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I'm a little confused with suspension, I want to get coilovers I was thinking Tein HAs or RAs. My friend told me coilovers suck, he has koni yellows, skunk 2 adj coilovers on his Si. He says adjustable coilovers suck. I'm a little bit confused exactly on what a coilover is, what's the difference from buying springs or something else. If someone could give me a quick overview of suspension that would be great, I want the best handling for my car but not knock my teeth out when I hit a bump. Thanks.
 

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First of all, your friend is an idiot. Stop listening to him. Call him a dumbass.

technically, a 'coilover' suspension is just springs placed directly on the strut. (for an example of non-coilovers look at the rear suspension of a VW jetta or golf, the spring and strut are seperate) so stock WRX suspension is actually a coilover.
now back to common terms,
The 'coilovers' your friend talks about are threaded spring perches mated with regular aftermarket dampers. (same thing as ground controls) these are not usually an ideal setup, a lot of people run these because they are cheaper.
A "true" coilover setup is a single integrated unit (Teins, Cuscos) that (usually) have very high quality dampers and springs, and are engineered as a system. Often these setups have inverted struts (stiffer, lighter), aluminum strut bodies(lighter), and thicker diameters(stiffer). but there are low quality 'true coilover' setups out there too. *cough*hotbits*hack*apex*cough*

basically any suspension setup is only going to be as good as its components. A threaded coilover with high quality struts and properly setup for the car is going to be better than a low quality 'true' coilover not properly setup.
If you get the tein HA or RA, they are going to be much better than most threaded setups.
If you dont autoX or track your car, I would recommend the tein flex, that is more of a street setup.

(hope i didnt confuse you even more....)
Evan


(FYI if you didnt know strut=damper=shock -- all the same thing)
 

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if you're going to use the car hard make sure you go with a coilover with inverted strut design to increase the rigidity of the upright... Tein RA, JIC FLT-A2, Cusco Z2R just to name a few of the more popular ones.
 

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how adjustable are coilovers? do you need like some expensive computer laser thingy to get accurate adjustmetns or do you just use one of those wrenches to change the spring wts?
 

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Yes you can adjust height with the wrench. Most people do adjustments with that and a ruler. although to properly set up your suspension you will want to get it aligned (aka expensive laser thingy ;) ) and corner weighted at a quality race shop. A lot of people dont properly set up their suspensions, but set up makes a huge difference. Why pay $2k for you suspension setup but not pay $100 to make sure it is set up and working to maximum potential?
 

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Height adjustment is just one adjustment that can be had w/ coilovers, most of the high end also include damping adjustment- some even have seperate adjustments for bump and rebound. Damping adjustments can have profound (good or bad -depending on your adjustments) on the handling of your vehicle. In addition, coilovers are designed as a system ie the dampers are matched to the springs. They are (generally) also be rebuildable.

Many advantages to coilovers, definitely don't "suck".

Big Sky
 

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Most coilovers adjust in a variety of ways. One common problem is noise, so be aware of this. Not that they neccessarily make noise, but it is common. Just something to think about if little noises in your car make you nuts (as they do to some).

Just to clarify Elgorey's comments, most people think of damping when they say stiffness - the coilovers are adjustable this way. The stiffness he was talking about wat stiffness against the parts themselves flexing. Flexing causes binding, causes uneven suspension action, so this stiffness is a real improvement, and actually improves the ride at any particular dampinjg setting.

While the damping can be adjusted all you want, ideally for street use the thing to do is pick a height, then get a shop to corner-weight it and leave it like that. Every time you change the height, you'll need to get it re-weighed. The ruler isn't acurate enough to maintain the corner weights. The lowering is good for the CG, but the real magic comes with corner weighting. Just like how the big boys do it!
 

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Good advice, guys! And KnightWRXRider, you might want to get a new friend.;) Actually, just educate him on coilovers and then you're both wiser!
 

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Ok....

The Coilovers I bought are like number 1 and I am able to adjust the camber on them using the pillow ball mount. Correct me if I am wrong, but if you get an inverted style coil-over does that mean that you cannot have top mount camber adjusters? Also someone stated that you get more rigidity out of the inverted style, but i dont see how since the rod is attaching to the hub instead of the shock itself. Please clarify.


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Inverting the strut decreases unsprung weight. I don't see how it increases rigidity. An inverted strut may also limit the adjustability of strut tower mounted camber/caster plates, if they even fit at all.

We use Ground Control's Advanced Design double adjustable struts with their threaded spring perches and Eibach ERS linear springs along with their camber/castor plates.

Gary
Sheehan Motor Racing
www.teamSMR.com
 

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Gary might be right - this inverted thing started with motorcycle forks, which are attached to the bike at the top, and the whole thing levers on that. The inverted design puts the strongest part of the fork where the most force is - at the attachment point. But on a car they attach both top and bottom! In fact, it seems like they's be less stiff as the stiffest attachment point would seem to be the lower one - the top just kinda sticks up there!

Moderator - can't you do something about Gary's status? "Junior Member" just doesn't seem right!
 

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One pratical advantage of an inverted design is the ability to adjust damping from below the strut. Taking out the rear seat to adjust damping in the rear from daily driver ->autox->daily driver sounds like a major pain in the arse.

Glad to see you aboard Gary.

Big Sky
 
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