I HATE my Tokico/Eibach combo. Suggestions?

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u.5206

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The title pretty much sums it up, but here's a brief rundown. My 1991 Supra currently has Tokico Illumina IIs, paired with Eibach springs, and I absolutely despise this suspension setup. It has a very underdamped "buick-like" sort of ride; when hitting larger bumps or road imperfections, the front suspension bounces all over the place like it has blown front shocks. Rear suspension feel is far better, but it's also a bit less obvious from the driver's prospective. I've driven a car with stock 89+ suspension, and even though it was soft with a bit of body roll, it still had a much more "complete" feel to it, and didn't react so unpredictably to mid-corner bumps, for example.

I've heard a couple things regarding most MKIII Supra suspension setups.

Firstly, I've recently found that the stock springs are linear rate, and that virtually every lowering spring available is progressive rate. In addition, I've read the MKIII's suspension setup is already "progressive" in its design, meaning that with a progressive spring, the "soft" part of the spring is blown through quickly, immediately dipping into the stiffer part of the spring, and giving the suspension an "unpredictable" reaction to bumps.

Secondly, I've heard anecdotal stories of the Tokico Illumina IIs being "soft", "crappy", and generally not very well suited for anything other than stock springs. Is this correct? I'm tempted to agree, since my suspension has the wallowy and underdamped feeling to it, and that a stiffer shock would be more appropriate. This is all just word of mouth accounts, so take it with a grain of salt.

So this boils down to series of questions, really.

Are progressive springs really as un-fit for a Supra suspension as I think? Would linear rate springs make for more predictable ride and handling? What linear rate springs are available?

Are Tokico Illumina IIs are bad as I've heard? Or do I just a have a bum set that are blown? Maybe my struts just don't pair will with Eibach springs, and a different spring would be a better fit?

Lastly, coilovers. I can't help but feel that coilover options aren't exactly ideal for our cars. There seem to be two camps: The ultra-cheap hardparking stancenation coilovers that are only good for slamming your car and nothing else, or the ultra-stiff Japanese brands (Tein, for example), that are way way way too stiff for the street, and only work well on a road course in Japan that's as smooth as glass. Is there a coilover out there that has decent streetability while also being of good quality? I think the "HKS HiperMax II" for some reason came up in that category, but they seem discontinued.

Oh, and I should probably mention my application. The car is primarily for street use, but it will probably see semi-regular autocross usage (5-10 events a summer), and an occasional track stint (1-3 times a summer). Any suggestions and opinions are much appreciated!
 

DeMoN2318

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I also have Tokico Illumina IIs, paired with Eibach springs...and I do not have the buick-like underdamped response.


When you installed the struts, did you make any adjustments to the struts "selection" tab? The Illumina IIs have 5 different stiffness settings, and they are NOT shipped in any particular setting.

It could be that your struts are set to the lowest stiffness (or all set to different settings, hence your different response front and rear), and even with the TEMS adjustment on sport or hard, you are still not on the harder settings.
 
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hvyman

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Get fortune auto coilovers. You can get custom spring rates of any choice and they will valve them to match. All sets of coil overs are made in the usa and are all dyno tested and come with the dyno sheet.
 
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u.5206

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Get fortune auto coilovers. You can get custom spring rates of any choice and they will valve them to match. All sets of coil overs are made in the usa and are all dyno tested and come with the dyno sheet.
God damn. How did I not know about these? Now I have to clean up all the drool that's on my keyboard.
 

hvyman

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There pretty sweet. They have some cool videos of the dyno and building then too.
 

suprarx7nut

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FWIW, my new setup is Koni (set to the middle setting) and Tanabe springs. The springs are progressive, but I love the ride. It's stiffer than factory, but not harsh. It grips well and feels fine for daily use on Colorado roads.

I've owned a couple other mk3's that had Buick/boat suspension. They were all blown TEMS shocks. Sounds like your Illuminas might be broekn or installed incorrectly. Even if they aren't valved to be with aftermarket springs they shouldn't be completely useless like you describe.

Matched set aftermarket coilovers do offer the benefit of being properly designed for a lowered mk3. They also have the disadvantage of being HORRIBLY designed for a mk3. You're at the mercy of the maker.

Choose wisely.
 
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Even if they aren't valved to be with aftermarket springs they shouldn't be completely useless like you describe.
I'm probably exaggerating a bit, they really aren't like a Buick, but they have a very obvious underdamped response. I've started autocrossing recently, and what was an "okay" suspension before now shines through as pretty obviously inadequate. Right now, Konis seem like the clear winner in the shock department, but I still feel like finding a linear rate spring might be a nice change.

Alternatively, I'm 100% open to the concept of a quality coilover, but I'm worried everything available will have absolutely atrocious ride quality.
 

suprarx7nut

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I'm probably exaggerating a bit, they really aren't like a Buick, but they have a very obvious underdamped response. I've started autocrossing recently, and what was an "okay" suspension before now shines through as pretty obviously inadequate. Right now, Konis seem like the clear winner in the shock department, but I still feel like finding a linear rate spring might be a nice change.

Alternatively, I'm 100% open to the concept of a quality coilover, but I'm worried everything available will have absolutely atrocious ride quality.
Yeah, I agree with your coil over concerns. That's why I went with the koni shocks. I'd be ok trying coilovers if I could ride in a few mk3's with some that were street friendly. Unfortunately I don't really know many other locals, let alone with a street coilover.

I'm happy with my koni shocks and I haven't even messed with their adjustment. The tanabe shocks also have less of a drop which may help the shock behave better.

That bring said, I daily drive mine with no track work. A track day might show my setup isn't so hot.