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Old 01-14-2012, 03:07 PM   #1
gary p
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Default Feal 441 Coilovers, what's the skinny?

Went to FEAL suspensions site this morning and stumbled across a new product:

http://odib.web.officelive.com/Feal441.aspx (Official NASIOC vendor, link is legal )

Scanned the usual Suby-centric sites and google for some reviews or other information but came up empty-handed. Anyone known anything about these? Price is awfully inviting. They look like BC/KSport/Megan hardware but I trust Odi has worked his magic on the innards. The springs are certainly better quality than come with the usual Chinese/Taiwanese cheap coilovers. Has the Valhalla of inexpensive coilovers finally arrived?
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Last edited by gary p; 01-14-2012 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 01-14-2012, 03:29 PM   #2
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i'd give them a shot over the other coilovers in that price range.
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:55 PM   #3
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Now that's a conundrum.

At first glance they're definitely ksport/whatever hardware. I have some Ksport stuff at home that's junk. It's been rotting in my garage. They were, to be fair, serviceable while I used them, but I wouldn't have trusted them if I didn't watch them like a hawk. Also, nice springs wrapped around garbage isn't enough to sway me - the spring is the most minimally important piece of the equation.

That said, feal's other offerings are very good. Furthermore, using swift springs may open up enough travel that the dampers could be (as in, not impossible) reasonably good.

My personal opinion is that, if they ditched the top-mounts and used the money elsewhere it would open up a lot of possibilities for quality at a good price. That would probably significantly reduce the number of units sold though, because ricers expect spherical tops dammit.

I think I would need to actually play with these a bit to pass a judgement.
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:04 AM   #4
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while some of the hardware looks to be ksport ish I have a feeling that the insert itself is not.

I'm thinking it's a hotbits insert. I'm just guessing because of the other options offered by feal. Also, ksport inserts all seem to be 36 click adjustment while the hotbits are 30 for single adjustable models. Definitely not a sure fire method of telling what they are but its an observation.

And if my suspicions are correct, this would make these a very decent package. I own a set of the 'gravel spec' double adjustable hotbits and they are a fantastic coilover. The feal versions are a fair chunk less than the hotbits as well.

I would just give Odi a call though. I'm sure he would have no issues telling you the whole story of what you would be buying.
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:42 PM   #5
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Feal inserts are hotbits iirc.... It stands to reason these are similar and based on that core....
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sniper1rfa View Post
Now that's a conundrum.

At first glance they're definitely ksport/whatever hardware. I have some Ksport stuff at home that's junk. It's been rotting in my garage. They were, to be fair, serviceable while I used them, but I wouldn't have trusted them if I didn't watch them like a hawk. Also, nice springs wrapped around garbage isn't enough to sway me - the spring is the most minimally important piece of the equation.

That said, feal's other offerings are very good. Furthermore, using swift springs may open up enough travel that the dampers could be (as in, not impossible) reasonably good.
I see that FEAL is also now offering rebuild/revalve/unsuckify service for KSports and the like. I'd be happy to take that "rotting junk" off your hand for you

I'd also disagree that the springs are the least important part. The tolerance range for actual spring rate relative to the claimed rate on cheap springs can be 10% or more. If you get one spring that's around 10% over the claimed rate and another that's around 10% under on the same axle you've got problems. I trust the Swifts to be built to a higher standard.
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary p View Post
If you get one spring that's around 10% over the claimed rate and another that's around 10% under on the same axle you've got problems. I trust the Swifts to be built to a higher standard.
Sure, but a spring that's 10% off isn't going to be half as disruptive as a shock that's 10% off or geometry that's 10% off.

Any old spring on a nice damper is going to be much, much better than a really nice spring on a crappy damper. Thus the spring is the least important part. If you're going to build nice coilovers, nice springs are a good idea, but nice springs won't save a crappy coilover.
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:58 PM   #8
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subscribed...looks like a great entry-level coilover.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sniper1rfa View Post
Sure, but a spring that's 10% off isn't going to be half as disruptive as a shock that's 10% off or geometry that's 10% off.

Any old spring on a nice damper is going to be much, much better than a really nice spring on a crappy damper. Thus the spring is the least important part. If you're going to build nice coilovers, nice springs are a good idea, but nice springs won't save a crappy coilover.
Oh, I don't disagree that the damper internals are more important than the precision of the spring rate. But, assuming the shock cartridge/internals were decent, I'd rather have a good spring and mediocre hardware (lower strut bracket, threaded spring perches, camber plates, etc) than the other way around.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:09 PM   #10
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Hey! I was wondering how long until someone finds this on our website.

We are not trying to fool anyone with these lower cost coilovers. We found a reputable source for shock shafts, bodies...., and put together a package for those that want to spend less on suspension components. Yes, the majority of the parts are from Taiwan.

We stock parts such as seals and bushings and perform rebuilds and revalves in house. We also warranty these for a year on a street car. Rebuilds for these are only $70 a corner for the original owner.

The default valving for these is minimally digressive and super comfortable on the street. We feel like the best default spring rate for a daily driven GD with the Feal 441' is a 7K/5K. We used Swift springs because they are the rate they advertise, have tons of travel, and somehow ride nicer than anything else we test.

Different spring rates and valving are available at no extra charge while placing the order.

We have tested these on two different GD chassis imprezas. I really believe that the valving and springs will impress anyone that test drives a car with the Feal 441 coilovers.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:18 PM   #11
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Good job odi, Once again you have delivered a great product at lower cost and at $70 a corner to rebuild and revalve this is a great product for someone who can not afford $2000+ coilovers. To bad I already have your revalve struts or I would be all over this.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:08 AM   #12
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Wow, this is awesome!
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:20 AM   #13
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Odi, is it possible for you to put together an FXT coilover at the same price point? Something that has at least another inch in height over the impreza unit?
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:54 AM   #14
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My long search for a decent entry coilover for Auto-x/DD may finally be over!
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:49 AM   #15
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Subscribed for more info. If you would like these to be tested for an auto-x season, let me know!
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:32 PM   #16
gary p
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Odi,

Other than Swift springs and Odi-spec shim stacks, are there any other upgrades from BC/K-Sport/Megan? Are you using their piston and adjuster jet/needle set or yours? Is the shock oil different? Do they have an external valve for nitrogen pressure adjustment?

These have certainly captured my interest.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary p
Odi,

Other than Swift springs and Odi-spec shim stacks, are there any other upgrades from BC/K-Sport/Megan? Are you using their piston and adjuster jet/needle set or yours? Is the shock oil different? Do they have an external valve for nitrogen pressure adjustment?

These have certainly captured my interest.
I would like more info on this as well.

I've had a set of ksports gt pros sitting in the garage for about a year now. I am curious to know just how much you can improve them. Would they be made similiar to these 441 coils you offer?
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Odi, is it possible for you to put together an FXT coilover at the same price point? Something that has at least another inch in height over the impreza unit?
Maybe in the future. I really have my hands tied right now with the current offerings.

Quote:
Odi,

Other than Swift springs and Odi-spec shim stacks, are there any other upgrades from BC/K-Sport/Megan? Are you using their piston and adjuster jet/needle set or yours? Is the shock oil different? Do they have an external valve for nitrogen pressure adjustment?

These have certainly captured my interest.
The other upgrade are the components we selected. There a few important differences such as higher quality top out bumpers, piston bands, bushing tolerances... . I am not sure who the other brands have their dampers assembled by, but there are slight differences found in all of the different brands. Some small components can make a huge difference. Ultimately, the shim stack and spring selection will be the determining factor in how well a damper works. And the after sales support such as rebuilds and valving updates/changes is something that will go a long way.

As for how these are charged with nitrogen. We charge them with a needle through a rubber valve like Ohlins, Hot Bits, ... Some of the other brands mentioned above use different methods of filling and sealing nitrogen.

Thanks for the questions
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:26 PM   #19
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want.
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:25 PM   #20
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Shame, I'd pay a premium for a one-off too. My only alternative is a $2500 AST kit. If I could get something under $1900, I'd be game.

Though, I could remove my Koni's in favor of your Hotbits inserts?.. Hmmm..


Quote:
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Maybe in the future. I really have my hands tied right now with the current offerings.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:09 AM   #21
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sometimes, and i mean sometimes, i wish some parts on my car would wear down a lot faster so i can get more stuff
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:20 PM   #22
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bump

Anybody got these yet? I'm curious to hear some reviews.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:09 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STiHokie48 View Post
bump

Anybody got these yet? I'm curious to hear some reviews.
Local guy here that's thinking about getting some. znoblebb

I hope he does cause i'm interested too.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:11 PM   #24
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There is a build time right now for these. Hopefully youll see my review in 2-3weeks.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:36 PM   #25
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subscribed
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