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Lowering: What are your thoughts?

This thread started as a lowering for looks thread but turned into a good discussion on handling vs. looks. I've cleaned out most of the bashing and slander and I would like to keep this as technical and informative from a performance standpoint as possible.
-Tatge


[Modified by tatge, 11:52 AM 4-6-2003]
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (Son of a B...5er!)

It's all about function for me... My GTI is about 2" lowered in the nose and 1.5" in the rear. It's stiff as all get out and handles very nicely, but there's practically no ride comfort. I like looking at other's cars that are sitting on the ground, but for me and my car, I'm low enough. Oh, and with Mk3s, they look pretty tall from the factory. There are cars out that look lower than mine stock. It's good, I don't need the hassle of "standing out" too much. Between Car Theives and Cops... I'd rather be discrete.
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (Grandma Higgins)

quote:[HR][/HR]or when you are so low in the rear that the wheel isn't even centered in the wheel well, it looks like trash. plain and simple. I've only seen this on mkIII's only. http://****************.com/smile/emthdown.gif
[HR][/HR]​
Thats because the suspension geometry moves the wheel up and in towards the centereline instead of straight up and down
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (Son of a B...5er!)

I perfer my cars to be able to handle corners. I feel only go as low as a normal suspension would dictate. I believe a McPhearson strut setup (most cars nowdays)can only go a couple of inches before the roll-center gets messed up.
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (Egz)

quote:[HR][/HR]I perfer my cars to be able to handle corners. I feel only go as low as a normal suspension would dictate. I believe a McPhearson strut setup (most cars nowdays)can only go a couple of inches before the roll-center gets messed up.[HR][/HR]​
Text is directed at no one in this thread:
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (VW-BMW)

For street driving, it's never too low. But, to balance out the ride height, the wheels must be an appropriate size. For instance, I think my GTI looks fantastic canned on my 16" Abts, but would look like poo dropped on 18"s. When I autocross, I raise it back up, the beauty of coilovers
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (vuu16v)

Could you explain it? Something about the change in geometry I suppose. I know lowering too much actually makes handling worse, but don't know why.
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (H2O WOLF)

quote:[HR][/HR]
There's still a gazillion people on this site that will NEVER get it.
Could you explain it? Something about the change in geometry I suppose. I know lowering too much actually makes handling worse, but don't know why.[HR][/HR]​
This DOES NOT aplly to every car or even every VW. On the A2's especially, when you lower the car to the point that the control arms are beyond parallel to the ground, the roll-center has been raised. One way A LOT of people offset the added roll is by adding bigger anti-sway bars. This will make an old suspension design even less independent and the ride gets worse. Some cars don't end up "handling like crap" when lowered a lot, mine do though.
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (tenacious jett)

I bought a German car to drive the damn thing, not have it scrape down the road, break my oilpan, and have it handle like poop. If I wanted that, I would've bought a Civic....
I'll take minimal drop for performance over "looks" any day of the week...
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (2k2 GTI 1.8T)

quote:[HR][/HR]Would H&R race (lowers 2") be too low on an MK4?[HR][/HR]​
If you want the best handling possible, YES.
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (Son of a B...5er!)

What would you guys say is the ideal drop for a balance of maintaining handling and aesthetics (closing that horrible fender gap)?
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (H2O WOLF)

I guess i'm the only one here that knows a late model mustang suspension when i see one. i'm referring to that picture of the lowered poop car of course, since i own one besides my GTI
. to the person who asked if it was geometry, yes it is. most notably bump steer. In simple terms, when the a arm is that high in it's arc of travel it causes the arc of the tie rod to shorten in it's travel causing the wheel to turn in/out as it travels up/down over the road surface. also since the a arm is so high in it's arc of travel you do nothing but loose any camber you have when the wheel moves up. that's why most stang fools who lower their car end up dialing in so much static camber.
this fool in the picture can relocate the inner a arm mounting holes up an inch and in 5/8 or so to regain some of his lost a arm motion, and he can get a bump steer kit that adds length to the distance between the outer tie rod and the spindle in order to place the tie rod back into it's proper place in the arc of travel.
sheesh feel like i'm writing a novel here.

well you asked for the explaination! and that's the short version!
cheers
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (vuu16v)

quote:[HR][/HR]
There's still a gazillion people on this site that will NEVER get it.
[HR][/HR]​
Anyone have an idea how much this car is dropped ?? I'm about to do the Apex 1.7" kit...Is that going to make the car sit like the above picture ?? That looks like way too much stress on the car
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (G3T3I7)

quote:[HR][/HR]I'm about to do the Apex 1.7" kit...Is that going to make the car sit like the above picture ?? That looks like way too much stress on the car
[HR][/HR]​
If you have a MK4 with a 1.7" drop, yes, your car will sit like that.
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (VW-BMW)

What vehicle is pictured btw? It's not a Mk4 http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (tyrolkid)

quote:[HR][/HR]I'm about to do the Apex 1.7" kit...Is that going to make the car sit like the above picture ?? That looks like way too much stress on the car

If you have a MK4 with a 1.7" drop, yes, your car will sit like that.[HR][/HR]​
NO !!
I thought that 1.7" wouldn't be that bad....the picture above looks like a slammed MK4...Crap, I thought going 2" or over is bad for the MK4 chassis

And I thought 1.5" was an ok drop, so what's 2mm more ???? What the hell, do I have to reconsider everything and spend a lot more on a spring/shock combo now, like Eibach that only lowers 1.2" ? I mean, does .5" make that much of a difference in negatively affecting my car ?? Please help, I had my heart & wallet set on the Apex kit
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (G3T3I7)

This is not rocket science the arms pivot in a circle, do a first order differential of a circle ( in this case it would be the Cos function using the arm as the hypotenuse) and find the rate of change delta increase significantly. Oh that is rocket science sorry.
The rate of chamber change is a sinusoidal curve , it has the least change when the arms are parallel to the ground and the rate of change increase drastically as the arms move away from parallel. Really any drop from parallel is bad, how bad? Depends, but the point to remember is since it is a sinusoidal function, a 2 inch drop may have 10x the camber change per any delta in relation to a parallel arm. FYI camber changes are BAD.
I�fll cover bump steer next.
Coil overs are very bad on a MK4, as there rear height is fixed.
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (oldmanTDI)

quote:[HR][/HR]This is not rocket science the arms pivot in a circle, do a first order differential of a circle ( in this case it would be the Cos function using the arm as the hypotenuse) and find the rate of change delta increase significantly. Oh that is rocket science sorry.
The rate of chamber change is a sinusoidal curve , it has the least change when the arms are parallel to the ground and the rate of change increase drastically as the arms move away from parallel. Really any drop from parallel is bad, how bad? Depends, but the point to remember is since it is a sinusoidal function, a 2 inch drop may have 10x the camber change per any delta in relation to a parallel arm. FYI camber changes are BAD.
I�fll cover bump steer next.
Coil overs are very bad on a MK4, as there rear height is fixed.
[HR][/HR]​
Well, that just shows how ignorant I am at math. I don't really know what you mean except that when the car is lowered the control arms aren't parrallel to the ground, and the negative camber increases...How does this affect the car down the road ? If I only go down 1.7", what will happen to the car when I hit higher mileage in a few years ? Does it place so much stress on the chassis that it's not fixable, and the only way to fix it is get a another car ? Educate me...i really want to put in an aftermarket suspension for a better/tighter ride, and a little looks. Thanks.
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (G3T3I7)

even if camber is fixed with a kit, every time the suspension moves, the chamber will change and not keep the tire flat on the road, the lower you go the bigger the change per any movement, that is what I was saying above; Which is bad for handling. Unlike the Celica this is negative camber so it does not help in a turn, it hurts. To stop chamber changes, you got to slap in a large sway bar in front, which is bad for ultimate grip (understeer), or toss in some stiff linear springs, but that is bad for the ride.
 

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Re: Lowering: What are your thoughts? (oldmanTDI)

Mmm, you say toss in a front sway, so if I toss in a front sway w/a rear sway, could I avoid the camber change ?
This sucks, now I'm worried to even change my suspension, since the word is 1.7" is too low, and will hurt my handling rather than help

We need some more opinions here.
 
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