New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby jondee86 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:02 am

totta this one is for you :)

I'm going a bit off topic here, but still relevant I hope. Going back a ways...
say about 15 years ago, rally cars had quite tall ride heights and soft springs.
Looking at modern rally cars, I see low ride heights and what appear to be
stiff springs. The ride height is said to be adjusted (low for tarmac and higher
for dirt) but still seems low even when running on some pretty rough dirt roads.

So why the change ? Does shorter wheelbase, wider track and lower ride height
equal a faster car ? Do the new cars beat up the crew more that the old cars ?
Or has suspension design improved to the point where a low ride height does
not automatically mean really high spring rates ?

Cheers... jondee86
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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby totta crolla » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:32 am

It's all about suspension travel and modern rally cars have lots of it especially on extension, it helps the tyres just get on with their job and ensures a controlled landing from a jump, you won't see professional rally cars bouncing around on landing these days.
I can't upload this image but it does give some idea of the travel involved and modern cars are not harsh on the bump side of things either.
http://www.dai-sport.com/wp-content/upl ... /image.jpg

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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby jondee86 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:32 pm

Interesting. Cars like that must have a lot more droop travel than standard, and
I guess that the shock is used to add high speed compression damping to help the
springs deal with the big hits. This is some of what goes on inside dirtbike forks
which have to deal with the same impacts...

Image

I don't pretend to understand this stuff but I know that the forks are tuned to suck
up the big hits while still remaining supple to keep the wheel on the ground over
small irregularities. You can start to see why pro-level shocks are so expensive !!!

Cheers... jondee86
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persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress
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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby Deuce Cam » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:20 pm

Im guessing a lower ride height on some of the modern rally cars you're seeing could be the result of tuning for certain conditions or class. It could also be because chassis technolgy has improved increasing rigidity - in theory more aggressive springs/shocks can be used.

use 40mm Bilstein dampers and 160lb (2.9kg approx) springs front and rear with stock anti-roll bars, mostly everyone would say it is too soft but I'm only interested in how quickly it can traverse a given terrain....


Im using 3.5k front and 2.8k rear. Front is a dual spring diy 'coilover' setup that has around 1/4" of compression travel on primary rate (2.2k'ish iirc) before the tender blocks. Oem replacement bilsteins. Its different, but I like it. One of these days Ill try without the tender, but Im in no rush. Hesitant to change anything right now.

The spring being mounted closer to the wheel changes its effective rate so a softer spring can give the same efective rate as stock.


I forgot about that!

It doesnt bode well for manufacturers that offer a true coilover AND oem style with the same spring rate for both - its as if they forgot to consider that. Or perhaps the effective rate doesnt change much?

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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby totta crolla » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:18 am

I think that the really expensive dampers have gone a long way beyond just controlling what the spring does when it wants to release energy after being compressed, they are now an energy absorbing device in their own right and probably for once, justifiably called 'shock absorbers' with fewer compromises than we have at our level.
So coming back down to an affordable level I'm going to stick my neck out here and suggest we should be looking for an adjustable front insert that has its centre adjustment damping somewhere around the classic Escort Bilstein rate of 300/70 (260/60 for rough roads) Given that the AE86 looks like it was built from the Escort GP4 preparation manual supplied by Ford Boreham they won't be far wrong. Ford did a lot of motorsport development to come up with these damper rates, I use 300/70 and they are very good with 160lb springs but better with 300lb springs.
If the people supplying your inserts can't give you the damping information then you need to find another suplier !

Escort preparation manual
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8kpZr- ... w4cTg/edit

Front strut
http://grp4fabrications.com/product_inf ... cts_id=493

These inserts can be custom made and are available direct from Avo
https://www.motorsport-tools.com/avo-fo ... -tube.html

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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby Deuce Cam » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:02 am

Was considering the group 4 case with escort rally billys last time based on your recommendation, but at that time I already had somewhat fresh oem replacement billys and a nice diy coilover sleeve kit - decided to use what I had ... always wondering what if though.

Next time I want to do a shorter case than stock. Prob around a 20mm cut because I do like a modest 30-35mm'ish drop - just enough to make the car look better, but not too much that the control arm geometry is complete ****.

Group 4 case is out considering this, unless they would shorten it. Assuming the short escort rally billys would be out too. Custom avo's would be an option, but prob $$$. Then again, I was thinking about finding whatever konis I could with appropriate dimensions and having them revalved - also $$$$.

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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby totta crolla » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:36 am

Last time I spoke to Avo the price was the same for different top mountings etc.
The fantastic guys at Gartrac will sell you the component parts of the strut if you need them, not shown is the complete threaded strut tube that can be fitted to the AE86 spindle, exactly what GP 4 do. Gartrac show Escort struts for tarmac (short insert) and forest (long insert) they would probably tell you the difference in length / thread if you asked them.
https://www.gartrac.com/shop/steering-s ... parts.html

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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby oldeskewltoy » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:46 am

Based on an email I sent to Moto about 15(+ or -) years ago.......

http://club4ag.com/tech-data/dampers-ch ... u-in-mind/
OST Cyl head porting, - viewtopic.php?f=22&t=300

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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby jondee86 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:30 pm

totta crolla wrote:I think that the really expensive dampers have gone a long way beyond just controlling
what the spring does when it wants to release energy after being compressed, they are
now an energy absorbing device in their own right and probably for once, justifiably called
'shock absorbers' with fewer compromises than we have at our level.

Yussss... by having a damper with high and low speed shim stack on the compression
side, the damper effectively adds progressively increasing rate to the spring. So a long
soft spring can be used without bottoming out the suspension off jumps. This is exactly
how a dirt bike forks work And dirt bikes have had separately adjustable compression
and rebound damping forever. The high speed/low speed tuning is done in the shim
stack which is when you have to go see your local shock tuning expert.

Before I installed my Konis I obtained pricing for Bilsteins shortened, revalved and fitted
with internal bumpstops for an AE86. But the expert who does this work in in another
city, and by the time I added freight to the premium price that we pay for Bilsteins out
here, it was too much for a road car. I got a deal on AE92 inserts from a guy locally, and
even shipping the Mustang rears (closeout price) from to US to NZ, the install was less
than half of what I would have paid for the Bilsteins.

Nothing wrong with the Konis. They work well for a road car, and I can firm them up for
the occasional street sprint or autocross. If I was building a racecar I would spring the
extra cash for customised Bilsteins.

Cheers... jondee86
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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby Deuce Cam » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:25 pm

totta,

Are you using the long dampers? How much total travel do they have from full extension to full compression?

Any idea how the dimensions on the short version differ?

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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby scalpel » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:06 pm

I felt like a lot of that convo went over my head haha


If we do go with the bg annex/fa or wahtever.. do you guys think we need to or should reinforce that rear shock tower of the chassis?

I guess I like to know maybe I should create a new thread but where we should strngthen our chassis?

thanks

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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby jondee86 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:24 pm

scalpel wrote: Do you guys think we need to or should reinforce that rear shock tower of the chassis?

There is no straight answer to that question as you can guess from what has
been written in this thread. Many people have installed coilover rear suspension
without reinforcing anything and had zero problems. But when you look at the
serious hardcore drift and race builds, you will see that they pretty much all have
some decent reinforcement of the rear shock towers.

Likewise, while the shock attachment to the axle housing seems fine for lightly
modified or road cars, the mounting point will be gusseted or upgraded for race
applications. So it really comes down to how much abuse the coilover mounting
points will be subject to in your application. For "sporting" use you could get away
with just inspecting the shock tower mounting for any signs of cracking, corrosion
or deformation. Then, if it looks solid, use the correct size mounting bushes and
washers and you should be sweet.

Image

Stepping up to drifting or race use at higher power level, you might want to consider
a bit of reinforcing for the shock tower along these lines. Make sure the factory
metal cap is properly welded to the sheetmetal as well.

Image

You need to keep in mind that the AE86 is has a number of places where you can
expect cracking and fatigue failures in the body and chassis when the car is subject
to hardcore race use. That is why drift and rally cars are routinely seam or "spot"
welded and reinforced as part of their preparation. So decide what you want to do
based on your intended use for the car, and then inspect for any signs of cracking
or deformation at appropriate intervals.

Cheers... jondee86

DISCLAIMER: As usual Mr Phelps, neither Club4AG nor the writer take any liability
for the contents of this message. Use at you your own risk, results may vary :)
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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby Deuce Cam » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:41 pm

Having those points tie into a roll cage would be best, but roll cages suck on a street car - I speak from experience - and theyre dangerous.

Watch this vid and pay attention to how they reinforce the tower in the wheel well and inside the car. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqWDjAWxvKI . Again, also consider gusseting the attachment point on the axle housing.

All this prob isnt needed for average use as jondee86 mentioned, but proceed at your own risk. 8-)

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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby totta crolla » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:11 am

Deuce cam,
to answer your question I use the long insert, they are on the car right now and I can't find my calculations :oops:
This should give you most of the info you need though:
http://www.turbosport.co.uk/showthread.php?t=454130
(Be aware that the picture comparison of the 2 inserts is not of the long and short, it is Capri vs Escort)
If you already have some AE86 coilover bodies I think it would be relatively easy to convert to the Bilstein inserts, they run in two 40mm i/d DU bushes the o/d of the bushes iirc is 43mm All that is required is that the bushes be fitted into the bodies and a hole drilled in the bottom to push the threaded M10 end through.

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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby BattleGarage_RS » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:37 pm

Hey Guys,

We're really loving the discussion you guys have drummed up here! I think it's fantastic to see the AE86 market shift a bit from singular drift and track performance at the expense of all else to moving towards car setups that favor track performance, with enough bump compliance for daily use and back road canyon performance. This has really been our mindset from the beginning and we've been selecting and working with vendors to help offer products to achieve these goals.

First off, I want to state that we've been working with Annex very closely for the better part of a year now to really dial in a performance suspension that "has it all". From the get go, we wanted a suspension with more travel / stroke than what we've seen on the market. Annex was able to help us dial in an application that has longer stroke shocks than what is normally seen on a typical off the shelf coilover system. This helps with usability and overall performance by allowing the car to soak up large bumps that might otherwise upset the chassis, and also helps improve grip by letting the wheel droop when the car is launched off a berm at he track - or simply just trying to pull into a steep driveway. In terms of performance, the dampers have a large piston that provides great control at low shock speeds, but the pistons have an extra large compression port that allows the shock to "blow off" when hitting a sharp bump (like a rail road track, or track berm at speed), letting the spring absorb the force rather than transfer that energy to the chassis. This also keeps the car composed, and make the ride feel less "harsh" over fast and sharp impacts. We also really like the "road noise isolators", which are a specially formulated insulator that is designed to absorb high frequency road noise (like lane divider dots, or rough road surfaces). This feature really reduces the NVH that makes it into the cabin, yet is still stiff enough so that you really don't notice it when driving hard. They spent a lot of time developing the material and it shows! The dampers themselves have a WIDE adjustment range, with each position providing a very noticeable change in overall dampening.

Finally, the materials they use are of very high quality and have corrosion resistance in mind. This is important for those that live in harsh climates that receive snow or heavy rainfall throughout the year. Bottom line is, we think this is a very capable suspension that will suit most people's needs. They can build the shocks to different lengths if you want to run especially low, or if you want a rally height. They also can custom valve for motorsport applications. If you haven't already, check out out the website at https://annexsuspension.com/. You can also see our store listing for the AE86 application we developed here: https://shop.battlegarage-rs.com/collections/ae86-high-performance-suspension-steering-parts/products/bgrs-x-annex-suspension-group-fastroad-pro-coilover-system-for-ae86-free-shipping
Pictured below is Annex with the BG Swift upgrade in the rear, and Swift coilover springs upgrade in the front. We Highly recommend the BG rear springs as they help keep the rear end planted! Typical weekend warrior spec from us is 7K front with the 5.5K BGRS swifts in the rear.
If roads are epecially bad (think San Francisco, Down town LA) and that's primarily where the car is driven, we might drop the customer down to 6K fronts and 4.7K BGRS Swift rears. The modern style pistons used in Annex allow spring rates to be higher, yet the shock blows off when hitting a sharp impact (like a pot hole), allowing the wheel to physically move and absorb the majority of the impulse.

Image

FASTROAD PRO SPECIFICATIONS:
24 Way adjustable
Monotube with high pressure Nitrogen gas
Optimized shock stroke and valving for the US market (special attention on soaking up road imperfections and moderate sized bumps)
Spring rates carefully chosen to balance body roll, daily comfort, and still provide neutral handling characteristics
T6 6061 Hard anodized camber plates and lock rings
NiCr coated shock bodies for improved corrosion resistance vs competitors
Integrated spring perch bearings for increased steering feel and less steering friction
Road Noise Isolators for less noise ingress into the cabin
Front Aluminum camber plates for struts, or top hats for double a-arm layouts.
T6 Aluminum AE86 RCA's included!

In response to other topics in this thread:
I read through a lot of the post and want to share my opinions after working on these cars over the years. IMO Bilstein shocks are GREAT. The quality they offer is fantastic, and their valving profiles are very carefully chosen. Koni yellows are great too, however the basic shock design is getting a little old as they haven't been updated for our chassis / similar old chassis for decades. They do have good bump compliance, and the adjustments change the shocks as you would expect.

We were fortunate enough to be able to test a set of TRD blues on Annex's shock dyno. The image is posted below:
Image

You can see that as the adjustments went from softer to harder, the shock increased in hardness on the compression side (top half of the chart) mainly at the high speed range. This is why TRD shocks feel harsh when you start go get to the 5-8 click range. For track only, this might not be that big of a deal, but the huge change in force at the high speed indicates that the piston is too small, and the shocks will launch the car when hitting a high speed bump. On a smooth surface though, the shocks might only be moving around the 1-5 inch per second range, and might be perfectly acceptable.

This also applies to the motorcross shim stack the Jondee posted - the high speed crossover does increase force at high speed, and you would get a graph like the TRD shock posted above. But on a car, this increase in shock force on the high speed compression will make it very uncomfortable when hitting gaps in the road.

BTW, we'd love to hear from you guys on the new Annex Suspension Group offering. Please email us if you have any questions about those, or suspension in general. We've learned a lot from Annex and we'd be happy to share the wealth.
Last edited by BattleGarage_RS on Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby BattleGarage_RS » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:39 pm

Also - if anyone has some HTS they'd like to see a dyno chart of, we can likely schedule some time on the shock dyno as well to see what's really going on! Same thing applies to other shocks available for the AE86 or even MR2 or any other interesting sports cars.
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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby jondee86 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:35 pm

BattleGarage_RS wrote:Koni yellows are great too, however the basic shock design is getting a little old as they
haven't been updated for our chassis / similar old chassis for decades. They do have good
bump compliance, and the adjustments change the shocks as you would expect.

Back in 1985 when the AE86 was in production, Koni marketed a "sports handling" kit
comprising slightly uprated front and rear lowering springs plus Koni yellow front inserts
and rear shocks (off car adjustable only). The inserts were custom valved for the AE86
and the rear shocks were their standard AE86 offering but with a 1" shorter stroke.
Bolt-in and worked great for a fast road car (which is what the AE86 was back then).

That was the last time Koni built anything special for the AE86 and ever since we have
been reduced to using shocks and inserts built for other wildly different chassis and
hoping that the valving is somewhere close. By using the top adjustable Koni Sports
shocks and inserts the end result is OK and affordable, but the performance is short of
what can be achieved if the valving is factory tuned for the chassis.

I'd love to have something like your FASTROAD kit under my car, but our road safety
Nazis prohibit the use of front coilovers with non-OEM spindles for road cars. So I'll just
have to make do with OK instead of GREAT.

Cheers... jondee86
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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby BattleGarage_RS » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:16 pm

Hey Jondee,

Yes I've heard about how strict NZ road safety police can be. For NZ, would welding on the OEM spindles onto the coilover with an adapter be acceptable in their eyes? Just wondering as I'm sure we will be asked about this in the future!

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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby jondee86 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:23 pm

BattleGarage_RS wrote:For NZ, would welding on the OEM spindles onto the coilover with an adapter be acceptable...?

That is a permitted technique providing there is some specified amount of the original
strut tube remaining.. I think the regs require 60mm out of the stub casting. The new
strut is slipped over the OEM tube and the weld made steel/steel. The welding has to be
done by an approved welder and then crack tested. I'd have to ask the question to LVVTA
as to the chances of getting approval for units welded in the US. I'd expect that they would
want details of the welders certification and a crack testing report.

No welding on the stub casting is permitted, only steel onto steel. MRP were welding OEM
stubs onto Fortune Auto coilovers...

Image

But I saw Barry making the comment that the 60mm of OEM tube considerably reduced the
amount of height adjustment available. So probably a lot if trouble unless you could see
an opportunity to sell a reasonable number of units down here.

Cheers... jondee86

PS: Just for clarification, BC sell AE86 coilovers here in NZ both with spindles and without
spindles. The version without spindles is capable of being certified for use on the road by
means of welding on the OEM spindle as outlined above. The coilovers supplied complete
with spindles cannot be certified and are sold "for racing use only". This situation applies
to AE86 coilovers from any manufacturer regardless of country of origin, effectively limiting '
us to using 30 year old OEM spindles to keep us safe on the road :roll:

PPS: Now here is an idea that has been in the back of my mind for quite a few years since
I first heard about this setup. BC make an AE86 coilover with brackets to allow it to be bolted
to S13 stubs... https://coiloverdepot.com/products/ae86 ... -coilovers
Never looked into it in any detail, but it would be one way for us NZers to get around the
welding problem with the bonus of a brake upgrade :) Apparently this is a mod that has been
done quite a lot in Australia, mainly for drifting, so I don't know how practical it would be
for a road car. Obviously the changes would have to be correctly engineered to pass LVVTA
certification. Have you had anything to do with S13 coilovers into AE86's in the US ?
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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby Deuce Cam » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:14 pm

totta - thanks for the info.

bgrs - the fa and annex kits still tempt me even though i know the caveats. Having the independent adjustments is VERY tempting. 2 questions:

1. What are the front/rear shock stroke lengths with each kit?

2. Which of the two is more compliant from your experience?

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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby Autohaus_Z » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:41 pm

This thread has been active as hell! Good to see! The Annex kit will be more compliant than the FA kit and includes several proprietary features that help in both noise reduction and increase in ride quality WITHOUT a sacrifice in performance. P.S. The red hatch back doing track duty in all the Annex literature, that's me, so I can attest to these coilovers really having been gone through and tested.
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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby Technics » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:47 am

I got the annex coilover setup via battle garage rs. Won’t be in until the spring I could get some time on them but Im looking forward.

I considered FA, even KW and locally inquired at Ohlins the prices surpassed my cars purpose for now but fun to know what’s out there, and in the future who knows!

Grant is a great dude always helpful and insightful, great asset to us new and old to this chassis :)

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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby Deuce Cam » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:30 pm

Interesting.

Thing is I used spring isolators AND needle bearings - above and below spring - on both diy coilover setups. (still using them.) They help a little, but with high spring rates and camber plates its a marginal improvement with compliance. Im sceptical the shock valving could make the ride compliant with such high rates, but i suppose its subjective.

Kw and ohlins huh? must have been a custom request. Guessing that would start around $3.5k+. Would prob actually be good though.

The current stance kit looks cool - mainly the inverted aspect. Love the upside down rears. Its also interesting that they offer a default 4k rear spring rate. Would.be cool to have a custom vetsion with longer stroke, lower rates, and valving to suit.

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Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby jondee86 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:22 pm

Deuce Cam wrote:... but i suppose its subjective.

And that is the reason why this thread and a hundred similar threads exist :)
We don't all like the same beer, tacos or movies. And there is no impartial
testing that I am aware of that rates each coilover on things like performance,
ride comfort, price and durability. So everyone has to do their own research
and read the subjective reports from other individuals.

Then with fingers crossed, take the plunge on whichever brand they think will
do the job for them. Fundamentally, if the coilovers they buy work better than
whatever setup they had before, they are happy. Works for me :) And, human
nature being what it is, even if the new suspension comes up short of the
manufacturers claims. Most people just live with it and don't say much.

I don't know enough about suspension to knock any product or say one brand
is better than another. But there are people who do know a lot about suspension,
and it is always a good idea to listen to what they have to say. Listen to enough
knowledgeable people and you will pick up some good tips on what to look for
in a product... and what to avoid. That swings the odds in you favor when
making a buying decision.

Cheers... jondee86
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress
depends on the unreasonable man.

cincybranr
Club4AG Enthusiast
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:28 pm
Location: Durham, NC

Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby cincybranr » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:28 pm

Look what I started LOL.. and then I got to sit back and read all the great input! Thanks everyone for your passion and thoughtful responses!

scalpel
Club4AG Enthusiast
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 6:45 am

Re: New Annex Coilovers or...Old faithful TRD Blues etc..

Postby scalpel » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:47 pm

Did someone say groupbuy for the annex coilovers?

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