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Old 04-13-2016, 02:32 PM   #1
jordan_mosher
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Default FEAL 441 Max Travel Coilovers Review

Summery: Things started out great... then took a turn for the worse... and now I have to put money into 4 month old coilovers just to have them fixed so I can sell them to some one who avoids potholes and dirt roads...

(Oct. ?, 2015) - Contacted FEAL via phone for advice, whether the regular 411 would hold up to occasional gravel roads. They insisted that the 411 would hold up no problem and the 460s were over kill. (Should have gotten this in writing...)

(Nov. ?, 2015) - FEAL 441 Max Travel coilovers hit the website!

(Dec. 4, 2015) - Purchased coilovers for 2003 wrx ($1605 after shipping and tax) along with a few other parts.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jordan...posted-public/

(Dec. 7?, 2015) - Received $155 refund form paypal from FEAL! Apparently they were having a holiday sale!

(Dec. 12, 2015) - Installed
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jordan...posted-public/

(Mar. 30, 2016) - After less then 3K miles on the new suspension I took my dog to a near by lake which has a very well maintained gravel road. When I returned home this was what I found the shock body was bent! https://www.flickr.com/photos/jordan...posted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jordan...posted-public/
I know when it happened... the back end hoped a bit coming around a corner with a small step up. I have driven out to this lake several times with my stock suspension (140K miles) and hit these roads at twice the speed I was going without any failure...

(Apr. 1, 2016) - Contacted FEAL via Email, provided photos and setup measurements. The coilovers we set at +0.5" in the front and rear over my original wrx suspension with 140k miles.

(Apr. 3, 2016) - Contacted FEAL via Phone. (had not revived a response), I was told Odi was driving all week and would not be back until the following Monday.

(Apr. 11, 2016) -Did not hear back... Called again at the end of the day, was told they would email by the next day)

(Apr. 12, 2016) -Did not hear back... Called again at the end of the day, was told they would email by the next day) Finally got an email, saying they would have to charge me for the repairs and upgrading to the 460s would not be supplemented...

Fine, I bought the wrong coilovers for my driving style, under guidance which was not documented. But "used in national and regional level Rallyx competitions, SCCA Auto X competitions, and on recce vehicles" may mislead others like myself into buying these... so I had to post my experience.

Ill get the one fixed and the rest inspected, if someone wants them they will be up on the classifieds soon. Or if you want them as is, to rebuild/valve them as you wish, ill take $950 + shipping?
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Last edited by jordan_mosher; 04-13-2016 at 06:09 PM. Reason: spelling errors... more to be found I'm sure.
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Old 04-13-2016, 03:16 PM   #2
mrsaturn7085
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Show us a picture of the 'small step up'... I'm pretty surprised to see the body bent before the lower bracket broke.

Recce vehicles should be able to handle roads similar to 460 set, unless Feal is only talking about tarmac recce in 441 marketing. They [recce cars] drive the same competition stage at significant (albeit lower) speeds and in the center of the road rather than following the apex. That being said, if the 441 couldn't take the 'small step up', I wouldn't expect the 460 to be able to, either.
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Old 04-13-2016, 04:32 PM   #3
jordan_mosher
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I'll do my best to drive up there in my commuter car this week. We will see how the 96 Buick Park avenue takes it! (with blown out rear air ride and tired suspension) If I had bent/broke the piston rod or the lower bracket I would feel different...
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Old 04-13-2016, 05:29 PM   #4
sc00by4life
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsaturn7085 View Post
hat being said, if the 441 couldn't take the 'small step up', I wouldn't expect the 460 to be able to, either.
Yes, a different model wouldn't have prevented the body from failing.

I'm also curious to see this "step up". the lat links are bent too, I wonder which one failed first.
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Old 04-13-2016, 06:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc00by4life View Post
the lat links are bent too, I wonder which one failed first.
They are? I'm not seeing that in the picture...
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Old 04-13-2016, 06:30 PM   #6
jordan_mosher
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Apologies for the use of small, the step up was a ~3”.

I Don't think the lateral links are bent, But I’ll get a square on them tonight to double check!

After further review of my drive on Google earth I'm leaning more toward the turnaround as the moment of damage:/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jordan...posted-public/

The drop is not steep but could be upto 6” where I crossed it.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:15 PM   #7
mrsaturn7085
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That'd do it.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:44 PM   #8
sc00by4life
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsaturn7085 View Post
They are? I'm not seeing that in the picture...
could be the perspective of the photo. they look bent to me, might not be.
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Old 04-13-2016, 08:41 PM   #9
jordan_mosher
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Default FEAL 441 Max Travel Coilovers Review

Just checked all 4 lower control arms, they are all strait as an arrow. I can see what you are saying, the angle is crap on that photo.

Ok, so they clearly did not bend themselves while I was sleeping one night. But I have been doing much worse things to my stock wrx struts for years! At this point I'm thinking it is time to go back to oem, and pick up some inverted 04 Sti struts and springs. When In doubt increase sample size?


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Old 04-13-2016, 10:08 PM   #10
lukethedork
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They likely bent after fully compressing. Most of these cheaper shocks that are built for comfort preload the valve shims to make it feel like you have control and then blow off wildly as the piston speed increases. It's how they maintain the comfort. Terrible for anything else though.
They have tricked you people into thinking that piston speeds above 2 or 3 inches a second is irrelevant and you people eat it up asking for high resolution 0-3"/sec graphs.

Was the lock ring still tight? If the lock ring backs off the strut will bend easily.
What is shaft stroke on those dampers? I would guess much less than stock. Do you know how much bump travel you had from ride height?
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukethedork View Post
They likely bent after fully compressing. Most of these cheaper shocks that are built for comfort preload the valve shims to make it feel like you have control and then blow off wildly as the piston speed increases. It's how they maintain the comfort. Terrible for anything else though.
They have tricked you people into thinking that piston speeds above 2 or 3 inches a second is irrelevant and you people eat it up asking for high resolution 0-3"/sec graphs.
Have you ever looked into Feal suspension? Ever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukethedork View Post
Was the lock ring still tight? If the lock ring backs off the strut will bend easily.
What is shaft stroke on those dampers? I would guess much less than stock. Do you know how much bump travel you had from ride height?
You would guess wrong...

You're digging into this too much - he hit a 6" pothole, sideways, and at speed. Most curbs are around that height.
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:30 PM   #12
jordan_mosher
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Took the 4Runner up to the lake to get photos! It may be a 6" dip but not really a pot hole and not as sheer or solid as a curb. This was by far the worst thing I hit that day. (mild day for sure)

Here is the photo:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jordan...posted-public/

Video of my wife driving over it:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jordan...r/26443832316/

I came to a stop to the right, and ripped through that at about the same speed she was going, just a bit more sideways through the dip.

Ill take measurements for travel and droop before I ship them back.

Lock ring is on good and tight!

Thanks, for all the feedback!
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:02 PM   #13
lukethedork
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It's pretty obvious from the video that there would be no heavy lateral impact. But you would have to be an idiot to think that it was a lateral impact from your original pictures anyway.
As I said previously the damage was from compression of the strut. You can't expect a strut with 3" or less of compression at ride height to absorb a 6" bump. As I also said before these dampers are valves in a manner that they provide no protection from even medium piston speed impacts.

None of this will help you fix them though. But I definitely don't think it is unusual given the quality of coilover and driving conditions.
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:38 PM   #14
dlapham
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Hate to bump an old thread, but I am looking at 441 Max Travel vs Feal revalved OEM STi struts and King 1 inch lift springs on my 04 STi.

I have OEM springs and Feal revalved struts now, and a spare set of OEM struts to send in.

The total costs will be close. I was leaning towards the 441 Max Travels, but after reading this, I am thinking the Kings would be a better choice. Any opinions?
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