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Old 10-31-2013, 10:02 AM   #1
dothatshht
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Default Recommended suspesion for Tri-State Area

As the winter rolls in, I am researching Suspension and Wheels for the upcoming spring/summer. 2013 WRX Hatch Base

I'm a lot more concerned with function then form but I still want to get a nice stance out of it. My issue is I live in Yonkers, NY. For those who do not know, we are just north of NYC and out landscape resembles San Fransisco. Don't get me wrong, we have a lot of hills, but nothing like san fran. You can imagine the road conditions. Nice and smooth for 10 feet. Then find a hole big enough to swallow small children that goes into a 45degree incline.


I'm looking to get a system that will hold up to the abuse it is going to be put through even though it will be avoiding most holes and manhole covers. Mainly used for daily driving, and occasional track use.

I'm interested in every ones input, but more importantly the input of local people who know the conditions of our roads.

Price wise I'm open to, fully understanding to get a really good suspension its going to cost.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:37 AM   #2
scrapin'
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Koni inserts...stay away from KYB Excel-G's and a good set of springs, RCE Black Regulars are really popular.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:09 PM   #3
Mr Wrex
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^ this

I have roads around my area that are just as bad as yours and I'm using the Feal 441 coilovers. If it wasn't for the dampening adjustability, I'd probably cry. The Koni inserts also have this adjustability so that you can make it stiff for the smooth canyon roads or soft so your b-hole doesn't cry red tears of joy everytime you hit a suspension raping crater.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:35 PM   #4
Concillian
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Koni or Feal struts. Period. Coilovers are nice, but you sound like you don't want really low, and struts + springs are quite good and less expensive.

I don't know about spring selection for that year. Look for something that has very little drop and is in the range of STi springs for best all around performance. Higher rates will trade off some of the comfort over rough stuff for better performance at an HDPE. Your call there.

My konis are plenty tolerable with 04-07 Swift Spec-r, which are significantly higher than the same year STi spring rates, but they are definitely less smooth over speed bumps, potholes, railroad tracks and dirt roads than my old setup (DMS gold 40mm coilovers, basically street spec rally coilovers) which could soak up some major rough stuff, like 35 miles an hour over speed bumps and barely feel it. But they were a little floaty and bouncy on the highway and the lower spring rates meant it wasn't as crisp in the corners... They also needed rebuilt too often for them to be really practical to drive 15k miles a year, so I switched to Konis. The Konis are a very good street / track setup, they are far more comfortable on the highway and perform better when pushing it on all but the roughest pavement. But they don't soak up the rough stuff like a rally strut will, not sure anything will. There is a lot of construction going on near my work, and I see my fair share of ill maintained roads as they drive the bulldozers and earth mover equipment on the nearby roads. Like construction so close they are renting a portion of our parking lot for the workers. The closed the cross-street and are digging an underpass under the rail-road tracks so they don't need a crossing. The Konis are definitely tolerable and I feel they are a very good balanced setup for street / performance overall I like them better than the DMS.

If you want the best you can get, call up Feal and see what they can build you based on your description of what you want. They can re-valve stock STi struts... don't know about WRX struts, but probably. They are well known in the Rally circuits. They know what it takes to soak up rough stuff and they know what it takes to perform on smooth pavement and if it's an application they cater to, they'll build to order. You may want something in-between the compression damping of a rally strut and a Koni yellow (yellow are rebound adjustable, not compression adjustable,) and Feal will likely have a way to get you exactly what you want, though it might cost more than Konis.

Last edited by Concillian; 10-31-2013 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:50 PM   #5
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Bilstein and RCE's is another option you could look at as well. RCE sells the set.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:11 AM   #6
dothatshht
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrapin' View Post
Koni inserts...stay away from KYB Excel-G's and a good set of springs, RCE Black Regulars are really popular.

the RCE's black and yellow dont seem like they'd go low enough for my liking.

The wheels I'm looking at are 18x9.5 +38 (I know I'm going to have to roll the quarters if I go LOW) I work at a body shop so I'm not worried about that aspect.


Any one have info on a good coilover system?
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:30 AM   #7
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fwiw, i am running koni's and love them. i'm on 2011 STi springs, though they are not a direct fit. i machined spacers to raise the rear perches about .300" to compensate for the shorter springs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dothatshht View Post
the RCE's black and yellow dont seem like they'd go low enough for my liking.
going lower than RCE blacks is really not a good idea on your chassis. there is already limited travel, especially in the rear. it is counter intuitive to me that you want to go super low when you're worried about pot holes, extreme elevation and surface angle changes, etc.

also, you initially stressed you want function before form, which is also counter intuitive to me you now want to slam your car. anything lower than an inch is getting into slammed territory and too damn low for function. sorry charlie. of course, you did use the s word (stance).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dothatshht View Post
Any one have info on a good coilover system?
search, duh. specifically look into the feals 441. double duh.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dothatshht View Post
Any one have info on a good coilover system?
If you go that route, make sure you go with all stainless bodies... road salt will ruin your adjustment collars almost immediately in most cases. It takes a lot of anti-seize and TLC to keep them free-spinning multiple winters in a row.

-- Dave
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:42 AM   #9
Mr Wrex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dothatshht View Post
the RCE's black and yellow dont seem like they'd go low enough for my liking.

The wheels I'm looking at are 18x9.5 +38 (I know I'm going to have to roll the quarters if I go LOW) I work at a body shop so I'm not worried about that aspect.


Any one have info on a good coilover system?
Ride quality or looks... choose one because you can't have both without making sacrifices. Myles put so much R&D into the springs, which are honestly the perfect ride height for good handling on our cars. I have the feal 441 coilovers and I started off at the same ride height as the RCE black springs. Once I dropped down another half inch, I instantly noticed the handling went to crap... but I don't care since I'm willing to sacrifice some handling for looks.

FYI with those size wheels, you'll want to roll the rear fenders even if you drop the recommend 1". That's not considered "low" to the herrafrush crowd, but on a daily driver in the tri-state it's low enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isotopesope View Post
going lower than RCE blacks is really not a good idea on your chassis. there is already limited travel, especially in the rear. it is counter intuitive to me that you want to go super low when you're worried about pot holes, extreme elevation and surface angle changes, etc.

search, duh. specifically look into the feals 441. double duh.
This is definitely true. When I was first looking at upgrading my suspension, I was planning on doing koni inserts, RCE black springs, and RCE lowering camber plates for the fronts. When I asked Myles about this combo, I could feel him judging me through the phone for thinking that would handle well
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:25 AM   #10
Concillian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dothatshht View Post
the RCE's black and yellow dont seem like they'd go low enough for my liking.

The wheels I'm looking at are 18x9.5 +38 (I know I'm going to have to roll the quarters if I go LOW) I work at a body shop so I'm not worried about that aspect.
In one post you say you want a setup that works as well as possible with potholes right before a steep incline, and the next you are saying that you want to be LOW? (so you can scrape badly in the scenario you explained.)

Maybe it's time to toss in the towel and join Scotty in the pre-emptive berating.

Here's the thing about RCE yellows. RCE has said on these forums that they're too low for best performance because people complained they "weren't enough drop." They held out for a while with them being in the right range for performance, but eventually caved to people wanting 'moar low'. I'm paraphrasing, but they've stated that in the forums. You want even more drop than that, which means you're throwing out all of what you put in the first post on wanting the right performance. You can't have it both ways. Actually you said you want rough performance, track performance, AND excessively low... good luck with getting all three ways.
Pick ONE that you really want, and you need to sacrifice on the other two.

Last edited by Concillian; 11-01-2013 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:30 AM   #11
theEZV
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If you get Konis, get the front donor struts from an 08-10 WRX to hack, they will get you an additional .5" drop over the 11+ due to the spring perch location.

I have KW V1's on mine. Was gonna go with Konis/Blacks, but got a good deal on these. It's my first coilover. They ride nice but don't handle all that great. Handle the crappy roads here surprisingly well, I have not bottomed them out yet. Overall I'm happy with them. Will still be doing sways next.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:23 PM   #12
kenliu84
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I drive through and in yonkers all the time. You seem conflicted in what you want but if it is function, then you would have to stick with koni inserts and RCE springs or a similar spring strut package. If money isnt a problem, then real quality coilovers would be your only other choice. I have the TiC SST coilover set and I love them for our area. Keep in mind I have a GD and you have a GR chassis but I don't think there's too much difference.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:42 PM   #13
dothatshht
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenliu84 View Post
I drive through and in yonkers all the time. You seem conflicted in what you want but if it is function, then you would have to stick with koni inserts and RCE springs or a similar spring strut package. If money isnt a problem, then real quality coilovers would be your only other choice. I have the TiC SST coilover set and I love them for our area. Keep in mind I have a GD and you have a GR chassis but I don't think there's too much difference.
^ this is a reply i was looking for
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Old 11-02-2013, 02:48 PM   #14
Back Road Runner
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You worry about rough terrain but also want to lower the car and throw away bump travel. You don't get both. If you want ride comfort, stay high. Stock is good. If you want to slam your car for looks, your ride will be crap over the stuff you describe. That's just the way it is. You need bump travel but nearly every aftermarket spring you buy will lower the car at least 1" if not more. A couple options do lower less. Any stiffer spring will require a change in dampers. Koni inserts have fixed compression damping meaning their firmness on impact is fixed regardless of if you pair it with a stiff spring or a soft spring. Impact harshness will remain similar. Feal inserts are geared similar to STI damping, i.e. also still in compression. Many STI owners complain about bump harshness on STIs, even when bone stock.

Anything with high compression damping will be firm over bumps and transmit a lot of that impact force to the chassis. If you want something that will soak up big bumps you have to go tall and soft. Sorry if that's not what you want to hear.

You do have the option to go to coilovers and some are geared well for compliance with low compression damping and even kinked damping for high speed damping to better soak up very hard hits. Then the only problem is having enough actual suspension travel to soak up bumps without bottoming. This is the shortcoming of many aftermarket coilovers. Many don't have that much stroke, typically 1" to even 3" less than OEM meaning you have a bit less to work with. Part of the challenge is to find a coilover that both has good travel range plus is physically more compact than OEM. That's not easy to find and at times not cheap. Suspension travel should be one of your biggest concerns when looking for suspension for rough terrain. The second concern will be setting the ride height high enough to actually have a good amount of bump travel when running over stuff so you don't bottom out.
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