How to Lower a Corvette C4by David Curtis
The C4 series of the popular Chevrolet Corvette was manufactured between the years of 1984 and 1996. Many owners of these Corvettes want to lower the ride height of their cars to improve looks and handling. Most Corvette parts suppliers offer lowering kits that will lower the front suspension around ½ inch and the rear up to 1.25 inches. Do it yourself and save money using common garage tools.
Park the car on a level surface and set the emergency brake. Place a block of wood over the jack plate. Slide the jack under front of the car just below the cross frame member under the engine. Lift the car with the jack and place jack stands on the side frame rails for safety.
Remove the wheel and tire. Locate the sway bar and disconnect it using a socket wrench. Turn it so it is out of your way. Place the jack under the lower control arm and make sure it is running parallel to the front leaf spring. Raise the jack until you notice the shock absorber moving. Remove the shock bolts with a socket wrench and remove it from the car.
Locate the lower ball joint on the steering assembly and remove the cotter pin from the shaft just below the castle nut with needle nose pliers. Remove the castle nut and use the ball joint puller tool and hammer to remove the lower ball joint and steering tie rod connector. Move the knuckle assembly out of your way. Make sure you support it with a few wood blocks.
Carefully lower the jack to remove pressure from the spring. Remove the jack and repeat steps 2 and 3 on the other side.
Remove the spring from the housing. Be careful not to damage any of the suspension parts.
Locate the two rubber bumpers and pivots on the spring. Cut them off with a utility knife or a Dremel tool and discard. Be careful not to damage the composite spring.
Apply some weatherstrip adhesive to the flat side of the new spring wedges and attach them to the same place where the old ones were. Place a piece of masking tape over them and allow to the glue to dry.
Place the spring back into position and reattach the all of the suspension parts. Reinstall the wheels and tires and lower the car.
Place a small block of wood on the jack plate. Place the jack just inside the rear tire under the spring. Raise it until you see the spring bolt separating from the nut. Remove the cotter pin with needle nose pliers and remove the nut with an open end wrench. Examine the order the bolt and bushings go together to make sure you assemble it back in the proper order.
Remove the old bolt and and replace it with the new, longer bolt. Replace the castle nut and cotter pin. Lower the jack and repeat the process on the other side. Measure the rear ride height from the ground to the upper arch of the rear wheel openings on each side. Adjust the nuts as necessary to obtain equal measurements.
Items you will need
- Lug wrench
- Socket set
- Open end wrenches
- Hydraulic jack
- 2x4x12 piece of wood
- Jack stands
- Ball joint tool
- Wood blocks
- Needle nose pliers
- Utility knife or Dremel tool
- Weatherstrip adhesive
- Masking tape
- corvette image by Julianna Olah from Fotolia.com