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strathconaman
Newbie


Joined: 06 Mar 2018
Posts: 10
Location: Kanukistan


PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:52 am    Post subject: I bought Raceworks Coilovers, so you don't have to. Reply with quote

Backstory

If all you care about is my driving impressions, skip to the bottom.

I have been looking to refresh my suspension for a couple of years, but the big hurdle was always ride height. I needed something near stock, which on a Canadian C4S, should have been 158mm front, 163mm rear. Of course, after 17 years and nearly 145,000 km, it was actually a little lower, at 150mm front and rear.

Along came "Raceworks", claiming their coilovers could be set to "stock" ride height. I enjoy a good deal and I like to support startups, so I dove in. They offered a deal over on rennlist. Here is my review.

Ordering was easy, and they were very accommodating with special requests. First trouble came before I even installed. I ordered the rear shocks with a rubber top mount, as I was worried about Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH). They arrived with their standard monoball. I have exchanged several emails with them, and they professed to be working on shipping me the proper top mounts. However, after waiting 8 weeks, I gave up on ever seeing the top mounts as promised.

Install

I installed the front first. There is no way that these would ever get to 158mm ride height. The best I could get out of them was 140mm. I settled at 128mm, which is the X73 height for this car (so is that stock height?) Also, one bolt was 1mm out of alignment and I had to file the mounting hole slightly, but I got it in there.

The front drop links are adjustable, and it was easy to get the sway bars neutral when the car was on the ground. The hardware was good, and easy to adjust. The front shocks came with camber plates.

The rear install wasn't without hassle either. The rear shocks seemed long enough to get to "stock" height, but I set them to 133mm to match the X73 height for the car. All was good with the rear install, up to the drop links.

The shock has a "collar" onto which the drop links should be installed. It is adjustable in height, but there is no indication as to what height. Once the shocks are on the car, turning this collar interferes with other suspension components, so I left it. It has two pinch bolts which have to be very tight to keep this collar from rotating as you are driving. Butting it up onto one of the other collars would only work on one side, on the other side, the force would just loosen it anyways.

Worse, the rear drop links, although adjustable, weren't reverse threaded on one side. What this meant was you couldn't turn the barrel to change the length. Instead you had to install the rear drop links with the tires on the ground so that the sway bar isn't loaded. What a hassle.

It took me a couple of test drives to get the pre-load right. The manual indicates 10mm of pre-load, but I found the car more planted at 12mm.

Once I had the pre-load done, I set the final ride height. I made sure I had factory pressure in the tires, and made a tool to measure from the ground to the measuring points. I checked the fenders to make sure I was even side-to-side.

See this post for how to measure: https://rennlist.com/forums/996-forum/550790-measuring-ride-height.html

Post-Install Alignment

I had all of this professionally aligned to my specs:

Front
Camber L/R....-0.7/-0.7
Caster L/R...+8.0/+8.0
Toe In L/R...+0.05/+0.05
Total toe front...+0.10
Steer Ahead...0.00

Rear
Camber L/R....-1.6/-1.6
Toe In ...+0.10/+0.10
Total toe...+0.20
Thrust angle...0.00


Impressions


I love them. No really, it is like having a different car. if there is more NVH I can't tell, and bumps on the highway that I would avoid because it would unsettle the car are now not an issue. Small bump compliance is great for a sports car. There is no crashyness (TM) or harshness. There is no clunking or other strange noises (but I did make sure to tighten everything that came from the factory). The valving seems spot on. I have the dampers set to 4 clicks from full soft. The springs are standard Front Spring 400lb, Rear Spring 600lb. My understanding is that stock was 180lb front, 320lb rear.

I wish they could get their customer service down. These could be a great entry level option, but I can't recommend buying them based on their terrible customer service and almost total lack of documentation. I have told them they have burned through the goodwill they created on Rennlist. They certainly have with me. Although they have a 3 year warranty, I wouldn't count on any support.
_________________
The Porsche 911 [996] C4S is the reason why people work 16-hour days and eat nothing but peanut butter sandwiches for 2 years straight.
(European Car Magazine, September 2004 Vol 35 No. 9, page 74)
 
  
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Marky911
Indianapolis


Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 2457



PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice write up. It’s nice when a cheaper option turns out ok. As you say though, there’s no excusing the customer service when it’s that bad. A pity really.
 
  
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