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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What would be the best avenue to choose for increasing the handling capabilities of a car. Replacing the shocks, struts (are these the same as shocks?), and or springs? and what are good manufacturers to look at? Thanks.

I already have a strut brace.

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your best bet would be to get a set of true coilovers for the best performance out of your suspension. but replacing the struts with kyb's or koni's and replacing the springs will definatley make a difference.


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I got KyB's on my accent and I cant notice any diferent from stock. what is the job that the shock's are suppose to do?


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the dampers (shock absorbers) keep you from bouncing. without them, if you hit a bump, you would bounce until the energy from the bump was dissipated. But by then you would have hit another bump... They also limit how fast the suspension compresses and rebounds from compression. Properly tuned, they can do a little for suspension performance. with a properly tuned suspension, and tuned shocks, you can corner like a madman.<img src=/images/forums/snitz/tongue.gif width=15 height=15 border=0>


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I will have to agree that good quality Shocks are probably the best place to start. On second thought the best spot to start is probably a book store. How to Make your car Handlehas some good information in it ($13). That is if you want to get that into your suspension that much. You may want to evaluate what "problem" you want to fix before you buy anything. Do you want the car to roll less? handle smother? grip better in bad weather? grip better in dry weather? pull 2Gs around the track<img src=/images/forums/snitz/smile.gif width=15 height=15 border=0>?

If you have the money coilovers will be a good starting point. 1. You can fine tune the height at each corner to help balance the car. 2. the springs for coilovers are usually standard sized so you can get a wide range of spring rates without special ordering them. 3. A good coilover is usually rebuildable (KONI or Bilstein).
I would recommend some good quality "racing dampers" if you plan on keeping the car for a wile. They are rebuildable and will last a long time with normal road use. So if you want to tweak it out to your taste get some double adjustable Koni (not the street Konis) of you want a good shock that you don't have to mess with get Bilstein or just get some street shocks. I know some people that have had good luck with street shocks (I usually blow them out but I think there's some good reasons for that)
Changing your alignment can dramatically affect your handling and the parts are readily available. You may just want to look into modifying your alignment it could save you some money if that will fix you "problem". If you interested I (and others) will help.
I RELY DON'T WANT TO GET INTO A BRAND WAR I ONLY MENTION KONI AND BILSTEIN BECAUSE I HAVE SEAN THEM WORK WELL AND THEY HAVE A GOOD TRACK RECORD. I have other suggestions on brands of springs if you are interested.



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Edited by - en00 on 01/29/2002 10:49:08 PM
 

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For the money, the best handling upgrade would be stiffer front and rear anti-sway bars. For $250, you will notice a HUGE difference in the cornering attitude of your car.

If you go with the Whiteline setup, make sure you get the adjustable rear unit if you live where it snows. The Rear bar can be SO STIFF it will cause the rear end to slide around on you in snow. In snow, adjust the sway bar to the softest setting, and then in summer, stiffen it up. The stiffest setting can also cause problems on rain slick roads...so Caveat Emptor.

Next would be springs. For about $200 to $300. Stiffer springs help the car handle better by asbsorbing road irregulairities, they also allow less body roll, and lower the center of gravity of the car. Only thing to worry about here is suspension travel. The Tibbies only have 3.25" of suspension travel up front. If you lower the car 2", you only have 1.25" of suspension travel before you hit the bumpstops. NOT A GOOD THING! <img src=/images/forums/snitz/angry.gif width=15 height=15 border=0> There is NO FIX for this, outside of replacing the struts.

Struts. $200 to $500. The Struts or "pro-dampners" as eibach calls them are there to cancel out the spring. Left on it's own, A spring would continue to occilate (think BOING, BOING, BOING) after every irregularity in the road. The job of the strut is to actually "dampen" out the springs occilations, while allowing the spring to do it's job. Too stiff of a Spring will over power a Strut. Too Stiff of a strut will over power a spring. To weak of a spring will be over powered by a strut, and etc..etc...etc.. That is why you should try to carefully balance your suspension components. Eibach springs on the stock struts do okay, but Eibach springs on Eibach struts is another whole magnatude better.

If you don't want to go the "eibach" route, consider the Koni adjustables. At about $140 each they are not cheap. They are also a major PITA because Koni does not sell their strut with the mounts or the spring perch. So you must hack your stock struts (or a stock set) to pieces in order to fit the Koni's inside. It would be better to call the Koni's "inserts" and the Eibach as Full Struts. The KYB's are softer than the Eibachs, but not as soft as the stock struts. I would worry about the KYB's having the dampening power to handle the H&R racing 2.25" drop springs. I think the KYB's would wear out very quickly with that stiff of a spring. Since the Koni's are adjustable...they would be a much better match.

Next...Front and rear strut tower Braces. Thes guys basically tie the two upper strut tower braces together to keep the chassis from shifting in opposite directions. They do still allow chasis shift, but both strut towers must shift in the same diretion, and the same distance. This does stiffen up the chassis by quite a bit, but they would be even better, if the front bar tied into the firewall to prevent ANY movement of the strut towers. The rear bar really has no where else to tie into, but by itself, it does a fairly decent job of keeping the rear chassis in line.

Under strut braces. These work just like upper strut tower bars, only they tie in the lower suspension mount points. They make about as much of a difference as the upper units do. Consider them "fine tuning" rather than "full tuning".

There are also other things you can do to help your car handle better. Camber and caster changes, tire width changes, wheel offset changes..etc.etc..etc. But this should be enough to keep most of you busy. As those other options are REALLY fine tuning, and need to be right, or your tires will only last 1000 miles.


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OK, I'll try to answer Kamikaze first, then Doc. Shock Absorbers, Struts, Dampers, what ever you want to call them, only limit the bouncing of springs. A spring HAS TO bounce in order to absorb irregularities. To stiff dampers with original springs, and you will have very deteriorate ride quality, plus your car will roll the same in curves. THE Shock Ab OR DAMPER DOES NOT SUPPORT ANY WEIGHT AT ALL, so, it doesn't help a bit in avoiding body roll.

Doc: It's true coilovers are the best way to go, but if your not planning on going AutoX, or serious racing, I would start with springs (Eibach or H&R with no more than 1.6" drop so you dont change your suspension geometry). Those springs work well with stock dampers, but as they are progressive-rate they wear dampers faster, the soft the damper is, the faster it will wear. If your not going through gravel all the time, a set of KYB's GR-2 (they are stiffer than stock, though, comfortable enough) plus they are "Full Struts" only about 50 bucks on shockwearhouse.com and you could change them almost 4 times for the price of Koni's (considering Koni's are only inserts).
After you've done that, you can stiffen your chassis with strut tower braces. That's a light tuned suspension, any further is fine tuning or serious tuning.
That's my opinion, I hope that helps.
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Edited by - Zman on 01/30/2002 1:58:43 PM
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Those are all the answer's I was looking for, thanks. Now I need to decide what to do. Springs/struts or antisway bars? Already have the front strut bar and It greatly improved handling.

Is there anything wrong with B&G springs (1.6 drop)?

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Edited by - Doc on 01/30/2002 2:02:32 PM
 

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I only know about them what I've heard, which is not bad, but I allways heard Eibachs and H&Rs were the best. Their price should be very similar so, try to get the bestone.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
H&R doesn't make springs for the 2000+ Accents. They do make them for the earlier ones though.
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You may want to read through this post. I briefly discussed some of the pros and cons of the Konis...if anyone is interested. <img src=/images/forums/snitz/wink.gif width=15 height=15 border=0>

http://www.hyundaiperformance.com/forums/snitz/topic.asp?a=&t=5866


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