Stiffer Lowering Springs: Am I a good candidate?


#1

Car is a 2007 Toyota Corolla CE. It has a ground clearance of 5.7 inches. I am thinking about using a set of either 1.) H&R Sport Springs (lowers car by 1.25 inches) or, a set of 2.) Eibach Pro-Kit SPrings (lowers car by about 1.1 inches.)



The wheels are a set of aftermarket Motegi SP10’s 15x7, offset: +42mm, weight:14.4 lbs. and wrapped around with 195/60/15 General Altimax HP (grand touring tires, weight: 17lb.) The OEM tires were Goodyear Integrity 185/65/15’s wrapping itself around a 15X6 steel wheel with an offset of +45mm.



I am thinking about lowering the car slightly with a moderately stiffer spring.



Why would I want to do this? What do I hope to achieve with this?



Driving in NYC, I have noticed that on near-perfectly smooth roads (such as on a well-maintained highway) the steering wheel gives me very little feedback, it feels like I am just floating and it’s an unnerving disconnected feel that I don’t like. On not-so-smooth roads, I enjoy the feedback and the car feels “planted.” I like this.



making this modification, I hope to get more “feel.”



what do you think?



i understand that my stock shocks/dampers will likely lose durability and need to be replaced sooner? also, there might be some negative camber forcing me to buy a camber kit to adjust it back up.


#2

If you like the look and feel of a lowered Corolla, then you’re a good candidate.

I laugh every day watching the local lowered car crowd bounce their way through the potholed streets of my city, and listening to their cars scrape bottom on every driveway entrance and speed bump.

I’m sure you will provide just as much entertainment for someone in NYC.


#3

That’s always your choice. Corollas were designed to be bland people haulers. Before I messed with lowering the car, I’d consider you’ve already done what I would recommend though you could go with 16’s.
Then when you hit those pot holes, you might be able to limit damage to the wheels, provided the overall diameter was the same. IMO, it’s all about looks now.


#4

You seem to have done your research and know where you’re headed. If it’s something you want to do, go for it. It’d not a route I’d take for the reasons already stated by McP and Dag, but as long as you realize the issues it’s simply a matter of choice.

It’ll definitely make the ride harder, but I’m wondering whether it’ll give you the road feel you seek. Should you decide to go this route, post back with the results. I’m interested.


#5

You can improve the steering feel and not reduce your ground clearance by putting firmer struts/shocks on it, putting more high performance tires on it, and (maybe, if you can find them) putting anti-sway bars on it. I’d do some or all of these before I lowered it.

edit - TRD makes an aniti-sway bar for your Corolla, and a strut brace. Both would improve steering feel.


#6

The OE set up is always better for reasons stated but it’s you choice.

I had a 78 Chrysler Cordoba. All I ever did to it was put on a set a Weld Wheel true spoke wheels and every low rider in town was asking me what I did to lower it.


#7

You’ll want to get one of those mouth guards to protect your teeth :slight_smile:

Personally, I wouldn’t lower it because I don’t believe there is much to be gained there. You want to reduce body roll and improve stiction of the tires to get the go-cart like feel of a well planted ride.

Stiffer springs, anti-roll bars, tower bracing, larger wheels and lower profile tires all help to do that without sacrificing what little clearance you have now.

Where I used to live, there was a spring mfr that would twist any size, rate and type of spring you wanted. I spec’d out a progressive rate, OEM length spring for one of my rides and it wasn’t much more money than the stock springs.


#8

y’all def’ly put a damp’r on my enthusee’asm.

i will have to very seriously re-consider, even though, i was only considering in the first place.

truth is, i won’t know what i’ll get unless i ride in a lowered car and see how it feels.


#9

Consider too that if you make alterations to the components, other than the wheels, you may affect the resale value of the car and the ability to reach the average buyer.
Given the condition of the economy, I don’t see roads improving much and reduced ground clearance may not be a plus for many other prospective buyers. It certainly would have an affect on trade in value.
You admit yourself that some components may have additional wear because of alterations. Put yourself in a position of buying a reliable used Toyota made less so by the previous owner.


#10

Instead of trying to make your Corolla into something it’s not, perhaps you should consider a car with more “feel” built into it at the factory.

The Mazda3 comes immediately to mind.

Or, if you really want to feel the road, a Mini.

Test drive one of them and see how it feels.

As Texases mentioned, there are other, less drastic options than lowering the car, and they may give you the results you desire. I’d want to spend some time in someone else’s lowered Corolla before I did it to my own.


#11

I’d say hunt down a Corolla XRS and swap all the suspension related parts, minus the 8200 rpm engine and the mandatory 6 speed manual, which the OP may not want. If I must buy a Corolla, I’d take the XRS and call it a day.


#12

the XRS has a stiffer spring and sits 1/2 inch lower than the standard model. it also has a slightly thicker rear sway bar and a front strut brace…I believe that’s about it.


#13

Lowering a car is fine if you live in areas without frost heaves. We have this frost heave on the main street near us that just occurred last week…that I take at about 10mph…any faster and I’m flying…there are visible scrape marks made from cars…A LOWERED car…might actually get stuck.


#14

I hate to point out the obvious, but your choice in cars is lacking in the sporty feel department, because its a Toyota. They removed any and all sporty cares that they had in their lineup (Supra, Celica, etc) and have instilled a lineup of bland vehicles designed to just get its occupants from point A to Point B without breaking down, or letting then feel the road.

If you want a car that has feedback and gives you sense of what is going on at the tires, nothing in the recent Toyota lineup is going to work. And changing the springs isn’t going to help matters much, you will just end up with a stiffer car, that has no feedback, and handles worse than you expected.

If you want road feel, buy a Jetta, Golf, GTI, Passat, or a CC.
Much better handling cars than that Corolla.

BC.


#15

I agree. Re engineering cars is a loosing battle for someone without deep pockets. trade it for a Miada and start worrying about theft. No free lunches in the car world.


#16

Thanks, I have resigned myself to “feeling nothing.” Until I make more money and can replace the car.

I was actually thinking about a Miata which is seemingly the perfect car for me as it is small and lightweight which I appreciate very much but “Dagosa” said: Vandalism and theft will keep awake at night.