Lowering the C5 Corvette is not an over-enthusiastic move from any Corvette owner, because when C5 comes out of the factory, somehow it looks like a 4×4 wheeler. So owners who seek to add a professional look to their C5 Corvette must pursue a lowered stance.
Now lowering the C5 Corvette doesn’t only enhance the aesthetic beauty of the car but it also requires engineering precision. The stock suspension adjusting bolts allow to lower the car maximum of 3/4 inch in the front and 1 inch at the rear.
So here we are, let’s explore the lowering methods and the artistry behind unlocking a new dimension of elegance and performance of your beloved C5 Corvette.
A Guide On How To Lower C5 Corvette 5 Simple Steps
According to the method of lowering, you will need different tools. If you will replace the coilovers or lower springs, you will need the following tools:
- Jack and Jack stands
- Lowering springs or coliovers
- Air compressor
- Socket set
- strut spring compressor
- Tire chocks
- Air impact gun
However, lowering a C5 Corvette with a suspension lowering kit will only require the kit itself and other basic hand tools as:
- Adjustable wrench
- Ratchet with 18mm socket
- Adjustment bolts (if you are going to replace them)
An initial step before lowering a C5 Corvette is to measure the ride height first. The ride height is the distance between the bottom of the fender to the road.
There is usually a slight difference between the front and rear wheels heights. So, make sure to measure each wheel.
Step 1 – Jack up the car
Using a standard jack, lift the rear side of the car first to lower the two rear wheels. Use jack stands so the car rest on them. Then, get beneath the car.
RELATED: How To Jack Up A C5 Corvette
Step 2 – Locate the bolts of the spring
The adjustment bolts are located at the end of the spring. They are inserted upwards where the excess threads are on the top side. This area is what you can adjust.
Step 3 – Adjust the bolts
Using an adjustable wrench and a ratchet, rotate the bolts anticlockwise. The adjustable wrench to hold the bolts from the top and the ratchet to rotate the bolts from the bottom.
Step 4 – Repeat the process on the other wheels
Using the same tools, repeat the process on the second rear wheel. Measure the excess threads of both bolts to ensure they are of the same size.
For the front wheels, you will have to remove the wheel and the tire to access the spring. Use the jack to lift the car up and repeat the same process.
Step 5 – Ensure the ride height is suitable
After you are done, lower the car and measure the ride height for both the front and rear sides. Make sure that the two front heights are the same and the two rear heights are the same as well.
Why people lower C5 Corvette?
Like any car, the C5 corvette looks better when lowered. Car enthusiasts usually prefer these lowered cars as they look sporty and cool.
However, it is not just the style that makes people lower their cars. There are a few benefits of driving low-car people to strive for.
For example, improving the traction and getting better handling. In addition, low cars give a stiffer ride and overall a better riding experience.
Thus, C5 corvette owners who are caring for the performance will go for a lowered vehicle if applicable.
The benefits of lowering C5 Corvette
Balancing the pros and cons of lowering a C5 Corvette is important before taking the decision. So, let’s first discover some of the benefits.
Improve the riding experience
Lowering a C5 corvette means the drive has a better road feeling. When driving a lowered car, everything the car moves on will come to the steering wheel. Thus, he will be able to avoid road imperfections.
As the car lowers, the gravity center becomes lower as well. So, when the driver maneuvers or take a sharp turn, the lean of the car decreases.
So, he can regain control of his car quicker. Further, the rollover risk is minimal and the car is more stable and responsive.
Speaking of responsiveness, lowering a C5 Corvette means having better handling. Handling here includes the ability to increase the speed and quick stops.
By lowering your car, you get stiffer springs. Therefore, upon hitting the gas or brake pedals, the car responds quickly. Hence, you get better acceleration and sharp stops.
With a lowered car, less air will be hitting the wheels. This means less air drag, thus, better acceleration. This is similar to comparing large trucks with small cars.
Small cars surely have less air drag. However, this may be a problem in some cases. Also, less air dragging can improve fuel efficiency.
When you lower a C5 Corvette, you have a bigger tire. So, the tire has more contact with the ground. Hence, better traction is guaranteed.
Finally, one of the most prominent benefits of lowering a C5 Corvette is having a good-looking car. Actually, some people lower their car for this reason only.
From the tires, wheels and every additional part, the vehicle will stand out. Not only the style but also the performance will grab the attention.
Problems of Lowering a C5 Corvette
Bad performance on rough roads
Although having a better feeling of the road is one of the pros, it has its drawbacks. Driving on rough and rocky roads means you will feel everything under your feet. Moreover, the car has its worst performance on road bumps.
Increased risk for lower parts
A dangerous problem with lowering a C5 Corvette is the increased contact of the bottom part with the ground. This problem appears especially on road bumps.
The bottom part of the car will occasionally hit the road, thus, damaging major components as the exhaust system.
Faster tire wear
Hitting every imperfection in the road will cause wearing and tearing of the wheel. Wheel tearing doesn’t only affect the wheel itself but also other suspension components.
Another problem accompanied by tire wear is the cost of changing the tires. Further, the resale value drops as a result of the continuous fixing of main car components.
Although you will have better handling, it is only good when driving on smooth roads. In other cases, the driver will have to shift and lower speed on sloppy roads and bumps.
Since the acceleration is higher with the lowered car, handling the vehicle on these rough roads will become harder.
As lowering the car comes with its risks, car owners should try to decrease the risk by doing it right. This means they need to invest in quality components and these come with their prices. Also, changing the OEM components of the car system decrease the resale value.
More difficult jacking
Jacking up a normal car is very easy using a standard jack. However, with a lowered C5 Corvette, lifting will need a low-profile jack. It may also need ramps to be able to push the jack beneath the car.
Changing any major systems in the car may void the warranty. In this case, the manufacturer may not be responsible for any damage even not caused by lowering the car.
Lowering C5 Corvette cost
The process can be costly according to the method you will choose. Lowering it yourself requires you have the lowering equipment and any other hand tools you may need. According to the method, the cost is determined.
Using lower springs
Springs are already there in the car. So, you will have to replace them. A spring kit may cost something around $100 and it may go higher or lower.
Another alternative to springs is the coilovers. These will also replace the original component in the car. The cost of coilovers for a C5 Corvette starts at $700.
The most affordable option. A lowering kit includes adjustment bolts. Some of the kits are two rear bolts only and others come in four pieces. The cost ranges from $50 to $90 according to the set.
The time needed for lowering a C5 Corvette depends on the method. If you are going to lower it yourself using lowering bolts, you will need around 30 minutes.
This time may go shorter if you are experienced. However, other methods require more time and they are usually approached by more professional people.
Tips for lowering a C5 Corvette
Don’t compensate quality products for money. As mentioned before, lowering a C5 Corvette has its drawbacks. So, avoid as much risk as possible by using the best kits and tools.
Inquire the car manufacturers first to make sure that what you are up to is good for the vehicle. You may also need to ask about the warranty.
You may need to get an alignment for the car after lowering. So, it is better to seek advice from a professional on this matter.
IF you are new to car mechanics, get help especially if you are using one of the advanced methods.
Record the ride height measure for each wheel before and after lowering.
The Basic FAQs on How To Lower C5 Corvette
Which is better coilovers or lowering springs?
Coilovers and lowering springs nearly have the same mechanism. Yet, there are numerous differences between both. Coilovers are more expensive than lowering springs.
Also, lowering springs cannot be adjusted. The lowering range is fixed, unlike the coilovers where you can adjust the suspension level.
On the other side, coilovers are firmer than lowering springs. Thus, some drivers find lower springs more comfortable.
How to lower a C5 Corvette by cutting the lower springs?
Lowering a C5 Corvette can be done in several ways. One of these ways is cutting the lowering springs instead of replacing them.
In this method, the mechanic will cut the lower springs using basic tools. The tools needed for this process are all available in auto parts stores.
However, think twice before doing this. Cutting the coil springs will decrease the compression strength. Hence, the car won’t be bouncy as usual.
How much should I lower a C5 Corvette?
When lowering a C5 Corvette, one must know that it comes with its price. So, you shouldn’t go for too much lowering to avoid some of the risks.
The maximum height adequate for lowering a C5 Corvette is 1.5 inches. This gives the sporty look car drivers desire and at the same time keep the car bottom safe as possible.
Generally, before lowering any vehicle, you should measure the ride height first. This is the front height from the road to the bottom of the fender.
Alternatively, the rear height is from the road to the rear fender.
Can I lower a C5 Corvette using smaller rims?
If you used smaller rims (less in diameter), you will need larger tires. So, the overall diameter stays the same. However, going with a smaller overall diameter in both rims and tires will lower the car a little bit.
Yet, it increases the distance between the wheel and the fender. So, what you get at the end is not the low-profile car you are looking for.
Does lowering increase speed?
Theoretically, yes. Lowering a C5 Corvette will increase the speed. The lower center of gravity means less weight shifting.
In addition, lowering the car means less air drag. So, the car will move faster.
However, in practical life, this is not always the case. Lowered cars need less aggressive driving on slopes and bumps.
As most of the roads are not those smooth roads of race tracks, lowering doesn’t always mean better acceleration.
Lowering a C5 Corvette is popular modification car owners love to do. On one hand, it adds to the elegance and classy look of the car.
On the other hand, it has better performance advantages. Yet, before deciding to do so, you should know the disadvantages as well.
Knowing what works best for you will help you make the right decision.
Jack, a living encyclopedia of cars, embodies the spirit of automotive fascination. With an instinctual bond to Corvettes and autos, his expertise flows like a heartfelt conversation. From engines humming to sleek curves, he’s a human bridge to the car world’s soul.