Due to the additional 70-80Kg or so audio system, carried at my car’s boot, my stock suspension started acting weird through time.
In 2005, my MOT results indicated that the rear shock absorbers, received around 50% rating. Despite that, my car passed MOT without problems in 2007 too. But I knew it was time to invest on a the car’s handling.
My options were 2, buying a complete suspension, or buying a set of shock absorbers and springs. For the first option, I had a choice several brands. Tein, K-sport & D2… all adjustable, and highly priced (900+)!
Therefore I decided to go with the second option. Initially I was interested for a set of Koni adjustable shock absorbers. But then I discovered that I had to cut open my existing shocks, and insert into them the Koni ones as a cartridge. I didn’t like the sound of this idea, so I continued my quest for shock absorbers.
Eventually I bought a set of KYB Excel-G gas shock absorbers for around 200. These shocks are pretty close to the stock ones.
That was the easy part! I had a really hard time locating a decent set of springs. I realized that Cypriots all they want, is to lower their cars. Even if you don’t want to lower it, car accessory shops will try to convince you to, as they only sell lowering springs!
When I asked around for stiffer springs with minimum lowering, everybody was looking at me as if I was some nut case! My god!!! As if lowered vehicles can normally drive around on our crappy Cyprus roads!
More or less, all I could find in Cyprus regarding springs, were the Tein S-tech springs, which offer a 57mm lowering!!! I started looking around the internet to buy online a good set of springs. Some of the candidates were:
- Eibach’s Pro-kit springs with variable spring rate (discontinued product)
- Cobra springs (no seller was willing to post to Cyprus)
- H&R variable rate springs (produced for the 70hp Starlet only)
After many frustrating hours on the internet searching and begging for a set of springs, I found the RS*R sport springs. Unfortunately their spring ratio wasn’t variable though. It was front:2.7, rear:2.28 (compared to the stock (front:2, rear:1.7). But most importantly, the RS*R springs offered the least lowering compared to all other springs… 2cm.
Happily I ordered them from Japan, and a week later my present arrived 🙂
I had them installed and I must admit that despite not going extreme… the feeling when driving my car has been dramatically improved!!! It’s like driving a whole different car! Another happy purchase 🙂
Thank god the lowering was the expected one. No surprises!
These before/after shots were taken to check the difference. It’s a very unorthodox method to check a car’s ground clearance, but my dog’s canned food was all I had handy at that time 🙂