I ordered FCM Bilsteins, then discovered XIDAs. Should I switch? Street car 12" min - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 03-13-2012, 09:22 PM   #1
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Default I ordered FCM Bilsteins, then discovered XIDAs. Should I switch? Street car 12" min

Hey guys. I'm going to be working on my Miata. Engine, ECU, Supercharger, Suspension, Paint, Seats..etc. I ordered FCM Coilovers, (FCM Elite I think he calls it now). Then I discovered 949s XIDAs. About a year ago when I started research for Miata suspensions, FCMs and AFCOs were it on the high end, XIDAs were not on the scene. I'm convinced FCMs are better than AFCOs for my use.

I've read everything I can find, and talked to folks. XIDAs seem to have an edge in almost every category--Lighter, Ride better, allows for a lower ride height (but maybe too low), adjustable (both good and bad, I can f it up), and Higher Quality parts vs 100 Bilstein shells (which are good, but arn't 3k race shocks). I'm not saying that the FCMs are bad, I have no doubt Shaikh knows his stuff and would set me up right. BUT, for $340 more than I paid for the FCMs, I can get XIDAs, and for $620 more I can get XIDAs with the helper springs.

The question comes down to ride height and streetablity. I want to keep the car streetable. I've had a Miata with Tein springs that rode at 12" front and 12.5" rear. This is the LOWEST I want to run. Probably too low. I would rather not have to deal with crawling over big speedbumps, worrying about my nose and steep driveways. I've read that XIDAs at their highest settings would be at my minimum ride height with some extra bushings. FCMs however can run 12.75" front and 13" rear. A bit more room. Maybe I would prefer 12.25-12.5F and 12.5-13 rear? I dont know. EDIT I'm told that FCMs do have some more room to lower with the newer choice of bump stops compared to a couple years ago.

I have no doubt Shaikh knows his stuff and would be tuned very well for street/track use. The adjustablity of the XIDAs is both good or bad. Good because I can play with it and learn and feel the differences, and bad because if there are 12 possible adjustments per shock, I have 11 possible ways to f-it up. I've had some Konis where it seemd like the ***** didn't do much. Not so with high quality shocks.

I've driven many BMWs, a couple Porsches, a couple S2000s, a couple C4s, one C5, and one Ferrari and am looking for that kind of feel, with nice streetablilty and awesome performance.

Should I cancel and change the order? XIDAs Worth the extra money for me? Advice? Opinions? Criticisms? Trivia?

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Old 03-13-2012, 10:38 PM   #2
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You could always donate the FCM's to my track build ( I would put your name in giant letters across my hood) and buy the Xidas.

Both are really good setups and if you aren't cramming 8/10ths or better out of the car on the track you really wouldn't know or need the difference. FCMs are probably awesome and Xidas are probably awesome and on the street you really don't need either one. How often in your commute do you need to jump the inside wheels over curbing in a heavily loaded turn at 90+mph without unsettling the car? Probably seldom. And both would probably do that.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:08 PM   #3
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I know a few people who have switched from FCMs to XIDAs with helpers. None have regretted it.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:46 AM   #4
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I called and talked with Shaikh, and that boy knows his stuff. I asked him some of my questions, and talked some even about suspension stuff.

I'm told his coilovers have changed a bit since a couple years ago. They have more flexibility for ride height adjustment now because of bump stop changes. So I do have more of a window for adjustment than what other older posts have said. That's a plus in my book. I'm looking forward to playing with it.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
I know a few people who have switched from FCMs to XIDAs with helpers. None have regretted it.
Do they get the the grocery store faster?
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:12 PM   #6
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I don't often autocross.

But when I do autocross, I autocross on FCMs.

Stay springy, my friend.

....








....

They're also out-of-this-world amazing on the street - I've never thought "these ride too rough" on the street, and I've never thought "These ride too soft" between the cones. They're absolutely perfect whereas I'm concerned. Sometimes I see a ricer rolling down the street in his rock hard suspension, and the car jumps every time he his a crack in the road. It makes me laugh on the inside.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:53 PM   #7
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I like the guy at FCM but there is no doubt the Xidas are a superior product in every way. I can't comment on ride quality but I'll let you know they pretty much every person who's driven or ridden in my track car with 70/400 or street car with 600/400 springs is giddy over the smooth ride over nasty bumps in my non-Xida ASTs that you can't get so don't ask .

There are bumps out there on the track that I don't know about, and I'm not joking. At MSR-H, MSR-C, and Hallett there are bumps people talk about that I don't feel in the car, lol. Most notably there is a "triangle" bump about 10' wide at MSR-C from the 1.7-1.3 transition that people claim punts cars off track and to "OMFG stay off that triangle bump!!!!", I didn't know it was there, lol.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
There are bumps out there on the track that I don't know about, and I'm not joking. At MSR-H, MSR-C, and Hallett there are bumps people talk about that I don't feel in the car, lol. Most notably there is a "triangle" bump about 10' wide at MSR-C from the 1.7-1.3 transition that people claim punts cars off track and to "OMFG stay off that triangle bump!!!!", I didn't know it was there, lol.
Funny. Nice!. I agree XIDAs having the edge in every way. Shaikh (fcm) has said that his newer stuff has improved (bumpstops, valving) and rides even better than stuff from 1.5-2yrs ago. That may close the gap a little bit between XIDAs and FCMs, I dont know. He responded on my thread at Miata.net about the same subject.

The only issue I have with XIDAs (and even Emilio told me not to buy his shocks if I want to ride close to stock heights), is ground clearance. Then I discovered the FM shock spacers, which would put me at a little less than 12.5" F 12.75" on XIDAs at max height. Which would be nice. They add 20x4=80 to the cost of the XIDAs. That makes the choice harder.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:32 PM   #9
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Why you would buy 2k shocks and want stock height is beyond me, you just blew my mind. Rally driven?
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:19 PM   #10
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I DD my car while also autocrossing every once in a while so I went with 450 lb/in springs in the front and 300 lb/in in the rear for my Xida CS with helper springs. They ride so much better than stock in terms of comfort and perform better than I could ever imagine. I am currently at 12" front and 12.25" rear and have plenty of room to raise or lower if I needed too. At this height, I have more than enough shock travel even going through big pot holes or rough stretches of road. Whoever is thinking about getting them, get them. Worth every cent
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmowry View Post
Do they get the the grocery store faster?
Most of my customers don't drive their race cars to the grocery store.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:41 PM   #12
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12" front 12.5" rear is fine for the street unless you live on the moon with 5 foot deep craters everywhere.
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Most of my customers don't drive their race cars to the grocery store.
Given that THIS thread isn't about your race car customers.....

From the OP:

"The question comes down to ride height and streetablity. I want to keep the car streetable. "

Which I assumed means this is a street car. A 2K+ race setup on a street car is retarded.
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmowry View Post
A 2K+ race setup on a street car is retarded.
Why?

Is it retarded for the same reason a $2K wheel/tire setup for the street is retarded?

Perhaps it's retarded for the same reason a $9k built motor and $6k F/I system is retarded.
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmowry View Post
A 2K+ race setup on a street car is retarded.
Agreed. A $2k race setup on a street car is retarded.

I don't think that a $2k street setup on a street car is unreasonable, however.

By definition, most of us are here because we tend to spend more money on aftermarket performance parts than the actual blue-book value of our cars, the vast majority of which are street-driven.
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmowry View Post
A 2K+ race setup on a street car is retarded.
Frank, I have a $2K suspension in my (primarily) street driven car and don't think it was money poorly spent, by any means. My AFCOs ride so much better than any other suspension I've experienced (I haven't tried XIDAs, mind you), it's not even funny. Better performance when autocrossing and for track days, better comfort on our moon crater-like streets. I should make more "retarded" purchases like this.
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:02 PM   #17
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Hence my question. Xidas better for street track or fcms?. They are mire expensive. I like Afcos. The only reason I'm not considering them is I've had people say they couldn't dial in a comfortable setting.
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:43 PM   #18
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I like Afcos. The only reason I'm not considering them is I've had people say they couldn't dial in a comfortable setting.
See my post above. AFCOs are extremely comfortable on the street. They have been redesigned for more travel in the rear since they first came out, and the new version (c. 2 years ago) is downright cushy, while giving up nothing in terms of performance.
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