One of the most talked about, misunderstood and misinformed items of vehicle ownership are 'performance upgrades'. On an incredibly frequent basis we talk to customers who have purchased items after bad advice from companies or keyboard warriors who have then found that the money they spent didn't have the outcome they had hoped. Some companies are willing to sell any item to earn their money, but companies like us are willing to work with you to spend it correctly. The items available from us are only available because we believe in them and can truly offer them in the right circumstance to help improve your vehicle.
We have tried to recommend upgrades below, some of which aren't even available from us, so that you can consider what is best suited for your vehicle and what you use it for. This is by no means an exhaustive list and doesn't cover every option you have, but it's a great starting point for some of the more common upgrades you can do. Spend your money wisely and heed good advise when it's there!
CLASSIC CAR Weekend leisure use
Selective use only so that the ride doesn't become too harsh. Try SuperPro anti-roll bar bushes to sharpen the handling a little without compromising comfort.
VAN OR MOTORHOME Everyday use
Koni Special Active. These will handle the British roads a lot better than standard shocks and will improve the ride when you are carrying a heavy load.
Koni Special Active. These will handle the British roads a lot better than standard shocks and will even benefit the more 'spirited' of daily drivers
ROAD CAR Back road thrashing
Koni Special Active, Gaz Gold, KW V1, V2, V3. A better shock (Koni) or adjustable coilover (Gaz / KW) will support the car a lot better on faster driving, and the coilovers will allow height adjustment and in some cases will allow you to tune the damping to your style
Standard or slight lowering springs on Koni Special Active. The lowering springs are normally a little stiffer than standard to firm up the ride and will also lower the centre of gravity of the car. Don't go too low as you may ruin the handling, contrary to some people's beliefs. Coilovers are height adjustable to allow finer tuning of height and rake.
SuperPro polybushes will help to make the car more precise and will firm up the ride further. If you don't mind a little more harshness then these are a good upgrade. If you don't want to compromise ride comfort too much then stick with standard bushes.
4 wheel alignment to maximise tyre life and handling, corner weight setup if using coilovers. Consider some form of upgrades to adjust camber such as camber bolts, adjustable top mounts and camber adjustable arms. These will allow camber adjustment to enable a more aggressive wheel alignment and maximising the tyres contact patch when cornering.
ROAD CAR Performance / track use
SuperPro polybushes will make the handling of the car a lot more precise by taking unwanted flex away from items such as wishbones where they mount to the chassis and subframes. If you want to be precise with your driving you will need bushes to suit. Expect a less forgiving drive out on the road, but if you want comfort buy a new hatchback.
Gaz Gold, KW V3 / V4 / Clubsport, Nitron R1 or R3. Coilovers are a must for performance driving and track use so that the weight of the car can be controlled properly in hard braking and cornering. The better your driving becomes and the stickier the tyres you use, you'll definitely want to be looking at higher end coilovers such as KW Clubsport and Nitrons. Firmer damping means a firmer ride out on the road, but is a must for track applications. The adjustable damping on these shocks will help you dial in the handling. Do not scrimp on cheap coilovers
Track alignment to get the most of the parts you've just bolted to the car. Fit some adjustable anti-roll bar drop links so that you can get the corner weights set up as precisely as possible and help to avoid your ARB's fouling other components if you've lowered your vehicle a lot. Some form of camber adjustment is a must otherwise you'll destroy the outside edges of your tyres when driving hard, so adjustable top mounts, extended ball joints and camber adjustable arms are advisable. Avoid camber bolts for serious track use. Caster adjustment in the form of camber / caster top mounts or offset wishbone bushes is beneficial. Anti-roll bars for controlling body roll are a great upgrade and offer more tuning options to the experienced enthusiast.
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