Suspension stiffness

  • 2003 TOYOTA
  • 99,000 MILES
I drive a Toyota Mr-S and have installed a BC suspensions. Settings are set to 9 out of 1 to 16 settings. Any tiny lump or bump on the street gives a big reaction to my car which makes it very uncomfortable. If I set my suspensions lower to soften the springs, will it damage my suspensions? And is there any other parts of my car I should look into to minimize the sensitivity of my car? Thanks

Do you
have the same problem?
Saturday, February 1st, 2014 AT 9:02 PM

1 Reply

The harshness of the ride is strictly a factor of the struts and shock absorbers. The damping rate was carefully designed in as part of the entire suspension system with regard to its geometry. Road forces that act on the system have a very direct route from the tire and wheel, up the spindle and into the steering system and up the strut and into the body. Ride quality has to be given up in favor of the other desirable characteristics of a strut suspension. With all the research and development that goes into making the car handle and brake well, and be comfortable to drive on long trips, there is very little chance an aftermarket company is going to make parts that improve on that.

You didn't say you altered the suspension ride height, but if you did, all bets are off and there is no way you'll get a proper handling car.

Parts are not damaged by how you set an adjustable strut or shock absorber. With the older "long-arm / short-arm" suspension systems used on rear-wheel-drive cars and trucks, the road forces that pound on a tire change direction multiple times as they go through the spindle and control arms, so ride quality is very good. The forces hammering on the suspension parts are still there but you don't feel them. With the strut suspensions and their tendency to transmit forces directly to you, you'll feel it a lot more when anything is done related to the suspension system, so you have the illusion that the parts are taking more of a beating.
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Saturday, February 1st, 2014 AT 9:44 PM

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