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Old 07-09-2008, 08:11 PM   #1
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I know everyone here is pretty hardcore on the GC's & Konis for the most part, but I wanted to hear thoughts on maybe going a different route...

I don't need to constantly adjust my ride height, my main reason for sleeves would be to have a stiffer spring rate selection via 2.5" diameter..

I came across some stock Bilstein's for $160 which I bought...

Found pretty cheap QA1 springs on summit $152 (for 4)
Found pretty cheap Bilstein sleeves on summit $70

So this setup would run me $382+/-, which sounds crazy cheap!

So I'm wondering:
-Anyone gone this route?
-Can anyone confirm that 7" springs, on Bilsteins, with sleeves will leave enough adjustment room to get the car low?(not slammed, but below stock)
-Would like to also hear from those who have stock valved NA Bilstein's running 400+ spring rates regarding ride harshness on normal streets (not extremely smooth or pothole city)

The idea is to have a good compromise between $$$ and perf..(aka not Kyb's and xxxx springs which would still run more than what I'm seeing this way and leave alot to be desired)

FWIW here's the links to the summit stuff:
Springs: http://store.summitracing.com/egnsea...s=P%5FRank%7C0

Sleeves: http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku

I'm sure with the budget minded guys on here this would have already been done (maybe even with ebay sleeves) if it were this simple...so fire away...
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Old 07-10-2008, 01:36 PM   #2
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Old 07-10-2008, 01:40 PM   #3
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Yea, crickets...

Whats up guys, is it that stupid of an idea/question?
I doubt I'm in uncharted territory, here....
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:02 PM   #4
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Which NA Bilsteins? I assume R-pkg, but I'm not sure if HD ever came stock for the NA cars.

If R-pkg, higher rates behave really nice on these shocks. I'm running 300/220 (not 400+, but nearly triple stock) and the ride quality is BETTER than stock...I'm masking the huge rebound damping with a stronger spring ~450lb/in will be the max you'd want to put on them.

If HD, ignore above.

I considered going the Bilstein sleeve route, but never could get a straight answer about how many actual sleeves came in a "kit"...i.e. was a kit for one or 4 shocks? Nobody seemed to know, even after calling Summit, Jegs, etc. If it is $70 for 4 sleeve/perches, great.

Look on the honda trader site for cheap eibach race springs in the rates/lengths you want. Often, you can score pairs for cheaper than the QA1s.

Also, look out for the upper spring mount/shock tophat. You'll need some rubber/poly spring "isolators" to keep the 2.5" springs planted within an NA shock mount. An appropriate Energy Suspension part number is floating around m.net.
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:08 PM   #5
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I am running a pretty similar setup (https://www.miataturbo.net/forum/sho...4&postcount=40) , but the car is current at the paint shop. I can get you some real impressions in about a week.

However, my initial impressions, just driving 2-3 miles to make sure they the tires didn't rub was that it was pretty stiff/harsh over any sort of bump or even sewer grate in the road.

Not sure what my ride height is due to the fender flares messing up the usual miata fender to middle of the wheel ride height measurement, but it isn't slammed and there is no way you can be slammed on stock length shocks and even retain any travel. I don't think even if the shock was fully compressed you could do a CR.net slam.

Usual recommendation for springs is 6"f, 7" r , I run 6's on both and they are plenty long enough based on initial observations.
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:41 PM   #6
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Hmmm, some good feedback...

I'm not 100% sure on the R-pkg vs HD....got 'em from ebay, and listing title stated HD, but said they came off a 93LE...
Is there something on the shocks (model# maybe) that would tell me so I can find out?
I tried searching the parts/model numbers on the shocks on google, but didnt match to anything of much use....Must be because they are so old, and I'm sure they've switched #'s since these were out...

I was thinking going around 450 front, as per FCM website they state 450/350 is where they max out (I believe this was the same for HD or R-pkg)

As for the sleeves, I am going to call and get an answer somehow on quantity...I assumed "kit" implied all 4 corners...Obviously if that price is for 1, then I'd look towards some ebay sleeves to keep the cost down....

Good catch on the spring isolators, shouldnt be too hard/too much $$

---Still more feedback needed, keep it coming guys...
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Old 07-10-2008, 03:50 PM   #7
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FYI I just verified that $69.99 is for ALL 4 corners for those Bilstein sleeves!

Now I need to figure out:
-if 7" springs all around are ok OR too tall to be able to get a good ride height/drop
-confirm which shocks I have (HD or not), and ride quality on these shocks w/ stiff springs
-misc items such as isolators, bumpstops, boots, and any hardware I may need

Thoughts????
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:20 PM   #8
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I am using 7" front, 8" rear IIRC, and am sitting at ~12.25"f/12.75"r, with plenty of room to lower. I might have 8"/9" springs, now that I think about it.

Measure your shock diameter and make sure to order the right sleeves.
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:32 PM   #9
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I def dont think I'll be going that high, but this could serve as a good reference..
Are you on GC sleeves? And what tophats?

I'd much rather go with 6f/7r as most do, problem is the QA1's at those rates/prices come in 7" shortest...
My fear is not having enough adjustment room on the sleeves, to be able to lower the car enough for a good ride height...I also just thought soem NB tophats would probably give me a lil more room to get the rideheight ride if I'm too low on the sleeves...

I just helped Lev install his GC's over Tokico's....Tokico's have perches that cannot be removed, and therefore the car sits high. He had to be on the very bottom of the sleeve to achieve a decent stance...Thats on 6" springs..
I wont be using my perches obviously, so with 6" springs i know i'd be good...I worry that 7" springs would be cutting it close...

Any pics/measurements of your sleeves/springs/shocks setup?
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:34 PM   #10
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I'm using FCM sleeves and tophats. The common diy method of making NB tophats work is tailored to the Koni shock. I couldn't find shank nuts for the shaft thread of the Bilsteins.

Your definition of "good" ride height may be different than mine. I still scrape speed bumps and drag my car coming into the driveway, even at my "high" height.

No pics, sorry.

Another thing to think about: where is the bottom of the threaded portion of the sleeve in relation to the shock circlip? The bottom of the FCM sleeve extends below the shock circlip, as does GC, so you can lower the perch further.

It's things like this that made me abandon the generic Bilstein sleeve idea...trying to figure out all the lengths, components, etc. wasn't worth the minor savings I could get.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:14 PM   #11
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Hmmm, very good points/info indeed...

What did the FCM sleeves run you if you don tmind me asking?

-As for the tophats, this would be a precaution if additional adjustment was needed on the sleeves, but def something to think about...

-As for length of sleeve, right now I'm assuming worst case which is the end of the sleeve being equal with the clips...Should it sit any lower, problem solved, and no need for tophats...

-As for ride height, unfortunately I haven't measured yet, and I could say a 3/4" drop F, 1.125" drop R, but it doesnt mean anything since we're all different stock... I'll measure where I want to be hub-fender tonight, and that will help things quite a bit...But I def hear what different meanings of "good height".

Still more "figuring out" to do, but it seems plausable at this point. The savings are decent (sleeves+springs for $220) IF it works with no additional curve *****. Tophats could easily be the difference between worth it or not.
When I s/w Summit I inquired bout their return policy...90days, I eat cost of shipping to/from....so not bad...

This might just be one of those things I need to have in front of me, and maybe even ON the car before knowing for sure...
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:25 PM   #12
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Just my 2 cents you can certainly go with cheap coilover sleeves but when choosing springs the difference a quality product makes might worth the extra cost. I'm not talking about Hypercoil's or Swift spring but especially with 2.5 in diameter and the common lengths you think about using you can find used ERS springs(eibach's racing line)in most spring rates and great prices ebay,scaa/nasa forums,local racers e.t.c.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mythos View Post
Just my 2 cents you can certainly go with cheap coilover sleeves
I don't know about you, but I think my life is worth a lot more then the difference between quality suspension components and ebay ****. Maybe it makes me feel better about the $$$ FCM sleeves and such, but I'll be damned if I **** up the car/am hurt/killed because of cheapening out on coilover sleeves.
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddroptop View Post
I don't know about you, but I think my life is worth a lot more then the difference between quality suspension components and ebay ****. Maybe it makes me feel better about the $$$ FCM sleeves and such, but I'll be damned if I **** up the car/am hurt/killed because of cheapening out on coilover sleeves.
I totally understand that but since he is talking about a budget suspension setup there have to be some compromises.

Cases off cheap springs being off their supposed lb/in ratings is not uncommon but I've seen cheap coilover sleeves used at the track with success before and except the case of catastrophic failure(which you have to admit is veeery small) the cheap coilover sleeves will perform as the quality ground control/FCM piece you have...

I will not in any case encourage someone to cheap out on suspension or brakes but if he will make a compromise he might at least get the maximum performance out of his budget setup.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:49 PM   #15
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I don't recommend going cheap on dampers...but its OK on everything else.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:52 PM   #16
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I dunno, thats kinda what I was thinking...
I'm going to call Summit again tomm, and verify pricing with a 2nd person (still sounds too cheap), and while I'm at it I'm going to try and get some questions answered as well about the sleeves.
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Old 07-10-2008, 11:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddroptop View Post
it was pretty stiff/harsh over any sort of bump or even sewer grate in the road.
Just had a thought, tire place where I got the RS2's mounted inflated them to 40psi!!! And I never lowered it, that alone probably accounted for a bunch of stiffness/harshness in the ride.

I will set the pressures to normal low 30's, but have been told people run with rs2's as low as high 20's.
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Old 07-11-2008, 01:02 AM   #18
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niceeee, good catch because that comment has been haunting me..

Just measured current ride height...
CURRENT = 13F and 13.75-14R(not sure which corner is off)
DESIRED = 12.25F and 12.50R (approximately)
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:05 AM   #19
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R-pkg Bilsteins are harsh no matter which way you look at it. Period. If you haven't ridden in a car with them, I urge you to do so before committing to them.
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Old 07-11-2008, 03:41 PM   #20
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Ok, so some bad news....decided to call Summit, and the manufacture to verify this "too good to be true" price... They are $70 per corner, so $280+ springs will make them more than the GC! So that settles the Bilstein sleeve debate...(if there ever was one)
Now looking towards GC's, which would alleviate any questions bout fitment/ride height/etc...

What I am left wondering is, are the Bilsteins really as stiff as people say? Or can it be a matter of opinion? I trust all the people saying that are harsh, but then I wonder how harsh can it be for mazda to make it OEM on a street driven consumer car?

Let's get a little more detailed if we can...I unfortunately dont know of anyone with these to try..

-does your interior rattle or is about to fall apart due to these?
-are your tires at or close to the recommended 26psi (i think thats what it is)
-are you driving on poorly maintained roads?? (ie: downtown NY)
-have you done anything that can attribute to the harshness?

Again, I'm just trying to zero in my expectations...
I dont want my interior pieces falling off, or my fillings falling out, or feeling like I'm going to blow a tire every time I hit some uneven pavement...

I dont need it to be uber comfortable for long road trips, I dont have to worry about the wife complaining, I understand if a large irregularity in the road does hit hard, it will be street driven mostly, but on decent/average roads...(not NY potholes, but not Autobahn flats either).

Thanks guys....
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