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View Full Version : My 2013 500e build - Chapter 2 - lowering and aero mods



zonker
01-10-2018, 12:39 AM
Ok, I'm close to done with the weight removal for weight removal's sake so it's time to advance the car's aero properties and improve the appearance as well.

Here's how she looked the day I was buying my 124 Spider:

http://i.imgur.com/318GrEh.jpg (https://imgur.com/318GrEh)

As of now she is sporting a set of 15x7 Rotiform traklites with a 30mm offset and 195/55-15 Firestone Fuel Champion tires. I bought 4x100 bolt pattern wheels and made them fit with hubcentric rings and wobble bolts. Now the tires are vertically flush with the wheelwells, but only lowering will make them horizontally flush too.

I plan on cutting the front and rear coil springs to lower and level the car which will help the aero cause and make the car look a lot better.

Henri737
01-10-2018, 04:39 AM
Cutting the springs: doesn't that change the spring characteristic into unknown and maybe unwanted area? Maybe upgrading to a lower springset from the Abarth?

Henri

zonker
01-10-2018, 11:03 PM
Cutting the springs: doesn't that change the spring characteristic into unknown and maybe unwanted area? Maybe upgrading to a lower springset from the Abarth?

Henri

No and no if done correctly. I've done this plenty of times to many of my own cars (and customer's cars) with zero negative results. The OEM spring's rate increases a small amount after the cut so as for handling it's superior to many of the aftermarket lowering springs and quality.
BUT cutting has to be done correctly - meaning if you take off too much and ruin the ability of having the perch preloaded then you risk bad things happening. The trick is to measure the spring height on the assembled strut prior to dissasembly, and using that figure plus at least 1/2" to determine the cut point height. As a result, I cut less than one full coil off the bottom of the spring and the car sits and rides well with no adverse effects (other than ground clearance but that's a given when lowering a car).

Ricksuiter
01-11-2018, 01:28 AM
As another recommendation I once needed a heavier duty spring for an electric conversion. Turns out the rear springs from a 87 Nissan Pulsar fit the rear (barely) of a 97 Mazda Miata. They weren't perfect, but they did get rid of a terrible bottoming out issue. There are charts of spring diameters and rates you can cross reference. Stock replacement springs can be had for cheap, definitely much less than buying specific lowering springs.

zonker
01-14-2018, 11:25 PM
Today was spring mod day - I had previously had clipped the back springs to level it out with the stock fronts but today I had the time to do all 4 wheels for a more thorough drop. I removed the front struts first, then measured the distance between perches to determine the safest maximum cut I can take. Turns out I can cut about 7/8 of a coil off the bottom, so I removed the rubber insulator and cut the spring with a die grinder.

http://i.imgur.com/ntl87hC.jpg (https://imgur.com/ntl87hC)

Once reassembled, my front ride height measurements:

http://i.imgur.com/ELoBdg7.jpg (https://imgur.com/ELoBdg7)

Then it was time for the rear - a real simple job. Just requires removal of both shock bolts and letting the swing arm drop. A 15mm socket will work on the torx bolt.

http://i.imgur.com/wxHGyT6.jpg (https://imgur.com/wxHGyT6)

Here is the rear spring and it's two rubber isolators:

http://i.imgur.com/r840cTs.jpg (https://imgur.com/r840cTs)

And here's the finished product:

http://i.imgur.com/R7CB0U1.jpg (https://imgur.com/R7CB0U1)

Southernroadrunner
01-15-2018, 11:10 AM
Today was spring mod day - I had previously had clipped the back springs to level it out with the stock fronts but today I had the time to do all 4 wheels for a more thorough drop. I removed the front struts first, then measured the distance between perches to determine the safest maximum cut I can take. Turns out I can cut about 7/8 of a coil off the bottom, so I removed the rubber insulator and cut the spring with a die grinder.

http://i.imgur.com/ntl87hC.jpg (https://imgur.com/ntl87hC)

Once reassembled, my front ride height measurements:

http://i.imgur.com/ELoBdg7.jpg (https://imgur.com/ELoBdg7)

Then it was time for the rear - a real simple job. Just requires removal of both shock bolts and letting the swing arm drop. A 15mm socket will work on the torx bolt.

http://i.imgur.com/wxHGyT6.jpg (https://imgur.com/wxHGyT6)

Here is the rear spring and it's two rubber isolators:

http://i.imgur.com/r840cTs.jpg (https://imgur.com/r840cTs)

And here's the finished product:

http://i.imgur.com/R7CB0U1.jpg (https://imgur.com/R7CB0U1)

It looks good and very good explanation of how you did it. Thanks for the pictures on the install.

pauvin
03-28-2018, 05:00 PM
I like the wheels. What are they?

Ando
03-28-2018, 06:11 PM
I like the wheels. What are they?

"15x7 Rotiform traklites with a 30mm offset and 195/55-15 Firestone Fuel Champion tires"

Agreed, it's a nice look!

Dirty Blond
03-30-2018, 10:09 AM
I was thinking of going the opposite direction.

6" Rough Country lift kit, and 35" Mickey Thompsons Rock Crawlers.... ;)



OP, looks good, but Texas roads would make short work out of anything that low.

EV_Daily_500e
04-02-2018, 10:25 PM
You discuss the front spring cut at 7/8 of the coil. How about the rear? How much did you cut off that?

texanbrit
04-03-2018, 11:32 AM
I was thinking of going the opposite direction.

6" Rough Country lift kit, and 35" Mickey Thompsons Rock Crawlers.... ;)



OP, looks good, but Texas roads would make short work out of anything that low.

I've never had much issue. Must be all of that Dallas construction.