News

Lowering factory springs vs Novitec

Discussion in '458 Italia/488/F8' started by RaceMX-M3, Jul 17, 2018.

  1. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    6,982
    RayJohns has provides some spot on and useful information. But let me expand:

    The stock car has a bit over 4" of ground clearance, and if the spring rate/weight on the 458/488 are anything similar to that on the F355, the car will compress one side by a full 2" at maximum lateral acceleration (think race track with warm tires and rubbered in surface.) You want this last 2" of compressibility so that if you run over something (like a curb) the suspension can still absorb the load without upsetting the car (much).

    Now, let's take the same car but lowered by 1", at maximum lateral acceleration you will have only 1" of ground clearance to deal with the curb. If you hit the curb as you could with the unlowered car, the suspension will bottom out and the spring rate effectively go to infinity, tires lose traction at these kinds of spring rates and instead of having the curb launch you down track (still having ground clearance), the curb now launch you into the weeds (lack of ground clearance).

    Racers get away with lowered cars because they increase the spring rates*--they still don't want the bottom side of the car to hit stuff on the roads or curbs. It turns out that they increase the spring rate rather closely to the amount of lowering they perform on the car. Let us say the stock car has 4" of compression movement before bottoming (the springs, shocks, bumps, or chassis hitting the road).

    Now, if you want to lower the car by 1", you need springs that will give the rather similar adequate ground clearance at maximum lateral acceleration. Since the compression travel is now 3" you need springs that are 4/3 times stiffer (1.333X) and you want shocks that are 1.333X stiffer in compression to keep the suspension under control. The shocks only need to be 1.166X stiffer in rebound to control the spring as the basic weight of the wheel/tire/brakes has not changed. So you can't just find shock oil that is 1.33X more viscous, you have to address the valving on the shocks.

    None of this matters on the road with gentlemanly driving................

    (*) and chassis torsional rates.
     
    obbob, Caeruleus11 and Shadowfax like this.
  2. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax F1 Rookie

    Jun 10, 2016
    3,282
    Australia
    Well said.

    I've already bottomed out my right hand strut pretty badly on a hard corner even with stock suspension at stock height. This corner visually had only a very minor surface abnormality and I mean VERY small. I was quite shocked it bottomed out the way it did. Admittedly I was right on it and the car was definitely toward the cornering limit if not on it. Now if the car was lowered an inch it would have caused damage no question about that. I think to lower these cars is really asking for big trouble if you plan driving hard in sporty environments. The only way to offset the situation would be fit firmer springs and then a re valving of the shocks. But just lowering the car without giving serious consideration to spring and shock rates is a disaster in waiting.
     
  3. 4th_gear

    4th_gear F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 18, 2013
    4,401
    Full Name:
    Michael
    Was your 458 or 488 Manettino setting in SPORT or RACE mode?

    Shocks only control suspension rebounds (after compression) and it's the springs that limit compression, prevent bottoming out. If you set the Manettino in SPORT or RACE mode the MagneRide shocks should stiffen sufficiently to control the rebounds. Shocks cannot prevent bottoming out. That's why Novitec only replaces your springs, not the (complete) struts.
     
  4. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax F1 Rookie

    Jun 10, 2016
    3,282
    Australia
    Always in sport or race. At the time was in race - consecutive tight turns on a slight downhill incline. Assuming the Novitec springs are considerably stiffer they would be a better bet than trying to reduce the ride height with the stock coils for sure. That said, one of the guys I drive with just recently lowered his Mac with stiffer springs, had it professionally aligned etc and now it bottoms out all over the place so the 488 would have to be the same with the Novitecs.
    I think you've really got to manage your expectations when you lower a car of this caliber. The factory spends a fortune setting these cars up, so to play around with that there are bound to be compromises.
     
  5. Caeruleus11

    Caeruleus11 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 11, 2013
    9,397
    I'm told NR springs for the 458 are ~15% stiffer than stock, and this falls within the operating range of the factory dampers. McLaren- depending on the model- has a very different suspension setup. I would not make generalizations. I have been driving my 458 thats lowered for years and I have bottomed it a few times, but I have also been driving Ferraris of all sorts for well over a decade, most on factory setup and they can bottom also. Driving my 458 is just a bit more like driving an F40 in terms of ride height- you just have to be that much more aware. I enjoy it- and I drive my cars.
     
  6. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax F1 Rookie

    Jun 10, 2016
    3,282
    Australia
    Agree, need to be constantly aware of the height as the car is already very low. Had same issues with a 911 I lowered (used stiffer shorter springs) so it's pretty common to scrape/bottom out. I think it comes down to where and how you drive the car. PS with the 911 I ended up fitting coilovers which used a matched shock and coil with helpers....still wasn't great on anything other than billiard table surfaces. Wouldn't do it again. But to each their own. For me I like pushing the car without those kinds of hassles.
     
    Caeruleus11 likes this.
  7. Caeruleus11

    Caeruleus11 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 11, 2013
    9,397
    I really should elaborate- I've never truly bottomed my car out- but I've scraped the plastic underside a few times. You just have to really pay attention to the road, but the roads where I live, if you were to drive a stock car hard, you would likely scrape it also.
     
  8. obbob

    obbob Formula Junior

    Aug 14, 2017
    735
    Lots of great information in this thread.

    If I want to lower my Speciale by 1 inch, should I go with stock springs or Novitec?

    Would the stock springs have too high risk of bottoming out?
     
  9. Caeruleus11

    Caeruleus11 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 11, 2013
    9,397
    Its funny because this is all about where you draw the line. I would not touch the Speciale as I view it as already being "hotted up" by the factory. But if you are going an inch I would think Novitec is a better choice.
     
  10. Melvok

    Melvok F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jul 25, 2008
    13,063
    Amersfoort, Holland.
    Full Name:
    Mel
    Please … do not touch the Speciale … only to get one inch lower … Will cost you a lot of money and will not help you at all imo …

    Have seen more Speciale owners who converted so and they all regretted doing it afterwards ...
     
    Shadowfax likes this.
  11. 4th_gear

    4th_gear F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 18, 2013
    4,401
    Full Name:
    Michael
    Cars with lowered ride height as set up from the factory are only meant to work well on a track.

    If you lower a road car using stock springs it will bottom out for sure if you drive on public roads, even going up/down ramps will cause problems if you do not have a lifter. Novitec does makes a sport spring kit that includes a lifter but it's expensive and adds weight. Lowering a road car to drive on public roads will work much better on sport springs like the Novitec or other high quality brands.

    A proper ride height also depends on the amount of overhang - how long the nose of the car projects from the wheels going forward. Can also be an issue in the rear if your car has a crazy diffuser. Cars like the MC12 are a total nightmare to clear on a ramp.

    Spring rates can be measured.
     
    Melvok likes this.
  12. Caeruleus11

    Caeruleus11 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 11, 2013
    9,397
    Guys, the Speciale is still a road car. I think you can do it, I think its just a matter of where you come out on the question.
     
  13. obbob

    obbob Formula Junior

    Aug 14, 2017
    735
    now that I think about it, 1 inch is way too much. I’m lowering primarily to reduce the large wheel gap that 458s seem to have. Will likely go very minor such as 15mm. Forgot that an inch is 25mm. Seems that sport springs are the safest option.
     
  14. Caeruleus11

    Caeruleus11 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 11, 2013
    9,397
    I would ask NR the range of the drop. It could be that the minimum drop is still greater than 15mm. I think you might be able to get that on the factory springs but I'm not sure. I'm pretty sure on the non special cars you could get 5-10mm (and still be within a safe operating range).
     
  15. Baitschev

    Baitschev Formula Junior

    Jan 8, 2017
    250
    Vienna
    Image Unavailable, Please Login Lowered with Novitec and i Love it
    To lowering the oem springs its a wrong idea .it will be to soft at high speed.its dangerous!!!!!
     
    4th_gear likes this.
  16. Baitschev

    Baitschev Formula Junior

    Jan 8, 2017
    250
    Vienna
    Wheight on wheel Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Its. Not correct!
    The smaler springs are only important If you Jack your car that the normal springs Stay in position with initial tension (also If you loose street contact)
    The Stifter springs are to short that Why they take 2 springs.
    Pls Check on your car the smaller spring.they are complete compressed every time
     
  17. 4th_gear

    4th_gear F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 18, 2013
    4,401
    Full Name:
    Michael
    Yes, but while you are correct in that the smaller springs are indeed fully compressed AT REST you are missing the point of the dual-rate springs, which perform their part when the CAR IS MOVING.

    When you CORNER, your inside struts will pull UP on the inside wheels while your outside struts will push DOWN on the outside wheels. Weight will transfer to the outside corners of your car when you corner.

    With a constant rate springs both inside and outside struts will exert the exact same stiffness. However, with dual spring rates, the inside struts will be pulling up on the inside wheel using the softer springs while the outside struts will completely compress the smaller springs and be effectively only leaning on the bigger springs. The car will effectively ride on softer springs on the inside wheels, stiffer springs on the outside wheels.

    Do you see what happens? The inside wheel of the dual-spring rate car will maintain compliant contact with the road surface and you maintain road contact on all 4 tires while a constant rate spring rate suspension may cause 1 or 2 inside wheels to lift off the ground or at least lose effective traction because they have lightened up too much.

    Next look at what happens when your car goes over bumps, with dual-rate springs, as the axle unweighs the wheels on softer springs can remain in contact with the ground but with constant rate stiff springs, the axle hops. Not good.

    Novitech is not $tupid. ;)
     
  18. RayJohns

    RayJohns F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 21, 2006
    5,808
    West Coast
    Full Name:
    Ray Johns
    For anyone interested, I ordered up some spanners from Daniel over at Ricambi America today. They are produced by Hill Engineering.

    Here are the respective links at both websites:

    Hill Engineering:

    110 mm (for the seat) http://www.hillengineering.co.uk/tools/spanners-special/lns-01a
    80 mm (for the lock) http://www.hillengineering.co.uk/tools/spanners-special/lns-02

    Ricambi America:

    110mm - https://www.ricambiamerica.com/lns-01a-platform-adjuster-348-355-512tr-m-shoc.html
    80mm - https://www.ricambiamerica.com/lns-02-lock-nut-wrench-spanner.html

    In measuring the 488 GTB just now, it appears the lower spring seat takes a 110 mm spanner, while the lock nut uses an 80mm size. I haven't received the spanner wrenches yet, but I'm guessing they will work okay on the 488. I measured the outside diameter of the seat/nut using a lathe caliper, so everything should be spot on, assuming the little teeth that index into the notches align up okay.

    I'll report back soon.

    I'm going to drop the 488 GTB 20mm at all four corners. I'll see about making a YouTube video and posting it later on for anyone interested. Hard to judge if the coil-overs are going to have to come off the car for this job or if it might be possible to do it while they are on. It looks like there might be some hope of doing the rear ones while they are still on the car, but I wouldn't bet my life on that! However, I might wager something like Melvok's ear or little finger though, if the odds are decent enough.

    :)

    Ray
     
  19. r6elmo

    r6elmo Rookie

    Sep 12, 2010
    16
    I think there has been some mis-information in this thread:

    Shocks control both compression and rebound. an earlier comment suggested that only springs take care of compression, that's false.
    Then another comment on how the amount of droop suspension has has any relationship to spring rate. the shock body determines the amount of droop, you can increase spring rate and have the same shock body and it won't make a difference in droop.

    The novitec setup has a helper spring just to help control the spring when you catch air or it becomes unweighted. To think that the helper spring at anytime becomes uncompressed during cornering isn't the case.

    I'm almost certain if we took the time to measure the oem spring, length, diameter, spring rate, we could put together an eibach or hyperco kit.
     
  20. obbob

    obbob Formula Junior

    Aug 14, 2017
    735
    How about installation costs?

    How much would a spring replacement cost vs simply lowering the stock springs?
     
  21. jyupitt

    jyupitt Karting

    Jul 14, 2015
    166
    Nyc/Nj
    Spring parts with spacer + install and alignment was about 5k for me. If you have adjust the height after with alignment it will run your another 1500 depending on the shop.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  22. synergy

    synergy Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Aug 5, 2007
    463
    Austin Texas
    Full Name:
    Chris
    Baitschev and obbob like this.
  23. obbob

    obbob Formula Junior

    Aug 14, 2017
    735
    How many mm lowered? Looks great!
     
  24. Autolove

    Autolove Karting

    Jun 8, 2012
    207
    S.A. TX.
    Full Name:
    Ivan
    With novitec springs and spacers!
    Rides like a dream!!
     
    Baitschev likes this.

Share This Page