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Old 07-29-2008, 02:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
Sinusoidal Amulite
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
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Escort Service - '95 Ford Escort LX Hatch
90 day: 32.28 mpg (US)
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Just having the car lower shouldnt really affect the aerodynamics, any fuel savings would come from the fact that things like spliters are closer to the ground. I would tell you not to waste your time with it if you are that concerned over only doing it to break even after 70 tanks of fuel.

If you are interested :

1) Find out what springs are avalible for your car, make sure they match what you want. Some springs may lower the car too much, or too little for what you want. You also want to check the spring rate of the new springs, to stiff will be uncomfortable for a daily driver and can shake things loose on bad roads (over time). Others may be too soft and the car can/will bottom out over big dips or with more weight in the car. The cost of a quality set of lowering springs, for a street car, will range in price from about $150-250 average. Be aware that some cheap springs will be made of cheaper materials that can break or sag over time, or they might not be well suited for the application you are using. Since springs play a major roll in the cars ability to turn, accelerate and brake...PLEASE DONT CUT CORNERS AND TRY TO SAVE $$$ IN THE NAME OF SAFETY. If a spring was to break at highway speeds, it could very easily cause a serious crash.

2) If your not going to install them yourself, add in the cost of an install. If your just having new springs put in (keeping stock shocks and stuff) figure 2hrs of labor for a shop with the right tools, if you are having it done at the same time as something else (brakes, shock change, ect) it could save you some money since some of the disassembly will already be done for the other job.

3) I would HIGHLY recomend you replace/upgrade your shocks at the time you change the springs. Stock vehicle shocks (most of the time) are valved only for the stock spring rate and ride height. Lowering the car and/or having a stiffer spring rate (almost all lowering springs are stiffer) will cause the shock to opperate outside of its normal range. This will cause the shock to have a much shorter life span or fail outright. Bad shocks will cause the car to bounce over bumps and hurt the ride quality and handling. If your shocks have more than about 50k miles on them, chances are they are already not working as well as they should. If you replace the springs and also replace the shocks with new OEM units, it will be ok for a while, but the shocks will wear out again, and faster than with the stock springs...if you find a good shock to match to the new springs you the ride quality will be better, and the life of the shock will be longer than OEM shocks with aftermarket springs.

4) You might be able to get away without messing up the allignment too bad, but chances are you will end up with a car that is out of spec when the work is done. To get the most out of the new suspension parts, youll need to have the allignment re-set. If you want to take on the challenge, you can allign the car yourself and get pretty close to the right specs for camber and toe using the "string-box" method. Caster is a little harder to set this way, but caster shouldnt change much anyway. A bad allignment will speed up tire wear, can cause a drop in MPG and make the cars handling dangerous (something like too much toe out in the rear).

Sure you could find cheap/used lowering springs and have a buddy install them for around $100, but to do it RIGHT and get the most benefit from lowering the car...I would plan on spending $200 (springs) + $450 (shocks) + $100 (allignment) + 2hrs of labor (if your having a shop do the work).

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