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Old 09-20-2004, 07:20 PM   #1
engineerx
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Default TEIN RA - TEIN FLEX rebuild cost - Which to Choose?

I've been reading as many posts as I could find about TEIN RA's
I've narrowed my choices of coilovers for my '04 WRX STi to the TYPE RA & TYPE FLEX
Now here's the cost of maintenance that may influence my choice:

RA's cost to rebuild $130 each - in Japan (must be shipped to Japan) 2
months turn-around +Freight to Japan (~$300?)

Flex cost to rebuild $100 each - in the U.S. - 2-week turnaround

I talked to TEIN tech support in Downey , Calif - the rep was very informative and answered all my questions and that's what he said - reason : since the RA's are inverted shocks - they require a special machine to rebuild which TEIN USA does not yet have

Flex may run upto 50k miles before needing a rebuild.... RA's, he wouldn't say but perhaps half of the Flex - anyone have more info on this?

RA's should be better performers for track duty
Anyone know how they compare to the type Flex? are the RA "greatly" better or only "slightly" better?

Will I see a noticeable difference between the stock STi handling and the Flex-equipped handling?

This is my daily driver - and I plan on doing track events once or 2x every couple of months (mmmm..... Flex + EDFC migth be the way to go ....)

I have already installed a few goodies:
Perrin P.S.R.S (ALK)
Perrin swybar links front & back
Enegy Suspension front swybar bushings
Whiteline heavy duty swybar bushing mount & bushings rear
Whiteline steering rack bushings
Cusco swybars front 21mm & back 22mm
Cusco lower brace
Cusco strutbars front(not installed) & back
Cusco rear suspension links (all 6)
Cusco 7-point roll cage

Forget waiting forever for Prodrive's Active Shock Technology !!!

your opinions/experiences greatly appreciated!

The RA's are just so awesome ...... aaargh !!
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Old 09-20-2004, 11:33 PM   #2
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I know someone who has Type RA on his car. He says it's way too stiff for the street. PM Mike, (Phlash23). I'd go with the Flex's myself. actually i went with 280F/230R springs + AGX's but yeah...
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Old 09-21-2004, 02:34 AM   #3
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thanks MRF582, I'll ask Mike
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Old 09-21-2004, 04:21 AM   #4
.RYAN
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The Flex have a higher spring rate then the RA.
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Old 09-21-2004, 05:52 AM   #5
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the ra's aren't too bad. i daily drive them with damping on full. teh ra's come with 45mm pistons if i remember correctly
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Old 09-21-2004, 11:07 AM   #6
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Everything is a compromise; you need to decide which is more important to you, whether it be ultimate performance or the inconvenience of doing without your suspension for a little while and having your stock setup back on the car.
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Old 09-21-2004, 01:06 PM   #7
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DRBIGGLY: Yep - that's the difficult part : "the compromise" - I'm having a damn hard time deciding which way to go:
ultimate performance of the RA system + potential expenses on rebuild
good performance of Flex - more economical

WRXSHAGGY: yep spring rates are: Flex=560/450 & RA=450/340
http://www.tein.com/ti/s40.html

PETAWABIT: Thanks - good to hear from a RA user to help me decide

I got a fairly good quote from a local shop for $2050 for the RA's (tax included) so I'm leaning towards the RA's

I guess I may as well go for ultimate performance!!
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Old 09-21-2004, 09:53 PM   #8
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I daily drive a set of RA with the 8/7 setup (instead of the 8f/6r). They aren't too bad, depending on where you live. I was really expecting a harsh ride but it was surprisingly balanced.

A slight "bounce" at a constant 20 mph; but it completely disappears at speed. I've got about 16,000 miles on them - lots of aggressive driving/auto-x/etc. I've just recently noticed a slight bounce at higher speeds.

I plan on having them revalved for 10-12kg rates and increasing the spring rates for next autocross season.
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Old 09-21-2004, 10:34 PM   #9
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engineerx-or you can get some serious coilovers such as the hks hipermax pros with 12/8 spring rates or some zeals. If money wasn't an issue, you can also just get some ohlins which I hear are top of the line.
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Old 09-21-2004, 11:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoomfactor
I daily drive a set of RA with the 8/7 setup (instead of the 8f/6r). They aren't too bad, depending on where you live. I was really expecting a harsh ride but it was surprisingly balanced.

A slight "bounce" at a constant 20 mph; but it completely disappears at speed. I've got about 16,000 miles on them - lots of aggressive driving/auto-x/etc. I've just recently noticed a slight bounce at higher speeds.

I plan on having them revalved for 10-12kg rates and increasing the spring rates for next autocross season.
What rates do you intend to use for autox?
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Old 09-22-2004, 03:37 AM   #11
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Why do the higher end RA's have a lower spring rate then the flex?
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Old 09-22-2004, 01:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRXSHAGGY
Why do the higher end RA's have a lower spring rate then the flex?
Yeah - I wondered about that too - I guess because they're 2 different coilovers altogether - the RA's are "inverted" and have different internals too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by petawabit
engineerx-or you can get some serious coilovers such as the hks hipermax pros with 12/8 spring rates or some zeals. If money wasn't an issue, you can also just get some ohlins which I hear are top of the line.
Those Ohlins are sweet ... I did not research them that much but I know Ohlins have been around for years and are use extensively in competition. I've set my budget at $2000, I saw the Ohlins & HKS upwards of $2300
http://www.racecompengineering.com/coilover.html
DROOL .....
I got a great price on the RA's from www.mzmperformance.com - they gave me a great price since I bought about $8k worht of APS parts there: DR55T (rotated mount turbo) DR650 FMIC, reace fuel system, 3.5" TBE, etc .. ALL sitting in my living room !
I wish I had higher budget but I'm waiting for Element Tuning's Hydra EMS - which is pricey so gotta save as much as possible.
I've had all those APS parts waiting for about 6 months - first waited on UTEC then changed my mind and now waiting on Hydra.... aaargh !! I digress - that's for another forum area.....

ZOOMFACTOR - thanks for your input. exactly the type of feedback I was looking for, I really wanted to hear from users and find out if they were "extremely harsh" or "moderately harsh" - I don't mind feeling the road but I don't want a way-too-bouncy ride. I live in Los Angeles, CA. Most streets are smooth so I can live with the type of ride you described.

I'm leaning towards RA's because of price / performance - I was thinking of selling the stock STi shocks but perhaps I should keep them to use when the RA's need overhauling

If I had known I was going to be putting so much $$ on the STi I would've just kept my '99 Durango SUV or bought a Vette Z06 -LOL !!
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Old 09-22-2004, 03:24 PM   #13
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engineerx-i would've given you a ride if I had known earlier that you wanted the ra's if you want, my friend is picking up my ra's to put on his sti so you can get a better judgement of what you want. Even though the spring rates on the flex might be higher now, the ra's have more aggressive damping meant for the track and circuit. Its not all about the spring rate. Also, the ra's have aluminum bodies and I've heard they are lighter than the stock wrx shock and spring combo by 4lbs. So thats 4 lbs off of each corner.
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Old 09-22-2004, 04:02 PM   #14
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What I have noticed about the 02/03 WRX atleast is Tein doesnt drop the rear very much. And with springs out of RSR, H&R, Progress, Eibach, and Tein the drops ranges from 1.3-2 up front and .7-1.5 in the back. Do subaru's not like being lowered or something or are these springs made for plus sizing wheels more then performance?
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Old 09-22-2004, 04:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRXSHAGGY
What I have noticed about the 02/03 WRX atleast is Tein doesnt drop the rear very much. And with springs out of RSR, H&R, Progress, Eibach, and Tein the drops ranges from 1.3-2 up front and .7-1.5 in the back. Do subaru's not like being lowered or something or are these springs made for plus sizing wheels more then performance?
Subarus can only be lowered so much without serious detrimental effects to the suspension geometry, and thus your performance. Most folks don't like buying a nice suspension in order to make their car handle poorly so most of the manufacturers don't sell much along those lines. (Although springs are commonly junk *cough* Tein S-tech *cough* )

The rear doesn't have terribly far to go. In the front when folks worry about "wheel gap", they don't realize that the fenders are cut unevenly and the chassis is actually level with uneven fender gap. So lower it too much in the front and it looks neat, but handles poorly.
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Old 09-22-2004, 05:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petawabit
engineerx-i would've given you a ride ......
That would've been awesome..... thanks for offering - nothing better than to actually sit in a car equipped with the stuff you plan to buy.
I have noticed slight "improvements" with the suspension parts I've installed so far - this from 2 track events i've attended.
Loosing that much weight is good - less sprung weight is always good.

PETAWABIT - what brand/model coilovers are you getting?

DRBIGGLY - yep , I'm always more focused on the performance aspect - so lowering just to get rid of the gap is not a concern - Actually I hate all the scraping the front air dam/lip does when going thru steep ramps / driveways

Well - I took the plunge - I ordered the RA's today - before the weekend comes and I spend my money on fun stuff....

.... there's always the Prodrive Active Shock Technology to look forward to - if they are ever released !
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Old 09-22-2004, 09:15 PM   #17
petawabit
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engineerx-I'm not planning on keeping the car :-( I posted a thread in the for sales parting out my car. Before though, I thought the RA's were too soft and was thinking of either going with revalved ra's with new spring rates or hipermax pro coilovers cause those are shorter stroke coilovers with 12/8 springs. The only problem with those are that they are not available in the US :-(
Peter
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Old 09-22-2004, 09:47 PM   #18
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Anyone used the Cusco Zero 2R or Zeals?
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Old 09-23-2004, 01:36 PM   #19
engineerx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petawabit
.... I thought the RA's were too soft and was thinking of either going with revalved ra's with new spring rates or hipermax pro coilovers cause those are shorter stroke coilovers with 12/8 springs.....
too soft ! - mmm.... perhaps those RA's are valved for track cars that have been stripped fo all the interior....

well, seems like they'll be ok for driving on the streets of L.A. as the STi is my one and only daily driver - I'll have to start telling my GF and friends to drive everytime cause my car is a "track car only" - LOL !!

I'll have Darrin @ WestEnd Alignment do his magic !
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Old 09-23-2004, 08:03 PM   #20
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I have some Tein Flex units.. not the new ones with the 500lbs springs but the ones with the 280 springs...

worth every penny.. thats the best thing I could tell you. What bouncyness? its GONE!
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Old 09-23-2004, 08:51 PM   #21
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engineerx-yeah, i used them everyday for my wrx at the stiffest damping setting. you can feel every bump, but I don't mind. Lots of people get headaches in my car though :-(

Peter
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Old 09-23-2004, 08:54 PM   #22
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engineerx - sorry I haven't gotten back to your PM, please come to the southbay meet friday and I'll discuss everything in detail with you. If not, PM me yer # and when its best to call yah and I can help with your questions

btw - http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...ght=suspension

sherif
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Old 09-23-2004, 09:20 PM   #23
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I'll never understand Jap coilover mean time to rebuild schedules.
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