Autox suspension for STF? - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
Go-Kart Driver
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Kansas
Posts: 50
Autox suspension for STF?

Let me start this by saying that I am a 15 year autocrosser who is familiar with the ST category, but this is my first attempt with the Mazda3. I have searched for the answer from several sources but have come up empty. I have a 2012 3i that I will be using for STF next season. The car is mostly stock except for a rear sway bar, but I will be attacking the suspension over the winter. I know it isn't going to be the car to have for the class, and I'm okay with that. I want to maximize the car's abilities, but it needs to retain a decent amount of comfort since it still gets used for hauling my 2 kids on a regular basis. I also want to get it done as cheaply as possible. Yeah, I know-- cheap isn't best, but I don't expect this to be my autocross ride for more than a couple of years.

So here's the question: what would be the best route for me to go for changing the suspension? The only options in my price range are a cheap set of coilovers or doing springs/shocks/camber plates (Swift/Koni/Corksport). The cheap coilovers worry me since the build quality and performance abilities seem questionable; however, the spring rates tend to be higher, and the smaller diameter spring should allow more negative camber up front. I can also get the car's ride height just like I want it. Both of these options will cost about the same.

The right solution is to get a set of higher quality coilovers and be done with it, but I just can't justify spending that kind of money for what could be a short term effort on the wrong car for the class. My gut says to go for quality shocks with good lowering springs, but the pros of the coilovers are tempting. So which way should I go?
ksconekiller is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 11:09 PM
Senior Member
 
okellyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 5,028
Send a message via MSN to okellyr
Hi there... I have never autocrossed but am familiar with the mz3 suspensions...

I have been running with the entry level BuddyClub coil over setup for about 2 years and can say w/o reservation that they are absolutely perfect for fun road driving and to date they are almost in the same condition as they were when I installed them new ( no rust, no noise), that said my research into there selection indicated that they would be fine for the casual autox driver but not for the more serious competitor... Which holds fairly well to your perspective...

Koni yellows paired with a good set of springs seemed to be the way the entry level autox guys went before they skiped past the entry level coils and went to the more expensive.... All upgraded the RSB and many also changed there mounts as well...

So to make a short story long.... get the koni yellows + spings at the rate u need and upgrade the RSB to something better (ms3 rsb at a minimum ) , keep the endlinks stock till they break then install MS3 endlinks and consider replacing the rsb mounting brakets ...

Boosted baby....

BOOSTED


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
okellyr is offline  
post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 11:54 AM
Le Mans: Prototype Class
 
Adam3s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,225
I was kind of in a similar predicament about 6 months ago. I wanted to go STF, but I put 25K miles a year on the car and needed it to be relatively comfortable and competitive. After doing a good deal of research I decided the best move for me was RTF or road tire front. That seemed to be the most prudent move for a Daily Driver/Competitive AX car on street tires. If you are determined to go STF I'd get the Fortune Coil-overs if you can. A lot of these budget coil-overs are not dyno matched or come with plots, have adjusters that don't work or don't work the way they should, some clunk and have poor quality seals that leak, fitment issues, ect ect. Going with a budget coil-over is definitely more of gamble than the Swift/Koni route. For reliability and relative comfort, the Swift/Koni route may be your best option if you're not doing an all out STF build and you're on a budget. You may have already read it, but in case you didn't here's the STF thread I started awhile back.

http://www.mazda3forums.com/showthread.php?t=396919

Last edited by Adam3s; 11-24-2012 at 12:17 PM.
Adam3s is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
Go-Kart Driver
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Kansas
Posts: 50
Adam,

I was hoping you'd chime in on this! Yep, I read that thread along with every other STF Mazda 3 thread I could find; there aren't many out there. Among the entry coilovers, the Fortune Auto seems to be at the top of my list. Also in the back of my mind is that I can probably find a way to adapt coilover sleeves to the Konis later and run any spring I want. I think I'm leaning toward the spring/shock combo just for the proven performance and reliability. If I end up not being happy with the height or spring rate, I can look into sleeves at that time. I just don't know if I'm ready to take a gamble with cheap coilovers.

While I have your attention...what camber & toe settings do you think I should start with? I will max out the front camber (should be around -2 degrees) and will have adjustable rear camber arms. I'm wondering if rear camber should be minimal, like maybe 1 degree or less. Regardless, there will be some testing to find out. I hate sounding like a newbie, but I have very little experience with strut-equipped cars that are this heavy (previous rides were double wishbone cars that were all substantially lighter than this one).
ksconekiller is offline  
post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 10:52 AM
Le Mans: Prototype Class
 
Adam3s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,225
Yeah out of the ready made coil-overs for our cars the Fortunes looked pretty good and they came highly recommended by someone I would trust. Ohlins, Moton, AST, Penske, don't bother making units for the Mazda3 so the Fortunes are about as high end as it gets for the Mazda3. Of course another proven route would be to build up a set of Koni DA coil-overs.

Yes you could go with the Swift/Koni yellow setup and convert them to a coil-over setup via ground control's kit later on if you wanted different spring rates or more adjustability.

The problem, as you know, is that with the oe replacement swift springs and Koni there will be lack of camber adjustment because of the large diameter spring. With some camber plates and Koni/Swift you should be able to get -2 up front but that will probably be about it. Yes, in the back I'd keep camber around -1 which will probably require some aftermarket camber arms or you can run eccentric camber bolts. I'd start out with around 1/8" total toe out in the front and 0 in the back. If you need to "loosen up" the back end more just add a little toe out in the back as well.
Adam3s is offline  
post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 11:30 AM
Short Track Racer
 
eSienk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 156
Just got an e-mail back from Fortune Auto. Looks like they have discontinued their coilovers for the Mazda 3. Bums.
eSienk is offline  
post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 11:45 AM
Senior Member
 
sdemo45's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: The Heat
Posts: 36,000
Fortunes are as "high end" as it gets? Fortune is on par with BC in my books. Have we forgotten about KW? Tein? Hell, even Corksport just came out with an excellent setup for the Mazda3, including adjustable front tophats. Want some real personalization? Talk to Shaikh at FatCatMotorsports about a revalved Bilstein setup.



sdemo45 is offline  
post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 02:42 PM
Le Mans: Prototype Class
 
Adam3s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,225
That's another idea. Shak over at Fatcat could build you up a bilstein based coil-over setup. Bring $$$$.
Adam3s is offline  
post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 02:51 PM
Senior Member
 
sdemo45's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: The Heat
Posts: 36,000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam3s View Post
That's another idea. Shak over at Fatcat could build you up a bilstein based coil-over setup. Bring $$$$.
...and a thick skin. He can be an asshole, but he builds quality suspension.



sdemo45 is offline  
post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
Go-Kart Driver
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Kansas
Posts: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdemo45 View Post
Fortunes are as "high end" as it gets? Fortune is on par with BC in my books. Have we forgotten about KW? Tein? Hell, even Corksport just came out with an excellent setup for the Mazda3, including adjustable front tophats. Want some real personalization? Talk to Shaikh at FatCatMotorsports about a revalved Bilstein setup.
Most of the options mentioned here are more expensive than I want to go for this setup. And a couple are not really geared toward what I'm going to be using them for. FatCat is a nice setup but even more money than the others.

I am almost to the point of getting Konis with camber plates and just doing some test fitting to find coilover sleeves that will work. It seems nobody makes sleeves for our cars, which is unfortunate considering the reasonably sporty nature of the Mazda 3. I've had several cars with Konis over the years and like how they perform. They would also handle the spring rates I want just with off the shelf valving.
ksconekiller is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum > Technical / Model / Performance > Autocross, Track, and Dyno Results

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



  LinkBacks (?)
LinkBack to this Thread: http://www.mazda3forums.com/90-autocross-track-dyno-results/408226-autox-suspension-stf.html
Posted By For Type Date
Autocross, Track, and Dyno Results [Archive] - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum This thread Refback 09-09-2015 10:27 PM

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Suspension Setup for Autox? dwoww Autocross, Track, and Dyno Results 5 12-28-2012 02:18 PM
Suspension upgrades for autox scot Autocross, Track, and Dyno Results 14 10-16-2012 09:40 AM
AutoX Suspension Settings (mazdaspeed coilovers or KW V2's) metrogrey3 Autocross, Track, and Dyno Results 11 12-08-2010 03:33 PM
how much to install suspension? (also list of my suspension kit) XB Suspension / Brakes 14 07-14-2009 05:56 PM
School me please in stiffening my suspension for autox bossboy Suspension / Brakes 9 08-30-2007 04:03 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
8