Budget Build 101

10 times out of 10, when your friend gets a new project car the first words out of his or her mouth are:

" Yeah, I'm probably just going to drop it, change the rims, oh and i already got an intake for it. "

these are probably the most common mods that come to most everyones mind when they purchase a project car. Building a car from the ground up is a ton of fun, especially if you have a passion for it. However it can be very expensive, time consuming and overwhelming, i myself have put in countless hours of work into some project cars of my own, and spent literally thousands upon thousands of dollars.

You can build a car on a budget, and very effectively for just about any purpose, whether for drag, track, show or drift. Its going to take some know how, research and proper use of your resources. In this post we will look into what may be a better option for you when deciding what to do with your suspension. 

Lowering Springs Or Coilovers?

Generally most would argue that Coilers are a much better option because Coilovers:

  • Replaces your vehicle’s shocks or struts with performance dampers and springs
  • Kits include performance shocks—some are even adjustable
  • Springs can be adjusted to dial-in the perfect drop
  • Allows you to tailor your car’s ride quality to your driving style

With Coilovers you get a better ability to adjust various components for different driving conditions. However Coilovers tend to be much more expensive than Lowering springs, and its true the emergence of EbayMotors and Chinese manufactures offering Low Priced CoilOvers, which have essentially eliminated the idea of getting lowering springs, are all too common these days, But be very careful. 

Ive seen it first hand on many cars, whether installed by amateurs or professionals, Cheap Coilovers will go bad, very fast ( especially in New York with all these damn pot holes ). Ive heard so many stories of blown shocks on coilovers, and all have been within months of installation. However this is not to say this will happen to you or it happens to everyone, but simply proceed with caution and if you decide to go with a coilover setup, try and save just a little bit more and go for the higher quality stuff. 

Lowering Springs on the other hand, if you can manage to find a good set up, can be a great alternative to coilovers. Lowering Springs: 

  • Directly replace your OEM springs
  • Some kits allow you to reuse your stock shocks or struts
  • Preset to lower your vehicle by a specified amount
  • Features progressive, non-adjustable spring rates
  • More affordable than coilovers

Lets not get ahead of ourselves, some Lowering Spring / Shock/Strut set ups can cost just as much as a premium entry level Coilover option, but you may not necessarily need such a set up. I mean if you have the money, go for it, But personally my favorite Lowering Spring set up has always been KYB GR-2 on Eibach Pro Kit, for 3 projects i have had I've been able to get this set up between 390-575$ and thats really digging deep and finding good deals. 

I would choose Coilovers in a heartbeat, but thats when I'm building a quality car, a purpose build. If i want to do a quick build, maybe flip a car, or nothing crazy and stay within a budget i would always go with and advise customers i have dealt with to go with the Lowering Spring option.

My Top 3 Shock/ Strut Options:

  • KYB
  • KONI
  • Bilstein 

My Top 3 Lowering Spring Options:

  • Tein 
  • Eibach
  • H&R 

My Top 3 Coilover Options:

  • HKS HiperMax
  • BLOX Racing 
  • Ksport Kontrol Pro