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430 Lowering an f430 Spider

Discussion in '360/430' started by cole328, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. cole328

    cole328 Formula Junior

    May 9, 2014
    781
    Morning all....I have been thinking about lowering my f430 (maybe 0.5 - 0.75"). I do not track the car, and for me, any slight lowering would be a) 75% aesthetics, and b) hopefully 25% some improved handling given the lower stance. the car is all else stock, including riding on the OEM 19" wheels. I have tried searching the threads, but did not seem to locate anything (much more on this topic in the 458/488 area).

    That said, I don't want to slam the car, or negatively affect anything (which would be ironic). For those of you that have had yours more than my current 2-year period, any advice here? or, has anyone done so, not liked it and then put back to stock? Lastly, if you lowered and liked it, were you able to simply adjust current springs, or was a new set-up required?

    here is current car / stance.

    Thanks!

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  3. TimFastLap

    TimFastLap Rookie

    Nov 23, 2013
    32
    North Carolina
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    Tim Masters
    Nice car! Number 1. Don't lower it. You will be scraping bottom enough as it is. Number 2. You will not improve the handling. You already stated you don't track it.
    Number 3. Spend your money elsewhere. For what you will spend on lowering this car you could buy an old (fill in the blank here) Ducati, MG, Miata and mess with that all you want! Just a thought...
     
  4. cole328

    cole328 Formula Junior

    May 9, 2014
    781
    Thanks !! Good points… Even though I don’t track and I do drive around town to put the spirit matter. I thought maybe by lowering it it would tighten up the handle in just a little bit. That said, I guess I do have to just realize that it is a 13-year-old car at this point


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  5. redcaruser

    redcaruser Formula 3
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    Apr 8, 2012
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    daniel
    This is absolutely unproblematic and easy to do. Your Spider has a coilover suspension, which can be used to lower the body without much effort. Here in Europe, this is an effort of about 900 euros in the specialist workshop (including the removing of the struts). I can only recommend to you to lower the car, especially since you can also return the car to its original position at any time. The adjustment certainly does not bring any disadvantages in terms of driving dynamics and simply looks better.
     
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  6. Freddan

    Freddan Formula 3
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    Sep 16, 2012
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    Fredrik
    Easy thing to do and fully reversible. Go for it.
     
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  8. ttforcefed

    ttforcefed F1 World Champ
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    Aug 22, 2002
    15,735
    lowering the car on the oem suspension was terrible for daily driving....i left it lowered a couple weeks before i had it raised back
     
  9. cole328

    cole328 Formula Junior

    May 9, 2014
    781
    Thanks for the balance feedback… Curious, even though lowered only maybe a half inch, did it make the ride that much less comfortable? As I originally mentioned, was mainly considering for aesthetics. Ironically, thought I would also pick up some better handling / cornering from the lower center of gravity. Sounds like maybe I should leave well enough alone


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  10. ttforcefed

    ttforcefed F1 World Champ
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    Aug 22, 2002
    15,735
    yes it was night and day difference - i live 35 miles north of nyc and our roads are pretty bad all year round. i was advised lowering it was a bad idea by caerulleus (my good friend whose handle i hate cuz i cant spell it). his advise was if you are going to lower you need to go with aftermarket pieces. i tried it anyway and felt like my insides were going to fall out. if you live near perfect roads id cld be just fine. to address the aesthetics i went with wheel spaces and it make the car look better.
     
  11. cole328

    cole328 Formula Junior

    May 9, 2014
    781
    Ok. Thanks much


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  13. The4DA

    The4DA Karting

    Aug 31, 2018
    53
    TX/GA
    Full Name:
    RC
    My car is lowered on factory suspension (will probably change springs or go KW at some point) and it is fine for me for my use of the car right now. If I was going to track the car, I would have changed everything already. The roads I drive on are fairly smooth. There are some hills, potholes, sloped driveways, but I can navigate most everything. Like others stated, it can increase the chances of scraping because you are lower to the ground. The outside fins of the diffuser are the lowest point on the car other than that rubber drain house that hang below. My car was fitted with the OEM scrape guards on the nose to help with any possible damage.

    I'm used to driving lowered vehicles (over 25 yrs with a lowered car), so the lowered height isn't a big deal for me. Everything is lowered in my garage. We are about to lower the wife's car. lol. I pretty much lower, change the wheels on everything that pulls into the driveway of my house. Can't help it. It's an addiction I guess.

    Where do you live? Looking at the photos, looks like South Florida to me (grew up in Boca). I think you would be ok down there with a 1/2" drop on the car without a whole lot of grief.
     
  14. Eric C

    Eric C F1 Veteran
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    Mar 20, 2009
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    I lowered mine on stock suspension. The tires rub the wheel wells like crazy now and it handles terribly. I'm still going to keep mine lowered, but hoping that some H&R springs will help with the wheel travel and get it to handle better.
     
  15. dweintra

    dweintra Karting

    Aug 16, 2012
    102
    Seattle, WA
    This is a confusing topic! Some owners say lowering the stock suspension works great, while others say it causes issues. I have been thinking of lowering but may only keep it another year and decided it is not worth it.

    Anyone have photos of spaces added to an F430 with stock wheels and stock ride height? I may do this for cosmetics. Thx


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  16. Reedhop1

    Reedhop1 Rookie

    Sep 14, 2020
    44
    Florida
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    Reed Hopkins
    I had my 430 lowered with stock springs. It’s the best thing I have done to the car. It rides better on the highway and looks 100% better. The gaping area between tire and wheel well is an eye sore. Makes the car look old and less sporty.
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  17. cole328

    cole328 Formula Junior

    May 9, 2014
    781
    Love the color of the car.....! Also, with the lowering, no issues with rubbing or anything? It certainly looks 100% better IMHO I see you are also a FL guy...wellington here
     
  18. Ferrari Nube

    Ferrari Nube Formula Junior
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    Sep 14, 2014
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    British Columbia
    @Reedhop1, great looking car!. Do you have a Capristo exhaust system on your car or are those just different exhaust tips?
     
  19. redcaruser

    redcaruser Formula 3
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    Apr 8, 2012
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    Here again for the layman: if you lower the car with the standard coilover suspension the spring rate does not change in the slightest, you just shift the vehicle level down. A harder ride is achieved only if you use other springs with a harder/different spring rate, so I seriously wonder how someone can have made the experience that with the standard springs the handling has hardened only by lowering the car. On the contrary, the car actually becomes (in theory) softer because you reduce the spring preload with the lowering.

    By lowering the car with the standard suspension, it also dips (logically as well) deeper into the wheel arches. However, this is not a problem for the intended lowering of 0.5 - 0.75", there will be still a lot of room. Lowering in combination with spacers or lowering in combination with wheels of a different offset can of course lead to problems if this is not done seriously.

    What is recommended when lowering is to check toe angle and camber angle. But any reputable garage will do that without prompting.

    It is, again, logical that the lowering shifts the center of gravity downwards and that this also results in better cornering behavior. But this effect is more theoretical than effectively noticeable when driving. In racing, these can be decisive percentages, but when driving on public roads, these percentages of potential improvement are definitely not noticeable.
     
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  20. redcaruser

    redcaruser Formula 3
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  21. Tackleberry

    Tackleberry Karting
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    Apr 11, 2014
    192
    United Kingdom
    You can lower on stock Springs, however by doing that you are slacking the pre-load which results in slightly soggy suspension which can lead to bottoming out and scraping.
    Better doing it with a shorter slightly stiffer spring, i.e. the Scud's Springs.

    Just because the body of the Damper Unit is threaded over almost its entire length doesn't mean it is there for a huge range of adjustment.

    The threading is there to allow the correct pre-load of the Spring to be set.
    Obviously this then allows you to fine tune to get your specified ride height and corner weights right.

    Ride height is predetermined by the length and the designed weight/poundage - or kg - of the spring.

    Manufacturers, in this case Ferrari, give certain specifications for ride heights, but if you look at these specs it is always given with a + or - amount (e.g. 114mm +/- 5mm).

    The Spring is set to its recommended pre-load (a measurement between Spring Platforms given by Ferrari), then you have a certain latitude of adjustment to set the cars ride height.

    Dropping the cars ride height outside the "specified perameters" by simply unwinding the Platforms reduces the designed pre-load and results in a softer spring rate, and thus a slightly soggy suspension.

    Of course that means the car grounds out more easily, and also results in excessive pitch and roll when pushed hard (circuit driving in particular).

    This is why to correctly lower the ride height of your car you should install Springs that are designed to run at lower ride heights.
    For example Novitec, or H&R, or the genuine “Scud" Springs.

    The shortest Springs (Novitec or H&R) will have what is effectively built in helper springs to compensate for the shorter length but maintain the correct pre-load.


    But race cars are really low I hear you say !

    Race cars, like the "Challenge Cars" for example, can go much lower because they use shorter Damper Units and Springs designed specifically for the purpose.



    I went with the genuine 430 Scuderia Springs (steel versions).
    Relatively inexpensive, and the dealer was more than happy to supply and fit.

    At the same time I had them install the Scuds Nylon Spring Spacers in place of the Rubber ones, which were a bit tired.

    I then had the suspension set up as per the Scud (ride height etc).

    Gave me exactly what I was looking, and of course just right for the roads here in the UK.


    Part Numbers are:

    Front Spring (Scud Steel): 256954
    Rear Spring (Scud Steel): 257179

    Spacer Lower (Scud Nylon): 181408
    Spacer Upper(Scud Nylon): 245623


    Give those part numbers to your main dealer, and then ask him nicely to do the rest.

    Car ends up a little stiffer, but no worse than Scud, and simply feels so much better on the road



    The Scuderia settings are approx 15mm lower than regular F430.

    A main dealer, or good independent, will have all the suspension geometry setting info.
    However the ride height settings are as follows:

    F430 Coupe/Spider: Front - 130±5 mm, Rear - 153±5 mm
    430 Scuderia/16M: Front - 114±5 mm, Rear - 136±3 mm
     
  22. cole328

    cole328 Formula Junior

    May 9, 2014
    781
    Thanks for all of the helpful feedback gents...
     
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  23. Reedhop1

    Reedhop1 Rookie

    Sep 14, 2020
    44
    Florida
    Full Name:
    Reed Hopkins
    no issues with internal rubbing of wheel wells. I have a Ferrari mechanic that opened his own shop in West Palm and we kept the same rake that Ferrari had at stock. You do have to be careful with steep entry points. I have the guards underneath so that helps. This guy is incredible and very reasonable. He has put on a Capristo aftermarket exhaust. Did a great job.
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  24. cole328

    cole328 Formula Junior

    May 9, 2014
    781
    Is that Pompeo at Prestige that you are referring to? if so, that is who I use, and he is the f'in man
     
  25. Reedhop1

    Reedhop1 Rookie

    Sep 14, 2020
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    Reed Hopkins
    TBK motor sports.
     
  26. cole328

    cole328 Formula Junior

    May 9, 2014
    781
    Hmmm will have to check them out as a back up.


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  27. Reedhop1

    Reedhop1 Rookie

    Sep 14, 2020
    44
    Florida
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    Reed Hopkins
    DM me and maybe we can hook up and check out cars!
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  28. unreelviper

    unreelviper Karting

    Jan 9, 2014
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