The automotive springs that are the most important part of your car’s suspension system have quite a bit resting on them, both literally and figuratively. Far from simply supporting your vehicle’s weight and maintaining the proper ride height, they also prevent every bump on the road from being felt by passengers and contribute to handling.
There are three major types of automotive springs, and understanding their differences can help you decide which to buy for your next auto project.
- Coil Springs
Coil springs are generally helical, and designed to resist compression along the axis of wind. When used in a suspension, they therefore prevent every facet of the road surface from having an equal impact on the vehicle’s body.
Custom coil springs can be made to fit nearly any automotive need. Coil springs are often chosen because they are energy efficient and compact. They are also affordable and easy to install.
- Torsion Bars
A torsion spring stores energy when it is twisted. A torsion bar can be used to attach the control arm of the wheel to the vehicle’s chassis. The length and thickness of the bar determine the amount of resistance.
Torsion bars are simple, strong and easy to adjust. However, they are made less desirable because their range is limited and they create a bumpier ride than a suspension system using coil springs.
- Leaf Springs
Leaf springs were actually used in horse-drawn carriages, then carried over to automobiles. Today, however, the coil spring is much more popular in passenger vehicles, and leaf springs are confined to large trucks. However, they were once widely used, and anyone restoring a pre-1940s car might want to use them to retain its historic qualities.
Leaf springs are affordable and strong. They can also be adjusted based on the necessary carrying load and can be easily manipulated to alter the ride or handling of any vehicle.
Have you used custom made springs in any of your cars? Do you have any recommendations for custom automotive springs? Share in the comments.