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  • Coilover Suspensions

    Hey,

    So I decided on wheels(17x8 BBS RG-R's). While I was at it, I decided I'd like to get a coilover suspension setup. From what I understand, the two main kits people use are Bilstein shocks with H&R coilovers and Koni shocks with Ground Control coilovers. My car will mostly be a performance oriented car, so stiffness/harshness does not bother me. Which kit according to you guys is better, and why? Also, are there any other options that may be better?

    Thanks
    Boxy is foxy

    1988 BMW E30 M3 2.5L
    1985 Renault R5 Turbo 2

  • #2
    There have been many debates/discussions on this topic here. I searched for ground control above and found several threads.

    You can start here:
    http://www.s14.net/forums/showthread...ground+control

    I am very satisfied with my GC setup for the record. Just make sure to get all the goodies. There are some hidden costs involved like removal and reinstallation of your front struts and your rear springs if you dont have the experience to do it yourself. It took me about 3-4 hours to install everything at home. Id say it was a medium experience job meaning that you should have more than just oil changing skills to finish properly. There is also the cost of having your old spring perches cut off and the GC ones welded in their place. I did those at home too, so if you can weld and have something to cut then you can save the $$$ here too. Also be sure to install at least the front sway reinforcements since you will be welding anyway. If you are doing sway bars, do the rear reinforcements too!

    If you have any questions that aren't answered in the threads let me know.

    Comment


    • #3
      so the GCs will need some welding? I just purchased them and the koni SA shocks and was about to install it. I heard some say you will not need any welding and read some places that you do. Can someone clarify. Thanks!

      Comment


      • #4
        GC are universal weld on coilovers. So you need to weld them to the stock shock housing.
        Chris
        90 Corrado/91 M3/01 M5

        Comment


        • #5
          For sheer ease of adjustability Leda is the best IMO (when considering sub professional systems). Advance Design looks nice and I think they're even user rebuildable.

          Leda uses a larger oil chamber. The added oil volume is less affected by heat and they employ a larger piston shaft to displace more oil during movement making them a bit more responsive. You could even argue that the larger chamber and piston shaft set up adds rigidity to the assembly.

          For those who haven't seen them, they're constructed from your old strut housings like GC but with a much different approach. GC simply cuts off the old perch, welds on a new one, adds a 'slip on' threaded tube for height adjustment and works with a typical damper insert of your choice.

          Leda however, cuts the strut tube completely off at the hub and welds on a new externally threaded, large diameter chamber. Here are two pics of my set up:

          http://www.s14.net/photopost/showpho...cat=500&page=1

          http://www.s14.net/photopost/showpho...cat=500&page=1

          You can spec them as a standard single adjustable (SA) oil only unit with 24 rebound positions; or add a non adjustable gas charged remote reservoir; or even option this with a 24 position adjustment knob for compression adjustments (DA). The really cool thing is you can buy the basic unit first and upgrade later. The rears are simply externally threaded coil over dampers with the same adjustment knob and options.

          The only catch is if you want to actually use the rears as honest coil overs you're going to run into some minor clearance problems. But it isn't something hard to overcome. You should also reinforce the rear shock towers. If you want to just use it as a damper and place a spring in the factory mounts you certainly can no problem. You can't use the same spring of course so keep that in mind.


          I picked up front and rear assemblies with 3 full sets of springs for about $1500 (plus your struts). A set of springs go for about $150. Add camber plates/top mounts and spring perches and you're good to go.

          So I'm a Leda fan. Easy/solid adjustments, more rigid, upgradeable, more consistent damping characteristics, and fairly inexpensive considering what you're getting. Oh, and the anti-roll bar mounts are welded on much better than factory too so no worries there.

          Personally, I'm not a fan of how the Koni adjusts and IIRC Bilstein's are non-adjustable so I went elsewhere.

          HTH,
          Jake Larsen

          Comment


          • #6
            GC/Koni CO

            Originally posted by mfanatics
            so the GCs will need some welding? I just purchased them and the koni SA shocks and was about to install it. I heard some say you will not need any welding and read some places that you do. Can someone clarify. Thanks!
            You don't have to do the cut/weld but you lose suspension travel. If you don't cut you won't be able to drop the car as much else you'll be on the bumpstops all the time.

            One thing I'm not sure about. There's a metal pipe that GC supplies as a spacer that drops into your strut housings before the insert goes in. I'm not sure if this needs to be a different length for each application since if you cut the strut you would think that a shorter spacer would be needed.

            It's easy to check out. Just remove the old insert, drop the spacer in, drop the insert in and see how the top of the insert lines up w/ the top of the strut housing.

            HTH,

            -Ken

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: GC/Koni CO

              Originally posted by 808M
              You don't have to do the cut/weld but you lose suspension travel. If you don't cut you won't be able to drop the car as much else you'll be on the bumpstops all the time.

              One thing I'm not sure about. There's a metal pipe that GC supplies as a spacer that drops into your strut housings before the insert goes in. I'm not sure if this needs to be a different length for each application since if you cut the strut you would think that a shorter spacer would be needed.

              HTH,

              -Ken
              Yes the spacer needes to be cut to length. Its easy with even a hacksaw.

              Yes, you will lose suspension adjustment, but you can run without cutting the spring perch. I ran with the stock one for about 3 months and had no problems other than I had to put the suspension to tallest height.

              Comment


              • #8
                Fk gets a big thumbs down from me. Any company that supplies a can of anti-squeek spray with their coilover kits needs to go back and redesign them....
                Chris
                90 Corrado/91 M3/01 M5

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by cramer
                  Fk gets a big thumbs down from me. Any company that supplies a can of anti-squeek spray with their coilover kits needs to go back and redesign them....
                  I understand squeeks are just part of coil over ownership. If a company sends a can of anti-squeek with their kit I'd consider that a cool gesture.

                  Have you seen them in person?

                  Cheers,
                  Jake

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    yup, even installed a set for a friend. I am not sure why they squeek, just that they do. Maybe their engineers need to "borrow" a little bit of technology from the quality coilover makers like Bilstein, KW, H&R etc. Let me put it this way, a properly designed coilover setup like H&R doesn't squeek (I have them on all 3 of my cars).
                    Chris
                    90 Corrado/91 M3/01 M5

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Interesting. I wonder what the common squeek comes from? I know a lot of the GC guys complain about it too. Any insight here?

                      Jake

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                      • #12
                        I've had the GC's for a few months. No problems w/ squeeks yet. However, I don't drive the car much.

                        The camber plates do make some clunking noise when doing some parking lot manuevers. Hard to explain but it's pretty minor. I've been told it has something to do w/ binding in the bearing when cranking a lot of steering lock in.

                        -Ken

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yah, its kind of a strange design (GC top mounts). The spherical bearing only sees lateral and damper loads while the spring force is fed through the spring perch, a set of needle bearings and a into the camper plate itself via a conical swiveling surface. I'm guessing this swiveling surface is where the popping comes from as its just metal on aluminum and as the strut goes about its motion (up/down) it pivots back and forth. Odd but it works I guess.

                          Jake

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                          • #14
                            does anybody have any rubbing issues on the GCs at full dump

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