Suspension modifications for city driving & heavy duty in the Philippines

Sep 08, 2018 | Same topic: Handy maintenance tips
Modifying a car's stock suspension has benefits that maximizes shock absorption and driving handling for better performance.

Road conditions here in the Philippines will vary from good to worse, so having options to mod car suspension will have benefits. It’s an optional choice but having these suspension modifications done is a wise option too!

For some individuals there is a desire to tweak their cars to the best condition it can achieve. Usually, when tuning up a stock engine’s performance, it’s a mixed bag. If it is some warranties and insurance can be voided by the action. One option is modifying a car suspension which involves mostly mechanical upgrades, not touching the sensors and CPU which is not advised!

Stock cars have standard equipment, but they differ from the entry level to the premium models.

car suspension system

Usually, when tuning up a stock engine’s performance, it’s a mixed bag

Most premium models have the high-grade equipment with the usual high-tech options, so hands off on that.

There are many conditions why suspension modification is a good option though, and they significantly increase suspension system performance. Here are some conditions that may prompt modding any vehicles.

  1. Bad road conditions like pot holes and constant road repair that stresses the suspension system too much!
  2. The rainy season which brings higher water levels to streets and bad drainage that leads to flooding.
  3. Suspension of non-premium models has less than desired performance.

All these conditions will stress most stock suspension systems more but improving or modding them is much better. It might cost a bit, but it is well spent especially if it improves the car vastly!

Why you need to upgrade your suspension

>>> Click to find a comprehensive analysis about car modifications in PH

I. Why should anyone make suspension modifications?

Keeping the car suspension in stock condition is okay but modifying a car (an SUV for example) suspension does have its benefits. Tuning for city driving means that a soft ride is much preferred and it’s usually a light car modification, not a total upgrade.

For heavy-duty it will cost a bit because most of the stock suspension of SUVs is expensive!

  • Tuned for city driving is a soft comfortable ride in the daily commute.
  • Heavy duty tuning is for optimized four-wheel drive or All-wheel-drive performance.

There are several objectives to be considered when modifying car suspension which is important to note!

1. Maximizing clearance and ride height

This is done best for cars which are much shorter and will benefit from a few raised inches that will help manage flooded streets better. Scraping off the under-chassis will happen less or the bumper scraping the bottom of an incline.

car ground clearance

This modification will help manage flooded streets better

2. A softer ride and stable ride (softer coil springs or torsion bars)

Tuning the suspension for this condition means it soaks up all the bumps from the road easily. But, sometimes it can be too bouncy if only the driver is in the car. Passenger cars will benefit from this immensely and be more comfy with many passengers.

3. Stiffer ride (harder coil springs)

This kind of car modifications will keep the clearance to a specific gap without depressing too much. A stiffer ride is applicable to lowered or upraised suspension which depends on individual preferences. The lower stiffer ride is too keep the cars bottom from scraping the road. A higher stiffer ride for SUVs is to maintain a tall stance in all conditions.

These are the three options when customizing a suspension system that should be considered. All of them have their advantages or disadvantages, but it falls to personal preferences most of the time.

II. Car suspension components that can be altered

Okay, now Philkotse.com will share with you the different components that can be modded. But, take note of warranty and insurance limitations before doing them. When tuning suspension system it can be expensive or cheap, but still be advised properly before doing it. These modifications will benefit cars and allow a sporty appearance as well.

1. Performance shock absorber with spring (coil-overs)

This is a specific type of shock absorber that has a wrap-around coil spring around it. It is distinct because these are tuned for better shock absorbing performance not cost-saving like factory installed ones. Getting the best coil-overs means that factory ride quality is excelled and improved greatly by leaps and bounds.

Factory-grade quality is acceptable but won’t compare to handing or performance as a whole. One nice touch about these coil-overs is that it has an adjustment for a preferred ride.

performance shock asorber with spring

This is a specific type of shock absorber that has a wrap-around coil spring around it

2. Strut tower brace

A low cost modification that is a metal bar that connects to the front struts over the engine, where its installed. This modification will improve rigidity when responsiveness is needed for turns and hard maneuvers, if driving hard. Simple and practical that doesn’t incur much cost which is very practical.

strut tower brace

This modification will improve rigidity when responsiveness is needed for turns and hard maneuvers, if driving hard

3. Rims and Tires

This is the most practical and logical upgrade to consider and does not cost as much as other mods to do! Do this and it won’t affect the car and insurance warranty, so it’s the safest mod to consider. Tires improve performance significantly and more.

4. Springs

These component determine how soft or stiff the ride would be on any car or SUV. If improvement in clearance is needed, then use the stiffer springs than softer coil springs. Stiffer coil springs will improve flooding performance for low clearance cars that need it desperately. For SUVs, this kind of spring will optimize it for heavy-duty suspension and best 4X4 performance.

5. Shock absorbers (without coil-over)

They dampen the shock from the coil springs or torsion bars and keep the ride comfortable at most times. There are three types to consider getting which differs in overall performance.

  • Friction type- two moving components provide dampening for most shocks.
  • Hydraulic type- it uses oil or any liquid to absorb shock for the coil springs or torsions bars.
  • Gas type- uses compressed gas to dampen shock from the coil springs or the torsion bar.

6. Stabilizer bars

They are also called anti-roll or sway bars that balance the weight of the car when turning or cornering. This improves vehicle stability compared to the stock condition and will minimize the chassis swaying excessively. Stabilizer bars are used for sports cars and drag racing cars to keep the chassis on an even keel. For a passenger car, this will be an improvement for better balance while driving.

stablizer bars

They are also called anti-roll or sway bars that balance the weight of the car when turning or cornering

7. High performance brake parts

Another option is brake parts that are fully optimized for the best braking performance. Brakes make a difference when performance grade is much better than factory installed equipment.

All these suspension modifications are more on the mechanical and cosmetic side, so it won’t impact car warranty or insurance that much. All these improvements can be done piecemeal or in several batches, but it depends on the preference mostly.

III. Suspension modifications: A go or no?

One question is whether suspension modification is important; the answer will depend on individual preference. Sometimes conditions like flooding, will need a simple solution and raise ride height is the answer. If the ride of any car needs improvement then changing the springs or shock absorbers should be considered too.

car suspension modifications

Is suspension modification important?

Whatever the condition, there will be a logical answer and just ask professionals who know about these particular concerns. Just go over this primer and see what catches the fancy and do what’s needed.

>>> Useful knowledge about car suspension maintenance:

Source: Norjan Ismail Abbas