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MrFish
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Leaf Number: 0899
Location: Southern California, IE

Interest in lowering springs

Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:18 am

Greetings,
I have been talking to the Eibach company about getting them to make a set of lowering springs for the Leaf. So far they have not received many requests and are hesitant to invest the time in making them right now. I would like to see how many Leaf owners here would be interested in them if they move forward. I'm also sure that we can debate the pros and cons of lowering the Leaf. 8-)
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drees
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Re: Interest in lowering springs

Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:25 am

I'd be interested. Would also be interested in some struts/shocks with more low speed damping to go with them, too. Something similar to stock WRX would be good in terms of damping rates.

There was a company in San Diego that does springs and seemed OK with doing low volumes - I recall them doing springs for the Prius - need to try to figure out who they were.
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Skywagon
Posts: 429
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 5:56 pm
Delivery Date: 08 Jan 2011
Location: Chandler, AZ

Re: Interest in lowering springs

Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:28 am

I am working with a company for adjustable coil-overs. The only concern I would have would be changing the spring rate towards the stiff side while retaining the factory shocks. The car does seem on the borderline of under-damped now and an increased spring rate would only make that worse; I do not want a bouncy ride. With a minimal increase in spring rate I do not see it being a problem. I might be interested in springs as doing measurements I think we can fit a set of shocks for a Versa under the car as well with a higher dampening (or adjustables like Koni, etc). I would already have a Versa shock/lowering spring set-up under my car but the increased weight would put it too low. I am only looking to go 1"-1.5" lower than stock. Going lower could put the car at risk on scraping and the pack would be the first thing to hit. Also, going lower than that will require a solution to dial out negative camber in the front.

I would like a ride height/fender gap like the prototype car had from the first tour:

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drees
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Re: Interest in lowering springs

Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:34 am

Company I was thinking of earlier was B&G Suspension.

Good comments, Skywagon - also not looking for anything extreme - my previous car was a '03 WRX with mild lowering springs, wouldn't want the LEAF to be quite that stiff but if it rode similar to that on stock bits or just slightly stiffer that'd be very good. I suspect some some of the guys here who came from BMWs would be emulate the ride from those cars.

About 1.5" of lowering would be a good target.

If Versa suspension bits fit (are they an exact match aside from spring rate/length?) - does anyone make coilovers for that? Then it'd be easy to swap out springs for the appropriate rate/length since they're standard sizes.

EDIT: Looks like quite a few manufactures make coilovers for the late model Versa: Tein, D2 Racing, KSport, Tanabe at least...

I'm not worried about negative camber - generally strut suspensions don't pick up that much negative camber (I would welcome about 1* negative camber) and if it does end up with too much - camber bolt can take care of that easily.

What are the stock alignment specs?

Skywagon wrote:I would like a ride height/fender gap like the prototype car had from the first tour:

Just about perfect - someone needs to start taking hub-center to fender lip measurements. :)

EDIT 2: Forgot about the rear beam axle - not going to get coilovers on back there so springs/shocks are the only option.

2011 Nissan Leaf: Suspension Walkaround
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Skywagon
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Re: Interest in lowering springs

Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:37 pm

Yeah, they call them coilovers but they are just adjustable perch springs in the rear and adjustable separate shocks. And yes, I should know sometime soon if the Versa set-up will fit with different rate springs. Ksport is local and they think they have the information they needed from Nissan to set-up a nice system (yes, direct from Nissan engineering).

I would like 0.5 to 1 degree of negative camber in the front to help with turn-in. It is not my sportscar as I build other cars for that purpose or I ride my motorcycles but I would like a little more turn-in for street driving.

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TomT
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Leaf Number: 000360
Location: California, now Georgia
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Re: Interest in lowering springs

Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:39 pm

Yep, I find the car to be under damped, particularly in the rear. Stiffer rear shocks alone would go a big ways toward helping with the bungy affect... I'd prefer to go that route first.

Considering that the Versa is a much lighter car, I don't think shocks for it would work even if they happened to fit.

drees wrote:Would also be interested in some struts/shocks with more low speed damping to go with them, too. Something similar to stock WRX would be good in terms of damping rates.
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drees
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Re: Interest in lowering springs

Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:19 pm

Skywagon wrote:Yeah, they call them coilovers but they are just adjustable perch springs in the rear and adjustable separate shocks.

Ah - google has shown me how this tends to work - looks simple enough. Do the perches tend to need to be bolted to either the spring pad to avoid falling out at full droop?

Skywagon wrote:And yes, I should know sometime soon if the Versa set-up will fit with different rate springs. Ksport is local and they think they have the information they needed from Nissan to set-up a nice system (yes, direct from Nissan engineering).

Nice - Ksport makes good stuff.

Skywagon wrote:I would like 0.5 to 1 degree of negative camber in the front to help with turn-in. It is not my sportscar as I build other cars for that purpose or I ride my motorcycles but I would like a little more turn-in for street driving.

Anything in that range would be good for the street. Would be nice if more caster could be dialed in - that would improve steering feel and turn-in as well. Gotta find out what the stock alignment specs are - suspect the settings are very mild.

Edit: If the information in this post is correct - it appears that it may have enough negative camber dialed in already, but a little more never hurt. :)

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JimSouCal
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Re: Interest in lowering springs

Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:41 pm

drees wrote:I'd be interested.

Now that I am driving the LEAF, I am also further interested in a tighter driving experience. I have no idea what you guys are talking about, but I think it needs wheels and suspension changes. I am going to call Scott at Fontana Nissan to see what he says...

nader
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Leaf Number: 1925
Location: Fres-yes

Re: Interest in lowering springs

Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:55 pm

I also contacted Eibach ad had asked them to contact me if they were interested in developing something. My only fear of doing just springs will be that the shocks will quickly die leading to a crappy ride. There Pro-System (springs and dampers) would be ideal. I ahve had great luck with those kits in the past. Factory like ride quality with a lower stance. I believe they use Sachs dampers for some applications.

I also too the car to KW Suspension (also ST) and they put it on the rack. Interest was minimal but they did say that were open to doing custom work. I have also reached out to Ground Control and I am sure their kit of parts could build adjustable springs for the front and rear. Again dampers are the issue. Who can make custom dampers in low volume? Back in my Honda days I recall a Wings West Prelude with custom Penske shocks/struts.

I am looking to replicate the ride of a late model VW GTI. That car is very well dampened yet not overly stiff.

ERG4ALL
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Re: Interest in lowering springs

Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:07 pm

Are these changes purely for the looks of the vehicle or does anybody have any data that would indicate a slightly longer range (i.e. less wind resistance)? I suspect that the LEAF has a somewhat "squirrely" feel especially in wind is because they have limited the amount of "toe in" in order to reduce scrubbing and increase mileage.
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