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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I hate creating a new thread for this but I've done a bunch of searching and a lot of these threads are very old and some of the products suggestions seem to be discontinued. On top of that, I'm new to these cars as I just picked mine up a couple weeks ago and I'm my knowledge of all the suspension components is pretty limited.

On to my question, I just ordered a set of Motegi MR131 Traklite wheels, 17x7 and 7x8 with 215/40 and 235/40 tires. I have zero intentions of tracking the car but I know the wheel gap is going to look terrible and I'd like to lower it a bit, not slammed, just want just want it to look better, maybe an inch or so. Improving handling would obviously be nice but I don't want the ride to be too harsh as our MN roads can be brutal. Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I saw some thread about the Koni and TRD set ups but I'd rather buy something completely new and not have to disassemble/modify the stock struts to make them work.

Thanks,
Rasky
 

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What kind of budget are you looking at? It's hard to recommend springs without performance shocks (Konis being the best), so you may have to go with coilovers. The only relatively inexpensive coils I've heard good things about recently are Tein Street Basis, but I've also heard a number of sources complain that the shocks in those budget friendly coilovers don't last more than a few years. With that said, you're likely to get better results if you set them for a less aggressive drop. If you're willing to drop some cash, there are a wealth of mid to high quality coilovers to recommend (EDIT: Most of those have just now been posted above).

The only other big concern will be fitting coils with your front wheels. your 17x7 +45 wheel has about the same inner strut clearance as a 17x8 +33, which is typically just enough room for everything to fit. If you're unlucky though, you might have to get a 5mm spacer to push your fronts out to +40 like your rears. But a spacer that small isn't really a big deal imo. Alternatively, the Wilhelm Raceworks coilover top mounts would probably also give you enough extra clearance while also improving handling (unlike the spacers), but you're going to pay even more for those. You might want to contact Alex Wilhelm directly to check for advice on that, though.
 

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Strange, I don't remember modifying the stock struts to make Konis work on my deuce - and I've done them on 3 different SW20s. The cartridges just fit into the housings.

Regardless, coilovers supply a rough ride on most surfaces except smooth roads and at highway speeds where they shine. The problem w/ coilovers aren't the springs or the underlying hardware; it's the cheap, under-engineered shocks coupled with their lack of longevity (especially if you like to lower and raise your ride which plays havoc w/ the dampers' stroke range). Koni coilovers are a solution, but they may be pricey (about $2k) and the dampers for that particular setup may be too stiff for your requirements.

If I were in your shoes, I'd buy a set of lowering springs (most will do fine) and much more importantly, select a good shock. Don't forget to change or rebuild your strut mounts too if they haven't already.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback guys. I don't really have a budget but the Wilhelm raceworks adjustable Koni coilovers might be more than I want to spend right now. My wheels will be here tomorrow so I guess I'll see how bad it looks first. The car only has 68,000 miles on it and the timing belt hasn't been done yet either, so that's another $2k based on the quote I got from a local Toyota/Lexus/Scion shop. I love this car but I'm starting to get the feeling this is going to be an expensive toy. LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks! That helps a ton! I think I’ll go that route if I can get my local guy to do the work.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Installed my wheels last weekend. I think I'm going to run it stock for a while as it doesn't look that bad. I'm planning to do the Koni Yellow and Eibach Prokits though, maybe later this summer but we'll see. :)
 

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The car only has 68,000 miles on it and the timing belt hasn't been done yet either, so that's another $2k based on the quote I got from a local Toyota/Lexus/Scion shop.
Get the timing belt (and water pump while you’re at it) done elsewhere and you’ll save ~$1400 towards your suspension.
 

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Get the timing belt (and water pump while you’re at it) done elsewhere and you’ll save ~$1400 towards your suspension.
I haven't been able to find anyone else near me willing to do it. :(

The $2k quoted was for the timing belt, water pump, drive belts, hoses, and some various seals.
 

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Car looks really nice. Although your timing belt should be done at some point I'd hold off until you find a decent Mechanic you can work with. I've found with these cars the belt age isn't as important as mileage. Engine is non-interference so no damage should belt decide to break.

Best to drive car for a little while and figure out what other maintenance or mods you would like to do. Often installing a DP and replacing the HFH and HFHOE are high priority items. If you find a Mechanic willing to drop engine then these jobs along with timing belt are a walk in the park.

jim
 

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The $2k quoted was for the timing belt, water pump, drive belts, hoses, and some various seals.
That sounds like they’re doubling or tripling up on the labor. The Toyota dealer near me tried that with my Corolla. Their “book price” for the timing belt includes the labor to get to it, but so does their price for the water pump. They should only be charging the additional labor for the pump etc., but at that price they’re clearly charging for the labor as if they were doing all the work separately.
My Corolla example: I was having a front right suspension issue and they told me they needed to replace the strut and strut mount, and wanted $1200. Pricing them out from their parts counter, Toyota parts would have been ~$375, and the rest was labor. Another local dealer wanted $1300 to do both the left and right side together. Clearly there was a discrepancy since the first dealer was only doing one side. When I challenged their service manager on it, he said they mis-quoted it by adding the labor to remove and re-install the strut twice (once for the strut, a second time for the mount), and that it should have been quoted at $700. Ask them for a detailed quote by job (break out parts and labor for each job), and challenge them on high labor numbers for what should be add-on tasks. Call any other Toyota dealer and ask them to quote you the same work over the phone to compare it. Good luck!
 
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