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Old 07-02-2008, 08:22 PM   #1
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Default Chassis Stiffening regarding Coilovers

So, I have been able to talk to a few people with some of the more popular coilover setups (tien, FM afco) and they have been a big help so far. I also was able to test drive two cars with frog arms and frame rails. What I'm trying to understand is how I should tie all this in on my car. I'm in an 05 MSM w/ stock suspension as of now. I want to jump right in and start with FCM coilovers with the bilstein HD shocks, but others are saying you should do chassis stiffening first, because coilovers put excess stress on the chassis it wasn't originally designed for, and at the very least, body flex will hinder the suspensions ability to perform as intended. Just wondering mainly best bang for the buck chassis mods, and observations and opinions on simply bolting on a coilover setup.

To clarify, Yes, I do understand my MSM has stock chasis bracing, and its not that great in my and many others opinion, but it does help. It would also limit me to FM frame rails w/o butterfly brace, and no Cannon brace. So primarily roll bar, welding, Frog arms, R. Strut tower bracing would be options.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:10 PM   #2
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what you're listening to is called hype, and not really worthy of discussion. Put the suspension on. I daily drove my green car with springs and dampers stiff enough to make your ***** shrivel up inside your body and my 18-year old, 155k mile car is just fine.

you should get a roll bar (awesome for rigidity). The rest is optional, but johnwag (my lover) told me that he had to learn to drive is car at the track after the froggy braces because turn-in was so sharp. I'm probably going to buy some, or just weld some **** up myself.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:41 PM   #3
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The car I checked out with frog arm braces was wonderful on the full circle turns, for sure. The Fm frame rails are in my future, but I'm glad you don't think one is dependent on the other, in this case. Its hard to say where I'll go first, since the stock suspension needs to be addressed badly, but the rails are quicker/easier/cheaper..
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:59 PM   #4
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I thought the rails didn't make a big difference on NBs and that even FM doesn't suggest them.
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:25 AM   #5
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Straight BS. Personally have ridden in one with them, mine w/o. I guess, the biggest change is the flex through bumps/potholes. A good demo was taking the car over a bumpy gravel shoulder. Where in my car you can feel the body flex and protest, his suspension takes much more of the abuse. Both are MSM's.
I dunno, maybe you're getting the full butterfly confused with just the frame rails? I know Fm says that sport package cars (MSM's) already have something similar to the butterfly from the factory, but not the frame rails. The frame rails are supposed to go in without even touching the factory bracing.
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:54 AM   #6
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Unless you are going with 700lb springs the chasis is plenty rigid. After that the chasis starts absorbing too much of the stress
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:21 PM   #7
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Here's a thought. Anyone have a spring rate upwards of 550/650 in SoCal I could test drive, or go for a ride in. That sounds ridiculous considering the MSM is 300/250ish stock.
Thanks for the post Paul, I feel more at ease.
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:22 PM   #8
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If by MSM you mean Mazdaspeed Miata, the stock rates are 215 front, 158 rear. Roughly a 33% increase over the regular NB rates, but still fairly tame relative to what many of us are running on our daily drivers.

Not sure if by SoCal you mean San Diego, or if you mean LA, which is MidCal. Either way, find out when the local Autocross circuit has its next practice day and go down to hang around. Locate the Miata crowd, ask questions, and several people should offer to give you a ride. Bring your helmet (if you have one) Snell "M" 2000 or later will suffice. Otherwise, the organizing group usually has a few grungy loaners.
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Old 07-04-2008, 03:29 AM   #9
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Sounds fun. I don't own a helmet yet, and am a pretty new Miata owner as well. Still need to get a helmet and bar. I'm about 15 mins from the boarder, San Diego. Bout as south as it gets. I think there is an SCCA autocross around the 22nd this month, should be able to get a helmet by then. Good suggestions, thanks!
Wow, I was thinking the rates would be much higher. I suppose odd choice of shocks makes it feel funny... or the tires.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:17 AM   #10
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odd choice of shocks?
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chance91 View Post
Sounds fun. I don't own a helmet yet, and am a pretty new Miata owner as well. Still need to get a helmet and bar.
No rollbar required.

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I'm about 15 mins from the boarder, San Diego. Bout as south as it gets. I think there is an SCCA autocross around the 22nd this month, should be able to get a helmet by then.
Here's the San Diego Region schedule: http://www.sdr-scca.com/solo2/schedule/ If you're looking to go for a ride with somebody, you need to show up on a practice day, not a regular competition day. The next practice day is the 26th.

Quote:
Wow, I was thinking the rates would be much higher. I suppose odd choice of shocks makes it feel funny... or the tires.
All else being equal, putting stiffer dampers onto a car with limp (eg: stock) springs will result in a "stiffer" ride, meaning a degredation of ride comfort without much (if any) improvement in grip or handling characteristics.

What tires are you referring to?
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hustler View Post
you should get a roll bar (awesome for rigidity).
yup, here's some old pics of mine after the rollbar.

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note how the other side doesn't sag like it ordinarily would.

I run 700/325 springs on my daily driven Miata, and it's not even that bad. Ben's ridden in my car, he might be able to share whether it felt too harsh or not.

Edit: holy crap I forgot how much SCCA bs I used to have on the car.. looks like a billboard..
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Old 07-05-2008, 02:01 AM   #13
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^^ my thoughts exactly.
I was mumbling/rambling, except while typing. What I was refering to is the quote "poor" pairing of shocks to springs on the MSM. And I have a "new" set of stock toyo r28 proxes, 205/45/17's I think. They would be better of as 205's, and any other model besides r28s... which gives me a way somewhat, I should really be looking at wheels/tires first, followed by everything else. I know... I'd prefer to just do it all at once, though. tires/suspension/bracing. call it 3 days and then no more down time. The question then becomes if i can budget in 16x8 rpf1's or the wonderfull looking 15x9 6UL's.

Last edited by chance91; 07-05-2008 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 07-05-2008, 02:04 AM   #14
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Also, If I'm sounding rude, or cocky or what not, its probably because I usually do, sorry. But just to let it be known I'm really appreciating the input from you couple of fella's. I'll try to get to that event you mentioned, joe, thanks.
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Old 07-05-2008, 05:34 AM   #15
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Oh, and here's the San Diego region's forum: http://www.sdsolo.com/ You can try to hook up with some folks there ahead of time. Leo's SM2 car is out of commission at the moment and I don't think he'll be out for a while, Abe's SM2 car is down pending new shocks, and I'm moving out of state at the end of the month, so that a total of three SM2 Miatas that won't be around. The pack is getting thin... Still, plenty of CSP cars for you to hook up with.
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