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Old 10-29-2011, 01:01 AM   #1
KJK
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Default Raceland Coilover Review

Approaching a full year of ownership with my RS, I realized that I was really growing to like the car, and decided that the tired chassis could use some refreshing. I purchased the car with the intention of using it solely as a winter beater, but Iíve always wanted one, and the more I drove it, the more I fell in love with it. I actually ended up driving the RS more than my M3!


Side profile prior to install


Frontal profile prior to install

Now before I delve into the review, some background information is in order. Iíll be the first to admit that she may not come across as the prettiest of beasts, but donít pass judgment based strictly on appearance. Iíve included pictures of some of my more ďaesthetically pleasingĒ automobiles, just in case the state of my RS leaves some of you questioning my judgment. But if Iím honest, I think there's a presence about my RS that canít be captured by cars with the stereotypical look of perfection. (The red hood, mismatched headlights, bumper damage, and A/C delete are all thanks to a deer)


My old M3 (On Racelands)


My old RX7 (Recently replaced by an AE86)

I could walk you guys through the install, but there are already many excellent threads on this site and others that cover the installation process. Instead I figured that Iíd present some photos to compare the OEM components with Racelandís kit.


How they arrived


Unpackaged and laid out


Front OEM comparison


Rear OEM comparison
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:01 AM   #2
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Front before


Front after (Zip-tie’s were temporary)


Driver side camber plate orientation (Caster and camber is adjusted simultaneously)


Rear before


Rear after


Driver side rear upper mount modified to accept GD top hat (I opted to add positive camber when re-drilling as I knew I was going to lower the car substantially)


How she sits as of today


Opposite-side profile

The above photos should hopefully give you a better understanding of the Raceland kit and how it compares to what came on these cars from the factory. I first installed a Raceland coilover kit on my M3 after being very impressed by the ride quality of a friends E46. After several months as a satisfied customer, the M3 was fitted with TC-Kline coilovers that offered damper adjustability that would be more suited to track use. However, on the street the difference was hardly noticeable. If anything, I found that the Racelands were a bit more forgiving for daily use (Most likely due to the softer spring rates).

A few months later, with this comparison still fresh in my mind, I headed to Raceland’s site to see if they offered anything for my Subaru, and what I found surprised me. The coilovers that Raceland offers for the Impreza are much more advanced than the basic kit that my M3 was fitted with. The Impreza kit features pillow-ball bushings on all four corners, isolated ride height adjustability, and front camber plates. At less than $500, I knew this was a purchase that I needed to make.

First impressions upon receiving the kit were excellent, the packaging was very well padded and the coilovers/hardware looked great. When installing these I soon noticed that my car would be immobile before I ran out of height adjustability. Although this does not appeal to everyone, I was surprised to see that this kit enables you to lay frame while still retaining full suspension travel. If going low is your thing, I haven’t seen any other coilovers for the Impreza that will offer this kind of height adjustability with a full shock stroke.

When taking the initial test drive, I immediately noticed the connected feel that the pillow-ball bushings provided. The steering response was much more direct, enabling greater awareness of road irregularities and offering a better overall feel for what the tires are doing. Although my car is low (by most standards), it does not ride like a bouncy, shock-bottoming, fender-rubbing, functionless piece of metal. Instead, it’s quite the contrary; my car is a joy to drive, cornering is flat, and yet I can still enjoy throwing the car’s weight around.

I’ve ridden on many different coilovers - Tein, Stasis, KW, Bilstein, TC-Kline, Rokkor (Raceland’s sister company that offers stiffer spring rates), and more. What I’ve learned from my time spent driving on theses various kits, is that if you’re not pushing the car or driving over some seriously ugly roads, the noticeable difference between most coilovers will be negligible at best.

I found my Racelands to ride very similarly to a friends GD WRX that is on Teins. In fact after spending a substantial amount of time in both cars, I can confidently say that the damping rates feel near identical. Now obviously these coilovers won’t cater to a track-focused car as well as some other kits will, but for a substantial percentage of Subaru owners out there, I truly believe that this is a great offering.

I’ve had these coilovers on my car since the beginning of September, and I have yet to find a fault. They’re not overly harsh on inclement road surfaces, turn in is sharp, and handling is predictable. I also find the spring rates very well suited to the GC chassis. You can still transition the cars weight around, and steering input isn’t met with the snappy handling characteristics of coilovers that are overly stiff.

When I’ve read coilover reviews in the past, I’ve always wanted to see a video of the particular coilover being reviewed in action, so I decided to take a few short videos for everyone's reference.

*If any member feels that these videos are inappropriate or disturbing, I will remove them. If any moderator feels the need to ban me or lock this thread, please contact me first so we can correct the issue.*

(Wet weather handling)

(If you’ve ever wondered what full-lock on a stock rack looks like, this is pretty much as far as you can take it )

(Using the brakes to transition the weight of the car to the front and rotate the rear – highly suspension dependant)


What I believe a lot of people don’t understand about the high dollar coilovers that offer several ways of adjustability, and many other features, is that it takes an exceptional amount of knowledge to get the most out of such a kit. On top of this, to truly optimize such a suspension system, it needs to be very focused in its setup. Corner balancing, road surface (Nearly all tarmac is different), road conditions, projected loads, and so much more are all taken into consideration. This means that for nearly every day you drive, the suspension setup will need to be re-evaluated. Now this kind of precision is excellent for the track, but for the road and day to day driving, you will need to settle on a compromised setup, and if you’re running on a compromised setup for the majority of your cars use, then you’re not tapping into the full potential of the kit that you paid top dollar for. Now I’m not saying that Raceland offers the only solution, but I’ve been very satisfied with their product, and I believe that many others could benefit from what they offer.

Also, I cannot stress how important proper alignment specs are!

Last edited by KJK; 10-29-2011 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:09 AM   #3
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Those videos are going to get your thread locked and you banned.
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:59 AM   #4
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Ibtl/ban
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:08 AM   #5
KJK
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The videos have been removed. It's unfortunate that three simple reference videos won't be permitted. I found the videos integral to the review, and something that I believe members could benefit from.
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJK View Post
The videos have been removed. It's unfortunate that three simple reference videos won't be permitted. I found the videos integral to the review, and something that I believe members could benefit from.
They're not reference videos. They're terrible quality videos of you drifting on public roads.

EDIT: Also, what are your final alignment numbers?

Last edited by Psychoreo; 10-29-2011 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:09 PM   #7
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Good write up. It sounds like you have a lot of experience with different coilovers and you expressed your opinions very well. Nice before and after pics and pics of the coilovers vs OEM. Also it's good that you've been riding on them for almost two months before writing up your review. I hope you update this thread over the next year with any problems or non-problems. It's too bad I don't see coilovers on their site for the newer Imprezas.
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychoreo View Post
They're not reference videos. They're terrible quality videos of you drifting on public roads.

EDIT: Also, what are your final alignment numbers?
Perhaps you see the purpose of those videos differently than I do, and I'm sure some may agree with you. As for the quality, I figure something is better than nothing. I work with what I've got, and if it's not up to your standards, I'm sorry.

Also, only one of the roads displayed in the videos was a public road. The other road is private, it is not serviced by the state or the town. Members of our community (That includes myself) recently paid to have it repaved.

I would also like to say that these videos were not taken to display drifting, they were specifically taken to be used as a reference in this review. Through a cars weight transitioning you can tell a great deal about how a coilover reacts under load. The violent weight transitions that occur when changing the direction of a sliding car are much more obvious to the eye, and that is why I chose to slide the car.

I took your advice and immediately removed the video when I saw your post. I am not looking to get banned or offend any members. However, feeling that it was integral to the review I PM'd Unabomber to ask for his opinion on the matter. He replied by saying that the majority of videos that are removed from this site involve street racing, speeding, or both. I was not street racing, and I would also like to make it very clear that I was NOT speeding in any of the videos.

For this reason I have reposted them, but included a notice saying that if any member feels that these videos are inappropriate or disturbing, I will remove them.


My alignment specs:

Front - 3.5 degrees of camber, 7 degrees of caster, 1/4-inch of toe out

Rear - 1.5 degrees of camber, zero toe

Last edited by KJK; 12-01-2011 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:03 PM   #9
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i had a set of Raceland Coilovers on my E46 328i. they went LOW and rode decent at first. after about a week worth of driving, with the suspension settled again, i had to actually raise the car to be able to clear my driveway and the shop entrance where i worked at the time. i put them through a very harsh winter, which included snow that i have no clue how i made it home in (16inchs) with my front bumper pushing as i went. i ran several autocross events with them, and drove on them daily. after about 6 months on the car, i started noticing the car rode alot different, as if the shocks had weakened. the turn in and handling was amazing, and i pushed it to new limits while running the dragon, hanging with cars that would have killed me when it was stock. when i sold the car, the coilovers had been on it around 8 or 10 months, and the ride had severely diminished over that time compared to the way it rode when first installed. who knows, i may have damaged them on the dragon or while autocrossing. your setup looks better then mine, as in maybe they have improved their design. im still in love with the KW's i had on my 88 GTI. excellent handling and ride quality.

good review, and the videos are quite helpful in showing exactly what you described.
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:31 AM   #10
KJK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boostaddict08 View Post
i had a set of Raceland Coilovers on my E46 328i. they went LOW and rode decent at first. after about a week worth of driving, with the suspension settled again, i had to actually raise the car to be able to clear my driveway and the shop entrance where i worked at the time. i put them through a very harsh winter, which included snow that i have no clue how i made it home in (16inchs) with my front bumper pushing as i went. i ran several autocross events with them, and drove on them daily. after about 6 months on the car, i started noticing the car rode alot different, as if the shocks had weakened. the turn in and handling was amazing, and i pushed it to new limits while running the dragon, hanging with cars that would have killed me when it was stock. when i sold the car, the coilovers had been on it around 8 or 10 months, and the ride had severely diminished over that time compared to the way it rode when first installed. who knows, i may have damaged them on the dragon or while autocrossing. your setup looks better then mine, as in maybe they have improved their design. im still in love with the KW's i had on my 88 GTI. excellent handling and ride quality.

good review, and the videos are quite helpful in showing exactly what you described.
I appreciate the input, it's great to hear from someone who has firsthand experience with Raceland.
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:29 PM   #11
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nice driving!!
i have them on my leggy wagon but cant figure out why they are so freaking bouncy!
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:47 PM   #12
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I appreciate the compliments!

Try playing with the amount of preload that you have on the springs. Since you spin the entire bottom spindle to adjust the height on these coilovers, you can thread the actual spring upwards to further compress it and preload the coilover. This will raise the car a certain degree (very slightly), but you can counteract it with the adjustable bottom spindle. You may find that more or less preload can effect the ride quality in a positive way.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:53 AM   #13
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Great video man! I didn't find it offensive at all. You kept it short and insisted that the videos are for reference.

Glad to hear you like the Racelands.
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Old 12-11-2011, 03:07 AM   #14
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Do you seriously have I red hood
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Old 12-11-2011, 03:09 AM   #15
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Shoot me now. I understand why I was am s4 owner for 8 years
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:42 AM   #16
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You ^ don't need to clutter someone's thread for giving his honest opinion about a product!
He gave tons of info and a GREAT review, one of the best written reviews ive ever seen! period!
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:50 PM   #17
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Updates?
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:02 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masayver View Post
Good write up. It sounds like you have a lot of experience with different coilovers and you expressed your opinions very well. Nice before and after pics and pics of the coilovers vs OEM. Also it's good that you've been riding on them for almost two months before writing up your review. I hope you update this thread over the next year with any problems or non-problems. It's too bad I don't see coilovers on their site for the newer Imprezas.
They do have them for the 08+
http://www.racelandus.com/coilovers/...lover-kit.html
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:00 AM   #19
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This is a well written review. Props to the OP.

PS, must be nice to have such a nice beautiful "private roads" as your play ground. I'm jealous!!

Last edited by ghettoracer; 02-01-2012 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:13 AM   #20
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Nice review, I liked the videos. Is the rear diff welded in your rs or just the center?
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:27 AM   #21
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How come I can't do that with my car?
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:38 AM   #22
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Quote:
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How come I can't do that with my car?
Because RWD.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:39 PM   #23
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How are the coilovers so far? How long have you owned them? If i install my self, is it hard to adjust the rear cambers on the rear coilovers or just leave it as it is? Thanks. Great great review.

Screw people who only bashes a product just because its ebay / unbranded, totally useless and unhelpful Comments.
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:02 AM   #24
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I thought it was AWD, I didn't realize it was RWD.

The prices of these cheapo coilovers have dramatically raised up! It is $500 now!
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:59 AM   #25
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Im from canada and i tried to buy them.... They are 470$+200$ shipping =O , i can get teins SS coilovers used from jdm shops for 600$! Two years ago, i got racelands for my bmw e36 for 450$ shipped to canada!

Last edited by ayashifx55; 02-16-2012 at 11:26 AM.
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