C6 Chevrolet Corvette - Suspension Lowering - Layin' Low

Project D6C Gets Smacked

Chris Endres Apr 26, 2007 0 Comment(s)
Vemp_0706_01z Corvette_c6_lowering_ride_height Front_view 1/29

You know how some guys gravitate towards the same tired color every time they purchase a new car? I'm like that, but rather than recycling Resale Red, I make the same modification over and over: I lower them. All of them. It matters little if it's a Corvette, an F-body, or a one-ton dually pickup. I haven't owned a stock-ride-height vehicle since sometime in the early '90s. That said, this should come as no surprise: My C6 sat too high.

Now, D6C's stance wasn't as likely to induce altitude sickness as some Corvettes I've seen, but even so, it was not even close to the bum-scraping, virtually subterraneous posture it deserved. I mentioned this in the first installment of our series, and it turned out to be true. The car had not been home even nine hours (I needed some sleep after my ten-hour trans-Texas drive) before it was on the jack and the wrenches were flying.

Thankfully, GM had people like me in mind when they designed the ride-height-adjustment bolts into the monosprings on the C6 (and C5). Ok, ok, the savvy among you know the real purpose of these adjusters is to facilitate minor adjustments in corner weight, which can improve the car's balance and traction in competitive-driving events. But they also allow stance-conscious Corvette owners to slam their ride for poco dinero. I admit this is mostly a cosmetic modification, and I know there are better ways to lower the car-namely, coilovers. I'll get to that eventually, but for now, I'll settle for the instant gratification that comes from making the car "sit" just right.

Vemp_0706_02z Corvette_c6_lowering_ride_height Front_left_view 2/29

Here is D6C the morning after purchase. As mentioned earlier, it did not sit nearly as high as many C6s I've seen. This should have made me suspicious; you'll see why in a moment.

How does it work? Embedded near the end of each spring is a threaded insert that serves as a mount for the adjusters. These adjusters consist of a simple threaded rod with a 10mm hex fitting at the top end and a flange in-molded with a segmented rubber bushing on the bottom. The adjuster end is the contact point between the monospring and the lower control arms. If you run the adjusters up into the spring, the control arm will follow, lowering the car's ride height. If you extend the adjusters downward, it adds ride height. That's how simple it is to lower (or, gasp, raise) a C6.

I've been asked repeatedly whether lowering the car in this manner changes the ride or improves the handling. Some say it does, some say no way. I say maybe, but not by much. I think people may notice slightly less body roll due to the lower center of gravity. Those who go nuts (like me) with aftermarket bolts or cut bushings will certainly notice at least a slight increase in ride firmness. This is due to the missing inch of semi-squishy rubber between the spring and the LCA, which allows the LCA to act more directly on the spring.

Lowering a Corvette obviously isn't for everyone. Sure, it makes the car a little more difficult to get in and out of. And yes, you have to employ some interesting navigational tactics in order to negotiate steep driveways. Plus, the black plastic air dam scrapes more often . . . all the time, actually. But who cares? 'Cuz it looks bitchin', and that was the whole point of this project.

Want to see how to do it? Follow along.

Sources

WEST COAST CORVETTES
Placentia, CA 92870
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