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Old 03-12-2012, 03:00 PM   #1
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Red face *edit* - Which suspension for completely street driven NB

*TOPIC UPDATED DUE TO POST 40 AND TRYING TO FIGURE OUT NOT JUST SHOCKS, BUT SPRINGS TOO*



Ok, so despite this topic having been discussed a bunch of times, I think most peoples focus is usually toward road racing or auto-x or a combination of street + track of some sort.

My question is somewhat unique in that it is focused COMPLETELY towards street driving.

Car in question is a 2001 NB. I recently purchased Eibach Pro-Kit springs.
Sometime in the future I'll be keeping my eyes open for a deal on some shocks to go with the springs. Having tried AGX+FM2 combo I actually kinda liked it. Having tried the ricelands I actually kinda liked em too, though I'd definitely prefer #250 springs in the rear if I even did that again. The goal here is to give the car a subtle drop, and just slightly increase handling/eliminate a teeny bit of roll while keeping the ride quality as nice as possible.

So to go with my Pro-Kit, should I get:
-Tokico Illumina
-Kyb AGX
-Koni STR.T (just recently saw/heard about these, sound kinda cool)
-NB/MSM Billstein
-????????

Keep in mind the words BUDGET and STREET when considering the options. Please throw your input at me.

Thanks

Last edited by 18psi; 03-20-2012 at 01:43 PM. Reason: topic progression
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:07 PM   #2
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I hear lotta people like Racelands.


Vmaxx is very nice on the road. It feels just a bit harder than my sport suspension billsteins felt.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:59 PM   #3
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I think I'd go bilstain.

followed closely by the Illuminas (which lose a point for short shock bodies if I remember correctly).

I hate "koni ride"
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:28 PM   #4
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I'm rocking kyb agx with my ground control coilovers. IIRC they are something like 460/300 rates (whatever the stock rates come on those, i bought them so long ago i've forgotten) and I'm pretty low and live down a dirt road. They have yet to blow, so that's good. I'm using them with FCM bumpstops, they handle nicely in the canyon - no track time yet.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:17 PM   #5
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Illuminas all the way. Had them on 3 cars and performance and ride quality for the price is amazing.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:33 PM   #6
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Ast.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by hustler View Post
Ast.
+1

I rode in hustler's car with ASTs and it was sexy. I want some now.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:44 PM   #8
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I personally don't like the "visual effect" of Eibach pro-kit (front much lower than rear -- no idea if US pro-kit is exactly the same as EU pro-kit), but it's ok for DD even on bumpy italian streets.
Anyhow... within the list of shocks I prefer how Illumina handles

The best setup I've tried for street driving is actual FM + Illuminas, followed by AGX + RB
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:45 PM   #9
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The new Koni street shocks are supposed to be really nice.

I was planning on getting those with FM springs, or just getting FM vmaxx
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triple88a View Post
I hear lotta people like Racelands.


Vmaxx is very nice on the road. It feels just a bit harder than my sport suspension billsteins felt.
I want to stay away from racelands unless I can't find anything else for a good deal. Want a "set it and forget it" suspension which means I have almost no need for a coilovers.
Vmaxx is just a fancy raceland (from what I gather) and is way more expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
I think I'd go bilstain.

followed closely by the Illuminas (which lose a point for short shock bodies if I remember correctly).

I hate "koni ride"
Kinda what I had in mind too, both sound like good options with the bilstain being just slightly better from what I read.

Define "koni ride" for me.
What specifically about them sucks? Too stiff?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireindc View Post
I'm rocking kyb agx with my ground control coilovers. IIRC they are something like 460/300 rates (whatever the stock rates come on those, i bought them so long ago i've forgotten) and I'm pretty low and live down a dirt road. They have yet to blow, so that's good. I'm using them with FCM bumpstops, they handle nicely in the canyon - no track time yet.
agx is pretty much my "plan b". I've used em before too, and didn't have issues. Kinda want to see if I can get something at least a little better though. Maybe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanSoot View Post
Illuminas all the way. Had them on 3 cars and performance and ride quality for the price is amazing.
This is good to hear. They can be had on ebay and other places without hunting around for em like bilstains.
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Originally Posted by hustler View Post
Ast.
Only if they're <400 which I'm sure they're not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miata.SharK View Post
I personally don't like the "visual effect" of Eibach pro-kit (front much lower than rear -- no idea if US pro-kit is exactly the same as EU pro-kit), but it's ok for DD even on bumpy italian streets.
Anyhow... within the list of shocks I prefer how Illumina handles

The best setup I've tried for street driving is actual FM + Illuminas, followed by AGX + RB
This kinda bothers me too:
from the pictures I looked at, some of the cars had a bit of rake, and others didn't. I certainly hope its not as uneven as some of the examples I saw, but I guess we'll see: worst case I'll take em off for FM springs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by viperormiata View Post
The new Koni street shocks are supposed to be really nice.

I was planning on getting those with FM springs, or just getting FM vmaxx
TELL ME MORE
They seem fairly new, and I don't know jack squat about em. Got any links to reviews or feedback from people that tried em?
The fact that they're KONI for $300-400 really attracts my attention, but being very new to the market really bothers me. I don't like to be a guinea pig with suspension when you gotta pay 50 bux for alignment and spend 2-3 hours installing/removing em every time
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:39 AM   #11
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Koni Ride is what you get when you put monster rebound shocks on a stock car. it "jacks down" and rides like *** because the wheels dont drop when the chassis lifts.

I think the "new Koni Street shocks" are the ones with FSD maybe? they use a system like digressive valving to reduce damping under high speed shock movements. it's purpose is to make the shocks more compliant small bumps and rough surfaces without sacrifcing slow speed chassis and wheel control. viper or miata must have this answer.

frankly I'm still digging my tein flex. are the tein basic in your ballpark?
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:52 AM   #12
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I bought a set of brand new Koni STR.T's for my '99 and was running them with racing beat springs. The ride was too low for my taste and I felt it was really bouncy. Last week I replaced the racing beats with FM springs on my current Koni Str.T shocks. Night and Day difference. I'm blaming the whole ride quality issue on the racing beats.
The Koni Str.t's cost me around a little over $300 for all 4? I bought them from Renown Performance. My assumption is, they might be very similar to Tokico Blue shocks? (I think it was Tokico Blue, I know it wasn't Illumina).
Keep in mind, they are non adjustable, which is totally cool with me. Since I drive my car on the street and not much else, I am a throw it on and forget about it kind of guy.
Vlad, I hope this quick reply helps you make your decision. So far, I am very pleased with my setup.
1 thing though...I found this kind of odd as the only vehicles I ever put shocks on before were Chevy trucks and ****** Jeeps with leaf springs. On my trucks the shocks came with a band that when you cut, the shocks expanded. I don't remember if the Koni Str.T's came with them, but I do know that when I took my racing beats off and swapped on the FM springs, I noticed that you can depress the shock (it didn't move easily, but it moved) and it doesn't retract very quickly on it's own. I only assume and hope that it's supposed to be like this as the coil spring pretty much holds the shock in the extended position.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
Koni Ride is what you get when you put monster rebound shocks on a stock car. it "jacks down" and rides like *** because the wheels dont drop when the chassis lifts.

I think the "new Koni Street shocks" are the ones with FSD maybe? they use a system like digressive valving to reduce damping under high speed shock movements. it's purpose is to make the shocks more compliant small bumps and rough surfaces without sacrifcing slow speed chassis and wheel control. viper or miata must have this answer.

frankly I'm still digging my tein flex. are the tein basic in your ballpark?
I almost broke the keyboard trying to pick up the the Tein Basics Urbansoot was selling last week, but was about 10 minutes too late :(
Obviously if I find another set for a deal I'll jump on that.

Definitely interested in these koni's too if they're specifically designed for street driving, sounds like win to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdgen View Post
I bought a set of brand new Koni STR.T's for my '99 and was running them with racing beat springs. The ride was too low for my taste and I felt it was really bouncy. Last week I replaced the racing beats with FM springs on my current Koni Str.T shocks. Night and Day difference. I'm blaming the whole ride quality issue on the racing beats.
The Koni Str.t's cost me around a little over $300 for all 4? I bought them from Renown Performance. My assumption is, they might be very similar to Tokico Blue shocks? (I think it was Tokico Blue, I know it wasn't Illumina).
Keep in mind, they are non adjustable, which is totally cool with me. Since I drive my car on the street and not much else, I am a throw it on and forget about it kind of guy.
Vlad, I hope this quick reply helps you make your decision. So far, I am very pleased with my setup.
1 thing though...I found this kind of odd as the only vehicles I ever put shocks on before were Chevy trucks and ****** Jeeps with leaf springs. On my trucks the shocks came with a band that when you cut, the shocks expanded. I don't remember if the Koni Str.T's came with them, but I do know that when I took my racing beats off and swapped on the FM springs, I noticed that you can depress the shock (it didn't move easily, but it moved) and it doesn't retract very quickly on it's own. I only assume and hope that it's supposed to be like this as the coil spring pretty much holds the shock in the extended position.
thank you for the review, that's very helpful.
You probably haven't driven a stock suspension miata in a long time, but I'll ask anyway: any idea how much stiffer your current FM+koni setup is vs stock? Any bounciness/unstettlement/any other weirdness going on when going over big dips, large bumps, etc etc etc?
You very well may be one of the very few people already rocking these shocks, so DETAILS please.
Also, any pictures of your car with current setup?
Most importantly a clean side shot showing wheel gap?


As for your last comment: shocks usually do that and sounds totally normal. They're not supposed to spring back into place instantly, rebound is usually slowly and firmly.


Thanks a bunch guys. Tons of good feedback thus far, very helpful.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
thank you for the review, that's very helpful.
You probably haven't driven a stock suspension miata in a long time, but I'll ask anyway: any idea how much stiffer your current FM+koni setup is vs stock? Any bounciness/unstettlement/any other weirdness going on when going over big dips, large bumps, etc etc etc?
You very well may be one of the very few people already rocking these shocks, so DETAILS please.
Also, any pictures of your car with current setup?
Most importantly a clean side shot showing wheel gap?
Vlad, I put the Koni's and the Beat Racing springs on just before winter, so stock shocks and springs weren't that long ago for me. The stock to beat racing with Koni Str.t difference was this: Significantly lower, bouncier, but a tad stiffer.
Beat Racing to FM difference on same Koni's: Much firmer, little to no bounce, higher ride height, best handling springs I put on my yet.
I assume the Eibachs you're running will be lower than my FM's, but higher that the Beat's and stiffer than the Beat's, but not as stiff as the FM's.

Here's more info...I just measured some shiz. Measurements are from the center of my trik a$$ 16" motegi's to the top of the wheel well (bottom lip of the fender). Front= 12.5", Rear= 12.75".
Here is the specs from the FM website:
Specifications for the 1990-05 cars
Front springs: 318 lb/in
Rear springs: 233 lb/in
Front ride height: 12.5"
Rear ride height: 13"

Here are 2 photos I just snapped in my garage. I couldn't get a straight on angle without having that red pole in the way, but hopefully these are suffice.
Koni Str.t's with FM springs:
which shocks for my street driven nb on eibachs-fmspring.jpg

which shocks for my street driven nb on eibachs-fmspring2.jpg

and here is a photo taken in the other garage bay just before I removed the Beat Racing springs:
which shocks for my street driven nb on eibachs-beatracing.jpg

Measurements on those springs were something like 12" front, and 11.75" rear? I don't remember as I only care about what's on now, which is satisfaction.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:09 PM   #15
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Here's a photo of my car with the same wheels and tires, but stock springs and shocks. I took this in like '07?? I don't think it was even turbo'd yet!
Look at the gap between the tire and fender lip. The way I have to front wheel turned kind of allows you to see it in the front.
which shocks for my street driven nb on eibachs-mymiata.jpg
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:31 PM   #16
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That's really good info. Really appreciate it. Guess I'll have to see how the eibachs sit then possibly upgrade to FM later. Would you say the valving on the koni's is more aggressive than the stockers or about the same? They sound like they're real mild and aimed more for softness rather than handling (which is OK with me, just making an observation) though I wouldn't want them bouncy of course.

I'm getting conflicting info regarding Eibach Pro-Kit spring rates, or maybe I'm just not understanding it.

Per Good-Winn:
f140 linear
r70/120 progressive

Per another source:
http://www.puppetmaster-robotics.com...ta_springs.htm
f228
r137

The FM spring rates per same site:
f342
r228

RB per same site:
f207
r145

99 Stockers per same site:
f162
r118

So yeah: the Eibach appears to be between RB and FM in terms of rates.

Last edited by 18psi; 03-13-2012 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:56 PM   #17
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Vlad,
The first time I did my shocks and springs was a pain in the nuts. It took me like 3 hours. The second time I did the whole car in about 1 hour and 20 minutes, taking my time. The hardest part was the bloody knuckles I got from the drivers side rear top hat bolts. The fuel lines are right in the way, and you can hardly turn the socket, and the factory hose clamps tear skin like razor blades.
I don't think the Koni's are bouncy at all, I blame it on improper spring selection.
As far as Koni Str.t to stock shock comparision, I think they koni's are a very mild upgrade from stock shocks, but they do seem to work well with my FM springs. They're comfortable, and I'd say, since you're looking for street manners only...go with the Koni's. If I wasn't looking for a street mannered profile, and wanted something that I could mess with all the time, I woulda went V-Maxx. Like I said previously, for the street, I like to put it on and forget about it. I'd rather just enjoy driving my car, without the hassle of adjusting stuff suspension related.
I also noticed with the Beat Racings, (and I think this is cause it sat so low in the rear), it seemed like the back end would want to come loose on me real fast in a sharp turn. May have had to do with camber? The FM's are stiffer and sit higher, and I have yet to feel it come around on me.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:58 PM   #18
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You could always just cut your stock springs...
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:18 PM   #19
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You could always just cut your stock springs...
Torch them to soften them up.
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:27 PM   #20
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Get this clubricer talk out of here
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