Anyone using Ground Control coilovers?

Suspension and other discussion

Anyone using Ground Control coilovers?

Postby smog7 » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:49 pm

They seem like a good alternative to the other few suspensions out there. Anyone use them on their car?
http://www.ground-control-store.com/pro ... =629/CA=18
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Postby PhilipK » Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:21 am

I have a friend with them. Works great. Stiff...Handles well, cheap. Fun to build your own coilovers too.
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Postby crazy_russian » Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:55 am

These go over stock shocks, right? How are they attached and what happens to the old lower spring seat? I couldn't find any installation instructions.
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Postby smog7 » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:51 pm

im also wondering as to how these work....
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Postby gtfour77 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:14 pm

GC coilover setup is a great kit and coupled with some decent shocks can yield a great improvement and versatility in the handling department of alltracs... Also don't forget some tender or at least helper springs to take up the slack of the springs at full droop. You can put together a killer setup this way...and suit it perfectly to your specific needs.
By the way you can also buy a sleeve kit on ebay and any 2.5 inch springs and build your own kit for very cheap....that's the beauty of this setup.
Here is a pic of my current setup that cost me next to nothing.... (except the expensive Eibach tender springs at the top... you could go with H&R tenders for about $38 a piece though....
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Also, if you're looking for different spring rates, honda-tech.com has a trading section and so does rr-ax forum....possibly others where you can buy/sell/trade springs....
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Postby smog7 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:29 pm

thanks for the reply gtfour77. Just wondering but is the construction of the coilovers all that difficult? Does it invlove the usual welding and cutting? Do shops do this for you? and aso when they are all complete, with new strut mounts etc... how does the price compare to the $1200-1400 tein ss?
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Postby SuperWhite92 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:07 pm

It all depends on how you construct them yourself. There's no real set method, and different people like different methods. Ground Control builds the threaded perches based on the diameter of the shock you're mounting them to, so depending on what shock you're using them on, the perch is slightly different diameter for fitment reasons. The last set I installed was on a subaru, and we cut and then grinded the spring perch to be the correct diameter for the threaded perch. We then used a few tiny rubber insulator rings to stop some of the noise and slid the sleeve over the shock body and the rings. It was tough enough to get on that it wasn't going anywhere once it got there.

I wouldn't use these on stock shocks though. Undampened bouncing is not safe and detrimental to performance. These are not meant to be used as lowering springs.

With that said, you can order most any springrate you want, springs are pretty readily available in the autocross world in case you aren't happy with what you picked. Eibach makes the Ground Control springs, and Eibach builds a very quality spring that won't droop. I've seen a few droop, but Eibach is very willing to replace them if it happens. Ground Control customer service is first rate too, and they're very willing to talk you through the purchase if need be.

My recommendation is to buy Koni Yellows to accompany them. Koni builds an absolutely fantastic shock absorber with minimal drawbacks. Far, far better than the dampers provided by tein or ksport. Pair these with a cusco brace and a rear sway bar and your alltrac won't even feel like an alltrac any more.

My guess is the cost will come up to around $1100-$1200 with Koni Yellows and Ground Controls, but the performance will exceed everything that is similarly priced for this car. The only thing is you have to be ready to do a bit of work, since it's not just a bolt-in coilover.
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Postby gtfour77 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:21 pm

Well the question is whether you want this to be a nice easy street setup or full out race suspension.... If you're only looking for a mild performance upgrade and don't want to cut/weld/modify your struts then off the shelf coilovers might be the answer. I know I said you can build a kit for pretty cheap but you're still going to have to get shocks (~$650 for race konis), sleeves and springs (~$100-$200 or even cheaper), tender springs (~$85 for eibach's, $40 for H&R or $20 for Hyperco helper springs....these prices are for each spring), plus you might need the cusco strut tops (~$250).... all in all the cost will be similar but the versatility and shock/spring combo choice is priceless. There is really not much cutting required to install the adjustable perches, springs and strut tops.... Doing it the diy way is really much better for full-out race setup only. As I mentioned above, the Teins might be better suited for someone looking for a bit more performance. I am not sure what the valving options are on the teins or what spring rates they offer so do some more research and then make your decisions.... If anyone knows this info please post here.
The major advantage of Koni's is that they have absolutelly terrific service and infinite valving options, shock travel and lenght can be changed quite easily.
Versatility is the key with the "diy" setup IMHO. For example I am going with an even lower ride height for next season and will be switching to a shorter bodied shocks up front to extend the shock travel ...I am so low right now that I am starting to bounce off the shortened bump stops... fortunatelly koni makes a shorter-bodied shocks that will work with the alltrac shock housings... this is what makes this setup so great....
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Postby CMS-GT4 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:10 pm

I think there are lots of great options using the GC system. If I did it over again, I might had chosen this option.

Adrian has alos done lots of research on custom struts and has posted some links as well.

If you are willing to find out exactly what your car needs for its racing conditions you can build it to spec.

I know people running high end Konis for autox in their 350z and the cars handle great, and the suspension rides better than stock. I have heard that from others as well.

I have the tein HAs and while I think they are great in race conditions on good road surfaces, you will likely find something that is great for the track and a bit more road friendly from konis.
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Postby SuperWhite92 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:22 pm

gtfour77 wrote:Well the question is whether you want this to be a nice easy street setup or full out race suspension.... If you're only looking for a mild performance upgrade and don't want to cut/weld/modify your struts then off the shelf coilovers might be the answer. I know I said you can build a kit for pretty cheap but you're still going to have to get shocks (~$650 for race konis), sleeves and springs (~$100-$200 or even cheaper), tender springs (~$85 for eibach's, $40 for H&R or $20 for Hyperco helper springs....these prices are for each spring), plus you might need the cusco strut tops (~$250).... all in all the cost will be similar but the versatility and shock/spring combo choice is priceless. There is really not much cutting required to install the adjustable perches, springs and strut tops.... Doing it the diy way is really much better for full-out race setup only. As I mentioned above, the Teins might be better suited for someone looking for a bit more performance. I am not sure what the valving options are on the teins or what spring rates they offer so do some more research and then make your decisions.... If anyone knows this info please post here.
The major advantage of Koni's is that they have absolutelly terrific service and infinite valving options, shock travel and lenght can be changed quite easily.
Versatility is the key with the "diy" setup IMHO. For example I am going with an even lower ride height for next season and will be switching to a shorter bodied shocks up front to extend the shock travel ...I am so low right now that I am starting to bounce off the shortened bump stops... fortunatelly koni makes a shorter-bodied shocks that will work with the alltrac shock housings... this is what makes this setup so great....


Tein offers rebuilding in the country, but the shock architecture doesn't allow for nearly as quick a response as the koni's do. Koni Yellows are the best performing shock for the money, period. You will not find a better riding, quick reacting shock for the $600-$650. A good threaded perch and spring set, like the GC's are about $400. Tender springs would be helpful, but not completely necessary if you ran a proper length spring. If you wanted to though, it'd be worth the cash. You will get a bit of noise from the suspension without tender springs though. For the average user, I don't think top mounts are necessary. There's plenty of adjustment using a $8 set of Toyota Crash Bolts and the rest of the stock hardware. For autocross, it's definately beneficial though. I could see a great setup getting north of $1500, and a basic setup around $1200.

You're definately right about the ease though. Putting together a coilover setup from multiple places isn't easy for someone who isn't mechanically inclined. Strut insert installs aren't my favorite thing to do, but it's my opinion that it's worth it with the koni's. Both for performance and comfort. The ease of install and assembly factor makes an off-the-shelf setup like the kSport and Tein very attractive.

The teins for the alltrac do ride nice. My roommate has a set on his ST165 and it rides great. The adjustment range is what I'd refer to as "average," and is rebound-only adjustable, although that's not really an issue for 90% of people.

As of right now, I'm running a short-stroke custom KYB shock setup in my MR2, and I'm only moderately happy with how it feels. It works fine for autocross, but it's kind of rough on the street. You should let me know how the short-stroke Koni's feel. My next suspension trick is going to be short stroke Koni's I think. Maybe the Double-adjustables.

Marteen- I'm going to try and come find introduce myself at nationals 2008 if you're gonna be there. I'm going to be running nationals just for some experience this year. Hopefully I'll be at least somewhat competitive, but those miatas in CSP with them 275's still have an advantage since I refuse to hack my fenders apart on my street car. Oh, and it doesn't help that they're more experienced than I am as well. I'd love to meet you though, since I love your car (I saw your nationals videos on youtube as well).
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Postby RedCelicaTRD » Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:02 am

Marteen, is there a part number for the shorter Koni shocks? Or are they a build to spec type deal and they happen to have a housing that will work?
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Postby gtfour77 » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:12 am

Shaun,
Great input! I am going to be at the 2008 Nationals unless something Major happens between now and then. I'll be looking forward to meeting you too and see what you have in store for CSP. I know the miatas are really fast lately but I still think a well setup mr2 would have a chance. We should have a specific autocross sticky in this forum and pitch in any new solo related modifications...


Wayne, the part number for the shorter (about 1.5" shorter than stock) stroke konis is 8610-1436. The regular stroke "race" konis are 8610-1437... hope this helps.
If anyone is interested I'll be selling my rear koni "sports" and possibly even the front "race" konis that I have only used for a couple of months...(autocross only)...
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Postby alltracshoak » Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:44 am

gtfour77 wrote: If anyone is interested I'll be selling my rear koni "sports" and possibly even the front "race" konis that I have only used for a couple of months...(autocross only)...

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Postby robolt » Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:15 pm

Marteen,
You have posted some great information, and great work on your evolving suspension setup. I am going to stop being a lurker in the forums and jump in here. Planning on working on my Alltrac this winter also.

I will probably go with the Bilstein (VW sport insert) non-adjustable - P30-0032 as they are pretty cheap and I will have them revalved. Still cheaper than the Koni's. (Koni's if used would probably have to be revalved also). I think the Koni 8610-1437 is good for 300lb/in and greater, but don't quote me.

Spring rates, I am thinking of starting with 400F/350R. Many schools of thought on this and I am open to suggestions?

EMI camber plates, like the design with the Torrington bearings and monoballs. (some modifications to use in the Alltrac)

GC coilover sleeves.

Get my ride height figured out, make sure I am in the middle of the range and have the suspension travel I want; Should have that done in the next couple of weeks.

Section struts and build (the easy part)

One of the things to note is to make sure you have enough suspension droop to remove the wheels. At that far end of the range it is possible to damage a shock.
Another is to make sure the shocks can handle the spring rates you want to use, that is another way to blow a shock (been there, done that)

Test and tune (the fun part)...

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Postby gtfour77 » Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:45 pm

Robert,
Good thinking! If you can get the bilsteins revalved for a decent price then that's the way to go! I am sticking with konis because I have had good results with them so far and know some people who can help me with them....I will too start getting shocks revalved sometime next year....for now I need to concentrate on power....I have been running a very small turbo and need to upgrade badly... (thinking of gt2871r with the 52 trim compressor wheel....still not sure about the anti-surge housing which I am researching right now)....
I think we need to start a new thread....maybe an autocross sticky with all of this info....

BTW the 1437/36 konis are good for about 700lb springs...max. The sports are good for about 450 or 500lb springs max.... I know it's towards the upper end of things but still works good. Compression is what really needs attention....these things have plenty of rebound....

As far as your spring rates, you might want to consider something a little stiffer, but that depends on the type of car you're building.....from my personal experience the front requires anything between 550 to 1000lbs in spring rate.... I had the 550's earlier in the year and it worked really well with very good controlled weight transfer... hereis a video from that setup (550's up front with rear bar still attached and unbelievable amount of rebound in the rear shocks (didn't know it was that bad at that time...ouch!) http://youtube.com/watch?v=uOijpvQAtxo

Now I have 700# springs and that seems to work even better with less roll and more control...might experiment a little more next year....
As far as the rears go, I think anything between 350# to 550# will work... but this will depend on the rear bar stiffness and what sort of diff you're running...(it's all about trying to keep all four tires on the ground to get max corner exit speed
These are just suggestons and ideas....each car will react differently and setup will depend on your total weight and weight distribution in the car.... you just can't go wrong with a little experimentation.... :wink:
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