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ST185 Alltrac/GT4 suspension options 2019

Fri May 10, 2019 5:57 am

Not sure now much traffic we get on here but would rather use forum than social media like FB etc so here goes!

Ive just re-commissioned my 91 ST185RC after long winter in the garage and suspension im not 100% happy with, I fitted some nearly new low mileage KYB dampers with new custom springs (basically same as standard CS springs just 10mm lower) and car rides really well, I feel the dampers are not man enough for the weight of car though and doesn't inspire much confidence if you try to carry more speed and feels floaty, so im looking at options for next step and there is very little I can find now they are so old, few ive come up with below..

New KYB inserts maybe better than these I have fitted but they are reputed to of only done 1k miles and look/feel good before I fitted them.

I would love to fit Koni Sport inserts with my new springs as im sure that would be exactly what im after, however finding inserts is very difficult it seems and looks like koni no longer make them ?

Coilovers I would like to avoid idealy but looks like it might be only option for new, BC racing being the main choice over here in UK and while ive used them with reasonable results on lighter double wishbone cars like MX5 etc im wary of them on heavy old celica with the Macpherson struts where strength is much more critical, ive seen a front BC strut snap on and Evo X and it wasn't pretty.

Any ideas or feedback on setups welcome. :)

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Re: ST185 Alltrac/GT4 suspension options 2019

Fri May 10, 2019 4:05 pm

If you've got access to another set of front strut housings to get your rears modified to accept inserts you've got a lot more options for dampers. With that done I believe I've seen threads saying you can fit units from MR2s and Imprezas so you can find something a bit firmer to suit your purposes. Turbo MR2 rears are slightly firmer than the Celica units so they might work well for you.

For coilovers there's a few options depending on what you want to do, I've heard of dampers breaking shafts but only under heavy gravel use or when someone actually crashes. I know the BC RM type have inverted dampers which are supposed to be able to handle heavy abuse much better if you feel the need for that though. Celicas may be heavy compared to an MX-5 but they're about the same as most other sports cars, especially newer stuff. I started looking into weights when I was considering replacing my car and this is what I've got on hand (in pounds)

Celica GTFour - 3200
Evo - 3000
STi - 3000
Caldina - 3200
Focus RS - 3500
FR-S/BRZ - 2800
350Z - 3300
RX-8 - 3000
IS200 - 3000
IS300 - 3250
E36 3 series - 3000
Genesis - 3400
128i - 3400
MR-S - 2200
Golf GTI - 3000
Focus ST - 3000
Matrix - 2700
Mini - 2700
240SX - 2700

An MR-S or MX-5 are the only cars I'd consider to be significantly lighter than a Celica, I've seen people put all kinds of cheap, questionably made suspension on a bunch of the others and survive so my gut feeling would be the Evo incident was a one-off fluke but I could be completely wrong.

Re: ST185 Alltrac/GT4 suspension options 2019

Sun May 12, 2019 4:29 am

Thanks for reply, I do have spare strut bodies so uprated inserts were my favoured option it just finding them, Koni fronts have been discontinued now but I have found a dealer with 2 pairs left all be it 2000miles away but they can ship, rears im not sure which ones ive read Subaru ones can work but cant find dimensions to check how much work is needed, if anyone has details on that im interested :D


Re: ST185 Alltrac/GT4 suspension options 2019

Sun May 12, 2019 6:26 pm

I ordered 4 fronts with the plan to put the same dampers in the rear, from my understanding a fair number of people use the same dampers on all 4 corners. I don't know how well matched that is to the springs though as aftermarket coilovers typically come with front springs that are a fair bit stiffer than the rears.

Re: ST185 Alltrac/GT4 suspension options 2019

Mon May 13, 2019 5:34 am

Ive not seen anyone run same insert front and rear is the length of them not a problem on rears ? damping wise I would think it might be a touch firm in the rear but open to feedback.

I have found some new KYB SR specials in Japan which seem to be a mild road upgrade over stock, however I think they are JDM supply only and so getting any feedback from people running on ST185 seems impossible at moment and price to get them over from Japan to me in Uk isn't cheap!, here is a link to what they are - http://www.kybweb.com/en/products/street/newsr/

Re: ST185 Alltrac/GT4 suspension options 2019

Mon May 13, 2019 6:06 am

That's what I saw in a few threads, but I don't know how well it actually rides. I think the longer dampers would only cause issues if you managed to fully compress them which hopefully wouldn't happen very often.
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