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Question about BC Racing Coilovers on City streets (NA MX-5)

 
Old 08-25-2018, 10:40 PM
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Default Question about BC Racing Coilovers on City streets (NA MX-5)

Does anybody have experience with how well BC Racing BR coilovers for the NA 90-98 MX-5 handle rough roads. I live in Baltimore, City and the roads are horrible. Lots of train tracks, random pot holes (which I do try to avoid). Current I'm on budget coil overs (TEIN Adance Z.). Whenever I try to get up to speed and just have some fun, all it takes is some rough patch or slightly uneven pavement and the car literally bounces it's way off it's wheels and practically sets off a chain reaction of bounces that ultimately force the car to not stop bouncing.

If I were to guess, the dampers on them are just not capable I'm afraid to handle the springs they come with is my best guess. So I'm really hoping for someone's genuine honest reviews of BC BR series for the NA, or anybody with experience, in another set of coilovers. Because they are pretty costly and I've been saving. I'm hoping to build the Miata into a daily driver for several years to come, and right now I'm probably looking at generating back arthritis, if I don't find the right set to handle Baltimore city and county roads smoother and with less bounces.

So how about it, does BC BR series live up to it's good reputation? Or do you have any other suggestions (I'm willing to save up to around 1250+ give or take 150, but 2k is way too much for meee)

I do want to monthly/bi-monthly track the car also.

I think what it comes down to is BC Racing BR Series VS MeisterR ZetaCRD. I heard the MeisterR's are very good and dedicated to the Miata scene. Both have great reputations. I just haven't heard anything bad about BC's either. I have to say I am mainly focusing on daily livability if I had to pick one or the other. But because I haven't tried neither of them, I don't know which should ride more comfortable & low!

I highly appreciate your guys' time on this thread. Any insight or knowledge is considered golden to me right now!

Cheers everyone & Have a blessed night~

Last edited by NASSEX; 08-25-2018 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 08-26-2018, 12:07 AM
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Old 08-26-2018, 12:18 AM
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Which is better for 230whp on baltimore city & county streets? lol to sum it all up. or is there something else. enlighten me plx ty
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Old 08-26-2018, 02:02 AM
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I'm running bc br. And I do really like them for dual duty, fun weekend toy, and occasional track and autox.

originally I had 8k/6k. Pretty comfy street and mild track setup. But was not sprung enough for more serious track use.

went with new dampers from bc matched to 12k/8k springs.

noticeably stiffer on the street, but still enjoyable. And now pretty good on the track as well, no more riding bump stops.

now, I am in Florida with silky smooth roads. And no way in hell would I even consider daily driving this suspension in the pot hole universe known as the north east.

My experience consists of :
flying miata vmaxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Junk, too harsh on street, way too soft on track.
bc 8k/6k - nice semi stiff street and mild track use.
bc 12k/8k - stiff street, but still enjoyable and good track performance.

I have never tried xidas. Maybe if I do get to try them, I then might reconsider my liking of bc coilovers.

honestly for pothole ridden streets, it will be tough to find a bearable coilover solution.
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:05 AM
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How many inches of shock body travel do you have available to you at your current ride height before contacting the bump stops? Please measure. Start there.
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
How many inches of shock body travel do you have available to you at your current ride height before contacting the bump stops? Please measure. Start there.
I don't think it hits the bump stops with my current setup, which has been okay it's just so uncontrollable bouncy
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by NASSEX View Post
I don't think it hits the bump stops with my current setup, which has been okay it's just so uncontrollable bouncy
But how much does it have? 1in? 1/2in? 3/4in?

Post some shock dynos of the ones you are considering so we can analyze them and help with the decision.

Are you familiar with the idea of digressive valving and why it is desirable?
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
But how much does it have? 1in? 1/2in? 3/4in?

Post some shock dynos of the ones you are considering so we can analyze them and help with the decision.

Are you familiar with the idea of digressive valving and why it is desirable?
Nope. Not familiar with that. I can look this stuff up when I'm off work in 12 hours.

However, I'm currently running Tein advanced z. It's the 450-550$ coilover option for na/nb miatas. I'm running the NA. And i have them set to pretty much as low as they go. (Which isn't that low. I hear other brands bc's, etc go lower more comfortably) Not sure if it's possible to find what you're asking for anywhere online based off of just that. I'm ganna try to further my understanding when i get home.

But a thought crossed my mind. Is there a coilover that exists which rides comfortably low, for looks and streets. But performs good enough to handle higher 10k/8k+ spring rates for if you decide to just swap out the springs and adjust the dampers by a **** for track day? Would be nice to find all of that in one!
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Old 08-26-2018, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by NASSEX View Post
Nope. Not familiar with that. I can look this stuff up when I'm off work in 12 hours.

However, I'm currently running Tein advanced z. It's the 450-550$ coilover option for na/nb miatas. I'm running the NA. And i have them set to pretty much as low as they go. (Which isn't that low. I hear other brands bc's, etc go lower more comfortably) Not sure if it's possible to find what you're asking for anywhere online based off of just that. I'm ganna try to further my understanding when i get home.

But a thought crossed my mind. Is there a coilover that exists which rides comfortably low, for looks and streets. But performs good enough to handle higher 10k/8k+ spring rates for if you decide to just swap out the springs and adjust the dampers by a **** for track day? Would be nice to find all of that in one!
https://supermiata.com/xida-coilover-miata.aspx
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Old 08-27-2018, 01:05 AM
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This forum will tell you to build your own bilstein coilovers using sleeves and rates of your choice or $2000 Xida's. I tried asking about "off the shelf" and was met with bad spring rates (meh, they can be resprung), bad dampers (this is essentially what you're paying for), and overall low effort builds (ride bump stops or improper top hat configuration) because at the end of the day these companies are looking to turn a profit. they want to be able to use the same springs on every set of coilovers, same top hat designs, and choosing rates that would be "good enough for anyone who buys them."

So with that being said, there's nothing decent for <$1000 and everything in the $1000-$1500 is putting you closer and closer to Xida's which are the BEST miata specific coilovers and just above what it would cost to build your own bilstein coilovers. I recommend reading through the better bilstein coilover thread and give my 10+ page summary a read too. you'll see the roast of me and the basics of what's required. To summarize, ~$420 in NB Bilstein B8 shocks, $140 in coilover sleeves, Summit Racing 7" springs; pick spring rates of your choosing (I'm going with 550/350 which I was told is comfortable yet sporty, you have the power here), extended top hats for shock travel, Integra bump stops that you cut down to length, and some other miscellaneous bits such as bushings and washers. My thread has a spreadsheet with part numbers and cost, it's ending up right around $1000, say $1100 with all the little bits and pieces added up that I'll have lying around the garage. The best part is, Bilsteins are able to handle a wide variety of spring rates, if you want a more "plush" ride, drop it to 350/250 ish. but I plan on being noticeably lower than stock height so stiffer springs to reduce slamming the bump stops and rubbing fenderwells is worth it to me (I'm young still).

to quote a noob who read the better bilstein thread:
Originally Posted by sometorque View Post
I've been digesting this thread for a few days now and based off the consensus on the forums, it seems to be DIY billies at <$1k or Xidas and that everything else is "meh"
Even SuperMiata (949 Racing sister company, Xida developers) recommends DIY Bilsteins for ~$1000 budget. It's hard to argue that BC (meister just a recolor and rebrand) or any <$1000 coilover will be better than a bilstein with your own spring rates. Bilsteins are VERY quality shocks, came standard on some NC's and on MSM and even some NB's. Also, NVH is huge. These cars are old now. They're starting to rattle a bit more as plastic ages and things aren't like they were 20 years ago. Many cheaper coilover companies use spherical bearings at the top hats which leads to a host of random vibrations from improper NVH damping. This is alleviated when you use NB style bushings which isolate the shock from the top hat which isolates the shock vibrations from the chassis, saving your plastic from rattling from the shocks doing their job.

editing to add that there are other shock brands (tokico, koni, kyb, etc) which "work" but the bilstein is the best option.

Good luck in your quest sir. You have much ahead of you. It's almost fall which means snow will be on the ground soon. Perfect time to gather information on some bilstein coilovers and start ordering up parts!

Also this video is really informative if you're wondering how the hell you turn a pile of parts into a coilover.
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Old 08-27-2018, 03:12 AM
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I've had BC BR coils before, years ago, in their standard valving and 10k/8k rates.

I went the "budget Bilstein" route afterward, unfortunately i was never really satisfied with it and it was far from cost effective.
to be happy with Bilsteins on street/rough roads, the bodies have to be revalved or the spring rates have to be kept below 7k / 400lbs. in my opinion, based on direct experience.
They do ok on smooth roads given that they have any bump travel left.

Having driven several Xida'd cars, they were all how a Miata should feel.
I got Feal 441's now, and they are the best dual-duty ride on a Miata i've felt next to Xidas and Ohlins.

my 2 cents, don't waste time or money to frankenstein a setup, or have to buy multiple sets of coilovers because they all suck. Do some research and get something reputable, install and don't look back..
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Old 08-27-2018, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ThePanduuh View Post
This forum will tell you to build your own bilstein coilovers using sleeves and rates of your choice or $2000 Xida's. I tried asking about "off the shelf" and was met with bad spring rates (meh, they can be resprung), bad dampers (this is essentially what you're paying for), and overall low effort builds (ride bump stops or improper top hat configuration) because at the end of the day these companies are looking to turn a profit. they want to be able to use the same springs on every set of coilovers, same top hat designs, and choosing rates that would be "good enough for anyone who buys them."

So with that being said, there's nothing decent for <$1000 and everything in the $1000-$1500 is putting you closer and closer to Xida's which are the BEST miata specific coilovers and just above what it would cost to build your own bilstein coilovers. I recommend reading through the better bilstein coilover thread and give my 10+ page summary a read too. you'll see the roast of me and the basics of what's required. To summarize, ~$420 in NB Bilstein B8 shocks, $140 in coilover sleeves, Summit Racing 7" springs; pick spring rates of your choosing (I'm going with 550/350 which I was told is comfortable yet sporty, you have the power here), extended top hats for shock travel, Integra bump stops that you cut down to length, and some other miscellaneous bits such as bushings and washers. My thread has a spreadsheet with part numbers and cost, it's ending up right around $1000, say $1100 with all the little bits and pieces added up that I'll have lying around the garage. The best part is, Bilsteins are able to handle a wide variety of spring rates, if you want a more "plush" ride, drop it to 350/250 ish. but I plan on being noticeably lower than stock height so stiffer springs to reduce slamming the bump stops and rubbing fenderwells is worth it to me (I'm young still).

to quote a noob who read the better bilstein thread:


Even SuperMiata (949 Racing sister company, Xida developers) recommends DIY Bilsteins for ~$1000 budget. It's hard to argue that BC (meister just a recolor and rebrand) or any <$1000 coilover will be better than a bilstein with your own spring rates. Bilsteins are VERY quality shocks, came standard on some NC's and on MSM and even some NB's. Also, NVH is huge. These cars are old now. They're starting to rattle a bit more as plastic ages and things aren't like they were 20 years ago. Many cheaper coilover companies use spherical bearings at the top hats which leads to a host of random vibrations from improper NVH damping. This is alleviated when you use NB style bushings which isolate the shock from the top hat which isolates the shock vibrations from the chassis, saving your plastic from rattling from the shocks doing their job.

editing to add that there are other shock brands (tokico, koni, kyb, etc) which "work" but the bilstein is the best option.

Good luck in your quest sir. You have much ahead of you. It's almost fall which means snow will be on the ground soon. Perfect time to gather information on some bilstein coilovers and start ordering up parts!

Also this video is really informative if you're wondering how the hell you turn a pile of parts into a coilover. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad2IOtsaLEg
Thanks for sharing the video! I've been going through the better bilstein thread for days now (I've read it over from beginning to end twice) So much info there it had my head spinning a bit.

I'm down in South FL, so winter is 60< degrees. I'm planning on tackling this project in the next month or two.
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by pakmx5 View Post
I've had BC BR coils before, years ago, in their standard valving and 10k/8k rates.

I went the "budget Bilstein" route afterward, unfortunately i was never really satisfied with it and it was far from cost effective.
to be happy with Bilsteins on street/rough roads, the bodies have to be revalved or the spring rates have to be kept below 7k / 400lbs. in my opinion, based on direct experience.
They do ok on smooth roads given that they have any bump travel left.

Having driven several Xida'd cars, they were all how a Miata should feel.
I got Feal 441's now, and they are the best dual-duty ride on a Miata i've felt next to Xidas and Ohlins.

my 2 cents, don't waste time or money to frankenstein a setup, or have to buy multiple sets of coilovers because they all suck. Do some research and get something reputable, install and don't look back..
what bilsteins and rates did you use? Bump stops and shock travel are everything. So maybe there was some issues with that. Extended top hats? Iím aiming for 550/350 for street.
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by ThePanduuh View Post

what bilsteins and rates did you use? Bump stops and shock travel are everything. So maybe there was some issues with that. Extended top hats? I’m aiming for 550/350 for street.
1994 miata, with
NA HD bilsteins, i believe 36mm fcm bumps, SM/allstar sleeves, 7” springs, first i had 550/325, had NB tophats then went with extended tophats F+R, which made a bigger difference than anything else. Before that i had no more than ~3/8” bump travel and i could feel the suspension ride the bumpstops under hard driving and bumps.
After the tophats i probably had closer to 5/8” or 3/4” travel, but it still felt oversprung, or like shitty rebound at the least, to be honest. Which followed along with most of my research.
Dropped down to ~400/280 lb Swifts still 7”, it felt better, but still not how i wanted it to feel, and obviously you kinda just get what you get with Bilsteins. No room to adjust or fine tune.

with my Feals, it was night and day. 10k/7k (560/380ish?) actually feels soft, relative to how my butt/body has been feeling for years. My daily commute, as well as familiar roads no matter the condition, became so much more controllable and satisfying to drive. I mean i literally went from considering selling the car to putting another $500+ into it after Feals because it made me that relieved and satisfied.

im not completely thrashing the idea of Bilsteins, but to do it right, IMO, you’re in the same amount of money as Feals (or even better) and much much more time and labor, and all for what? To save a few pennies? Then you get zero control over damping or rebound, zero independent adjustment, coil springs rubbing sleeves, etc?

if i could go back in time 5 years, i wouldnt have done **** to my car except Xidas and more seat time and then went from there.

Edit:
it also depends on desired ride height, but i will go as far as saying I was modest and was never lower than 4.5” pinch welds. Probably closer to 5”. I run 4-3/4” f / 4-7/8” r with the Feals.

i saw your suspension thread.
if you are set on Bilsteins, i highly recommend sending them to Bilstein USA for a revalve prior to anything else.
then follow the recommended guidelines and it may be worth your while. FWIW i have rode and driven cars on revalved Bilsteins and its a different animal, but in my case it was no longer worth my troubles.


Last edited by pakmx5; 08-30-2018 at 01:27 AM.
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by pakmx5 View Post


1994 miata, with
NA HD bilsteins, i believe 36mm fcm bumps, SM/allstar sleeves, 7Ē springs, first i had 550/325, had NB tophats then went with extended tophats F+R, which made a bigger difference than anything else. Before that i had no more than ~3/8Ē bump travel and i could feel the suspension ride the bumpstops under hard driving and bumps.
After the tophats i probably had closer to 5/8Ē or 3/4Ē travel, but it still felt oversprung, or like shitty rebound at the least, to be honest. Which followed along with most of my research.
Dropped down to ~400/280 lb Swifts still 7Ē, it felt better, but still not how i wanted it to feel, and obviously you kinda just get what you get with Bilsteins. No room to adjust or fine tune.

with my Feals, it was night and day. 10k/7k (560/475ish?) actually feels soft, relative to how my butt/body has been feeling for years. My daily commute, as well as familiar roads no matter the condition, became so much more controllable and satisfying to drive. I mean i literally went from considering selling the car to putting another $500+ into it after Feals because it made me that relieved and satisfied.

im not completely thrashing the idea of Bilsteins, but to do it right, IMO, youíre in the same amount of money as Feals (or even better) and much much more time and labor, and all for what? To save a few pennies? Then you get zero control over damping or rebound, zero independent adjustment, coil springs rubbing sleeves, etc?

if i could go back in time 5 years, i wouldnt have done **** to my car except Xidas and more seat time and then went from there.
bilsteins, when done correctly, can emulate xidas for cheaper. Which is all Iím going for. I donít feel like spending $2000 for a $2000 car which, when it gets totaled, will be literally worthless. So Iíll save the $ up front and build bilsteins. Iíve been doing research (contrary to what the thread I created will tell you) and 550/350 is where I settled. You used NA bilsteins which are shorter bodied and thatís probably why you were on bump stops. I plan on using NB bilsteins and extended rear top hats. 4Ē perches 7Ē springs ~36mm bump stops. Aiming for 4.5Ē pinch weld height. Low enough to rid some of the stock wheel gap. As long as you enjoy your ride it doesnít really matter too much what youíre on, itís all use case based.
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by ThePanduuh View Post

bilsteins, when done correctly, can emulate xidas for cheaper. Which is all I’m going for. I don’t feel like spending $2000 for a $2000 car which, when it gets totaled, will be literally worthless. . As long as you enjoy your ride it doesn’t really matter too much what you’re on, it’s all use case based.
After your 10 page thread, this is what you learned?

Let's try that logic on another scenario....

If you build a cardboard box correctly, it will emulate a house for cheaper.

yep, it works!
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Old 08-30-2018, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ryansmoneypit View Post
After your 10 page thread, this is what you learned?

Let's try that logic on another scenario....

If you build a cardboard box correctly, it will emulate a house for cheaper.

yep, it works!
so long as the use case is not rain protection, it will work. Just like as long as your use case isnít primarily track based, you can get away with not dropping stacks on xidas... but if you donít plan on doing any real track days, I think anything is better than 20 year old stock suspension.
arent we done being ********? Or is that still a thing...
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Old 08-30-2018, 07:50 AM
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********? heck that was just some good morning humor, sprinkled with a bit of truth!
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by ryansmoneypit View Post
********? heck that was just some good morning humor, sprinkled with a bit of truth!
i did learn things from my 10+ page thread, and the 78+ page better bilstein coilover thread, and some more googling and youtubing and stuff...

I thought you were being serious though, cause the people in the other thread would say that I actually didn't learn anything lol.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ThePanduuh View Post

bilsteins, when done correctly, can emulate xidas for cheaper. Which is all Iím going for. I donít feel like spending $2000 for a $2000 car which, when it gets totaled, will be literally worthless. So Iíll save the $ up front and build bilsteins. Iíve been doing research (contrary to what the thread I created will tell you) and 550/350 is where I settled. You used NA bilsteins which are shorter bodied and thatís probably why you were on bump stops. I plan on using NB bilsteins and extended rear top hats. 4Ē perches 7Ē springs ~36mm bump stops. Aiming for 4.5Ē pinch weld height. Low enough to rid some of the stock wheel gap. As long as you enjoy your ride it doesnít really matter too much what youíre on, itís all use case based.
interesting!
I dont think you understand yet.
emulate xidas for cheaper?
bilsteins regardless of submodel dont have valving characteristics even close to that of tractive/ast/xida/anything worthwhile.
500lb+ springs will exagerrate this, being that its easily 3x the rate the OTS shock is designed to be paired with.
one of my autox/track buddies had FCM-revalved NB bilsteins, 550/325 (same as me before but NB shocks woooooo)...
he just got Xidas and kicked his bilsteins to the curb and wondered what all the rave was about. We had a long discussion about this because we have been on similar setups with similar complaints, even when his cost twice as much as mine.
His car is not only more tame on the streets but more sharp on the course or track.
i dont know how many more examples i have to give you, because i have more. Or how much more i have to spell it out.
Budget bilsteins are just that- a budget, inferior setup. Its like, OEM+, due to the nature of their existence within our platform (LEís, SEís, sport suspension, use of them in SM, etc). They will never emulate Xidas or anything else top tier without spending nearly as much, and by that time youíre in budget territory for a huge upgrade. .
They will work, clearly i had them for years, but to think they emulate a poor mans Xida, or to think that the performance benefit and the design features of a setup like that outweigh a PnP, well-designed coilover (not just Xidas, there are several options out there), youíd be out of your mind.

Those are my two cents from not only my experience but many people whom i know and trust who also experienced un-met needs.
take it or leave it.. good luck.
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