Patientzero
Patientzero Reader
10/29/19 10:47 p.m.

I've really been eyeing a coilover upgrade this winter but I'm stuck on which route to go so I'd like some advice from the crowd.

2002 Mustang, Maximum Motorsports torque arm/panhard bar setup.

This is 100% an autocross car.  Trailered to track.  Virtually zero street miles.  Goal #1 is getting around some crappy cones as fast as possible.

I'm currently running Koni single adjustables front and rear with the Maximum Motorsports coilover sleeves.  The car is very competitive locally, I want to take the next step.

Option 1; Have the Koni's revalved so I can run more spring rate on the front.  Least expensive option, is it worth it? ~$1000

Option 2; Feal coilovers.  I've read good things about these but at the end of the day they are still a revalved Chinese coilover.  Is this a better option than reusing my Koni's? ~$2000

Option 3; MCS coilovers.  This is what I want but with a $3k pricetag I really have to wonder how much difference this is going to make.  I've read some people say it's night/day difference but others have said it's not worth it on an autocross car.

Another option is the Maximum Motorsports custom valved Bilstein setup, this falls in the same category as having the Koni's revalved for me.  With that being said, another guy in my class has this setup and he's not beating me...

Has anyone here personally gone to a high dollar damper on an autocross car and can you share your experience? 

Dootz
Dootz Reader
10/30/19 1:09 a.m.

Can't answer your question unfortunately, but I'm just curious and going to ask - have you removed both rear upper control arms after installing the torque arm/panhard setup? Got any camber/caster plates on?

Patientzero
Patientzero Reader
10/30/19 1:18 a.m.

In reply to Dootz :

Yes and yes.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
10/30/19 4:56 a.m.

In reply to Patientzero :

Have the Konis revavled & run the correct spring rates, unless you really want to spend the $$$ for high-end coilovers. 

gumby
gumby Reader
10/30/19 6:30 a.m.
Pete Gossett said:

In reply to Patientzero :

Have the Konis revavled & run the correct spring rates, unless you really want to spend the $$$ for high-end coilovers. 

110% this.

Unless you are going to cover the budget delta with your winnings, or just have the money to burn.

 

*PM me if the latter is true, I will hook you up with my paypal addy wink 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
10/30/19 7:21 a.m.

I would be calling Lee at Koni and discuss your needs with him. He has forgotten more about suspension than most people know. I am sure he could help you. 

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
10/30/19 7:56 a.m.

I have Eibach Pro coilovers on my SN95 and they are terrible for autocross work. I'd work with Koni on your current setup.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/30/19 8:02 a.m.

Hard question- what do you think coil overs will bring to the car that is better than not having coil overs?

The way I see it, the biggest change is that you make the springs a lot smaller- but they still need to do the same job.  Other than that, how will coil over shocks perform better than not?  The correct shocks are the correct shocks, regardless of set up.

The way I read your situation, you are not at the point, yet, where lighter and smaller springs will even be noticed.  Refine your current set up, saving the higher cost to use on better shocks. Maybe at some point, the lighter overall set up will matter.  Just not yet.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
10/30/19 8:05 a.m.
alfadriver said:

Hard question- what do you think coil overs will bring to the car that is better than not having coil overs?

This.  What is the suspension issue you are trying to solve?

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
10/30/19 8:11 a.m.
Patientzero said:

 

I'm currently running Koni single adjustables front and rear with the Maximum Motorsports coilover sleeves.  

Wait, comprehension check...

 

You have koni singles with the sleeves on the front?

(these https://www.maximummotorsports.com/Mustang-Coil-Over-Kit-with-Springs-Front-KoniTokicoStrange-Struts-P507.aspx )

 

If so, what are you trying to fix?   I would say that having the Konis revalved would be about the best you can do without going to really expensive stuff. 

Patientzero
Patientzero Reader
10/30/19 9:36 a.m.
Pete Gossett said:

In reply to Patientzero :

Have the Konis revavled & run the correct spring rates, unless you really want to spend the $$$ for high-end coilovers. 

It's not about wanting to spend the money, it's about if I'm going to see a measurable difference on a 50 sec autocross course.  Are the Koni's 95% as good or 50% as good?

Patientzero
Patientzero Reader
10/30/19 9:40 a.m.
alfadriver said:

Hard question- what do you think coil overs will bring to the car that is better than not having coil overs?

The way I see it, the biggest change is that you make the springs a lot smaller- but they still need to do the same job.  Other than that, how will coil over shocks perform better than not?  The correct shocks are the correct shocks, regardless of set up.

The way I read your situation, you are not at the point, yet, where lighter and smaller springs will even be noticed.  Refine your current set up, saving the higher cost to use on better shocks. Maybe at some point, the lighter overall set up will matter.  Just not yet.

I already have coilovers.  I need more spring rate on the front to combat poor camber gain of my suspension.  The Koni's cannot handle more spring without being revalved.  An upgrade is needed but the question is how good are the revalved Koni's when compared to high end coils?  Are the in the same ballpark or are these options worlds apart?

Patientzero
Patientzero Reader
10/30/19 9:41 a.m.
Apexcarver said:
Patientzero said:

 

I'm currently running Koni single adjustables front and rear with the Maximum Motorsports coilover sleeves.  

Wait, comprehension check...

 

You have koni singles with the sleeves on the front?

(these https://www.maximummotorsports.com/Mustang-Coil-Over-Kit-with-Springs-Front-KoniTokicoStrange-Struts-P507.aspx )

 

If so, what are you trying to fix?   I would say that having the Konis revalved would be about the best you can do without going to really expensive stuff. 

I need more spring rate than my Koni's can currently handle.

MrFancypants
MrFancypants New Reader
10/30/19 10:11 a.m.

The nice thing about Bilsteins is that if you're unhappy with them they can be revalved for significantly less than the Konis.

OldGray320i
OldGray320i Dork
10/30/19 11:47 a.m.

Interestingly, I had Koni sports on and needed more spring rate,  so I was going to go race, but ended up with Feals. 

Other than the fact they look like they could use more droop length (seems academic thus far), really happy with them.  The car finally behaves the way I expected it to all along, and no amount of fiddling with Koni damping and spring rate got me the same results.    I don't know if the change is in the 50% increase in spring rate or a damper more closely valved for the spring,  but much more confidence inspiring than my Koni set up. 

And I really liked the Konis, had no problem with them.   

About the same price wise with where I was going with Konis,  so it's a pick 'em there. 

They build in house, I've actually visited their building.  I'd seen these advertised on a Miata site, and when I found out they were only a half hour away from family,  couldn't resist. 

Good group of guys, I got there shortly before closing, they spent a lot of time with me anyway. 

Good guys, good product, I can recommend. 

Patientzero
Patientzero Reader
10/30/19 11:53 a.m.

In reply to OldGray320i :

OTS Koni's or revalved?

OldGray320i
OldGray320i Dork
10/30/19 12:20 p.m.
Patientzero said:

In reply to OldGray320i :

OTS Koni's or revalved?

OTS Sports, Race would have been OTS as well, but are valved for higher rates. 

Miata sports can handle about 500lbs when stock rates are I think 160-180lbs, so I was at the top of the range with 450lbs.

I don't know that they have "Race" versions for Mustangs.

Cost wise, running Koni Race on all 4 corners was close to the Feals, it's just there was an issue seeing where my Koni order was, and I got a wild hair that I  wanted to get set up for a coming auto-x, so off I went.

jimbbski
jimbbski SuperDork
10/30/19 3:56 p.m.

I raced my Fox Mustang on Koni double adjustable shocks and converted it to coil over,  both in the front and the rear.

When you go coil over in the front you can actually reduce your spring rate since  the spring is acting at a near 1:1 ratio to the suspension travel.

It's more like 95% but it way better than the stock  ratio of around 1:2. The rear doesn't change as much but you can still drop the spring rate and get the same wheel rate.

And it rides better too!

 

Patientzero
Patientzero Reader
10/30/19 4:14 p.m.

In reply to jimbbski :

I already have coilovers at all four corners.  I need more spring rate on the front than I currently have.  This is a pure race car that I'm not at all concerned with how it rides.

Patientzero
Patientzero Reader
10/30/19 4:20 p.m.

I did talk to ProPartsUSA today about having my Koni's revalved.  They said they revalved a set of Megan Racing coilovers that were on the podium this year at nationals in my class and could match that valving.

At ~$200-300 per corner this would still be less than half the cost of the MCS and many many people have suggested it.  Basically the only person that has suggested going to the MCS is the guy trying to sell me MCS.  I have no doubt they are fantastic but that's a big bite to swallow.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/30/19 4:55 p.m.

In reply to Patientzero :

Thanks for the clarification- I'm sure that helps others help you.  (I can't- no experience....)

Patientzero
Patientzero Reader
11/1/19 1:10 a.m.

I really expected more people to have feedback on this. 

morello159
morello159 Reader
11/1/19 9:29 a.m.

What do fancy shocks get you that a properly valved cheaper shock doesn't get you...

Wear life? Koni's last a long time, probably not a factor here.

Heat/fade resistance? Not an issue on an autocross course

More accurate adjustability - how much do you fiddle with your single adjustables? Do you want separate compression and rebound damping? Separate high/low speed adjustment?

Specific damping curve shape - not sure if you can go from progressive to digressive with a revalve of the same shock, but something to consider. I don't know diddly about autocross damping because I prefer driving to standing in a parking lot, but on a track, digressive seems the way to a fast lap. Google-fu shows me the konis are somewhat digressive but not as much as a high end shock. 

Nobody can tell you what you want, but it sounds like Koni revalve is your answer if you dont need the extra adjustability. For what it's worth, I spent about $2k on my fancy XIDAS miata suspension and to be honest I don't think it was worth it over my janky bilstein setup before. 

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
11/1/19 10:00 a.m.

In reply to Patientzero : 

I think the reason you’ve not got more replies is that you nailed the answer in the post below. Get your Konis revalved & the correct spring rates, then go drive the wheels off it  

Patientzero said:

I did talk to ProPartsUSA today about having my Koni's revalved.  They said they revalved a set of Megan Racing coilovers that were on the podium this year at nationals in my class and could match that valving.

At ~$200-300 per corner this would still be less than half the cost of the MCS and many many people have suggested it.  Basically the only person that has suggested going

to the MCS is the guy trying to sell me MCS.  I have no doubt they are fantastic but that's a big bite to swallow.

 

Patientzero
Patientzero Reader
11/1/19 3:52 p.m.
morello159 said:

I spent about $2k on my fancy XIDAS miata suspension and to be honest I don't think it was worth it over my janky bilstein setup before. 

This is the type of answer I'm looking for. lol.

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