Coil Spring Suspension Basics For 4x4 Trucks - Twisted MetalPosted in How To: Suspension Brakes on September 1, 2009
From full-sized F-250s to pint-sized Geo Trackers and everything in between, coil springs have revolutionized the ride quality and suspension performance of 4x vehicles for decades. Though your average coil spring may look similar from one vehicle to another, each set has its own specific spring rate and design to make it unique for that particular vehicle.
Generally controlled by a multilink or radius-arm suspension system, the twisted steel supports have opened up the travel and potential of factory suspensions tremendously over the past decade. With a wide variety of variable, soft, and stiffer rate coils available from the aftermarket, it's now easier than ever to dial in your vehicle's coil-sprung suspension.
A huge selection from both the aftermarket and OEMs makes finding the right coil spring for your rig extremely simple. It's hard to beat the coil spring's performance for the price, and it's one of the most attractive suspension upgrades--used from everything from solid-axle conversions to basic bolt-on suspension kits.
Like most things in life there is an upside and a downside. Though coils are a tough, cheap, and easy way to upgrade your suspension, you will still need a good shock to work with them. Also, unlike coilovers or leaf springs, which are self-contained, you will need a coil bucket mount, which will take up a fair amount of space. When it comes to the perfect suspension system it's hard to say which is the best, but when you compare price, performance, and availability of a coil spring it's easy to see why it ranks high on our list.
Without question the most recognizable coil-sprung vehicles that receive the widest amount of aftermarket support are the Jeep Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, and Cherokee. We mention this for those who are looking to upgrade their suspension to coils and who are unsure where to start. Many aftermarket suspension manufacturers list coil rates and spring heights on their website, so you can pull the measurements in your garage and search online to find the right fit.
Variable and progressive rate coils are becoming more common than ever. A progressive rate coil acts similar to a progressive leaf pack; the rate increases when the spring collapses under load. This allows aftermarket suspension manufacturers to net more travel from the coil spring without running one overly soft or stiff rate.