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Best Shocks - Coilovers - Suspension


MaleCortana
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Hello!

I've been thinking of saving up for my shocks (previous posts of mine may have alluded to me having deteriorating ride comfort) and I've been wondering what is the best bang for buck suspension I could get for my EP91 Starlet. 

Before asking a question here I went through the forum and saw that the last relevant-ish thread was in 2014 (6 years ago) Link attached below: so I decided to make this new thread (half a decade seems worthy? Didn't want to comment on that thread and let people get a surprise blast from the past).

I need some advice on what shocks I should get but regardless of price point if you have other suggestions please do put them here.

I've been looking at KYB (most common go to place I guess) and have realized that there is a hierarchy of sort to their lineup (At least up on the Namaratne website) there are the Premium, Excel-G, GAS-A-Just, Ultra-SR, AGX if someone could tell me whether one thing is more 'worth' in their experience please do let me know. Also when I click on the link to taasagencies.com it takes me to a Chinese Gambling site so things clearly have changed throughout the years :) is it just the website or is the company gone?

I have also been looking at what is called Gecko Suspension: Comfort lineup and want to know whether it is any good as well. (I have heard it can be expensive but I don't really have anything else to spend money on other than my car and videogames at the moment so I can try to save up ?)

The only other alternative I could think of is finding recon/old EP91 original shocks (not sure how effective it can be :( )

On a ratio of comfort:body roll I'd say I'm at a (70:30) split, also slight deviation to the above topic --> If you can drop the comfiest tire y'all had that would be great as well :) 

MC

 

 

tl;dr: Konda Ridenawa bro, recommend me a good set of shocks

 

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Most Toyota shocks are KYB shocks. The issue is in SL you do not get the DIRECT replacement part. What you get are compatible parts. Even if you do get the direct replacement it will be only for a specific model variant which happens to fit all variants of it. I am not going to comment on the different KYB models...the Trueno had gas-adjust ones which got yanked out for TRD and T3 dampers. The Mark X...ironically for that they had the actual replacement dampers (probably because there really aren't many other cars that use it apart from the likes of the Mark II, etc..).

Do not go for recon/old shocks....you have no idea what the condition of those are (how long they have run for, etc...). Dont forget you are looking at a car model that is 20+ years old...

First of all decide what you want from your car. Do you want to improve handling and make it sportier ? or do you want to keep it stock ?

In SL Gekho and D3 are famous for performance oriented suspension systems. So if you want to improve handling characteristics and maintain decent comfort..then look in to those brands. 

If you want to stick to the stock feel...then....I beleive your best bet is going to be KYB. You can always buy the stock part from Toyota..but being a 20+ year old model..what Toyota Japan themselves sell is the KYB direct replacement part at a higher price. The AGX and Ultra SR ranges are KYB's performance range (I beleive)...so it falls in the same category as the Gekho and D3. The Premium, Excel G and Gas-a-just are standard shocks. The Premium has a soft ride and does a good job absorbing a lot of vibration from the wheels. The Excel-G and Gas-a-justs are just standard shocks but I did feel that the Gas-a-justs had a much shorter recoil/rebound response compared to the Excel-G. Also, if I am not mistaken Excel-Gs are the closest to the direct replacement. 

As for tire comfort...a huge deciding factor would be the profile of the tire itself. So are you planning on going for lower profile tires ? Wider ones ?

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5 hours ago, iRage said:

Most Toyota shocks are KYB shocks. The issue is in SL you do not get the DIRECT replacement part. What you get are compatible parts. Even if you do get the direct replacement it will be only for a specific model variant which happens to fit all variants of it. I am not going to comment on the different KYB models...the Trueno had gas-adjust ones which got yanked out for TRD and T3 dampers. The Mark X...ironically for that they had the actual replacement dampers (probably because there really aren't many other cars that use it apart from the likes of the Mark II, etc..).

Do not go for recon/old shocks....you have no idea what the condition of those are (how long they have run for, etc...). Dont forget you are looking at a car model that is 20+ years old...

First of all decide what you want from your car. Do you want to improve handling and make it sportier ? or do you want to keep it stock ?

In SL Gekho and D3 are famous for performance oriented suspension systems. So if you want to improve handling characteristics and maintain decent comfort..then look in to those brands. 

If you want to stick to the stock feel...then....I beleive your best bet is going to be KYB. You can always buy the stock part from Toyota..but being a 20+ year old model..what Toyota Japan themselves sell is the KYB direct replacement part at a higher price. The AGX and Ultra SR ranges are KYB's performance range (I beleive)...so it falls in the same category as the Gekho and D3. The Premium, Excel G and Gas-a-just are standard shocks. The Premium has a soft ride and does a good job absorbing a lot of vibration from the wheels. The Excel-G and Gas-a-justs are just standard shocks but I did feel that the Gas-a-justs had a much shorter recoil/rebound response compared to the Excel-G. Also, if I am not mistaken Excel-Gs are the closest to the direct replacement. 

As for tire comfort...a huge deciding factor would be the profile of the tire itself. So are you planning on going for lower profile tires ? Wider ones ?

Thanks for the descriptive response!

I'm definitely trying to make it feel relatively more comfortable because I don't think the car is as heavy as your average car to experience so much of body roll (and also the roads in Thalawathugoda area are appalling) in an ideal world I'd like to have sportier suspension but "id eez whad id eez". Right now I'm thinking KYB Premium's but something inside me is screaming to give the Gecko set a try.

 

Tires wise I've still got tread for days (some Chinese brand that has been regroven I think because the front tires say that they are mud + snow tires) but I'm definitely looking to putting a 15" after the tread is gone (right now it's 14") whether it will be wider or not is kind of dependant on what set of rims I find but I definitely don't dig the thicc tire look so not that sure; isn't there like an industry staple for comfort in tires? Like KYB is to shocks? 

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3 hours ago, GayanR said:

There are also KYB classic which cost half of KYB G for older cars like allion premio etc.Honestly didn’t fell a difference between both.

Oh alright, so the newer KYBs aren't compatible with older cars or? Didn't see the classic on the website^ perhaps it comes under a different name?

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1 hour ago, MaleCortana said:

Oh alright, so the newer KYBs aren't compatible with older cars or? Didn't see the classic on the website^ perhaps it comes under a different name?

They are....it is just that the classic range has a slightly different setup (different rates, different tubular setup, wider range of strut types and sizes, etc..). Also, they are cheaper I do believe ? In some markets its called SD or something. Not sure.

As for tires....no..there is no industry staple...manufacturers themselves use different brands for different models in their product line up. The usual suspencts are the ones like MIchellin, Pirelli, Bridgestone, Yokohama, NANKOOK, etc....I would stay away from cheap Chinese brands except for one or two that seem to be pretty good value for money that are Chinese.

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On 10/1/2020 at 6:57 PM, MaleCortana said:

The only other alternative I could think of is finding recon/old EP91 original shocks (not sure how effective it can be :( )

 

Talking about options, actually you have another option to go with. There are one or two companies in SL which actually re-furbish used shock absorbers into OEM standards. Basically, you have to give them your old shocks and they will give you an identical set of re-furbished shocks in return at a fraction of the cost of original shocks. I'm the kind of a person who like to experiment a little bit with my ride and last year when I replaced my shocks; I replaced the rear shocks with KYB's and the front shocks with Mar**na re-furbished shocks which cost just Rs 4000 a piece. After 7500+Km's of usage I really can't feel the difference between the two sets. I honestly don't know for how long the front pair would last but I'm really happy the way how they fared so far and looks like they will hold on for sometime as well. So, if you are looking for a cheap but a value for money alternative, you may evaluate this option as well.

Edited by LashNeo
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54 minutes ago, LashNeo said:

Talking about options, actually you have another option to go with. There are one or two companies in SL which actually re-furbish used shock absorbers into OEM standards. Basically, you have to give them your old shocks and they will give you an identical set of re-furbished shocks in return at a fraction of the cost of original shocks. I'm the kind of a person who like to experiment a little bit with my ride and last year when I replaced my shocks; I replaced the rear shocks with KYB's and the front shocks with Mar**na re-furbished shocks which cost just Rs 4000 a piece. After 7500+Km's of usage I really can't feel the difference between the two sets. I honestly don't know for how long the front pair would last but I'm really happy the way how they fared so far and looks like they will hold on for sometime as well. So, if you are looking for a cheap but a value for money alternative, you may evaluate this option as well.

 

marina shocks were hard back then.it was a miss or win.Now i think they have improved the game.

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1 hour ago, LashNeo said:

Talking about options, actually you have another option to go with. There are one or two companies in SL which actually re-furbish used shock absorbers into OEM standards. Basically, you have to give them your old shocks and they will give you an identical set of re-furbished shocks in return at a fraction of the cost of original shocks. I'm the kind of a person who like to experiment a little bit with my ride and last year when I replaced my shocks; I replaced the rear shocks with KYB's and the front shocks with Mar**na re-furbished shocks which cost just Rs 4000 a piece. After 7500+Km's of usage I really can't feel the difference between the two sets. I honestly don't know for how long the front pair would last but I'm really happy the way how they fared so far and looks like they will hold on for sometime as well. So, if you are looking for a cheap but a value for money alternative, you may evaluate this option as well.

Thanks! I think my parents have used this place once a long time ago. 

I'm not necessarily super strapped to a budget (not rolling in dough either) so I think I'll be looking to replace as opposed to repair.

Great suggestion/alternative though!

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Also update on the Gecko Suspensions, apparently they do have coilovers for the EP91 and it'll cost 195k for the entire thing.

Definitely a bit (trying to save grace here that's close to 2x my threshold for suspension) more than what I'm looking to spend on the suspension. (Partly my fault I had no idea how much these things cost)

Any other alternatives for coilovers at about less than 100k? @iRage would you mind telling us how much the TRD set cost for the Trueno?

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19 hours ago, MaleCortana said:

Any other alternatives for coilovers at about less than 100k? @iRage would you mind telling us how much the TRD set cost for the Trueno?

My rear does not have coil overs. The Trueno's rear suspension setup was the spring coils seperate to the damper (shock). The TRD shocks (damping force adjustable short stroke ones) cost about 25,000yen and then the TRD lowering springs were about 10,000. Can't remember. The front has Techno Toy Tuning height, camber damping force, etc..adjustabe coil overs and they were about 900USD ?

You might want to check with N*rmi Tuning as well...they deal with several suspension component brands in a wider array of prices. But my guess is you still will be looking on the upper side of 100K. Alternatively what you could do is get just a normal set of performance dampers (shocks) and some progressive performance coils.

Then the other alternative is look at a used set of TEINs or some other JDM brand. Issue with that is it is still closer to 100L (perhaps a bit more) and you don't know what the condition would be like (although most reputable suppliers do provide a short warranty)

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Members,

All are discussing about S/A. As far as I know we have only to check the entire vehicle shocks., no one has way to test single S/A in Sri Lanka. There are S/A testers. Long ago I posted about this. I do not know any one has a S/A tester. members can view this machine on you tube.

Sylvester Wijesinghe

Sylvi.

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GAB HE Series Coilovers (Height Adjustable with Active Dampening) go for 90k brand new. Looks like its a common upgrade for EP91s so I'll have to go in a ride in a fellow EP91 owners ride to see how it works on the car.

Generally Starlet owners are really helpful on the FB Group so should be able to find someone who's got some time.

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