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Old 11-05-2000, 05:08 AM   #1
Force[FED]
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Member#: 292
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Elmer, NJ USA
Vehicle:
2008 BMW 335xi Coupe
Alpine White

Post Drop from my H&R springs.

Since a lot of people are asking about the amount of drop with certain springs, I figured I would post my experience so that people can find it in the archives.

For reference, I am running 17*7 wheels with P7000 215/45/17 tires and an 18mm swaybar with all of the following setups (which means I get a harsher ride than with stock tires, etc).

OK, my first setup was the H&R springs with the stock dampers. The setup dropped the rear 1.7", and the front 1.4". A HUGE drop, and it looked sweet. Because I was using the stock dampers, the car WAS underdamped. I really noticed this when watching video of me autoxing the car, the rear especially would bounce up and down even during high rpm shifts. Also, the car would lean onto the bump stops on every tight turn of the course. But, for driving the car back and forth to work everyday, it worked fine. I really do like the H&R springs. I drove this setup for 9 months or so.

Recently I switched to the FHI Version5 dampers (the red ones that everyone uses). I haven't measured the car exactly, but I noticed the car does sit about .25-.5" HIGHER now with these dampers. It's still quite a bit lower than stock, but the rear tires are no longer completely tucked, etc. But, the ride is AWESOME! Before this change I recently drove the car on a business trip to DC, and at 75-80mph speeds on the highway, the car sometimes felt unsteady with the stock dampers. Yesterday I drove 200 miles round trip to look at a home builder, and on the highway the car was completely changed. It was much more stable, smooth, and just felt right. Also, there is a lot less forward/backward motion when accelerating/braking. When I brake coming up to a light now, the car does not rock forward at all, it's completely stable. For the price I paid for these dampers, I should have done this a LONG time ago. It's a setup I highly recommend. I paid ~$225 for the H&R's, and ~$300 for V5 dampers. It might not be as bad-a$$ as the $3000 DMS setup, but at 1/6 the price, I don't expect it to.

This setup makes driving my GT so much more enjoyable, and that's what counts.

If anyone has any questions about any of this, I will try to help where I can!

Kev, aka Force[FED]
www.lagging.com

[This message has been edited by Force[FED] (edited November 05, 2000).]
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Old 11-05-2000, 10:29 AM   #2
gtguy
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2005 Legacy GT wagon
Platinum Silver Metallic

Post

My GT wagon is just a tad (perhaps 1/3-1/2") higher that your sedan. Interesting. It looks fantastic, by the way...your car, I mean. I have had the same feeling with the KYB/Eibach setup. It just seems to be a bit too much for me in terms of daily practicality. It's beginning to look like Ground Controls are the way to go, for the adjustability.

Kevin
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Old 11-05-2000, 02:44 PM   #3
Force[FED]
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Alpine White

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Hey Kev! I don't know what you mean about practicality, but even with the 1.5" drop, the car is perfect for the street. I don't get any rubbing, and it's not so low that I even really think about it. I guess in snow it could make a SLIGHT difference, but not enough to concern me.

I keep seeing people writing that the drop hurts daily drivability. I just don't understand this, since to me the street manners for the car now are TONS better than they were with the stock suspension. It makes the car a much better daily driver.

Kev
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Old 11-05-2000, 04:10 PM   #4
gtguy
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The practicality issue regards things like scraping every time I pull into my garage, and stuff like that. If I could get another half-inch to an inch from the Eibach/KYB setup, I'd leave it alone, but I can't.

An interim step will be to run the stock springs with the KYBs until the GCs come, then things should be just right.

Kevin
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Old 11-06-2000, 08:42 AM   #5
Radio Flyer
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Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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'98 2.5 GT Wagon
Rio Red

Question

Kev<sup>2</sup> -

What spring rates did you get? I presume something stiffer than those for the Impreza. And, I want to now specifically what rates gtguy has on his rears.

&lt;mode="Cheech_n_Chong_Spanish"&gt;
Much Grass,
&nbsp;&nbsp;- Eric
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;'98 2.5 GT Wagon - <a href="http://208.9.184.110/MembersList/ViewMemberPics.cfm?MemberID=143" target="_blank">Pics</a> - <a href="http://www.jeneric.ws/eric/radioflyer.htm" target="_blank">Page</a> -
&lt;/mode&gt;

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Old 11-06-2000, 02:25 PM   #6
Force[FED]
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I went with the H&R springs that are for my MY99 2.5GT (and I assume all other identical model years). I don't know specific rates, I guess someone could contact H&R or maybe someone like SPO Motorsports to get the rates.

These springs ARE designed for the Legacy tho, not the Impreza.

Kev
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Old 11-06-2000, 02:49 PM   #7
gtguy
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Radio Flyer, I don't have a clue of the spring rates of either my stock GT springs, or the Eibachs. Sorry.

There was, as I recall, a thread in which someone posted spring rates for a bunch of different springs. I think you can get at it by searching in the Legacy Forum for Eibach springs.

Interestingly, the stock GT springs are a lot stiffer than the Eibachs, in terms of being able to be compressed by a human being. I could compress the Eibachs by leaning on them good and hard, while the stock springs just laugh at me, refusing to move.

Yet, the ride wasn't as well-damped as it is (though very slightly overdamped) with the Eibachs. This is what makes me wonder about the KYBs with the stock springs. It should be perfect in terms of damping, since the higher spring (stock GT) will put the car in the optimum operating range of the KYB AGX. Now, sitting as low as it is, it's outside of that range.

The only question then becomes the ride height. The look doesn't bother me of the fender well gap. I suspect (and will know soon) that the KYB with the stock GT springs will rock, especially in tandem with the 19mm rear sway bar.

Moving to Ground Controls just seems to be too much of a hassle for a car that will never be adjusted. I'd put the GCs on, and leave 'em at whatever height I decided upon. And considering that I was seeking a 3/4" drop, an amount that is to the eye negligible...

Stock springs seem like the way to go.

Kevin
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Old 11-06-2000, 03:11 PM   #8
BG5
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Post

If you haven't seen my spring XLS these are roughly the rates (my testing methodology wasn't consistent set-to-set):

H&R: 140/151
99 GT Wagon Stock: 129/140
Prodrive/Eibach: 165/100-165 (progressive)
*no I haven't measured the ProKit*

H&R's were tuned for the 90-94 Legacy (that's what they mean by 25-30% stiffer...)
but obviously will work on the 95-99 just not at the RH's stated.

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Old 11-06-2000, 05:36 PM   #9
gtguy
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Thanks BG, that comes in handy. The Legacy GT wagon springs are pretty stiff, all things considered.

Kevin
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Old 11-06-2000, 05:58 PM   #10
Force[FED]
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Post

Hmm, I didn't notice I could compress my H&R springs easily compared to the stock springs. I didn't go out of my way to keep trying this, because it doesn't really prove much, but I definitely know it wasn't easier to move the H&R's.

gtguy, I wonder if some of your unhappiness is from using the AGX shocks. It's the same thing that a lot of the Impreza guys (and DSM guys if you read the DSM Digest) noticed when using the AGX shocks. They are meant to work at stock ride height. I think Tony P even measured that the AGXs are slightly taller than the stock shock. As soon as you try to use the AGXs in a lowered car, they suck (to put it bluntly). Tony Powell was using AGXs with his GC kit, and when he had the car lowered ~1.25" - 1.50", he said the ride was terrible. He raised the car up some (to around a 3/4" drop), which put the AGXs in the range they were meant to operate, and it was better. KYB even tells you the AGXs are not optimized to work with a drop of more than 1" or so.

Just a thought. This is why I went with the Version5 dampers, because they are designed to work with the shorter stroke. They own me.

Kev
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Old 11-06-2000, 06:33 PM   #11
gtguy
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Post

I know. That's why I was wanting the 3/4" drop, and why I'm returning to stock ride height. It seems to be the least painful option, short of doing stuff like wrapping the Eibach coils, yada, yada.

I can't see popping for GC adjustables that I'm never going to adjust. It's just too bad that nobody makes a Legacy spring with a mild drop like I'd want.

Kevin
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