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Old 07-11-2008, 04:26 PM   #21
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Harshness will depend on whether the shocks are R-pkg or HD. Find out, somehow.

I had my 93LE with R-pkg shocks for about two years before doing anything with the suspension. It was rough. So rough that I actually found myself choosing the OTM over it frequently. I then added a turbo, and wanted a suspension to match, so I went with the setup described in my vbgarage. The combination of FCM tophats, MCU bumpstops, and stiffer springs made a world of difference to harshness. It is much more livable, even by the wife's standards. That being said, I only feel that way because I knew what it was like BEFORE changing suspension components. Passengers that ride with me for the first time still comment about the harshness, all the time. My interior rattles.
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:50 PM   #22
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Wow, ok very good description...Still would like to hear more
Whats OTM?

And I wish I could find out how to tell...
The auction title read: Bilstein HD
The description read: Came off a 93LE

Does that info help at all? I have some weird longass # on the top of the shock, but when I google it, nothing comes up.... Maybe a call to Bilstein might help?

I am obviously going to be skipping what you went thru for the first 2yrs, so at least thats something...
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:48 PM   #23
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Ok got some information that comes from an LE owner as well, and its sort of contradicting...
Here's what I'm being told in a nutshell:
LE = BILSTEIN HD'S (GOOD STIFF)
R-PKG = RPKG BILSTEIN'S (CRAZY STIFF)

This kinda goes with the ebay auction stating they were HD's off a 93 LE....
Thing is previous post stated "I had my 93LE with R-pkg shocks"

Some clarimificationizing is requested...lol
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:24 PM   #24
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LE shocks are R-package shocks.

HD's are aftermarket.
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:41 PM   #25
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Jeeez this is friggin confusing...
I appreciate the response, just saying lol

I think I may have to just go the unfortunate, and never ending trial & error route...Get the GC's, 450/300 rates, and see if I like... GC just said that if I want to switch shocks they'd sell me the sleeves alone for a very reasonable price...which is cool...

In a last ditch effort, here's a link to the ebay auction I got mine from...I dunno if there's anything you can tell from pics/desc that would clarify which I have, but there it is..
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...238115920&rd=1

Maybe the pics have some telltail signs, or something in the desc..or one of you guys with Bilsteins can compare to yours...
Again the title says HD's, the desc says came off a 100k mile LE...

(edit): Ok now I understand the HD/r-pkg, verified thru the FCM website... Reddroptop is absolutely correct, LE= R-pkg = stock---------HD = aftermarket

So now its a matter of which do I have, and which are harsher....

Last edited by TonyV; 07-11-2008 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 07-12-2008, 09:35 AM   #26
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Great deal, I'd say. I'd also assume they are R-pkg, and that the seller has no idea about shocks. R-pkg shocks are harsher than HD, I believe.

If I were you, I'd stop waffling and do something. Buy a GC set, or better yet, call Shaikh from FCM, describe your goals, and buy what he recommends from him. He often has used springs that make his "coilover kit" quite on par with GC.

If you're planning on 450/300, you're planning on a fairly stiff ride anyway. Just do it.
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:44 PM   #27
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Tony, fwiw, those look just like my old R-pkg shock that I had sold to Ben. I think it is a safe bet to assume that these are the R-pkg ones since he notes that the car they came off of has almost 100K on it and does not say that they have been replaced prior to HD's. I think he probably got ripped of at the dealership and they sold him some HD's and he thought it was the same thing.
I say go for it man, I loved my Bilsteins with OEM springs and even with the shitty Tein springs, everyone said my car was harsh, but then I would proceed to take them around a corner, and they would stfu!!! haha
Matching them with stiffer springs like you mentioned will make them better since the valving is pretty harsh. If I was you, I'd call GC and buy just the perches and source your own springs for much cheaper.
I would also go with a higher rate myself, and see how they behave, at least 550-600 front and 350-400 rear. If they can't take it, it is very easy to sell your springs and get lower ones, or better yet, perfect excuse to get the shocks re-valved.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:11 PM   #28
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Lol, small world!!!
Yea I decided I am just gonna go for it...worse case scenario the shocks are in good shape and at the price I got them for I'm sure I can recoop the money I spent...
I was actually planning on getting just the sleeves, isolators and getting my own springs, funny u mention it....
As for spring rates, I wanted to go stiffer, but FCM recommends 450/350max, and revalving them is not really an option at $150per shock... I was thinking 550/350 initially or even 600/400, but when I read that I figured I better take it down a notch...

Question, do you remember/know how far the GC sleeves go PAST the retaining clip??
I was still considering those QA1 springs, however they are 7" springs...If the sleeves allow for 1"-1.25" below the retaining clips, then I could get the ride height where I want it...If not, then I'll be too high w/ 7" springs....
I know the recommended is 6"F & 7"R, but again the Qa1's are 7" shortest....I looked around a LITTLE and didnt see any GC's springs used....some OLD for sale threads in otehr forums, but didnt come across anything recent in my quick search, or ebay...
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:15 PM   #29
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I didn't have perches on my Bilsteins, only on my Konis, so can't tell ya.
I would assume you will be ok with 7" springs, that's what I have on my Koni/GC setup.

I am sure the front can handle 550, just leave the rear at 350 if you do that.
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:20 PM   #30
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So you think FCM is just being overly conservative with those recommened rates?
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:54 PM   #31
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ebay coilovers man. only like 40 shipped, come with 450f and 350r
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:26 AM   #32
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egh, heard alot of bad things about fitment issues on those....good suggestion tho
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:59 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvalenziano View Post
So you think FCM is just being overly conservative with those recommened rates?
I don't have any data, but I want to say yes. I really think you'd be fine with those, worst case scenario is you sell the 550's and get something lower...Just try to find them used to save a few bucks.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:04 AM   #34
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haven't gotten around to calling Bilstein bout the part #'s....maybe someone can match these to theirs...

These are engraved into the top of the shock bodies.... The stickers are gone, and only have partial numbers (last few digits)

Engraved
F#- N02334700A / 2481601W01
R#- N02328700A / 2461600W01

Partial sticker
F#- xxx03586
R#- 30x1x379

Also upon compressing them again, it does seem 1 of the rear one's has a problem...Not leaking at all, but it significantly compresses easier, and rebounds quicker than the other 3.
Any issue in getting 1 revalved back to stock versus both rears??
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:06 PM   #35
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Just got off the phone w/ Bilstein, and THEY couldn't do anything with the numbers I provided...

What they said that I found interesting was that 90-97 Mazda Miata they ONLY have HD's (Heavy Duty). 98-08 Miatas have either HD or "Sport"?
In fact their words were "1993, oh thats easy because we only have HD's for that year...up until 1997. For 1998-2008 we have either Sport or HD's"

I'm growing weary by the day...lol

I think I'm over it, I'm gonna move onward with my budget setup. I'm going to find someone local to test/revalve the 1 questionable rear shock, order some GC sleeves, get the QA1 7" springs (500/300 or 550/350), NB tophats, and FCM bumpstops. I'll put it together, and throw it in. If I dont like it I'll either adjust, or throw it all on ebay and start fresh...

I WILL report back and give a detailed description for everyone...That way if it works well, it'll be a nice budget setup at around $500 for people to have a good description of. I don't see why it wouldnt work well
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:05 PM   #36
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uhh...
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:13 PM   #37
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wtf?
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:51 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjr50 View Post
uhh...

Get the hell outta here. Your not welcome.
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:21 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvalenziano View Post
Just got off the phone w/ Bilstein, and THEY couldn't do anything with the numbers I provided...

What they said that I found interesting was that 90-97 Mazda Miata they ONLY have HD's (Heavy Duty).
Correct. Bilstein don't have the R-pkg shocks for sale. They are only available from Mazda.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvalenziano View Post
I think I'm over it, I'm gonna move onward with my budget setup. I'm going to find someone local to test/revalve the 1 questionable rear shock, order some GC sleeves, get the QA1 7" springs (500/300 or 550/350), NB tophats, and FCM bumpstops.
Careful with the NB tophats; it's more difficult to diy-adapt NB tophats to Bilsteins than for Koni's. As for spring lengths, call Shaikh at FCM and see what lengths he recommends, when you order your bumpstops. He's done serious work to find what lengths work best at what rates for what allowable heights.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:00 PM   #40
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My neighbor (we also work at the same place) has a 94 R pkg, w/ GC 440/250's on the stock R pkg Bilsteins.

-does interior rattle or is about to fall apart due to these?
No only your back, as a matter of fact he can't drive this car more than 3 days in a row to work without complaining how sore is back is(~30mile round trip)

-tires at or close to the recommended 26psi?
30psi 195/50/15 Potentza RE01

-driving on poorly maintained roads??
VT worst roads, car not drivable 8 months of year (frost Heaves)

-anything that can attribute to the harshness?
HD DD rollbar


I have HD Bilsteins on Tein S springs.

-does interior rattle or is about to fall apart due to these?
NO but the front IC pipe bangs sometimes, and I always squirm at RR crossings...OH the rear view mirror won't stay straight either.

-tires at or close to the recommended 26psi?
2 different sets for this car both Azenis 205/40/16 and 195/60/14, With the 14" the car is tolerable, with the 16" smooth roads only...

-driving on poorly maintained roads??
VT worst roads, car not drivable in 8 mos of year (frost Heaves)

-anything that can attribute to the harshness?
VT roads, between the potholes, roadkill, and gravel, life's an adventure...

Come to VT and drive them Both You can also drive my Koni GC Setup and and an Illumina Setup w/ FM springs..

Also since my neighbor added the GC last year, he drives the car about half as much.... Mine gets driven every day.
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