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Discussion Starter #1
It seems that all the SE model esprits all sit too high. Was that too comply with us bumper regulations? How much can you lower these cars to give them the "right"stance? .....and not affect overall handling negatively?

Thanks, andrew
 

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I agree that the stock SE looks a little high, although V8 wheels fill the wheel well a little better.
The spec is about 7" (170mm if I remember right) of clearance at the front cross member, and the rear basket. There is no way to lower the car without removing the donuts from the springs or changing shocks and springs.
The factory recommended Bilstein Eibach setup apparently has 3 settings, but not sure if it will get you any lower.
My SE has coilovers and is lowered to about 5 1/2". I do like the look. I had my geometry adjusted after I installed them. My car handles nice, but I am sure that the geometry is slightly off.

Randy
 

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They were designed to have the chassis 170mm above the ground. If you change from that then the car will be running out of design specs... for one.

Second, the alignment is not adjustable for camber on the SE model, so you won't be able to attain correct alignment without modifying the suspension.

3rd, it is fairly easy to get the tire to rub on the wheel wells if the car is lowered.

My 89SE has adjustable suspension, V8 wheels, and adjustable camber, and the tires rubbed until i raised the car almost to normal ride height. I think I'm 2mm lower at 168mm...

This was too low, the front tires rubbed on every bump.


And this is without rubbing
 

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Quad: Yes, the SE and earlier cars are higher due to bumper regulations affecting the front. If you stay with the stock wheels there is room to lower the car. Vulcan has V8 wheels on his car which look great, but are larger.
 

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My car has the V8 Saturns with 235-40-17 front and 275-35-18 rear. The front rubs a bit at hard over and on a really bad high speed bump. So far no tire damage or wheel well damage. The rear does not rub. I am at about 5 1/2 inches.
I am having one Monoblock wheel refurbished and then can put a set of those on my SE when I am in the mood. They look nice on Travis' car

Randy
 

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Wingless Wonder
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...the SE and earlier cars are higher due to bumper regulations affecting the front.
In the rear, the factory fitted a spacer under the springs...about 12MM (1/2 inch) if memory serves. (Also to comply with bumper height regs.) But you don't want to remove that, as the front then looks high.


+++++++++++

Anybody have a piccy of body height with the updated Lotus/Bilstein factory suspension installed? I wonder how THAT works. (Recommendation is to initially set the height at the lowest of the three available settings.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I finally measured my ride height. this was with 3/4 full gas tanks and no added weight. I know that the manual tells you to put 300# of weight in the seats for proper alignment and height measurement.

at any rate, my car looks like it is leaning (sagging) on the left and it measures as such.

the driver's side front height is 165mm. Passenger side measured 175mm. I measured the fronts from the ground to the belly pan at each wheel.

the rear I measured at the bottom of the "cradle". It measured 190mm!!! then, I checked at the bottom of the lower link brackets. it was about 187mm.

Why would my rear be so damn high? also, how would the passenger side end up being higher than the spec'd 170mm? could it be from an improper alignment. I remember reading that you aren't supposed to snug up the suspension bolts until you have the suspension loaded down. Which bolts are supposed to remain loose? the lateral links? the shock bolts? trailing arms? front wishbones? I could find that info in the service manual.
 

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All the bolts with bushings can bind if tightened when the wheels are off the ground.
They need to be tightened at ride height.
^^^ +2 Good tip, Travis.

Re-torquing the suspension bolts is part of a B service...it's a good idea to check them, I've found mine to be looser than normal at times.



At that time, please DO simulate the weight of a driver (I used water softener salt bags).
 

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I assume you have a stock suspension. Double check to see that all the spring mounts and cups are correct. The rubber donuts can hang up or be installed upside down. If you don't have a stock suspension, then all bets are off.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
my car is all stock. I just bought it about 3 weeks ago. a 93.5 with 9000 miles on it!
 
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