Why You Should Swap Your Corvette’s Leaf Springs to Coilovers
For the last few decades, GM’s top-tier sports car—the Corvette—has earned a reputation of handling very well right out of the box. It was purpose built to launch hard, hug corners and stop on a dime—all while being a grand touring machine that eats up freeway miles. But even good things can get better.
As you may or may not know, Corvettes used a transverse leaf spring suspension all the way up through the C7 generation. Chevy finally moved away from this design in 2020, gracing the C8 platform with coil-overs from the factory.
But fear not. If you already have a C5 Corvette or C6 Corvette (or are looking to get one), you don’t have to trade the family farm for a C8 to benefit from coilovers. These generations of GM’s flagship offer a great platform thanks to their overall chassis and LS engines. And converting to coil-over suspension puts the cherry on top. There’s a reason many drivers who compete in road course and autocross events still choose to hit the track in C5 and C6 Corvettes.
Why upgrade a C5 or C6 Corvette to coilovers?
Increased ride height adjustment range
C5 and C6 Corvettes offer ride height adjustment from the factory, but the range is limited to about 1” overall. You’ll be able to go up and down roughly half an inch from stock, depending on how the car is set up and what trim level you have.
Coil-overs give you much more adjustability. For instance, our QA1 coilovers for C5 and C6 Corvettes let you drop a base model car up to 2” and a Z06 up to 1.5”. That extra range lowers your car’s center of gravity to improve handling on the track and during those backroad adventures. It also allows you to achieve the stance you want for a more aggressive look.
Gain a truly independent suspension
C5 and C6 Corvettes do have four-wheel independent suspension. However, tying the left and right wheels together with a leaf spring makes this a semi-independent suspension. When one wheel hits a bump or the car is thrown hard into a corner, loads are transferred through the leaf spring from one side to the other.
By converting to coilovers, your Corvette now has one spring per wheel. That means each corner can react without directly affecting the opposing wheel, making it less likely you’ll upset the chassis. This is especially important on track when you may hit rumble strips or curbs during cornering.
Know exactly what springs you have
Without getting super technical, leaf springs are variable rate. That means they are not one constant spring rate. Instead, they get stiffer or softer depending on how much load they are under. If you’re just cruising down the road, this is no big deal. But if you’re looking to dial in the performance of your C5 or C6 Corvette, spring rate plays a critical role in the way your car behaves.
By converting to coilovers, you now have the ability to update spring rates quickly and easily. Plus, you always know exactly what the spring rate is. No more variable rates that change as you put the car through its paces.
More precisely corner balance your car
If you’ve ever corner balanced a car, you know how drastically it affects performance. You can dial in exactly how the vehicle’s weight is distributed, improving everything from launches to cornering to drifting capabilities. However, C5 and C6 Corvettes pose a challenge in their stock configurations.
Those same variable rates and the transverse layout of your stock leaf springs make it much more difficult to perfectly balance the car. It’s a tedious process, often offering less-than-ideal results using the ride height adjustment bolts.
Coilovers can take a lot of the headaches out of this process. Using the spring collars, you’re able to much more easily and precisely adjust ride heights, shifting weight where you need it.
Looking to make the leap to coilovers?
Our team can help you find the right fit for your Corvette. Whether you’re looking to build the street car of your dreams or want to hit the track and maximize performance with our MOD Series shocks, we can answer questions that pop up along the way.