maxpeedingrods srt4 coilovers on first gen review (break out from acr build thread)

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maxpeedingrods srt4 coilovers on first gen review (break out from acr build thread)

Post by dusterbd13 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:33 pm

So, I was approached by tessie tan at maxpeedingrods to be a reviewer for them. I agreed, under the condition that I could be blunt and honest about the products I would review. They agreed, and I selected their top shelf coilovers for SRT4 neons to start with. These have adjustable body/spindle mount locations, adjustable perches, 6k rear and 8k front springs, pillow ball rear and camber plate front upper mounts, and adjustable damping. On paper, really good sounding product!
Image20200813_131927 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
Image20200813_132042 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
Image20200813_132139 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

They were back ordered when I selected. So it took a while for them to come in. that meant that the car I had PLANNED to test them on had been parted out, the shell cut up, and what was left turned into raw materials for more coilovers. So I went about setting them up to use on the ACR.

To do so, I re-drilled the mounting pattern in the rear upper mounts to the first gen 4 bolt setup. The upper pillow ball plates are 3/8 plate, and machines beautifully. Don't know what type of steel they are, but its a good quality judging by the way it works. The bolts holding the pillow ball in are kind of cheesy though. There's no indication they will fail, but they could spend a few bucks extra on higher quality hardware and make it feel like it was an extra $100 improvement in quality.

The front camber plates mounted up almost exactly with the first gen strut towers. About half a hole off, and easy enough to deal with. Again, good quality raw materials judging by what I can tell in my garage. The bolts that allow you to adjust camber are pretty soft feeling though. Ill probably upgrade them later.
Image20200915_125855 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

Otherwise, the machining and raw materials seems top notch. The threads are all nicely machined, adjusters work smoothly, anodizing in the aluminum takes a good shine and holds up to solvents well, material selection is nice and robust. I felt good about installing them in a car that I just completed a full rotisserie style restoration on. The only other thing needed was to shim the spindle to mounting location, as the SRT4 spindles are a lot thicker than first gen. Did it with hardened washers.
Image20200917_100907 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

This test was done comparing three suspension setups on the same car, with the same settings. Car is at a 14 inch rear spindle height (center of spindle to fender lip) and front is 13.5. 0 camber, 0 toe rear. -1 camber, 0 toe front. Stock front ACR sway bar, ¾ second gen rear.

The three setups, in order of aggressiveness.
Stagg struts, eibach pro kit springs
koni yellows with mopar xhd coils
maxpeedingrods srt4 coilovers

When installing, the coilovers (at least these) were set at the factory with a small amount of spring preload, with the adjustment collars tight. The body to spindle mount was left loose. In the rear, I extended the body f the strut as far through the mount as I could to give me all the travel I could get. To match the previous setup, I also had to lower the adjustable spring perch about an inch, thereby giving up an inch of bump travel at the benefit of having another inch of droop travel. Fronts were about spot on out of the box. Only other change needed to the car was that the rear sway bar end links needed to be changed to a spare set of fronts/factory second gen rear
Image20200915_171143 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

stagg/eibach combo: best ride quality, ok handling, bit much of body roll. Also, rear was underdamped and hit the bumpstops constantly. But again, over abrupt impacts like tar strips, frost heaves, cracks, etc, best ride quality. It also sat slightly higher than the other setups, and had noticeably poorer initial turn in characteristics. This is the setup id prefer to use if it was a daily, mostly because im fat and old. Matter of fact, its almost the setup I had on the ACR the last time I owned it, and it WAS my daily. Only I was less fat and less old then.

Next was the koni/xhd spring setup. The koni yellows and mopar springs are the old school gold standard. With koni on full soft, they ride firm but not harsh. Turn in is crisp, body roll is minimal. Acceptable for a daily. Turn the konis up to stiff, and we get slot car ride quality, razor sharp turn in, zero body roll, and a very competitive package for any local autocross. There's a reason they are the gold standard, and have been for years. That's the reason that I assembled that package for my ACR. I have a bunch of miles on this setup in both this ACR and my previous RT.

Lastly is the unknown. Cheap chinese coilovers. Things that get bashed on every forum and facebook. Laughed at at autocrosses and track days. Hell, ive made fun of them!

I will admit on my behalf that it was contempt prior to investigation.

They did take a few miles to “break in”. I swear they softened by 50% in ten miles. No sag noted, but much harshness reduction. So I proceeded to put 200 miles on them. The spring rates are stiff, and the pillowball mounts are definitely noisier than the factory style rubber mounts of the other setups. At least in the rear, the factory first gen mounts were unable to be easily adapted to these. I didn't try too hard, so don't take that as gospel. The adjustable damping rates seem linear in usage, but I have no shock dyno at my disposal.

The long story short is that these are ALMOST as good as the koni yellow/xhd setup. They handle amazingly close (on the street, on street tires) to the konis at medium stiffness (set on full soft. Full hard is ludicrously stiff and responsive), ride similarly, and are way more readily available and easier to adjust. They are harsh over abrupt transitions like tar strips, degraded pavement, and potholes are brutal. I would attribute it to the pillowball mounts and high spring rates. However, for a dual purpose (motorsport/street) car, they will fill the bill and be inexpensive. If I had to dial them in further, I do believe id go to 6k front, 4k rear springs as a start. Possibly tune bumpstop height from there. They seem aggressively tall, but I haven't found them to be intrusive at this time and setup.
Image20200916_073412 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

These will remain on my car for a while, i'm so impressed with them. Im not sure how longevity will play out yet, but as this car is a toy I expect them to last a long, long time. I may wind back up with my konis, I may not. Just don't know at this time, and the beauty of this hobby is that I don't have to know today!

Now, I got these for free to do a review here. I want that to be clear. I am being honest with my review. If these sucked, id call it like it is. That being said, id NOT run them on a daily. Or anywhere with really horrible pavement. Or with a kirky aluminum seat no matter how smooth the pavement. But, if you're looking at the cost of used koni yellows, having them rebuilt, finding xhd springs, and getting it all setup, definitely look at these as an alternative. I think it would be worth it. If you're setting up a new locally competitive autocross or time trial car, id look at them HARD because of their adjustability and ability to corner weight and tune spring rates.

Discount code: Dusterbd13--get 8% off for all orders on
Coilovers link: ... Dusterbd13
Michael Crawford
1997 Lapis Blue ACR
1998 white r/t
1970 Plymouth Duster
1995 silverado stepside 5/7 dropped lowrider shop truck
1999 miata 3400v6 swapped autocross car

owner/operator of Hellbilly Hotrods in Albemarle, NC

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Re: maxpeedingrods srt4 coilovers on first gen review (break out from acr build thread)

Post by Banner » Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:15 am

Thanks for the review. Do you do any racing with the car (AutoX, HPDE or Road Racing)? I'm wondering how the suspension performs on the track. How much suspension travel do you have? Does it ride on the bump stops often?

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