Tuffy - true the FD springs are shorter but, they are stiffer. The factory spring are taller but, they are 'springy-er'. So, the weight of the car will squash the factory springs down so the car sits at a particular height. The FD springs will 'load' as well but, will not compress quite as much. You control the amount of lowering by spinning the collars that are on the struts. The springs sit on top of these collars. You spin the collars by using a spanner wrench. Therefore, you can buy the FD springs and keep the factory ride height if you want. You can alternately lower the car up to 3 inches. Personally, I think that 1.25 inches is about right. Any lower, you run the risk of scraping over speed bumps, etc... You will not need to purchase new shocks - the factory ones should work just fine.