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Sub ?400 Spring/Damper Options...

1516 Views 21 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  macdoogle
My car is fitted with Ohlins adjustable dampers. these have been on the car since before it was imported, and as such are at least 11years and 60k miles old. They have pretty tired with corroded springs and one damper is leaking.

They are also quite low, with quite stiff springs.

Bear in mind I get my kicks on the moon-rock B-roads of North Yorkshire - car may well hit the track this year but thats not my priority. We need good ride height, progressive springs, good traction over rippled and broken roads, and to deal with the repeated thud-thud-thudding of potholes, cattle grids etc.

My preferences are for easily exploitable handling, suppleness and control - as opposed to ultimate stiffness, roll/pitch control, flat cornering and ultimate grip. This is seemingly slightly different to what most people on here are aiming for.

I.E. a cracking, fun, sporty but compliant and controlled Road setup.

There seems to be a limited amount of options. Cheap and nasty chinese Ebay coilovers are not an option for me.

Things I might consider

- KYB AGX are a product that used to be popular but is now not so en-vogue. With some hunting or maybe importing these may be in budget.

- Brand new standard dampers, matched to some quality sports springs - paying close attention to the Spring rates. Classically lowering springs on stock dampers is a no-no - but thats usually in response to new forum member wanting to slam an 18yr old car for minimum outlay - knackered leaky old dampers and the cheapest of cheap springs.
Perhaps when looking at brand new, quality gear all round, it could be a different story?

- 2nd hand. This of course brings up a whole bunch of issues... but could include

- Mk2 Bilsteins, again with some properly matched springs. It has been suggest that Mark/onlyMX5ives could get hold of these, and with them being a 'stock' shock, some ebay/breaker hunting could work.

- 2nd hand other. of course - I'll be keeping my eye out on the classifieds.

Any comments on the above?
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Koni sports are available for ?450 if you can stretch your budget a bit.
i highly rate my D2's, 42 way adjustable coilovers (with aluminium top mounts) came in at ?550 delivered (i know a fair bit over budget)

b road blasting has certainly become my fravorite hobbie since i fitted them. if your gonna keep the car a while its worth while getting these, i wont be changing them for anything else (had tein flexs on my previous car, and i hasten to say these are definetly comparable)

took the car to silverstone on the 19th march, adjusted the settings for a bit of fun, certainly felt the difference (im 15 from soft front and 12 from soft rear normally) pumped them up to 35 from soft front / 32 from soft rear, no need for anti roll bars put it that way with those settings lol

i think your based in leeds? from the harrogate/leeds meet thread, if you ever want a ride just let me know
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actually considering what your after the d2's might be a bit too much money, you could get what your after from the koni sport kit from mx5parts, had a ride in a standard 5 with that kit on, makes one hell of a difference.

I personally wouldnt go with the bilsteins, heard they are a bit hard/crashy with standard springs so with lowered ones could get nasty.


Koni Sports are ?565 from mx$parts, like I said above you can get them elsewhere for a lot less.

I'm not an expert by any means but I'm really pleased with the ride on mine since I fitted them. They don't seem that crashy and being adjustable you can soften them right up if you're only using them on the road.
The adjustable spring perches mean you can leave them at a near stock ride height and still have the benefit of adjustable shocks and matched springs. Bear in mind how long Koni have been in the business, they made the suspension for this bad boy
Koni Sports with standard springs works for me, I wouldn't want the ride any worse than it is.
Cheers guys - I'd already decided that I woudl really, ideally like the Koni sport kit - there jsut a bit too expensive at the moment and i was wondering of there were cheaper alternatives.

RE the Bilsteins - I dont mean the Mk1 bilsteins (which incidentally were specced been on my car from the Factory), but the Mk2 Bilsteins which are apparently a lot more forgiving.
if it was me i would be getting the ohlins refurbed, this will cost around ?400 but will leave you with SUPERB coilovers, you can have them revalved so they are not as harsh

combine with some new springs and away you go.

You wont find many better set ups than ohlins
im in the same position here and ive been looking at the koni stuff. for fast road use and the occasionaly track day whilst making the car look a bit lower, how do these fair does anyone have any opinion?
cheers theo
I've priced up getting my Ohlins rebuilt and its looking like running to ?500+ easily...

But your right, its majorly tempting.
1+ for refurbishing!
I love my ohlins, get them refurbished!
I was going to say refurbed too
is ther any pics of ride heights of all these setups mentioned.
scrounge some stock springs and buy some koni sport shocks.

as you say, its not good to uprate springs but not shocks. Upgrading shocks is fine though. And mazda built the car for doing what you have in mind. I dont know exactly what you want, but stock springs on konis is a known good combination.
since it's vaguely on topic..
Anyone know anything about the gaz GHA kits?

They can be got for a little over 400quid with your choice of spring rates and are quite an appealing prospect for the budget minded.
they are a good price rnt they. but the koni adjustable ssuspension kit has a lifetime warrenty and is about ?20 extra.
but only lowers 35mm. has anybody got a side on pic of these on a car?
Kyb adjustables on Stock springs?.
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