Opinions/Experience Wanted on Suspension Set-Ups

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Opinions/Experience Wanted on Suspension Set-Ups

Postby Ryki » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:09 am

So I've been doing way too much reading into suspension set-ups and I wanted personal feelings from our members on here. Some ones I'm interested in are the J-Stock (if I can find a set), H&R Race, H&R Sport and any others you may have tried. I don't like the idea of coilovers, I would rather have a specifically valved and springed car that rides as I want it to but I'm getting way to specific on springs rates and other forums comparisons. I'm mostly curious about the previously mentioned but it'd be nice to hear how it compared to something else you've had.

As such, if anyone would like to chime in with what set-ups they've had, how they liked em, how they didn't like em, did they ride well on the street, was it dd worthy, was it really what you would want if you were to track it, how was the stance/look or any other things of that sort. I'm sure a lot of y'all are tired of these things as you've been in it a while but I'd appreciate any input you'd have : )

Thanks!
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Re: Opinions/Experience Wanted on Suspension Set-Ups

Postby ten2doyle102 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:49 pm

I've tried several different suspensions on e30s and the one I liked the most had to be the GC/bilstein setup. 450F/600R. It was awesome for auto-cross duty and rode pretty well too off the track. The car just seemed much tighter on them.

I've ran the H&R race and billys too which was pretty nice too. Still a very good setup for someone looking to get decent track performance, but still would like cruise the car during the week and not feel like your spine was going to implode.

I've also driven Tony's car with the J-Stocks...its quite good. The car stays very flat and is very neutral. I loved every second of driving the car on the track, but I don't know how it is on the street. J-stocks have high rates, but are progressive.

I wouldn't be worried about coilover and matching the struts. By that I mean there's tons of information on what people run on their cars. I would maybe suggest calling Ground Control and asking their opinions. When I ordered my setup, they actually called me to run down the specs quickly.
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Re: Opinions/Experience Wanted on Suspension Set-Ups

Postby Yoshi » Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:30 pm

I don't agree with your aversion to coils. If you plan to track frequently, you NEED the adjustability. Any good coil place will valve your struts accordingly. They are adjustable too. Within certain tolerances of course. I prefer to swap out tires and springs as I see fit. I still haven't found a setup I would say "this is the best spring rate". I mean, there isn't but I mean just at the local track I ONLY go to.

If you are dead set on no coils, go J stock. Hands down. HR race/sport are just street setups to me. Ask Tony. I had this discussion with him. I've literally had every off the shelf setup you can get in the US.
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Re: Opinions/Experience Wanted on Suspension Set-Ups

Postby M20_fever » Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:08 pm

I've had all three setups you mentioned. The H&R sports are worthless, too soft for how much drop they give. Tons of body roll on the track and constant bottoming out on the street. The H&R Race are decent for light track/autox duty, and okay on the street. Since they aren't progressive they can be a little harsh on the street, but bearable. If I knew then what I know now I would have just gotten the J-Stock and skipped the rest. They are awesome on the track (what thew were developed for) but since they are progressive they are actually more comfortable than the H&R on the street.

Coils are okay of you can set them up right, which most people don't. Setting up spring rates and dampener rates isn't an easy thing to do correctly. It takes LOTS of trial and error to get dialed in right, which means lots of spring swaps, and dampener adjusting. For someone who is on the track every weekend, and does test and tune days in between, that may not be a big deal, but for someone who does a couple autox or track days a month it's not realistic to think you will get a custom coil setup dialed in correctly. Additionally, a proper coil setup probably isn't going to use progressive rates, so DD will suffer a lot. I have no direct experience with coils since I opted to let a professional race team (TMS) do the engineering for me, but I can say I regularly leave cars on coil setups far behind me at HSAX events.
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Re: Opinions/Experience Wanted on Suspension Set-Ups

Postby ten2doyle102 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:14 pm

As I told Tony after I got to drive his car, that setup is nearly perfect for the e30. My 318is with the coilover was pretty oversteer happy, but that could have been the bigger rear sway causing that problem. Tony's e30 just held the road amazingly. All it needs in my opinion is an upgraded steering rack.

If you don't want coilovers, J-stock is the only option IMO if you're looking for the best setup for the track.
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Re: Opinions/Experience Wanted on Suspension Set-Ups

Postby Nsquared97 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:18 am

Riding in Austin's car on H&R Race and Billy's on the street it barely felt any stiffer/harsher than stock, I really liked it. But from what I have seen, not really stiff enough for serious track/autoX duty. MAYBE with a big front sway, but still I highly doubt it.

I have GC coils now, and I love them. I would seriously recommend them, and keep in mind GC valves them specifically for E30's. Also, they convert the rear struts so you can adjust them in the trunk, instead of having to take them off the car like off the shelf Koni's. GC's customer service is awesome, they know their stuff and the E30 chassis very well, and were very helpful answering any/every question I had. Ask for Mark if you call them. And the quality of their stuff is great too.

I'm running 440f/650r springs, which are definitely harsher than stock, that's for sure lol. Also have the big IE front sway (25mm). Car sits way too low right now which adds to the discomfort/anxiety driving it in the city, but that will be remedied by spring. Out of fun back roads and cruising on the highway it's great. It's mainly just shitty Michigan city streets that can get painful. I have only been able to autoX it twice with this setup, and both times were far from ideal to say the least. But damn the car feels so much more connected, rapid transitions (slaloms) are far less painful, although I really want a different steering rack even more than I used to. Also wheelhop off the line is all gone, I was very happy about that!

As far as the J-stock's, I have no experience with them so I can't say, but with how much Tony and Yoshi rave about them I bet they don't suck lol. Seems like a pretty legit alternative to coils if that's the route you want to go.
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Re: Opinions/Experience Wanted on Suspension Set-Ups

Postby Ryki » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:22 am

So I really appreciate the advice and viewpoints y'all shared. I know we have a lot of E30 members with years and sometimes decade+ experience so it's nice for y'all to look back and relate what you've experienced. I think I'm going to combine all this with the advice people have made and my decisions on what to do with my multiple cars (winter DD 325, summer DD318is/summer track 325 while here and full time DD 318is when I get home). As such I would like to ask some more pointed questions with the idea of setting up two different cars.

First would be my 318is, I plan on summer DD'ing it here and year round when I get back:
I was looking at a mix of solid rubber and better, what parts would you feel you wouldn't want in a DD car? Maybe some of the sway bar and like could be poly but you'd prefer solid rubber for trans and engine mounts?
For springs I would like something stiffer than stock but doesn't jar you with every bump. I figured progressive rate springs would be the best, H&R Race vs IE Stage 3? The latter seemed like a good idea but people seem to have issue with the rear springs binding and reverse rake, thoughts? I also get somewhat mixed messages when reading other places about the H&R Race as to whether they are linear or progressive rates and ride quality? I would rather the H&R so experience in this would be appreciated, I'd probably pair them with some Koni Yellows I got here and get some Bilsteins down the line (so I can have matching valving and new shocks :P).
I was also considering the E90 drop hats. Some people have rubbing issues but, from research at least, it seems to be people forgetting a washer but it'd be nice to further lower/adjust that front end. Anyone try these or feel to share their knowledge?
Other questions not suspension related will be saved and asked elsehwere but any other advice for a nice DD car in terms of look/ride/upgrades/preventative maintenance is appreciated. I would like to do all the "while you're under there" stuff.

My other car will be my 325. I'm going to start and test and try everything here while still researching everything to build the car for a specific class/classes as I plan on winter DD'ing here and summer tracking and having my one back home be my year round car.
Similar questions on what bushings you like for the track and what you didn't? What set-up would you consider you're ideal? Or what you've ended up running?
What kind of sways are you running? Have you deleted your rear? Or maybe upgraded/adjustables for both?
I would prefer J-Stock but I may not be able to get a set (TMS would need a 50+ order of em to get another set). I like the idea of matched valving and chosen spring rates as well as the expertise that GC would offer, I'll end up doing researching and keeping that as an option if I can't get my initial thought. What kind of rates/set-ups have forum members here tried?

I think one of the best questions to match when matching all these set-ups is wheel tire sets. I have a set of TRM C1's (15x7) in grey with RS3's (225/45) waiting for track days. I might also have a set of Kosei's being bought back home for the 325is with normal tires, mostly since the stock bottleshits are bent and dying. I would probably run a set of Euroweaves (I have 4 or 5 sets now, I forget) with 205/50 tires for the DD. If I'm wrong I should post that in my build forum, my apologies.

Anywho, thanks again for all y'all's input, advice and experience on all of this. It's always to come into the game so late and not really have a lot of experience. I can work and am willing/love to but knowledge is what I need :P
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Re: Opinions/Experience Wanted on Suspension Set-Ups

Postby Yoshi » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:33 pm

I'll be honest. I read maybe 20% of that.

I'd leave the DD regular. Just do maintenance and leave it be. It's a DD. not a race car. For the track car.... eh. experiment. .It's mostly preference. I'd leave the stock sway bars.
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Re: Opinions/Experience Wanted on Suspension Set-Ups

Postby M20_fever » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:55 pm

way too much to type on my phone, ill post here tonight.
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Re: Opinions/Experience Wanted on Suspension Set-Ups

Postby Ryki » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:58 pm

Lol sorry about the post length Yoshi. So you wouldn't recommend anything, even similar rates but lowered like some sport springs? I was thinking something firmer and to reduce the front gap. Also looking forward to your post Tony! As well as some of our other members :3
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Re: Opinions/Experience Wanted on Suspension Set-Ups

Postby Yoshi » Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:16 pm

My thought process is to keep DDs simple. I find that when I start modding a daily, I tend to go overboard. $$ wise, it's better to put all the cash into the track car and leave the stock car stock. I don't care for lowering a DD. I like the ride height for speed bumps and snow.
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Re: Opinions/Experience Wanted on Suspension Set-Ups

Postby M20_fever » Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:33 pm

Ryki wrote:I was looking at a mix of solid rubber and better, what parts would you feel you wouldn't want in a DD car? Maybe some of the sway bar and like could be poly but you'd prefer solid rubber for trans and engine mounts?[\quote]
For a DD I would stick with OE replacements. Just new stockers will be a night/day difference over 100k+mile rubber.

For springs I would like something stiffer than stock but doesn't jar you with every bump. I figured progressive rate springs would be the best, H&R Race vs IE Stage 3? The latter seemed like a good idea but people seem to have issue with the rear springs binding and reverse rake, thoughts? I also get somewhat mixed messages when reading other places about the H&R Race as to whether they are linear or progressive rates and ride quality? I would rather the H&R so experience in this would be appreciated, I'd probably pair them with some Koni Yellows I got here and get some Bilsteins down the line (so I can have matching valving and new shocks :P).


H&R Race are linear, not progressive. Most aftermarket e30 springs are linear. I've already said what I thought about ride quality between springs above, but basically J-Stock is best handling and most comfortable in a performance spring. If you want comfort, stick with something softer like BavAuto springs. That's what was on my car when I bought it and they were a nice blend of comfort and looks. Performance, not so much, but its a DD so who cares?

I was also considering the E90 drop hats. Some people have rubbing issues but, from research at least, it seems to be people forgetting a washer but it'd be nice to further lower/adjust that front end. Anyone try these or feel to share their knowledge?

No experience, but I've read it can negatively effect handling since it effectively reduces the travel of the strut. More of a looks thing I guess.

Other questions not suspension related will be saved and asked elsewhere but any other advice for a nice DD car in terms of look/ride/upgrades/preventative maintenance is appreciated. I would like to do all the "while you're under there" stuff.

IMO the areas of focus for a DD should be looks and comfort, so don't get carried away with performance stuff or you won't enjoy driving the car in everyday traffic. I liked driving my e30 on the street a lot more with Bavauto springs and stock rubber everything than I do now...

My other car will be my 325. I'm going to start and test and try everything here while still researching everything to build the car for a specific class/classes as I plan on winter DD'ing here and summer tracking and having my one back home be my year round car.

These two don't work together, period. If you want a car that's good on the track, its going to be terrible in the snow/rain/ice.
Similar questions on what bushings you like for the track and what you didn't?

Solid EVERYTHING for track.

What kind of sways are you running? Have you deleted your rear? Or maybe upgraded/adjustables for both?

I run stock front and no rear sway. With the J-stock rates this works quite well. I plan on upgrading to the vert front sway, but that's about it.

I would prefer J-Stock but I may not be able to get a set (TMS would need a 50+ order of em to get another set). I like the idea of matched valving and chosen spring rates as well as the expertise that GC would offer, I'll end up doing researching and keeping that as an option if I can't get my initial thought. What kind of rates/set-ups have forum members here tried?

Watch the forums, mostly r3v, J-Stocks pop up pretty often.

I think one of the best questions to match when matching all these set-ups is wheel tire sets. I have a set of TRM C1's (15x7) in grey with RS3's (225/45) waiting for track days. I might also have a set of Kosei's being bought back home for the 325is with normal tires, mostly since the stock bottleshits are bent and dying. I would probably run a set of Euroweaves (I have 4 or 5 sets now, I forget) with 205/50 tires for the DD. If I'm wrong I should post that in my build forum, my apologies.

Sounds fine to me.
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Re: Opinions/Experience Wanted on Suspension Set-Ups

Postby Yoshi » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:42 pm

I read all that. I basically agree. Never bothered with E90 drop hats. never saw the point.
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Re: Opinions/Experience Wanted on Suspension Set-Ups

Postby Ryki » Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:36 am

Alrighty, my game plan is pretty much set then. Thank you to everyone for your input, contributions and question answering!

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