STD coilover review (short term/ long term) - Suspension and Brake Forum

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STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 8:36 PM
This is WAY overdue, so I apologize, but I wanted to give the STD R3s a real run through and really get over the excitement of a new part so that I can give an honest, and neutral review of a product.

Before I get started, I want to give a special thanks to John Benham because without him I probably never would have heard of or gotten these coilovers, so thanks John!


ok the review...

I got the STD R3 coilovers which comes with front pillowball mounts and camber plates.. in all honesty, one of the biggest selling points for me because we all know about the notorious front J-body strut mount nightmare.. they constantly go bad, and are a bitch to replace.






Another nifty feature is a scale that is printed on the side of the coilover body to allow an easy way to even up the left and right sides.. no more tape measures and headaches, its printed right on the body for you to see, pretty convenient, although I did have one gripe with it (see below).





The only downside to the scaled body is that the scale isn't always visible to you, in otherwords, getting the mark to line up just right may put the bottom mount in the wrong position, requiring you to rotate the whole coilover in order to line up with the suspension properly.. but this makes the scale on a non-visible side of the coilover. Not a major problem but it is annoying at times. One other downside to the R3s is that the damper adjustment knob is too tall in the front and hits the hood. An easy solution is to simply unscrew the adjustment knob, and keep it in the center console when you want to make adjustments (just engage the square drive, you don't have to screw it down everytime) but that is also semi annoying for such an expensive suspension.

The R3s are also double ride height adjustable, which means there are two ways to change the height of your car. You can either drop the spring perch (how most coilovers adjust ride height), or you can shorten the length of the coilover itself, which also lowers the car. The advantage with this is that you're free to set your ride height/ stance however you want it without sacrificing suspension travel and prematurely blowing shocks. Mostly useful if you're corner balancing the car since you can set spring preload and ride height separately.

I had gravana powergrip coilovers, those were my first experience with double ride-height adjustable coilovers. I was a big fan of the design, but disliked the confusing strut mount design (good that it let you use either 95-99 or 00-05 mounts, but bad because 1) no directions 2) complicated and easy to lose/ misplace parts). I also ran into constant problems with the top mount design of the coilover grinding away the metal of the strut mount. I tried both 95-99 and 00-05 mounts, and neither seemed to work better than the other. My gravs would constantly destroy the metal sleeve in the mount, which would then commence clunking, and randomly changing camber in turns making the car a bit unpredictable at times, even in regular driving.


Looking for other options was when I stumbled on the STD threads. I liked what I saw and bought one of the first sets.

Initial impressions:
The quality of the coilovers are pretty good. I've seen higher quality stuff, but also for twice the price. Compared to Gravana PowerGrips, they're right on par. The bodies are a bright blue, with bright yellow springs.. a bit brighter then what I'd hoped for, but buying a suspension part for its color is sort of silly. The fronts come assembled, but the rears need strut mounts.. the only disadvantage of the R3s. The R5 variant comes with front and rear pillowball mounts, but there is no R5 variant for the J-body currently.


Installation:

(I'm working on a video of the installation, I'm almost finished... it will be posted on my youtube site and linked later in this thread).

Installation of the fronts is pretty straight forward since they're already assembled. However, I'd make a suggestion for a small modification before installing them. There are so-called "coilover spring bearings" that are sold from SpeedwayMotors.com... they're basically a 2.5" thrust bearing that sits underneath the springs. When turning the wheel for slow speed maneuvers or when standing still, if you ever get a pop-pop-pop-pop-pop sound, its the spring not rotating freely with the rest of the coilover body. By installing the 2.5" thrust washer, you give the spring an easier way to move, and it helps to eliminate that annoying sound. They're inexpensive (around $40) and worth every penny. Other than that, the fronts are simply remove old suspension, install new, set ride height, get aligned, done.

The rears are a little bit easier, but still not a bolt on affair. The R3s have thicker shock rod, so the stock mount has to be drilled out slightly in order to fit. You can get away with 1/2" drill bit, but for a truly snug fit 12mm is the shaft diameter. Other than that it bolts right into place, set ride height, done.

A word on preloading springs:

Don't do it. Preloading is basically when you use the spring perches to squeeze the spring with no load on it. When you preload the springs you will make them stiffer in their first few moments of travel.. in other words, preloading springs = higher INITIAL spring rate, which means a much harsher ride, especially over sudden bumps. If you drive on the street, this is a definite no-no. If your car is track raced, you can use preload to help even the weight on your tires but this can only be set during corner balancing and otherwise should not be messed with.

ALWAYS get your car aligned after dropping it. The front suspension camber/toe settings change during the travel of the suspension, so lowering the car will mess up those settings. Be sure to call ahead to the alignement shop you choose, some will give you crap for having a lowered car, and others won't touch your car at all if they know its lowered. When setting the camber plates, just set both sides to the same markings and let the alignment shop figure the rest out. They don't need to be super duper tight either, but make sure they're tight.

Also, for the camber mounts, use the screws in the holes closest to the outside of the car, and the holes immediately adjacent to them. DO NOT use the inside holes for those screws... it'll run into the body of the car and most likely break.

showing the bolt holes you should use for the 4 camber screws








Short term review:








Once I got them setup and I fixed my toe settings, I fell in love with these coilovers. The install was pretty simple, and the front pillowball mounts are really a load off my mind. I only did a VERY mild drop on my 04 because I drive it everyday, but I have an base model sway bar in the front and no sway bar in the back, so when 'wiggling' the steering wheel small amounts, I still notice a tiny bit of body roll. I think with upgraded sway bars (I'd suggest addco front at the least) I bet the car would be a lot tighter even with very small user inputs.

When doing quick lane changes the car is very responsive, of course this is true with most upgraded suspensions so this is pretty much a given. When pushing the car through corners the grip seems never ending. With better sway bars I'm positive my car would have handled even better.

The bad? They ride a little rough. Even after dialing the dampers down to try and soften the ride up a bit, the car still does not like sudden bumps or potholes, and I have a theory regarding this. Springrates/ shock dynos are not given with the suspension. But I believe the springrates may be chosen based on the weight of the vehicle.. Z24s and LS Sports are about 200-300lbs heavier than their basemodel counterparts.. which I believe is why the ride is quite rough.. but without numbers regarding the springs and ESPECIALLY the shocks, this is only a theory.


Long term review:

-disclaimer-
Please bear in mind, I was using run flat tires on 16" rims, and I have read that run flats tend to ride a lot rougher than their regular counterparts, so that may attribute to a lot of the harshness in the ride I feel.



These ride ROUGH. I drive over a lot of bumpy roads on my way to work everyday, and the ride does get rather annoying after a while. I'm beginning to wonder if my tiny tiny bit of preload (roughly 1/16") is enough to make the initial spring rate hard enough to feel so mean on small bumps.

When the car is settled on smooth road or going around turns however, it feels fantastic. I love the handling aspect, but the comfort is definitely not there. It sometimes feels like its skipping across the road.. I'm confident that if I spent more time messing with settings I could get it to ride much better, but on a daily its rather difficult.

The hardware that comes with the STDs are a bit lacking, I noticed some rusting, and when I tried to take the coilovers off to install on the skwirl, one of the studs broke. I've replaced the hardware with class 10.9 metric nuts and bolts, but just a warning to anyone who wants to use it on a DD, you may need some paint on the bolts to keep them protected, or anti-seize.

I will be getting another set of these for my daily driver (when money allows) and I'll be giving another go to make them a bit more plushy for street duty. I have a feeling its a problem with my settings. I'll be touching back on this thread when I do more investigation into the matter.


Overall, I think these are the best coilovers available for the jbody performance wise.. but in terms of comfort, these may not be the best option without some very careful setup and possibly some extra parts purchased for it.. although the ride quality may be a bit better on a heavier vehicle.

I'm sad that there is no data on the shock, which would allow you to possibly better match a spring rate to it, but 2.5" springs can be found easily so I will be experimenting with different rates to see if I can match the valving better.


The good:
-Camber plates with pillow ball mounts
-Double ride height adjustable
-Scale on side for easier adjustment
-Feels great in cornering

The bad:
-Need to modify rear strut mounts to fit shock rod
-Ride is rough
-Adjustment knobs in front hit hood
-Scale isn't always in a visible spot




Edited 1 time(s). Last edited Tuesday, December 15, 2009 10:29 PM



Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 9:24 PM
VERY nice review, sir. much appreciated. i know some of the stuff first hand because i helped install these on tyler's car awhile ago so i am right there with you.

as far as you saying these are the best performance wise, i have to ask... have you ever used the tein ss's before? i am just curious, that is all. i would like to know if you are basing that knowledge on facts or hearsay.





Stand in the corner and SCREAM with me!!!!
Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 10:07 PM
Nice honest critical review.......that's what I call 'done right'. Good Job, interesting info.

I have some comparisons I'd like to bring to attention but only if you give me your good graces to bring them in here while I know this is a review of the R3's only. Otherwise I will leave them out.

Good work.


"Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience!" -Anonymous
Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 2:05 AM
z yaaaa wrote:

as far as you saying these are the best performance wise, i have to ask... have you ever used the tein ss's before? i am just curious, that is all. i would like to know if you are basing that knowledge on facts or hearsay.


Just to clarify, I've driven a jbody with RKSport ProStreet coilovers, had Gravana PowerGrip coilovers, and now I have the STD R3 coilovers.

I've ridden in cars with tein SS' before, but never really paying attention and I've never driven a car with the Teins unfortunately.

in terms of features, the STD R3s and Teins break sort of even... while the Teins have the advantage in fitment for obvious reasons (ala the front damper adjusters), they both have front pillowballs with camber adjustment.

And while the teins have the solid pillowball rear mounts, the STDs have double ride-height adjustability.. so it sort of breaks even. The Teins don't let you set your ride height wherever you want it, because lowering the spring on the tein (the only way to adjust height) takes away from total suspension travel, so you can only go so low without damaging the damper. With the STD R3s, you can literally shorten them as much as possible, be low as hell, and still have full suspension travel...

..I wouldn't recommend doing that since the body will be pretty close to the ground, and roll couple will be worse, but at least you COULD if you wanted to and not have to worry about bringing the shocks to an early demise.. it gives you extra freedom with the ride height /stance settings.

In terms of raw performance though.. honestly, its going to be all hearsay. Nobody has skid pad numbers or track times at say... Road Atlanta or Thunderbolt Raceway (yay Nj!), so the 'performance' of the coilover will always be determined by the user, unfortunately, by the butt-dyno.

I should probably retract my previous statement about "best performing" and change it to "best featured" suspension if you can deal with the harsh ride... but again, I will be reattempting a street-mannered STD R3 setup with some slightly softer hyperco springs I'm going to buy aftermarket from speedwaymotors. I still feel if I was a bit more diligent with trying different settings I could have gotten them a lot more friendly.


Joshua Dearman wrote:

I have some comparisons I'd like to bring to attention but only if you give me your good graces to bring them in here while I know this is a review of the R3's only. Otherwise I will leave them out.


just shoot me a PM of what you want to bring up Josh, if it isn't too off topic I'll give the OK.





Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 3:55 AM
Great review, thanks PJ!



Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 4:12 AM
Thanks for the review pj.




Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 5:29 AM
thanks for the clarification.

just out of curiosity though... when you say if you lower the springs down so low that the damper could be damaged. on ANY set of coilovers not just the teins, why is that? i guess i dont understand how a manufacturer selling a product for well over a grand would make said product able to quite literally 'ruin itself'.



Stand in the corner and SCREAM with me!!!!
Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 12:40 PM
Because when you lower the Tein's it's done by compressing the spring. This does two things, increases dynamic spring rate, and lowers the piston into the shock cylinder. If this piston is too close, it could impact the bottom of the cylinder(worst case scenario and not common). The other form would be given the higher dynamic spring it 'could' cause premature shock failure due to the pressurized medium hitting it's "vapor pressure" upon decompression rebound. Do this enough times and it will 'blow' them as it is coined.

Given the quality I've seen from the Tein's, I doubt they have left this part of the design out of the equation. But again, without a very detailed Dyno at various setting with full cycle failure data...it is pretty much unknown by us.


"Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience!" -Anonymous
Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 1:06 PM
Would you say these ride more rough vs the RK Sport Pro Street Coiloivers? thats what i have now, how would you compare them? so far i still love m RK sports, no complaints at all. they ride pretty decent in my mind. granted they are not adjustable but i have not needed to adjust them for the past 4 years. so how would you compare the two?



Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 1:16 PM
.....NICE !!!!!! Great write up !!!!! I may have missed it but what is the cost of this set up ?......I'm getting a new-ish J around tax time and would like to start saving up now....




2003 Cavalier
Stock 2.2 Liter, 5 speed
" Leave the rice to Uncle Ben's and the wings to KFC..
Go clean or go home. "


Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Sunday, December 20, 2009 12:49 PM
Nice honest review man. Just going by the review it seems like there were a lot more cons than pro. I love the camber adjustment option, looks real f'n sweet. I wish the Teins had those. I love my Tein basics, best I have ever riden in and I have experienced all of the coilovers for the J EXCEPT the STD's and the TEIN SS's.









~2014 New Z under the knife, same heart different body~
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Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Sunday, December 20, 2009 2:29 PM
Just to clarify because I realize it seems that way, my overall impression of these coilovers is positive.

I wanted to make sure that I touched on the cons however in detail so that nobody would feel 'cheated' or 'lied to' if they purchased them.

Are they perfect? No. Are they the best coilover available for the J-body as per my opinion? Absolutely.





Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Sunday, December 20, 2009 3:22 PM
david-the tein ss's do have the front camber adjustment...



Stand in the corner and SCREAM with me!!!!
Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Sunday, December 20, 2009 7:24 PM
What kind of camber did you decide to run and you said that you had to use the stock strut mount on the rears?
Modifying the strut tower hole where you set you camber would help you in getting more or less camber from the plates.
I've seen this done before so that the adjustments could be made. Ever thought about doing this?

Nice review though and read every word.



Misnblu.com
Newbie member since 1999
Thank you Dave and JBO!





Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 6:47 PM
The only thing these have over the Tein SS are the threaded body height adjustment. And you have to modify them to stop making noise? no thanks. My teins havn't made a single noise and all I did was bolt them on. I didn't even need to replace the rear mount. I can still see the rear mount tearing from the higher spring rates. Overall they look like an OK set of coilovers.



Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 7:18 PM
(Tom) S/C Fire wrote:

The only thing these have over the Tein SS are the threaded body height adjustment. And you have to modify them to stop making noise? no thanks. My teins havn't made a single noise and all I did was bolt them on. I didn't even need to replace the rear mount. I can still see the rear mount tearing from the higher spring rates. Overall they look like an OK set of coilovers.


I've had RK Sport pro street, and two sets of gravana Power Grips and they all made the coil-bind noise when turning the wheel at a stand still or slow speed.

Does it do it all the time? no, but often. If I knew about the thrust bearings then I would have installed them in both of those setups as well.

and 'modify' is a bit misleading.. all you have to do is buy a $40 part, pull the bottom perch off the fronts, replace the bottom plastic spring isolator with the thrust bearing instead, and reassemble. It literally takes 15 minutes for both sides.

If I got the Tein SS coilovers, there is no doubt in my mind, I would also add that $40 part.

when you're dropping $1k+ on a suspension setup, a $40 add on part should not make or break your decision to choose one over the other. I know for a fact the Teins don't have that bearing.. they WILL eventually start making that noise.





Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 1:40 PM
z yaaaa wrote:

david-the tein ss's do have the front camber adjustment...


I think he meant that he wished his Tein basic's had camber adjustment




Jason
99 Z24 Supercharged
157hp/171tq - NA
190hp/170tq @ 6psi

LG0/LD9 for Life
Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Thursday, December 24, 2009 8:20 AM
DaFlyinSkwirl (Pj) v2.0 wrote:


Does it do it all the time? no, but often. If I knew about the thrust bearings then I would have installed them in both of those setups as well.

and 'modify' is a bit misleading.. all you have to do is buy a $40 part, pull the bottom perch off the fronts, replace the bottom plastic spring isolator with the thrust bearing instead, and reassemble. It literally takes 15 minutes for both sides.

If I got the Tein SS coilovers, there is no doubt in my mind, I would also add that $40 part.

when you're dropping $1k+ on a suspension setup, a $40 add on part should not make or break your decision to choose one over the other. I know for a fact the Teins don't have that bearing.. they WILL eventually start making that noise.


The tein SS are made to rotate so no need to add parts to them.



Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Saturday, December 26, 2009 3:09 AM
(Tom) S/C Fire wrote:

The tein SS are made to rotate so no need to add parts to them.


yea, so were the Prostreets, Powergrips, and Koni/GC setups.

its not mission critical, but coil bind when turning at a stand still or during low speed happens. design has nothing to do with it, unless the springs on your Teins have a thrust bearing either under or on top of the spring, bind WILL happen.

when its new its a lot less likely, but as dirt and grime get in there the springs start to stick.


A greased needle roller thrust bearing > plastic/rubber spring isolator.

its cheap insurance that can be utilized on ANY coilover system.
I added it to this review for those who have suffered the coil bind problem.. the R3s don't need them, the Teins don't need them, etc etc.. but it helps, especially for $40.

The big factor here is double ride height adjustability.
That alone makes the R3 coilovers better than Teins IMO






Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Saturday, December 26, 2009 7:58 PM
DaFlyinSkwirl (Pj) v2.0 wrote:

The big factor here is double ride height adjustability. That alone makes the R3 coilovers better than Teins IMO


^True story......

I wish the camber plates of the R3's had better fitment tho, this gives Tein's a good plus in the fitment category along with EDFC, but the dual ride height adjustability....that trumps.


"Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience!" -Anonymous
Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Sunday, December 27, 2009 12:56 AM
so compared to the RK's in ride comfort?




Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Sunday, December 27, 2009 2:24 AM
BuiltNBoosted wrote:

so compared to the RK's in ride comfort?


i got the hint that it was rougher on several occasions in his posts.



LE61T PTE6262 Powered

Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Sunday, December 27, 2009 10:24 AM
Qwibby {T3H Old QBE} wrote:

BuiltNBoosted wrote:

so compared to the RK's in ride comfort?


i got the hint that it was rougher on several occasions in his posts.


he only mentions them a little and never really compared them. he just says he drove with them. im wondering how much of a difference he noticed between the two if he recalls.



Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Sunday, December 27, 2009 11:05 AM
Following this thread. I'd like to see if you can improve the ride quality somehow.



Re: STD coilover review (short term/ long term)
Sunday, January 03, 2010 10:13 PM
Remember, many of the smaller suspension inputs such as cracks in the road and small bums are taken up by the rubber in the stock mounts. Replace that with a spherical bearing and the ride will be much harsher. Yes, replacing the springs with a softer rate will help a bit, but still wont be "cushy" and you will then have damping that is too stiff for the springs. Such is the compromise of using spherical bearings.




Anyway, good review. I have been curious about these for a while, but I will most likely not buy them as I am happy with my Teins and i am quite broke. I look forward to additional comments from you on these in the future.



Go Go OG Traction!!
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