Fixing my bouncy coilovers Pt. 2

If you are new to the blog and haven’t read Part 1, I recommend you check it out here.

I have put a lot of love into this story so I hope that you enjoy taking the time to read this!

Let me start off by saying that I have found the source to my issue and I am very happy to share it with everyone who is currently having trouble with their coilovers. You may have purchased them from a third-party seller, may have bought them from eBay, or purchased off of a forum – either way, you can never be too careful. I was lucky enough to purchase my Tein Street Basis Z coilovers on a reseller that sold the coilovers with the top-hats included for an amazing price. Almost $200 off the retail price, as it was on sale.

In the back of my mind, I thought it was to good to be true but I want to give it a try. They came in the original Tein box with no dents on the packaging. Unfortunately, this was one of my very few purchases of mods to my car and didn’t know much about them. I’m here to warn those who were willing to research before purchasing (or installing).

Issue: Ride was bouncy – felt like I was imitating a basketball. Normally bumps felt smooth – it’s the bouncing after the bump that makes the ride irritating. Even on smooth roads, I feel every little bounce and it dampens as I speed up.

Situation:

Fix: In order to fix your bounce, the top perch must be secure and non-flimsy. This requires the following tools:

– Spanner Wrench (1): Only one is needed to the hold the top perch from moving or spinning while adjusting

– 21mm 1/2 inch deep Socket: this is needed to tighten the top-center shaft nut for the 2013-2016 FR-S (Socket size may vary for different car models)

Optional: Torque wrench: There isn’t a specific torque that was provided for specification; however, I have estimated about 20-25 ft/lb of torque being used (non-accurate measurement).

Coilover diagram

Jack up the car and remove the front wheels. Once the wheels are removed, open the hood of your car to begin the process of tightening the top perch of the coilover.

While holding the top perch with the Spanner Wrench, use a ratchet or torque wrench to tighten the top-cent shaft nut. Once torqued, you will feel resistance. Tighten to snug, do not over-torque.

Repeat the same process to the passenger side coilovers to ensure balance. Once complete, replace wheels back onto the car and allow the car a couple of minutes for the coilovers to set. Give a test drive and feel the difference of how smooth it is compared to the bounce it had before. Trust me, this relieved so much stress in my life. However, the process was very fun to figure out.

Once complete, your top perch should look similar to this:

Result:

Your bouncy issues should be fixed! Please be aware that normal bumps will be felt due to the works of the coilover and spring (a good thing) and shouldn’t have an excessive bounce after contact. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me and I will help/answer any questions you may have.

Disclaimer: I am not liable for any damage or injuries caused with the modification of your car. This post was made from personal experience and should be read as a guidance and not professional work. I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL. I complete work on my own car and I understand the risks. I undergo a lot of research and speak with Tein customer service for all of my findings.

Fixing my bouncy coilovers

These things have been a pain for the past 3 weeks. I have adjusted my preload, made sure all sides are symmetrical with ride height, and I have noticed that I haven’t touched the dampening knob. Originally, I had it set to 6 clicks from full stiff, andI now know that was a bad idea. Especially after installing my new wheels. FRS, next to Miata, Lifted on jack stands.

The installation of the wheels were flawless, definitely a huge thanks to my friend Daniel. With the new wheels on, I now have to factor in the weight, adding to the bounciness.

After many hours of research and endless tinkering, I have been able to find out that you must complete these steps in order to see huge improvement with the stability of your suspension set up (fresh install of coilovers or installing aftermarket wheels):

– Pre-load: Coilovers normally come preloaded. If you bought coilovers from a third party vendor and you notice that the coils are sliding back and forth from the suspension shaft, be sure to loosen the top locking gears and tighten coil by hand until you feel contact with the underside of the tophat. Do not use Spanner Wrenchs, unless necessary (track purposes)

– Ride Height: Set to however you please. Stance gods, I have dropped mine to 2” in the front, and 2 3/8” in the rear (measured from top locking link to the bottom locking link) I can barely fit my fingers in and I get no rub, even on full wheel lock!

-Dampening: PLEASE. I say this with great importance, but please start on Full Soft and work you way towards stiff dampening by increments of THREE clicks. I have learned the hard way.

If you follow these steps above, all that is left is getting an alignment and your problems should be solved. If you are still experiencing issues with your suspension set up, let me know and I can assist you much further. Good luck!

Diode Dynamics/Winjet Foglight Kit 

First, I want to introduce how I was brought to complete this unnecessary but possible combination. I was driving late at night, on a public road, and was turning into the highway when I encountered a raccoon. As hopeful as I was at the time, the raccoon was making its way across the street and I slowed down to give it time. As I was speeding up as it was out of the way, it decided to move back and made contact with my front bumper. I drove all the way hope to find out that my front foglight bezel is missing and the foglight frame arms have broken off. This was VERY unfortunate, but that’s the past.

What I kept on my car, previously installed were:

 – H11 foglight harness with connectors

– Stainless steel mounting hardware set (4 screws, 4 wing nuts, 4 washers)

– 4 T-Tap wire connectors

The new hardware I installed were:

– 2 H11 Yellow Glass-lens foglight assemblies, (interchangeable left and right), with 55W H11 halogen bulbs

– 2 Gloss Black Fog/turn bezels (left and right side)

If you have read this far, YES THIS WORKS. I took this path because I hated how the insides of the Diode Dynamics foglight assemblies got dirty very quickly. I also wanted the yellow glass on the foglights for a cleaner look (with LEDS On and Off) and the gloss bezels to match with my raven black paint. 

Installation took only 20 minutes and I love how it looks. To those who aren’t following my instagram, my new tires are in and the wheels are coming soon! 

Legsport Duckbill Install

Finally. The day has come to install this beauty. Below, I will go over every step I took to install the Legsport Duckbill (since no one has made a DIY yet.)


I will also post this DIY to the FT86 forum for a second reference.

Things you will need for the installation:

  • Microfiber Cloth(s)
  • Detailing Spray (Meguiar’s: Quik Detailer)
  • 3M double-sided mounting tape (Might be provided with purchase of Duckbill)
  • Optional: A friend to help
  • Time of Install: 5 – 30 minutes

Step One: Clean and make sure that no residue or packaging material is on the Duckbill. I suggest using Meguiar’s: Quik Detailer and a microfiber cloth (shown in step three). These will do the best job possible for getting anything off the Duckbill.

Step two: Prepare the duckbill by taping along the edges and curve crease. Be prepared to use all the tape provided! As you can see, I was given enough tape just to tape the important parts of the Duckbill, so please follow my tape pattern for optimal fitment.


Step 3: Once Duckbill has been prepped, proceed to clean the surface area of the trunk to prevent from any residue getting onto the tape of the Duckbill. We don’t want anything getting in the way and create a pocket for wind to get in! Again, I recommend Meguiar’s: Quik Detailer and a microfiber cloth to clean this area.


Step 4: Now that you have the surface cleaned, Duckbill cleaned and prepped with tape, and your helping buddy is ready – you can now proceed with placing the Duckbill onto the trunk. Be sure to remove the tape cover before placing the Duckbill on the trunk. This is where teamwork and communication is needed so that the Duckbill is placed on properly.

Step 4.1: I’m sure most of us may not have a buddy available to help and are doing the install ourselves. That is okay! I did this install myself and was relieved to know that this install was easy. Before removing the tape cover, place the Duckbill onto the trunk and position accordingly. Once positioned, lift the duckbill slightly so that you can remove the tape cover as you are firmly pressing the Duckbill onto the trunk.


Step 5: VIOLA! You have successfully installed your new Legsport FR-S/BRZ/TOYOTA86 Duckbill. Please be sure to secure the Duckbill by pushing down on the areas taped down to ensure that the tape makes contact with both the trunk and the Duckbill. Apply moderate pressure. I recommend giving the tape 2 – 3 days to settle before going on the roads. Unless you are a Dare Devel like me, you wait a day and drive up to 80 MPH/129 KPM (Legally, of course). Don’t be me.

You might be asking yourself “How does he know how to install Duckbills?” Well, I don’t, but that’s the fun part to modifications! If you have any questions or concerns or possibly made a few mistakes along the way, feel free to contact me and I will answer any questions you have.

Coilovers are Installed

FINALLY. It brings me with great pleasure to let everyone know that the Coilovers are on! 

To set the tone of this story, I am truly appreciative of my purchase and install. The comfort of driving has changed drastically for me and expect it to get much better as I adjust it down the road. Thank you, Alex from coilovers360, for all your help with getting me a good deal and very quick shipping.

For those who plan to install coilovers in the nearby future, plan for at least 5 hours of work, grab a couple of buddies to help, a 12 pack, and leave the significant other home. For my first time installing these bad boys, the first one was a huge pain. And the pain was real. I started on the front-passenger side coil and worked my way back.

Figuring out how to remove the end-link nut (because what’s modification without a little rusted nut fun), removing the [poorly engineered] brake clips, positioning the top-hat correctly (messed up twice, third time was the charm), and bolting the end-link back on. It was a nightmare

Luckily, my friend Rudy brought an impact gun from his shop to help us with the other three sides. 

BUT This is just the beginning.



Now that all of the coils are on, I will have to continue driving around this whole week until they settle. Then, I go back to readjusting for [my] perfect riding comfort.

Special thanks to Nic, Rudy, Andy, Steven, Nikka, and Scott for the help.

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