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Old 12-27-2019, 05:57 PM   #1
MaxedOut
 
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Coilovers...Negative Preload?!?...

Alright, so I got some new coilovers, and with the current spring rate at 0 preload the bottom lip(centered) of my fender in the front sits at 29 1/2 inches. Right about stock. So since the coilovers are at 0 preload...to lower the front end anymore I would need to get a smaller spring correct?
To me getting a shorter spring would give me the ability to make the front end lower.....BUT... I was told to give the springs negative preload. For example, I'm currently at 0 preload...bring the ring down another inch so with the front end off the pavement the spring is now loose resting off its perches.....The manufacture told me it will be fine. Set it that way. And no going over bumps or flooring it from a stop won unsettle the springs and ill be fine. To just make sure to get the springs lined up when I put the car back on the pavement....
So anyone want to chime in? I feel like this is bad guidance.....
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Old 12-30-2019, 06:18 PM   #2
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:48 PM   #3
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odd. What type Coilovers? I had Pedders and you turn the spring perch tighter till it’s hand tight, then stiffen to 10 mm of preload. This is with them off the car. My ridetechs didn’t have instructions for preload so I did the same technique. At that I was at a 2” drop and had to take them up to a 1” drop.
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Old 12-31-2019, 10:26 AM   #4
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It is a full set of Ridetech. The instructions I got with them tell me, if it's at 0 preload and the the car is not low enough then you will require smaller springs. But tech support told me to negotiate preload the coilovers.
The only issue I have with this statement is...its going to be the same effect if you had all stock shocks and springs and you just cut the springs. Same effect, spring is to small in the perches and it effects spirited driving, looks cool but that's it.
I have tried searching for anything about negative preload on coilovers on any type and model but cant even find that terminology.
I really dont want to do this, then it come out the way I believe it to for me to just readjust back to what I currently have then call tech support yet again.
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Old 12-31-2019, 11:02 AM   #5
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You shouldn’t have an issue if you have the spring rates that are with the kit. I to have never heard of negative preload. If anything preload is positive, you are adding load or putting tension on the springs so they don’t move at full droop. For us laymen the instructions don’t even say where 0 preload is or how much tension is 0.
Off the car I just tightened up the spring perch till it was hand tight to get a baseline or 0 preload. On the car it was like 2” plus lower then stock for me. On Pedders coilovers 0 preload is like hand tight , so that’s what I did with the Ridetechs. Then just set the height to what you want. Kit is designed for 1.5” drop, maybe 2”. Lower then 26” rear hieght (1” drop) can cause axel boot splitting and broken axel if you race the car.
Stock for me was 685mm front, 690 mm rear from lower wheel lip to wheel arch top. Don’t measure from the ground, won’t be accurate. If car is to low ,The fronts you tighten perch upwards, on the rears your tighten downwards. I made mine 1” drop for best handling . Your springs should be fine if you have the 275/500 ones that come with it. I have 300/550 for autocross. I got my set from JDP and they sent me a taller rear lower perch for more travel. But still don’t see why you have an issue.
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Last edited by VR Baron; 12-31-2019 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 12-31-2019, 05:27 PM   #6
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Yeah I talked wit Ridetech before the purchase and they set me up with 375/600. It handles great, but I don't like my nose in the air. Yeah I understand how to preload springs. like I said I followed the directions. My fronts came with preload and I had to loosen it up a little.
Zero preload is the base snug on spring, spring still able to rotate. That is zero preload.
Thanks for replying but for me its different, stock rims stock tire diameter, stock ride hight. Only in the front of my car. Front coilovers with zero preload still at stock ride hight.


The entire basis of this thread is concerning negative preload, I.E. spring loose in its housing with a lot of play. This is coming from ridetech Tech support themselves. This being the only issue I have I know how to adjust coilovers, thanks for the advice but im still at the same spot I was since I installed these. I believe the instructions were right when they state a shorter spring is required on page 13 of ridetech's install instructions.
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Old 12-31-2019, 07:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxedOut View Post
Yeah I talked wit Ridetech before the purchase and they set me up with 375/600. It handles great, but I don't like my nose in the air. Yeah I understand how to preload springs. like I said I followed the directions. My fronts came with preload and I had to loosen it up a little.
Zero preload is the base snug on spring, spring still able to rotate. That is zero preload.
Thanks for replying but for me its different, stock rims stock tire diameter, stock ride hight. Only in the front of my car. Front coilovers with zero preload still at stock ride hight.


The entire basis of this thread is concerning negative preload, I.E. spring loose in its housing with a lot of play. This is coming from ridetech Tech support themselves. This being the only issue I have I know how to adjust coilovers, thanks for the advice but im still at the same spot I was since I installed these. I believe the instructions were right when they state a shorter spring is required on page 13 of ridetech's install instructions.
Well you do have way stiffer springs then most . You didn’t mention the rates, but makes sense. A shorter spring would be something to try. They should have sent you the correct height spring, but whatever

Good luck
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Old 12-31-2019, 09:59 PM   #8
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I have the Ridetech HQ series coilovers with the standard 275lb front and 500lb rear springs on my car. As far as adjusting to negative preload to lower the front ride height, that just doesn’t sound quite right to me either. But, if the Ridetech technician says it’s okay to do it then I’d probably trust that he knows what he’s talking about.
The only thing I might mention is, the way I read the “coil spring adjustment” part of the instructions is that “if the car is too high w/0 preload then a smaller spring rate is required”. What I think that means is the same length spring with a lighter spring rate would allow the weight of the car to compress the spring farther. So if you now have 375lb springs in front then going to 350lb or less would lower the ride height.
Just curious, have you measured the the wheel or shock travel to see where the shock sets at your current ride height? The instructions say “the shock absorber needs to be at 40%-60% overall travel when the car is at ride height”. If you’re out of that range then that would be another reason a different spring rate might be called for.
I see what you mean about a shorter spring having the same effect on ride height. You could keep the same spring rate you currently have and simply lower the ride height. That sounds perfectly reasonable too. Did you ask the Ridetech technician about that?
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Old 12-31-2019, 10:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by rb View Post
I have the Ridetech HQ series coilovers with the standard 275lb front and 500lb rear springs on my car. As far as adjusting to negative preload to lower the front ride height, that just doesn’t sound quite right to me either. But, if the Ridetech technician says it’s okay to do it then I’d probably trust that he knows what he’s talking about.
The only thing I might mention is, the way I read the “coil spring adjustment” part of the instructions is that “if the car is too high w/0 preload then a smaller spring rate is required”. What I think that means is the same length spring with a lighter spring rate would allow the weight of the car to compress the spring farther. So if you now have 375lb springs in front then going to 350lb or less would lower the ride height.
Just curious, have you measured the the wheel or shock travel to see where the shock sets at your current ride height? The instructions say “the shock absorber needs to be at 40%-60% overall travel when the car is at ride height”. If you’re out of that range then that would be another reason a different spring rate might be called for.
I see what you mean about a shorter spring having the same effect on ride height. You could keep the same spring rate you currently have and simply lower the ride height. That sounds perfectly reasonable too. Did you ask the Ridetech technician about that?
Yeah, less rate springs is what is written,but that doesn’t sound right, maybe they mean shorter springs. If not that would mean not many springs over 275/300 would be able to be used. I have 300 and plenty of travel both directions to get stock or 2” height.
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:09 AM   #10
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I see what you mean about a shorter spring having the same effect on ride height. You could keep the same spring rate you currently have and simply lower the ride height. That sounds perfectly reasonable too. Did you ask the Ridetech technician about that?
Actually, after thinking about this a little more, a shorter spring would still have the same problem with negative preload. I was thinking about the car at ride height only, but when you lifted the car off the ground or the wheel dropped off into a pothole, the shock would still extend the same amount. So if you switched from a 10” 375lb spring to a 8” 375lb spring and dropped the ride height by 1”, there would still have to be a 1” negative preload involved, and the spring would have a 1” gap between the spring and the spring seats when fully extended, same as the 10” spring and dropping the ride height 1”. The only difference between a 10” and 8” spring would be at the bottom where the adjuster nut would be at a 2” difference. The top of the spring/shock would be the same.
It seems like the only way to drop the ride height without having to use negative preload is to go with a spring with a lighter spring rate. And if you don’t want to do that, then negative preload seems to be the only answer.
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Old 01-01-2020, 03:35 PM   #11
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Actually, after thinking about this a little more, a shorter spring would still have the same problem with negative preload. I was thinking about the car at ride height only, but when you lifted the car off the ground or the wheel dropped off into a pothole, the shock would still extend the same amount. So if you switched from a 10” 375lb spring to a 8” 375lb spring and dropped the ride height by 1”, there would still have to be a 1” negative preload involved, and the spring would have a 1” gap between the spring and the spring seats when fully extended, same as the 10” spring and dropping the ride height 1”. The only difference between a 10” and 8” spring would be at the bottom where the adjuster nut would be at a 2” difference. The top of the spring/shock would be the same.
It seems like the only way to drop the ride height without having to use negative preload is to go with a spring with a lighter spring rate. And if you don’t want to do that, then negative preload seems to be the only answer.
A shorter spring you won’t need negative preload. You can crank up the perch to where it should be. I hope anyway. And in the range where it should be for good ride and handling, thought to be in the middle of the 40/60 % travel range the front is only 1”. Not to sure that matters, if it was so critical you couldn’t be at stock height or a lower drop. But it’s really Ridetechs responsibility to correct this. He can’t even get the height much less then stock the way it is now.

Hope he gets it fixed
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:21 PM   #12
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I think I'm just going to have them send me out a lower spring rate the 300 lb ones. I don't know what I was thinking about with the 1 in smaller springs, cause the same spring rate would pose the same issue I currently have, haha.
Thanks guys for all the information and support! It was all really helpful!
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:50 PM   #13
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Sounds like a plan. Keep us updated on your progress.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:08 PM   #14
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Sounds good. The 300s will work
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