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Thread: Hello! New member, and a bonus Coilover question!

  1. #1
    Junior Member JF Labbe's Avatar
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    Default Hello! New member, and a bonus Coilover question!


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    Hi there
    My name is JF, I frequently come to this pretty cool forum to read tech posts and find pointers about our beloved AE86s, and today I'd like to say hi and ask for your opinions regarding your coilover experiences with the AE86.

    A week ago I made the move from lowering springs ( I had Espelir rear / Tanabe GF210 front) to BC racing br type coilovers (6kg front / 4.5kg rear) on my hatchback corolla; All in all I have to say I made the jump hoping for complete adjustability and preserving a good enough ride comfort level, hence going softer than the typical 8/6 kg rates (and our roads here disgusting).

    So I got the car aligned two days later, and I think I set the preload alright, and now I have been driving it for a week.
    Here is the point I want to ask you all about: Immediately I noticed a good 40% increase in road noise coming from the trunk area driving above 50 km/h or so. No clunking whatsoever, just this general road noise hum. NVH I presume.

    Have any of you experienced this with coilovers? I mean I'm certainly no expert, and I'd love to hear your thoughts or ideas on this. I have to say for driving them this far, the BC BR's are doing a great job so far otherwise; really happy with the feel but for a daily driven car, that noise level increase... I hope I can find a fix. Perhaps some rubber washers between the camber plates and the car frame?

    For now I think I will increase car height a bit and see if the noise changes.

    Thanks guys, Take care

    JF

    CAR: ae86
    MOTOR: 4AGE bluetop
    USE: street / autocross
    PROBLEM: coilover noise
    OCCURS/STARTED WHEN: installed coilovers :/
    Last edited by JF Labbe; 27th August 2019 at 05:15 AM. Reason: missing details

  • #2
    Senior Member greeneyes's Avatar
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    I don't think rubber washers between the camber plates and the car frame will do it, although its worth a try.
    The factory struts come with rubber isolator rings at each end of the coil spring, & I expect that will do more to help.
    The camber plates are connected to the shock piston, and that only touches the road wheels through the piston rings on the piston end, whereas the spring is steel on steel between the body and the suspension now.
    Both put noise through the shock shaft into the camber plate, but your rubber washers will need to be on both sides of the camber plate bolts and not done up hard so they float a little.

  • #3
    Junior Member JF Labbe's Avatar
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    Thanks Greeneyes! Indeed, I will try this coming weekend and post the result.

    Even the rear adjustable perches' top which is metal is meant to be the direct connection with the car; I asked BC Racing about this already, I asked them if I'm meant to re-use the OEM rubber insulators under and above the rear springs+perches and their answer is it's not intended to be so. I still use the bottom spring insulator since I still have it (though beaten up badly!), and tried with the OEM top rear spring insulator as well (thought that one needed adjustments) and honestly with or without the top spring insulator in the rear there was no difference in noise level, which I surprised me I have to say.

    BC Racing support suggests trying to reset the rear preload (will do this weekend as well) and see from there.

    Thanks for the 2cents!

    JF

  • #4
    Veteran LittleRedSpirit's Avatar
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    Hello.

    Most people who still want to road drive an ae86 find rear coilovers excessive.

    Coilovers and a lot of aftermarket suspension modifications involve stiffening, and shortening components. As the spring rates increase, so does the ability to distort or deflect the original suspension off of its mounts and pivots, as such you get more solid mountings as well as part of it, whether its nolathane bushes, rose joints etc. Point being, its fairly inescapable to trade an increase in suspension performance for an increase in noise. Rose jointed 4 links are great for performance, but they rattle and make a lot of extra noise for example. There's a point of diminishing returns if daily driven comfort and less road noise is desirable.

    I ran some really low front coilovers originally made from the ae92 length shock body, same as trd short stroke, tokico hts, or st185 celica. They were too low. If I ran it at a managebale ride height, it was too close to the top of the stroke and would top out on ramped up bumps. If you got wild youd have wheels coming up off the road, it was a bit of a shit show. Also, the springs used to bind and make lots of twangs and noises as you turned from lock to lock.

    When I designed a set for a daily road used car, I used a longer sw20mr2 shock body, and softer rates, same as yours, and to avoid the binding of the springs I installed techno toy tuning needle bearing top hat spacers that give a greaseable pivot for that action and keeps it perfectly quiet.

    I stick to just spring and shock upgrades in the rear. I leave swaybars alone for safe grip levels. Only mod I have in there aside from an F diff is the Konis, and some lower 4 links with one end rose joint at the diff end, the other being nolathane bushed.

    The longer shocks were key, as it was able to give me a tonne of droop, which stops your wheels coming up off the road in extreme conditions. I am also able to run helper springs, which let you have droop with a reasonable spring rate for performance.

    You can try putting stock strut tops in again, but if your noise is coming from the rear, consider getting rid of the rear coilovers all together and get some adjustable shocks and some 4kg springs.






  • #5
    Junior Member JF Labbe's Avatar
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    Hey LittleRedSpirit!
    Wow those shocks topping out sound like a party alright!
    I really enjoyed driving the lowering spring / shock combo. I figure most of the road noise comes from the harder pillowball top plates and now I do experience that trade-off you mention. Well I'm planning to raise the car up a bit again this weekend, getting aligned and then I'm attending an autocross event on the 7th, so we'll see how it all goes then!
    At this point, if I have the time before winter, I'd be curious to even try fitting the OEM front top plates in the coilovers instead of the camber plates.. BC Racing also has rubber mounts for a decent price also.

    Thanks again for the input.
    I wanted to upload pictures of the setup but I keep getting errors on this forum when I try :/

    Have a good weekend!

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    Hey JF (also my initials!),

    I also run BC BR in my AE86 - with the exact same spring rates - 6/4.5kg.

    To be honest, I don't rate them too highly. I previously had them in a ZZE Corolla, and I liked them for the most part.
    However I find their damper is still much too stiff for the AE86 chassis for grip or hills driving. I get quite bad understeer going very hard or if it's wet, and it feels as though I lose steering in sharp bends with bumps in them. It's a pretty hairy drive in the hills!

    I took them on track, and it wasn't as bad where the surface is very smooth. I messaged BC about this and asking about different spring rates or if they had feedback on tuning for the streets and where the roads aren't great. Their response was basically "They're designed for the track" and I didn't get much more feedback.

    What other modifications are you running? Any chassis stiffening? Hardened gear box or engine mounts? I have poly bushes throughout, but didn't have the same experience of them in an MR2. They're still soft enough for road use.

    It's all a matter of opinion of course.

  • #7
    Junior Member JF Labbe's Avatar
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    Hey Jrad!
    Thanks for the input! Nope, not much done in terms of chassis stiffening. I'm still on oem bushings, with just a simple front strut tower brace. So you approve of the poly bushings? I haven't read enough about those but I was wondering if it would make things too stiff for daily use.
    Personally I find the dampers very smooth on the lowest 5-ish settings, I do feel there is a drastic difference between the two extremes of the dampening range. I tried 5 clicks from hardest and that was just too hard for me for daily driving, but would do wonder on a nice curvy track I bet
    Unfortunately I had a transmission issue that prevented me from attending the sept 7th autocross event (aaargh) ..but I did reset the preload on the rear and the road noise improved a little bit. Also I'm considering using some sound deadening (I have none right now) in the trunk and on the rear wheel wells, maybe that's just the quickest way to tackle that harsh road noise increase. If sound deadening doesn't do enough, then I'll convert the front coilovers to use the stock oem top hats instead of the camber plates. It's not something I see people do, and it pains me to lose camber adjustment, but at least it leaves me with height and dampening control. Any thoughts? Cheers

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