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Old 11-29-2008, 09:22 PM   #1
S1MPSONS
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Default Opinions Wanted: Bilstein PSS9 Coilovers for Street Touring Autox and Some Track

Hey Guys,

What are your opinions on the Bilstein PSS9 coilovers? The car is a street car but I plan on running many autox's next year (regional and national) in STU class.

I have never really heard anyone run these in ST* class (except at the El Toro ProSolo where an EVO won the super challenge but didn't really pax so well in regular competition) and didn't find anything in the motorsports topics when I searched.

Do you suspension gurus believe in Bilstein?

The set I found for sale comes with 300/250 spring rates. These seem too soft for autox. Do you think the adjustability will be suitable for higher rates without a revalve? Where do you think I should go with the sping rates on these?

These are single adjustable with adjustments changing both compression and rebound. Is that a serious compromise?

Thanks!
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Last edited by S1MPSONS; 12-01-2008 at 01:54 AM.
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:41 PM   #2
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Please call the Bilstein office in San Diego / Poway and ask to talk with Bret Norgaard. He has developed the PSS9 and newer (and much better) PSS10 applications for autocross Subarus, from the GC chassis and earlier WRX sedan and beyond. This is from a product engineer and top-level National caliber autocrosser, so I would listen to what he tells you to do

The spring rates change, as does the valving as I recall, neither the 9 or 10 were particularly great about anything other than the Bilstein build quality and quick turn-around time for service work. He's got everything logged and worked out already, so just call him with your setup and he can lay a great baseline for you.

IIRC, revalves are only $65/each and includes shock dyno time, and they are VERY fast, in some cases just days, if they are not busy. I think Dyno alone is only $25, still a fantastic value.
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesWilson View Post
Please call the Bilstein office in San Diego / Poway and ask to talk with Bret Norgaard. He has developed the PSS9 and newer (and much better) PSS10 applications for autocross Subarus, from the GC chassis and earlier WRX sedan and beyond. This is from a product engineer and top-level National caliber autocrosser, so I would listen to what he tells you to do

The spring rates change, as does the valving as I recall, neither the 9 or 10 were particularly great about anything other than the Bilstein build quality and quick turn-around time for service work. He's got everything logged and worked out already, so just call him with your setup and he can lay a great baseline for you.

IIRC, revalves are only $65/each and includes shock dyno time, and they are VERY fast, in some cases just days, if they are not busy. I think Dyno alone is only $25, still a fantastic value.
Thanks for the contact. I will surely reach our to Bret.

FWIW Their website says $125 per adjustable shock for a revalve.
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:46 PM   #4
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Oops, then the $65 may have been for the non-adjustable Monotube....to be honest I have never used their adjustables, only raced on them in other people's cars I don't like turning knobs, only steering wheels, when things need to be "adjusted" (read: revalve and forget).
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesWilson View Post
The spring rates change, as does the valving as I recall, neither the 9 or 10 were particularly great about anything other than the Bilstein build quality and quick turn-around time for service work.
Do I read this as, "Bilsteins valving is not particularly great." ?

From what I've heard, they are one of the few firms whose tolerances are actually respectable by motorsports standards.

I guess I need to dyno the shocks and judge for myself though. I am just basing that statement on something someone posted once online.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:01 PM   #6
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The off-the-shelf valving on the PSS9 and PSS10 is in no way to be misconstrued to be an autocross or race-specific valving. It is for "street use" and is definitely a compromise valving, what I have been told. That being said, for national-level autocrossing, it is highly recommended that it be revalved for such. That doesn't mean it won't be okay for 90% of people as it comes out of the box however, but YMMV.

As far a product quality etc etc etc I am hard-pressed to find an affordable European-based shock as good as the Bilsteins, I would put them in everything I own or have owned if they made them for them. I really would.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S1MPSONS View Post
Hey Guys,

What are your opinions on the Bilstein PSS9 coilovers? The car is a street car but I plan on running many autox's next year (regional and national) in STU class.

I have never really heard anyone run these in ST* class (except at the El Toro ProSolo where an EVO won the super challenge but didn't really pax so well in regular competition) and didn't find anything in the motorsports topics when I searched.

Do you suspension gurus believe in Bilstein?

Stock, they sell with 300/250 spring rates. These seem too soft for autox. Do you think the adjustability will be suitable for higher rates without a revalve?

These are single adjustable with adjustments changing both compression and rebound. Is that a serious compromise?

Thanks!
Are you thinking of these because of ride quality or budget or something else?
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButtDyno View Post
Are you thinking of these because of ride quality or budget or something else?
Because they are not Taiwanese garbage like a lot of the other stuff on the market. Ride quality and quality valving go hand and hand. You can have superior levels of grip from a coilover without sacrificing ride quality. I hope this coilover will provide both better ride quality and better grip than my current set up. Lastly, these are fairly reasonably priced when compared to other "euro" quality coilovers.

Look, I don't want to convince myself these are good. I would really like to hear from people who have experienced them personally.

JamesWilson, you said you have driven on a set of these. Later you endorsed them. What specifically about the ride/handling did you notice when driving on them?

Last edited by S1MPSONS; 11-30-2008 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:14 AM   #9
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I have them they're great

They're very, very comfortable on the street. Definitely the best track prepared c/o if you're going to drive it on the street also (I live in downtown Washington DC)

Are you sure they're 300/250?

My PSS9's are 440/380 iirc, but I know the newer ones are softer. But still I remember they were like around 400 in the front now.

edit: can't find it but look into the spring rate... that really doesn't sound right

edit edit: here ya go via Z1automotive (where I bought mine heavily discounted. Adam = the man.)... "Spring rates are 400 lbs/inch front, 285 lbs/inch rear."

Last edited by silverF4turbo; 11-30-2008 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:31 PM   #10
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I also have them on the street they keep the wife from complain too much, quality is top notch i just need to grow a set and start playing with the nobs or find a a guru to school me up some day. I am only 15 min from poway hmm... lol
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:48 PM   #11
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Although they are a capable street coilover if you're planning on doing track/auto-x and are set on coilover options I'd look at either RCE T2's or the TIC AST units. More spring options with a great range of adjustability to compensate.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daishi00 View Post
Although they are a capable street coilover if you're planning on doing track/auto-x and are set on coilover options I'd look at either RCE T2's or the TIC AST units. More spring options with a great range of adjustability to compensate.
Why???? Objectively what makes them more autox track capable.

Fwiw I have looked at them.
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:08 PM   #13
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TIC AST's have serious stroke, custom valved and matched to Swift Springs (I believe linear rates as well), and are a nice single adjustable (12 adjustment points) unit. Lot's of R&D went into them that's for sure.

RCE T2's are independent rebound/compression adjustable (near infinite adjustments as no set adjustment points within the range), SS body for corrosion resistance, linear spring rates, multiple spring rate options, custom valved which results in excellent street riding and track/auto-x settings etc... Myles and his crew did a great job on designing these units, which is nice with the limited lifetime warranty.

The PSS9's are progressive spring rates, single adjustable (9 settings) units that are MSRP more expensive than both the T2's and the TIC units. They're good units, very good for street and decent for tracking/auto-x, but I'd go with one of the other units due to the extra features based on price points as well.
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:13 PM   #14
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Also, because I know ButtDyno is going to ask, have you considered a good strut/spring combination as well?
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:18 PM   #15
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I have considered just about everything over the past year of so.
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:41 PM   #16
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So, why don't you tell us why you've singled out the Bilsteins? Easier to agree/disagree with your reasoning when we know what it is
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:03 PM   #17
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I found a set used for sale. Much more affordable then new TIC or RCE or Ohlins or KW.
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:13 PM   #18
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So it sounds like you've made your decision.
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:19 PM   #19
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I'm still on the fence.
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:42 PM   #20
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I would definitely get in touch with them first and tell them your intentions as far as revalving goes. You're going to run stiffer springs, right? By the time you factor the cost of upgrading the PSS9's in, you might be near the cost of the TiC/AST/KW/RCE stuff.

Oh yeah, and I still love my Koni/GC setup
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Old 11-30-2008, 03:06 PM   #21
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I see this situation all the time. Its normal for the OP to have a "favorite" choice. Many things can contribute to his or her wanting his favorite. But.I say to the Op: get the Bilsteins, run them and work on driving. All the choices are good, so you cant loose. I personally have had Bilsteins on all of about 15 cars in the last 20 years, except my old 280Z from the mid eighties. Anyway..get the Bilsteins and focus on all the other things you have on your plate like driving, tires, pressure, courses, rules etc. Biggest factor will always be ...YOU.

Lets not obsess over the details. Good drivers are fast no matter what the shock.

So here again....GET THE BILLIES and call it a day. You wont be dissapointed.

Myles
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Old 11-30-2008, 03:23 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButtDyno View Post
By the time you factor the cost of upgrading the PSS9's in, you might be near the cost of the TiC/AST/KW/RCE stuff.
This is really what I don't want to happen with a used set. In addition to the money, there will be much more time and effort into piecing these together and shipping them out and waiting for revalving.
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Old 11-30-2008, 03:42 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Lets not obsess over the details. Good drivers are fast no matter what the shock.
+12345 Myles is on the money. You can have the best set-up in the world, but at the end of the day you gotta drive.
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Old 11-30-2008, 03:46 PM   #24
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Unfortunately, that statement isn't entirely true. I've hit a brick wall with the capabilities of my stock STi shocks. I was fast all year, even trophied in STU at a ProSolo and a National Tour event on the stock shocks, but they are just not fast enough.
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Old 11-30-2008, 03:50 PM   #25
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Ok, so what's the price on the Bilstein deal you're looking at? Does it include tophats/camber plates? Total rebuild costs (shipping etc)? Easy to see how much money you're truly saving.
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