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Author Topic: Looking for advice on suspension upgrade.  (Read 9645 times)
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msm270
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« 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 .
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2004 TI MSM #59
2007 Toyota Solara SLE conv. Wife's ride
Chrisbee
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Posts: 254


« Reply #1 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.
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2004 TI #3021. Purchased Oct. 2014 with 56k miles.

Engine: FM 2 kit with Hydra 2.7, 700cc injectors, and full 3" exhaust.
FM Crossflow radiator w/stage 2 airflow kit.
Suspension: Fox Racing with FM sway bars.
Wheels: 15x8 Enkei PF01s running 215/50 BFG G-force Sports.
Misc: Custom Speedhut boost gauge in place of stock oil pressure gauge. Temp gauge mod. ScanGaugeII. Blue instrument panel lights. Eclipse dash vents.

Definitely a work in progress!
rstange1
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Posts: 637



« Reply #2 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.

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'05 Ti MSM with: Flyin' Miata Downpipe, Midpipe, Exhaust | Hydra 2.7 ECU w/KO Racing tune | Deatschwerks 700cc Injectors | Turbosmart Manual Boost Controller | BEGi Cool Air Intake, Intercooler, Throttle Inlet | Forge Bypass Valve | FCM Elite Coilovers | Racing Beat 1.125" Tubular Front Sway Bar | Whiteline Endlinks | Enkei 15x8 PF01s | Hankook 225/45 R-S3s | Hard Dog HCHTDD Roll Bar | MiataRoadster Short Shift Kit | Audiovox Cruise Control | Sylfex AuxMod | VDO Boost Gauge | ScanGauge II | BlendMount | Cocomats
SilverMiataRacer
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« Reply #3 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.
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Larry

4 Miatas but who's counting!!   Cool

White Knight    1991 Crystal White   #99 CSP
Silver Bullet     1992 Silverstone     #17 SM2  FM I+ Turbo  (Gone but not forgotten)
Honey B          1992 Sunburst Yellow #99 SM2 J.R. M45
Whooosh         2004 Titanium MazdaSpeed MX5  #403 of 4000
Subie              2006 Steel Gray WRX STi Cobb Stage 2 (Gone but not forgotten)
No name yet    2008 Velocity Yellow Tintcoat Z06 Corvette
No Name yet    2014 Ashen Grey Metallic Camaro 2SS 1LE

“There are only three sports: mountain climbing, bull fighting, and motor racing. All the rest are merely games.”
– Ernest Hemingway
Qwimby1
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Posts: 434



« Reply #4 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.

     
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05 Titanium MSM with essentially permanent hardtop.  FM intake and downpipe, V-Maxx suspension, 15" BBS wheels from 95LE, 3.63 diff.  In the past - 94 NA, 83 Ferrari 308 GTS Quatrovalve, 86 Ferrari 328 GTS, 86 Porsche 944, 86 944 turbo, 62 XKE coupe, 64 XKE coupe, 55 Jaguar XK140 MC coupe, 71 Volvo P1800. 55 Triumph T110 motorcycle, 74 Honda 550, 99 BMW R1100RT, 02 BMW R1150RT, 04 BMW R1150R, 09 Suzuki V-Strom 650. lots of assorted British, German and Italian cars and bikes.
SilverMiataRacer
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2016, 10:40:22 AM »

Remember you need the V8 springs for the VMaxx on the MSM.
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Larry

4 Miatas but who's counting!!   Cool

White Knight    1991 Crystal White   #99 CSP
Silver Bullet     1992 Silverstone     #17 SM2  FM I+ Turbo  (Gone but not forgotten)
Honey B          1992 Sunburst Yellow #99 SM2 J.R. M45
Whooosh         2004 Titanium MazdaSpeed MX5  #403 of 4000
Subie              2006 Steel Gray WRX STi Cobb Stage 2 (Gone but not forgotten)
No name yet    2008 Velocity Yellow Tintcoat Z06 Corvette
No Name yet    2014 Ashen Grey Metallic Camaro 2SS 1LE

“There are only three sports: mountain climbing, bull fighting, and motor racing. All the rest are merely games.”
– Ernest Hemingway
TheBigChill
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Posts: 555


« Reply #6 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.
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Tickittyboo
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Posts: 454



« Reply #7 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.
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2004 Velocity Red MSM with Flyin' Miata's Big Enchilada tuned by Ken Hill, V-Maxx Extreme adjustable coilovers, FM front sway bar, 949 Racing End Links, Boss Frog Double Hoop Roll bar, Tr Motorsports c3m 15x9 wheels with 225 45 15 Hankook Rs3's and carbotech ax6 brake pads all around.
Qwimby1
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Posts: 434



« Reply #8 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.
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05 Titanium MSM with essentially permanent hardtop.  FM intake and downpipe, V-Maxx suspension, 15" BBS wheels from 95LE, 3.63 diff.  In the past - 94 NA, 83 Ferrari 308 GTS Quatrovalve, 86 Ferrari 328 GTS, 86 Porsche 944, 86 944 turbo, 62 XKE coupe, 64 XKE coupe, 55 Jaguar XK140 MC coupe, 71 Volvo P1800. 55 Triumph T110 motorcycle, 74 Honda 550, 99 BMW R1100RT, 02 BMW R1150RT, 04 BMW R1150R, 09 Suzuki V-Strom 650. lots of assorted British, German and Italian cars and bikes.
SilverMiataRacer
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2016, 07:48:11 PM »

Good to know
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Larry

4 Miatas but who's counting!!   Cool

White Knight    1991 Crystal White   #99 CSP
Silver Bullet     1992 Silverstone     #17 SM2  FM I+ Turbo  (Gone but not forgotten)
Honey B          1992 Sunburst Yellow #99 SM2 J.R. M45
Whooosh         2004 Titanium MazdaSpeed MX5  #403 of 4000
Subie              2006 Steel Gray WRX STi Cobb Stage 2 (Gone but not forgotten)
No name yet    2008 Velocity Yellow Tintcoat Z06 Corvette
No Name yet    2014 Ashen Grey Metallic Camaro 2SS 1LE

“There are only three sports: mountain climbing, bull fighting, and motor racing. All the rest are merely games.”
– Ernest Hemingway
Tobra
Fourth Gear
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Posts: 308


« Reply #10 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.
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“If you can make black marks on a straight from the time you turn out of a corner until the braking point of the next turn, then you have enough horsepower.”

Mark Donahue
Jeff Goji
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Posts: 750


« Reply #11 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=

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.
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Qwimby1
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Posts: 434



« Reply #12 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?  
« Last Edit: February 11, 2016, 11:13:26 AM by SilverMiataRacer » Logged

05 Titanium MSM with essentially permanent hardtop.  FM intake and downpipe, V-Maxx suspension, 15" BBS wheels from 95LE, 3.63 diff.  In the past - 94 NA, 83 Ferrari 308 GTS Quatrovalve, 86 Ferrari 328 GTS, 86 Porsche 944, 86 944 turbo, 62 XKE coupe, 64 XKE coupe, 55 Jaguar XK140 MC coupe, 71 Volvo P1800. 55 Triumph T110 motorcycle, 74 Honda 550, 99 BMW R1100RT, 02 BMW R1150RT, 04 BMW R1150R, 09 Suzuki V-Strom 650. lots of assorted British, German and Italian cars and bikes.
Bassparrott
Second Gear
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Posts: 65


« Reply #13 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.
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2004 VR MSM - FM Full Intake, FMIC, FM Downpipe and Exhaust, FM O2 Mod., Koyo radiator, GarageStar Door Bushings, Suzuki cowl washer bottle
gladuboy
Fourth Gear
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Posts: 253



« Reply #14 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.
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#1750 velocity red. begi intake,roadstersport exhaust , SGDP forge bypass valve,mishimoto radiator,evans coolant npg+c, vmaxx xtreme kit, ss brake lines,           
04 strato blue ls (traded)
84 fiero (sold)
85 fiero gt(sold)
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