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Old 12-14-2015, 10:27 AM   #1
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Default XIDA Gen2 700/400 Coilover Review

I've owned my MSM for a little over 6 years, during which time I've had a few setups. Obviously, most of us MSM guys started on the stock Billies and MSM springs. The first route I chose were the FM springs, which did not give me the ride height I wanted, but performed impressively. The second setup was a set of Raceland (laugh it up) Coilovers, which gave the height I wanted, but left performance to be desired. When a friend started working at a speed shop, he gave me a deal on a set of Tein FLEX 7kg/6kg Coilovers, which were a decent blend of both. I lived with this mentality for 3 years, but when I got the tuning done and doubled the stock power, I started looking at higher end setups like the Fat Cat Motorsports, FOX, AFCO (which are no longer around), and the XIDA. After a several month long mental struggle, the recent price drop on the XIDA coilovers sealed the deal. Let me tell you, they are a no compromise solution to both ride quality AND performance, and in the words of Donald Trump: "They made my Miata great again!"

The spring rates I went with are the 700/400, so to compare it to my TEINs fairly, here's a breakdown in lb/in for both

TEIN - 392/336
XIDA - 700/400
Ride height for both 4.25"f/4.5"r pinch weld to ground

Product Link - Xida coilovers Miata

What I found with the TEINs with their 32 points of adjustment, was that they were underdamped at low settings, but too stiff in the higher settings, and I did not find a medium ground that suited both. Now, this is to be expected with coilovers in the $900 range (though they were 1300 when I got them), and I am to blame for getting the 7/6 setup, which in retrospect is not the correct balance for our cars, but the dampers are what they are. I don't get to the track really, so most of my fun driving is on windy country roads, which are not paved as ideally as a track is. On lower settings, the TEINs were just too soft, and produced a lot of body roll. On higher settings, going over these bumps in the turns would make the car jump and shift over a few inches to the outside of the corner, and since I'm not doing rally racing, airtime was not what I wanted.

Fast forward to the XIDAs which have 20 points of adjustment. When I initially put them in, I left the shop at a setting of 3 front 2 rear. I have to say, I had the most comfortable ride home, with ride qualities resembling a luxurious BMW, and handling properties reminding me of the old FM Spring setup on the Bilsteins. I couldn't go home, I had to see what else these could do! I set the dampers to 8 front and 6 rear and drove further, now feeling a firmer ride, still with a very German solid feel, less roll when doing quick swerve manuevers, not a note of harshness. I upped the ante again, 12 front, 10 rear, and this is where I have left them since. Ride qualities are still incredible, the steering response is nuts, and grip even in yesterday's 60 degree weather during a night cruise did not make me feel like I was out on slicks, inspiring tons of confidence.

A friend who does tons of racing in his NA FM2 Miata with aero, who runs TEIN MonoFLEX 10kg/8kg (that's 560/448in/lb) did my alignment on the car and was very impressed with how they performed, though being a good friend he did not push my car. Last night I decided to take him out, and took him over a local bridge that has absolutely horrid joints. We went over the joint at 30mph, feeling little discomfort, and my friend telling me how his TEINs would break his spine every time going over the same bridge. Taking corners, the car felt absolutely composed, soaking up all of the imperfections in the road, responding crisply to sharp inputs, and my favorite test, the "last second pothole swerve", was just beastly. An hour later, we took the same bridge home at 40mph, again, incomparable to the TEIN setup I grew to like over the last 3 years.

I will update this with track impressions when I get out there in the spring, but WOW is the quickest way I can think of to describe this setup. Despite the stiffer spring rates, the ride quality seems to have done a complete 180* turn, while the handling properties seem to have exponentially improved as well. I think this is particularly due to the Tractive dampers which seem to soak up almost any road imperfections, and taking the bumpy kind of turns I encounter almost effortlessly, with only the deepest potholes causing any trouble. I know these are a $2,000 setup and not in everyone's budget. I know that suspension alone will not improve lap times, and I am fully capable of admitting that my buddy with his TEIN setup and 100whp less than myself, will still run laps around me on the track. However, if you're on the fence about buying this setup, it's all people say it is and more. For the 2 weeks I was waiting for this setup to ship, I was creating expectations in my head, and when I got the coilovers, for some reason, I did not think my expectations would be met. I'm happy to say that my expectations have been XIDA'd (hahaha), and it is yet another product from 949Racing that is a staple in the Miata community.
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:37 AM   #2
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I want this now
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:55 AM   #3
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Nice review.

One thing - can you define ride quality? does it mean ride comfort?
Cause ride comfort between xida and fm/tokico and fatcat billies has been identical each and every time I've compared. Emilio and Sav both told me it's some heavenly experience which will spoil all others for me, I disagree, and drove all 3 back to back to prove it to myself. Got gen2 xidas in my back yard right now actually.

The performance part of it though, is just as good as everyone says it is. A newb driver like me definitely wouldn't find their limit any time soon
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
Nice review.

One thing - can you define ride quality? does it mean ride comfort?
Cause ride comfort between xida and fm/tokico and fatcat billies has been identical each and every time I've compared. Emilio and Sav both told me it's some heavenly experience which will spoil all others for me, I disagree, and drove all 3 back to back to prove it to myself. Got gen2 xidas in my back yard right now actually.

The performance part of it though, is just as good as everyone says it is. A newb driver like me definitely wouldn't find their limit any time soon
Ride quality does mean ride comfort, but also how the suspension can move at the intermediate damping settings and soak up the bumps in the road while still being stiff enough to maintain low body roll under hard cornering. This makes both cruising and "cruising" a pleasurable experience. I can go much faster through certain sections of road than I could before because the bumps don't disturb the balance of the car. The TEINs in the middle of the adjustment range were too soft (again, spring rates play into this), but the same bumps would jarr the car and you could feel the jump over bumps. A good comparison would be that the TEINs were stiff, whereas these are firm, if that makes sense.

I never had the FM springs on Tokicos, but that setup lacks the adjustability of the XIDA. The FCM I hear have great ride qualities, but they are damped more to a specific spring, making future upgrades a bit harder to do without re-valving, and also use heavy and older tech Bilstein shocks. How this translates to lap times I don't know, but I think the FCMs I priced out were more expensive than the XIDAs, and for me, getting in touch with FCM has been difficult. One other thing is that Emilio emailed back and forth with me for no charge helping me nail down the spring rates for my car. FCM charges consultation fees which you lose if you ultimately go somewhere else.

I think the difference is more apparent when you compare them to budget coilovers like the BC, Stance, Megan, some TEIN stuff, etc. Once you get into the higher priced stuff, we're probably talking about marginal differences. I have always been impressed at the performance of a good coil/shock setup compared to coilovers, you can get very good results for less money if you fore-go the adjustability.
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Old 12-14-2015, 12:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
Got gen2 xidas in my back yard right now actually.
Send them to me, I'll give you a review on ride quality.My take is this: from what everyone hase said I was expecting stock like ride comfort. It's not that. It's stiff, but not harsh. Like a really hard pillow.
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Old 12-14-2015, 12:49 PM   #6
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Yep, agreed on that
The tokico seems to be the closest to "stock-like soft" in that regard. But Most don't care about comfort so most don't care.
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
Yep, agreed on that
The tokico seems to be the closest to "stock-like soft" in that regard. But Most don't care about comfort so most don't care.
There is sports car comfort and luxury comfort. You will never have an 70s cadilac boat comfy suspension with stuff springs. I bet xidas with some stock stiffness springs would be heavenly.

I'll still take those xidas and give you a better review. I have a lifted wrangler and a lifted 72 f100 to compare to.
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:40 PM   #8
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haha

overdamped/undersprung won't be heavenly. Have you driven an 04-07 sti? bleh
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:45 PM   #9
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Fine, showas and cut springs for you. Gimme the xidas anyways, you don't need em
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:50 PM   #10
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Fine, showas and cut springs for you. Gimme the xidas anyways, you don't need em
AWWWWWWWWWWWWW

YISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

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Old 12-14-2015, 02:05 PM   #11
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I patiently await your package
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Old 12-14-2015, 04:46 PM   #12
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Bah! I am trying to save money! Stop! Xidas are a year or two out still. Have other things I need to do first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
haha

overdamped/undersprung won't be heavenly. Have you driven an 04-07 sti? bleh
Try an 09-14 Honda Fit. Under sprung, too much compression damping and not enough rebound. What a mess.
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Old 12-14-2015, 07:59 PM   #13
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Mazdaspeeder: nice rundown

I will say that the worst thing I've done in a while was ride in turbofan's NB with the XIDAs on public streets while he was down here for [email protected] Worst because now I really really want a set.
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Old 12-14-2015, 09:41 PM   #14
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Fast forward and xidas should never be in the same sentence.

Nice review. I also struggled with never finding the correct setting for tein flex on the street.
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Old 12-15-2015, 05:23 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by stratosteve View Post
Fast forward and xidas should never be in the same sentence.

Nice review. I also struggled with never finding the correct setting for tein flex on the street.
Same. I had edfc in the car and would play with the settings quite a bit searching for the golden settings.
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:33 PM   #16
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I will say: It's reviews like these that left me disappointed in the Xidas ride quality.

700/400 springs on my car. I run them full soft on the street, and it's acceptable but very firm. I've driven quite a few BMWs lately, and unless you're talking about an E46 M3 (which still rides better IMO) this doesn't feel anything luxurious like a BMW. It is a firm, race suspension. It's satisfactory for daily driving if you're OK with a very firm ride.

I think the magic of the street ride on the Xidas is that they're very firm, but never harsh. Big bumps don't do a damned thing, it's unbelievable. But don't buy them thinking they're going to ride smoother than stock shocks (another line I've seen regarding this setup). They DO offer MUCH better handling than stock shocks while still offering an acceptable ride, but my FCM billies were far more comfortable on the street (and floppy all over on the track).

No regrets here, after spending more time in the car. But for any reading who are thinking of buying these... they're still firm, yo. If you're building a daily, ride in a car with these on it before you buy them.
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Old 12-15-2015, 03:14 PM   #17
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THANK YOU!!!

I'm so glad people are finally starting to post up realistic reviews.
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Old 12-15-2015, 03:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by turbofan View Post
I will say: It's reviews like these that left me disappointed in the Xidas ride quality.

700/400 springs on my car. I run them full soft on the street, and it's acceptable but very firm. I've driven quite a few BMWs lately, and unless you're talking about an E46 M3 (which still rides better IMO) this doesn't feel anything luxurious like a BMW. It is a firm, race suspension. It's satisfactory for daily driving if you're OK with a very firm ride.

I think the magic of the street ride on the Xidas is that they're very firm, but never harsh. Big bumps don't do a damned thing, it's unbelievable. But don't buy them thinking they're going to ride smoother than stock shocks (another line I've seen regarding this setup). They DO offer MUCH better handling than stock shocks while still offering an acceptable ride, but my FCM billies were far more comfortable on the street (and floppy all over on the track).

No regrets here, after spending more time in the car. But for any reading who are thinking of buying these... they're still firm, yo. If you're building a daily, ride in a car with these on it before you buy them.
Perhaps we can chalk that up to a difference in preference. IMO, for 700/400 springs, they ride amazingly well, they are firm, but never harsh IMO. Emilio does recommend softer springs for a more comfort oriented setup.

"For a mostly daily driver that only sees occasional autocross or track use, 550/350 if using ultra high performance 205/50 street tires. If ride quality is priority number one, 450/300 rates. 450/300 will not be enough spring to run low ride heights with high grip tires. Either run above 5" front pinch weld or 300+ treadwear 205's for 450/300. LSx V8 conversions use the same guildelines. Small block Ford conversion, add 100# front and 50# rear to each recommendation. If you are still not sure, give us a call. We'll get the system matched exactly to your needs."
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Old 12-15-2015, 03:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbofan View Post
I will say: It's reviews like these that left me disappointed in the Xidas ride quality.

700/400 springs on my car. I run them full soft on the street, and it's acceptable but very firm. I've driven quite a few BMWs lately, and unless you're talking about an E46 M3 (which still rides better IMO) this doesn't feel anything luxurious like a BMW. It is a firm, race suspension. It's satisfactory for daily driving if you're OK with a very firm ride.

I think the magic of the street ride on the Xidas is that they're very firm, but never harsh. Big bumps don't do a damned thing, it's unbelievable. But don't buy them thinking they're going to ride smoother than stock shocks (another line I've seen regarding this setup). They DO offer MUCH better handling than stock shocks while still offering an acceptable ride, but my FCM billies were far more comfortable on the street (and floppy all over on the track).

No regrets here, after spending more time in the car. But for any reading who are thinking of buying these... they're still firm, yo. If you're building a daily, ride in a car with these on it before you buy them.
Don't forget to mention springs. Because that is a huge part of it. Run softer springs get softer ride.
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Old 12-15-2015, 03:20 PM   #20
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Right, I realize that. But your initial review said, and I quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mazdaspeeder
I have to say, I had the most comfortable ride home, with ride qualities resembling a luxurious BMW
That's a long ways different than what I experienced. YES, they do ride exceptionally well CONSIDERING the spring rates. YES, they do ride exceptionally well CONSIDERING their performance potential.

They don't ride ANYTHING LIKE a luxurious BMW. They DO have excellent damping characteristics that give the car a very solid feel. But something your review--and other similar reviews--leave out, is that these are still race shocks and race spring rates, and are still very firm. You won't be confusing it with a luxury car.

Unless their quality control totally blows and your shocks are completely different from mine (not likely).
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