Lowering springs

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Aerotus
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Lowering springs

Post by Aerotus » 05/03/19 20:59

Hi everyone,

I have a 2003 mk3. Can anyone comment on their experience of lowering springs e.g. h&r or eibachs.

How did you find the improved handling vs the deterioration in ride harshness? For our UK roads and speed bumps, did you ever encounter scraping the front bumper or have any regrets?

This would be just for spirited road driving, no track days. Thanks

Aero



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delhusband
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Re: Lowering springs

Post by delhusband » 09/03/19 14:28

Aerotus wrote:
05/03/19 20:59
Hi everyone,

I have a 2003 mk3. Can anyone comment on their experience of lowering springs e.g. h&r or eibachs.

How did you find the improved handling vs the deterioration in ride harshness? For our UK roads and speed bumps, did you ever encounter scraping the front bumper or have any regrets?

This would be just for spirited road driving, no track days. Thanks

Aero
Hi, like you I use car for spirited road driving. I bought KYB shocks and Tein Springs. The shocks were between £85-£90 each, and the springs were about £120. I can't remember how much they lower the car by (~30mm? MR2-ben.com sells them, website says 29mm front, 33mm rear). My car ('06 FL) was about 68,000 miles on original stock springs and shocks. My stock ride originally wasn't great - hitting potholes resulted (in my opinion) in significant jolt/crashing in the cabin. My personal opinion after fitting new shocks and springs (and I'm by no means an expert, I've not much to compare it to) is that it feels a little firmer, but the new shocks helped absorb road defects much better and a give good degree more suppleness. I love the look of the car being just that little bit lower. Hope this next comment doesn't offend, it's not intended to - I'm 43, and a little overweight - I struggle a little bit more getting in and out of the car (bit more huffing, puffing and contorting), and it can hurt my knees a little bit when using the car daily for an extended period. But, I really enjoy the way the car feels now, and I also think that the full geo I had done after installation, with requested emphasis on fast road use, has helped make the car a joy to drive. Regarding scraping - I've had a couple of incidents that make me cringe, and make me a little more aware. I don't generally tend to have issues on speed bumps if I go over them slowly. Unless they're really big, I have had a couple of scrapes. I also, rather stupidly, scraped the underside trying to mount a kerb, which you shouldn't really do anyway.


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Re: Lowering springs

Post by Aerotus » 10/03/19 19:53

Hi Del

Thanks for sharing your experience. My car is around 74k miles and was driven very carefully by two female owners. The suspension is probably not as tight as it was before but I'm impressed by it's lack of crashiness and ability to really smooth out the bumps. It's actually more comfortable than my previous msport or sline suspensions but it is a but more wallowly. I hate having to worry about scraping the underbody so I will avoid lowering and probably just replace with stock springs when the time comes.


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Re: Lowering springs

Post by Aerotus » 20/03/19 10:59

delhusband wrote:
09/03/19 14:28
Aerotus wrote:
05/03/19 20:59
Hi everyone,

I have a 2003 mk3. Can anyone comment on their experience of lowering springs e.g. h&r or eibachs.

How did you find the improved handling vs the deterioration in ride harshness? For our UK roads and speed bumps, did you ever encounter scraping the front bumper or have any regrets?

This would be just for spirited road driving, no track days. Thanks

Aero
Hi, like you I use car for spirited road driving. I bought KYB shocks and Tein Springs. The shocks were between £85-£90 each, and the springs were about £120. I can't remember how much they lower the car by (~30mm? MR2-ben.com sells them, website says 29mm front, 33mm rear). My car ('06 FL) was about 68,000 miles on original stock springs and shocks. My stock ride originally wasn't great - hitting potholes resulted (in my opinion) in significant jolt/crashing in the cabin. My personal opinion after fitting new shocks and springs (and I'm by no means an expert, I've not much to compare it to) is that it feels a little firmer, but the new shocks helped absorb road defects much better and a give good degree more suppleness. I love the look of the car being just that little bit lower. Hope this next comment doesn't offend, it's not intended to - I'm 43, and a little overweight - I struggle a little bit more getting in and out of the car (bit more huffing, puffing and contorting), and it can hurt my knees a little bit when using the car daily for an extended period. But, I really enjoy the way the car feels now, and I also think that the full geo I had done after installation, with requested emphasis on fast road use, has helped make the car a joy to drive. Regarding scraping - I've had a couple of incidents that make me cringe, and make me a little more aware. I don't generally tend to have issues on speed bumps if I go over them slowly. Unless they're really big, I have had a couple of scrapes. I also, rather stupidly, scraped the underside trying to mount a kerb, which you shouldn't really do anyway.
Hi Del

Turns out the garage is keeping my car an extra week so I thought I'd put on new shocks and lowering springs. My suspension on second thoughts is a bit wallowy and could do with firming up a bit. Teins and KYBs were the recommended go to, so I'm going ahead with the same setup you have! Will just have to be extra careful going over speed bumps!

Aero

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delhusband
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Re: Lowering springs

Post by delhusband » 21/03/19 0:18

Aerotus wrote:
20/03/19 10:59
delhusband wrote:
09/03/19 14:28
Aerotus wrote:
05/03/19 20:59
Hi everyone,

I have a 2003 mk3. Can anyone comment on their experience of lowering springs e.g. h&r or eibachs.

How did you find the improved handling vs the deterioration in ride harshness? For our UK roads and speed bumps, did you ever encounter scraping the front bumper or have any regrets?

This would be just for spirited road driving, no track days. Thanks

Aero
Hi, like you I use car for spirited road driving. I bought KYB shocks and Tein Springs. The shocks were between £85-£90 each, and the springs were about £120. I can't remember how much they lower the car by (~30mm? MR2-ben.com sells them, website says 29mm front, 33mm rear). My car ('06 FL) was about 68,000 miles on original stock springs and shocks. My stock ride originally wasn't great - hitting potholes resulted (in my opinion) in significant jolt/crashing in the cabin. My personal opinion after fitting new shocks and springs (and I'm by no means an expert, I've not much to compare it to) is that it feels a little firmer, but the new shocks helped absorb road defects much better and a give good degree more suppleness. I love the look of the car being just that little bit lower. Hope this next comment doesn't offend, it's not intended to - I'm 43, and a little overweight - I struggle a little bit more getting in and out of the car (bit more huffing, puffing and contorting), and it can hurt my knees a little bit when using the car daily for an extended period. But, I really enjoy the way the car feels now, and I also think that the full geo I had done after installation, with requested emphasis on fast road use, has helped make the car a joy to drive. Regarding scraping - I've had a couple of incidents that make me cringe, and make me a little more aware. I don't generally tend to have issues on speed bumps if I go over them slowly. Unless they're really big, I have had a couple of scrapes. I also, rather stupidly, scraped the underside trying to mount a kerb, which you shouldn't really do anyway.
Hi Del

Turns out the garage is keeping my car an extra week so I thought I'd put on new shocks and lowering springs. My suspension on second thoughts is a bit wallowy and could do with firming up a bit. Teins and KYBs were the recommended go to, so I'm going ahead with the same setup you have! Will just have to be extra careful going over speed bumps!

Aero
Lovely! :-) hope you like them and that they improve things re: wallowy ride. Bit beyond my comfort zone/knowledge here, but - Is it worth asking the garage now about the state of the bushes on the suspension arms whilst they're looking at all this - have they said anything about the state of them? I know that they perish over time, that some people replace the oem bushes with polyeurethane inserts. I don't believe there's option to replace with rubber, if oem was preferred then I think you may be looking at new arms. There are options here I think, if they are worn excessively - hopefully someone with a bit more knowledge/experience than myself can weigh in here.


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Re: Lowering springs

Post by Aerotus » 21/03/19 7:06

I can ask them to check. But the car suspension should be in pretty good condition as the previous owner was a very slow female driver. Its done 74k miles and I will only be doing around 1000 miles a year as a weekend car so I wont be doing more than 10k miles in next 10 years.


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Re: Lowering springs

Post by Aerotus » 21/03/19 10:30

They said it would be efficient to replace bushings at the same time. They recommend the complete Superpro Bush Kit (polyurethane bushes). Sounds good but I bet its not cheap. I suspect with the lowering springs, kyb shocks and new bushing kit, the car will feel more like a lotus elise than a standard mr2! Should be ok as I'm only using it for short distance sporty drives.

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Re: Lowering springs

Post by delhusband » 21/03/19 21:02

Aerotus wrote:
21/03/19 10:30
They said it would be efficient to replace bushings at the same time. They recommend the complete Superpro Bush Kit (polyurethane bushes). Sounds good but I bet its not cheap. I suspect with the lowering springs, kyb shocks and new bushing kit, the car will feel more like a lotus elise than a standard mr2! Should be ok as I'm only using it for short distance sporty drives.
Again, I'm most definitely no expert here, but a few considerations based on what
I've heard others say (desperately hoping someone more knowledgable chimes on soon!) . Polyeurethane bushes I believe might make things a little firmer? Maybe more of an issue for engine mounts than suspension arms? I'm still on old stock bushes(bar one arm) so can't comment, no experience of being in a polybushed car. More efficient, probably because everything's coming off the car in those areas. Do you need them done? Perhaps age is part of the equation as usage and environment? Not sure. But, have a look on mr2-ben.co.uk for an indication~£300 for full pack of bushes, whereas £188 for a new single front arm (although I'm seeing it suggested that that particular part may be available for about a third of that if you know what you're looking for and where to look)


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Re: Lowering springs

Post by Aerotus » 21/03/19 21:28

Yeah. Bought a superpro full bushings kit for about £320. They will charge me an incremental 1.5hrs labour. I know it will make the car slightly firmer but this is my fun car and not for long distance journeys. As long as suspension is firm and not crashy I'm happy.

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Re: Lowering springs

Post by delhusband » 21/03/19 21:47

Aerotus wrote:
21/03/19 21:28
Yeah. Bought a superpro full bushings kit for about £320. They will charge me an incremental 1.5hrs labour. I know it will make the car slightly firmer but this is my fun car and not for long distance journeys. As long as suspension is firm and not crashy I'm happy.
Damn I wish I had the money to do that! All the best. Let me know how it feels after the work's done, I'd love to read a before and after.

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delhusband
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Re: Lowering springs

Post by delhusband » 21/03/19 21:55

Aerotus wrote:
21/03/19 10:30
I suspect with the lowering springs, kyb shocks and new bushing kit, the car will feel more like a lotus elise than a standard mr2!
Well. Never driven an elise, from any generation. But, been at fairly close quarters with an older S1 on some really good roads and felt very smug at just how close my roadster got, round the bends. Especially given the wide price differential. I think I was having just as much fun as the other guy


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Re: Lowering springs

Post by Aerotus » 14/04/19 22:58

Finally all done. Was delayed due to some parts being delayed.

Tein S lowering springs. KYB shocks. Superpro bushings full kit.

First impressions was oh no ive ruined the car. As the suspension was less 'premium' than i was expecting. I was hoping for bmw m sport type tight but damped suspension feeling. Suspension is now more sensitive for imperfections in the road which it should be. And it isnt harsh at all like my old celica gts. It just isnt premium feeling but ive gotten used to it already. It isnt a premium car after all.

The superpro bushings have definitely introduced a lot more vibration and noise to the car contrary to the marketing. It didnt feel like a brand new car if im honest. But again it is not harsh, just less damped than i would have hoped. Anyway, i didnt want a comfortable car so its fine.

The car certainly has a lot less wallow although still some body roll in fast cornering. Have more confidence in taking corners. The car feels a lot faster than it actually is going (around 50%). Cornering feels pretty exciting/terrifying at pace, you have to be on the ball. I imagine a passenger would be sh*tting their pants, and that's not even taking the car anywhere near its limits.

I was disappointed the steering feel is actually slower now and not as direct. I will take it back to be checked out. Is it even possible the steering could have got worse?

Also now have a constant random ticking/vibration noise coming from front right strut area above 10mph. Will get that checked out.

Car definitely feels more hardcore now, especially with the Cobra quad exhaust. Its no longer a daily relaxing car and more one driven for sporty intentions! Mission accomplished.

Aero


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Re: Lowering springs

Post by Aerotus » 16/04/19 7:18

I will give the car a few hundred miles and wait for everything to settle in. It's possible the extra noises and rattles will subside after the bushings have bedded in and the tein coils havent fully settled/lowered yet. Not sure why my steering feels less direct at low speeds, they didnt touch that part of the car, maybe its just my imagination.

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Re: Lowering springs

Post by delhusband » 16/04/19 21:37

Aerotus wrote:
14/04/19 22:58
First impressions was oh no ive ruined the car.
That's not so good, hope you do find it improves, otherwise that's a real shame. I think I know what you mean re: premium feel, and I'd partially agree, but for me there was such an obvious marked improvement in damping, I literally went from bone rattling crashing to a firm but compliant ride that it felt pretty damned good if not brand new. Re: steering, have you had a look at the the U/J? have you had the car in to check the geometry after all the work?

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