Shocks/springs for Track / Street??? -

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Old 08-25-2008, 08:40 AM   #1
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Shocks/springs for Track / Street???

I'm about to buy an RX8. I have test driven a few of them - and while I love the balance, I know the car is a tad too soft for me and I want it stiffened up - so I can still drive it on the street but can have fun at a track day. I will track the car 2-3 times / year max...I'ma newbie...

coilovers are probably more $$ than I want to spend and will provide more adjustability that someone like me will need.

I want the car to be lower/look better but not SLAMMED to the poitn that it looks like I"m a ricer.. I want to kill the body roll, and make it corner like it's on rails.

My plans are to add sway bars, shocks, springs, maybe strut bars, and some excellent tires. I don't plan to swap wheels as I like the OEM style wheel.

so - my thoughts, from reading stuff here and past experience modding cars was to go with Konis and springs, like H&R.... but I like the idea of keeping stuff under warranty and goin with mazdaspeed stuff.

I'll likely add the MS intake/exhaust - and figured why not do MS sway bars, shocks, springs. But I don't know how the MS suspension setup compares iwh the typical aftermarket stuff like koni, h&R, or the swift springs I hear people talking about here.

one goal is to keep under warranty - the other is to really make the car truly handle better. the car is phenomenal int he twisties and I want to make it handle as good as I can, but not overspend on stuff that is not going to really benefit me.

I know sways will help, and I know a shock/spring combo willmake a substantial difference in handling/cornering. the rx8 for me - will be a third car - so while I will drive it to work once ina while - it will be a weekend / fun car so i don't mind if it's stiff and bumpy.

i'm buying thi car for fun - not for gas mileage, long tire life, or smooth rides.

Let all the green queens worry about MPG, I want RPM!
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:55 AM   #2
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The MS suspension parts, combined, make a good setup. The swaybars are hollow and add a mild improvement of stiffness over stock.

A popular noncoilover setup here is a Koni damper + [your choice of spring]. The stock setup is underdamped and the Konis go a long way to bring things under control. There's plenty to read up on regarding spring stiffness and characteristics to make a choice as to which set suits your needs.

Aftermarket swaybar set, Progress Technology seems like the way to go due to price and range of adjustability.

Also, do not forget the importance of alignment settings. This should be tops on your list.
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:59 AM   #3
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Are you getting a new '09 or an '04-08 used or new?

You should check to make sure the dealership you're using is honest but getting A/M parts doesn't void your warranty. It only causes issues if the part you install affects the part that is warrantied (ie. you install a turbo, it blows your engine, they're not replacing the engine) and even then it should only void parts of coverable parts. Some dealerships are crap when it comes to this and will try to void a warranty at the site of any major upgrades but most play by the rules - assuming you're in the US.

In general tho the MS springs/shocks are good tho their springs don't lower you much. The intake and exhaust are good. The struts are good though the front will help you more than the rear. The MS short shifter is fine (and the MS shift **** is good). The sway bars are the only thing I would recommend replacing with aftermarket if you're dead set on doing as little aftermarket work as possible but there are better aftermarket options for all of those parts.

Keep in mind the main reason people don't go with MS is that it's way too expensive for the minimal gains you get from it. In addition I believe you need to have them installed by a Mazda certified tech in order to keep that part warrantied which means you're paying even more money.

It would be kinda fun to see a full MS variant built to match the model released in Japan that never made it's way overseas. But you'd have to get the body kit too in order to complete the look. I dunno how much it would cost to get it all MS'd out but I imagine you're looking at around $7500 when it's all said and done and maybe as high as 10k. For about 1/2 of that you could get a lot more for your car.

But to each their own.
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:12 PM   #4
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You should check out some Racing Beat sway bars. I installed them on my car about 5 months ago and I definitally noticed a difference. I've used them at the track 3 times already and i'm keeping up with the other RX8's that have Koni's and R-Compound tires..
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:30 PM   #5
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here are the only suspension mods I plan to do:

sway bars
strut bars

I'll eventually do intake/exhaust. From what I can tell on this site - the MS intake/ehxaust are good enough. I drove one with both mods an dloved the sound.

this thread is about suspension. so lets stick to that. I may down the road go to wider tires to get more grip...but for the time being, i paln on keeping stock tire size. i'll just put on some super sticky top of the line $$ street tires.

i don't worry too much that koni shocks are going to void my whole warranty.. i'd e more worried about having a non mazda intake/exhaust causing problems if you ever had motor issues.... suspension is so disconnected from the power train that i figure i'm okay with aftermarket non mazdaspeed stuff

if koni is way better than MS i'd do that. i've had koni sports on other cars and iknow it's good stuff. springs - i have no idea. i'd want something that drops the car enough to look nicely lowered, but not dragging like some lowrider on air suspension dropped down low... not looking for the "slow and low" like Ramon from Cars...

if I can get better performance for the same, less, or even slightly MORE money, I'll go aftermarket on suspension. i just wnat a combination that works well. i was hoping to get feedback from people here. i'd like it stiff, no body roll, and don't mind a bumpy ride.

i hear a lot of people recommend coilovers, but i belive a setup like that might cost neart $2000+ and I know I can get a setup of konis/springs for under $1000. i'm guessing that the gains felt by just doing konis and some springs would probably suit my purposes/needs fine. that along with sway bars and strut bars would probably make an 8 one corner carver!
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:29 PM   #6
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FWIW, track the car in stock form to get a baseline, then mod accordingly to suit your needs. I've been running my RX8 almost 2 years now on alignment/koni/springs and have not found an immediate need for swaybar increase- yet, with my driving style. It's all up to you.

A performance alignment is crucial.

Last edited by SouthFL; 08-25-2008 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:55 PM   #7
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If you are not worried about ride height around the streets, then Springs + Shocks combo would be fine. Coilovers benefit you mustly an adjustability. You would be able to keep it at say a... .7 inch drop for the streets, then when you track it you could drop it as low as 2 inches...So it all depends on what you need the most.
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