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I put together a lot of notes on springs/struts for my own purchase decision, so I thought I'd pass this along. There's a wide variety of spring options out there for the 5th gen Maxima owners looking for a drop.


Ride, height, and handling vary greatly between manufacturers and there's a flavor for every personality and priority, so there's no answer to the "which is best" question, just different answers depending on what's most important to you. I see people say "I want it slammed low and a good ride." Sorry, you can't have both. Like many things in life, lowering springs are all about compromise. You generally have to accept a degradation in ride quality to gain a better stance, handling, and reduce body roll. For the less aggressive drops, the ride sacrifice is generally minor.

Generally, lower equates to a rougher ride and less body roll, but be forewarned that some springs with similar drops ride better than others due to superior engineering. A prime example is H&R vs. Maxspeed - here are two springs with a similar drop, but most have found H&Rs offer superior ride and handling. Why? You're paying for H&R's research and expertise. Multiple owners who have switched from Maxspeed to H&R have attested to the fact that the H&Rs better ride and superior control make them a notable improvement over the cheaper Maxspeed springs. Enough of an improvement to justify H&R's much higher cost? Your call. Great thing is, reselling springs on the forum is easy and you can typically get back most of what you paid, so trying a couple different sets is no big deal (at least financially). But hopefully this helps you make an educated decision.

Okay enough rambling. Here's the list sorted by amount of drop:


Spring Approx Price Shipped Drop Distributors:
Eibach $205 1.3F 1.0R Ebay, SWA, Tire Rack, Stillen
Maxspeed $100 1.4F 1.3R Ebay
H&R Sport $210 1.4F 1.3R Ebay, Tire Rack, Stillen
Vogtland $195 1.4F 1.4R AutoAccessoryStore
Tein H-Tech $220 1.6F 1.0R SWA
Progress Technology $165 1.7F 1.5R Cattman
Sprint $180 1.8F 1.8R SWA
Tein S-Tech $130 2.2F 1.6R SWA

Spring Comparison Gallery:

Have an opinion? Post a comment.
Photo by housecor
28 1/16"
27 1/4"
Photo by lv6speedmax
26 1/4"
26 1/2"

Photo by Audtatious

26 5/16"

Photo by Lumbee1
26 3/4"

Photo by bcknblk
26 3/4"
Photo by bigfatty
26 5/8"
25 3/4"

Photo by housecor
25 7/8"

Tein S-Tech:
Photo by Lithiumax


25 1/2"
26 3/8"

A few tips:

  • H&R offer best ride
  • Eibach & H&R typically receive the best handling reviews.
  • Eibachs often considered rougher riding, stiffer spring
  • Progress & Vogtland offer the most even drop. Tein H-tech are a close second. Tein S-tech are slightly lower up front. H&R are slightly higher up front.
  • Some (myself included) have found manuals appear to sit slightly higher in the front than autos (I would assume the manual transmission weighs a bit less).
  • Maxspeeds are considered a inexpensive alternative to H&R since the drop looks similar, but some have reported Maxspeeds ride rougher and make the car feel less stable.
  • Progress is the lowest you can go with factory struts - but any drop can wear out your factory struts quickly and is generally not recommended. Upgrading to an aftermarket strut when springs are upgraded also improves the ride/handling. However, for whatever it's worth, I've been rolling with H&Rs on the front only with stock struts for over a year with no issues.
  • There hasn't been much info available on Vogtland springs until recently. Here's a great thread with impressions.
  • S-tech, Sprint, and Progress are aggressive drops and will lead to bottoming out on potholes and large road irregularities. As such, if you live in an area with poor roads, going this low isn't generally recommended due to the unforgiving ride and risk of rim damage.

*All the above are subjective to some degree, but I've found the above to be the general consensus from my reading of countless impressions from owners over the years.

For spring popularity, see this thread.


Strut Price shipped Adj. ride height? Adj. compression/rebound?
Tokico HP (Blues) $299    
Tokico Illumina: $438   Yes
KYB-GR2 $304    
KYB-AGX: $400   Yes
Koni Inserts $550   Yes
JIC FLT $1100 Yes Yes

A few tips:


- AGX have been accused of being rougher in cold weather.
- Illuminas require a flathead screwdriver to adjust both front and rear while AGX have a knob in the rear.
- Blues and GR-2 are OEM replacements.
- JIC's allow you to drop very low without compromising suspension travel.
- Some argue that adjustable struts are the only way to go since they assure the strut will be a proper match for spring's rate allowing adjustment of the struts rebound and compression.

For strut popularity, see this thread.

Given all this, what did I choose? Progress & Illumina for the even drop, adjustability, and good ride reviews from owners. The ride is very close to stock when set 2F/2R. Handling is noticeably improved, particularly when running settings of 3 or higher. Body roll is greatly reduced and the "floaty" feel of the stock suspension is eliminated.

UPDATE 11.09.04 - I blew an Illumina on the front driver's side. It's unclear if the Progress drop had anything to do with the quick failure - I only know of one other person to blow an Illumina so far. Nonetheless, I sold the Progress springs and installed H&R springs on the front only. Pics here

One thing to consider: Illuminas (and I assume other struts) are only warranted for a 1.5" drop.


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