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5 Best Options for Upgrading Car Suspension

Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet on Pirelli P Zero (Porsche) Car Suspension
iKnowAuto Staff
Whether you are preparing for autocross, off-road shenanigans, or just want to have slightly more engaging and precise tool behind the wheel, you have to start with your car suspension. Here is a list of the 5 best car suspension upgrade options for your car. None of them are extremely expensive, but all of them give “a lot of bang for the buck”.
MAR 14, 2019

Anti-Roll Bars or Sway Bars

The first and one of the simplest modification for your car suspension is installing anti-roll bars or sway bars. An anti-roll bar is essentially a lever connecting two opposite wheels. When cornering, the outside wheel and suspension are under much higher pressure than the inside wheel. This results in a roll. Anti-roll bar, which connects two front wheels or two back wheels, is under tension when cornering which directly affects the wheels. This tension results in the anti-roll bar lifting the inside wheel thus reducing roll and effectively leveling car corners.

To put into perspective what an anti-roll bar can do, just think of all those cars that roll a bit too much when cornering hard. They sport soft anti-roll bars. Stiffer anti-roll bars will have a greater effect on reducing roll. The car will feel more precise through bends. Moreover, less roll will help tires maintain ideal contact with the surface.

Eibach Anit-Roll Kit Performance Sway Bar Kit (Eibach) Car Suspension

Eibach, one of the specialists within the car suspension tuning niche, offers an exceptional Anti-Roll-Kit. The main advantages include “reduced body roll through increased design stiffness over stock bars”. As noted above, this results in increased handling and cornering grip in any performance-driving situation.

Available for a number of different cars, the Anti-Roll-Kit comes with all mounting hardware including specially designed bushings. Ensuring the best possible characteristics, Eibach engineered anti-roll kits out of cold-formed steel and covered them in hard red powder coat finish. 

Strut Tower Braces

Another simple, yet effective component for upgrading your car suspension (especially in conjunction with others on the list) is the strut tower brace. This bolt-on upgrade links the front tower braces to evenly distribute heavy torsional force affecting suspension when cornering.

When installed, strut tower braces reduce structural stress when cornering. Furthermore, they keep suspension components fixed and keep them fully optimized for cornering tasks. Although immediate difference behind the wheel may not be noticeable, installing Strut tower braces will definitely improve chassis stiffness and cornering abilities.

2005 - 2014 Mustang Strut Tower Brace, V-8 Without Plenum Cover (BMR Suspension) Car Suspension

BMR’s Strut Tower Braces are a perfect example of the best Strut Tower braces for upgrading your car suspension. Engineered from a mix 1 5/8-inch DOM steel tubing and laser-cut 3/16-inch steel plate, these tower braces actively help torsional rigidity adding noticeable strength to the front frame and suspension. Obviously, it connects the strut mounts dramatically reinforcing the entire suspension without adding noticeable weight.

Coilovers

Why are coilovers used when upgrading car suspension? It’s simple, coilovers are shock absorbers basically wrapped in a coil spring. Although modern vehicles usually come straight out of the factory with coilovers, they tend to be designed to offer the optimum balance between cost, comfort, and road holding abilities. So, new coilovers may jeopardize one or two of the factors but greatly improve on the third. For example, installing professional performance coilovers with height adjustment, stiffer coil compression rate and dedicated shock absorber will greatly affect suspension behavior. Usually, aftermarket coilovers do come with stiffer setup compared with the stock ones.

A lot of engineering effort goes into crafting aftermarket units. After all, engineers tend to provide the best possible gain, although that usually means increasing NVH compared with the stock setup. A small tradeoff for better handling.

Bilstein B14 Series PSS Coilover Kit(Bilstein) Car Suspension

Clearly demonstrated by one of the best-selling aftermarket coilovers - Bilstein B14 Series PSS Coilover kit, the driver, and onlookers will notice a dramatic drop in ride height. In this case, from 30 to 50 millimeters. Nevertheless, the Bilstein B14 Coilover allows 20 millimeters of height adjustment. The driver can affect weight distribution when accelerating, decelerating and cornering by amending the height.

Lowering the car will affect aerodynamics as well, improve grip and reduce body roll. These are the most important improvements performance coilovers can provide. No wonder why all the race cars are so stiff and lowered.

Bilstein B14 Coilovers include:

  • Spring plates and lock nuts made from a special aluminum alloy
  • Surface coating using Triple-C-Technology® for long-lasting corrosion resistance
  • Round threads for ease of adjustment
  • Quality Sport Springs made from highly durable material
  • BILSTEIN gas pressure technology
  • BILSTEIN mono-tube/Upside-Down technology, made in Germany
  • German TÜV certificate

Wheels and Tires

Installing high-performance tires will definitely make a world of difference compared with standard tires when upgrading your car suspension. Depending on what you would like to make of your car, this may even be the most expensive improvement. With rather dramatic advancements in the tire industry, high-end tires (likes those produced by Pirelli, Continental or Michelin) tend to provide far more grip, better straight-line performance, and reduction in hydroplaning.

With that said, before installing any other suspension upgrade, it is best to start off with upgrading tires and wheels. As for the wheels - lighter is better for reducing rotational inertia and transferring as much power to the road as possible.

Pirelli P Zero (Pirelli) Car Suspension

Pirelli P Zero tire seems to be one of the latest major advancements in the segment. Pirelli achieved massive success because many performance car manufacturers chose this tire as the first fitment of their cars. 

Main advantages compared to other tires:

  • Asymmetric tread pattern
  • Improved braking performance
  • Nano-composite compound for exceptional grip and stability
  • High structural rigidity for enhanced precision and agility
  • Lower cabin noise levels thanks to special S-Shaped side 3D pattern

Air Suspension Upgrade

Air suspension kits became rather popular within stanced car lovers community. Now, before you decide “should you or should you not” upgrade your car's suspension, you have to know a thing or two.

Air suspension definitely has some pros. It will definitely improve ride quality when in “comfy” setting. Depending on the setup used, it can give you the option to lower or heighten the car at the touch of a button and it can even give you better tow or haul capabilities with truck uses. Just by increasing firmness of air springs, one can account for heavier loads.

Now, the muscle car community can make use of the technology. AirLift Performance, one of the famed producers, do offer a wide range of air-lift kits for muscle cars, including the Camaro. Interestingly enough, they say that the Camaro is awesome, save for this - “minus the fact that the stock ride height looks more like a truck than a muscle car!”

Performance Series Air Suspension(Air-Lift) Car Suspension

Air-Lift kit from the Performance Series includes a whole array of exceptional features including:

  • 106mm/4.2" Drop
  • 30-Level Adjustable Damping
  • Proprietary Bolt-in Camber Plates
  • Threaded, Adjustable Strut Mounts
  • High-Performance Monotube Struts
  • High-Quality Spherical Ball Upper Mounts
  • Double Bellows Progressive Rate Springs
  • Braided Stainless Steel Leader Air Hoses

To make the kit, AirLift specialist combined elements such as “threaded body, monotube, 30-way, damping, adjustable strut and double-bellow air spring.” Despite a fact that one can drop a car by 4.2 inches the air suspension will allow integration of 22-inch wheels. Do not think, however, that the stanced look is the only advantage. Thanks to 30-way damping, adjustable, monotube shock, the air-lift can be finely tuned for exceptional track performance. In fact, at a press of a button, the Camaro can be a stanced monstrosity, a track conqueror or a sensible cruiser.