Project VA WRX: Improving the Suspension With Tein Flex-Z Coilovers

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Next, the two lower strut bolts were removed along with the brake and ABS sensor lines.  
This allowed us to remove the stock front struts.
Like the rear shocks, the front Flex Z struts are significantly shorter than the stock parts, reducing the ride height without sacrificing wheel travel.  Note that factory like mounting tabs are included on the Tein parts for the ABS sensors and brake lines.  This ensures that these critical components do not get kinked or snagged in use.
The Tein Flex Z struts bolted right in place in the reverse of the stock strut removal.
The Tein Flex Z proved to be very easy to install with everything fitting correctly. 
This ride height or preload adjusting spanner and shock adjusting tool came with the kit. 
As a side note, the owner of our car had previously installed some Chinese coilovers that he had purchased at the time he got the car just so he could have something to lower it right away. The performance of these shocks was abysmal.  The damping was probably linear and managed to be floppy and bouncy yet harsh at the same time. With passengers, the shocks would blow through the travel and bottom out.  We had a hard time being able to tell if the damping adjusters actually did anything. They were so bad we put the stock suspension back on.  The actual build quality didn't look too bad on the outside but the function was awful.  About the only thing these shocks were good for was to hold the car up!  You get what you pay for!  

6 comments

  1. By chance do you have any content where you compared shock dynos of various coilovers for a specific application? Maybe showing say $500 up to $3500 offerings, comparing the linearity of their adjustment, etc. etc. I’m too much of a layman to make actually look at the dynos themselves and make the comparison, but it would be great to read your takeaways/insights from an expert like yourself.

    Cheers.

    1. That would be pretty expensive to do, costing about $1000 per set of shocks, and dyno’s don’t tell you everything. Especially with cheap shocks.

  2. Regarding the coilover install, did you guys adjust preload or ran it how it came out of the box? And Are Rear LCA recommended.

    Thank you!

  3. Regarding the install, did you guys adjust preload or ran it how it came out of the box? And Are Rear LCA recommended.

    Thank you!

    1. We don’t tune with preload, I don’t agree with that. Preload doesn’t increase the spring rate, it just increases the initial force to move the suspension.

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