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Old October 1st, 2012, 04:16 PM   #1
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Cool Improvement in Ride Quality | AMRs

Bought a set of USED AMRs with approximately 10K miles on them. Have had them installed since 23 Sept. 2012. Spring rates are 10K front / 8K rear, manufactured by HyperCo.

From initial install (and over this past week), I noticed that the ride quality has been fairly stiff and bouncy (not "floating-boat, I-just-cut-my-cut-my-OEM-springs" bouncy, but more like "sudden, jolty ride" bouncy. I can definitely feel every single deviation in the road (even the smallest of road imperfections), a shortened frequency of shock oscillation and minimal movement of the shock piston. I am aware that it is most likely due to the monotube shock design and operation, and slightly from stiffer springs (just uninstalled Tein Basics from a CL9 with spring rates 9K front / 6K rear, twin-tube shock absorber).

So I contacted AMR to reconfirm the preload settings. Re-adjusted the the preload as recommended by AMR (i.e. "2.5 full rotations once [the collar/top hat] puts pressure on the spring") on 28 Sept. 2012. Set my dampening settings (from full soft) to five (5) clicks front / one (1) click rear. Same settings as of 01 Oct. 2012. To clarify, I had the originally adjusted the preload settings while off the car (before install) and definitely added waaaaaaaay too much preload beyond AMR's recommendation. When I did the re-adjustment, I had everything already installed on the car. There is the possibility that I still have too much preload, although I am unsure of this.

Please note that I have done my research beforehand and read the following links, along with a bunch of other info:

Tein Twin-Tube Shock Absorber and Mono-Tube Shock Absorber: Which is really better?

Tein, HT-Spec, Megan, H&R...What Coilovers Should You Get?

My unbiased review of AMR Engineering and their coilovers

AMR Coilovers - A Short Review

Whats your favorite coilovers?

Key Points:
  • I chose AMR due to the quality in materials and manufacturing, performance reputation (i.e. no blown shocks for 7+ years), lifetime warranty (if purchased brand new) and good customer service (for me at least, others may have other opinions). IMO, I feel the monotube damper would not be an issue for a daily driver if set up properly ...
  • Per the first link, monotube shocks are definitely stiffer than Twin-Tube due to the overall construction and operation of the shock. As such, Tein recommends monotube for track and twin-tube for the street.
  • Tein states,
    Quote:
    TEIN has a great volume of "know-how" on both mono-tube and twin-tube, accumulated over the years of experience, which enables us to provide mono-tube shock absorbers with European-car-like comfort and/or twin-tube shocks which can win the Nürburgring 24Hour Race.
    Definitely looking for that european comfort out of a monotube shock design.
  • Other AMR owners have attested to fairly good ride quality, so I believe there is still more improvement to be had on my setup. Or, it may be that my subjective opinion of ride quality just differs from others.
In summary, the ride quality is fairly good (say 6.5-7/10). Still seeking any insight to "bettering" the ride comfort/quality and any recommendations in doing so would be appreciated. Thanks all.

Last edited by HEcreated487; October 1st, 2012 at 04:38 PM..
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Old October 1st, 2012, 04:30 PM   #2
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too long to read. the michael that you are. lol.

good review
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Old October 1st, 2012, 05:16 PM   #3
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pbooks has a set of AMR coilovers that may be up for sale in the foreseeable future...
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 11:05 AM   #4
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too long to read. the michael that you are. lol.

good review
LOL. By nature (and career), I attempt to provide as much info as possible upfront, to minimize questions regarding background, history, process, etc.
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pbooks has a set of AMR coilovers that may be up for sale in the foreseeable future...
Thanks! I have been in correspondence with Todd already


UPDATE:
Spoke with Andy. One option he asked me to consider was to lower the spring rate in the rear to 6K to increase comfort. This would be similar to my previous Tein Basics at 9K front / 6K rear. If the springs are the same diameter from the Basics, I might swap them out to see how they ride. Andy also provided recommendations on dampening settings, which I'm in the process of tampering with as well.

In re-reading Kevin's AMR thread, maybe a higher spring rate be necessary? Thus, adjusted the rear dampening to three (3) clicks from full soft and noticed less jolting/jarring. I am now also considering increasing the pre-load to increase stiffness and increasing the dampening as well.

Thoughts?
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 11:35 AM   #5
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Koni/GC for the win!
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 11:43 AM   #6
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That setup you have should feel fairly smooth. My 14kg/12kg setup is not too stiff when the dampers are set to softer settings, and I'm considering bumping my front rate up to 16kg.

In your case though I would say going down in spring rate might be beneficial. Be sure to play with the damper settings to make sure it's not just set up weird for you. One thing I would say though, is that because the rate in the rear is pretty stiff for the weight of the car, you might want to have that at full soft. I notice that even when my front is full stiff, adjusting the rear to softer settings makes a big difference for ride quality. Most of the bumps I feel in my car are because the rear is so stiff, not because the front is so stiff (most of the weight is in the front anyway).

Another thing I find strange is that Hyperco springs are really linear, and that translates into a smoother feeling car overall. A lot of springs are manufactured in other parts of Asia and while they are labeled as being a certain spring rate, the rate will change (up or down) once it starts compressing. More or less, it will not be consistent. Swift, Hyperco, and Eibach are really the only three that I know if that have pretty consistent rates, and based on my findings that equates to a smoother more predictable ride.

I know you mentioned this as well, but please keep in mind that mono-tube dampers are very different from twin-tube designs. The piston on your AMRs are much larger than they would be on a twin-tube shock, and that makes them more responsive than a twin-tube shock.



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Old October 3rd, 2012, 11:53 AM   #7
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^^ THANKS KEVIN! Very good info, exactly what I expected of you. I'll mess with the damper settings this afternoon before my commute home
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 11:56 AM   #8
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You should set both front and rear to full soft, and then go stiffer from there if need be.



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Old October 3rd, 2012, 11:59 AM   #9
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^^ Agreed. I had the fronts at three (3) clicks from full soft yesterday, but that was a little too soft (i.e. noticed a much better rise at five (5) clicks in the front). Thinking of setting the rears to full soft and leaving the fronts at five (5) clicks. See how that rides.
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 08:10 PM   #10
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And still no picz
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 08:17 PM   #11
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Honestly, there's nothing to be seen. It's mostly OEM with upgraded suspension.
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 11:10 PM   #12
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If you have read reviews of most shock tuning, the results point out that damper settings typically will only be best for matching shock bodies rather than to be as a tuning feature

I am not sure how well that applies to AMR
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Old October 4th, 2012, 11:11 AM   #13
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^^ Thanks for the additional info. Care to elaborate in regards to your first statement, particularly, "damper settings typically will only be best for matching shock bodies"?
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Old October 4th, 2012, 12:05 PM   #14
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If I'm not mistaken, you can't get perfectly matched bump and rebound characteristics between shocks, so the adjustment knob is used to kind of fiddle with the settings until they are close to each other. On a street car that doesn't really mean much though.



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Old October 9th, 2012, 09:41 AM   #15
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If I'm not mistaken, you can't get perfectly matched bump and rebound characteristics between shocks, so the adjustment knob is used to kind of fiddle with the settings until they are close to each other. On a street car that doesn't really mean much though.
Yes exactly,

There was a well written article with shock dyno's that tested and showed that (in at least Koni case) the knob was good to match two shocks (ie to get consistent shock response on both of them), rather than as a way to perfect or choose your response.

Dr. X what you said about it very irrelevant for a street car is true, but that also points out how irrelevant the knobs are for anything no?
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Old October 9th, 2012, 10:08 AM   #16
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Most definitely. Having adjustable shocks is definitely somewhat of a marketing ploy, but it does affect the ride quality at the same time so I can see why people would want that.



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Old October 9th, 2012, 10:29 AM   #17
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Thanks for the additional info, fellas.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 12:12 PM   #18
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Cool

More adjustments made.

On Saturday, I decided to set both the front and rear to full stiff. The ride was still "jolty", but not unbearable. In comparison to the previous settings (5 clicks front, 3 clicks rear), this proved to be equal or a little better in ride quality (based on my scientifically proven subjective opinion. ... Talk about oxymoron). From this, I have decided that no matter what settings the shocks are set to, the difference in ride is only marginally different. My conclusion is that I have to change springs.

In comparing other suspension set ups known for fairly comfortable ride quality, I made the following table:
  • Tein Comfort Sport (for the CL9 TSX)
  • 7K front / 4K rear
  • MONO-TUBE
  • Supposedly a more comfortable ride quality than stock.
  • I would like to achieve something similar to this, but not as soft.
  • Buddy Club N+ (For the CL9 TSX)
  • 11K front / 4K rear
  • Mono-tube
  • Known to be a little too soft in the rear
  • Ground Control (Off-the-Shelf rates) w/ Koni Yellows.
  • 8K front / 5.4K rear
  • Twin-Tube??
  • Known to have a great ride quality (and warranty )
  • Tein Street Basis or Street Advance
  • 9K front / 6K rear
  • Twin Tube
  • I already had the Tein Basics from a TSX with these exact rates. Ride was slightly stiffer than stock. Wouldn't mind this ride quality either.
  • Tein H-Tech
  • 5.4K front / 4K rear
  • I already had these springs on stock shocks. No noticeable difference in ride quality compared to stock. Wouldn't mind this ride quality either.
I plan to order some 6K replacemnet springs (HyperCo or Swift) for the rear and possibly moving the current 8K rear springs to the front. I also plan to dig up some old dynamics textbooks to further research into spring rates, compression, rebound, dampening, oscillation, frequency, period, etc.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 05:26 PM   #19
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Was originally planning to purchase replacement springs with a 12K front / 7K rear spring rate setup (i.e. identical to the JIC Magic FLT-TAR coilovers, Model #UC1FLTA), but am considering a 14K front / 4k rear spring rate setup for a few reasons.

1) Occassionally I "knock" my front UCA on my front shock tower/wheel well at my current ride height. I am hoping the increase spring rate will effectively eliminate this occurrence, especially if I decide to go lower
2) As mentioned previously, the rear spring rate dictates much of the ride quality. I confirmed with AMR that the dampers should have no issues, nor require revalving, with a spring rate change of +/- 4K. I am hoping this provides an increase in ride comfort. I am a little hesitant with such a soft spring rate, but it is worth a shot for the price I am looking at.
3) I found some really good deals on the 14K / 4K spring rates mentioned above, so am tempted to at least try them out. I'll most likely try the rear pair of springs for the time being.

Your insight would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old November 26th, 2012, 05:40 PM   #20
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too long to read. lol.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 05:51 PM   #21
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too long to read. lol.
I find this mildly insightful, Jowell. LOL. Yeah, I know, it's wordy.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 05:54 PM   #22
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I have BC racing with 12k front and 6k rear and I think they are awesome. Im not sure how low you have yours, but Im on stock v6-6speed wheels with the front right on the tire, and the rear .25-.5 in higher than the front and it rides great. Overall it was about a 2.7in drop in the front to eliminate the gap and like 2.3in rear. I have them set 10/30 clicks stiff in the front and 8/30 in the rear. I could add a little more stiff to the front but right now people said it rode exactly like stock. I have yet to bang the UCA or have the tire rub the inner fender.

Im not sure how the AMR are valved but 12k/6k works well for my v6 coupe. Even though your a 4cyl you could probably benefit from similar rates.

I cant wait to test them out next summer. Im got 18x9 wheels and 255/35 rubber to see how they will actually handle.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 06:11 PM   #23
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^^ Thanks for the input, Dan! I am glad to see that those spring rates work well for you and provide the OEM ride quality. Definitely seeking that as well. Will take your insight into consideration.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 09:07 PM   #24
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BC Racing is pretty stiff

I can tell you my setup is so damn comfortable, but thats because they're non linear springs and low spring rate (since they're just springs on Koni)
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Old November 26th, 2012, 09:27 PM   #25
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Has anyone on our car use extended top hats to get a better ride.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 09:35 PM   #26
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I have amr 12 and 8 and I think it's pretty stiff but I'm pretty low so I can't complain
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Old November 27th, 2012, 01:00 AM   #27
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^^ And over here I plan to improve ride quality with a 12k/7k setup LOL. How low are you Tommy? How else would you describe the ride quality, besides being "stiff"?

EDIT: Extended top hats allow the piston to operate more towards its recommended travel range (in lieu of being at the bottom of its stroke and potentially bottoming out). There is the potential to improve ride quality as the piston has better range to travel and minimizes contact and/or operation with the bump stop. But that's just my theory. I could be completely incorrect in that.

Last edited by HEcreated487; November 27th, 2012 at 09:40 AM..
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Old November 27th, 2012, 04:46 AM   #28
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I'm pretty low as to tucking tires and maybe 2.5 inches to the ground from jacking point. I say the ride is stiff meaning when I hate a big bump on the rode I can really feel it but anything small the shocks will absorbe it. I'm running 5 clicks in the front and 1 click in the rear for now
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Old November 27th, 2012, 09:44 AM   #29
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^^ Thanks for the additional info, Tommy.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 10:28 AM   #30
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I just want my AMR's already! :....(
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