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Author Topic: 140,000 miles, are the shocks gone?  (Read 5118 times)
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MSMVRM
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DD


« on: September 09, 2014, 04:02:04 AM »

Hi guys, my first post.  I recently acquired an MSM, 140,000 miles (I know that's a lot) but everything is in perfect working order.  No leaks, problems.  I changed (by myself) the timing belt, all the seals, front, rear, trans front and rear, cam seals, battery, plugs, radiator, you name it, I changed it and it now runs good except for a rattle when you first start it.  The one thing I'm wondering is about the stock shocks and springs.  The car has the original silver Bilsteins, and from evidence and educated guess, spent most of its time on the freeway.  windshield and hood is peppered with nicks and dings, and the front fog lamps had to be replaced due to being hit so much.  

Anyway,

I lifted the boots of the four shocks and I don't see any signs of leaking.  But I know shocks can be blown out even without that tell-tale sign.  The only thing I noticed out of the ordinary, is that when I go over a bump, the car bounces twice, and then settles *down* rather than *up*.  It feels like it's saggy, like a bowling ball on a whoopee cushion.  Is this the way MSM's are supposed to be or are the shocks gone?  I owned a 91 NA before, but I can't compare the two because they're so much different.

This is to be a total DD car, with no Autoex, HDPE, spirited driving, or any of that sort (its the wife's car, to be kept in pristine condition) yeah I know, I'm getting ready to get flogged right now....
« Last Edit: September 09, 2014, 04:06:24 AM by MSMVRM » Logged

04 MSM stock, 15" Avanti
jdem5
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2014, 02:30:28 PM »

You describe how my OEM Bilsteins feel with 90k. I have always assumed a set of nice Konis or KYBs would fix it.
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2004 Titanium Gray MSM: FM Little Enchilada; 15x7 TRM C1M; 205/50/15 BFG Rivals; 949 Lugs; H&R Race Springs; Porterfield Pads; Boss Frog Clearview; Snugtop Hardtop w/Garage Star Brackets; Bride Vios Low Maxx w/Good-win Bracket; Good-win Stubby Antenna

2008 MINI Cooper S: Chili Red; Daily

1997 Miata STO: FM VMAXX; HD Hardcore; Fidanza Flywheel; ACT Clutch; Borla Exhaust; Jackson Intake; 4:10 Torsen; 205/50/15 Kumho Ecsta XS; SOLD

1994 Miata C Package: Donor/Beater; SOLD
MSMVRM
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DD


« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2014, 02:49:58 PM »

I see, so its not normal, they probably are blown. 

So many options to pick from for replacements.....shocks or coilovers...
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04 MSM stock, 15" Avanti
Maduh
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2014, 03:44:13 PM »

Yeah it's probably time to consider freshening them up. If your looking to just replace them, the Bilstein HDs are nice and relatively cheap. They mate better with the msm spring rates.

Budget coilovers, I'd jump for the 949 Racing technas or the FM vmaxx. Both around $700 and provide quality DD ride.
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RIP #361 05' Black Mica Mazdaspeed mx-5, swap in progress to 1999 Miata Base. Follow my build thread here: http://tinyurl.com/pwtx3f9
MSMVRM
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DD


« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2014, 06:46:18 PM »

Yeah it's probably time to consider freshening them up. If your looking to just replace them, the Bilstein HDs are nice and relatively cheap. They mate better with the msm spring rates.

Budget coilovers, I'd jump for the 949 Racing technas or the FM vmaxx. Both around $700 and provide quality DD ride.

Wow mind reader!  Bilstein HD's and 949 Tecna's are exactly what I had in mind, but the Tecna's aren't out yet.  Not to mention nobody's actually driven them so the question now comes down to either waiting for the 949's or springing for the HD's.  If I get Bilstein HD's, I'll need to get new bumpstops, like FCM's?
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04 MSM stock, 15" Avanti
Maduh
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2014, 06:51:50 PM »

Yeah it's probably time to consider freshening them up. If your looking to just replace them, the Bilstein HDs are nice and relatively cheap. They mate better with the msm spring rates.

Budget coilovers, I'd jump for the 949 Racing technas or the FM vmaxx. Both around $700 and provide quality DD ride.

Wow mind reader!  Bilstein HD's and 949 Tecna's are exactly what I had in mind, but the Tecna's aren't out yet.  Not to mention nobody's actually driven them so the question now comes down to either waiting for the 949's or springing for the HD's.  If I get Bilstein HD's, I'll need to get new bumpstops, like FCM's?

With how long it's been with 949 RnDing the technas there is no doubt in my mind if Emilio backs a product, it's a good product. But you can pre-order the technas now. I really think they will be the better bang for your buck.

Sent from my XT1056 using Tapatalk

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RIP #361 05' Black Mica Mazdaspeed mx-5, swap in progress to 1999 Miata Base. Follow my build thread here: http://tinyurl.com/pwtx3f9
Jeff Goji
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2014, 09:17:14 PM »

I've found that the long-life of Bilsteins is greatly exaggerated on the interwebs, the shock oil does eventually break down. How long that takes depends on the roads you drive on and how much work the shocks have to do over the course of their life.
Even my FCM 3040s had a 6% drop in damping over the 25K miles of driving on Houston roads and constant Autocross abuse when I sent them in for a re-valve. Not much in the long run, but I found it was noticeable.
Ohlins even recommends 35K services.

For replacements, Bilstein HDs are your best bet on a budget, and they do pair up better to the stock spring rates but suck badly if you ever want to upgrade.
Go ahead and replace your bumpstops while you're at it.

For a street-only car, I would avoid Vmaxx like the plague (I have never understood having driven several examples why people think these shocks are any good outside of being harsh) and instead opt for the Tecna when it is released which has a very good spring rate spread and is designed around ride comfort.
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jdem5
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2014, 01:43:41 AM »

+1 on the budget coilovers. I had Vmaxx on my old NA and loved them.
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2004 Titanium Gray MSM: FM Little Enchilada; 15x7 TRM C1M; 205/50/15 BFG Rivals; 949 Lugs; H&R Race Springs; Porterfield Pads; Boss Frog Clearview; Snugtop Hardtop w/Garage Star Brackets; Bride Vios Low Maxx w/Good-win Bracket; Good-win Stubby Antenna

2008 MINI Cooper S: Chili Red; Daily

1997 Miata STO: FM VMAXX; HD Hardcore; Fidanza Flywheel; ACT Clutch; Borla Exhaust; Jackson Intake; 4:10 Torsen; 205/50/15 Kumho Ecsta XS; SOLD

1994 Miata C Package: Donor/Beater; SOLD
MSMVRM
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Posts: 10


DD


« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2014, 01:45:37 AM »

I see, so between the Bilstein HD's and the Tecna's the major difference is the ride height adjustability, since neither have damping adjustments (which I don't need, as long as a single setting is good for DD, I'm set) and the Tecna's aren't released yet.  

I'm not leading towards the FM VMaxx's as according to the numbers comparisons, they have extremely stiff spring rates.

If I go with the Bilstein HD's, how much different will the ride height be from stock Bilsteins?  Last I measured I had 13" in front and 14" in the rear.

 
« Last Edit: September 10, 2014, 01:47:25 AM by MSMVRM » Logged

04 MSM stock, 15" Avanti
Jeff Goji
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2014, 02:17:23 AM »

I see, so between the Bilstein HD's and the Tecna's the major difference is the ride height adjustability, since neither have damping adjustments (which I don't need, as long as a single setting is good for DD, I'm set) and the Tecna's aren't released yet.  

I'm not leading towards the FM VMaxx's as according to the numbers comparisons, they have extremely stiff spring rates.

If I go with the Bilstein HD's, how much different will the ride height be from stock Bilsteins?  Last I measured I had 13" in front and 14" in the rear.

The major difference is that the Tecna coil-overs will ride really well and the Bilstien HDs will ride only fairly well, the ride height adjustment is a plus if looking to go a little lower then stock or looking to properly corner-weight the car, but it isn't a make or break option.

Tecna and Vmaxx will have roughly the same spring rates (Tecna's seem to be closer together which is a good thing for ride comfort), the big differences will be in the much better damping rate of the Tecna and the fact that they don't suffer from hysteresis like the Vmaxx units do under hard use or bouncing off of a series of bumps.
I'll have an actual back to back review here in a couple of months using the same car if everything goes according to plan. Smiley
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bigx5murf
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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2014, 04:36:06 AM »

If looking to just replace shocks, call up Corksport, they've got a set of koni yellows laying around they're looking to unload.  Ask for Derrick, I think he's willing to let them go for $375 last I checked.

Spring rates are a really poor indicator of ride quality. My local friend just put H&R springs on his stock msm with 45k.  The ride quality actually improved significantly despite the spring rate increase.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2014, 04:37:46 AM by bigx5murf » Logged

jkjeer
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« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2014, 04:06:13 PM »

I'll have an actual back to back review here in a couple of months using the same car if everything goes according to plan. Smiley
Looking forward to your review.  I got the V-Maxx XXtreme Sport pkg and they're SOOOO much better than stock for a DD.
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2005 VR GT, Rev-built MegaSquirt 3, FIC 650, Toyota COPs, JoeMazda CAI, Hallman MBC @ 12.5 psi, AEM Uego WB O2, FM DP/Exhaust, eBay FMIC, 225/45-15 BFG Rivals on Advanti 15x9, FM V-Maxx XXtreme Coilovers, 3.63 gears, ES Poly susp & diff bushings, MR SS Clutch Line, 949 SS Brake Lines, Mishimoto 55mm Rad, XTM5QS, MR Delrin Shifter Bushing, '95MSM SpeedHut Boost Gauge Mod, Linear Temp-Gauge Mod, Oil-Pressure LED, Audiovox Cruise Control, Bosectomy, Focal 6.5 Door speakers, 8" Rear Deck Subs, JL Audio Amp, Factory Hard-top, BadBoy WOLO Horn
MSMVRM
First Gear
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Posts: 10


DD


« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2014, 05:12:35 AM »

Spring rates are a really poor indicator of ride quality. My local friend just put H&R springs on his stock msm with 45k.  The ride quality actually improved significantly despite the spring rate increase.

I hear a lot of agreement on that.  So I won't worry too much about high spring rates, but rather, I *should* be looking for stiffer springs, and high quality shocks.  I think I'll wait for the Tecna's.  Money isn't an issue but I do want the good stuff.  Can't wait for October!

Thanks all!
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04 MSM stock, 15" Avanti
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