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Old 12-15-2009, 11:39 AM   #1
LTBlackBird
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Default Tein Flex vs Tein RA Coilovers

Hey guys, i was wondering what would be some reviews of the 2 set ups. I know Tein stuff is not nearly as good as Cusco, Zeal, KW, and Ohlins so please spare me the just go get those. I have 2 used options well within my price range and was trying to decide between the 2. This is a DD with occasional Auto X use, that being said, im coming from a Trans Am with Penske Road Race suspension on it so im not afraid of a rough ride. Any and all info would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:39 AM   #2
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Reason for a new thread is really because of the lack of info on the RA's, i've found a lot of info on the Flex's so really more info on the RA's would be helpful
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:40 AM   #3
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Tein is as good as Cusco and Zeal, both of which are not nearly as good as Ohlins and KW.


IMO, Tein RA is the same as Tein Flex with a high price tag. More than likely you'll notice zero difference between the two until you're going full-bore at the race track and at that point I'd recommend buying a coilover better suited to racing. Like the KW or Ohlins. For the price of the RA either one of them would be noticeably better. But then for that price the RCE T2 or TiC SST would be better still.


If you really want an opinion on the RA's the only person I know who ran a set is angryfist...and he swapped them out for some custom bits from Zzyzx before Steve closed up shop. He used them for some daily driving and a lot of autocross. I know he went through several different springing options as well. Its probably the best opinion you can get, if he wants to give it. I'm not sure how often he's on the forum though. He sold his WRX and bought an S2000 several months ago.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:55 AM   #4
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Yea, if i were looking at new sets i would probably be looking at getting a set of KW V3's or something of the sort, but im looking at a couple used sets here on the boards. The RA's im looking at might actually be a little cheaper then the Flex's i was originally going with, but i had a few more questions about them. Ill just post the thread on here.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1821562
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:30 PM   #5
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I think for that price you ought to just buy them and see how you like it. Swapping suspensions is only an afternoon project (usually) except for the alignment, and you can always sell them if you find they don't suit your needs.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:36 PM   #6
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It between those and a set of used flex's for about the same price
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Old 12-15-2009, 01:24 PM   #7
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If those are your only two choices... Perhaps you should just wait for something better to come around... and they do quite often.
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:22 PM   #8
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For $1000 I would look for a used set of KW v3's or see if you can find a vendor that will cut you a deal on a brand new set of KW v1's. You might be accustomed to a rough ride, but there is no reason you should have to settle. For $400 you could drop a set of ground control coilovers onto your stock struts and get height adjustment and maintain the better valving/damping properties of your stock struts. For another $540 you could swap in a set of Tokico D-specs with those GC sleeves and wind up with an adjustable damper that will handle stiffer springs than the stock struts. Either option is going to be more comfortable for a daily driver and likely perform better on the track.
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:42 PM   #9
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i wouldnt get the v1 , i would just try to jump straight to kw v3

Thats a tuff decision , i believe u wont notice that big of a difference until you really start pushing the car at a track setting, also auto-x and track is a bit different on suspension setup

I went from Stance GR + Pro SSD 12k/12k to a set of KW Clubsports, but that took me about 2 years before i out grew it

I do still have those coils sitting here if u want to purchase those ; P
LOL
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:45 PM   #10
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I would hardly consider the stock shocks as having good damping ability, theyre quite under dampened for just the stock springs (extremely bouncy) I might have to look into some v1's I just hate they don't come with camber plates. Idk, I guess I'll keep looking or just pick these up for the mean time and run with them and then sell them down the road when I have enough to get some v3's I just hate the stock suspension. And I do appreciate the advice guys, I know a rough ride doesn't necessariy mean good handling but i was mentioning that because it seems like the reviews of the teins are they provide decent handling but with a harsher ride then most, I can put up with the ride and for the price range it sure beets any of the Godspeed or no name stuff you know.
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Old 12-15-2009, 03:16 PM   #11
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You're daily driving, why do you need camber plates? Even for auto-x, those are not needed if you are not competing heavily. wants vs needs are a bitch...
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Old 12-15-2009, 03:45 PM   #12
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neither.

and stiff and harsh DOES NOT mean good handling.

our kws are smooth. and very fast.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
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neither.

and stiff and harsh DOES NOT mean good handling.

our kws are smooth. and very fast.
Thanks...because if you actually read my post you would see that i already mentioned that

As far as the camber plates, why are they not beneficial? I feel accurate suspension adjustments both front a rear are key to an effective set up. Im not denying that a superior damper is not important, nor am i denying the KW's > then Tein, I ALREADY KNOW THIS. What im trying to determine is whether or not these Tein's are aleast a somewhat capable damper that, despite having a harsh ride, will be better then the underdamped crap known as stock STi struts. haha
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Old 12-16-2009, 04:05 PM   #14
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How about KW version 1's? Its hard to find reviews on them, i wish they were rebound/compression adjustable though but literally just received a christmas bonus from work which i wasnt expecting so my budget just increase a little bit
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:13 AM   #15
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The biggest problem i had with tein was that i went through seals. I did use there HG rally stuff though so, as far as being a capable damper in every other way they do pretty good. but i will never own them again so it's hard to recomend them at all. just my .02
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTBlackBird View Post
How about KW version 1's? Its hard to find reviews on them, i wish they were rebound/compression adjustable though but literally just received a christmas bonus from work which i wasnt expecting so my budget just increase a little bit
I think the KW v1 is a very good, very affordable option for people who aren't at the track every weekend. The only thing you're missing from a standard coilover is the damping adjustment. But in the grand scheme of things is it really necessary? If you can get a set of coilovers that have decent dual-duty spring rates and valving to match, do you really need to play with the damping settings all the time? Yeah you could benefit from stiffer rebound at compression at a track day, but is it really needed for the 3 or 4 or 6 days you'll be at the track each year? To get that damping adjustment you have to sacrifice your daily drive comfort or you have to sacrifice your wallet.


And just to say it again...
D-specs with Ground Control coilover sleeves are going to be cheaper, higher performing, more adjustable, and more comfy to daily drive than any coilover in the price range.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:06 PM   #17
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D specs huh? I'll have to look into that set up then, you have an suggestions as far as the best vendors to look into them?
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:09 PM   #18
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And please forgive my ignorance, I have a basic understanding of suspension dynamics (couldn't go into the inner workings of a damper or tell you how to valve one but I know what they're supposed to do and symptoms of too little rebound or compression) Bunin coming from owning a trans am for the past 5 years where you had kyb agx's, then bilsteins, re-valves bilsteins, and koni's haha. Not a hard decision really, I stepped out of the box and went with penske's. But now that I'm into the Subaru world there is a **** ton more options so I'm just trying to get a grasp on brands haha
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTBlackBird View Post
D specs huh? I'll have to look into that set up then, you have an suggestions as far as the best vendors to look into them?
Turn in Concepts...because they have them at a damn good price and they also sell the spacer you will need for the rears.

http://www.turninconcepts.com/produc...roducts_id=555
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:19 PM   #20
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And please forgive my ignorance, I have a basic understanding of suspension dynamics (couldn't go into the inner workings of a damper or tell you how to valve one but I know what they're supposed to do and symptoms of too little rebound or compression) Bunin coming from owning a trans am for the past 5 years where you had kyb agx's, then bilsteins, re-valves bilsteins, and koni's haha. Not a hard decision really, I stepped out of the box and went with penske's. But now that I'm into the Subaru world there is a **** ton more options so I'm just trying to get a grasp on brands haha
The big thing to watch out for is the quality of the product and what it is designed for. Everyone and their brother makes a coilover for the Impreza. Its a tuner market and you have to have a product to sell or you're missing out. As such there are many, many cheap and crappy coilovers available. In most cases the stuff coming out of Asia are valved for very smooth roads and racing only applications. They aren't meant to survive on bumpy US roads and they really aren't designed for roads. The stuff out of Europe is usually higher quality and better designed for comfort. They have bumpy roads too . Turns out that softer compression valving is also useful at the track because it soaks up bumps instead of bouncing over them . But it comes at a higher price tag.

Too often people get caught up on the number of options/features a coilover contains and they overlook quality. If a high quality coilover coming out of Europe costs $2400 what are you getting out of Asia for $1200? If a set of decent Koni SA damper inserts cost $700 how good are the dampers in a coilover that come with a housing, springs, and camber plates for $900 total?
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