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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been running a Tokico Blue/TRD Spring/H&T bushing/195/60/R14 Falken Azenis setup for a while now. It was awesome at first compared to my old worn out and broken suspension, but the over lowering of the front is getting to be just too damn much. It's great during auto-x, but I need more front suspension compression travel and height. Rubbing on the front drivers side tire (on the TOP of the fender liner, not just the side) and hitting the bump stop in mid corner bumps is getting very old.

A spring spacer or custom wound front springs that were the same rate just higher is tempting... but the first option seems a bit ghetto and the second one... well I may just as well move to Ground Controls.

Enough rambling... my questions:

1. What spring lengths/diameters are people running with the GC kit? This car is used for auto-x and weekend mountain road cruising, so I'd like something stiff without being so stiff that it gets upset on undulations mid-corner. I was thinking of getting 175 or 185 front/300 rear (slightly stiffer than the TRD springs), with a 1-1.5" drop over stock. Is this possible with an 8" spring up front and not doing the weld on kit, or should I move to a 7" front spring and compromise on my spring rate?

2. Will moving to a GC setup be overly clanky/harsh over the normal bumps on normal roads?

3. How are ST springs in comparison to the low TRD springs? My springs look progressive... but they sit very low and the car is very stiff (barely moves when I push down on it quite firmly), leading me to believe they are the 162/280 spring rates. If the ST springs are close in stiffness and dynamic feel to the TRD springs without being overly low, I may be happy just going this route. That is, if I can find them anywhere...

Thank you all for any help.
edit: I will be moving to Koni adjustable shocks, regardless of what I do for springs.
 

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You and I have had very similar experiences and thoughts. Same experiences with the TRD springs being dynamically excellent but too low up front, and I have some of the same questions about the GC coilovers as well.

The only difference with me is that I went with Eibach springs after the TRDs, and haven't yet taken the plunge to coilovers. I felt (and still do) the Eibachs offer the ideal ride height for a street/track AW11. I'm just not happy with their dynamics and my distinct lack of tire clearance up front [not a fault of the Eibachs in particular, just this type of large diameter spring].

I may be doing coilovers soon too and I'd also like to know if the weld-on kit that eliminates the spring perch offers enough clearance to run 225s up front without rubbing (car lowered ~0.75" from stock). I'm also interested in hearing how to get more compression stroke from the front struts -- something I hear is sorely lacking in a lowered AW11 -- and how this might affect the choice of spring rate/length.

I already have Konis, with about 40,000 miles on them. I wonder if they'd still be up to stiffer spring rates or if I should have them rebuilt or replaced.

In short, "ditto" what you said, and I had more questions to add. ;)

Regarding ST springs, they may be a smidge low for you. I think they would be for me. I've ridden in a couple ST-equipped cars at the track and the springs do seem to work well for that.
 

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I have ST springs with KYB GR2's and I am happy with them. They should not be as stiff as the TRD springs. The ride height for me is not a problem and I have had them on the car for a few years now. I only scrape on steep driveways if I am not careful enough.
 

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wow +1 on the first 2 posts. i have the TRD springs (progressive) and Tokico HP's. i have troubles (a little) with some tire rub with my 17's on the car. the HP's are pretty much all dead now. i also am contemplating the use of GC's on the car. i have a set from a 95 vtec prelude that i may have to modify to work. i also have the matching set of Koni struts. i found that by removing the mounting brackets from the front Konis, i could use them on the rears of the MkI. the rears from the prelude won't fit regardless because they are a)too long and b) too wide in the actual strut body. why am i going though all of the trouble? because the stuff was free.
 

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You will not be able to get that kind of drop with an 8" spring in the front with no weld on kit. If you are not going to run a weld on..Id recommend a 6" on the front paired with a 7" rear. Id run a 7" on the front if I were to add the weld on, as the 6" would have the adjustment collar 3/4 of the way up to the top limiting your adjustments.

As for clanky, nothing of the sort, for me anyway. The only thing Id recommend is getting a T handle allen wrench for the locking collar.

BryanH- I run 14x7 with 225 710v's all the way around and I have no rubbing issues, even before the GC coilovers. Im even running a tight offset...+38mm, rubbing is a non-issue.The tires are the same overall diameter as the stockers..

Oh...and I swapped to GC's because of the height issues with the TRD springs and the bottoming out of my Koni yellows.. so I agree with all of you..
 

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I was in almost the same boat as you with my 88 SC. I had ST springs, but wanted something better for auto-x. I went with GCs with the minimum rates they recommend - 200 front with 7 inch springs and 250 rear with 8 inch springs. I have about a 1 inch drop. The fronts are near the bottom of the sleeve and the rears are near the top. This is with the stock spring perches still intact, so the GCs are sitting on them. You would not want to go less than 200/250. I am going to try this out for at least a year and go with something more like 250/325 if I want stiffer. I do have the ST sway bars front and rear, so that also increases your lateral spring rates. If I were staying with stock front bar and an 85 rear sway bar, I would have higher rates.

Konis will definitely stiffen up things as well. With the Konis on stiff, the ST sway bars, the H&T / Prothane bushings, and the Kirkosaurus motor mounts, it is pretty stiff, even with the lowest spring rates of the GCs.

Do you have a rear sway bar ? If not, get one. If you want more than an inch drop, I would recommend higher spring rates to keep it from rubbing. Also, cut your front bump stops. With a rear sway bar and an good, aggressive auto-x alignment, you will likely need your spring rates closer together than you think to keep the car balanced.


John
 

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You are correct when you say that you need spring rates that are closer together. I have auto-x'd a 350f/450r set up and it is not all understeer as one were to believe it would be. Actually, the car's oversteer/understeer was tuned mostly via the T3 front camber plates. Weird but true.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for helpful information :) It looks like I'll be running a 7" 200 lb/in front spring and 8" 300 lb/in rear spring. What spring diameters are you running, the 2.25 or 2.5"? jeebert, how balanced does the car feel with 200/250 rates?

BryanH said:
I'm also interested in hearing how to get more compression stroke from the front struts -- something I hear is sorely lacking in a lowered AW11 -- and how this might affect the choice of spring rate/length.

Regarding ST springs, they may be a smidge low for you. I think they would be for me. I've ridden in a couple ST-equipped cars at the track and the springs do seem to work well for that.
I know you can go to a custom short stroke setup to gain more compression travel. My solution is to just not lower the front much. My front air damn will be happy with that as well.

How did the ST spring equipped cars feel compared to your car with the TRD springs?
 

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That's hard to say since I only got brief rides on the track, no street driving. They felt good though, better than Eibachs.

verno-dub: I'm amazed you didn't rub with that setup. Even on 195/50/15s I rubbed the fender liner with my TRD springs, and with my 205/50/15s on Eibachs something rubs on full lock. If I put 225s on the front of my car I would have issues all over the place.
 

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rallyengr said:
Thanks for helpful information :) It looks like I'll be running a 7" 200 lb/in front spring and 8" 300 lb/in rear spring. What spring diameters are you running, the 2.25 or 2.5"? jeebert, how balanced does the car feel with 200/250 rates?
It feels like it might be pushing a hair with both ST sway bars on full soft and the Konis on 1/2 stiff all around. I'll have to experiment more as it warms up. I just got everything done and got an alignment when my clutch went out and started that whole cluster f..... So I haven't driven it a whole lot since.

I am going to run this season like it is, and if it is not balanced I can swap the springs out for next season. I am also going to try it with both sway bars on stiff and see if that changes the relative balance any. I want to at least get the sway bar settings where I like before Strong Stock 06 and the Tail of the Dragon !

John
 

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ToyotaTechGeek said:
i think on erics's site, it said that set of rates was NOT good.

They might work with the long 7/8" springs but id run stiffer, something like 225~250lb/in front and around 325~350lb/in rear. Especially with a full interior and a/c. But thats me. Gotta pair them with good shocks though..
 

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Yes, Eric's site said that, but didn't elaborate. So what is not good - both rates, or is that opinion that the rates are too close together ?

As for the front rate of 200, it is about 60% stiffer than the ST front spring rate. And as for the rear rate, it depends on whether you have a rear sway bar. With a rear sway bar, you don't need as much rear spring. And also, an aggressive auto-x alignment makes the front stick, thus making it oversteer and again you don't need as much rear spring relative to the front. And also does that take into account having ST sway bars instead of stock, or H&T/Prothane bushings, Kirk's motor mounts, etc. And what about having Konis, that can get very stiff at the max setting to also help. I think there are too many variables to make blanket statements. I think it depends on the whole setup.

I never could get any definitive answers, so I thought I would start at the minimum rates, and see how it feels, since I do have other things that stiffen it up. I have ridden in and driven a car with the 350/450 rates with stock sway bars and TRD bushings and it is a kidney buster. The nice thing about GCs is that I can just swap in new springs several times and be able to compare them

With a few autocrosses, some backroads driving, and Strong Stock 06, it will become clear soon enough - hopefully. :dontknow:

John
 
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