BSP suspension ideas

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BSP suspension ideas

Post  Rotorglow on Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:50 pm

I'm upgrading my suspension this year, one way or another, and am collecting advice:

(As some of you know, I have stock MSM springs and dampers, FM sways, 15" Direzzas, and quite a bit more power than skill. Car is a daily driver, more or less, though I now have a winter junker to take on some of the everyday load. )

Current thinking:
  • Custom non-adjustable from FCM (550/375). Price-jump to $1700 (!) but height-adjustable.
  • FM springs/Tokico Illuminas: $800 (5-click adjustable damping, but fixed height)
  • AFCOs (because if you're going to spend $1700, you might as well spend $2K and get some knobs to twiddle??)


Not currently on the list:

  • The new adjustable VMaxxes are cheap and intriguing but nobody's driven on them yet, and I'm reluctant to be a guinea pig.
  • The new adjustable FCMs look amazing, but are out of my range.
  • I'm shying away from Xidas because I've been reading some reports of the springs wandering and mangling the top hats


Thoughts? Go!
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Re: BSP suspension ideas

Post  mike.s on Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:51 pm

Let me say this. When I had Teins with 405/280 springs my NB was not a pleasant car on the street. By any stretch of imagination. So before you go with any real coilovers, make a decision on whether you will be able to live with this suspension on the street, especially in Cambridge and Boston.

Having said that, I'd be looking at Teins and JICs as two very distinct and reasonably priced possibilities.

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Re: BSP suspension ideas

Post  Bill B. on Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:06 pm

Springs don't dictate the ride. Shock valving does. Crappy shocks crappy ride. You can take my car for ride. 700lb front and 400lb rear and it rides great. What made it ride not so nice was the race seat. No padding in the seat transmits a lot of vibration.
That being said I would NOT give Fatcat my money ever again. I have used Bilstein in the past to revalve bilstein shocks and they were did just fine. Imagine that, Bilstein valving their own shocks. They only charge $65 per shock too.

I would not spend the kind of money that Fatcat wants on something that I could not adjust. I've owned his non adjustable and his adjustables. Great guy with lots of knowledge. I just think he's way overpriced.
You can make your own coilover setup for around $1200
Koni Sports $600
Ground Control coilover kit $400
Fatcat bumpstops $80
ISC rear top hats $82
Best of all, you can adjust the shocks to softer for your ride home from the auto-x.

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Re: BSP suspension ideas

Post  Rotorglow on Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:13 pm

Thanks for the advice. $1700 for no adjustability seemed pretty steep to me too, but there sure are a lot of people who say they're the best thing since sliced bread. There's a 60 day guarantee, so in a sense there's no danger in trying them out, but...

I'll look at the Teins again, and rounding up a kit to build myself. But in the meantime I'm leaning toward the Tokicos. For now.....
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Re: BSP suspension ideas

Post  Bill B. on Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:36 pm

I think a good future proof solution would be Koni sports and Flyin' Miata springs. If you want to change to a stiffer setup you just need to buy the ground control setup Wink
The Koni's will last waaay longer than the Tokico's and have more range of adjustment. I would be willing to bet that you get bored with the car itself before the urge to change out the FM springs/Koni setup.

Remember, I might know someone that would help you install this stuff too Very Happy

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Re: BSP suspension ideas

Post  red61 on Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:52 am

I hadn't heard of the Ground Control coilover conversion kit... thanks for bringing it up. If you do decide to go that route now or in the future, there are some helpful reviews (including things to look out for during installation) here on Miata.net . A lot of the comments seem to mention pairing it with the adjustable KYB AGX, which I have along with the Flyin Miata springs (318 lb/in front and 233 lb/in rear) and stiffer anti-sway bars. I would totally defer to Bill's experience as I'm sure he has tried more set ups and is more knowledgeable but, for what it's worth, I've found the KYB AGXs very good on both stiffer and softer rates... it does help to be able to crank them down for driving around town. Mine have 8 different positions, but I think on more modern Miatas, they are only 4 positions to choose from. Not the most aggressive set-up, but it works on both track and street and KYBs are less expensive and easier to adjust than the Konis. That said, when I replace them, I may try the Konis next.



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Re: BSP suspension ideas

Post  Rotorglow on Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:59 pm

I really like the idea of future-proof, because obviously I don't want to be this slow forever....

I've been interested in the Ground Control kit for a while, because I figured I wanted to be able to tweak ride height; a friend with an even more outrageous MSM (who'll be joining us this season) has the FM springs with Tokicos, and at first they seemed pretty low to me for everyday street use. But Keith has said a number of times that the GC springs can go loose at full droop. (At least the 425/300s they sell for the Tokicos; I guess I'm not sure about the 375/250s they sell for the Konis.) Then again, I'm thinking that's prolly more of a problem on a track or in Newfoundland than at Devens. So....hmm.

At 300(ish)/230, the FM springs are already pretty stiff compared to the stock MSM springs, which are maybe 230/160, so maybe they're a good starting point.

I also read good stuff about the AGXs, and it'd be nice not to have pull my trunk liner aside to adjust them.

These are the Konis we're talking about, right? http://www.good-win-racing.com/Mazda-Performance-Part/20-1105.html And would I need/want them revalved for the FM springs right away, or only for something stiffer? And by whom?

Which of the many FCM bumpstops?

Bill, I'm glad you brought up installation, so I didn't have to.... You'll be among the first to know when I've pulled the trigger, and not just when I pull up in your driveway, I promise.
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Re: BSP suspension ideas

Post  Bill B. on Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:34 am

Yeah the only time your car will see full droop is when you jack it up to work on it Very Happy

Those are the correct Koni's and they do NOT need to be revlaved unless you go over 550lb spring rate cheers

The bumpstops depend on your final decision of shocks and springs.

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Re: BSP suspension ideas

Post  moerdogg on Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:45 pm

I hear Bill likes Natty Ice

Just so I'm not needlessly trolling, I put FM springs on last year and found they worked very well. I'm riding Bilstein HDs. Doesn't sound like you are considering those, but I found the NA versions to be pretty stiff, will probably send them off for re-valve at some point. The NB versions I have heard are valved better (but might still benefit from some tuning). And ignore Bill's advice at your own peril! I bought the HDs with too little research, a more-economic choice would have been the Konis.
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Re: BSP suspension ideas

Post  Bill B. on Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:25 am

I know of a set of NB Bilstein shocks for sale $200. Send them out to get revalved to the FM springs.
Cheapest solution yet Wink

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Re: BSP suspension ideas

Post  Rotorglow on Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:41 pm

I'm inching closer to Konis. Tire Rack has a sale through May (though I don't want to wait quite that long; I might be able to hold off till I can get a ride in your car, at the latest....)
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Re: BSP suspension ideas

Post  bdguenthner on Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:38 am

Chris - I have the Bilstein HDs and FM springs on my 99. The springs are fine but the HDs are definetly rough for most roads. I have had the konis on my RX8 and loved them, both in ride and handling (granted stock suspension). I think matched with the FM springs would be a good starting point for you. Until there is some feedback on FM's new XXtremes.

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Re: BSP suspension ideas

Post  Rotorglow on Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:49 pm

Indeed! I'm 99% sure I'm going with Konis and the FM springs. I'll place the orders as soon as I do my taxes, just to make sure there're no ugly surprises.

So.....The easy part is done. I'm looking forward to the difficult, "learning to drive" part.
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