How to Cut Coil Springs to Lower a Vehicle

1.

Lift the car with the jack, and support it with jack stands under the frame. Remove the wheels.

2.

Place the spring compressor on one of the coil springs and use the ratchet handle and socket to compress the spring. Remove the spring from the vehicle, following the directions in the service manual. Release and remove the compressor from the spring, and repeat the procedure for the rest of the springs.

3.

Cut one coil off each spring, using the cutoff tool. Make sure to cut the same amount from each spring.

4.

Grind the cut end of each spring with the hand-held grinder to eliminate any sharp corners.

5.

Compress and re-install the springs, following the directions in the service manual. Replace the wheels, jack up the vehicle, and remove the jack stands. Lower the car from the jack and check the new ride height.

Tips and Warnings

  • If the new ride height is not low enough, drive the vehicle for a week to see if it will settle any further. If it is still not low enough, repeat the procedure; but never remove more than one coil at a time.
  • Make sure the vehicle is solidly supported before attempting to work on it.
  • Read and follow the safety instructions included with the spring compressor.
  • Wear gloves and eye protection, especially when cutting and grinding.
  • When cutting and grinding the springs, be careful not to nick the adjacent coil. Doing so could weaken it and cause the spring to break under pressure.
  • Beside the obvious improvement in the looks of the vehicle, a lower ride height also decreases both a vehicle's center of gravity and its wind resistance. This pays off in better handling and fuel efficiency. Among the techniques enthusiasts use to lower a vehicle, one of the best compromises between cost, safety and ability to control the end result is to cut the coil springs.