How Do Coilovers Work? A FULL Guide

What Are Coilovers?

Coilovers are a type of suspension system often used in performance vehicles to improve handling and ride quality. Unlike traditional shocks and coil springs, coilovers combine both components into one unit, allowing for enhanced adjustability. The name “coilover” comes from the combination of the coil spring and shock absorber (or damper) that are housed within a single unit. This design offers several advantages, including adjustable ride height, damping, and spring preload. By changing these settings, you can fine-tune your vehicle’s suspension to suit your specific needs and preferences. From reducing body roll and improving cornering ability to providing a smooth and comfortable ride, coilovers have become a popular choice among car enthusiasts and professionals alike.

AlexMartini Nissan Gloria Driving

History of Coilovers

Coilovers have a rich history that spans decades, and they have evolved significantly over time. Originally, coilovers were developed for racing purposes, allowing drivers to fine-tune their suspension for optimal performance on the track. However, they have since become popular in the aftermarket scene for enthusiasts who want to enhance their vehicle’s handling and overall ride quality.

The concept of coilovers can be traced back to the early days of automotive racing, where suspension modifications were crucial to gaining a competitive edge. The term “coilover” refers to the combination of a coil spring and shock absorber into a single unit, providing both spring rate and damping adjustments. This design revolutionized the way suspensions were tuned, allowing for more precise control and improved performance.

Over the years, coilover technology has seen significant advancements. Manufacturers have developed a wide range of coilovers with adjustable ride height, damping adjustment, and even camber adjustment capabilities. This allows drivers to fine-tune their suspension to match their unique driving preferences and driving conditions.

Overall, coilovers have come a long way from their racing origins. Today, they are a popular choice among performance enthusiasts looking to optimize their vehicle’s handling, ride quality, and overall performance. Whether it’s for daily driving or track use, coilovers offer a wide range of adjustability and performance-enhancing features that make them a valuable aftermarket upgrade.

Components of Coilovers

Coilovers consist of several key components that work together to provide a smooth, controlled ride. The main components of a coilover system include the coil spring, shock absorber, and various adjustment mechanisms.

The coil spring, as the name suggests, is a coiled metal spring that supports the weight of the vehicle and provides the necessary amount of suspension travel.

The shock absorber, also known as the damper, is responsible for controlling the movement of the spring to prevent excessive bouncing or oscillation.

How do coilovers work martiniworks

The adjustment mechanisms, such as ride height adjusters and damping adjustment knobs, allow for fine-tuning of the suspension to meet specific driving preferences and conditions. These components work in tandem to provide better handling, improved ride quality, and enhanced performance on both regular roads and the race track.

How do coilovers work martiniworks

Spring rate and Preload

How do coilovers work martiniworks

In the world of coilovers, two important factors to consider are spring rate and preload. These elements play a crucial role in determining the overall performance and ride quality of your suspension system.

Spring rate refers to the stiffness or softness of the spring itself. It is measured in pounds per inch and determines how much force is required to compress or extend the spring. A higher spring rate means a stiffer spring, while a lower spring rate results in a softer spring. Adjusting the spring rate allows you to fine-tune the handling characteristics of your vehicle.

Preload, on the other hand, refers to the pressure exerted on a spring when it is compressed. By adjusting the preload, you can effectively change the ride height and cornering grip of your vehicle. Increasing preload increases the grip in cornering, but be wary of excessively stiff springs as it may compromise ride comfort.

Finding the right balance between spring rate and preload is crucial to achieve the optimal performance and ride quality for your specific driving needs. It is recommended to consult with a professional or seek guidance from reputable coilover manufacturers, like MartiniWorks, to ensure you make informed decisions when adjusting these components.

By understanding the concepts of spring rate and preload, you can unlock the full potential of coilovers and enhance your driving experience.

Ride Height Adjustment

RivalGTR Coilovers MartiniWorks

Ride height adjustment is one of the key advantages of coilover suspension systems. This feature allows you to customize the height of your vehicle according to your preferences and driving needs.

To adjust the ride height of coilovers, start by locating the lower casing lock ring, lower spring seat lock ring, and lower spring seat. These components play a crucial role in altering the height of your vehicle.

To raise or lower the ride height, loosen the lock rings by turning them counterclockwise. Once loosened, carefully rotate the lower casing lock ring to achieve the desired height. It is important to ensure that the spring preload, which determines the pressure on the spring, is not altered during this process.

After adjusting the ride height, tighten the lock rings by rotating them clockwise. Make sure they are tightened securely to prevent any unwanted movement.

Lower the car and check the ride height to see if further adjustments are necessary. If needed, repeat the process by loosening the lock rings, making the necessary height adjustments, and tightening the lock rings again.

By following these steps, you can easily adjust the ride height of your coilover suspension system to achieve the perfect look and performance for your vehicle. For high-quality coilover suspension systems and expert guidance, consider purchasing from reputable manufacturers like MartiniWorks.

Compression and Rebound Adjustment

How do coilovers work martiniworks

Coilovers offer more than just adjustable ride height; they also allow for compression and rebound adjustments. These adjustments play a crucial role in fine-tuning your vehicle’s suspension performance.

Compression adjustment refers to controlling how fast the suspension compresses when encountering bumps or uneven surfaces. By adjusting the compression settings, you can modify the resistance that the suspension offers during compression. This affects the vehicle’s handling and weight transfer characteristics.

On the other hand, rebound adjustment determines how quickly the suspension extends after being compressed. Adjusting the rebound settings allows you to fine-tune the control over the vehicle’s rebound motion, enhancing handling and stability.

When it comes to unsprung weight and sprung weight, these adjustments have different impacts. Compression adjustments primarily affect the unsprung weight, which includes components like the wheels, tires, and brakes. By modifying the compression settings, you can optimize the suspension’s response to bumps and minimize the impact on unsprung weight.

Rebound adjustments, on the other hand, impact the sprung weight, which includes the vehicle’s body and occupants. By fine-tuning the rebound settings, you can enhance ride comfort and overall handling by reducing excessive body movement.

The ability to adjust compression and rebound settings gives you the flexibility to tailor your suspension to different driving conditions and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a more comfortable ride on regular roads or improved performance on the race track, coilovers with compression and rebound adjustments offer a wide range of tuning options for an optimal driving experience.

Damping Adjustments

Making damping adjustments on coilovers is a crucial aspect of optimizing the suspension performance to suit specific driving conditions. Damping refers to the control of the hydraulic resistance in the coilovers, which affects how quickly the suspension compresses and extends.

Adjustable damping works by modifying the size of slits within the coilover. By changing the size of these slits, the hydraulic resistance can be increased or decreased. This adjustment allows for fine-tuning the suspension’s response to different road conditions and driving styles.

There are several types of damping adjustability available. Pre-set damping offers a limited range of adjustment predetermined by the manufacturer. Single adjustable damping allows for customization of either compression or rebound damping, offering more control over the suspension’s behavior.

Double adjustable damping is the most advanced option, allowing independent adjustment of both compression and rebound damping. This provides maximum versatility, as the compression damping controls the suspension’s response to compressive forces, while the rebound damping governs how the suspension rebounds.

By making damping adjustments with double adjustable coilovers, drivers can cater to their specific preferences and achieve optimal handling and comfort. This ability to fine-tune the suspension independently in compression and rebound damping is a major advantage of double adjustable coilovers.

Bump Stops & Strut Tops

Bump stops and strut tops play important roles in the functionality of coilover suspension systems.

Bump stops serve as a cushioning mechanism to prevent excessive suspension compression and protect the vehicle from bottoming out. Located at the top and bottom of the suspension assembly, bump stops absorb the impact when the suspension reaches its maximum compression. Without bump stops, the suspension could compress too much, leading to damage to the suspension components or even causing the vehicle to bottom out, causing a harsh and uncomfortable ride.

Strut tops, also known as camber plates, are essential for adjusting camber and improving suspension performance. Camber refers to the angle at which the wheels sit relative to the vertical axis. Proper camber alignment ensures optimal tire contact with the road surface, resulting in improved handling and cornering ability. With strut tops, camber adjustment can be made, allowing for precise alignment settings tailored to specific driving preferences or vehicle modifications.

In conclusion, bump stops prevent excessive suspension compression and protect against bottoming out, while strut tops allow for camber adjustment, enhancing overall suspension performance. These components are crucial for achieving a smooth and controlled ride, making coilover suspension systems a desirable choice for enthusiasts seeking superior handling and tunability. For quality coilovers and reliable performance, consider purchasing from MartiniWorks.

Unsprung Weight & Weight Transfer Benefits

Coilovers offer several benefits when it comes to unsprung weight and weight transfer, resulting in improved handling and performance. Unsprung weight refers to the weight of components not supported by the suspension system, such as the wheels, tires, and brakes. Minimizing unsprung weight is crucial as it allows the suspension to more effectively respond to changes in road conditions.

Coilovers play a significant role in reducing unsprung weight by combining the coil spring and shock absorber into a single unit. This integration eliminates the need for separate spring and shock assemblies, resulting in a lighter overall suspension system. The reduced weight not only allows the suspension to react more quickly to bumps and uneven road surfaces but also enhances the vehicle’s ability to maintain tire contact with the road.

Weight transfer is another important factor influenced by coilovers. During acceleration, braking, or cornering, weight is transferred from one end of the vehicle to the other. Coilovers can optimize weight transfer by providing adjustable damping, allowing drivers to fine-tune the suspension to their driving style and preferences. This adjustment helps distribute weight more evenly, improving traction and reducing body roll, ultimately enhancing the vehicle’s handling characteristics.

In summary, coilovers offer the advantages of reducing unsprung weight and optimizing weight transfer. By integrating the coil spring and shock absorber into a single unit, coilovers minimize unsprung weight and improve suspension response. Additionally, adjustable damping allows for optimal weight distribution, leading to enhanced handling and performance on the road or track.Upgrade to MartiniWorks coilovers for an unparalleled driving experience.

Types of Coilovers


When it comes to suspension modifications, coilovers are a popular choice among car enthusiasts and performance-driven individuals. These versatile suspension components offer a wide range of adjustments to fine-tune the ride height, damping, and overall performance of a vehicle. There are different types of coilovers available in the market, each catering to different needs and preferences. In this article, we will explore the various types of coilovers and their advantages, helping you understand which type may be the best fit for your specific driving needs. Whether you are looking for a comfortable daily driver or a more aggressive track-focused setup, understanding the different types of coilovers will empower you to make an informed decision when upgrading your vehicle’s suspension system.

Advantages of Installing Coilovers

Coilovers are a popular choice for car enthusiasts looking to improve their vehicle’s performance and handling. One of the biggest advantages of installing coilovers is their adjustability. Unlike non-adjustable budget suspension kits, coilovers allow for precise tuning of different suspension settings, including ride height, spring rate, and damping. This level of adjustability enables car owners to customize their suspension to their specific driving needs, such as optimizing performance for different types of road surfaces or adjusting the suspension for a more comfortable ride. Additionally, coilovers can also minimize body roll and improve overall stability, especially during cornering or high-speed maneuvers. With their ability to fine-tune the suspension, coilovers offer a versatile and customizable solution for car owners who are seeking to enhance their driving experience. If you’re looking for quality coilovers, MartiniWorks offers a wide range of options to suit various vehicle models and budgets.

Improved Handling Performance and Cornering Stability

Improved Handling Performance and Cornering Stability with Coilovers

When it comes to enhancing your vehicle’s performance, coilovers are a game changer. These adjustable suspension components offer superior handling compared to traditional shocks and coil springs, providing improved handling performance and cornering stability.

One of the key advantages of installing coilovers is the ability to adjust the ride height. By simply turning a dial, you can fine-tune your vehicle’s stance to suit your driving preferences and the road conditions. This feature not only allows for a customized look but also improves traction and reduces body roll during aggressive cornering.

Coilovers also offer improved responsiveness, allowing you to feel more connected to the road. With stiffer springs compared to traditional coil springs, these suspension components effectively minimize weight transfer and provide a more direct feel in steering input. This means you can confidently take corners at higher speeds with enhanced control.

Another significant advantage of coilovers lies in their adjustable damping. Damping refers to the resistance to motion that a suspension component provides. With coilovers, you can fine-tune the damping settings to match your driving style and road surface conditions, providing optimal comfort and control. This adjustability allows you to strike a perfect balance between stiffness for spirited driving and comfort for daily commuting.

In conclusion, coilovers not only improve handling performance and cornering stability but also provide a customizable driving experience. With their adjustable ride height, stiffer springs, and adjustable damping, coilovers offer a significant advantage over traditional suspension setups. So, if you’re looking to take your vehicle’s handling to the next level, coilovers are the way to go. Choose MartiniWorks for top-quality coilovers that will transform your driving experience.

Alex Martinez

My name is Alex, or Alex Martini (Alex.Martini__) and I love building unreliable cars. From track, road, drag and drift, there really isn't a motorsport I love. PS if you're reading this, just know that we've got some WILD builds coming for MartiniWorks that we're really excited to share with you :)