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Time to break out the wallet for new coilovers- Feal 441 Race"custom", or Xida Race..

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Time to break out the wallet for new coilovers- Feal 441 Race"custom", or Xida Race..

 
Old 02-18-2019, 08:46 PM
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Default Time to break out the wallet for new coilovers- Feal 441 Race"custom", or Xida Race..

So it's time to Upgreyedd the springy things under the MSM. Long story short, after all the years I had with the GWR 'race valved' Ohlins DFVs (12k/8k), I think I got a little spoiled, I loved them....even driving most of the time with the dampening cranked up to full stiff. However, $2900+ isn't in the budget....and probably won'y be for a very long time. The MSM got an aftermarket upgrade from one of the Big Name companies several years ago. This was done knowing that what was going on wasn't "the best", but is far from a lot of the junk out there, as the car wasn't being driven very hard or anything like that. Now that I own the car, I can out-drive the suspension very quickly....it's simply too soft....the front springs are barely 50in/lb heavier than the rears of the DFVs.

The Feal 441+ Road Race looks to fit the balance of price point and performance. Think I'm about to pull the trigger and order them with 14k/8k springs. Any solid reasoning I should consider anything else? Others seem to add extra cost for extended tophats, or helper springs, or other small upgrades that seem standard on the 441+s.

FWIW- I'm happy with the car's ride height of 4.25"f/4.75"r and plan on keeping it there.

Last edited by Doppelgänger; 02-19-2019 at 07:41 AM. Reason: Added option to title.
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:53 PM
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I rode in your car with the Ohlins.

Xidas are better. Custom valved Bilsteins are better.

I don't have much DPE with the 441s, but i trust Odi to put out a good product.
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:54 PM
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I would also consider revalved billies from Two-Six/Whitener and of course...... Xidas. I've driven a handful of cars on Whitener billies and was impressed. Maybe hawk the ads for a gently used set of Xidas to get the price-point closer?
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:37 PM
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Think I forgot to mention I'm looking at the "Custom Valved/Road Race" version of the 441+, not the regular ones. I'm not expecting to have what I had with the Ohlins either, but a decent compromise that won't bottom out the front suspension (or the rears....which I did experience a number of times on the Ohlins).The Xida Race and the 441+ Custom have such different setups. Like the Ohlins, the 441s don't require helper springs, and come with extended/all tophats. I also don't really have any pans for doing autoX or running slicks.....maybe a track day or something to say I've been to CMP or AMP on street tires.....but definitely not going to be a regular at the track. The mountains are a different story....
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:47 PM
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While you might not expect to have what you had with the Ohlins, i would not be shocked (ayyyyyyyy) if they were better.

The "custom" valved 441s put you not far from Xidas territory, but if you're really stretching budget and will not be able to allot further even over the course of months later, then i get it.

Xidas don't "require" helper springs either. Nor do they require top hats.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
While you might not expect to have what you had with the Ohlins, i would not be shocked (ayyyyyyyy) if they were better.

The "custom" valved 441s put you not far from Xidas territory, but if you're really stretching budget and will not be able to allot further even over the course of months later, then i get it.

Xidas don't "require" helper springs either. Nor do they require top hats.
Yeah, I see that. Keeping my tophats put the Xida Race at $250 more. Sure, I could opt-out of the helper springs, and actually drop lower than the 441+s.....but Emilio seems pretty set on needing them/how beneficial they are.

You are one of the very few people who have experienced my style of driving....you think I'd really notice the difference? Utilize the extra headroom/features of one over the other?

In a perfect world, I'd get to drive cars on either suspension to know which feels "right".

Last edited by Doppelgänger; 02-18-2019 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:27 AM
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I would go with custom bilsteins or something similar which can be rebuild. I have seen Feal's i would say there is nothing fancy in valving. They do not have lov speed separation etc.
Bilsteins can be optimized much better.
Feal has 44mm valving so only Feal can revalve them later.
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Doppelgänger View Post
Yeah, I see that. Keeping my tophats put the Xida Race at $250 more. Sure, I could opt-out of the helper springs, and actually drop lower than the 441+s.....but Emilio seems pretty set on needing them/how beneficial they are.

You are one of the very few people who have experienced my style of driving....you think I'd really notice the difference? Utilize the extra headroom/features of one over the other?

In a perfect world, I'd get to drive cars on either suspension to know which feels "right".
I'm not sure what headroom/features means in this scenario. Presumably you'd order the same spring rate in either setup, so it's really about which one fits your budget and which one might be a better shock. For what you're looking to do, i know Xidas are good, i know my Bilstein setup is just as good, but i'm not going to be able to say if the 441s are as good/worse/better because i haven't driven on them out there. But i do know Odi ain't no fool, and if/when i get an NC or MR-S, that's where i'm going for coilovers.
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:56 AM
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Needing the helper springs has everything to do with spring rate VS suspension travel. If you are running the same spring rates on both shocks, the helpers will help, since high spring rates mean very little sprung droop travel.
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:20 AM
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I have a set of Feal-442's that I got from Ryan Passley. Custom valved, he had to go back and add in helper springs. On my YCW suspension without helper springs I got lots of bounce and was not happy without the helpers.

No matter what suspension you get, I think helpers are needed.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
I'm not sure what headroom/features means in this scenario. Presumably you'd order the same spring rate in either setup, so it's really about which one fits your budget and which one might be a better shock. For what you're looking to do, i know Xidas are good, i know my Bilstein setup is just as good, but i'm not going to be able to say if the 441s are as good/worse/better because i haven't driven on them out there. But i do know Odi ain't no fool, and if/when i get an NC or MR-S, that's where i'm going for coilovers.
Example being how one uses extended tophats, and the other uses helper springs. Wondering why either company went with the design they did and what the advantages/disadvantages are. Like, will running springs of 12-14k front and 8 or 9k rear be a high enough rate (coupled with bigger sways) that droop on the inside isn't going to be much, if any, of a problem...meaning the helper springs not really being utilized.......or having the extended tophats allowing enough compression travel that the helper springs would then come into play with the higher spring rates. Am I really going to notice or be taking full advantage of the features of the setup I decide on. That make some sense? I'm not always the best with descriptive words lol

Originally Posted by x_25 View Post
Needing the helper springs has everything to do with spring rate VS suspension travel. If you are running the same spring rates on both shocks, the helpers will help, since high spring rates mean very little sprung droop travel.
...and this is where I'm understanding, but not at the same time. The Ohlins didn't have helpers, but they also did occasionally (under just the right circumstances) did bottom out...on large bumps at high speeds in a straight line. Let's say I still had them, and decided to add extended tophats to the rears, would I then need to add helpers because of the increased travel? (But given the original design of them didn't have either, it makes me wonder would adding them potentially cause other issues).

Originally Posted by shuiend View Post
I have a set of Feal-442's that I got from Ryan Passley. Custom valved, he had to go back and add in helper springs. On my YCW suspension without helper springs I got lots of bounce and was not happy without the helpers.

No matter what suspension you get, I think helpers are needed.
...and this circles me back around to the thought of "if all this fine tuning went into them, why would they not be deemed needed by one company, and needed by another?

Originally Posted by imperialgolem View Post
I would go with custom bilsteins or something similar which can be rebuild. I have seen Feal's i would say there is nothing fancy in valving. They do not have lov speed separation etc.
Bilsteins can be optimized much better.
Feal has 44mm valving so only Feal can revalve them later.
I'm definitely after having adjustable dampening. With that said, I've never looked into having something "normal" taken and customized and what can be done/added in. My dumb brain thinks on the lines of doing something like taking stock MSM Bilsteins and having them valved for X spring rate....but I wouldn't have the choice of changing dampening when needed or wanting to. I'll admit that I could well be under the wrong impression of such setups.

Ryan's promotion, and GWR's support, of the Feals makes them a logical contender at the price point I'm willing to spend.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:09 PM
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You're lumping together some stuff that doesn't go together.

Helpers don't have anything to do with bottoming out. They don't have anything to do with increasing travel.

Hats increase availabletravel IF that was a limiting factor to begin with. Remember, in a Miata, upward travel is USUALLY limited by tire on body. Not shocks. Except in the case of Ohlins, which are too short and crappy in the rear.

Near as i can tell, and i'm sure tons of people will be more than happy to tell me i'm wrong, the Xidas on my car have helper springs for really only 2 reasons: 1) to achieve acceptable ride heights (full compressed stack height acts as a ~1" spacer) and 2) keep the main spring seated, which plain old isn't a concern for any scenario other than putting the car on and off jack stands.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:17 PM
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Helper springs have nothing to do with comression travel. You are thinking the wrong direction. Extended top hats also have nothing to do with the springs, just where the shock body bottoms out. If the shock bottoms before anything else, you are loosing valuable bump travel.

The point of non zero rate helpers springs (most coilovers that have them, they are only like 5lb/in and are just to keep the spring going loose, this is not the case on Xida which have ones that are around 150lb/in if I remember the rate correctly) is to increase sprun droop travle.

Lets say you have a 14kg/mm front spring. This is ~785lb/in and with the ~0.7 motion ratio on a miat, this gives a wheel rate of 550lb/in. Lets assume you have a light car and that your front left wheel has 550lb static load on it when the car is sitting. (All numbers chosen to make this easy). That means the wheel is compressing up 1" when sitting still. (This is 0.7" at the spring).

Now, making a hard left hand corner, the weight starts to come off the inside wheel. You only have 1" of droop before the spring stops providing any downward force. Lets say you are using up 0.75" of that in steady state cornering, and that now there is a pot hole or something that is 0.5" deep. Suddenly, that tire went from providing some grip, to none, as the spring just stops putting any force down on it. But with a helper, you would have plenty of droop travel left.

This works the same for when you accelerating, braking, turning, or even for big dips in a strait line. The helper ensures you don't run out of spring to keep the tire pushed down on the road in big droop events.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post

Near as i can tell, and i'm sure tons of people will be more than happy to tell me i'm wrong, the Xidas on my car have helper springs for really only 2 reasons: 1) to achieve acceptable ride heights (full compressed stack height acts as a ~1" spacer) and 2) keep the main spring seated, which plain old isn't a concern for any scenario other than putting the car on and off jack stands.
The helpers on the Xidas are not zero rate helpers like on most coilover setups and actually do help increase useful droop travel when using high rate springs.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:20 PM
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by x_25 View Post
The helpers on the Xidas are not zero rate helpers like on most coilover setups and actually do help increase useful droop travel when using high rate springs.
Sorry, i should have said tenders. Either way, i'm familiar with the difference. I have 25lb springs on my Bilstein setup. Functionally over shitty roads or weird mid-corner humps/jumps/dumps/bumps/yumps/like a chump heyyyyyy like a chump heyyyyyyy like a chump heyyyyy there is no noticeable difference between the two setups.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
You're lumping together some stuff that doesn't go together.

Helpers don't have anything to do with bottoming out. They don't have anything to do with increasing travel.

Hats increase availabletravel IF that was a limiting factor to begin with. Remember, in a Miata, upward travel is USUALLY limited by tire on body. Not shocks. Except in the case of Ohlins, which are too short and crappy in the rear.

Near as i can tell, and i'm sure tons of people will be more than happy to tell me i'm wrong, the Xidas on my car have helper springs for really only 2 reasons: 1) to achieve acceptable ride heights (full compressed stack height acts as a ~1" spacer) and 2) keep the main spring seated, which plain old isn't a concern for any scenario other than putting the car on and off jack stands.
...and this is why I am asking lol. To learn more...again. I understand the droop/unseating potential, and I do get under the car a good bit. So what that makes me imply is that something like the 441s w/extended hats means the stroke is short and would bottom out long before the tire bottoms out....and that shorter stroke is why it can get away with running a single spring with no helper. The Xidas being the other way around. I do much better learning things visually compared to reading/explaining....because my mind tends to overthink **** too quickly and forget where I started or where I'm trying to go lol. Hooray for epilepsy.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:27 PM
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OK, I actually have to get back to doing some work......

x_25 and Aidan - will reply when I get a moment. But I did read that post last night....what is adding to my retarded thought processing lol
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:28 PM
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Re:tender springs: Depending on if you want or need any preload (probably 0 is optimal), you are comparing two poece height independently adjustable coils to one way adjustable height perch coils. One needs a tender to avoid unseating at droop, the other does not because ride height is set independently and the spring never come unseated.

Non zero rate helpers serve an entirely different purpose which is likely beyond the scope of this discussion.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:39 PM
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The multipiece cartridge designs are all missing a lot of rear stroke compared to a fixed length shock. That is a problem across the board. The lower cup stack height, the air gap between the lower cup and damper cartridge, and the height of the lower control arm mounting "foot" on the lower mounting cup all take from available rear stroke. That is an inherent flaw with all multipiece shocks.

Xida Race have more bump travel available than anything on your list. This is a very unique and specific design criteria of the Xida Race. This allows them to ride better, while lower, than anything on your list, as well as absorb curb hits on track better, while lower. A custom diy billy setup can mimic this with extended top hats and custom upper hardware and bump stops and know-how and trickery, but Xida are a click away.

The usable range of rear ride height on the Ohlins specifically is very narrow, and fairly well documented across the forums. They need to be up high to not bottom, but they are very short stroke so they also top out easily if too high. Ohlins makes a great damper, but the multipiece design of the coilover as whole really handicaps them, and all of the multipiece variants for this chassis application. We've gotten pretty specific about the workable height ranges now that we have Xida Race and Xida XL variants.

On Xidas, the helper spring is there primarily for droop travel when the main spring rate is high enough to prevent much static compression of the springs, which is very often when talking about 500+lb main rates. If your car is heavy, main springs soft, and/or you're not very low, then you might have the helpers at block height most of the time. Most streetcars are like this. Meanwhile, ALL of our race cars have the front helpers and mains in negative preload at full droop. This means that the vast majority of track/race cars see a major benefit from helpers. There could be a graph made to show a range of corner weights, ride heights and spring rates that end up with helpers in block, but aint nobody got time for that. Helpers are beneficial in numerous ways. If your springs are loose at droop on jackstands, then your springs are loose crossing railroad tracks, manhole covers, freeway expansions, racetrack curbs, etc.. Loose springs means no spring force keeping your tire in contact with the ground. There is a ride quality component and a performance component.

Last edited by doward; 02-19-2019 at 02:08 PM.
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