To lower or not to lower


#1

I am looking to buy a used car. I found a 1995 Honda Del Sol that has been lowered. Is this a safe thing to do? The owner says she has to be careful going over speed bumps or the muffler will scrape. I also love the old Datsun 240,260 & 280Z cars but am concerned as to being able to find parts and a mechanic who will work on these classics. Any thoughts?


#2

I NEVER liked lowering cars…first thing I’d do is put it back to OEM height. It’s NOT safe…especially on the highway…


#3

You Have Concerns With The Honda And Concerns With Old Datsuns.
Look At Some Cars That Aren’t So Disconcerting.

CSA


#4

The 240, 260 and even 280 were prone to rust…Datsun/Honda and Toyota were all prone to rust prior to the late 80’s. So unless any of those cars lived their whole life in Arizona (and can prove it)…I wouldn’t touch them.


#5

Yeah I heard about the rust- I will look one over real good b4 deciding. Also I will pass on the lowered car. Thanks!!


#6

The Del Sol was one of the few true dogs that Honda ever sold.
The percentage of owners who were unhappy with those cars when they were new was very high. After the passage of time, surely these cars have not improved with age.

The major complaint about the Del Sol was the lack of structural ridigity, leading to abundant squeeks and rattles, and also to poor handling. These largely underpowered, poor-handling little cars were for “posers”, not for anyone seriously interested in a true sports car.

Additionally, few makes of car have as little road clearance as Hondas, with the result that standard height Hondas frequently scrape their front ends on parking lot tire stops. A friend of mine got a hole in the oil pan on his Accord as a result of driving over ground that was just slightly uneven. I wouldn’t even want to think about further lowering any Honda if it was intended for street use.


#7

I would not worry about a car that been properly lowered. They are just as safe as a factory ride height. As long as it was done with a kit it will be fine. If someone took a torch to it walk away. Rust on these cars are big problem. If it was me I would want a car with air bags so I could lower it when I want.


#8

I guess you have really well maintained roads and no frost-heaves where you live. Had a nice frost-heave close to my house this past spring…You could see the scrape marks on the road where cars scraped this thing before the town finally fixed it…And these cars were NOT lowered…Drive over that frost-heave with a car that’s already lowered doing 20mph…and you’ll rip a hole in the oil-pan.


#9

I happen to like the Del Sol, because it was a bit of fun in a reliable and affordable vehicle. It was basically a Civic underneath. It was never intended to compete with a “true sports car”, and certainly was a fraction of the price of a “true sports car”. It was also far more usable as a daily driver than many of the true sports cars were.

But I’d avoid this one. Lowering on these cars is often done by simply chopping a coil or two out of the springs and adjusting the alignment to the max of its adjustability, rather than being done properly. Most of the kids lowering these things scrimp on the “kit” to do the job properly. And most of them also didn;t drive them with kindness and often skimped on maintenance.

If you do decide to check this one out further, get it checked thoroughly on a rack and specifically ask the shop to check to see if the camber kit was installed and the lowering done properly. Also ask them how much it would cost to get it returned to its proper height.


#10

Thanks everybody for your input- I have decided to pass on any car that has been lowered.


#11

My car is lowered, and if it’s done correctly it’s perfectly safe. By “done correctly” I mean you get new springs/shocks/struts, and camber plates (if needed). But if you do it the wrong way ( cutting the stock springs and calling it a day) then that’s dangerous.

I will say that in hindsight I should’ve just gone with a .75-1 inch drop as opposed to the 1.75-2 inch drop I currently have.