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When lowering a car on lowering springs or coilover sleeves (any lowering without a matched shock/strut provided by the spring manufacturer), should I also try to source a shorter length shock?

Seems like going with an OEM replacement would result in a shock that's always in an already-compressed state, and therefore less functional than a shock permitted to move through the full range.

But maybe I'm overthinking this. A shorter shock probably has a shorter stroke length, too, which may make the difference between the two negligible.

Is there a best practice here? Recently came up because of a lack of off-the-shelf options for my project car.

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The short answer is, it depends. Most spring manufacturers will specify if their springs are designed to work with OEM or uprated shock absorbers. For example on my old VW Bora, I fitted a set of H&R -35mm lowering springs specifically because they were the only ones I could find that were TUV approved for use with standard shocks.

You may also find that certain spring setups work better with shortened (polybush, etc) bump stops. It's also possible to switch out components such as top-mounts with more appropriate items.

Your best bet is to speak to resellers or manufacturers and ask them directly. The rule of thumb is that more extreme amounts of lowering will almost certainly require replacements of the shockers with performance units.

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    It's also worth noting that you should not get a shock where the maximum extended length of the shock exceeds the fully uncompressed state of the spring. In such a case, whenever the suspension is completely unloaded (either over a really big bump or on a lift), it would be possible to unseat or even lose the spring, which would be disastrous. – Kitsunemimi May 31 at 14:20
  • That makes a lot of sense. I did notice just now on the Eibach site that there are comments along the lines of "tested with factory dampers." I'll have to figure out what I want and then just ask the manufacturer. Also, @Kitsunemimi, that's a great tip. I had been wondering about that, and couldn't wrap my head around which (spring or shock) couldn't exceed the length of the other. Thanks! – 8bitartist Jun 1 at 6:44

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