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Old 11-28-2012, 03:14 PM   #1
lastsnare
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Default Do these springs look like they are shot ? (RCE Yellow)

I have had these springs on my WRX for about 3 years.
Are these lower coils supposed to be stacked right on top of each other ?
I would guess that they aren't doing any good if they are touching, is my logic faulty to think that way ?

(I don't have any photos inside the fender to compare when they were new.
Please excuse the grass and muck, I don't rallycross with these springs, this is from one 'fun run' at a recent local event, just to see how it would go).
I don't recall seeing any cracks in the springs (I just had them off of the car about a week ago).

Looking for some expert opinions.

Vehicle: 2004 WRX sedan
Struts: Tokico D-Specs with rear 1/4" saggy butt spacer and TiC 921 spacer.
Springs: RCE Yellow



Front:





Rear:




side view of car:



full size (huge) photo here:
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:46 PM   #2
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For comparison, OEM springs and OEM struts.

Front:



Rear:

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Old 11-28-2012, 04:52 PM   #3
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Just dirty, not shot.
They are sleeper coils. Meant to take up slack when suspension is unloaded.
Coil springs will last a very, very looooooong time unless they crack or rust out.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:54 PM   #4
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Are they behaving odd or making noise? If not then just give them a cleaning.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikelok View Post
Just dirty, not shot.
They are sleeper coils. Meant to take up slack when suspension is unloaded.
Coil springs will last a very, very looooooong time unless they crack or rust out.
Okay, thanks for your input.
I had hoped these would last a long time, especially since they are recommended to be fairly good springs.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:57 PM   #6
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They seem to hit full compression regularly on moderate sized road bumps (they have always done this to some degree, but not as much as my old Cobb springs that I had around 5 years ago).

When I took the pic of the Yellows and showed it to a few friends, one of them thought that they didn't look right (as in, they shouldn't be so compressed when the car is parked like this).

Perhaps they are not stiff enough for the height, or ideally would have fewer coils, so that road bumps wouldn't cause them to crash into themselves ?

Last edited by lastsnare; 11-28-2012 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:44 PM   #7
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Their dead coils, it's so the springs lower the car but keep tension between the perches, it's so they don't rattle around at full droop.

How old are the d-specs? D-specs are good dampers, but depending on their age/use they might be shot. When you have them off the car compress the shaft and see if there is any leaking or swooshing sounds from inside.

-Anthony
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaughn Performance View Post
Their dead coils, it's so the springs lower the car but keep tension between the perches, it's so they don't rattle around at full droop.

How old are the d-specs? D-specs are good dampers, but depeding on their age/use they might be shot.

-Anthony
Thanks for confirming that the springs are most likely supposed to look this way.
The D-Specs are slightly newer, maybe around 2 years old. They seem to still have their full range of adjustment stiffness (as near as I can determine by how they feel on the road). So hopefully they are okay as well.
These springs are probably just too low for the roads around here, bumpy roads are pretty harsh, perhaps not enough travel to soak up the bumps without hitting full compression.
Overall the springs are okay for autocross, but ideally would probably be a bit stiffer.
A friend of mine has a decent set of coilovers that he said he would sell me fairly inexpensively,
so I'll probably give those a shot when I pick them up, and maybe tinker with different rated springs on those.
Thanks again for your input guys !
Nate
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lastsnare View Post
They seem to hit full compression regularly on moderate sized road bumps (they have always done this to some degree, but not as much as my old Cobb springs that I had around 5 years ago).

When I took the pic of the Yellows and showed it to a few friends, one of them thought that they didn't look right (as in, they shouldn't be so compressed when the car is parked like this).

Perhaps they are not stiff enough for the height, or ideally would have fewer coils, so that road bumps wouldn't cause them to crash into themselves ?

The RCE springs are quite a bit stiffer then your old Cobb springs. You might be confusing a stiff ride to the springs or struts bottoming out.
Does this happen on moderate bumps or big hits? Did you buy the springs new?

Edit: Duh I see you said moderate size hits. That should not happen.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:18 PM   #10
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Did you install them yourself?
Are you sure you have the correct fitment for your car?

Many performance springs use sleeper or dead coils. So it's not uncommon to see coils resting on top of each other.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lastsnare View Post
Thanks for confirming that the springs are most likely supposed to look this way.
The D-Specs are slightly newer, maybe around 2 years old. They seem to still have their full range of adjustment stiffness (as near as I can determine by how they feel on the road). So hopefully they are okay as well.
These springs are probably just too low for the roads around here, bumpy roads are pretty harsh, perhaps not enough travel to soak up the bumps without hitting full compression.
Overall the springs are okay for autocross, but ideally would probably be a bit stiffer.
A friend of mine has a decent set of coilovers that he said he would sell me fairly inexpensively,
so I'll probably give those a shot when I pick them up, and maybe tinker with different rated springs on those.
Thanks again for your input guys !
Nate
Depending how many miles you have on them, and how hard those miles we're will really determine what kinda shape those d-specs are in. Just because the damping adjustment works doesn't necessarily mean they are still working the way they should be.

At any rate (no pun intended), you might wanna swap those RCE yellows for RCE blacks if your road quality is that poor there. They still have increased spring rate but with a much more subtle drop vs the yellows.

What sort of coilovers does your friend plan on selling you? Depending on what they are you may be in for a ride a heck of a lot more punishing over rough roads then the d-specs+some blacks.

-Anthony
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikelok View Post
Did you install them yourself?
Are you sure you have the correct fitment for your car?

Many performance springs use sleeper or dead coils. So it's not uncommon to see coils resting on top of each other.

I did install them myself yes, I've swapped springs on this car probably 10 times over the last few years (mostly switching back and forth between different springs and different struts), and they've been exactly the same in terms of driving feel, at least the last few times I changed them around. I've already made a few basic mistakes, so that I know to make sure the correct strut is on the correct side, top hats oriented properly, all bolts tightened adequately, drive it around the block a few times to makes sure nothing is loose or clunking abnormally, etc...
It's been a few years since they were new though, so I don't recall exactly what they were like then. All that I really remember when they were new, is that they didn't bottom out nearly as much as the Cobbs did, these were a big improvement.
I bought them new from a local tuning shop that probably does 80% of their business with local WRX's, so I'm pretty confident that they are correct for this car.
When it feels like they bottom out, the sensation is something between as if someone took a large sledge hammer and whacked on the bottom of the car, or as if someone took the wheels off the car, and dropped it on the ground. That's a slight exaggeration, but it's definitely a different feeling than feeling all the seams in the blacktop, it's much more harsh.
Looking at how close the front coils are together, all that I could think of is that they are hitting full compression and the the car itself is absorbing the bumps at that point.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaughn Performance View Post
Depending how many miles you have on them, and how hard those miles we're will really determine what kinda shape those d-specs are in. Just because the damping adjustment works doesn't necessarily mean they are still working the way they should be.

At any rate (no pun intended), you might wanna swap those RCE yellows for RCE blacks if your road quality is that poor there. They still have increased spring rate but with a much more subtle drop vs the yellows.

What sort of coilovers does your friend plan on selling you? Depending on what they are you may be in for a ride a heck of a lot more punishing over rough roads then the d-specs+some blacks.

-Anthony
My friend said the set he has are Tein Super Street (280lb springs according to my research), with the pillow-ball camber plate bits. He said that the height adjustment is a little corroded, but he is selling them so cheaply that it really won't hurt at all to scoop them up, and if I don't like them I could pass them along to someone else.
I had considered the Blacks too, it's just that when I looked at some photos of cars with them on, it didn't look like it was appreciably taller than the Yellows, so I was skeptical that they would be much better at all.
That and I was kind of interested in going to a higher spring rate, I guess the Blacks for my chassis of WRX are around 280lb springs also, and I was curious to try something in the 300's. And if I understand how coilovers work (assuming that the dampers are capable of handling the springs), you can get a set of whatever rate springs you like from someplace like Eibach, and experiment to find what you like....as opposed to picking a dedicated spring set, where you could probably mix and match brands to some degree, but it doesn't seem nearly as straightforward.
These springs probably have around 20k miles on them at most, and the D-Specs somewhat less.

If I was truly convinced that the Blacks are where it's at, I would do it, it's just that they are so darn expensive for springs :P
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lastsnare View Post
My friend said the set he has are Tein Super Street (280lb springs according to my research), with the pillow-ball camber plate bits. He said that the height adjustment is a little corroded, but he is selling them so cheaply that it really won't hurt at all to scoop them up, and if I don't like them I could pass them along to someone else.
I had considered the Blacks too, it's just that when I looked at some photos of cars with them on, it didn't look like it was appreciably taller than the Yellows, so I was skeptical that they would be much better at all.
That and I was kind of interested in going to a higher spring rate, I guess the Blacks for my chassis of WRX are around 280lb springs also, and I was curious to try something in the 300's. And if I understand how coilovers work (assuming that the dampers are capable of handling the springs), you can get a set of whatever rate springs you like from someplace like Eibach, and experiment to find what you like....as opposed to picking a dedicated spring set, where you could probably mix and match brands to some degree, but it doesn't seem nearly as straightforward.
These springs probably have around 20k miles on them at most, and the D-Specs somewhat less.

If I was truly convinced that the Blacks are where it's at, I would do it, it's just that they are so darn expensive for springs :P
I can tell you for certain, you'll be less happy with the above mentioned coilover option then a set of proper working d-specs paired with good springs. For one they have spherical mounts which are going to be inherently firmer right off the bat. Regardless of the spring rate, if the dampers aren't that great your just not going to get them to ride/perform well. Played with Tein SS many moons ago was not impressed. Can tell you first hand they won't ride/perform better then the d-specs.

On top of that, price wise, good coilovers springs aren't cheap either, experimentation gets expensive, even if you're not getting top of the line coilover springs. One set of proper coilover springs is already more then/equivalent most good fixed perch strut springs. (I.E price a set of Swift metric coilover springs).

-Anthony

Last edited by Vaughn Performance; 11-28-2012 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaughn Performance View Post
I can tell you for certain, you'll be less happy with the above mentioned coilover option then a set of proper working d-specs paired with good springs. For one they have spherical mounts which are going to be inherently firmer right off the bat. Regardless of the spring rate, if the dampers aren't that great your just not going to get them to ride/perform well. Played with Tein SS many moons ago was not impressed.

On top of that, price wise, good coilovers springs aren't cheap either, experimentation gets expensive, even if you're not getting top of the line coilover springs. One set of proper coilover springs is already more then/equivalent most good fixed perch strut springs. (I.E price a set of Swift metric coilover springs).

-Anthony

Okay, I will consider my options carefully and probably come to some decision this winter or by spring.
I appreciate the advice !
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:57 PM   #16
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Okay, I will consider my options carefully and probably come to some decision this winter or by spring.
I appreciate the advice !
No problemo! Just trying to save ya some grief, dumping time/money into something that doesn't make you happy is no fun.

Feel free to drop me a line if you any other questions.

-Anthony
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:01 AM   #17
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No problemo! Just trying to save ya some grief, dumping time/money into something that doesn't make you happy is no fun.

Feel free to drop me a line if you any other questions.

-Anthony
Indeed, it's good to learn from experience and not make the same mistakes if it's not necessary. Thank you again !
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:13 AM   #18
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Wow! You have almost no suspension travel, unless the angle of the picture is deceiving. No wonder you get thumped on any decent sized bumps.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:47 AM   #19
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i would call rce and discuss this with them.....they may have an idea

and my dspecs have been nothing less than phemominal for almost 100k miles, i just bought a new set to go on with a new set of springs(more appropriate to my useage) when i do the 105k mile service
i am convinced that the dspecs mated with proper, non-slammer springs are the best bet for the vast majority of us with the gd chassis

mine have been used pretty hard overall, with a good bit of off road use with the car fully loaded in the last 30k miles and they are NOT 'bad' yet......being able to adjust them to suite use/load/conditions in a matter of a minute(with extended rear adjusters) is priceless
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:02 AM   #20
lastsnare
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Wow! You have almost no suspension travel, unless the angle of the picture is deceiving. No wonder you get thumped on any decent sized bumps.
It does look like travel is pretty minimal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
i would call rce and discuss this with them.....they may have an idea

and my dspecs have been nothing less than phemominal for almost 100k miles, i just bought a new set to go on with a new set of springs(more appropriate to my useage) when i do the 105k mile service
i am convinced that the dspecs mated with proper, non-slammer springs are the best bet for the vast majority of us with the gd chassis

mine have been used pretty hard overall, with a good bit of off road use with the car fully loaded in the last 30k miles and they are NOT 'bad' yet......being able to adjust them to suite use/load/conditions in a matter of a minute(with extended rear adjusters) is priceless
I really like the quick adjustment ability of the D-Specs also.
I'll follow your suggestion to contact them and see what their thoughts are.
Thanks for sharing your personal experience with the D-Specs.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:59 AM   #21
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i like Konis, for the lifetime warranty. if you're truly looking to keep them long term until they wear out, at least you wont have to buy a new set. just keep your receipt.

the only downside is that Konis are more work to install and replace.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:14 AM   #22
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i like Konis, for the lifetime warranty. if you're truly looking to keep them long term until they wear out, at least you wont have to buy a new set. just keep your receipt.

the only downside is that Konis are more work to install and replace.
I had considered the Koni's (highly recommended by some of the more seasoned autocrossers in my area), but I opted for the D-Specs at the time because they were cheaper, still seemed to get some decent reviews, and didn't require the work that the Koni's do to fit the cartridge into the stock struts. I thought I would keep the stock ones in case I wanted to sell the car eventually (and then sell the D-Specs separately).
If I was planning on keeping the car indefinitely though, and if I didn't mind going through the rebuild process when needed, I would probably do the Koni's. I'm just always on the fence about keeping this car, there are some things I will always dislike about it, no matter what I do. :P
Ah well !
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:14 PM   #23
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Probably pretty normal for RCE's . Different year springs , RCE's on my 09 in the back. And they do thump pretty hard at slow in town speeds. They were designed for more "spirited" driving.

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Old 11-29-2012, 08:18 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2subiesinyard
Probably pretty normal for RCE's . Different year springs , RCE's on my 09 in the back. And they do thump pretty hard at slow in town speeds. They were designed for more "spirited" driving.
Looks like your rubber spring isolator is a bit off. Might wanna fix that.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:23 PM   #25
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Well, I sent them a message via the website with links to some of my photos, and I guess I'll give them some time to get back to me.
Thanks for the pic 2subiesinyard.
If anyone else has pics of their front spring on a GD chassis car (or maybe any car, for curiosity's sake) feel free to post
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