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Mazdaspeed Archive => Suspension => Topic started by: msm270 on February 07, 2016, 03:48:59 AM



Title: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: msm270 on February 07, 2016, 03:48:59 AM
I have reviewed many options on how to obtain a more pleasant ride on a MSM . Many of these post are dated so I'm searching for the latest ideas . I have an 04 with 50k miles on the clock with all stock suspension and very few mods . The ride is not bad but a little to stiff for my retired bones on weekend drives on mountain roads. I have no plans to track the car and really like the factory look , RacingHart rims to stay. That said , I guess I'm asking about shock selection. Would like to keep the cost south of $750.00 . Thanks for sharing your knowledge .


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: Chrisbee on February 07, 2016, 06:08:10 AM
A lot of the older suspension threads still hold true, as there hasn't been a whole lot of extra suspension options that have been introduced recently. Especially at your price range. Are you going to do the work yourself? Is that budget price just for parts? Otherwise, installation and an alignment will add a few hundred to that price. If your dampers are in good condition, there are a few threads talking about putting a differently rated spring on the factory shocks, and getting a better ride. FYI, those RacingHarts aren't helping the rough/jarring feeling either. They are just too heavy for these small cars IMO.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: rstange1 on February 07, 2016, 11:50:29 AM
To achieve a more pleasant ride, the best bang for your buck will come from a set of light-weight 15" wheels and 50 or 55-series tires chosen with comfort in mind. That's the very first modification I made to my MSM, and I was quite pleased with the results.

The Racing Harts on your car weigh a little over 17 lbs each. You should be able to shave ~5 lbs off of that weight without breaking the bank. The OEM 205/40-17 tires size simply has too low a sidewall profile for a comfortable ride. You will feel more of a difference in comfort by running a 205/50-15 or 195/55-15 tire than any off-the-shelf shock upgrade.

If wheels and tires are simply not an option for you, best solution would be to increase your budget and have Shaikh at Fat Cat Motorsports build a suspension for you that is tailor made to your goals.



Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on February 07, 2016, 01:34:22 PM
I'm going to disagree with rstange1 here.  Yes the lighter more sidewall 15" wheels/tires will ride better but 50k old OEM Bilsteins are going to be harsh and a nice properly matched suspension system will do wonders for your ride.  I'd consider the VMAXX from Flying Miata.  I'd call and ask for Keith and get him to help match which set you need.  you need to remember to tell him not only what kind of driving you do but that you have a MSM as our cars are heavier and need the heavier front springs in the package.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: Qwimby1 on February 09, 2016, 03:29:02 AM
+1 on SMR's suggestion.  I talked with an FM tech who has an MSM which he uses mostly for street and a few track days a year.  He put the V-Maxx setup on his and says it was a big improvement over the Bilsteins.  They go for $615 plus shipping and I plan to use the same system.  I will note that a long time ago I switched from the 17" Harts to 12.5 pound 15" BBSs from a 95 limited edition. I'm running 205x50x15 tires and that combination made a big difference.

     


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on February 09, 2016, 10:40:22 AM
Remember you need the V8 springs for the VMaxx on the MSM.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: TheBigChill on February 09, 2016, 12:59:37 PM
I'll tentatively say FM VMaxx, too.  I bought them a few weeks ago (yet to install), and based on the obsessive research that I've done, they seem to be good balance of cost / comfort / performance.


Title: Re:
Post by: Tickittyboo on February 09, 2016, 03:03:51 PM
I've got the adjustable vmaxx from fm. On the car for two summers now. I quite like them. If I had it to do over I would probably get the track pack springs. But that just me.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: Qwimby1 on February 09, 2016, 07:42:16 PM
Remember you need the V8 springs for the VMaxx on the MSM.


FM tells me that is no longer the case.  Early on they had to put V8 springs in to handle the front weight, but they then added longer springs, making that unnecessary.  They tell me the present kits for 01-05 NBs will work on MSMs.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on February 09, 2016, 07:48:11 PM
Good to know


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: Tobra on February 10, 2016, 08:13:27 PM
If you want to keep the stock wheels, 215/40-17 sized tires will ride better than the 205s do, or that was my experience.

If you go with used, you can get a nice suspension for a bargain.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: Jeff Goji on February 11, 2016, 01:44:51 AM
I have reviewed many options on how to obtain a more pleasant ride on a MSM . Many of these post are dated so I'm searching for the latest ideas . I have an 04 with 50k miles on the clock with all stock suspension and very few mods . The ride is not bad but a little to stiff for my retired bones on weekend drives on mountain roads. I have no plans to track the car and really like the factory look , RacingHart rims to stay. That said , I guess I'm asking about shock selection. Would like to keep the cost south of $750.00 . Thanks for sharing your knowledge .

The garbage ride quality of the stock setup is due to two very basic problems.

1: The stock shocks are valved for MUCH stiffer springs than the factory 215/154 springs. You have a great deal of rebound force in the shocks that basically pull the car down and onto the bumpstops and keep it there.
Both the Bilstein HD and Koni Sport will ride better than the OEM Bilsteins because of the softer valving.
Link to the Bilstein HDs: http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/suspension.jsp?make=Bilstein&model=B6+%28HD%29+Shock&group=HD+Shock&partNum=24-065580&autoMake=Mazda&autoModel=Miata+Mazdaspeed&autoYear=2004&autoModClar= (http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/suspension.jsp?make=Bilstein&model=B6+%28HD%29+Shock&group=HD+Shock&partNum=24-065580&autoMake=Mazda&autoModel=Miata+Mazdaspeed&autoYear=2004&autoModClar=)

2: The OEM Bilstein shock body length is the longest of any of the NA/NB shocks. So you engage the bumpstops sooner than a regular Miata and you also have all that super-rebound damping mentioned above helping hold you on the bumpstops.
Upgrading to a set of shorter/more progressive-rate bumpstops is a good upgrade to improve the ride quality.
Fat Cat Motorsports 46/46 bumpstops are the clear winner on the upgrade front.

I wouldn't mess with any of the low-end coil-over setups for a street-only MSM where you want better ride quality as in my experience, they all ride worse than just changing the shocks and bumpstops.
If you do what to spend quite a bit more money and adjustable ride height is important to you, your three best coil-over kits for ride quality in no particular order are:
1: Xida CS by 949 racing - 450/325 spring rates and 5" or higher pinch weld heights.
2: Fat Cat Motorsports custom valved coilovers - Spring rates will vary based on your goals.
3: Ohlins DFV - The springs that come on the kit are pretty darn comfy.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: Qwimby1 on February 11, 2016, 02:44:11 AM
Quote
I wouldn't mess with any of the low-end coil-over setups for a street-only MSM where you want better ride quality as in my experience, they all ride worse than just changing the shocks and bumpstops.
If you do what to spend quite a bit more money and adjustable ride height is important to you, your three best coil-over kits for ride quality in no particular order are:
1: Xida CS by 949 racing - 450/325 spring rates and 5" or higher pinch weld heights.
2: Fat Cat Motorsports custom valved coilovers - Spring rates will vary based on your goals.
3: Ohlins DFV - The springs that come on the kit are pretty darn comfy.
Does that apply to the V-Maxx package, which does have ride-height adjustment?  


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: Bassparrott on February 11, 2016, 05:57:01 PM
I have the Bilstein HD's with the stock MSM springs and the ride feels pretty decent to me.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: gladuboy on February 12, 2016, 12:55:37 PM
I have had the v-maxx on MSM for 3 years now and love them I would just suggest if you are going to do any winter driving protect the threads cover them in a grease or a some kind of CPC. mine corroded so bad after one year I had to use a 24" pipe wrench to adjust them.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on February 12, 2016, 01:02:35 PM
I have the Bilstein HD's with the stock MSM springs and the ride feels pretty decent to me.

I've had 4 Miatas with different suspensions, stock and aftermarket on all of them.  Without a doubt the worst stock suspension was the MSM suspension.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: TheBigChill on February 12, 2016, 01:03:10 PM
I have had the v-maxx on MSM for 3 years now and love them I would just suggest if you are going to do any winter driving protect the threads cover them in a grease or a some kind of CPC. mine corroded so bad after one year I had to use a 24" pipe wrench to adjust them.

+1  My Bilstein PSS9 threads seized up terribly due to winter driving.  I actualy had to buy a new coilover it was so stuck.  Definitely coat the threads.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: gladuboy on February 12, 2016, 01:05:40 PM
I have had the v-maxx on MSM for 3 years now and love them I would just suggest if you are going to do any winter driving protect the threads cover them in a grease or a some kind of CPC. mine corroded so bad after one year I had to use a 24" pipe wrench to adjust them.

+1  My Bilstein PSS9 threads seized up terribly due to winter driving.  I actualy had to buy a new coilover it was so stuck.  Definitely coat the threads.
downside of being stationed in Germany they love their roadsalt.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: timely on February 12, 2016, 02:10:44 PM
I have had the v-maxx on MSM for 3 years now and love them I would just suggest if you are going to do any winter driving protect the threads cover them in a grease or a some kind of CPC. mine corroded so bad after one year I had to use a 24" pipe wrench to adjust them.

Could they be painted or maybe clear coated or would that clog the threads to the point where they couldn't be adjusted?  I get they're affordable, just seems silly that they can't stand up to the elements, especially a part that's so exposed.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on February 12, 2016, 02:38:04 PM
Don't judge the VMaxx as being inferior because the threads might corrode.  BigChill told you he had the same issue on his Bilstein PSS9 coilovers and I had issues with my GC coilovers and I live in the south with no snow.

Think about how unfriendly a location this is for this item and realize that this is not a rare issue.  Best idea might be to put some marine waterproof grease on the threads and then turn the ring over it to lube inside the adjusting rings.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: Jeff Goji on February 13, 2016, 07:04:22 AM
I have the Bilstein HD's with the stock MSM springs and the ride feels pretty decent to me.

I've had 4 Miatas with different suspensions, stock and aftermarket on all of them.  Without a doubt the worst stock suspension was the MSM suspension.


Totally agreed on the stock suspension being the worst!
The stock MSM suspension is, well, let's be honest, really really bad. It is designed to "jack-down" onto the bumpstops very early on which leads to a sudden loss of grip, poor handling, and an overall terrible and sometimes terrifying experience behind the wheel depending upon your level of expertise and the condition of the roads you travel upon.

Now change the shocks out for the Bilstein HDs, and you're not dealing with a stock suspension anymore as you have much more progressive bump and rebound damping with a much better bump to rebound ratio.
The spring rate and anti-swaybar setup is pretty decent from the factory.
And in my experience, it is very good on a ride comfort and even bumpy-road handling than the stock MSM Bilsteins which could be downright scary.
Replace the OEM stupidly long bumpstops with something shorter and more progressive in their ramp-up and you have a winner!

Pretty easy math really. Replace the shocks that are valved for much more aggressive spring rates for shocks more suitable for the actual spring rates on the car and add softer/more progressive bumpstops and you have a better ride.

Here's a thought for everyone as I've done the math on it. I found that the MSM Bilsteins could handle at the absolute limit somewhere around 550 to 600 lb/in springs in the front and 500 lb/in springs in the rear (the shocks are valved almost exactly the same front and rear, the difference in what spring rate they can handle is because of the difference in the motion ratio front to rear.)
Michael Wootton came to similar numbers on his math, and he actually re-valved MSM shocks from day to day on his SSM MSM.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: msm270 on February 13, 2016, 11:16:48 PM
Thanks for all the great advise on making a MSM ride more civilized .  Am I correct in my understanding that I can purchase two  Bilstein HD # 24-065580 (front] and  two 24-065597 (rear) shocks for $102.00 each from Tire Rack together with Fat cat 46/46 bumpstops #5XRNB46/46 for $80.00 . Remove my existing factory shocks , reassemble using the new shocks, new bumpstocks reuse the factory springs and have a complete setup ? Estimating cost to be around $525.00 with shipping. Is this a better option than v-maxxx at $650.00. I'm not concerned with the cost difference but rather with ride quality . Can not justify the $2300.00 for a top tier suspension for the miles I drive.  Thanks from a new MSM owner on a learning curve.




Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on February 14, 2016, 01:16:33 AM
JMHO

I think the stock MSM springs are to soft.  Yes they will be better with the shorter bump stops and the HD shocks but I think they are too soft.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: Jeff Goji on February 14, 2016, 01:17:18 AM
Thanks for all the great advise on making a MSM ride more civilized .  Am I correct in my understanding that I can purchase two  Bilstein HD # 24-065580 (front] and  two 24-065597 (rear) shocks for $102.00 each from Tire Rack together with Fat cat 46/46 bumpstops #5XRNB46/46 for $80.00 . Remove my existing factory shocks , reassemble using the new shocks, new bumpstocks reuse the factory springs and have a complete setup ? Estimating cost to be around $525.00 with shipping. Is this a better option than v-maxxx at $650.00. I'm not concerned with the cost difference but rather with ride quality . Can not justify the $2300.00 for a top tier suspension for the miles I drive.  Thanks from a new MSM owner on a learning curve.

You are correct. Swap the shocks and bumpstops and reuse the factory springs and you are good to go.
Yes, it does ride better than V-Maxx in my experience thanks to the taller/softer OEM springs.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: JCALD on February 14, 2016, 04:16:21 AM
That would retain ride quality for a daily driver.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: oldscienceteacher on February 26, 2016, 01:19:38 PM
I am looking at a similar situation to msm270 (80k on daily driver wanting better ride characteristics on poor SC roads).  I am running 15 inch wheels.  What are suggestions for the alignment when the shocks are replaced with the Bilstein HDs?  Thanks for informational help.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: JCALD on February 26, 2016, 02:22:57 PM
Alignment should not change since ride height remains the same.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on February 26, 2016, 03:08:47 PM
Alignment should not change since ride height remains the same.

Don't think the rear ride height will be the same a OEM Bilsteins perches are higher than the HD perches.

From the FM website, they are talking about using their springs on the OEM shocks but if you use the OEM springs on the HD shocks I would think your going to lower the rear height

Warning: If you run these springs on the stock Bilstein shocks that come in the '04-'05 Mazdaspeed, the rear ride height will be high, around 13.5, due to the Bilstein lower perch being higher than most other shocks.


As for the answer to the alignment using the standard alignment is going to be fine for street use or any of the "mild" performance alignment numbers floating around if you want something a little more aggressive.  Remember if your not an aggressive driver the OEM alignment numbers are picked for the best performance handling with the best tire life.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: 2002tiitomx5 on May 19, 2016, 02:29:58 AM
The FM Fox coil over offering is probably a much more optimal suspension and comparable to the Xidas for somewhat less money for a street only vehicle.
It is what I am considering for my 04 VR.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: warty on May 24, 2016, 06:31:39 PM
I have relatively low miles on the conversion, but so far have had good results by sleeving the MSM Bilsteins (Advanced Autosports: http://www.advanced-autosports.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14&products_id=666 (http://www.advanced-autosports.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14&products_id=666)) and increasing the spring rates to 550# front and 325# rear.  Other than some bumpstop interference (easy to change) while on track, I seem have a much improved ride quality and performance over the stock setup, and I'm at less than $500 total including ISC rear top hats.


Title: Re: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.
Post by: twinturborx7 on July 16, 2016, 06:27:10 PM
My H&R springs with new bumpstops,and 215x40 tires was so much better than the stock springs and tires.  i am thinking about do that setup on  my new msm. The only thing that i didnt like was the front driver side was almost a half inch lower than the other side.