The pressing of suspension on the chassis is (unfortunately) quite popular with tuners. The pressed springs ensure that the vehicle lies closer to the ground and are practically one of the cheapest ways to lower a car. In Germany, pressed springs are not legal and should not really be considered as a recommendation. The way the springs are pressed is important and crucial for the continued functionality and safety of the vehicle. It should be noted here that only specialists should work on these sensitive parts (if at all).
How legal is it to press the feathers?
In principle, the vehicle owner may make his own changes to the vehicle, even if this would invalidate any manufacturer's guarantees. However, there are narrow limits within which you can trade legally. These depend on the height, size and weight of the vehicle. Basically, the following rules of thumb apply:
- The vehicle must be able to easily pass obstacles with a height of 110 mm and a width of 800 mm
- Headlights and indicators must be at least 50 centimeters above the ground
- The front number plate must have a minimum height of 50 centimeters above the ground
- BUT: In the area of the StVO are compressed springs can not be allowed. One can consider the type of lowering for show cars, exhibition vehicles etc. that are not on the road.
There are, however, other provisions that can be found in the road traffic regulations and that are heavily dependent on the vehicle model. Hobbyists should also be careful! Anyone who operates their vehicle on their own often ensures that warranty and guarantee claims expire. It is always the best solution to consult an expert and let them do the work.
How can springs be pressed?
This requires a bit of know-how and the right equipment. A spring press is part of the basic equipment, because the springs can never be pressed successfully without mechanical help. Anyone who comes up with the idea of loading the trunk with stones and leaving the car standing for a few days gives you no hope, it will not work. If a lowering is to be achieved at all, then the springs must be removed from the vehicle and then tensioned in the press. This either has a device for heating the springs, or the springs have to be heated manually during the pressing process. This is very important, otherwise there may be some problems. Heated too cold and they may break in the press or the pressing may not be successful. The manufacturer often provides information about the correct degree of heating and the material from which the springs are made.
Prefer new sport springs?
However, we are of the opinion that if the springs are already removed, a set of real lowering springs can also be installed. The effort is identical and the sometimes low costs for sport springs of less than € 100 for a complete set (depending on the manufacturer) shouldn't be an obstacle. You then have the security of having a tested product in the vehicle that uses ABE or Teilegutachten does not leave any questions about the eligibility for admission. And finally, compressing the springs is not free. For example, you have to pay between € 35 and € 45 per feather count. This is roughly on par with a good set of sport springs. This variant of the lowering should only be considered if there are no sport springs or sport suspensions for the desired vehicle type and the vehicle is not used in public traffic.
Which springs are suitable for upsetting / pressing?
In theory, any spring can be compressed. The result after upsetting depends on factors such as the material thickness, the number of turns and the "standard length" of the spring. Normally springs can be compressed approx. 40 mm. This even applies to sport springs or springs from a coilover kit. As a rule, nothing of the upsetting process can be seen optically on a compressed spring. Except that the spring is of course shorter! Information such as the lettering or the protective coating is still available afterwards. However, if the springs are covered with a plastic tube, this must be removed before pressing.
When shouldn't it be lowered?
Basically, lowering cars within the legal framework is a great thing for tuning fans. However, roadworthiness must always be guaranteed. If the manufacturer expressly indicates that the vehicle is not suitable for such ideas, it should of course be avoided. The same applies to vehicles that are already very low from the factory and, after being lowered further, no longer meet the requirements mentioned above. For example, if you have a classic car and do not get any lowering springs for this rare vehicle, you should either go the way to have a one-off production (springs or complete chassis) made and removed, or simply do without the lowering. Subsequent compression of a spring that is decades old can end in disaster. The following video shows one way of pressing the springs, but it is very clear NOT TO IMITATE suitable. PS. An increase to compression / compression is the so-called Flex chassis!
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