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View Full Version : Lets talk Suspension.



Ghost
11-25-2010, 07:23 PM
so from my knowledge that i have gotten over the years around celicas there's only 2 options + accessories ?

1. Coilovers
2 Springs + Struts.

accessories
1. strut bar
2. swaybars

Few of my questions:

1. i want my car to be as stiff and low as possible. so i plan on going with coilvers. but what excatly should we know before purchasing coilovers ? will there be anything extra i will need besides the coilovers it self ? what do i need to upgrade or replace to get the best feeling.

2. which companies make strut/swaybars bars for our cars ? what are the benefits of upgrading ?

i also want to make a thread that would infor more people directly than having to research the web for details
i got more questions about this but i am in a rush for work and just wanted to write it down before i forget.
once i get all the info ill make a nice thread but for now this is the start. rushed but better than nothing.
more to come

Raze
11-25-2010, 08:37 PM
St makes swaybars for our cars and I think trd made some but good.luck finding those.

Flux
11-26-2010, 12:28 AM
+1 on Suspension Techniques.
Made in the same factory as KW.

Im not sure who makes strut bars for ours. Check eBay. I think the Ford Probe rear strut tower bar will work, just need to drill new mounting holes in the bracket. This is only for liftbacks because the coupe has too much in the way, but the coupe is stiffer right there I'm sure...

Sway bars and Strut bars just reduce body roll in corners, by pulling on the opposite side when turning so it doesn't flex as much. Some eBay Strut bars are better than others, look for one with the most rigidity...

Hiko
11-26-2010, 12:56 AM
Just to give a quick rundown from my own experience on your lists. This is all ST184 related, btw. The 185 crew has more options in general. Also, this is all off the top of my head, so might not be 100% accurate, I'll update with corrections as needed.

1. Coilovers
There are basically two options. The Megan/Ksport/D2 coilovers. These are the same, but with different branding that are easily found, and have good reviews around these parts. Tein also is now making a set for the st184, but are far more pricey. I'd wager higher quality, though that is just an opinion. Upon a quick look on ebay, there are also Tanabe's for sale, but I don't know anything about them.
Having never purchased or installed a Coiilover suspension, I don't know for sure if anything else needs replacing, but I'm pretty sure not.

2. Springs + Struts.
For struts, there really only seems to be KYB GR-2's and Koni yellows, so no middle ground in price or performance. Either OEM replacement, more or less, or all out race. For springs, there are various options, ranging from Eibach, Megan, and various ebay brands. The amount of drop varies between products. Also, there are adjustable 'coilover' spring kits that allow height adjustment. These are also made by various ebay brands and by Ground Control. With GC, you can get different spring rates to suite your driving needs. FWIW, autocrossers usually get Koni struts with GC springs as a standby option.
Bear in mind that with this option, there are various parts that might as well be replaced, such as the strut hats (can't remember if that's the right term) and other rubber bits.

Accessories:
1. Strut Bar
Again, not many options. Conrad was making a full set of front and rear (hatchback only) strut tower bars and front underbody brace. Unless you get supremely lucky picking up a used piece, you're SOL on those, though.
For the front strut tower bar, there's the modified Neon bar that can be used. Cusco used to make a front underbody brace IIRC. I am not sure if there are any options for the rear bar though.

2. Sway Bars
As said above, ST makes a rear swaybar for the 184. Whiteline also makes a front and rear bar. The ST rear bar is larger, IIRC.

3. Polyurethane Bushings
There is a vendor on this board, Red Rocket Performance I believe that sells poly kits for the 184.
Also, SuperPro makes a poly kit for the front control arms, and at least used to make them for the rear as well. 185Performance is currently down, and is the only place I had found selling that master kit.

4. Camber Bolts/ Plates
A good alignment, and hence adjustable camber, is a must if you really care about handling. It is arguably almost as important as your springs and struts, so don't neglect it.
Ingalls makes camber bolts that work with 184's (and just about every strut type suspension). I know there was some questioning about camber plates a while back, but can't remember if there are any companies making them for celica's.

5. Control arms
Not much to say here. Might a worth your time to upgrade your rear lateral arms to sixth gen units (used to be a how-to thread, can't find it now). You can also make your own lateral arms a rear control arms with the link in post #12 here (http://www.celicatech.com/forums/showthread.php?15795-Aftermarket-Rear-Control-Arms&highlight=polyurethane). I know of no options for front control arms.

6. Tires
Obviously not celica specific in anyway, but seriously, if you're going to drop >$1k on suspension, don't skimp and buy crappy tires. A celica with great tires on a stock suspension would almost definitely handle better than a celica with a great suspension on all seasons.

Finally, get to some of your questions. You say you want the car to be "As stiff and low as possible". Why? Those things do not make a car turn better, necessarily. If lowering it is for looks, then that makes sense, but the suspension geometry doesn't like too low a drop. Also, you can get a DAMN stiff ride easily by getting Ground control springs and ramp the rates up to ~900 in-lbs on the front and rear, but your car will handle like shit.

So I guess what I'm getting at is asking you what you are wanting out of the car in terms of use. Is it your DD that you'd like to autox with or track? Just DD? Just track? Show only? These facts make a large difference in what you might consider ideal to your needs.

Ghost
11-27-2010, 01:07 AM
a very detail post by hiko that i will be using. well i wanted some really stiff suspension for better handling but i guess i was wrong. my car will be mainly for DD but i will be tracking it also so i need to be able to switch back and foward. the drop is for looks but i think 2 - 2.5 is a good drop.

KoreanJoey
11-27-2010, 01:21 AM
If you get track stiff you'll suffer on most roads due to not being able to conform to the imperfections in the road. You want something in the middle.

Koni Yellows are NOT track shocks, they're good for stock or a little over stock spring rates (say 100-300in/lbs) anything in the track stiff range and they start to suffer. I had this problem. I was running 450in/lbs fr and 350in/lbs in the rear and it SUCKED to drive around town and still wasn't really stiff enough for the track.

Really you'd be best off with going with some good lower springs and some koni yellows (I really like my H&R springs for my daily) if you're looking to improve your daily driver and maybe have some fun on the weekends. If you're looking for a competitive car in anything but stock class you'd be better off building it for just that purpose with the realization that it isn't a street car, some koni race shocks and some hypercoil springs on some GC coilover sleeves with ST rear bar, KSport camber plates, ETC.

METDeath
11-27-2010, 01:32 AM
Yes, the ST bar is larger than the Whiteline and adjustable, where as the Whiteline is not adjustable.

Ghost
11-27-2010, 02:27 AM
this is some awesome info guys thanks for all the replies, i still would like more info to make one awesome sticky thread.

koreanjoey, ill be be going with coilovers since it will be more suiting for me.

Murgatroy
11-27-2010, 09:00 PM
a very detail post by hiko that i will be using. well i wanted some really stiff suspension for better handling but i guess i was wrong. my car will be mainly for DD but i will be tracking it also so i need to be able to switch back and foward. the drop is for looks but i think 2 - 2.5 is a good drop.

2" to 2.5" is a pretty drastic drop that will induce a lot of bump steer, and cause a lot of premature wear.

Hiko
11-28-2010, 09:23 PM
Koni Yellows are NOT track shocks, they're good for stock or a little over stock spring rates (say 100-300in/lbs) anything in the track stiff range and they start to suffer. I had this problem. I was running 450in/lbs fr and 350in/lbs in the rear and it SUCKED to drive around town and still wasn't really stiff enough for the track.

Sorry Joey, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with the Koni statement. And not to be rude, but you seemed to as well.


I've gotta say guys... 450in/lbs front and 350in/lbs rear springs are a HUGE addition to the Koni shocks... I know it seems like a lot but in reality, it's actually a better ride than w/ just the Konis in.

The reason it rode better, as I'm sure you know, is because the Koni's are made to be used with higher spring rates. With a balanced suspension, it all worked better.

Also, I know many people using yellows very successfully for autox, so I'm betting they would be just fine with relatively moderate rate springs (for racing), around the 450 in lbs you mentioned. The ride quality on the road might be intolerable for some, fine for others. I have some friends who daily their cars with ~400 in lbs springs w/o problems (cars only weigh 2400 and 2800 lbs respectively).

FWIW, I have Koni yellows with eibach progressive rate springs on my RX-7, and it is severely overdamped even at the softest setting.

Do you have more info on the Ksport camber plates? I know they come with the coilovers, but I can't find them for sale separately?


2" to 2.5" is a pretty drastic drop that will induce a lot of bump steer, and cause a lot of premature wear.

^Agreed. In one of the threads I can no longer find, Adrian did some detailed study of the 5th gen suspension and concluded that it doesn't take well to being dropped much more than an inch. I can't remember the exact number, but I think it was something like 1.1-1.2" he suggested as a max drop for handling.

EDIT: Found the post here (http://www.celicatech.com/forums/showthread.php?7528-Journal-Road-Racing-a-1990-GT-Coupe&p=97747#post97747). Just more than an inch, apparently.

KoreanJoey
11-29-2010, 06:55 AM
Main problem with the Yellows is adjustability at the upper range of the supported spring rates. They're isn't any... pretty much all of the adjustment over 300in/lbs is in the last quarter turn on the yellows. You could get some autocross valve konis (you can order them from koni IIRC) or get some Koni race shocks (which support 500-1100in/lbs in factory valving).

Basically, for really aggressive track suspension you're looking for stiffer than 400. Even at 450in/lbs on the Hoosiers it just wasn't enough to suppress the roll and pitch from hard braking and cornering forces. I'm going to try 700in/lbs front and 550in/lbs rear and see where that gets me. Guess what I'm saying is if you're really, really track motivated you'll need to build your suspension with more than off the shelf parts. If you want to go with off the shelf springs, off the shelf shocks should work great.

KoreanJoey
11-29-2010, 06:58 AM
Um. They used to be listed on their site at one point or another. They didn't actually fit the Konis very well but well enough (I had to machine out the two halves of the rotating mounts on order to fit the Konis) and there isn't much thread above the mounts to secure the shock (not too worried since it's not a huge load going downward on the thread of the shock).

KoreanJoey
11-29-2010, 07:01 AM
Also, I know many people using yellows very successfully for autox, so I'm betting they would be just fine with relatively moderate rate springs (for racing), around the 450 in lbs you mentioned. The ride quality on the road might be intolerable for some, fine for others. I have some friends who daily their cars with ~400 in lbs springs w/o problems (cars only weigh 2400 and 2800 lbs respectively).

Again, moderate spring rates. Usually for guys that were trying to do as I did, daily drive their racecar. I'm definitely never, ever trying that again. I think the major turning point was driving the car cross country to the 09 dragon run...

jmoz
12-29-2010, 03:11 AM
megan racing coilovers