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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maybe someone will know.....I bought my 94 S4 with Spax coil-overs on it. Oddly, on the driver's side (front and back) the ring that compresses the spring is much higher, thus compressing the spring more. I checked the ride height and it was pretty flat, which seemed odd. I lowered the compression ring on the driver's side, which predictably tilted the car, so I turned it back to where it was. My take-away is that either the coil-overs are different left to right to require different compressions to attain the same ride height or something has been shimmed?

My question then, is: Has anybody heard of such a thing or have a proper explanation for this?
 

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This is exactly how it should be and the purpose of coil overs. The adjusters are set to allow even weight on each tire. Normally the drivers side will be higher as you describe because the driver weight is included when corner weight balancing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is exactly how it should be and the purpose of coil overs. The adjusters are set to allow even weight on each tire. Normally the drivers side will be higher as you describe because the driver weight is included when corner weight balancing.
I can see winding up the driver side coils a bit so that the car tilts right, then flattens when the driver gets in. But on mine, the driver's side coils need to be wound up quite a bit higher just to get the car flat, which doesn't make sense to me. I am thinking that either they are either different installed length or different spring rates (left to right). But I may not be seeing this clearly, lol.
 

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I wonder if they run a really soft spring rate. The stock springs are not linear (lotus magic), I think they are very soft at normal ride height and then get much stiffer as the suspension loads up. Maybe SPAX specs a very soft spring for an acceptable ride. Coil over kits normally use a linear spring. Only thing I can think of.....or maybe the chassis tweaked or maybe chassis are just not that straight. As long as the Corner weights and ride height are correct, and the spring is not pre loaded too much vs the passenger side. Should be OK.

How is the ride on those coil overs?

I am hoping to add coil overs in the near future.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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We have experienced unequal ride height due to the springs 'taking a set' on one side or the other.

On our own Esprit (and a friend's S4s) we have swapped the stock springs side-to-side to even-out the ride height. The factory front springs are conical. I don't think they are progressive-rate, though...I have vivid memories of Lotus Suspension Engineer Dave Minter bad-mouthing progressives and their effects on handling!


In the back, the upper spring mount on the left side needs a heat shield from the exhaust. Some times, these 'go missing'. Provide a picture looking up at the top of your LH spring. Also, take a look at your inboard upper control arm bushing...those can disintegrate from exhaust heat, too.



PS: Remember the hand-formed body is not where you measure ride height. It WILL be un-even.:cautious:
The stock ride height is 170mm to the ground, on both ends of the lateral frame member, between the front wheels. Also, 170 mm to the bottom of the chassis 'hoop' in the rear.
 

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on my 89SE with SPAX, I had to raise the driver's side rear spring perch about 3mm to get the car level with a driver.
The fronts were still too high after being lowered all the way. I didn't remove one lock nut, but others do. I don't have SPAX anymore. But I still do have my JRZ spring perch on the rear driver's side about 3mm higher.
 

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1997 Miata, K24 swap, 206whp
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Often times people use the pre-load adjustment to set ride hight on their cars, using equal ride height at all corners as their judgment of "corner balancing" but i believe that is incorrect. Unless you have a proper corner balancing setup with scales and such, doing that will throw your corner balance way off and leave you with suspension that behaves differently on either side of the car. It's best to set preload equally on either side of the car and then take it to get corner balanced by a professional.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
on my 89SE with SPAX, I had to raise the driver's side rear spring perch about 3mm to get the car level with a driver.
The fronts were still too high after being lowered all the way. I didn't remove one lock nut, but others do. I don't have SPAX anymore. But I still do have my JRZ spring perch on the rear driver's side about 3mm higher.
Did you buy the Spax or were they on the car when you bought it? Were the Spax coil-overs the same height when removed? Could you see any differences left to right?

I'm on the same wavelength I think, that if I want to set the preload equally, I would need to shim up the driver's side to get the car to sit flat. Very weird.
 

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I bought the SPAX new in 2001 and put them on myself and removed them in 2011. they were fine, I just got a deal on JRZ double adjustables.
The SPAX were the same height. The spring were original. I have Eibach on with the JRZ's now.

The car handled noticeably better turn more equally left and right with the driver's rear perch raised 3mm on the SPAX. I got this from Lotus' west coast field tech. And the car visibly looked flatter while still and while cornering.
 
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