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Old 08-13-2019, 10:13 AM   #1
2016WRX_CT
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Default 1500~ Coilovers (FA vs Silvers vs Feal)

Alrighty. From everything I've found on ClubWRX and on here, nobody has really posted anything constructive in terms of any comparisons between Feal 441, FA 500, ISC, BC, Silvers, etc. In the WRX group that i'm a member of, some people have the Silvers on their cars and said that they're definitely better ride quality than stock and have had no issues with them even 3 years in.

FA 500 gen 7: These guys seem to be the highest quality within this price range and offer a 5 year warranty. The gen 7s come with a newly designed spring and radial bearings as standard. However, I haven't found a single review on the actual ride quality or comfort of these, as they've only been available since early 2019. They are hand built to order and dyno tested in Virginia.

Silvers NEOMAX: With radial bearings upgrade and swift springs, these come out at around 1550. They do come with a substantial 18 month warranty which includes them shipping you a replacement part if needed so you don't have to be car-less when shipping an entire coilover back (like FA does). Every coilover sold in the US is hand assembled at their US facility and each one is also dynoed. (not batch dynoed, not random quality inspected)

Feal 441+: Swift springs. also have found zero reviews on the actual ride quality/comfort/performace. Haven't found too much information other than what Mike has posted on some previous threads years ago.

My thought process is that basically any substantial coilover replacement will be better than stock on the 2016 WRX, cause right now I'm getting thrown all over the place when taking corners that have even the slightest bump, and even when driving straight, the car really just doesn't handle bumps or cracks in the road well.

From what I've heard, the key factor in coilover ride comfort (within the 1500 budget realm) is upgrading to swift springs and adding radial bearings. Comparing these options... I could go with the NEOMAX with Swifts and radial bearings or go for the 500's with FA's springs and maybe upgrade to swifts later if I need to.

So, does anyone have direct experience with Silvers NEOMAX, FA 500s, or swift spring upgraded 'cheaper' coilovers? If you have, please let me know.

PLEASE.... CONSTRUCTIVE REPLIES ONLY. No keyboard warriors.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:12 PM   #2
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I would personally go for the FA 500s based on the rave reviews they get.

I currently use the ISC N1's without the swift spring upgrade and I can't see the ride quality getting that much better. No matter how I adjust the dampening on the things, it just doesn't feel right. Plus, its a pretty costly add-on upgrade for the coilovers pushing it past the FA 500s (a better coilover).

I am looking to part ways for just bilstein shocks and swift springs, hopefully.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:34 PM   #3
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The ride quality (NVH) will be worse than oem with ANY coilover. ride harshness is directly related to ride frequency which is a function of spring rate. it all comes down to your threshold of tolerance for a higher than oem ride frequency. Anyone who says it's "better" ride quality doesn't know what they're talking about.

the coilover with the lowest spring rate and rebound damping set up properly to keep the car from jacking down over bumps will offer the best ride quality compared to another

ISC, BC, Megan, are all made by the same manufacturer in Taiwan with different colors with pretty much zero QA

Feal and Fortune inspect and assemble the Taiwanese parts in the USA and do in house QA. They will modify the shim stack in the damper to work with the spring rate of your choice.

My advice? We need more info from you in terms of what the car is actually used for. If this is purely a CT street driven car (I live in CT too), get epic springs and be done with it. I would never run an entry level coil over on a daily driver, especially in the salt swathed hell that is a CT winter.

My daily WRX has *GASP* oem struts and springs, and my autocross BG has Feal 441's with swift springs.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2016WRX_CT View Post
My thought process is that basically any substantial coilover replacement will be better than stock on the 2016 WRX, cause right now I'm getting thrown all over the place when taking corners that have even the slightest bump, and even when driving straight, the car really just doesn't handle bumps or cracks in the road well.

Also, the OEM suspension is quite good for bumps and cracks, as theres a lot of bump travel, and has quality shocks.

You do realize that a coilover with less bump travel and a higher spring rate will throw you around MORE than your oem suspension?

If you're worried about body roll, work on bushings and sway bars first before slapping a set of coilovers on the car.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:25 PM   #5
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On my '18 FXT I had FEAL 441 w/ Swift at 8k/8k and went back to stock dampers and pink springs.

The issue I found was something you won't ever solve with coilovers and daily driving and that's the whole crack/imperfection issue. Those are muted significantly with top hats. That absorbs sounds and sharp and fast impacts where the spring/damper simply cannot react.

I very much enjoyed the spring rate and dampening the FEALs had to offer....but they were noisy and you felt every impact through the body of the vehicle which made it too much for daily driving. Myself..I could have lived with it, but the wife would not.
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by scooby24 View Post
On my '18 FXT I had FEAL 441 w/ Swift at 8k/8k and went back to stock dampers and pink springs.

The issue I found was something you won't ever solve with coilovers and daily driving and that's the whole crack/imperfection issue. Those are muted significantly with top hats. That absorbs sounds and sharp and fast impacts where the spring/damper simply cannot react.

I very much enjoyed the spring rate and dampening the FEALs had to offer....but they were noisy and you felt every impact through the body of the vehicle which made it too much for daily driving. Myself..I could have lived with it, but the wife would not.
This is why quality dampers have high and low speed damping adjustment, something that entry level coilovers don't have. Its all in the shocks.
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:41 PM   #7
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So.. Again. Please re-read my initial post. I'm only looking for opinions from people who have actually run or are running one of these coilovers on their 15, 16, or 17 WRX.

The 18s and 19s had a front end suspension refresh that makes the ride much more smooth compared to my 16.

For Shagfagon: I'd prefer a coilover setup over separate springs and shocks, as I really want to be able to dial in the exact height adjustment that I want. I.e. 1" lower in the spring, summer, and fall and 0.5" higher in the winters. This is entirely possible with any of the three brands I mentioned (I've already contacted them and asked. Most of them can adjust an average of 2.5" up or down, and they can custom length the shock body to have the stock height sit in the middle of that range). I eventually want to be able to track the car, but my main focus is comfort thats atleast slightly better than the stock 2016, which IMO is not that hard to do.

Lastly, these three are not "entry level" and certainly not on the same wavelength as BC, Megan, or ISC. Silvers and FAs both use digressive valving which will absorbs bumps at both high and low speed. (I think feal does too)

As for sound due to lack of a tophat, would it be possible to add a rubber panel/sheet between the body of the car and the camber plates to help reduce the amount of vibrations/sound being absorbed by the body?

Based on my budget and what I'll be using the coilovers for, I've worked my way to the three options I listed. Between these options, which do you guys think is best for my specific needs? Also, what spring rate would you suggest?

-Silver NEOMAX with Radial Bearing upgrade and 8K/6K Swifts
-FA 500 Gen 7 (any spring rate)
-Feal 441 or 441+ (any spring rate)
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2016WRX_CT View Post
So.. Again. Please re-read my initial post. I'm only looking for opinions from people who have actually run or are running one of these coilovers on their 15, 16, or 17 WRX.

The 18s and 19s had a front end suspension refresh that makes the ride much more smooth compared to my 16.

For Shagfagon: I'd prefer a coilover setup over separate springs and shocks, as I really want to be able to dial in the exact height adjustment that I want. I.e. 1" lower in the spring, summer, and fall and 0.5" higher in the winters. This is entirely possible with any of the three brands I mentioned (I've already contacted them and asked. Most of them can adjust an average of 2.5" up or down, and they can custom length the shock body to have the stock height sit in the middle of that range). I eventually want to be able to track the car, but my main focus is comfort thats atleast slightly better than the stock 2016, which IMO is not that hard to do.

Lastly, these three are not "entry level" and certainly not on the same wavelength as BC, Megan, or ISC. Silvers and FAs both use digressive valving which will absorbs bumps at both high and low speed. (I think feal does too)

As for sound due to lack of a tophat, would it be possible to add a rubber panel/sheet between the body of the car and the camber plates to help reduce the amount of vibrations/sound being absorbed by the body?

Based on my budget and what I'll be using the coilovers for, I've worked my way to the three options I listed. Between these options, which do you guys think is best for my specific needs? Also, what spring rate would you suggest?

-Silver NEOMAX with Radial Bearing upgrade and 8K/6K Swifts
-FA 500 Gen 7 (any spring rate)
-Feal 441 or 441+ (any spring rate)
As I think about what the top hat is doing, it's allowing the strut to pivot with the wheel with a bearing, but it's also the very top connection with the strut tower for the damper's piston, so vibrations pushed up through the body of the damper have the top hat to absorb that impact before transferring it to the body. It's not just cushioning the sound/impact, it's actually flexing with it. A cushion wedged on the coilover's camber plates isn't absorbing any of that impact.

At least on the FEALs that's where I could feel the impacts as they are being directly transferred as a vibration type impact...I not confident any amount of "quality dampers" would be able to absorb what really boils down to NVH...that's why rubber is used in stock applications.

I've seen different bearing type solutions for these plates in different coilovers but I have no idea how the differences might impact this function.

If I were to do it over again I would have opted for RSR's coilovers for my application. They have an interesting solution for the top hat. (doesn't look like they have coilovers for your WRX, sorry!)

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Old 08-14-2019, 05:28 PM   #9
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I see what you mean..
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2016WRX_CT View Post

For Shagfagon: I'd prefer a coilover setup over separate springs and shocks, as I really want to be able to dial in the exact height adjustment that I want. I.e. 1" lower in the spring, summer, and fall and 0.5" higher in the winters. This is entirely possible with any of the three brands I mentioned (I've already contacted them and asked. Most of them can adjust an average of 2.5" up or down, and they can custom length the shock body to have the stock height sit in the middle of that range). I eventually want to be able to track the car, but my main focus is comfort thats atleast slightly better than the stock 2016, which IMO is not that hard to do.

1. You will need an alignment every time you mess with the ride height each season. Just something to think about. Also after a few CT winters those locking rings will freeze up to the point where you cant even turn them.

2. Another thing to think about being that you are going to be dailying this thing, is that feal's reccommended rebuild intervals are 20,000 miles. Your car will be up on jackstands for a week or two every two years while you spend $$$ to get them rebuilt. Street use is hard on coilovers.

3. I would definitely check up on that 2.5 inch up and down statistic. Most coilovers are lower than oem at the highest height setting due to the short shock body.

2. Did you read my comment about comfort? ride frequency goes up = less comfort. I'm genuinely curious how you think you're able to improve the comfort by getting springs with a stiffer spring rate. Please explain what you mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2016WRX_CT View Post

Lastly, these three are not "entry level" and certainly not on the same wavelength as BC, Megan, or ISC. Silvers and FAs both use digressive valving which will absorbs bumps at both high and low speed. (I think feal does too)
They are entry level coilovers. BC and ISC are so crappy they shouldn't even be considered entry level, as they literally aren't a viable option to anyone who wants to do anything other than tuck tire and scrape everywhere they go.

Yes the damping profile is digressive, but you cannot change the two slopes independent of each other like you would with separated high and low speed damping.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 2016WRX_CT View Post

I eventually want to be able to track the car,
Another thing to think about too, is that depending what group you're working with, coilovers will throw you into a higher class, one where there's no chance of you being competitive with just coilovers.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:00 PM   #12
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lol thanks for the headsup! I won't be tracking the car until I'm around 350 to the wheels.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:50 PM   #13
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lol thanks for the headsup! I won't be tracking the car until I'm around 350 to the wheels.
Do you have the base or I think still premium model 16?

Those, plus all 15s, plus base 17+ have different non inverted dampers which do have lots of low speed damping for the sake of platform control and can feel a bit harsh.

You can get the wrx inverted struts from the limited and later premium and those will ride more luxuriously. You can find them commonly used for 200$.

I would say other than that to checkout Cygnus X1s, they’re custom specd fortunes with factory strut tops and gentler damping. Call and talk to Geoff there. Not sure your 1” lower plan will work great with running rates below 8k which will not do your ride quality any favors.

Finally don’t make silly mod or power excuses not to track your pig. The driver always needs far more modding than the car and the less mods= less problems and more money for consumables and entries.
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:03 PM   #14
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Swift springs are great, but the most important things are the actual valving and available travel, not the brand of spring. That information is generally hard to find or interpret unfortunately, so all the other little features are what's generally marketed.

Quality of the valving, travel (depending on how you use the car), and aftersale support from the manufacturer are IMO the big 3 features to look for in a coilover.

(Also, waiting til you reach a certain power level before tracking your car is like, the opposite of what you're supposed to do . Get some good brake pads, brake fluid, a helmet, and go have fun.)

- Andrew
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:07 PM   #15
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Looked up the Cygnus X1....man I wish I'd have seen those sooner I'd probably still have coilovers at that point. OEM Top hats, comfort springs/valving options, lots of customizations and a reasonable price point. :-(
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shagfagon View Post
Yes the damping profile is digressive, but you cannot change the two slopes independent of each other like you would with separated high and low speed damping.
I think there is a bit of misinformation as to what digressive valving does. Digression means the shock is firmer at low shocks speeds (cornering, standard street driving) and softens up at high shock speeds (pothole, curbing, etc.). A slight bit of digression is easy to live with on a day to day basis but the more digressive the shock the firmer the ride around town is going to be, which does not equal a comfortable ride.

As far as independent high/low speed compression damping adjustment, only a 3 way shock is going to offer that feature, and that is well outside the street car price range for most people. I can only think of one company that even offers high/low speed rebound adjustment (and those shocks are over $10k for the set). Independent adjustment is not in the realm of street cars. Proper valving and broad range adjusters that actually open and close the jetting properly are much more important.
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Old 08-20-2019, 04:11 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mike_Feal View Post
I think there is a bit of misinformation as to what digressive valving does. Digression means the shock is firmer at low shocks speeds (cornering, standard street driving) and softens up at high shock speeds (pothole, curbing, etc.). A slight bit of digression is easy to live with on a day to day basis but the more digressive the shock the firmer the ride around town is going to be, which does not equal a comfortable ride.

As far as independent high/low speed compression damping adjustment, only a 3 way shock is going to offer that feature, and that is well outside the street car price range for most people. I can only think of one company that even offers high/low speed rebound adjustment (and those shocks are over $10k for the set). Independent adjustment is not in the realm of street cars. Proper valving and broad range adjusters that actually open and close the jetting properly are much more important.

Right, when you look at a shock dyno you will have two different slopes for high speed and low speed, which is what I said. We are talking about the same thing, I just didn't elaborate very much.

I agree with everything you say here, which going back to what the OP is saying, he thinks he is going to make his WRX more comfortable by installing $1200 coilovers.
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:21 PM   #18
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Right, when you look at a shock dyno you will have two different slopes for high speed and low speed, which is what I said. We are talking about the same thing, I just didn't elaborate very much.

I agree with everything you say here, which going back to what the OP is saying, he thinks he is going to make his WRX more comfortable by installing $1200 coilovers.
The shaft speed is on the axis and not represented as a slope. The 2 axis represent velocity and force and the slope is a mapped out visual representation of the force produced at a certain shock speed. I have a feeling you are referring to the "knee" which is determined by piston design. Ours (along with quite a few other brands in our price range) have a knee at 1 in/sec (very, very low shaft speed) which is determined by piston flow and bleed. Essentially the knee is how the shock performs before the valving is engaged.

You're right, cheap coilovers are not going to be more comfortable than stock. However, 441's are $1285 and have a ride quality similar to OE. There are quite a few reviews on NASIOC attesting to the ride quality and overall positive word of mouth.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:36 PM   #19
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This is why quality dampers have high and low speed damping adjustment, something that entry level coilovers don't have. Its all in the shocks.
+1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 11111

+eleventy gazillion


and its WAY more than 1500 bucks
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:10 PM   #20
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[quote=Mike_Feal;46102936]I think there is a bit of misinformation as to what digressive valving does.

yep sure is

Digression means the shock is firmer at low shocks speeds (cornering, standard street driving) and softens up at high shock speeds (pothole, curbing, etc.). A slight bit of digression is easy to live with on a day to day basis but the more digressive the shock the firmer the ride around town is going to be, which does not equal a comfortable ride.

but it sounds cool when i say that wurd

As far as independent high/low speed compression damping adjustment, only a 3 way shock is going to offer that feature, and that is well outside the street car price range for most people.

exactly

I can only think of one company that even offers high/low speed rebound adjustment (and those shocks are over $10k for the set). Independent adjustment is not in the realm of street cars.

and so easy for a noob to get totally lost in and screwing up a perfectly fine setup because some idiot on youtube said to turn it up bro

Proper valving and broad range adjusters that actually open and close the jetting properly are much more important.

indeed , and if you want to mess with it try going softer/faster , might be surprised

and people have to stop swinging on the swift springs dick , they are not "the best" they are just better than the Chinese junk springs on all of the Chinese junk coilovers (the ones in this thread) that get great online reviews by people that have no friggin clue what the hell they are talking about and really shouldn't talk at all . any quality spring is "the best"



at least the 441 and fa are assembled in the states with better parts an oil with a much higher and tighter quality control standard

I often tell people to "just get one of them" , at least they are not total "junk" if they don't want "decent" stuff thats more than twice the money for not twice as good stuff , or spend 10-20k on "good" stuff

or if they are not looking at fa or 441's and talking about anything else that's about 1k'ish , not WELL north of those numbers , I may say something like "dude don't waste 1000-1200 on that b/s just buy the 299 b/s off ebay" - eff it

don't take that the wrong way mike , it's a compliment

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Old 08-20-2019, 11:21 PM   #21
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I love my FA 500's. I have them set to full stiff (waiting on my custom alignment for the track and i stuck some beefy tires/wheels on the car, not trying to rub) and the ride actually is not too abrasive or kidney killing, i actually wouldn't mind leaving it like this and my roads aren't all the best. Even on full stiff the ride quality is WAYYYY better than my BC BR's w/ Swift Springs i had previously (Which are pushing it for bottom of the barrel). However, i wouldn't leave them like this at the track. Point is, valving...

When people say quality valving makes a difference or that BC & ISC have really bad valving, they are right, i never really got it until i took just a baby little step up in build quality with the FA's. I can only imagine what Ohlins would feel like. However to me the price tag out ways my needs at the track. I go to have fun, not break records or bloat about my car being better or having better parts.

Plus it's SOOO easy to get a hold of someone at FA for Support. Which is huge IMHO

You're always going to get the snub nose people that say you're and idiot for not spending $3k+ on coilovers, take them with a grain of salt. Anyone spending over $5k on coilovers and is bashing someone looking at FA or similar (Not BC or ISC) has an ego at the track, is trying to prove something, or just has cash coming out their ass which they've grown into liking to talking down to people that don't need the best of the best, or a few seconds taken off their lap times. You'll come across these people mainly on Nasioc.

There are easily more people on FA coilovers & similar than there are with $3k-$8k coilovers and trust me, those people on the FA's or Feals are completely content with them, happy with their purchases and serve the purpose they were purchased for.

I've been in cars with high end coilovers and it's not really something to write home about.

An "alright" or "decent" coilover like the FA's do in fact ride way better and consistent than my OEM setup...... and here it is! IN MY OPINION. I was easily thrown around MORE on my OEM suspension than my coilovers (8k/8K spring rates). They were floaty and with the longer stroke, bounces or bumps were extremely exaggerated. I enjoy my coilover ride quality way more than my OEM setup. If you want something to ride like a Cadillac, go buy a Cadillac


I have a 2016 STI and came from a 2006 WRX

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Old 08-21-2019, 11:36 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Mike_Feal View Post
The shaft speed is on the axis and not represented as a slope. The 2 axis represent velocity and force and the slope is a mapped out visual representation of the force produced at a certain shock speed. I have a feeling you are referring to the "knee" which is determined by piston design. Ours (along with quite a few other brands in our price range) have a knee at 1 in/sec (very, very low shaft speed) which is determined by piston flow and bleed. Essentially the knee is how the shock performs before the valving is engaged.

You're right, cheap coilovers are not going to be more comfortable than stock. However, 441's are $1285 and have a ride quality similar to OE. There are quite a few reviews on NASIOC attesting to the ride quality and overall positive word of mouth.
I guess I am bad at articulating what i mean with my words. I am aware that the shaft speed isn't represented by a "slope". I know how to read a 2 axis plot lol. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but a non digressive shock wouldn't have that "knee" which is, a change in slope, afterall.

I literally have Feal coilovers on my autocross car, and while they are great entry level coilovers (you guys have fantastic customer service and make a quality product at the price point), I wouldn't throw them on an otherwise stock daily in CT if my main goal was comfort, which is explicitly what the OP states. The application just doesn't make sense.
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:02 PM   #23
Mike_Feal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motorbykemike View Post
don't take that the wrong way mike , it's a compliment
No offense taken dude

Quote:
Originally Posted by shagfagon View Post
I literally have Feal coilovers on my autocross car, and while they are great entry level coilovers (you guys have fantastic customer service and make a quality product at the price point), I wouldn't throw them on an otherwise stock daily in CT if my main goal was comfort, which is explicitly what the OP states. The application just doesn't make sense.
That is what our Max Travel 441's are for Softer valving, softer spring rates, more stroke = more comfort on poor road conditions.

Thanks for giving our product a try shagfagon, we appreciate you.
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:21 AM   #24
motorbykemike
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btw , I roll on a simple koni based system that's under 2k all in with camber plates
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