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Know Your Dampers?


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I know there are many of us looking to improve the ride/handling or appearance of our Lexus' so most of us opt to upgrade to lowered sports springs, a whole sports suspension kit or a coilover set. The obvious knowledge is that lowering springs have different ride qualities due to it's spring rate, ride height, coil spec etc... compared to the standard springs but does anyone know what differences there are in aftermarket sports shock absorbers or the the shocks in your new set of coilovers? is the damping different from the standard OEM dampers? I've noticed there is very little to no information regarding these, does anyone here know anything on this subject?

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after market dampers will be matched to a set of springs,

e.g bilstein dampers in the TTE coilovers are matched to the Eibach springs as fitted

it would be assumed that if for example someone was fitting TEIN springs, then they would also fit TEIN dampers, so TEIN would match them as a pair.

however where ther is only a spring manufactured , erm lets say GMAX then its hoped that GMAX have developed the spring to work in conjunction with the OEM damper, as most stand alone spring products do not lower a car more than the manufacturers maximum stated amount (is200 approx 40mm)

regards the differences between oem rates and after market, the after market will be different to oem, by the simple fact the car is generally lower and the suspension is firmed up, this inherently alters the required spring compression rate (usually linear) and the damp/rebound effect of the damper assembly.

again you have the added possibility that the damper itself can be adjusted for fine setting alterations.

in all honesty, your best option is possible is to go for a matched damper/spring combination, or an approved and certified stand alon spring

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Tein publish the spring rates for their coilovers, if you want to compare with others. I guess it would be useful if the spring rates for the OEM setup was around somewhere ?

Check the Tein data here. Even though I know very little about the subject, I can see that the spring rates are the same for the Basic and Super Street coilovers, but firmer for the Mono Flex.

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interesting bit of light being shed there, thanks guys. It's just a shame the manufacturers don't publish some sort of rating system to prepresent the damping rate so you can have a better understanding of just how much comfort you will be sacrificing for the sake of better handling and a more lower look. like spring rates on a new set of springs... cos once you bought and installed the system it's abit hard to change when you find that the ride is unbearable.

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You could do it but it seems crazy - if you ever had an accident and the insurers saw that the springs had been cut they'd be having a field day!

Plus you could open a can of worms if too much is taken off as it could start bottoming out etc, it's a much better idea to just buy lowering springs which are approved and good to go :)

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like spring rates on a new set of springs... cos once you bought and installed the system it's abit hard to change when you find that the ride is unbearable.

Yep, no choice if you just get some new springs. But if you get some adjustable coilovers like, say, Tein Super Street, then you can adjust the damping force as well as height to give you a range of ride adjustment.

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If it helps I got the Eibachs and they did not effect the ride quality too much but dropped the car really nicely and improved the handling. However once i added the anti-roll bars over rough surfaces it can be quite crashy at low speeds.

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