Suspension Decisions

Illustration for article titled Suspension Decisions

My plan for my MR2 is to do some kind of suspension upgrade. The original shocks no longer seem to damp oscillations. Hit a bump and it’s multiple up-and-down motions before the car settles again. My question today is, what’s the best upgrade to improve the car?


At one end of the suspensional spectrum is the choice simply to replace the shocks with new ones. A set of Koni yellows is what most resources seem to recommend.

On the far opposite end is a full coilover suspension, which offers a lot of adjustability but for a higher price. Most “good” setups I’ve researched seem to go for over $1100.


Between those two options, there’s also the middle ground of doing both shocks and springs. Tire Rack has a kit that fits my car and includes Eibach springs as well as the Koni Yellows.

Now, my goals with an upgraded suspension are as follows:

-Better ride quality. I’m hoping to mount some bigger wheels on the car, but without fixing the shock situation, the ride might go from bad to intolerable if I mount them without fixing the suspension.


-Better wheel clearance. Again, bigger wheels will fit better and I won’t need as thick of spacers if I can find more clearance somehow. Coilovers will definitely provide clearance but the Eibach springs are also probably more compact than the stock springs on my car.

-Better driving fun. I like to attend autocross events to practice performance driving as well as have a good time, and I’m looking for a setup that makes the car controllable and fun.


With all that in mind, what’s the best way forward? The car is my daily, but my standards for “comfort” and “luxury” are pretty low, having tolerated very non-responsive shocks for the past couple of months. An aggressive suspension setup is okay by me.

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