One of the options for a suspension swap is coilovers. Everything you need to suspend and
Lowdown: If you’re thinking of going whole hog and converting your suspension from IFS or leaf-springs, you may have considered a coil/shock setup, air shock setup, or coilover setup. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, and its own price point.
This system is as old as dirt and it has been used on numerous rigs over the years. This system is low buck compared to other options and can be done even cheaper by using a used pair of coil springs. It is a bit labor intensive to install as spring pads and shock mounts must be fabricated and installed.
Pros: Inexpensive, can be designed to provide lots of articulation
Cons: You’ll need to fab multiple mounts, it won’t wow your friends like air shocks or coilovers
Better: Air shock:
About half the price of coilover shocks, air shocks (also known as emulsion shocks) not only control ride height but also damp the ride. Typically, these shocks have an emulsion of oil and nitrogen in the same cylinder and there is no internal floating piston so they must be mounted as close to vertical as possible. This is about as simple as it gets when it comes to suspension. They’re small in diameter, lightweight, adjustable, rebuildable, and revalvable. The downside is that they don’t have much weight carrying capacity, you’ll need a high-pressure nitrogen source to adjust them, and they require a sway bar to counter their little natural roll resistance.
Pros: Simple, adjustable, relatively inexpensive
Cons: Low weight carrying capacity, you’ll need nitrogen to adjust them, plan on a sway bar, can heat up and fade during hard use
It’s a shock and spring packaged together. You can get ‘em with or without a reservoir or with an emulsion shock with a single spring or multiple springs in the case of dual- or triple-rate units. Coilovers have many benefits including an incredible amount of adjustability between the springs, shock valving, and adjustable top spring seat. They are large in diameter, however, so you’ll need ample room for mounting.
Pros: Spring and shock in one package, gobs of adjustability
Cons: Heavy, large in diameter
Cappa: Running a coil and shock is inexpensive if you are building your own suspension. However, building mounts for both can be complex and can take up a lot of space. Air shocks are compact, easy to mount, and lightweight. They provide nearly unlimited spring adjustability (nitrogen pressure) but they are best suited on lighter 4x4s that don’t see much high-speed use. Once they heat up they become much less useful. A coilover is compact, easy to mount, and provides some spring adjustability in the form of different rate and length coils and shock body adjusters. Coilovers can be made to work in both high- and low-speed applications. The valving is adjustable but the shock needs to be disassembled to change it. Coilovers are generally a little heavier than a comparable air shock and a lot heavier than a stand-alone coil and shock.
Holman: Make mine coilovers. They are easy to mount, compact, and can be tuned specifically to the 4x4 and driver’s preference.
Brubaker: Coilovers, please. I like the fact that everything is contained in one package and there are only two mounting points per coilover. They can be tuned specifically for the vehicles intended use both with spring rate and shock valving. For my daily driver/work truck I’d choose a single-spring setup with a reservoir shock.