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Lunja

Original Poster:

387 posts

69 months

[news] 
Monday 3rd September 2012 quote quote all
Hi all,

I recently picked up a mk1 Eunos v-spec on factory Bilstein suspension, and whilst I'm sure it would be amazing on a track it's just too low and too firm for the kind of uneven potholed country roads around here. I'd prefer something with a little more "give", so what's your preferred set-up? Our budget isn't huge so Meister R's are out of the equation but I'm wondering if money is better spent on a cheap to mid range aftermarket set or a new Mazda standard kit plus a trip to WIM?

The other question is what are a set of Bilsteins worth? If there's a potential to make some money back on those then I may be able to increase the budget accordingly.

Thanks in advance!

Riknos

4,175 posts

88 months

[news] 
Tuesday 4th September 2012 quote quote all
Don't bother with Rokkor coilovers. They may be better than shagged standard suspension, but they're still st and ruined my car.

Just my 2p.

vrsmxtb

1,583 posts

40 months

[news] 
Tuesday 4th September 2012 quote quote all
I'd hold out for decent coilovers if at all possible - cut-price coilovers will be far worse than the Bilsteins and if you ever track or modify the car you might regret going back to standard shock and spring ride height. I'm budgetting for Meister R's next year as my original shocks are knackered now.

scrwright

1,104 posts

74 months

[news] 
Tuesday 4th September 2012 quote quote all
I had Autolink's sport springs with KYB adjustable dampers, very well matched, only a 10-15mm drop and not rock hard, very good road setup, not bad on track too

slinky

15,413 posts

133 months

[news] 
Tuesday 4th September 2012 quote quote all
I used to have a Tein super street on the MK1 I had, it was brilliant, although perhaps a touch low as the factory lip scraped on some properly rough stuff..
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Lunja

Original Poster:

387 posts

69 months

[news] 
Tuesday 4th September 2012 quote quote all
slinky said:
I used to have a Tein super street on the MK1 I had, it was brilliant, although perhaps a touch low as the factory lip scraped on some properly rough stuff..
Mine has factory 14in BBS wheels and I've got a 2cm gap between the top of the front tyre and the arch - it's low! Caught the underside on the second day of owning it and now have to plan routes to avoid road humps... Need a new suspension set up so I can actually enjoy it!


KevSeymour

750 posts

57 months

[news] 
Tuesday 4th September 2012 quote quote all
Bide your time and try to pick up a 2nd hand set of decent coilovers, £300-400 should see you onto a set of Gaz Gold Pro's, i'm very impressed with mine.

Might be worth considering going up to 15's too, to give you that extra bit of ground clearance without making the car look like it's on stilts.

JQ

2,309 posts

63 months

[news] 
Tuesday 4th September 2012 quote quote all
Mine is on MeisterR coilovers, SuperPro bushes and Flyin Miata Arbs and it's perfect. Before the MeiterR's I had Koni Sport's and they were too harsh, what I've got now is a massive improvement.

Lunja

Original Poster:

387 posts

69 months

[news] 
Wednesday 5th September 2012 quote quote all
What's people's opinion of Gaz Classics? http://gazcoilovers.com/mazda-mx5-mk1-gaz-classic-...

On paper they sound good and the price is decent...

Pete Franklin

728 posts

65 months

[news] 
Thursday 6th September 2012 quote quote all
KevSeymour said:
Might be worth considering going up to 15's too, to give you that extra bit of ground clearance without making the car look like it's on stilts.
ground clearance would be virtually the same as the rolling radius of the 14inch tyre vs 15inch is almost identical due to profile

towelie

205 posts

54 months

[news] 
Thursday 6th September 2012 quote quote all
Pete Franklin said:
ground clearance would be virtually the same as the rolling radius of the 14inch tyre vs 15inch is almost identical due to profile
yeah I noticed no difference in height between 15s with 195/55s and 14s with 185/60s.

oh an I also had standard bilsteins that were, well tired. The damper bushes were shot! Replaced them with a set of meisterR zeta s' and at the same time got geo done and added a set of 15s with toyos on. The car goes round corners on rails and develops so much grip and rides alot better. Ended up having to turbo the car to make it more fun again!

sold the top mounts for £30 IIRC and £40 for the dampers and springs to another person.

ps fitting the meisterR is really easy, did it with a bit of help in a day. only snag we hit was the bottom bolt on the damper, there is a little tab which had broke that stops the nut from spinning.

Jobbo

8,565 posts

148 months

[news] 
Thursday 6th September 2012 quote quote all
Lunja said:
What's people's opinion of Gaz Classics? http://gazcoilovers.com/mazda-mx5-mk1-gaz-classic-...

On paper they sound good and the price is decent...
I got a set of MeisterR Zeta Ss for about £100 more than that through the MX5Nutz group buy. Haven't got my car back to try them out yet, but my garage man is very impressed. The MeisterRs look more like the Gaz Monotubes; I think they're probably a bit more sophisticated than the Gaz Classics.

One thing to watch out for - get coilovers with the top hat shaped rear top-mounts. Travel in the rear suspension of an MX5 is limited, particularly when they're lowered, so this increases travel and prevents it hitting the bump stops all the time.

To be honest, I rather enjoyed my bouncy ride on the 130k km Bilsteins so I'm hoping it's as much fun when I get the car back. Not planning to follow Towelie's route and charge mine until next spring, so I can really feel the difference smile

TameRacingDriver

9,450 posts

156 months

[news] 
Thursday 6th September 2012 quote quote all
I'm one of the few who thought the Bilsteins are quite good. I found them pretty firm but I've used far worse (lowered Primera GT in comparison could shatter your spine and teeth at the same time). The car i had with those on handled impressively well IMO (RS-Ltd). I've heard some say if its too firm, it might be knackered. Mine were quite new.

KevSeymour

750 posts

57 months

[news] 
Friday 7th September 2012 quote quote all
Pete Franklin said:
KevSeymour said:
Might be worth considering going up to 15's too, to give you that extra bit of ground clearance without making the car look like it's on stilts.
ground clearance would be virtually the same as the rolling radius of the 14inch tyre vs 15inch is almost identical due to profile
Hadn't thought of that.

Lunja

Original Poster:

387 posts

69 months

[news] 
Saturday 8th September 2012 quote quote all
Thanks for all the input so far. I've set myself the deadline of next weekend to get the suspension sorted so that it's ready for next weekend's MX5 OC rally and the Sunday Service. Budget dictates that my options are Gaz Classics or MX5 standards with Autolink sports springs. Think I know what you'll say, but which would you choose?

InertialTooth45

1,556 posts

71 months

[news] 
Saturday 8th September 2012 quote quote all
Lunja said:
Mine has factory 14in BBS wheels and I've got a 2cm gap between the top of the front tyre and the arch - it's low! Caught the underside on the second day of owning it and now have to plan routes to avoid road humps... Need a new suspension set up so I can actually enjoy it!
That's not standard then! Sounds like the springs have been changed. I have the standard Bilsteins on mine and there is a considerable gap with the BBS alloys on it.

Lunja

Original Poster:

387 posts

69 months

[news] 
Saturday 8th September 2012 quote quote all
InertialTooth45 said:
That's not standard then! Sounds like the springs have been changed. I have the standard Bilsteins on mine and there is a considerable gap with the BBS alloys on it.
That's interesting... What colour are your springs?

cwinterb

45 posts

65 months

[news] 
Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
My '97 Harvard is now on Gaz Gold Pros with 400/300 springs, IL Motorsport rubber bushes and drop-links and poly steering rack mounts.

You don't have to go stupidly low and the damping adjustment allow you to dial in your preferred level of compliance for road use and wind it up for the track.

On road, running "5 clicks front/7 clicks rear" I'd say mine had factory like levels of compliance but it doesn't roll in corners or pitch under braking like it did on the factory set-up. Re-bushing it has also taken out 15 years/70,000 miles worth of slop. Definitely worth doing.

JamesHayward

535 posts

48 months

[news] 
Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
cwinterb said:
My '97 Harvard is now on Gaz Gold Pros with 400/300 springs, IL Motorsport rubber bushes and drop-links and poly steering rack mounts.

You don't have to go stupidly low and the damping adjustment allow you to dial in your preferred level of compliance for road use and wind it up for the track.

On road, running "5 clicks front/7 clicks rear" I'd say mine had factory like levels of compliance but it doesn't roll in corners or pitch under braking like it did on the factory set-up. Re-bushing it has also taken out 15 years/70,000 miles worth of slop. Definitely worth doing.
Same here. Although I run mine a bit stiffer on the road. I was running 12-10 and currently on 14-12 as I did some track work last week and haven't set it back.

My car had Bilsteins with HKS Springs before and it was OK on the road, a little too stiff but it wasn't much cop on the track. It suffered horrendous roll. So much infact I thought I was actually going to topple it going round Brooklands at Silverstone.

The last piece of the puzzle (SuperPro bushes) are soon to be fitted so will give a full review once they are on.

From what I've heard the Meister R's are comparable to the GGP's but I've only heard that from people selling them. A mate has just bought them so I'm going to do a comparison at some point but for the price I'd still go with the Gaz. If nothing else for their customer service.

Edited by JamesHayward on Monday 10th September 17:03

cwinterb

45 posts

65 months

[news] 
Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
JamesHayward said:
Same here. Although I run mine a bit stiffer on the road. I was running 12-10 and currently on 14-12 as I did some track work last week and haven't set it back.

My car had Bilsteins with HKS Springs before and it was OK on the road, a little too stiff but it wasn't much cop on the track. It suffered horrendous roll. So much infact I thought I was actually going to topple it going round Brooklands at Silverstone.

The last piece of the puzzle (SuperPro bushes) are soon to be fitted so will give a full review once they are on.

From what I've heard the Meister R's are comparable to the GGP's but I've only heard that from people selling them. A mate has just bought them so I'm going to do a comparison at some point but for the price I'd still go with the Gaz. If nothing else for their customer service.

Edited by JamesHayward on Monday 10th September 17:03
You must live near some nice smooth tarmac! Mine was set to 12/10 when I first picked it up after having the suspension fitted and I thought it was too firm on the broken roads round my way. Given that the mk1 is not the stiffest structure to begin with I think if you go too hard it just accentuates the scuttle shake and spoils the driving experience. So, I backed it off until I felt it was more comfortable, but still nice and controlled. My daily driver is a Clio 200 Cup, so maybe I've just had enough of harsh riding cars during the week!

But back to the point, one of the beauties of the GGP set-up is that it is the work of a moment to tweak it to your liking...

Edited by cwinterb on Monday 10th September 18:37

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