Fiat 124 Spider Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
479 Posts
the real question is what do you want to do with/to your car? do you want to have a race car, which is going to compromise the ride quality attributes of a daily driver? are you looking to autocross, or track the car regularly? the idea of the perfect suspension is an elusive equation to solve because it is a series of tradeoffs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the real question is what do you want to do with/to your car? do you want to have a race car, which is going to compromise the ride quality attributes of a daily driver? are you looking to autocross, or track the car regularly? the idea of the perfect suspension is an elusive equation to solve because it is a series of tradeoffs.
Great points!

I like to drive twisty mountain roads somewhat aggressively. I have modded several cars, some past the point of comfort and also taken the fun out with to much rubber. So trying to find a balance. I do want less body roll, in particular in the rear. I am used to firm suspension. But, Colorado roads can be less than great these days. Lowering some is also on my list.

I would like to do some auto cross for fun. Do not want to build an auto cross focused car.

I have lost sleep thinking about wheels and tires! But I think that happy place in the middle looks like OZ Ultraleggera wheels 7x17 with Michelin PSS 215/45 tires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
590 Posts
GWR doesn't lower a lot as the Konis add lowering and they were developed for them. Flyin Miata lowers a lot more but perhaps still too stiff. Personal preference there.

I'm seriously considering the Swift Spec-R. Not as stiff but I think it might be more appropriate for the Bilsteins as they were developed on them. I think the other two can work just fine but feel like the spring rate was really tuned for the Konis they both want to sell you. I also think the ride height on the swifts would be just right.

https://www.vividracing.com/catalog...ecr-springs-mazda-miata-2016-p-151455461.html

Anything more than this and I will probably just go with a full set of Ohlins, which are amazing.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,301 Posts
Why do you want to lower your car? Unless you are looking for "stance", lowering may not produce desirable results. If you want the best opinion, don't ask the forum, ask Brian Goodwin. There are choices, and I would trust him to provide good advice. He was all-in on the 124 at the beginning, and has the results to back up his opinions.

I drove the standard Abarth at the Bondurant School and I never felt under-equipped with the stock car. That includes chasing the instructor at the end of the day. I do not intend to second-guess the Engineers who tuned my suspension. There is a lot to learn before you start second-guessing what was already carefully considered.
best regards
Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
590 Posts
Personal preference. Asthetics. There are benefits to handling when lowering. Factory engineers have their own set of requirements which may not be the same as mine or yours or someone else. Let's not pretend this car is perfect for everyone and needs no adjustments. Do not assume the knowledge level of people either based on personal experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
479 Posts
for me, I deal with less than perfect roads where I live (see signature below). I occasionally like to autox and engage in spirited driving habits. due to the less than perfect roads, the idea of lowering a car for me is out of the question. with my miata I wanted to get rid of a bit of the body roll and tighten up the suspension. my choice to do so was to purchase a set of MSM sways and a set of KYB AGX, adjustable shocks. the combination works well for me. when I am looking for a bit stiffer, it is a turn of the dial away. when I am looking to soften the ride just a turn away also. the car feels flatter in sweeping turns, like interstate ramps, and I am happy with the results. if you are on less than perfect roads, I would suggest avoiding lowering in any circumstance, except for changing the vehicle to a special purpose vehicle..... just my $ 0.02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,444 Posts
As noted, it's what you want from the car. Based on the GWR comments, it appears that you'd get the most out of those springs with the Koni shocks. That adds up to quite a bit of cash.

I went with the progress springs and sway bars. Stiffens things up a bit on corners, gives a marginally harsher ride but not excessively so, and lowers the stance to just right. Looks good and feels good.

I drive on Michigan roads, and also live on a dirt road. Have not had issues, but the bumps are definitely felt. Regardless, they were felt with the stock setup, too. No issues with speed bumps, but have a scrape on the front lip from the concrete parking lot wheel barriers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bulldog66

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As noted, it's what you want from the car. Based on the GWR comments, it appears that you'd get the most out of those springs with the Koni shocks. That adds up to quite a bit of cash.

I went with the progress springs and sway bars. Stiffens things up a bit on corners, gives a marginally harsher ride but not excessively so, and lowers the stance to just right. Looks good and feels good.

I drive on Michigan roads, and also live on a dirt road. Have not had issues, but the bumps are definitely felt. Regardless, they were felt with the stock setup, too. No issues with speed bumps, but have a scrape on the front lip from the concrete parking lot wheel barriers.
Thanks for the user feedback. The Progress springs were top of my list until I talked to GWR, and am second guessing. But it sounds like what I am after. I like the fact they don't lower as much as others. I don't mind a harsher ride, heck it is the smoothest car we own and it is the only sports car!


I do feel visually the car looks high. The last BMW I bought was an all wheel drive sports wagon. I guess in NA they lift them an inch for our bad roads and don't offer the same wheel and tire options. Looked stupid, if I wanted a Outback wagon I would have bought one. Changed springs to match Euro spec before I even drove it off the lot. Eibach on that car. Handled sooooo much better than US stock. Also changed the wheels and tires to match Euro spec before I drove it off the lot. Oh yeah, looked the business as well!

If I just wanted to throw money at it then Ohlins would be going on. Best of all worlds. I have Ohlins on my motorcycle and the bike is sooooo much better in every way. But my list is long, so maybe in a few years if I feel the need.

It doesn't seem anyone has installed the Roadster Sport springs on the stock Bilstein shocks, or are not speaking up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
From a user on the Miata forum: Maniac28

I assume many of you, like me, want more controlled body motions and less roll amd pitch for your ND. It is one of the most common complaints about the ND. After talking to some experts like Brian I came to conclude that the stock spring rates are the culprit. They are much too soft. That is why the car rolls side to side so much, and dives under braking.

Sway bars are another way to approach this, but they do not address the front to back pitching. Putting in the right springs should come first. After talking with Brian and others, I decided to order the roadstersport springs. I have a club model with OE Bilsteins, and apparently the "race" spring rates of these springs, 300/200, are a good match for the Bilsteins. The car is overdamped in stock form. These springs are too much for the non-bilstein dampers in the GT or sport models.

I used the instructions from Corksport, and the method of tightening the bushings with the corner jacked up. Apparently its important not to tighten the bushings with the suspension unloadex. The install took me about 4-5 hours in my home garage with basic tools. I do recommend a spring compressor to install the front springs, the rears do not need it. For safety reasons you can use the compressor when taking the stock springs off but it is not necessary if you are careful and know that the assembly is under presure when removing them.

In short, these transform the handling of the car. Remember, my car is totally stock besides these new springs. The car now corners very flat and the front to back pitch is gone. Car is so much more controllable now. Feels like a real sports car. Surprisingly, the springs do not ruin the ride. Stiffer, yes, but not a bad ride, if that makes sense.

Bottom line, I recommend getting the right spring rates in your car before messing with sways, dampers or coilovers. You might save yourself time and hassle.

pS: yes, I considered the progress springs, but comparing those spring rates to stock I did not think they would be nearly enough improvement for me. Glad I took Brians advice and got the stiffer ones.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,037 Posts
Since we've moved onto a more in-depth discussion on lowered springs, I'd like to provide some feedback based on my own knowledge.

Friday, I was driving to a shop to have some bushings pressed out of some control arms for another car. I made an S-turn and hit a bump with my front driver's wheel. I now know what the bump stops sound like, and I'd rather it not happen again. Stiffer springs will help alleviate that somewhat, but it is ultimately the shocks that control the rate of suspension compression.

With regard to side to side body sway, we don't have the issue the ND Miata has, excluding the RF at least, due to stiffer sway/roll bars. I also haven't noticed a noteworthy amount of front/back pitching or squatting from this car (Abarth 124 Spider). I wonder if the spring rates on the 124 Spider are stiffer; I remember hearing something to that effect.

I am always very cautious when reading reviews from people I don't personally know and trust, based on experiences on other car platforms. I have read far too many reviews from people who praised their lowered springs or coilover springs, but had absolutely no clue they were riding on jounce bumpers (bump stops) in the turns. This is a problem the ND Miata already has, and would be noticed far less when the vehicle is lowered.

How was it determined, and by who, that the OEM Bilsteins were "overdampened?"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Since we've moved onto a more in-depth discussion on lowered springs, I'd like to provide some feedback based on my own knowledge.

Friday, I was driving to a shop to have some bushings pressed out of some control arms for another car. I made an S-turn and hit a bump with my front driver's wheel. I now know what the bump stops sound like, and I'd rather it not happen again. Stiffer springs will help alleviate that somewhat, but it is ultimately the shocks that control the rate of suspension compression.

With regard to side to side body sway, we don't have the issue the ND Miata has, excluding the RF at least, due to stiffer sway/roll bars. I also haven't noticed a noteworthy amount of front/back pitching or squatting from this car (Abarth 124 Spider). I wonder if the spring rates on the 124 Spider are stiffer; I remember hearing something to that effect.

I am always very cautious when reading reviews from people I don't personally know and trust, based on experiences on other car platforms. I have read far too many reviews from people who praised their lowered springs or coilover springs, but had absolutely no clue they were riding on jounce bumpers (bump stops) in the turns. This is a problem the ND Miata already has, and would be noticed far less when the vehicle is lowered.

How was it determined, and by who, that the OEM Bilsteins were "overdampened?"
Agreed, being in the business of consumer products, if people spend time and money and don't know better, are more likely to praise. But, this is what GWR told me on the phone as well, and I trust their opinions. So seeing this "review" further collaborated the combination. But yes, I had hoped to hear from an Abarth 124 owner for this combo.

Don't get me wrong, stock feels pretty darn good. I do want to lower and for me at least, would prefer less body roll, in particular in transitions (S curves). But I feel is is good enough to not even think about more investment like coil-overs for my needs. But who knows in a few years when I have a mod itch? :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: XtremeRevolution

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,037 Posts
Agreed, being in the business of consumer products, if people spend time and money and don't know better, are more likely to praise. But, this is what GWR told me on the phone as well, and I trust their opinions. So seeing this "review" further collaborated the combination. But yes, I had hoped to hear from an Abarth 124 owner for this combo.

Don't get me wrong, stock feels pretty darn good. I do want to lower and for me at least, would prefer less body roll, in particular in transitions (S curves). But I feel is is good enough to not even think about more investment like coil-overs for my needs. But who knows in a few years when I have a mod itch? :)
As noted, we cannot assume that the factory springs and sway bars are the same between both platforms. One may notice more of a difference in the ND Miata than in the 124 Spider.

I have heard that the sway bars, spring rates, and curb weight are different between the two.

Personally, I won't be lowering my car since I need the suspension travel in my area, since the roads are not perfect. I might upgrade the sway bars, however.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As noted, we cannot assume that the factory springs and sway bars are the same between both platforms. One may notice more of a difference in the ND Miata than in the 124 Spider.

I have heard that the sway bars, spring rates, and curb weight are different between the two.

Personally, I won't be lowering my car since I need the suspension travel in my area, since the roads are not perfect. I might upgrade the sway bars, however.
I posted this months ago, but it shows you are correct. Different platforms, weights, etc. Making is slightly more challenging since most springs seem to be developed for the MX5.

Posted in March:
Okay here is what I have been able to pull together so far. There is so much attention on how much they lower the car, but not as much information as to the handling performance. Trying to figure it out. Also trying to keep the Bilstein shocks for now.

MX5 (Non-Club)
F156 R80

124
F160 R85

Abarth
F162 R97

Roadster Sport (GWR)
F300 R200

Progressive
F185 R115

H&R
F ? R ?

Eibach Pro
F188 R103
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,037 Posts
Thanks for posting that again, I missed it the first time.

I personally believe that a mild (1" max) drop would not cause any issues, especially if using a progressive spring rate. That said, for maximum fun, I would probably lean toward slightly larger tires (215/45 or 225/45) to fill the wheel gap more.

Everything I've read and heard has given me the impression that the 124 Spider's suspension was better tuned for performance than the ND Miata's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thanks for posting that again, I missed it the first time.

I personally believe that a mild (1" max) drop would not cause any issues, especially if using a progressive spring rate. That said, for maximum fun, I would probably lean toward slightly larger tires (215/45 or 225/45) to fill the wheel gap more.

Everything I've read and heard has given me the impression that the 124 Spider's suspension was better tuned for performance than the ND Miata's.
We are of the same mind. Michelin PPS 215s with OZ wheels is what I have decided on. I don't want it super low either. An inch seems about right. Which is what I think it would be with these springs or the Progress springs

To your point as well, not only is the 124 heavier, it has larger overhangs. That extended weight will add more leverage. Could be why the stiffer springs are being recommended by GWR.
 
  • Like
Reactions: XtremeRevolution

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,037 Posts
We are of the same mind. Michelin PPS 215s with OZ wheels is what I have decided on. I don't want it super low either. An inch seems about right. Which is what I think it would be with these springs or the Progress springs

To your point as well, not only is the 124 heavier, it has larger overhangs. That extended weight will add more leverage. Could be why the stiffer springs are being recommended by GWR.
It's worth noting that the weight increase isn't really all that huge. It's about the equivalent of a petite female passenger, if not less.

Whichever route you take, let me know what your impressions are. I'm quite curious.

Deep inside, I'm enamored by how these cars look when lowered. I mean every car looks better when lowered, but the 124 Spider just pulls it off brilliantly. Since it already has an exotic look to it, a slight lowering makes it that much more sleek. It's hard to describe.

My only worry is finding the bump stops more often with lowered springs. I hate finding the bump stops; it means I'm driving the vehicle in a manner that the suspension is not designed to handle, and energy that the suspension should be absorbing is being transferred into (and destabilizing) the chassis.

If you have no issues of the sort, I may just consider doing the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It's worth noting that the weight increase isn't really all that huge. It's about the equivalent of a petite female passenger, if not less.

Whichever route you take, let me know what your impressions are. I'm quite curious.

Deep inside, I'm enamored by how these cars look when lowered. I mean every car looks better when lowered, but the 124 Spider just pulls it off brilliantly. Since it already has an exotic look to it, a slight lowering makes it that much more sleek. It's hard to describe.

My only worry is finding the bump stops more often with lowered springs. I hate finding the bump stops; it means I'm driving the vehicle in a manner that the suspension is not designed to handle, and energy that the suspension should be absorbing is being transferred into (and destabilizing) the chassis.

If you have no issues of the sort, I may just consider doing the same.
I will make a point of keeping you updated. I plan on using the GWR bump stops as well, which should help the issue.

Also loosing around 6 pounds per corner won't hurt anything either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
590 Posts
Yes, the shorter bump stops on the rear will help along with the stiffer springs.

You can add this to your list. Thanks for putting that together.

Swift Spec-R
Spring Rate Front: 268 Lbs/Inch
Spring Rate Rear: 134 Lbs/Inch
Front Lowering: -1.4 Inch
Rear Lowering: -1.3 Inch

Flying Miata
Spring Rate Front: 300 Lbs/Inch
Spring Rate Rear: 175 Lbs/Inch
Front Lowering: -1.5 Inch
Rear Lowering: -1.5 Inch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Updated, thanks Murix

Stock heights measured by GWR. 14.25 to 14.75

MX5 (Non-Club)
Spring Rate Front: 156 Lbs/Inch
Spring Rate Rear: 80 Lbs/Inch
Front Lowering: NA
Rear Lowering: NA

124
Spring Rate Front: 160 Lbs/Inch
Spring Rate Rear: 85 Lbs/Inch
Front Lowering: NA
Rear Lowering: NA

Abarth
Spring Rate Front: 162 Lbs/Inch
Spring Rate Rear: 97 Lbs/Inch
Front Lowering: NA
Rear Lowering: NA

Roadster Sport (GWR)

Spring Rate Front: 300 Lbs/Inch
Spring Rate Rear: 200 Lbs/Inch
Front Lowering: -.75 - -1 Inch
Rear Lowering: -.75 - -1 Inch

Progressive
Spring Rate Front: 185 Lbs/Inch
Spring Rate Rear: 115 Lbs/Inch
Front Lowering: -1 - -1.5 Inch
Rear Lowering: -1 - -1.5 Inch

H&R
Spring Rate Front: ? Lbs/Inch
Spring Rate Rear: ? Lbs/Inch
Front Lowering: -1.2 Inch
Rear Lowering: -1.1 Inch

Eibach Pro
Spring Rate Front: 188 Lbs/Inch
Spring Rate Rear: 103 Lbs/Inch
Front Lowering: -1.4 Inch
Rear Lowering: -1.3 Inch

Swift Spec-R
Spring Rate Front: 268 Lbs/Inch
Spring Rate Rear: 134 Lbs/Inch
Front Lowering: -1.4 Inch
Rear Lowering: -1.3 Inch

Flying Miata
Spring Rate Front: 300 Lbs/Inch
Spring Rate Rear: 175 Lbs/Inch
Front Lowering: -1.5 Inch
Rear Lowering: -1.5 Inch
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top