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Old 01-22-2009, 02:10 PM   #1
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Default Switching from GC coilovers/KYB-AGX

Purchased the GC coilover/AGX set-up from Flyin Miata awhile back. AGXs are dying so I'm looking for replacements. I believe my springs are 425/300.

The bottom line is, I'm NOT looking to spend 1K+ on a completely new set-up if I can help it.

I've done some searching and, from what I understand, I can keep the springs and just replace the sleeves, and use NB top hats to save a few bucks. Tokico Illuminas or Bilstein HDs seem to work best with my current spring rates. Any other shock that I've missed?

What's a good source for the sleeves, NB tophats, and bump stops?

Anything I've missed? Suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:24 PM   #2
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As far as i know, since you have the GC kit then you can replace your shocks with the Tokico Illuminas, or Koni's that flyin miata offers. they haven't changed the spring rate or anything.

an offhand question- how did you like your set up when it was in its prime? i wouldnt think you would reccomend they AGX's again but what about the springs? how low did it drop your miata?
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:04 PM   #3
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When I installed the GC/AGXs, my stock shocks were done. Anything would have been an improvement, but the new setup still felt much better than new stock on flat roads and during the weekend canyon carving that I do a lot of. It wasn't horrible on uneven pavement at first, but it's grown progressively worse as the shocks have worn. The springs are just too stiff for the shocks. With the GC coilovers, you can drop the car right onto the wheels if you wanted to. Mine is dropped maybe 2.0".

I've been told by a couple of sources that, with some modification, i can drop the GC sleeves that I currently have over the Koni's. From what I understand though, the 425/300 rates are too stiff for the Koni yellows.

It looks like the spring rates are fine for the Tokicos and Bilsteins though, from what I've read. If I can use the sleeves on either shock without too much hacking, that would be cool, but it doesn't seem like sleeves specfically for the shocks are all that expensive to purchase.

I've seen old links to Ebay sleeves that I could use, but since the auctions have ended, I don't know what I'm looking for.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:08 PM   #4
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Everything that I've read says the bilsteins aren't much more of a damping curve than stock. Also I'm surprised the Koni's aren't made to handle your spring rate. They are adjustable, and I know guys that run them with the super stiff eBay coils (450/350).

Personally I myself and leaning towards the Illuminas as I look to replace mine as well. They were my initial choice, and after going all over the map nearly talking myself into everything else, I'm now back to them and ready to click the order button.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:25 PM   #5
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Yeah, I was all set to pick up a set of Koni Yellows, new top hats, new bump stops, and call it a day. I figured, at worst, I'd end up having to pick up a set of Koni sleeves if I couldn't get the AGX sleeves to work. All the searches here and a couple of other places kind of changed my mind unless I'm prepared to go with an entirely new set of springs.

I think I'm leaning towards the Tokicos as well. It be nice to get a couple of more opinions though, and some good sources for the parts for the complete changeover.

I've talked to Sheik and he's a great guy. I'd love to just hand him my credit card for a custom set-up, but I just don't have that kind of money to spend.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:43 PM   #6
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As I've compared cost/benefit for all kinds of suspension setups over the past three months, I can honestly say you're going to end up with a great suspension without going into debt.

You already have the best springs/sleeves out there. With Sheikh's top hats and some Illuminas underneath you will have great ride and handling for half the price of second tier coilovers, 1/3 the price of the entry level custom stuff.

This is exactly what I'd like to do, but I still lack good springs as well.

In your case you're looking at less than $700 for what will be incredible on the street and still capable for weekend autoXing.

I just wish I was telling you this from experience and not from research.

I'm sure Sheikh did tell you about the Illuminas having the best damper adjustment of the big 3 though right?
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:01 PM   #7
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We never really got past talking about his revalved Bilstein set-up. I was that close to giving him my credit card number, but then I remembered I had to pay rent and buy food, or explain to my girlfriend why I couldn't do either this month.

I just did a few searches and asked around to narrow my choices down a bit. If it really is just a matter of dropping my existing springs and sleeves onto the Illuminas, then, yup, I'm all set.

I probably wouldn't worry about the budget NB tophats and go straight for the FCs.

Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
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or explain to my girlfriend why I couldn't do either this month.
There's so much truth there, that's why I'm still bouncing around on OEM bumpstops.

I'm pretty sure you will have to modify the sleeves to get on the Illuminas. I know the Konis are slimmer than the Illuminas, I'm not sure how the Illuminas compare to KYB. I would call FM on that one, they can surely tell you.

I too would skip the budget top hats, unless you can find all four under $60. If so, then just get the nice FCM bumpstops for $84 and call it a day. If you're really broke like me then even with the stock NA mounts these bumpstops are a drastic improvement.

Good luck, and let me know how it works out, I'll probably be right behind ya (but not in the hustler way).
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:33 PM   #9
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It'll be a couple of months yet, but I'll let you know!
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:50 PM   #10
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Bilstein will revalve their shocks also. Not as sophisticated as what Fatcat does but it's 50-60 per shock not hundreds. They'll set them to damp whatever weight springs you want to run. Again it's a coarse revalve compared to fatcat but works as a less expensive option.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:36 PM   #11
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Bilsteins are **** unless you revalve them. OTS Koni Sports will do 425/300 just fine.

It sucks you aren't willing to drop real cash on a GOOD suspension. A used Tein Flex setup or a set of Koni 8012 RACE shocks are SO much better than the Illuminas or Sports or similar.
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
It sucks you aren't willing to drop real cash on a GOOD suspension. A used Tein Flex setup or a set of Koni 8012 RACE shocks are SO much better than the Illuminas or Sports or similar.
Or, maybe, it's like I said and I don't actually have the 1K plus laying around right now to drop on Tein Flex's. The body is willing, the pocketbook is not able.

But yeah, I could do much better than what I'm inquiring about with more money. If my current set-up can last another few months, I just might have the funds. In the meantime, I'll plan for what I can do currently and take your advice by keeping my eyes open for a good set of used shocks.

Since you brought up Koni 8012s, do you have more info on them or a link to more info? Would they work with my GC set-up if I'm lucky enough to find a used set?
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:45 AM   #13
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I have bilsteins w/ 450/375 GC's. They are rough on the street but not bad on the track. If you don't care about competing with your friends at the track, then I say don't hesitate to go the same route I did, however its rough on the street with my spring rates.

I'm planning on doing something much more extreme in the near future with remote tanks.
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:29 PM   #14
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Thanks for the input gents.

I haven't been able to find much of anything confirming whether or not my KYB GC sleeves would fit Illuminas or Bilsteins, or where I could get replacement sleeves for Illuminas for a decent budget set-up if they don't. That would mean replacing the entire GC set-up if they don't.

So, that puts me back to the orginal plan of dropping in Koni yellows, tophats, and bumpstops. The ride couldn't be worse than the KYBs. I would love to ride in a car with a simliar set-up to see how much better it is.

Koni RACE shocks go for over 1K a set, which puts me in the range of a new set-up from FatCat, which puts me in the range of Tein Flexs if I save my pennies.

Decisions, decisions.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-25-2009, 07:41 PM   #15
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Sorry, 8041 = RACE. 8012 = Sport.

You could always have the Sports revalved to RACE specs later on. Keep your 425/300 rates for now, and then when you revalve move the 425s to the back and pick up a set of 650-700s for the front.
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Old 01-25-2009, 08:48 PM   #16
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Hmm, never would have thought of that.

<----

I think I'm good to go with a starting point.

Thanks!

Mostly because....

Quote:
I know the Konis are slimmer than the Illuminas, I'm not sure how the Illuminas compare to KYB. I would call FM on that one, they can surely tell you.
FM was one of the first places I called regarding the Illuminas. They said a definitive nope to the KYB GC fitment on Illuminas. I was just hoping to confirm this. I think the ability to revalve the Konis and definitely being able to either use my current sleeves, or replace just the sleeves, pretty much seals the budget route deal.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
Sorry, 8041 = RACE. 8012 = Sport.

You could always have the Sports revalved to RACE specs later on. Keep your 425/300 rates for now, and then when you revalve move the 425s to the back and pick up a set of 650-700s for the front.

are the sports and race shocks physically different or is it just the valving? If the latter, buying sports and getting them revalved to race specs would be the ticket for me.

Will there be a difference between OTS race shocks and revalved sports?
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:43 AM   #18
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According to the Good-Win site, the RACE shocks are an inch shorter.

Mazda Performance Parts: NEW KONI RACE shocks 90-97 Front
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:18 AM   #19
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Quote:
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are the sports and race shocks physically different or is it just the valving? If the latter, buying sports and getting them revalved to race specs would be the ticket for me.

Will there be a difference between OTS race shocks and revalved sports?
They are physically different, a little. Koni's site says the fronts are 25mm shorter and the rears are 10mm shorter. There is also a fourth circlip groove about 1" below the standard 3 that come on a Sport shock. Koni should be able to revalve a set of Sports to RACE specs with no issues; the only things you won't have are the shorter bodies (just use ISC/FM mounts or NB tophats if you aren't slammed) and the lowest shock perch (don't really need it).

After the cost of used Sports and a revalve, you break even with buying a set of new Races. If you have the Sports already, you're better off revalving.
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:04 PM   #20
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Yeah, I checked into it. It's slightly more cost effective to just get the RACE shocks if you're buying into a new set-up and you really want the more aggressive valving. If you need to go with the new tophats as well, you might as well get the RACE shocks and save a couple hundred dollars.

The service tech did confirm that the yellows should work fine with my spring rates.

Out of curiosity, how does the Koni full bodied coilover set-up compare to either the yellows or RACE with GC coilovers? I've seen a couple of sets now going for significantly less that retail.
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