Has anyone driven both FM stg1 and FM Vmaxx suspensions?? - Page 2 - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 10-10-2012, 12:25 PM   #21
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I've been running FM stage-1 on my 2000 for the last 6 months or so, my requirements were identical to yours (comfortable on daily drives, but better handling, etc). It does very well for daily driving and is fairly comfortable (as comfortable as can be expected), and also handles much better than stock.

What bumpstops are you going to use? The FM ones? I ordered/installed the FCM 36F/46R and they seem to compliment the shocks well.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:28 PM   #22
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That was kinda my next question: the NB kit doesn't include bumpstops, but my stockers are still in great shape, so I was planning to re-use them unless the upgraded ones are a big upgrade worth doing.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
That was kinda my next question: the NB kit doesn't include bumpstops, but my stockers are still in great shape, so I was planning to re-use them unless the upgraded ones are a big upgrade worth doing.
Supposedly the upgrade is worth the money. I figured for $80 more or whatever, it was worth getting over with and doing once.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:30 PM   #24
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You need shock travel. That is it. That's all. Really. Good valving and proper spring rates are really a secondary thing. The feature any suspension needs in order to work correctly is enough shock travel.

If you raised your car with your current suspension, it would swallow those potholes much better. It would behave the same everywhere else, but it would have more travel to deal with bumps and dips.

Seams and cracks in the road are a different thing. That involves.... something. High speed bump/rebound, I think. I'm not sure. I'm just going to ignore that. My car has about 2x the amount of travel as a stock Miata and it still struggles with seams in the road. I think it's because my valving sucks. Anyways...

So you can either raise your car or buy something like shock tops to get more travel. I guess you could also buy a new suspension, but you really shouldn't have to. You just need travel in the rear. The front isn't as shock travel limited as the rear, and all your ride comfort comes from the back.

Hope that helps.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:37 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revlimiter View Post
You need shock travel. That is it. That's all. Really. Good valving and proper spring rates are really a secondary thing. The feature any suspension needs in order to work correctly is enough shock travel.

If you raised your car with your current suspension, it would swallow those potholes much better. It would behave the same everywhere else, but it would have more travel to deal with bumps and dips.

Seams and cracks in the road are a different thing. That involves.... something. High speed bump/rebound, I think. I'm not sure. I'm just going to ignore that. My car has about 2x the amount of travel as a stock Miata and it still struggles with seams in the road. I think it's because my valving sucks. Anyways...

So you can either raise your car or buy something like shock tops to get more travel. I guess you could also buy a new suspension, but you really shouldn't have to. You just need travel in the rear. The front isn't as shock travel limited as the rear, and all your ride comfort comes from the back.

Hope that helps.
Thank you, but I don't think it does. My car is relatively high as is: I started with the FM "recommended specs" and ended up raising it another .25" up front and .50" in the back. By no means is my car slammed or really low. as it sits its exactly .5" lower than the FM stage 1 which only lowers the car .8" per FM.

As far as I know I should have plenty of travel right now: I haven't bottomed out or hit the bump stops a single time yet.

So that's what led me to order the FM stage 1. The spring rates are 318/233 vs the vmaxx 391/258, but the main difference, in my opinion, will be the valving. Per FM the lowest setting on the tokicos is very soft, so soft its supposedly too soft for the 318/233 springs. So I'll be playing with the settings and hopefully find the sweet spot.

From what I read, everyone says this setup is basically as soft as it gets.

Its all a learning process though. Trial and error. We'll see.
I seriously hope this will be my "last" suspension setup. lol

The only way to go from here would be to swap the 15x8's for 15x7's and have less sidewall tension, which makes the tires absorb bumps much better.

But I really hope it doesn't come to that. I absolutely love these wheels.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:02 PM   #26
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I have 15x8 wheels with NB suspension. I've found that the illuminas set at 3f/2r have been great. The only time I changed it was for track duty. 4f/3r was perfect.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:33 AM   #27
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It's a bit counter-intuitive, but going to a softer spring can actually hurt your ride comfort. A big bump like a pothole will result in you blowing through your spring travel even faster, because the spring is softer and less resistant to change. You can have an incredibly comfortable ride when you pair a lot of shock travel with a stiff spring and decent valving.

And when I was talking about shock travel above, I wasn't thinking things like an inch of unused shock travel. I mean 6" or more. Twice what the stock suspension has. The OEM shocks are ALREADY travel limited. If you compromise that with a lowering spring, you're shooting yourself in the foot. The route to enough shock travel is a small shock body, an extended tophat in the rear, and an adjustable collar coil mount that is mounted very near the top of its range.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:38 AM   #28
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Back to the topic, the VMAXX is gonna beat the pants off stock replacement shocks and lowering springs every time in terms of comfort on bad roads.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:46 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
As far as I know I should have plenty of travel right now: I haven't bottomed out or hit the bump stops a single time yet.
I guarantee that you have hit the bumpstops, you'll likely hit them daily.

As revlimiter says, softer isn't necessarily better as when you hit a bump/pothole/etc the soft spring doens't resist this force, all the travel is used up and then you suddenly hit the bumpstop - which is effectively a very VERY stiff spring.

I'd hope that the Tokico valving is better than the VMAXX's though and they're a better match for the spring.

Just looking at the spring-rate doesn't tell the complete story either, it's a combination of the valving and the spring-rate. You can have 350ft/lb springs and make them very comfy or extremely uncomfy by changing the valving.

This is a good read on the making of perfectly suited shocks and springs for the MX5.

Opening The Kimono... - Wheels, Tyres, Suspension & handling/etc - MX5Nutz Forum

For reference StressedDave has worked for Lotus amongst other companies, he knows his suspension.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:54 AM   #30
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I'm not arguing with you guys that lotsa travel is good. I completely agree. I also agreet that in a miata soft spring doesn't equal softer ride.

BUT

I'm not trying to RAISE the car. If I can get the .8" lower that the FM springs achieve, slightly better cornering/feel, and maintain STOCK-like comfort or very close to it, that's what I want.

I think in my case, the valving is key. Most importantly the low speed/small road inperfection absorbtion. On big bumps/dips where LOTS of travel is needed, I have no problem with the Vmaxxes. They have plenty of travel as they sit right now, and big bumps are actually really smooth. Its the little ones that are much harsher than I'd like, where very little travel is needed. the valving is aggressive, and the car transmits each of said inperfections into the cabin/chassis.

But just to test your guys' theory, I'm going to raise my Vmaxxes a full 1" before I yank them off, and take them for a long drive. We'll see if they get much softer and to my liking as you say.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:03 PM   #31
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Do you have a rear swaybar? Removing it really increases ride comfort. For real, no trolling.

You also might try airing down your tires by a few PSI. That should help the small, sharp bumps.

Just a couple free things you can try in addition to fiddling with ride height.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:08 PM   #32
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I love my rear bar.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:01 PM   #33
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Nice link Richy…


In for a lengthy thread on ride quality. In my opinion, decent ride quality makes for a much more enjoyable car in every aspect of road driving, including the times when you go out purely to have fun.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:31 PM   #34
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Agreed. I don't think I'll ever be happy unless my car is comfortable to drive on these crappy roads. I'm not 18 anymore, I don't like the idea of bouncing around the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by revlimiter View Post
Do you have a rear swaybar? Removing it really increases ride comfort. For real, no trolling.

You also might try airing down your tires by a few PSI. That should help the small, sharp bumps.

Just a couple free things you can try in addition to fiddling with ride height.
I did that on my 00 (on racelands lol) and it didn't do anything at all actually. But those have 350lb rear springs iirc so maybe it would be different this time. I'll try it. Only takes 5 min to bolt back up if anything.

FM also recommended airing down the tires: but they're already pretty low - 32psi. I'll try 30 just for kicks.
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:06 PM   #35
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You only have to disconnect one swaybar endlink to try it. That removes the bar from the equation without a whole lot of effort.

I drive at about 28 psi hot. Sometimes less depending on how long it's been since checking pressure.

And to get a better ride, light wheels really make a huge difference. Less unsprung weight just makes everything work better. Of course, this is probably a much more expensive option than a new suspension.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:14 PM   #36
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As stated before, I'm on flat-outs which are only 12.4lb each. Tires aren't that heavy either, I think all together its something like 28lbs/corner but I'll have to double check.

Doubt I can get anything lighter unless I go back to stock or get some UUber fancy titanium/forged wheels
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:16 PM   #37
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as it sits now:

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Has anyone driven both FM stg1 and FM Vmaxx suspensions??-7709042800_a0b2c183d0_b.jpg  
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:16 PM   #38
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I'm not understanding how raising the ride height is going to increase travel. All you're doing is raising the lower perch relative to the shock body, right? Your springs don't have any more travel that way.

BTW I wouldn't consider 32psi pretty low - that's where I go for autox and track. Street duty for me is down to about 26-28psi.

Richy is right that you hit your bumpstops all the time. That's why good ones are so important. Reviews seem to indicate the FM's are OK, but going with Fat Cat stops you get to play with different lengths of materials which can work sometimes. I'm pretty happy with what FM included in my kit and don't see the reason to spend extra money.

My feeling is that valving and spring rate are your issues. There are some aspects of a miata suspension that you can't change. For your use, 99% street, FM stage 1 or 2 (if you don't have upgraded sways) would be perfect.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:27 PM   #39
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Makes sense to me. That's why I was kinda questioning revlimiters justifications for raising it, but figure I'll give it a shot anyway just cause.

And "max pressure" on these things is 51psi, I figured 32 is definitely reasonable, but I'm no expert on tire pressures so not sure if thats right or wrong.
I'm just afraid of running them too low and have uneven wear and decreased fuel efficiency.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:16 PM   #40
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Set your tire pressure according to the sticker in the door, not the sidewall of the tire.
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