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Old 06-06-2014, 04:42 AM   #1
squall leonhart
 
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coilovers vs. springs/shocks

Yeah, I did search, I swear. I'm sure this has been covered MULTIPLE times, and I apparently just suck at searching. So, I'm sorry.

My stock struts have 160k on them. At least, I'm guessing they do. I bought the car at 90k, with what I assume was on at the factory. I've wanted to replace them multiple times, but that's another story.

So I'm trying to decide whether to go with springs/shocks (probably KYB AGX with Tein S-Tech) ... or since I can get them for about the same price... Megan EZ Street Coilovers (or if I really stretch the budget, K-Sports).

My question isn't just about handling/looks...I get that coilovers offer more adjustability, which would be nice, but I don't go to the track, and haven't autocrossed to this point. Nor am I looking to slam my Celica. I doubt I'd go past 2" or so.

From the searching it seems that springs/shocks will be more comfortable. Is that typically the case? Obviously comfort isn't going to trump everything else, or I wouldn't be considering lowering at all, just curious. Because, as everyone claims "the roads in my area suck." (Though ironically when I bent my wheel and knocked the car out of alignment a few weeks ago it was by hitting a pothole in an area with much better roads. LOL)

Finally, and this is my MAIN question, I'm wondering how long I can expect coilovers to last. I know this depends on manufacturers/driving style, but say the Megan or K-Sport...is the lifespan likely to be dramatically worse/better compared to Tein springs/KYB shocks...or about the same if the drop is 2" or less?

Thanks, sorry for writing a book, on a subject which has likely been covered 1000 times on here.
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–2000 gt-s 6-speed manual–
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–1967 datsun 1600 roadster–
Project, Panasport wheels, Yokohama, KYB
–2013 scion fr-s–
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:25 AM   #2
2KGTS
 
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I went from stock to KYB AGX and Tein H-Techs (less drop than S-Techs) and could immediately tell I had a stiffer ride. Not bad, just stiffer.

Coils will DEFINITELY be a stiffer ride than shock/strut/springs. I don't care what anyone tells you. Be prepared for that. They may also be bouncy depending on what you get and how you can adjust them. If you want a 'nice' ride, don't do coils.

I don't know about life of coils. But I'd look into some that have a decent guarantee and rebuild policy/charge. I'd recommend BC Racing's BRs. But, again, it'll be stiff.

And if you're thinking S-Techs get opinions on whether that means you'll need new endlinks.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:41 AM   #3
02blueceli
 
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im in the same boat as you leonhart...

right now im trying to find out which are the better and more economical option for shocks. KYB AGX or the GR2's and does anybody know who offers them a good rate.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:17 AM   #4
Xtra Big Kahuna
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Coils are fully adjustable and that includes what springs/valving you get. What that means is if you are looking for a coilover with a comfortable/soft ride you can get that. Also being able to raise and lower them may be something you find helpful if you live somewhere with seasons.

The stock springs are somewhere around 200lbs/in if I recall correctly so something around a 4kg/mm spring would be about the same as the stock ride. The standard BC rates aren't too far off from stock at 6kg/mm and 5kg/mm.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:13 AM   #5
squall leonhart
 
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I wound up going with the Megan EZ Street coilovers. I haven't received them yet, as they were basically backordered.

In the end, after factoring in new shock mounts, springs, boots, etc. The cost, even using GR-2s was going to be pretty close to the Megans. (Which I got for $663 shipped.) And the coilovers aside from being adjustable, are ready to install, no renting a spring compressor, etc.

That being said, I think the best price I saw on AGX were at thmotorsports.com. It was either there or jmautosports.com (down in the vendor section).

There's not much info on our forum about Megans, but I've read almost nothing but good things about them. The guys on the alltrac.net board loved them, I've read good stuff on Miata boards, Nissan boards, Lexus boards, etc. So, I'm hoping for the best. Also, they have a relatively nice spring rate I think...a bit stiffer (and proportional F to R compared to stock), but not track stiff or anything. After I get them, and get some miles on them, I'll try to post my thoughts. Though I'm certainly not an expert.
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–2000 gt-s 6-speed manual–
APEXi intake, NGK spark, EBC slotted rotors & pads, FR-S shift knob, WW front lip, Beatrush underpanel, Kumho Ecsta AST, Megan coilovers
–1967 datsun 1600 roadster–
Project, Panasport wheels, Yokohama, KYB
–2013 scion fr-s–
Stock
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:54 AM   #6
squall leonhart
 
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I guess I never updated this. Sorry to anyone who may have been curious.

I installed them probably nearly August 2014. So I have almost a year on them now.

I will add a few disclaimers. 1) My brother & I did the installation, the first time either of us installed a suspension, let alone coilovers. 2) I still haven't had it aligned since installing, it's been a crazy 10 months. 3) I lowered the car (I think) about 1.25" 4) as far as I recall I just got the standard Megan EZ Street springrates, which I believe were about 2x the rate of stock both front & rear.

I found them to be a bit bouncy for awhile, which seems to have gotten a bit better as they have broken in, but they are still a little bouncy (especially on pavement with bad seams). I have tried going pretty hard & pretty soft and it doesn't seem to make much difference on bounciness.

I moved to Indiana about 4 months ago. There are tons of (rough) railroad crossings in my area. I have to slow down for a lot of them to around 25 mph or less, or it feels/sounds like I've broken the car. That's on the current setting which I believe is more on the "soft" side than the "hard" side (I don't remember how many clicks offhand).

There is noticeably less roll, and cornering is more confident. However, I don't do a lot of aggressive driving anymore, so ... for what it's worth, handling is improved. Of course, again...now in my area of Indiana...lots of straight level roads...not many curves to hug.

All things considered...since I haven't touched the ride height since installing...part of me wishes I'd just gone with springs/struts, as I think they probably would have ridden better and handled nearly as well. I was afraid this might be the case when I made the purchase...but with the price of the Megans being what it was compared to buying springs/struts...price & ease of installation was definitely a factor. I need to try to do more fine tuning & get an alignment though. And on decent roads with enough curves to make things interesting...they feel great. Had I known where I'd be moving, I may have just gone with lower mileage stock struts.

2KGTS - your info was pretty spot on I would say. Anyone trying to make this decision, read what he replied at the beginning of the thread, and think seriously about what you want/need.

Edit: After writing this, I decided that based on the roads here I may as well go full soft again and see how it felt. I was actually set to 12 clicks toward the total 15, but I put it on 15 and still noticed a difference. Bumps are less harsh, and while the cornering isn't quite as good - it's a good tradeoff for the roads here. Wish I'd bothered to change it sooner, just didn't think the difference between 12 & 15 would be noticeable to be honest. Now if I just didn't have to scrape my bumper every time I pull in my stupid huge curb entry driveway.
__________________

–2000 gt-s 6-speed manual–
APEXi intake, NGK spark, EBC slotted rotors & pads, FR-S shift knob, WW front lip, Beatrush underpanel, Kumho Ecsta AST, Megan coilovers
–1967 datsun 1600 roadster–
Project, Panasport wheels, Yokohama, KYB
–2013 scion fr-s–
Stock

Last edited by squall leonhart; 06-05-2015 at 07:13 AM.. Reason: Add info
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