Holy crap, do not put clamps on your springs and then go driving. (Image: Engineering Explained/YouTube)

You’ve got to tread carefully any time you mess with key components of your car, but these five suspension mods can be particularly perilous. If you don’t know what you’re doing, please consult a professional. Forums don’t count.

In this video Engineering Explained breaks down why spring clamps, cut springs, wheel spacers, massive amounts of negative camber and oversized anti-roll bars can ruin the way your car drives. Yes, even if it makes the vehicle look moar auhsum and/or hellaflush.


Here’s a quick summary in case you don’t have 11 minutes to YouTube:

Spring Clamps

If one look at this setup doesn’t send chills down your spine, please never pick up a wrench.

Putting a u-bolt around a few spring coils to artificially squeeze your suspension puts extreme stress on that little slip of steel you picked up at the hardware store. Worse than that, it’s upset the dynamics some engineers spend hundreds of hours tuning to work with the car’s strut.

Besides all that, nothing good will happen when those u-bolts rub up against other components.


Cutting Springs, or Lowering Springs

Engineering Explained doesn’t like the idea of swapping your springs without changing your shock because the two are meant to work as a system. If they’re not dialed in to each other, the car might not bounce over bumps properly. This is why you see cheaply lowered tuner cars shaking like somebody’s getting busy in the back seat every time they ride over a pebble.


Wheel Spacers

A little block between your wheel and your hub helps you fit bigger rims and/or give your car a wider track. But you can also buy the vehicle extra stress and offset your wheel angle in exchange for minimal handling gain from the widened stance.


Excessive Negative Camber

Sometimes people like to splay their wheels out to achieve an extremely low ride height or have the wheel appear to be “flush” with the car’s body. That puts a lot of strain on the suspension components and wears your tires extremely quickly.


Oversized Anti-Roll Bar

According to this video, beefing up your anti-roll bar can make your car understeer or oversteer increasing chances of understeer/oversteer as it increases the slip angle of front tires.


Engineering Explained has decent, more in-depth explainers on each of the individual items above (as linked) but the big takeaway here is to research well before you start buying bits to slap on your car.


And, please—those spring clamps, just, no.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik | 1975 International Scout, 1984 Nissan 300ZX, 1991 Suzuki GSXR, 1998 Mitsubishi Montero, 2005 Acura TL

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