European vehicles from such brands as Alfa Romeo, Audi and Land Rover, offer incredible handling straight from the factory – but even with incredible suspension systems that perform well, there is always room for improvement and customization. Suspension kits are a great way for European vehicle owners who are looking for an improved driving experience to achieve their goals.
The first step to determining the type of suspension kit you need is to identify what your goals are. Want better handling? A lower or higher stance? Just looking to upgrade an older vehicle’s suspension? All of these goals – and many more – can be achieved with the right parts and know-how.
Suspension Kit Components
Most of the time suspension kits come as a full set from a manufacturer, but sometimes drivers prefer to pick and choose parts to use together. The following components should be considered based on your goals:
- Shock Absorbers – Also referred to as struts or dampeners, shock absorbers are critical if you plan to modify your vehicle’s ride height. Replacing your shocks can firm up or soften your ride, which would be decided based on the application and your driving style preference.
- Coil-overs and Springs – The way your ride height is adjusted is by replacing your factory springs or coil-overs. Springs are a fixed height, putting your vehicle in the same stance at all times. Coilovers are adjustable, meaning you can raise them up or down based on your needs. Partnered with a good set of shocks, springs are a very popular suspension modification.
- Strut Tower Braces – When drivers want to modify their suspension, it’s usually because they want to be able to corner faster and more efficiently. When you take a corner quickly, an immense amount of energy is transferred throughout the body of the vehicle. Strut tower braces help control this energy by firming up the chassis and reducing body roll. This allows for much more control around corners with a simple bolt-on accessory.
- Suspension Braces – Flex occurs in many places other than just your strut towers, especially while you are moving quickly. There are additional, model-specific braces available that can firm up your chassis on the undercarriage and further reduce body roll. Keep in mind that the more you firm up your suspension, the rougher your ride can become.
- Camber Plates – Drivers often overlook adjusting their camber and caster when adjusting their suspension components. This results in aggressive tire wear and the need to purchase a whole set of new tires, and it happens quickly! It’s important to remember that when you adjust your suspension height, your wheels and tires need to stay in alignment. Camber plates help you adjust the geometry of your wheels to achieve this goal.
Suspension Kit Specialists
It’s important to remember how critical your suspension is to maintain the performance and safety of your vehicle. These components bear the weight of the entire vehicle, and a failure of these parts, especially during aggressive driving, can result in a serious accident. When adjusting your suspension in any way, Melbourne Motorsports only uses quality parts from trusted manufacturers to get the job done right. There is too much “riding on” these components to risk cheap parts or faulty installations.
Your Space Coast Resource
Melbourne Motorsports is your local resource for all European vehicle suspension-related questions. We’ve been working on locals’ vehicles for over a decade, and can help you determine your exact needs based on your goals. Contact us to learn how we can help you achieve the perfect suspension setup for any late model or classic European vehicle!