The question is, are coil spring spacers good or bad?
You may be looking to increase your ride height, level your truck, or want to remedy some minor sag in aging coils. In these scenarios, coil spring spacers are a cheap solution…which is likely why you would question if they are safe to use.
This is a reasonable question and luckily for you, the answer is not complicated.
Read further as this article provides the answer quickly and comprehensively so you can decide if coil spring spacers are right for you.
Read until the end to build a more comprehensive understanding of coil spring spacers.
Coil Spring Spacers – Good or Bad?
If the major question is… are coil spring spacers safe then the short answer is Yes…for the most part…
They are safe to install for the right reasons and when done correctly should not damage any other suspension components…but…
That being said, they can potentially put extra strain on the rest of your suspension system including the control arms, CV joints, etc. This is especially prevalent with coil strut spacers which are used for vehicles with coilover shocks but in general, you can expect a bit more stress to be placed on your suspension system. This can cause premature wear and require the replacement of suspension parts.
Here is a list of the key pros and cons and underneath you will find some explanations of each point.
- Inexpensive solution – A coil spring spacer can cost you as little as $20 or less for some of the rubber options.
- Fixed amount of Lift – Because they are a solid block of material they will provide exactly the intended lift amount.
- Relatively simple installation – When compared with replacing other suspension parts in order to gain lift, adding in a coil spring spacer is far easier and more simple.
- Front Leveling Capabilities – These can be used to remove factory rake. Furthermore, if you add on a winch or bumper and you are getting a small amount of sag, this can be fixed as well.
- Spring rate remains unchanged – This means that your current ride quality and feel will be maintained which can also be a positive however, if you need to carry a greater load or want to get more stiffness in your ride, you will be dissapointed.
- Limits down travel (droop) – While the hieight of your suspension is increased this in turn limits the amount of suspension ‘droop’. This means that the distance your suspension can travel is limited and can cause your shocks to ‘bottom out’. This can add undue stress on your suspension system.
- Materials affect functionality – You can get coil spring spacers made out of rubber, steel or alloys and there wil be a difference int he way each performs due to the nature of those materials.
- Can add extra suspension stress – As mentioned, a coil spring spacer can limit suspension droop which can cause premature wear on suspension components.
Lastly, keep in mind that wheel alignment is recommended for any type of suspension modification or upgrade. This is to maintain balance and ensure a high-quality ride.
What is a Coil Spring Spacer?
A coil spring spacer is a circular piece of material shaped like a thick disc. It is installed on top of a coil spring in your suspension system. The design will depend on whether you are using coilover struts or if your coil is separate from your shock absorber.
However, the function is the same, and that is to provide an overall lift to your vehicle. This is to gain extra ground clearance, remove factory rake, improve the drive of a vehicle with old coils that are starting to sag, and more.
This leads us to our next point which points us in the direction of alternatives to coil spring spacers.
Alternative Options to Coil Spring Spacers
Below are some of the options that can provide the same function as a coil spring spacer and can in some instances be better for the desired outcome:
- New Springs
- Coil Spring Boosters
- Leveling kits or Lift kits
Let’s cover what these are below:
New Springs vs Coil spacers
Instead of opting to put in a new coil spring spacer, you could choose to simply replace the whole coil spring.
These come with their own set of pros and cons but they are generally a preferred option…
They will provide an increase in height (by getting a taller spring), improved spring rate and you can choose your desired spring rate with the type of coil (heavy-duty, light-duty, progressive-rate, etc.)
However, they are much more expensive than coil spacers. Furthermore, you are not guaranteed a specific height increase and you may end up with a different ride quality due to an incorrect spring rate.
These are all manageable downsides and when it comes to the health of your suspension system, it may be worth it for you. Click the link below if you would like to take a look at new springs:
Coil Spring Boosters? Are They Any Good?
Coil spring boosters are helpful for weak or weakening coil springs. They come in various designs/types that increase the gaps between the twists of your coil spring.
This can also help support your vehicle when carrying greater loads to reduce damage from bumps and will even provide a vehicle lift/height increase. also, they are very easy to install compared with coil spring spacers.
These are a bit of a band-aid solution for failing springs…So, yes they will help restore some height to sagging coils but are not a long term solution.
However, you can pick these up for very cheap and maybe a band-aid is exactly what the car doctor ordered so click on the link below to check these out.
Leveling Kits or Lift Kits
The last option is a leveling kit or a lift kit. These come in various types that will depend on your vehicle’s suspension system. Furthermore, with these products you can get height increases from 1″ all the way up to 8″ or more.
These are designed specifically for lift however, some lift kits include coil spring spacers so they can certainly cover similar needs.
For more information have a look at this article: Leveling Kit Vs Lift Kit.
If you are a Chevy Silverado driver have a look at the best lift kits for Chevy Silverado 1500 & 2500’s as well as the Best Silverado Leveling Kit. You may also be interested in Silverado leveling kit problems which will give further insight into using leveling kits safely.
How to install Coil Spring Spacer
The installation will vary depending on your specific suspension system but with the kind of coil spring spacers we have been talking about you will need to remove your wheel and dismantle some of the suspension system.
This is a complicated procedure and you should only do it yourself if you have the necessary expertise and experience. Without going into detail, the following are the broad steps involved:
- Jack up the axle
- Remove Wheel
- Unbolt shock absorbers from axle
- Remove bolts and nuts from sway bar
- Secure the coil spring with a compressor tool
- Lower the jack to allow the axle to drop as low as possible
- install the coil spring spacer above the coil or remove the coil to loacte the coil spring ontop before placing it back in place
- Gently raise jack and make sure the spring and spacer are locating properly
- Reverse all the previous step in order to get all the parts and bolts back in place
From there you will need to repeat the whole process on the other side.
For more detailed instructions the following videos will provide further insight into the process:
- Installing Coil Spring Lift Spacer on 95 OBS
- Tips and tricks for installing coil spring spacers
- Coil spring spacer install
- How to Install Leveling/Lift Kit on a 2017 Toyota Tundra
Here are the tools you will require to complete the installation:
- Coil spring compressor
- Medium-sized hammer
- Large floor jack
- Need-nose pliers
- Ball joint separator
- 3/8 drive ratchet full set
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Complete set of wrenches
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to common questions about coil spring spacers:
Do coil spacers affect ride?
Installing a coil spring spacer, as mentioned, does not affect your spring rate. Therefore, your ride quality should remain the same.
The main benefit is the height increase. If you are looking for an option to improve ride quality you are going to have to look at new springs or shock absorbers.
Do coil spacers affect alignment?
Yes, it most likely will affect your alignment. In order to install coil spring spacers you need to remove your wheel and detach your sway bar among other things. The nature of this installation can throw your wheels out of alignment.
This leads us logically into the next question:
Do you need an alignment after a spacer lift?
It is highly recommended that you do. In fact, with any modification or adjustment to your suspension system, it is recommended that you follow this up with wheel re-alignment.
How do I know if my coil springs are failing?
Coil spring can wear down over time and the result can be an uncomfortable or even dangerous drive. Here are some of the common signs of failing coil springs:
- Sharp vehicle sagging (when you get in or when you are cornering)
- Unusual tire wear patterns
- Slowly worsening noise from under the vehicle
- Excessive bouncing
- Vehicle sways or tilts excessivily when turning or accelerating or braking
What is the best material for coil spring spacers?
When it comes to materials it is best to avoid the rubber spacers if possible and within your budget. The best options are steel or strong metal alloys.
By now you can probably tell that, like most things, coil spring spacers have good and bad qualities. However, if they are used under the right circumstances and installed correctly you should have no problem using them.
They will provide extra lift, improve weak or sagging suspension, etc. all at a very affordable price. The downside is that they can place undue strain on the rest of your suspension system.
Additionally, there are a few other alternatives to coil spring spacers that can be better in some cases. These include new springs, coil spring boosters, leveling kits, and lift kits.
From here you should have all the information you need to make a decision that fits your circumstances and your budget.