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Old 03-27-2009, 12:13 AM   #1
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Default Coilover Spring rate recommendation?

I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on some suspension upgrades, including some coilovers and a RB Hollow front sway bar.

Don't care too much if its semi-harsh on the street, I'm mainly interested in something that'll be sick as sheit on the track but will still be streetable.

Car is full factory weight and I'm 6'2 at about 205lbs so what would give me the optimal spring rate? 8/7kg? I'm searching around and finding a large difference in what people are running, but not really sure how close their purpose is. Discuss?
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:25 AM   #2
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What shocks are you running? I personally am moving to koni sports w/ 450F/ 300R, but if you are running revalved shocks or a different setup, you will want different rates.
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:37 AM   #3
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I'm gonna get the BC Racing Coilover set. Was really skeptical of them until I found a friends been running them on his MS6 and Mazda3 sedan for a little over a year and has nothing but good things to say about them.
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:54 AM   #4
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Doesn't matter what you run. Mate them with shitty shocks like BCs and the car will handle like crap no matter what you use.
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boileralum View Post
What shocks are you running? I personally am moving to koni sports w/ 450F/ 300R, but if you are running revalved shocks or a different setup, you will want different rates.
thats some major oversteer there...
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:33 AM   #6
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Doesn't matter what you run. Mate them with shitty shocks like BCs and the car will handle like crap no matter what you use.
Some evidence to back this? I've spent the last few months searching web forums and haven't seen a single negative thing about them..

I'm willing to spend a little bit more, but I'm not dropping 2000$ on shocks and springs for a $2000.00 car so I'm defiantly open to suggestions and aversion to wasting my money..
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:48 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by UrbanSoot View Post
thats some major oversteer there...
Nope, it's pretty neutral w/ the alignment I have. I only got to autocross it once last season and this season hasn't started yet, but it was very balanced. (My current spring rates are in the same proportions, and the new rates were given to me by a koni employee to maintain the same balance).
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elesjuan View Post
Some evidence to back this? I've spent the last few months searching web forums and haven't seen a single negative thing about them..

I'm willing to spend a little bit more, but I'm not dropping 2000$ on shocks and springs for a $2000.00 car so I'm defiantly open to suggestions and aversion to wasting my money..
Nobody goes fast on BC coilovers. Look at the fast cars in Autocross, open track, etc and you start to see a trend. KONI RACE, FCM Bilsteins, Tein Flex, and a few others. You don't see VMaxxxxx, BC, Stance GRs, etc. on fast cars. I wouldn't waste my money on something that isn't proven. The only setup out of all of the latest batch of ricer junk that's come out of the far East recently that's even been dyno tested is the Stance, and the incorrect high-speed compression makes them stupid rough on the road.

If you want sick as **** on the track, and liveable on the road, I would duplicate my setup. KONI RACE, find some used GCs, tubular front bar. You should be able to put it together for $1500 or less. Used Tein Flex for around $1k is another option.
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Old 03-29-2009, 05:07 AM   #9
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Defiantly see your point and will reconsider, however, Koni Race shocks are $1100 for JUST shocks... Ground Controls are 400, so thats $1500 for shocks/springs and I still have to use the worn out old *** mounts and spend another $200.00 on boots.

****, This sucks.

For that much money invested, wouldn't I be better off with like JIC FLT-FAS ($1499) or the Tein Flex ($1600)?

I really didn't want to spend more than 1500 on ALL my suspension stuff though. Would the Flex's be worth the money if I went with them? A friends mom is a Tein dealer and she'll give me a discount, but I'm not sure how much..
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:33 AM   #10
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Nice things do cost money.

I spent about $800 on my FCM Bilsteins (prices have apparently gone up since then) and this is for a street-driven car, mind you, but I couldn't be happier about the ride quality and handling.

The advice being given here is sound. If you want to know what works and what doesn't, look at what the nationally competitive racers are doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elesjuan
I really didn't want to spend more than 1500 on ALL my suspension stuff though.
See here: http://fatcatmotorsports.com/FCM_Bil...er_revalve.htm

Complete setup for $1,618.

Whatever you do, call Shaikh at 408-221-8247 and rap with him for a bit about your plans. Awesome guy, very knowledgeable, and easy to talk to.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:01 AM   #11
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I'm running Illuminas/GC's 500/300 /NB top hats/tubular front bar. While I've never tracked it I can say that I love it on the street and LOVED it at the gap last year. The car is very balanced.

You can put this setup together for right around $1000-1200. Depends on what you can get the top hats for.

If you have no plans on tracking the car I wouldn't hesitate on getting the FM stage 2 kit. I put it on my father's NB and it's great on the street.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:07 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by boileralum View Post
What shocks are you running? I personally am moving to koni sports w/ 450F/ 300R, but if you are running revalved shocks or a different setup, you will want different rates.
Just put this on my car, with an RB big front bar, no rear bar. First track day is Saturday the 4th. The light testing I've been able to do shows very pleasant, neutral handling. Except on very broken pavement, ride is very compliant, certainly daily drivable.
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Old 03-30-2009, 05:35 PM   #13
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I've got Koni sports that were installed by the PO. Had been using them with stock springs, but this weekend I swapped in my Koni sleeves and 450/300 springs. Had some other things distracting me around the house so I haven't finished buttoning things up or driven on them yet, but I should be able to post some impressions in a day or two.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elesjuan View Post

I really didn't want to spend more than 1500 on ALL my suspension stuff though. Would the Flex's be worth the money if I went with them? A friends mom is a Tein dealer and she'll give me a discount, but I'm not sure how much..
A set of used Flex is probably your best bet. Good suspension costs a lot of money, but you get what you pay for.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elesjuan View Post
For that much money invested, wouldn't I be better off with like JIC FLT-FAS ($1499) or the Tein Flex ($1600)?
If I had to guess, I'd go with Koni/gc.

You really need to ride in a car on the track. There are so many variable though that its hard to make a selection. I want the stuff that's going to last the longest, be easy to drive, and ultimately "fast."

I think spring rate within a reasonable max/min is all personal preference. There are people who think 700/450lb spring rates are the answer to life's problems, but some people are winning national titles on 450/350lb springs. In my experience on the track with 225 r-comps, I like it right in the middle from 550-450 front springs because its not darty, and you have the flatness / confidence of higher spring rates.
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:43 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by levnubhin View Post
I'm running Illuminas/GC's 500/300
how are the Illumina's holding up with those rates?
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Old 03-31-2009, 03:05 PM   #17
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Tein Flex for $711.00. No brainer. Hope you check in in the next 10 hours.

eBay Motors: MAZDA MIATA competition adjustable shocks TEIN (item 260381390195 end time Mar-31-09 21:35:17 PDT)
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:33 PM   #18
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I went with illuminas and ebay springs (450/350). The damping is actually really well mated to the springs and there is a definite difference between each of the settings.

The illuminas cost >400$ and the springs came in at something like 60$ for all 4, so it's not bad for less than 500 bucks.

On the other hand, it's now a very firm ride which I really enjoy but I wouldn't expect everyone to enjoy. Still, I'd say that the price of the springs is so ridiculously low that even if you decide that those aren't what you had in mind that you won't be out a lot of money.
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:52 AM   #19
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I'm happy with my setup so far and IMO is way better than the cost would indicate:

Bilsteins - $400
Ebay coilovers - $40
FCM bumpstops - $80
NB rear tophats - $40
Removed rear swaybar - $0

Total - $560

Bilsteins are not as harsh as some would have you believe. Ebay springs are tail happy out of the box so I intend to change out the rears for a set of 300# QA1s ($75/pair @ summit) for a bit more neutrality. The addition of a RB front swaybar ($170 on ebay) should get the balance just where I want it. At 12.0"f/12.0"r the FCM bumps & NB tophats are a must as the car was undriveable without them.

This setup requires a bit of DIY fabrication. I didn't like the way the sleeves sat on the perches so I machined some mounts to replace the perches. I used a variation of the modernbeat method for the NB tophats. The centering pads that come with the coilovers need to be gutted to let bumpstops seat properly.

Even though I'm very happy with the setup as-is for a DD, a track ready setup will cost:

Total from above - $560
300# QA1s - $75
RB front bar - $170

Total - $805

Eventually I want to revalve the bilsteins ($65/shock with bilstein or $150/shock with FCM) but honestly this feels like a leap of faith. Shocks seem to work nicely as-is.
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanlow View Post
I'm happy with my setup so far and IMO is way better than the cost would indicate:

Bilsteins - $400
Ebay coilovers - $40
FCM bumpstops - $80
NB rear tophats - $40
Removed rear swaybar - $0

Total - $560

Bilsteins are not as harsh as some would have you believe. Ebay springs are tail happy out of the box so I intend to change out the rears for a set of 300# QA1s ($75/pair @ summit) for a bit more neutrality. The addition of a RB front swaybar ($170 on ebay) should get the balance just where I want it. At 12.0"f/12.0"r the FCM bumps & NB tophats are a must as the car was undriveable without them.

This setup requires a bit of DIY fabrication. I didn't like the way the sleeves sat on the perches so I machined some mounts to replace the perches. I used a variation of the modernbeat method for the NB tophats. The centering pads that come with the coilovers need to be gutted to let bumpstops seat properly.

Even though I'm very happy with the setup as-is for a DD, a track ready setup will cost:

Total from above - $560
300# QA1s - $75
RB front bar - $170

Total - $805

Eventually I want to revalve the bilsteins ($65/shock with bilstein or $150/shock with FCM) but honestly this feels like a leap of faith. Shocks seem to work nicely as-is.

So, after all is done, do you think it would be as good as or better than the FM Stage 2 kit with their sways/illuminas/springs? Price will end up being the same, at least for the NB's as I won't need bumpstops or top hats. Price is $824 plus the $30 discount on the GB right now.
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