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Educating Mazda Owners One Thread at a Time
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Discussion Starter #1
Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

In light of the fact that there have been some relatively new additions to the Focus coilover market, I've decided to start this thread in an attempt to remind people that for the most part, you get what you pay for and that you shouldn't expect too much out of a "budget" setup.

This is a link to a Mazda forum thread where Jeff from Tri-Sport Engineering posted some striking shock dyno results:

http://www.mazdas247.com/forum/showthread.php?t=123666252&highlight=ksport

...and this is a link to a pretty well-known site that dissects and explains the difference between the "budget setups" and setups from the likes of Bilstein, Ohlins, Penske, Koni, Dynamic, Sachs, etc. The site author takes some liberties and may go a bit overboard in his sweeping generalizations, but the major theme is a valid one:

http://farnorthracing.com/autocross_secrets6.html

In both cases, shock dyno testing reveals that at the very best, the "budget brands" (Tein, Ksport, D2, etc.) are horribly inconsistent and at the very worst they're valved completely wrong and/or they do not at all live up to the claims of the manufacturer when it comes to their adjustability.

I'm not starting this thread to say that these products are completely worthless or that they don't have their place in the market, but I do think it needs to be pointed out that there is a reason you can buy some of these setups for substantially less than $1K. They simply aren't engineered well (and likely aren't even engineered on a platform-specific basis) and the shock dynos show it.

If this evidence isn't enough to convince you, or if you're curious to read more into it, I encourage you to do a google search for shock dynos or other evidence to the contrary. Time and time again, I think you'll find that these companies simply can't back up their claims with data, and you'll find plenty of people that toe the line of what I'm saying here.

Hopefully this will save some people who perhaps just didn't know any better from putting a product on their car that isn't what the manufacturer claims it is. I just want people to be as well-informed as possible.

:)
 

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Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

Good Post.
I'm going to Sticky this for awhile.
I like that you mentioned that they may have their place in the market, just that the consumer should be aware of WHY the "Good Ones" are indeed "The Good Ones", and as such, cost more.
:)
 

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Educating Mazda Owners One Thread at a Time
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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

^good job putting the link i put up in there ;)
:confused:

Did I miss something? :dunno:

Good Post.
I'm going to Sticky this for awhile.
I like that you mentioned that they may have their place in the market, just that the consumer should be aware of WHY the "Good Ones" are indeed "The Good Ones", and as such, cost more.
:)
Thanks. :)
 

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I AM THE MOFREAKINGMAN!
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Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

^i put that link of the same article in another recent thread in suspension tuning, thats all :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

^i put that link of the same article in another recent thread in suspension tuning, thats all :)
Ah, gotcha. :thumbup:

I think I've seen it pop up on almost every forum I've ever really scoured for good suspension tuning info.

Like I said before, if you can read past the author's sometimes arrogant tone and get down to the nitty gritty of what he says, there is a ton of good information on his site. I used to have another similar site bookmarked that was put together by a guy who designs custom race dampers for all sorts of cars including cars from several different formula series, but I can't seem to find it now (and the computer I had it bookmarked on is long dead :lol: )...

I went back and searched through your posts out of curiosity just now, and now that you mention it, I do think I read through that thread where you posted it...it had just slipped my mind. ;)

If anyone has any more info they know of (shock dyno plots, evidence-based write-ups, etc.) that could add to the conversation in this thread or that would be a good point of reference, please feel free to post it up. The more good information/data we can post, the better.

:)
 

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9 and 3 Damnit! 9 AND 3!!!!!!!
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Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

To anyone reading this, the information here also applies to regular dampers as well. The springs/ rates are a minor player in this discussion as they can often be easily changed but the damping is critical to the setup working as it should.
 

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Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

In light of the fact that there have been some relatively new additions to the Focus coilover market, I've decided to start this thread in an attempt to remind people that for the most part, you get what you pay for and that you shouldn't expect too much out of a "budget" setup.

This is a link to a Mazda forum thread where Jeff from Tri-Sport Engineering posted some striking shock dyno results:

http://www.mazdas247.com/forum/showthread.php?t=123666252&highlight=ksport

...and this is a link to a pretty well-known site that dissects and explains the difference between the "budget setups" and setups from the likes of Bilstein, Ohlins, Penske, Koni, Dynamic, Sachs, etc. The site author takes some liberties and may go a bit overboard in his sweeping generalizations, but the major theme is a valid one:

http://farnorthracing.com/autocross_secrets6.html

In both cases, shock dyno testing reveals that at the very best, the "budget brands" (Tein, Ksport, D2, etc.) are horribly inconsistent and at the very worst they're valved completely wrong and/or they do not at all live up to the claims of the manufacturer when it comes to their adjustability.

I'm not starting this thread to say that these products are completely worthless or that they don't have their place in the market, but I do think it needs to be pointed out that there is a reason you can buy some of these setups for substantially less than $1K. They simply aren't engineered well (and likely aren't even engineered on a platform-specific basis) and the shock dynos show it.

If this evidence isn't enough to convince you, or if you're curious to read more into it, I encourage you to do a google search for shock dynos or other evidence to the contrary. Time and time again, I think you'll find that these companies simply can't back up their claims with data, and you'll find plenty of people that toe the line of what I'm saying here.

Hopefully this will save some people who perhaps just didn't know any better from putting a product on their car that isn't what the manufacturer claims it is. I just want people to be as well-informed as possible.

:)
I think it'd be fair to get info on the current generation shocks used in our coilovers, as opposed to ones outdated over 2 years.

If the purpose of this thread is to spread information, relevant information should be attained.
 

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I AM THE MOFREAKINGMAN!
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Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

^whats the difference between the dampers you guys used two years ago and the current ones?
 

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9 and 3 Damnit! 9 AND 3!!!!!!!
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Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

I think it'd be fair to get info on the current generation shocks used in our coilovers, as opposed to ones outdated over 2 years.

If the purpose of this thread is to spread information, relevant information should be attained.
Perhaps you could provide us with said information. :dunno:
 

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Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

I always wondered about these. These sell on ebay right?
 

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Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

I have to admit I might have been a bit negative on k sports side, I was just frustrated that I didn't get e-mails returned in timely fashion. As far as everyone I have talked to via pm or on the phone the k sports come with an orange bracket for the rear which is pretty much unusable, they are now aware of this, apparently nobody has brought it to there attention before but this issue is now being looked into. I also have to agree with Brandon and say its not fair to go off of dyno chart from two years ago, but if that's all that's out there that's all thats out there. It looks like I will be getting new front coilovers and I will be receiving dyno charts with them and I will be posting them. I say lets give them a chance to see if product has improved over the years which I highly suspect it has, either way I will have dyno charts posted so we will know for sure. Apparently I am the first person to complain about the fronts being to short but after talking to some people this is not an issue and after talking toi some people it is. If you have to run a coilover at highest possible setting just for clearance cause your running a stock 17" wheel and still have to roll fenders that seems definetly not ideal, how can you corner weight a car like that, but if other people have had this issue and not spoken up then how would k sport know. Out of all the people I talked to most were running aftermarket wheels so they didn't have to roll fender but still had suspension at highest setting and would much appreciate a bit longer of a front coilover. I just got off the phone with k sport and it appears they are going out of there way to work with my setup, which is great because I refuse to go to aftermarket wheel. It would be nice if some of the people running k sport would post there thoughts, maybe even wheel/tire size and offset, in my thread about if anyone is running them, because as I have found out people on this board are running them, and to me it appears the front strut needs to be taller. Either way I will post results once new fronts get installed and will pass on information on the rear installation about the brackets no one uses as I will be trying to help them get that issue sorted out to the best of my ability. Also in the next month or two I will be getting rears re-valved and will get dyno charts of those also so either way here shortly we will have dyno proof of what k sport has to offer.
 

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Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

^whats the difference between the dampers you guys used two years ago and the current ones?
Without getting into specifics on the internals of the shocks (honestly, I don't personally know the specifics, I'm in the sales dept, it's info that can be attained but not likely wanting to be shared), theres 2 years worth of R&D. We also take our customers feedback into consideration when making changes to anything on the coilovers. We also have 2 local engineers as well as a new engineer in our factory over seas. We have a shock dyno being put together for us that should be here within a month or so, so that we can perform our own testing on each batch of shocks to ensure quality performance & consistency twice over.

Basic and noticeable changes externally are few. All Macpherson shock applications have changed in O.D. from 50mm to 52mm. We also started using a different type of electorplating on the shock to better accomodate our customers that deal with snow every year (in turn making the shock bodies black). The salt on the roads would eventually eat through the electroplating making it very difficult to adjust the coilovers. Also we've changed our lower mounts to be black as well, no functionality in this obviously just a change up from the old versions.

I think if you want an accurate comparison, compare. Posting a shock dyno sheet from 2 years ago and NO other information on any other manufacturers mentioned, makes ya wonder what the motives behind the post is. If the post here is bring up Ksport shocks, name it so, as opposed to trying to hide it behind the guise of a comparison. If our product is problematic we'd like to know about it so we can change it and make it better.

If anyone has any issues with their Ksport's feel free to PM me or email me at [email protected]
 

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I AM THE MOFREAKINGMAN!
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Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

Without getting into specifics on the internals of the shocks (honestly, I don't personally know the specifics, I'm in the sales dept, it's info that can be attained but not likely wanting to be shared), theres 2 years worth of R&D. We also take our customers feedback into consideration when making changes to anything on the coilovers. We also have 2 local engineers as well as a new engineer in our factory over seas. We have a shock dyno being put together for us that should be here within a month or so, so that we can perform our own testing on each batch of shocks to ensure quality performance & consistency twice over.

Basic and noticeable changes externally are few. All Macpherson shock applications have changed in O.D. from 50mm to 52mm. We also started using a different type of electorplating on the shock to better accomodate our customers that deal with snow every year (in turn making the shock bodies black). The salt on the roads would eventually eat through the electroplating making it very difficult to adjust the coilovers. Also we've changed our lower mounts to be black as well, no functionality in this obviously just a change up from the old versions.

I think if you want an accurate comparison, compare. Posting a shock dyno sheet from 2 years ago and NO other information on any other manufacturers mentioned, makes ya wonder what the motives behind the post is. If the post here is bring up Ksport shocks, name it so, as opposed to trying to hide it behind the guise of a comparison. If our product is problematic we'd like to know about it so we can change it and make it better.

If anyone has any issues with their Ksport's feel free to PM me or email me at [email protected]
im sorry but i wasnt really asking about the construction of the damper body. IM interested in the valving and performance under performance oriented conditions (road courses).
 

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Educating Mazda Owners One Thread at a Time
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Discussion Starter #16
Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

Without getting into specifics on the internals of the shocks (honestly, I don't personally know the specifics, I'm in the sales dept, it's info that can be attained but not likely wanting to be shared), theres 2 years worth of R&D. We also take our customers feedback into consideration when making changes to anything on the coilovers. We also have 2 local engineers as well as a new engineer in our factory over seas. We have a shock dyno being put together for us that should be here within a month or so, so that we can perform our own testing on each batch of shocks to ensure quality performance & consistency twice over.

Basic and noticeable changes externally are few. All Macpherson shock applications have changed in O.D. from 50mm to 52mm. We also started using a different type of electorplating on the shock to better accomodate our customers that deal with snow every year (in turn making the shock bodies black). The salt on the roads would eventually eat through the electroplating making it very difficult to adjust the coilovers. Also we've changed our lower mounts to be black as well, no functionality in this obviously just a change up from the old versions.

I think if you want an accurate comparison, compare. Posting a shock dyno sheet from 2 years ago and NO other information on any other manufacturers mentioned, makes ya wonder what the motives behind the post is. If the post here is bring up Ksport shocks, name it so, as opposed to trying to hide it behind the guise of a comparison. If our product is problematic we'd like to know about it so we can change it and make it better.

If anyone has any issues with their Ksport's feel free to PM me or email me at [email protected]
The point of this thread is to spread evidence-based information about dampers, coilover setups, and suspension parts in general, as far as I'm concerned. If you would like to provide some actual evidence to back up your and your company's claims I think it would be a great addition to this thread.

The link to the thread on the Mazda board was posted because I ran across it on one of the other forums I frequent, and I thought it was worth posting. If you'd like to address that link's contents directly with some contrary evidence I'd be pleased to hear you out on that as well. Your product claims seemed to be the same 2 years ago when those tests were performed as they are now on your current website, so are you saying those tests were invalid and that your product performed differently than the evidence suggests?

I'm really not starting this to bash Ksport in particular, or to bash anyone for that matter. There are other plenty of other setups for the Focus market (and MS3 market, for that matter) that don't seem to ever provide evidence to back up their claims, when there have been independent tests performed that call those claims into question. I honestly started this thread to get people to start thinking about these things before they go drop a grand on a coilover setup that they're fooled into thinking is the cat's pajamas, and to make people start to understand that to a great degree, you truly do get what you pay for.

:)
 

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Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

I was very disappointed when i went damper shopping a few months ago and found NOTHING in the way of rate curves or real hard evidence of how the shocks I would be buying would act. I really wish the manufacturers would use this information to sell their products.
 

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Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

^ i know reza has shock dynos for the H&R coilovers, ill pm him and see if he's willing to post such info. But besides that, the H&R's with the rates im running (512 front 400 rear as opposed to the off the self rates) are fantastic on track despiteq being a "street" coilover with no damping adjustment. For the money its the best bet for performance.
 

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Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

im sorry but i wasnt really asking about the construction of the damper body. IM interested in the valving and performance under performance oriented conditions (road courses).
http://ksportusa.blogspot.com/


Read through the write ups of the NASA Nats, and industry track day. The results speak for themselves.

As far as valving goes, nothing I could tell you about that would be conclusive by any means. Without shock dyno results they don't mean anything. Once we get a shock dyno on location we'll be running the dampers through a multitude of testing.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Re: Public Service Announcement - Re: Coilovers ("budget setups," in particular)

http://ksportusa.blogspot.com/


Read through the write ups of the NASA Nats, and industry track day. The results speak for themselves.

As far as valving goes, nothing I could tell you about that would be conclusive by any means. Without shock dyno results they don't mean anything. Once we get a shock dyno on location we'll be running the dampers through a multitude of testing.

I don't mean any disrespect, but all that really shows is that some very fast cars/drivers happen to be using Ksports. That's about the only definitive conclusion that can be drawn with that information.

I'd be a bit more impressed if the same cars were then run with the same drivers on different suspension setups and then the times were compared and/or subjective ratings were assigned to the different setups by the drivers...

Furthermore, it concerns me that for all the time your company has been selling/marketing dampers, you haven't even had a shock dyno at your disposal... :confused:

Do you source your dampers from another firm?
 
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