This used to be part of the suspension upgrade FAQ but now that we have more room at the top, giving it its own slot might not be a bad idea.
The first rule of the suspension forum is: Do not talk about S-techs.
The second rule of the suspension is: Do NOT TALK about S-TECHS
The third rule of the suspension forum is: please search
There have already been threads about whatever you are asking.
Rule 3a: Search wisely! If you are searching for "what is the best coilover", search with the word "coilover" and search in "titles only" and you can see similar threads. Most likely you could search with "best coilover" and "title only" and see a thread exactly like the one you were about to post
(except that 'best' is unfortunately an invalid keyword. rats!)
Rule 3b: if you did search, tell us what keywords you used so that we can help you pick better ones, or so that someone will know that there are no good results for those keywords.
Rule 3c: Read the sticky threads at the top of the forum! That's what they are there for. They have been developed based on the questions we see here, all the time. Chances are they can help you get your answer.
The fourth rule of the suspension forum is: Tell us what you are going to use the car for.
If you are asking for a product recommendation, no one can answer this question unless you tell us what you are going to use the car for. Things like "I just want the car to look slammed", "I do togue because it's what the JDM kids are doing", "I do 10 autocrosses a year and I want to crush all the Mini Coopers in STX", or "I do plenty of track days but also drive on city streets". You need to figure this out FIRST or no one will be able to give you helpful advice.
The fifth rule of the suspension forum is: Evaluate peoples' reviews critically. (Including mine!)
* People are biased. When you say "what is the best x" people are going to chime in saying that they like THEIR x. Duh. Most people who spend money on things are going to defend them and recommend them, even if deep down inside they think they suck. (I was like that about my JDM seats, for a little while, but in the end the damn things were just uncomfortable). No one likes admitting that they paid $1000 for something they are unhappy with.
* Most folks haven't experienced a lot of different setups. Even if someone does like their XYZ coilovers, their opinion is not very meaningful unless they have tried other similar setups. "I got Brand X sway bars and their great" doesn't mean much thing unless they have also tried Brand Y and Z who are in the same price range with similar features. NASIOC is awash with "my springs are great! i love them! my car handles like it's on rails!" posts. When in doubt - try to get firsthand experience. Go to meets and get rides in people's cars, that sort of thing. If all else fails, ask one of the people who specialize in suspension tuning who do this for a living and can give you a good recommendation. (And even then, remember that they may have an agenda.)
* There are a lot of variables when doing suspension/brake stuff. For instance, your poor ride quality may be from your really stiff tires, and not from your shocks. Experience helps you isolate these things. Just because someone does well on a set of coilovers doesn't necessarily mean the coilovers were the key - it could have been the stiff springs or the alignment or the camber plates or the new tires they just put on.
* A really profound post on this subject from Koni Lee. Read this! Read this twice!! And then again.
As with about anything in life, I am a firm believer that one should keep your eyes and ears open to any info that you are interested in and see what you can learn. If it works for you, great. Keep it and use it in your model, practices, etc. If it doesn't work for you, don't follow it but it wouldn't hurt to file it off in the background just in case later info might help clarify for you. If it just flat doesn't work for you then discard it. Don't put any one person on a mountaintop as the "all knowing" because the one thing you know for sure is that he doesn't know it all. He who proclaims the loudest to know it all is the likely one you should be concerned about or at least what his agenda might be. I prefer to think of it a ladder scenario. Learn from those above you on the ladder of knowledge of a topic and help those on a rung or two below you. If you feel or claim that you are on the very top rung you are likely misguided and may have reached a dead end.
Rule 5a: Take comments about how harsh or liveable a setup is with a grain of salt.
Some people don't bat an eye at 10k spring rates; some people think that having stiff springs is cool for some reason; some people think that a stock STi is too harsh. And pretty much every marketing department on earth has claims about "better handling without a decrease in ride quality". The only way to know for sure is to find someone with that setup and get a ride. No one but you knows your tolerance for harshness.
The sixth rule of the suspension forum is: Don't ask us to pick between two products.
There are a ton of these threads. "Which gizmo should I buy, X or Y?" That's not a very good way to frame your question. Start with what you're going to use the car for and what your goals are and why you think you need to buy parts to fix it. Talk about your budget and your constraints (i.e. ride quality, aesthetics) and people will recommend stuff. When you say "I want coilovers, should I buy ABC or XYZ" you are almost certainly eliminating a bunch of good options.
The seventh rule of the suspension forum is: BE HONEST!
The justice system has a saying - it's better to let ten guilty men go free, than to imprison one innocent man. Adopted to the suspension forum, this should read:
"'tis better to discourage ten enthusiasts from buying good parts, than to encourage one enthusiast to buy a bad part"
Remember - most people are going to ignore the "get a ride before you buy" rule. They are probably going to be going off of recommendations. Your recommendation very well may be the one that sways someone to buy something. If you are constantly doing the "OMG my suspension is the best0rz!" thing no one is going to know that it's noisy or it sucks on speedbumps or whatever.
No one should be embarrassed if they spent $ on something and it doesn't live up to expectations. It sucks but it happens. Don't let other people reproduce your mistakes. Get all the information out there that you can.
The eight rule of the suspension forum is: When you give a recommendation, qualify it as best you can.
Make your advice as specific as possible. If you think Axxis Ultimates are great because you used them on your Miata, don't say "Axxis Ultimates are great! They will hold up to track events!" - say "I used them on my Miata at seven track events and they held up great". That way someone can decide how to evaluate your review. They might realize that a 3300 lb STi and a 2200 lb Miata don't use the same track pads. If you only got one ride in a set of Teins and they were bouncy, don't say "Teins are bouncy" say "I got a ride in my friend's 240SX and he had the Tein Flex and they were bouncy". This will help everyone.
The ninth rule of the suspension forum is: There is NO BEST. There is only what's best FOR YOU.
Don't ask what the best springs, brake pads or coilovers are. There is no such thing. Everyone uses their car for different things. What works for an ALMS team is not going to work for someone in Alaska.
The tenth rule of the suspension forum is: No picture requests.
This is not Member's Car Gallery.
A. The moderators reserve the right to lock your thread if we feel like you're not even trying to ask a good question.
B. The moderators reserve the right to lock your thread if you spell the word "brake" incorrectly.
These are not "do this or get banned" rules, just "do this if you actually want useful help" rules. Thanks