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Old 12-13-2016, 03:13 PM   #1
Mr_Happy
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Default AST 4100 Coilovers

Looking for some real world experience from anyone who has or has had these coilovers. I have talked to Geoff, and my main goals are relatively comfortable daily drivability (will not be slamming the car), ability to handle spirited driving (no track use), and ability to last during some winter driving over the years (salted roads).

I've talked to Geoff a bit, and I like these coilovers over others for the following reasons:
1) For what you get overall the for the customizability, the price is phenomenal
2) From what I understand they CAN hold up in the "salt belt"
3) Geoff is great
4) 100% US built and repairable
5) Offer increased handling

Why am I asking? I'm looking for long term users and impressions of ability to last in terms of overall years and winter driving. I don't see these up for sale in the classifieds often which, to me, means that people do not know about them, they don't suit people's needs for one reason or another, or people absolutely love them and never take them off their car. All insight is welcome. I am not opposed to other brands, but these are at the top of my list. Thanks in advance.

EDIT: Asking about different coilovers with the same parameters as theyre quite close in price with desired options
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Last edited by Mr_Happy; 02-16-2017 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 12-13-2016, 04:02 PM   #2
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You don't buy coilovers for comfort or reliability. /Thread.
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Old 12-13-2016, 04:11 PM   #3
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*Relatively* comfortable and reliable. If you don't know what relative means you are useless here
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Old 12-13-2016, 06:11 PM   #4
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ask for shock dyno charts so we can see what they look like and if they really are digressive.
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Old 12-13-2016, 06:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Grumpy View Post
*Relatively* comfortable and reliable. If you don't know what relative means you are useless here
speaking of useless, subjective words and descriptions such as "relative comfort" are also pointless.

i personally wouldn't want coilovers on a daily driver. and i am "relatively comfortable" making that statement. coilovers need frequent rebuilding, which doesn't seem very reliable, to me, for a DD.
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Old 12-13-2016, 06:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by isotopesope View Post
speaking of useless, subjective words and descriptions such as "relative comfort" are also pointless.

i personally wouldn't want coilovers on a daily driver. and i am "relatively comfortable" making that statement. coilovers need frequent rebuilding, which doesn't seem very reliable, to me, for a DD.
I wouldn't say "frequent rebuilds," are really necessary. It's not like they fail yearly, and are blown or are leaking each time you look at them... But what they will need is yearly (or more) maintenance on things like the collars and tophats (if equipped).

Then there are the noises associated with a coilover that can drive you nuts. squishes, squeaks, clunks, etc...

So for a daily driver, that wants more performance, look to a proper lowering spring, and performance strut/insert. Of which there are a few options. Much less maintenance involved all around typically. In some cases, a lifetime warranty for the original purchaser!
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Old 12-13-2016, 08:18 PM   #7
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So how often, on average, do coilovers need to be rebuilt?

I am almost convinced the squishes, squeaks, clunks, etc associated with coilovers can't be any worse than the worn 138k mile suspension on the car currently. When looking at the X-1 coils specifically, I was looking at the Whiteline Comp-C top hats and swift springs if that makes any difference in this regard of noises or comfort. The only review I have read regarding swift vs. non-swift springs was that the OP wishes he had purchased the swift springs.

I'm not completely against struts/springs except that right now I'm on stock wheels and when I go to aftermarket wheels I would go to 18" wheels and that would likely change my height preferences, so the adjustability is nice in that situation. Also, the only struts that I currently know of are the Feal with the grease fittings (seems like more maintenance than coilovers, simple or not) and fixed perch Ohlins, which are rarer than truths spoken by Clinton. I'm open to suggestions there.
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Old 12-13-2016, 10:25 PM   #8
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I've been reading these comments about coil-over noises and coil-over rebuilds for years and I'm still trying to figure out what the basis is. I've got RCE T2s on my Legacy, and KW Variant3s on my CTS-V. Both cars have seen daily driver, auto-x and track day duty (with the latter done on R-comps). I must just be really lucky, because I have yet to need a rebuild. "Coilovers need frequent rebuilding"?

Admittedly, the parts that I'm running are significantly more expensive, and are supposed to be "better" than the assorted lower cost coil-overs that are on the market, so maybe that's the difference?
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:00 PM   #9
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Crap coilovers need frequent rebuilding and replacement of parts. Dampers blow out, threads seize, pillowball top mounts wear out and clunk.

If you have a race car with expensive shocks it's a good idea to take them apart every season or so.

But most decent parts don't need much work.

If was was looking for a reasonably priced suspension that was going to hold up to weather and not need any work for years I'd probably pick the RCE tarmac zero, and then put on some whiteline front tops and stock/group n rears. Set the height where you want it, get an alignment and corner balance, and then don't worry about it.

Last edited by jamal; 12-13-2016 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:39 AM   #10
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well, perhaps i have been misled in required coilover maintenance? for instance, i know Feal suggests rebuilds every 20k. is that not the case for higher end coilovers?? that sort of maintenance cycle sounds like a PITA for a DD, to me.
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Old 12-14-2016, 10:10 AM   #11
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I daily drive my car, and I went with tarmac 2s. Love them, I figured since i am keeping the car for a while, i didnt wanna cheap out, and it has the coating for the elements.
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Old 12-14-2016, 02:41 PM   #12
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Every coilover and damper is different and their rebuild intervals should be as well.

Expensive motorsports coilovers may have very low drag seals and are expected to undergo heavy use.

Middle of the road street/track coilovers may have more durable seals/o-rings.

Low-end crap coilovers may use crap shaft guides, o-rings, and seals with poor tolerances. Or not, I don't know. They also usually use low quality bearings in their crap camber plates that wear out quickly and make noise.

Last edited by AndyRoo; 12-14-2016 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 12-14-2016, 03:28 PM   #13
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This is all great, noted info, but I'm still waiting to hear from someone who actually has/has had these coilovers
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Old 12-14-2016, 03:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Happy View Post
I'm not completely against struts/springs except that right now I'm on stock wheels and when I go to aftermarket wheels I would go to 18" wheels and that would likely change my height preferences, so the adjustability is nice in that situation. Also, the only struts that I currently know of are the Feal with the grease fittings (seems like more maintenance than coilovers, simple or not) and fixed perch Ohlins, which are rarer than truths spoken by Clinton. I'm open to suggestions there.
These?:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums//sho....php?t=2795108
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2pot View Post
These are interesting. Definitely a bit expensive, though.

I've also seen complaints about RCE Tarmac 0 coilovers being too soft, especially when compared to an OEM setup.

So again, I'm looking for someone who has actually had the Cygnus Performance coilovers to provide some information
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:05 AM   #16
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PM.....bassler.....I have had convos with him over the begin of the year before i bought my tarmac 2s. He has the coilovers you are looking for some insight on. Not sure how much he comes on nowadays, but send him a pm im sure youll get back to you. Great guy, and was very helpful with advise.
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJSC1608NJ View Post
PM.....bassler.....I have had convos with him over the begin of the year before i bought my tarmac 2s. He has the coilovers you are looking for some insight on. Not sure how much he comes on nowadays, but send him a pm im sure youll get back to you. Great guy, and was very helpful with advise.
Will do! Thanks for the suggestion
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:42 AM   #18
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Well, with a lack of reviews for the X-1 coilovers, ill probably go with Tarmac 0 coilovers. So now onto top hats - looking at longevity and least noise, are Group N still the best choices both front and rear?
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Old 12-18-2016, 02:12 PM   #19
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I think it says they're made by fortune auto, so reviews for those should be applicable.

As far as maintenance goes, I would expect to be able to drive on the KW/RCEs for like 50-60k without worrying much about them. If it was T2s on a track car I'd have them apart more often though.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:16 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Happy View Post
Well, with a lack of reviews for the X-1 coilovers, ill probably go with Tarmac 0 coilovers. So now onto top hats - looking at longevity and least noise, are Group N still the best choices both front and rear?
In my opinion, the less lateral movement of the strut the better, but of course there is always compromise between responsiveness and noise/comfort. Some will say you don't need Grp N in the back but as someone who has had stock tops, Group N and camber plates I'd suggest Group N in the rear. If you think you can handle plates in the front I'd go that way but if you don't want the thumping noise then go Group N.
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Old 12-19-2016, 02:07 PM   #21
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Or whiteline com-c, which add caster and camber and are similar in stiffness to group n.
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:27 PM   #22
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EDIT

Looking for same opinions on AST 4100 coilovers since I couldn't find much on the Cygnus Performance X-1 coilovers
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:53 PM   #23
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They are pretty good stuff. I have set a few up and the owners/drivers were pretty happy with them. I would suggest calling/emailing Turn in Concepts, they have done a lot of work with AST and should be able to get you a set.

Last edited by jamal; 02-17-2017 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:44 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Happy View Post
EDIT

Looking for same opinions on AST 4100 coilovers since I couldn't find much on the Cygnus Performance X-1 coilovers
X1's are customized fortune 500's made to be more mild with lower spring rates and damping as well as custom sized shafts to accept stock or comC strut tops.

I've ridden in a GV on fortunes set up to be mild and it rode really well, nice and smooth even on bumpy michigan roads.

Swift springs are nicer than the standard ones, they are smoother and a worthwhile upgrade over cheap springs. One of my friends has ISC N1's and they were rather brutal, just swapping to Swift springs of the same rate made the ride way better.

The radial bearing upgrade allows the springs to rotate freely while turning and compressing, that stops them from binding up and reduces clunking. I have not done a back to back comparison of the two, but the advantage makes a lot of sense.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:53 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitch808 View Post
You don't buy $1000 coilovers for comfort or reliability. /Thread.
Fixed it for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isotopesope View Post
i personally wouldn't want coilovers on a daily driver.
NASIOC is the only forum I've ever seen with this silly mentality. The reason people think like this is that the US aftermarket is flooded with cheap (low quality) suspension parts and a good deal of people on this forum are living above their means - they go into debt getting a salvage title STi so they can show it off in their community college parking lot and have no money left over for quality parts. These are the people that scrap the fantastic BBS wheels that came with the car for something 3x heavier and dump the decent OEM suspension for something with insane spring rates and crappy damping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Happy View Post
So how often, on average, do coilovers need to be rebuilt?
This doesn't have a single answer, but the AST 4100s can probably go about 2-3 daily driven years before you should consider a rebuild. Abuse them and you'll accelerate wear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Happy View Post
...that would likely change my height preferences, so the adjustability is nice in that situation.
The benefit of adjustable height is corner-weighting the car. You'll only be setting this once as it changes your alignment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Happy View Post
Also, the only struts that I currently know of are the Feal with the grease fittings (seems like more maintenance than coilovers, simple or not)...
Zerks take about 10 minutes to re-grease the whole car. Coilover rebuilds can take a month or more since you need to ship them out. You'll also need to realign the car after rebuild unless you make match marks and can settle for 'pretty darn close' on your alignment angles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post
I've been reading these comments about coil-over noises and coil-over rebuilds for years and I'm still trying to figure out what the basis is...
See my comment above - it's a combination of people being cheap and crowd mentality. My other comment about 2-3 years before a rebuild is directly based on my experience with my own set of AST 4100 shocks. Following my first rebuild, the front left shock started leaking after about 2.5 years.

Feal's comment about 20k mile maintenance should probably be taken as more of a precautionary statement. I would inspect every 10k miles, 20k max on a street car - look for leaks and feel for a dead corner. If they were used in serious competition, a frequent rebuild will maximize repeatable performance. Once you get into super high-end stuff ($10k+, hydraulic bump-stops, etc.), you're probably abusing the suspension enough to warrant annual rebuilds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Happy View Post
This is all great, noted info, but I'm still waiting to hear from someone who actually has/has had these coilovers
I have them. I like them. Your car will look slightly better than it did stock and feel infinitely better due to the low spring rates. Rebuilds aren't terribly fun due to the relatively low number of AST rebuild locations in the USA. I would budget $300-350 every two years for having 2 corners rebuilt - you'll rarely end up with more than one corner leaking, but you need to rebuild the left and right together.

I can name probably a dozen more things on my car that individually made the ride harsher or noisier than the AST 4100s did, including, but not limited to:

GpN solid engine mounts (not the regular GpN set)
Beatrush rear transverse link mount (essentially a solid bearing ALK)
Beatrush pitch stop
GpN brake booster delete
STi rear lateral link set (6 bearings, 2 bushings)
Com-C strut mounts
Fixed back seats

I have a Hewland dog-box currently being shipped from the UK and a STi GpN 4-puck, un-sprung clutch awaiting install. If I can daily drive this, you can daily drive a set of AST 4100s.

Regarding the Com-C mounts - I was the individual that identified a bearing quality issue to Whiteline a year and a half ago. I believe this problem has been fixed, but if not, consider the GpN top mounts to be the go-to part. I have heard that Whiteline has dipped in quality lately, but aside from my own bearing issues, I can't speak to this beyond a number of Whiteline dealers more-or-less stating this by recommending other brands more highly.

Last edited by mrsaturn7085; 02-17-2017 at 01:00 PM.
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