Feal 441 Gravel Spec
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This is a discussion on Feal 441 Gravel Spec within the Suspension & Wheels forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I am going to get a set of Feal coilovers soon and am looking for some personal experience. I've been ...

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Feal 441 Gravel Spec

    I am going to get a set of Feal coilovers soon and am looking for some personal experience. I've been reading quite a bit about them, but haven't found any personal experience write ups on the gravel specs. I did talk to Odi briefly and they are what he recommended with an 8k/6k spring and custom valving.

    My goals are stock ride height in rear and 0.75" lower in front. Will be paired with Whiteline or Perrin 22mm f/r sways, all bushings replaced and Whiteline ALK, f/r strut tower bars and some chassis bracing. I will be DD my car (05 9-2x Aero) as well as 3-4 hill climb events in VT, an occasional HPDE, and auto x when I can. I am about to run stage 2, but am looking at a VF24 swap and torque preference tune next summer. Hoping to get around 275-290 ft/lbs.

    I am wondering if the gravel valving will work for me and just do readjustments when I have them rebuilt down the road, or should I go with the street valving? I live in Lake Placid NY in the summer and drive a lot of dirt roads. I live in SLC during the winter and drive up the canyons daily any weather. I do drive aggressively through the corners and don't mind a bit harsher ride as long as my kidneys don't start to bleed.

    Who has some personal experience with these coilovers?

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  3. #2
    Registered User SKI.WRX's Avatar
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    My good friend had a 2003 wagon on the 441 gravel spec coil-overs set to stock height and I got to drive it a decent amount while he had it. On the street they behave very nicely, my girlfriend commented that the car felt like it floated over bumps. On the dirt they control the car nicely and we found that they worked best with no sways. They keep the car very flat through turns even when pushing it, gravel or tarmac. We got the wheels off the ground quite a few times one day out at C.O.R.E. and they handled it well enough but they did bottom once or twice but the bump-stops do a good job of dampening the blow.

    I was up in Lake Placid area this last March USCSA Freestyle skiing National Championships and stayed about a half hour past Whiteface on some dirt roads. I drove our 13 passenger van to Whiteface then Lake Placid then back out to the farmhouse we had rented every day for 6 days and the gravel specs would be perfect for those roads.

    Have you considered the Feal re-valved STI struts with Swift springs? Would probably go longer between services especially driving on snowy dirty roads and a bit cheaper than the 441's. I have 04 STI struts with stock wagon springs on my 2002 wagon and love the control on dirt but the ride is a little harsher on the street than the 441's, probably due to less rebound damping. However, as soon as they develop the clunk I am going to put zerk fittings on and send them out to Feal for a gravel re-valve. Another nice thing about the STI struts is the inverted design essentially gives you a massive shaft that will take a good deal of punishment compared to a traditional damper.

  4. #3
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    Good to know that the gravels felt good on tarmac as well. However, when you say "floated over bumps", can you describe that more? I'm not looking for a floaty feeling otherwise I'd have a Cadillac. I want a firm ride that doesn't make my kidneys bleed on washboard roads or potholes since we have a lot of them here.

    I was originally looking into the Mann Engineering inverted struts. I completely understand the advantages of an inverted design, but there also some disadvantages; stiction, and more moving parts to break for instance. One day when I can get a car for event only I will get an inverted setup, but for now I want to keep it more DD friendly. As for the STi struts, I know that the revalve can do a lot for them, but the additional weight savings and ride height adjustability are of more interested to me. During auto x and HPDE events I want to be able to play with the ride height and find the sweet spot for my specific mods and then put it back to DD height for DD. If a bunch of people reply here and say these coilovers aren't what they had hoped for because of x, then I'll probably go back to saving the extra money for the Mann Engineering (though not the inverted yet). I have been in a car with them and they were very very close to what I'm looking for and have the ability to go to OEM height. Feal seems to be getting similar reviews on their street coils, but since they can't go OEM height I am looking into the gravel spec and trying to decide on valving options.

  5. #4
    Registered User SKI.WRX's Avatar
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    I meant that the spring rates and damping profile was properly matched to the car providing like described minimal body roll, predicable handling, and a non-jarring ride.

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