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Spec.B. style ride quality/handling & suspension reliability - Budget minded ???


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Hey all,


I'd like to transform our LGT somewhat, but I definitely want the stock or near stock ride quality. I like the BMW suspension feeling, which gives a connected feel but takes out harshness.


I haven't ridden in a Spec.B, but it seems like they have a much higher level of connectedness than the stock LGT....without harshness. Though I hear they still roll quite a bit.


What I'd like to do is enhance the connectedness, stability of the car, reduce body roll, improve steering response and turn-in...


And I'd like to do it with great reliability to the suspension and for as little money as possible.


I've been reading alot of threads on various suspension setups. Lots of threads.


I'd like to posit a few setups and their costs and hear if there are better that I'm missing or an aspect I'm not seeing:


Progress (or Swift) Springs & HD bilsteins - Seems like everything I want, but maybe a slight decrease in ride quality. Under $1000 buys all the parts. Moderate skill level required for install; alignment needed afterwards.


Coilovers - Seems to be for the track crowd, not what I'm looking for...unless I spend enough for really expensive coilovers, in which case they may or may not last forever but wil provide lots of adjustability.


Sway bars - Reduce body roll without effecting ride quality (noticeably). Increases steering responsiveness. Don't really feel more connected, just less slop in body motions. Less than $400 for everything for front and rears. May decrease at-the-limit traction capabilities. Installation requires novice-to-intermediate skill level. No alignment needed.


Springs alone - Not a good idea. Crappy ride quality and decreased stock strut life.


Spec.B. setup - Seems expensive compared to other options and may not improve upon anything, not on my list right now.


Auxiliary suspension items - Lower control arms, extra bracing, etc. seems to be for the person that is dialing in their suspension. It seems like Sway bars, springs, and struts/shocks are the primary driver's when looking on a budget for a diferent feel.


I'm not touching a whole host of specific setups due to the price and/or dedication to handling over comfort. I'd like to nail down what's best for me and move towards that goal. I know alot of this stuff has been hashed/rehashed/hashed again, but I'd appreciate any and all feedback.







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though the spec.b setup is better the the lgt, it isnt that much better, contrary to what some people think. it certianly isnt worth converting to IMO since there are better solutioins out there that are cheaper.


The main benefit the spec b has is its struts. the bilsteins are alot better than the crap stock lgt dampers. But upgrading to them requires buying aditional hardware like jdm/spec.b style springs and top hats which means you spend more money and then you might encounter some ride height issues from front to rear. you can get koni struts which work well with your existing hardware and keep your ride height nice and even and cost less than the bilstein swap. you can do konis and swifts and spend under $800 for parts if you buy from the right places. Pair that with a set of moderately sized sways and you are in business.


as for the alu arms of the spec b, the weight differences are not that different and can be easily acheived just by buy a lighter set of rims rather than buying the alu control arms.

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I'm on tein H-techs with a cusco rear sway bar. Much more connected feeling without compromising ride quality. Decent / inexpensive set up for a daily driver with no intentions on auto-x (for now).


First mod was the H-techs which improved connected feeling, addition of RSB improved even further.


I've been on this set up for 30k miles with no impact on stock struts. I plan to upgrade to koni struts when / if stockers fail, until then...

My VB Garage... Pumping the air back into despair
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I would just get HDs + springs + top hats and be done. It would seem to be the easiest install option while being reasonable priced. A little firmer and less body roll then the usdm spec. b setup. However, it does introduce harshness and probably doesn't exhibit the same poise under real world irregularities as well as the USDM OEM spec. B setup.


Sway bars alone won't cure the USDM OEM suspension problems. Sway bars would be one of the last suspension mods I would do on a LGT.


Coilovers, have many variables to them.... ie.. price, performance, ease of adjustability and range etc..


They will give you the most adjustablility and performance but the potential trade off is harshness. However, everyones tolerance and opinion is different.


IMO, the USDM spec. B suspension is as firm as you can go on North East roads, while providing a very good quotient of sportiness, without having passengers complain or note harshness. It seems that every road irregularity you throw at it is controlled in a perfect way while giving you good handling.

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