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  • Suspension question

    Hello all,

    I am due for a suspension overhaul and wanted some input. I currently have GC with koni shocks 450f/650r springs and find the ride to be unforgiving outside of an autocross/canyon. I was recommended the TCK SA with softer springs as an alternative, but I've never found the Koni's to have any adjustability from soft to firm. I am worried that if i switch from GC to TCK that I will find the ride to be very similar since they both use similar components. I have also read that TCK can be a bit noisy.

    As I mentioned earlier, I do some autocross and mostly spirited drives. The problem is all the miles driven in between that make me reluctant to drive the car more often.

    I am wondering, would MCS (1WNR) be a viable option? Could I get more streetable comfort out of them, or would MCS steer me further into a track orientated suspension. There is a cost difference, which I don't mind spending if it makes me drive the car more often.




  • #2
    MCS dampers are probably the best you can get. These are essentially race-spec dampers that can be used on the street. I have a set of 2WR on my 1994 NSX and they are incredible on both the street and the track. The MCS 1WNR are the spec shock for SPEC E46 racing and the the 2WNR are the spec shock for PRO3 racing (325 body). They are rebuildable in MCS's US facility.

    I had what you currently have on my E30 M3 (GC / Koni / 550# 750#) and never really liked it. Even with the supposedly revalved Koni dampers the overall experience never felt really great. I personally don't think the rear dampers had enough compression or rebound valving in them to handle higher-than-average spring rates (i.e. 450 and above). I also never liked the way you adjusted the Konis as there was no "click" reference from soft to hard and vice versa. You really never knew if you had the same adjustment on each damper.

    The benefit with going with MCS 1WNR is they can be upgraded to 2WR in the future. The 2WNR cannot because of internal differences. The MCS dampers also do a much better job of handling high spring rates. I can say with the highest confidence you will not be disappointed with MCS. They are a great product. The team at MCS all have years of development experience with high performance race dampers. For reference MCS was started by Jerome van Gool and Lex Carson. Jerome was the "J" in JRZ shocks. After selling his interests he formed Moton. Lex Carson was involved with both sales and technical roles at Moton. When AST bought Moton both Jerome and Lex went on to start Motion Control Suspension (MCS).

    However MCS designs their valving (I have no insight on this) it allows you to use a higher rate spring without sacrificing ride quality that will happen with lesser quality dampers. You'll be able to crank up the rebound for track or canyon carving, but dial it back for the drive home. Obviously ride comfort will be largely dependent on the spring rates you choose, but know that you can go higher without sacrificing a significant part of your ride quality.

    Having pitched MCS, for disclosure sake I am currently running a full Turner J-Stock suspension setup on my M3 with Suspension Techniques 22mm/19mm sways. If you want a track-oriented setup this is the one. Unbelievable handling in a near-neutral package. As long as your roads are not torn up the high spring rates (680# 1026#) are pretty compliant on the street, better than you would think. This is helped by the fact the springs are progressive and the Bilstein dampers are valved specifically for these high rates.

    Anyway - back to MCS. If these are in your budget I would not hesitate to pick up a set. Skip the TC Kline route as you are right, they use similar components to GC. I don't think there will be a material difference between TCK and GC.
    1990 M3

    Comment


    • #3
      I am selling my BMW MS GrpN coilovers complete and upgrading to MCS with remote reservoirs for track only.

      The GrpN coilovers I have with the rain setup is the best street/trackable setup I have ever driven.

      T

      Comment


      • #4
        Sounds like OP wants a more streetable, comfort derived street suspension.. While MCS is nice but is much more track-oriented, no? Would these go "soft" enough to have a comfortable OEM like ride on the street?

        Comment


        • #5
          I recommend talking to James or Phil at Bimmerworld about using MCS on the street. My opinion is that it's a track setup and won't be very streetable unless you live in a place where all of the road surfaces are as smooth as a billiard table and there's no pavement separations / steps and no pot holes.
          Ron ///Man

          • '91 Gr-A Former CiBiEmme / Ravaglia - Sold
          • '90 M3 Faux EVOII Alpineweiss 36K Orig Owner - The Queen
          • '91 M3 Faux EVO III Brilliantrot Euro Driveline - The Rocket
          • '91 M3 Faux Gr-A Club Racer DM - The Alter EGO
          • '89 M3 M3T / ITR Club Racer
          • '94 Spec E36 - Eh....
          • '09 M3 - Tarmac Terrorist
          • '04 330Xi Sport 6 Speed - Snowmobile
          • '07 530 Xi - Highway Star
          • http://www.imwcarparts.com/e30-m3-parts.htm


          Comment


          • #6
            I'm running the tck setup on mine, I want to say it's 400 front and 500 rear... I have the konis set to half a turn from full stiff...I live in nj ( roads suck ) and it's very comfortable without being to soft I'm also running the ground control adjustable street strut mounts and it's not noisy at all. For contrast I ran a j stock setup on the car for 15 years of daily driving, loved the handling, hated the fact there was no give over bumps. I think the tck setup was the perfect compromise .

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm really concerned when you say that you don't feel a damping adjustment between soft and firm on the Konis. The Koni adjusters make a big difference in ride quality and handling between full soft and full firm.

              I would not expect a drastic difference between TCK and GC Konis for comfort. The special TCKs are very slightly more comfortable in my direct comparison, but in the E30 application, TCK appears to be using an off the shelf strut with a custom rear. (Note, I have the GC Konis on my E30 M3, and TCKs on my E90 M3, and have run several other sets of TCKs.)

              I can't speak to direct experience with the MCS dampers, but I can say based on my experience with various Moton, AST, and Bilstein suspensions that high gas pressure monotubes tend to come alive at speed and kind of suck for slow speed driving. Unless you have blowoff valves like Ohlins R&T, or the FatCat modified Bilsteins in my E36 M3, they tend to be pretty rough in the city.

              If slow speed ride quality is the priority, twin tube shocks and softer springs are by far the best bets. I'm running the GC Konis with 200F / 400R. That's not bad. But it's still nothing like stock springs on Sachs shocks (like my E30 325is).
              2011 BMW M3 Alpinweiß
              2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD
              1990 325is Brilliantrot

              1989 M3 Alpinweiß
              Hers: 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo
              Hers: 1989 325iX Zinnoberrot

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by HANDBLT View Post
                The GrpN coilovers I have with the rain setup is the best street/trackable setup I have ever driven.
                If you think your GrpN coilovers were the best ever, wait until you get your MCS 2WR installed and setup. They (MCS) are on a whole different level. Because the dampening is so good on the MCS units It may take you a couple iterations of spring fitting to find the right rates. It will also take some track time to get the rebound and compression dialed in (you likely already know this).

                If you haven't already - talk to MCS about their valving and at what settings on the rebound and compression knobs you can match (or get close to) the rates on the GrpN Bilsteins. Assuming you'll be using the same spring rates as your GrpN setup this would be a good baseline to start with and as close to an apples-to-apples comparison you be able to achieve.

                Finally are you going with the coilover rears or the non-coilover rears?

                1990 M3

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dudley123 View Post
                  Sounds like OP wants a more streetable, comfort derived street suspension.. While MCS is nice but is much more track-oriented, no? Would these go "soft" enough to have a comfortable OEM like ride on the street?
                  Simple answer is yes - they can go soft enough to be comfortable on the street. While these are motorsport-level dampers they work just fine on the street. Let MCS know what spring rates you'll be running and they can configure the valving appropriately giving you the most range adjustment (up and down) that you'll need. Remember ride quality is a function of spring rate as well as dampening rates. The two (springs and dampers) need to be properly matched. When people complain about ride quality it is usually because they don't have these components properly matched.

                  The OP indicated he does some autocrossing. The MCS 1WNR dampers are perfect for autocrossing. Keep in mind most AX courses are level, smooth paved lots. No high speed bumps (curbs) to content with. The ability to dial up the rebound at the course and fine tune it as necessary is a huge plus. Combined with the right spring rates, sway bars and tires and he'll have an awesome AX machine.
                  1990 M3

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ron ///Man View Post
                    I recommend talking to James or Phil at Bimmerworld about using MCS on the street. My opinion is that it's a track setup and won't be very streetable unless you live in a place where all of the road surfaces are as smooth as a billiard table and there's no pavement separations / steps and no pot holes.
                    Based on almost four years of running my MCS 2WR dampers on my NSX I would disagree. With the right spring rates they are totally streetable at the lower end of the rebound and compression settings. It is all in their design of the internals some of which are proprietary and exclusive to MCS. It took me a couple iterations of trying certain spring rates and lengths to get my suspension dialed in. My aim was to get as close as I could to what Honda developed in conjunction with Showa for the 1993 NSX-R. After a certain amount of trial and error I now have a near identical setup for the track when using specific rebound and compression settings (I am using the same spring rates and the same sway bars as was fitted to the 1993 NSX-R). Once off the track I can dial back the rebound and compression and get a firm but comfortable ride that doesn't shake the car (or my fillings) apart. I've literally put thousands of street miles on my NSX (mostly high speed tours and rallys) and never felt like I had an uncompromising setup.

                    I do agree the OP should have a talk with the folks at BW - or give MCS a call. He'll find Lex Carson to be very approachable and can walk the OP through specific scenarios and help get him headed in the right direction.
                    1990 M3

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nrubenstein View Post
                      Unless you have blowoff valves like Ohlins R&T, or the FatCat modified Bilsteins in my E36 M3, they tend to be pretty rough in the city.
                      MCS has proprietary blow-off valves in their dampers.

                      1990 M3

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mwagner10702 View Post

                        MCS has proprietary blow-off valves in their dampers.
                        Ah, nice!
                        2011 BMW M3 Alpinweiß
                        2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD
                        1990 325is Brilliantrot

                        1989 M3 Alpinweiß
                        Hers: 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo
                        Hers: 1989 325iX Zinnoberrot

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mwagner10702 View Post
                          MCS dampers are probably the best you can get. These are essentially race-spec dampers that can be used on the street. I have a set of 2WR on my 1994 NSX and they are incredible on both the street and the track. The MCS 1WNR are the spec shock for SPEC E46 racing and the the 2WNR are the spec shock for PRO3 racing (325 body). They are rebuildable in MCS's US facility.

                          I had what you currently have on my E30 M3 (GC / Koni / 550# 750#) and never really liked it. Even with the supposedly revalved Koni dampers the overall experience never felt really great. I personally don't think the rear dampers had enough compression or rebound valving in them to handle higher-than-average spring rates (i.e. 450 and above). I also never liked the way you adjusted the Konis as there was no "click" reference from soft to hard and vice versa. You really never knew if you had the same adjustment on each damper.

                          The benefit with going with MCS 1WNR is they can be upgraded to 2WR in the future. The 2WNR cannot because of internal differences. The MCS dampers also do a much better job of handling high spring rates. I can say with the highest confidence you will not be disappointed with MCS. They are a great product. The team at MCS all have years of development experience with high performance race dampers. For reference MCS was started by Jerome van Gool and Lex Carson. Jerome was the "J" in JRZ shocks. After selling his interests he formed Moton. Lex Carson was involved with both sales and technical roles at Moton. When AST bought Moton both Jerome and Lex went on to start Motion Control Suspension (MCS).

                          However MCS designs their valving (I have no insight on this) it allows you to use a higher rate spring without sacrificing ride quality that will happen with lesser quality dampers. You'll be able to crank up the rebound for track or canyon carving, but dial it back for the drive home. Obviously ride comfort will be largely dependent on the spring rates you choose, but know that you can go higher without sacrificing a significant part of your ride quality.

                          Having pitched MCS, for disclosure sake I am currently running a full Turner J-Stock suspension setup on my M3 with Suspension Techniques 22mm/19mm sways. If you want a track-oriented setup this is the one. Unbelievable handling in a near-neutral package. As long as your roads are not torn up the high spring rates (680# 1026#) are pretty compliant on the street, better than you would think. This is helped by the fact the springs are progressive and the Bilstein dampers are valved specifically for these high rates.

                          Anyway - back to MCS. If these are in your budget I would not hesitate to pick up a set. Skip the TC Kline route as you are right, they use similar components to GC. I don't think there will be a material difference between TCK and GC.

                          A lot of what you mention regarding the GC i experienced myself and glad to know I wasn't the only one. I am starting to lean towards the MCS. What's the best process to start piecing my set up together? Talk to my mechanic first or consult with MCS. In speaking to MCS do I need information like, my cars weight, specs on other suspension components?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mwagner10702 View Post

                            Based on almost four years of running my MCS 2WR dampers on my NSX I would disagree. With the right spring rates they are totally streetable at the lower end of the rebound and compression settings. It is all in their design of the internals some of which are proprietary and exclusive to MCS. It took me a couple iterations of trying certain spring rates and lengths to get my suspension dialed in. My aim was to get as close as I could to what Honda developed in conjunction with Showa for the 1993 NSX-R. After a certain amount of trial and error I now have a near identical setup for the track when using specific rebound and compression settings (I am using the same spring rates and the same sway bars as was fitted to the 1993 NSX-R). Once off the track I can dial back the rebound and compression and get a firm but comfortable ride that doesn't shake the car (or my fillings) apart. I've literally put thousands of street miles on my NSX (mostly high speed tours and rallys) and never felt like I had an uncompromising setup.

                            I do agree the OP should have a talk with the folks at BW - or give MCS a call. He'll find Lex Carson to be very approachable and can walk the OP through specific scenarios and help get him headed in the right direction.
                            Missed this! I will give MCS a call and get started. It might take a while, but I'll keep everyone posted on the process. Thanks!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LopezM3 View Post


                              A lot of what you mention regarding the GC i experienced myself and glad to know I wasn't the only one. I am starting to lean towards the MCS. What's the best process to start piecing my set up together? Talk to my mechanic first or consult with MCS. In speaking to MCS do I need information like, my cars weight, specs on other suspension components?
                              https://motioncontrolsuspension.com/contact/#schedule

                              I would either do what Ron ///Man suggested (call Bimmerworld) or schedule with MCS per the link above. The more information you have about your car, current suspension setup, weight, full interior / stripped interior, how you want to use it, what your future plans are, etc . . . the better advice they can give you (this applies to either BW or MCS).

                              Keep in mind that we're headed into the latter half of the racing season so BW and MCS might be delayed in responding to you. Be patient and good luck!
                              1990 M3

                              Comment

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