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5 FTW
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Evening..
I have a '94 1.8 S-Spec roadster, which as you all know has Bilstein shocks as standard..

Now from what ive read this suspension setup does have a reputation of being rather uncomfortable.. Personally i dont find it too bad comfort wise (although ive never driven one on stock suspension to compare) but i can "feel" it making the chassis flex more than it should causing lots of creaks shakes and rattles and in some cases causing the back end to hop over bumps when on the gas, this can really knock confidence when pressing on round the rather poor roads of lancashire.

Im just wondering what peoples views are as to options to improve the car (apart from alignment which will get done)

My roadster is my only car.. i dont need it on a daily basis but it does get used to drive from A-B - im also planning to do a couple of trackdays and MoT days with it this year too once ive got a decent set of rims to put on...

Heres a few deductions ive made after reading through this forum.

1) Do nothing - the cheapest option as far as i can tell i think the dampers still work as intended.. does anyone know if the stock suspension setup is any good on track/drift days?
2) the cheap Ebay coilovers - not sure how these will be in direct comparison to the s-spec setup.. id assume it would be softer.. but not ideal for trackdays??
3) Springs only - i remember seeing a thread on here about someone (i forget who) put tein springs on the billy shocks and that improved the ride and handling?
4) Coilovers - the most expensive option but also the most fulfilling.

being that my roadster is suppost to be a "budget" car i think that may rule coilovers out (depending if it passes its MOT in june)
I think really im after finding out what peoples experience and knowledge are with the bilstein suspension and if/what they did to improve it.. i think in essence im after performance first, comfort second.. im not sure if the billys deliver either!

cheers
Col G
 

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I'd suggest bracing (rollbar shaped) and a proper aligment first - it'll make a huge difference, is fairly cheap and might mean you don't feel the need to change.

I always liked my billies but I like them even more after my rollbaresque thing went back in and I paid a visit to WIM.
 

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5 FTW
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'd suggest bracing (rollbar shaped) and a proper aligment first - it'll make a huge difference, is fairly cheap and might mean you don't feel the need to change.

I always liked my billies but I like them even more after my rollbaresque thing went back in and I paid a visit to WIM.
you mean something like a TRlane roll bar that bolts to the chassis?.. yes that is on my list of things to do.. as is the alignment..
Ill keep an eye out on the 'bay for a cheap rollbar then
 

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it doesn't have to be a full on rollbar - my mazdaspeed one isn't "proper" but being made of bulky steel tubing it adds a great deal of stiffness between the seatbelt towers. The difference after having it uninstalled for so long was immediately noticeable.

If you're planning on tracking the car I'd say go the whole hog and get something proper - the additional stiffness alone will be worth the cost.
 

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5 FTW
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
it doesn't have to be a full on rollbar - my mazdaspeed one isn't "proper" but being made of bulky steel tubing it adds a great deal of stiffness between the seatbelt towers. The difference after having it uninstalled for so long was immediately noticeable.

If you're planning on tracking the car I'd say go the whole hog and get something proper - the additional stiffness alone will be worth the cost.
Ahh right.. my car has the mazda cabin brace behind the seats.. that was my first mod as the previous owner had removed it to fit a style bar.. it does make a bit of difference i agree.
 

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i have billies with eibach springs. since fitting a 4 point roll bar and lower front brace the ride is good and handles really well, then again i have never driven a different set up
 

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i really rate the billies.
On track they hold up very well.. but like you say.. throw in a pot hole or 2 and its not so much fun.

My koni adjustables are a lot more friendly with the rough road
 

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5 FTW
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i have billies with eibach springs. since fitting a 4 point roll bar and lower front brace the ride is good and handles really well, then again i have never driven a different set up
Did you notice any difference when fitting the eibachs?.. also by the lower front brace do you mean the mrFast one?.. will it benifit a 1.8 that already has extra bracing?

Cheers
 

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They came with the car bud. yup mr fast brace, mines a 1.8 and i noticed a slight difference, It was the last part i fitted which finished it off nicely. The ride is very stiff but not uncomfortable IMO, its not as bad as some people make out, but as i said it the only set up i have driven!... Ben
 

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The valving is considered to be one of the main problems with sport billies, you can have the revalved to give better performance.

The other problem is the small amount of travel of the Mk1 suspension setup, this can be improved by changing to fatcat top mounts or similar.
 

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First post so *hello...*

I've had my 94 since mid Jan, it's on Bilsteins with RacingBeat springs (thats how it came from Toyko) and have no problems with intability or skipping. It does have the seatbelt brace / style bar and stock front strut brace etc and what looks like some fairly agressive camber out back. I think the 14" narrow BBS help the ride and make any loss of grip VERY easy to manage / enjoy
Can get a bit harsh on really severe bumps but always brings a BIG smile on my way to work... I've also got a stock US spec miata (in the US) which is far better suited to their roads (think Lancashire is bad try LA)...

Its not quite up there with my old FD with TEIN Flex but it's a lot more fun at lower (more legal) speeds


I take it you're in Wigan from our Avatar?
 

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5 FTW
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First post so *hello...*

I've had my 94 since mid Jan, it's on Bilsteins with RacingBeat springs (thats how it came from Toyko) and have no problems with intability or skipping. It does have the seatbelt brace / style bar and stock front strut brace etc and what looks like some fairly agressive camber out back. I think the 14" narrow BBS help the ride and make any loss of grip VERY easy to manage / enjoy
Can get a bit harsh on really severe bumps but always brings a BIG smile on my way to work... I've also got a stock US spec miata (in the US) which is far better suited to their roads (think Lancashire is bad try LA)...

Its not quite up there with my old FD with TEIN Flex but it's a lot more fun at lower (more legal) speeds


I take it you're in Wigan from our Avatar?
Cheers for the info.. i may consider a set of springs at some point in the future (depending on the condition of the billys) - ive got a alignment booked for next weekend, and also just won a new set of 15" rims on ebay..

Im in manchester.. but i do like a good pukka pie
 

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OBE
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had s-spec bilsteins and eibach springs on one of my old cars.
i 'thought' the ride was amazing, car drove completly flat, but was skittish in the bumpy bends.

only when i dove a courtsy car from paulsheards on stock oem suspension did i realise what a bad setup i had. the stock suspension really absorbed the rutts and bumps of the british roads. inspired grip in the corners as it wasnt skittish.

granted bilsteins and eibach will be good on a flat surface, ie track days.
but i try and stick with the bilsteins and stock springs + good alignment if your on a budget.

the stock bilsteins have a -10mm?? lower spring purch over oem shocks (if i recall correctly), than add the -45mm drop of the eibach springs and youve then lost all the important travel you need for the dampers to work.
 

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Not tried the Eibachs but the RB's dont drop it too much and work well with the dampers IMO - I'll take a pic tonight. Like I said though all I have to compare to is the stock setup on my other 5. Which likes bumps more but feels far less responsive - feels like a much heavier car - and doesn't like direction changes anywhere near as much. It's horses for courses - Any non adjustable setup is going to be a compromise between different surfaces / driving styles.
 

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5 FTW
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thought id update this... I had a alignment done at Langs in bolton today (top job!)

Im not sure if its just me getting used to what essentially feels like a new car.. pretty much every reading was in the red when he put it on.. but now it feels like its taken the edge off the suspension... it still struggles to keep wheels down on really broken tarmac, but it deals with "normal" roads better

Bottom line, car feels MUCH better after its alignment... i should be able to live with the setup now.. and its nimble enough to be able to dart round potholes now without the back end being nervous too


Ill get a scan of the printout when i get chance!
 

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Thought id update this... I had a alignment done at Langs in bolton today (top job!)

Im not sure if its just me getting used to what essentially feels like a new car.. pretty much every reading was in the red when he put it on.. but now it feels like its taken the edge off the suspension... it still struggles to keep wheels down on really broken tarmac, but it deals with "normal" roads better

Bottom line, car feels MUCH better after its alignment... i should be able to live with the setup now.. and its nimble enough to be able to dart round potholes now without the back end being nervous too


Ill get a scan of the printout when i get chance!
I had a similar set up, s spec and billies when I first got Lexie. She'd been in the UK for about 5 years and was bouncing all over the place, the back end was unstable.
Took her to Tony (WIM) who put a Mazda alignment on her, made a world of difference. iirc the front was OK'ish but the backend seemed to have race settings on it. I think the previous owner only had tracking done, hence the front wheels changed but the rears didn't. Over time have moved to WIM fast road settings and now have GAZ suspension on her. Everytime I had the alignment changed the car improved. It felt everytime I left, I left with a different car!
h
 

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5 FTW
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797 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thought id update this... I had a alignment done at Langs in bolton today (top job!)

Im not sure if its just me getting used to what essentially feels like a new car.. pretty much every reading was in the red when he put it on.. but now it feels like its taken the edge off the suspension... it still struggles to keep wheels down on really broken tarmac, but it deals with "normal" roads better

Bottom line, car feels MUCH better after its alignment... i should be able to live with the setup now.. and its nimble enough to be able to dart round potholes now without the back end being nervous too


Ill get a scan of the printout when i get chance!
I had a similar set up, s spec and billies when I first got Lexie. She'd been in the UK for about 5 years and was bouncing all over the place, the back end was unstable.
Took her to Tony (WIM) who put a Mazda alignment on her, made a world of difference. iirc the front was OK'ish but the backend seemed to have race settings on it. I think the previous owner only had tracking done, hence the front wheels changed but the rears didn't. Over time have moved to WIM fast road settings and now have GAZ suspension on her. Everytime I had the alignment changed the car improved. It felt everytime I left, I left with a different car!
h
[/quote]

new suspension will (hopefully) be later in the year.. all depends on MOT time!.. (funny, this is the first time ive had a car old enough for a MOT in nigh on 10 years lol)
 
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