Tein Super Racing Coilover Review

87 posts in this topic

Hi all, after weeks of contemplating, decided to take a plunge and go for the best JDM dampers u can get.

Firstly, I got these from overseas, not locally. 
(cheaper alternative due to stronger Sing dollars, even with GST & shipping, at the expense of guaranteed product from local dealers).wink.gif 

Secondly, Xmas around the corner?...why not.grin.gif 

Thirdly, my current coils (Api type RA) served me well in the last 2 yrs on sepang but they start to get a little soft and weird handling characteristics after several laps, possibility due to the oil in the damper being the major drawback and ultimately causing a spin out during high speed turns at T13 & T14 exactly as the same spot, not once but couple of times. Already ruled out the other possibilities as I have singled out every other items such as tires, bushings etc.

Fourly, going for the best, albeit other European options like Moton, Ohlins etc., JDM dampers u can get cant go wrong with it as they are repeated tested through R&D by the Japs Co. Probably drawback is that they aren't as road compliant as their European counterpartsgrin.gif 

Havent mounted it on my 2L 06 STI yet so cant give a ride (street) review.

the unboxing...cheesy.gif 

-Weight wise, pretty standard coil over weight. Seems to be a tad heavier probably due to the extra large mono tubing it has which meant extra oil inside and thus there is no need for a external reservoir.

-Build quality is exceptionally gd. Coating on the threads to prevent rust and dirt jamming up the threads. Coating on the lower bracket for additional protection from the elements.

-The camber plates are very smooth when I move it...surprisingly! (they are easy to move and rotate around unlike some which are so stiff off the factory). The front plates even provides additional castoring adjustments! 
Key to solving Impreza's understeer characteristics is to get more castor (but not too much as the opposite will happen). Max on the GDB is 5deg from my Whiteline Race ALK and the std STI ctrl arm (with front superpro bushings), i think with this, I could squeeze out a bit more...maybe .5,haha. I believe GRs series are 6 deg, correct me if i am wrong. Also, Spec C LCA is off a slightly diff design (slightly wider and able to get more castor out than std STI's)

-Springs on the GD series are 12kgf/mm and 9kgf/mm front and rear respectively. There are options to go higher but these are the standard springs. Again, build quality are exceptional.

-Strut type is inverted, similar to stock STI dampers. Being inverted, the compression settings are placed at the top and rebound settings at the bottom of the coils contrary to the standard Top: rebound & Bottom/canistor: compression. With the inverted design, there aren't a need to external canister due to the large monotube body. Mind you, they are pretty large in diameter just by observing it.

-Adjustment is 16x16 on compression and rebound settings. Unlike Cusco Zero3x, which i had considered earlier, they do not have high-speed compression and low-speed compression (or is it rebound? cant rmb). 

-They can be controlled by dual Tein EDFCs with 2 sets of stepper motors (1 set compression & 1 set rebound). 
Too bad I didn't purchase it as my rear X brace (Oswald Performance) can't fit the stepper motor sized (35x35mm) thus threw away the idea of getting a dual EDFC setup (at least save me ~8-900 bucks). 
Only downside is the setup will be tedious for the rebound settings at the bottom and the rear compression (as you need to remove the rear seat every time you need to change it)

-Came from the factory set at the MAX setting of 16/16 for both F & R compression and rebound settings! Instruction manual recommended 8/16 all round for tuning. (higher than standard factory spring rates warrants higher setting for these dampers)

-Also, full length adjustable without affecting the stroke length (as per high end coils)

-Factory specs recommended a ride height of 13.5" Front and 13" Rear. 
Initially, was quite glad that these settings are very close to my current ride height of (13.25" F & 13" R). 
Btw no rubbing on my 18x9(et45) 255/35/18 setup on the fender and coils on 2.8deg F and 1.8deg R camber. 
Going to try my stock sti rim 17x8(et53) with 235/45/17(25.4") and observe if it rubs at all since its diameter is slightly more than 255/35/18(25") by 0.4" though less wide. 25.4" will throw the speedo off by a few % under-reading.
With my current 13.25", standard mscp and any ramps will scrap the front lip. 
(I'd replaced 2 sets of PU front lips <also gotten overseas> as they were totalled in the past few years, worse ever was the entire bumper got ripped out by a curb once...)
All lengths are measured from Wheel hub center to the fender btw.

-The lower brackets came standard with the washings and bolts which allows for chamber adjustments. The adjustments are as easy as shifting the bolts as stated in the manual (laterally).

-Well, car left with 3+yrs of COE b4 scrapping and engine still full of life (10k+/- Km mileage a year only), so these coils should serve me for 3 yrs with 1xServicing at the 1.5yr mark.

Last but not least, it states for Off-road use only?huh.gif Got no clue why they put this in unless the ride is totally unbearable for street driving.huh.gif 

Gotta fix this up on Friday with alignment. Thereaft will provide a street review on this coils. Trackdays...gotta wait till next yr to evaluate.
Cant wait!

Btw, looking for like-minded ppl who are keen on discussing suspension tuning to broadened each others' knowledge altogether since they aren't much ppl in SG who knows really in-depth into 

Some pics as attached below for your perusal.



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wow. i think this is the most detailed suspension review i've ever read. good on you!


the tein super racing coilovers are fantastic no doubt. many of the top time attack cars in the world using these. don't mind me asking how much you paid for it?


look forward to your review after installing and testing on the track. ;)

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Gd write-up on these track focused set. I'm driving a GDB STi too and planning a coilover upgrade too but road compliance and handling are my top priorities. Do share yr findings once it settles down.

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Hi all, back with the installed coilover.


The ride height adjustment followed as per instructional manual. (rear is seems lower due to fender design of the GD models are like that) 


What I meant by this is the coilover settings from the spring perch locker(the perch at the bottom of the spring) to the lower bracket perch locker(above the lower bracket) is set as per the manual which will give a reference ride height of 13.4" front and 13" rear measured from wheel hub centre to fender.


However, somehow my ride height differs slightly from the 13.4" (slightly higher) and 13" (abt there) front and rear respectively. Probably the spring pre-load havent settle in the car's weight yet. Need to drive for probably a full tank of petrol b4 it settles in my guess.


The wheel gap is slightly different left & right side... normal though as the car is not balanced equally on all 4 wheels (even with corner weighing, wheel gap difference will still exist). Unless I am an OCD, I won't bother with it.


The compression & rebound settings as per instruction manual. Set at the maximum first and rotate counter-CW for 8 clicks. So 8/16 all round. Alan@bks took a ride out for testing with me and mentioned that it was quite similar to Cusco zero 3x.


I can feel that the damping is of course way better than the previous coils. The description is 'stable' with sudden jerks from the steering to the left and right.


Cornering wise seems to be confidence-inspiring based on 1 corner only, cant really quantify anything on the cornering abilities.


Ride quality wise feels a little tad harsher than the previous coils (though rear spring rate is dropped by 1kgf/mm). If i were to quantified it, i would harsher by 5-8%.

(though not as harsh as my colleague evo ix on this coils with uprated springs...)


In summary, they are bearable coilovers for the street in my own opinion (even set at the middle settings). On the contrary, some may comment it as harsh, so my take is that feel it for yourself will be the better. (btw tires are 255/35/18, so with 35 sidewall maybe harsher for those on 45).


More street review aft I'd driving it longer and track review in a few months time.

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Nice write up. Any reason why you didn't consider ohlins/kw/ bilstein? I would think the ride comfort would be better with similar performance at the track

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Owned a set of Monoflex for abt 6years....other then noise,it didnt give me any problems....

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hi guys, apologies for not replying yur PM! Been busy lately. Will post a review very soon. Attached a gopro vid of the wheels moving as I drive along as well just for fun, hah.

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Street Reviews:


Coilovers set at 8/16 all round (btw, rebound is at the bottom and compression at the top because of its inverted)


Ride height set based on factory specs as well. 13" aft, 13.4" front. (roughly less than 1 fingers rear, 2 fingers front). Length is measured from top of fender to wheel hub.


The damping quality is superb. Pretty harsh at 8/16 (factory recommended based on instruction manual). The car is firmly planted. You will actually feel that the damping is so much more awesome than the previous coils in terms of normal road absorbing bumps and rebounds. Still a tad harsh at that setting.


Now, set at 4/16 all round, feels a little more comfy. On highways, the ride is still comfortable. On roads that arent so smooth such as Mandai, the ride is still comfortable enough driving at 100-120kmh(ooopps..). This is unlike the previous coils which are super uncomfortable when u drive at fast speeds over those undulating road unevenness, at times, it will even bottomed out!


Besides comfy-ness, the handling department wise, cant comment on it yet as I have yet to driven to its full potential on the track (can't and never will do it on the road). But based on spirited driving around mandai area, they are good. Planted, smooth movement of the shocks.


Anyway, for ride quality in terms of harness, dial back the rebound instd of the compression settings. However, this usually contradicts the rule of thumb to set the rebound equals to the compression or 1 click higher. Reason being that energy absorbed by the compression stroke has to dissipitate through the rebound stroke.


Lastly, I will like to talk abt alignment.

The front coils allows for camber adjustment via the top plate (like most other coils do with top plates) & CASTOR adjustment as well!

Castor, its allows a slight degree of change with 5 settings to be made. Slight negative, OE psn, slight positive, positive, more positive (all the terms are described in my own words, basically, they are 5 adjustments). I left it at the OE psn since I had Whiteline Race ALK installed which brings the castor to 4.5deg. For those who read on NASIOC & IWSTI, Subarus do benefits a lot from have more positive castor in terms of dynamic camber control during cornering due to the design of the Macpherson struts. Just like the difference in Spec C's LCA which gives additional castor as compared to the stock STI's LCA (the engineers do dial in more castor for Spec is definitely a reason for that).


Camber adjustment, there is a bolt and a collar that have 3-4 settings (depending on how it position it) to dial in camber from the lower bracket. Also, the std top plate is able to dial in camber as well. However, do note that the top plate adjustment will affect the Steering Axis Inclination (SAI), or Kingpin Angle (KPI), which will in turn affect scrub radius (causes tires to  scrub abt the steering axis as it turns). Subarus do not benefit from high SAI (its very high already for strut designed car, at 15+/- deg for a STI) which in turn affecting the overall roll characteristics, tires scrubbing, dynamic camber curves and more than i am not sure with. So....I left in at the OE position.


Toe adjustment is not based on coils but rather your front tie-rod and rear lateral links.


Aft going through 2 alignment shops, I got the following:


Camber F: -2.1, R: -2.1 (gotta dial F: -3 for track)

Castor 4.5 (unchanged since I didnt adjust the castor setting)

Toe F: -0.1, R:+0.05 (cant change the rear regardless even aft fitting full pillowball s203/204/type ra-r lateral links and trailing arms.


FYI, the lateral links & trailing arms looks like this:




I have yet to taken a pic of my car with that, will do it in the next avail opportunity.

FYi, the lateral links are of same length as the standard STI but longer than the WRX.

The std STI lateral links endlinks/i-links mount are diff as compared to this as you can see the pink brackets with endlinks in it mounted at the wheelhub area. (need to purchase the pink bracket endlinks)

Other than the pillowball bushings & endlinks mount, its the same as a stock STI lateral links (including weight & length).

The trailing arm...its the same as well, except it is pink and with pillowball bushings.

The anti-roll bar or sway bars is of different length as well due to the position of the endlinks. Cant use back the STI's length cusco bar but the WRX's length cusco bar is able to fit (STI's length is abt 1-2" wider than WRX's length anti-roll bar)

Also, do note that the came with STI stickers (haha) and a mount to fit yur HID self-leveling as you can see from the bracket protruding from the centre.


Thanks all for spending yur previous time reading this lengthy para.

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stay tune for a track review (sepang)

You going for RCA TD on the 2nd? Would love to know how it handles with street tires there.

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You going for RCA TD on the 2nd? Would love to know how it handles with street tires there.

Wanted to sign up but its full now  :(


Anyway, be going for the TCC in mid Feb, however, i wont be using street tires but r888 instd.

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Currently set on 4/16 all round with 235/45/17 R888. A tad more comfy then the 595RS-R 255/35/18 tires probably due a slight increase in side profile as well as softer compound.


Track updates after TCC 17 Feb. Stay tune.

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bro, are your suspension noisy from day 1? as in squeaky sound?

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