop springs because you have more alignment control. Remember, neither spindles or springs give you any more alignment control.