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So I hear about shock travel and how lowering the car shortens the travel, thus you should get shorter bumpstops. That makes sense.

I also hear that when you adjust the height of the car, you should get an alignment. That also makes sense.

Cutting springs is bad, because you mess up the rates and ratios and stuff. That definitely makes sense.

But, and perhaps I'm just picturing it incorrectly in my head, how is it ok to use shocks to lower a car? For example, many forum members have advised me to get Koni shocks and use my stock springs until I want GC's. However, I can lower the car with the Koni's by 1" or so (lowest perch). How is this a good idea? Wouldn't I be messing up the springs or not using the springs properly?

And related to that question (and this may be borne out of ignorance and the fact I've never held a shock body in my hand), would having the shocks on the lowest perch also mean the shock is constantly using a small portion of its travel? Thus meaning it is never "at rest" and always under pressure, thus shortening the lifespan of teh shocks? (if shocks can be "at rest")

Can anyone please enlighten me? thanks in advance!
 

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Shocks (or more appropriately Dampers) have one function and that is to damp the motion of the spring.

The Konis have 3 positions for the spring perch. By using the lowest perch position, you are changing the position of the bottom of the spring in relationship to the lower A-arm of the suspension. This changes the ride height. The shock itself doesn't change the ride height, just the mounting position of the bottom of the spring. The springs don't know the difference, they still have the same travel and still behave exactly the same.

The amount of the shock travel is the same, you are just using a different range of the travel. Shocks for street cars have a lot of travel, several inches.

If you use the shock within its operating range, you really can't wear them out prematurely. The only way to do that is to operate them outside of their operating range (too much spring) or bottom out the rod in the shock body (not enough bumpstop). Bottoming out the rod will break the shock instantly.

BTW, the shock is always under pressure. They are usually pressurized with nitrogen to several atmospheres. This keeps the fluid from foaming up through the valve inside the shock.

Hope this helps,

Bruce
 
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