View Single Post
Old 08-21-2011, 07:30 PM   #1
Nessal


 
Drives: Lotus Exige
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: CA, Bay Area
Posts: 2,270
My BC racing coilovers review

*****15,000 miles update*****

Still no issues yet. I changed the dampening adjustment to 10F and 25R. I rose the car up about half an inch because of other people reporting that they wore through their CV boot because they lowered it too much. Car still rides great and the coilovers are still holding up.


*****10,000 miles update*****

Still no complaints at all! The car rides just as good as the day that I bought them. I did make an adjustment to the shock so I'm running 5F/20R. I had to adjust the coils a few weeks ago and I could tell it was not going to be hard like my previous experience with coilovers. The coating on the shock body made it extremely easy to wipe away the grit before I adjusted. Awesome! No complaints at all!



*****1000 Miles update******

No complaints at all about these coils. I have finally settled down to a 15/10 damper adjustment and it rides soft like stock but much better weight transitions. Handling is much improved over factory.




Ok, so I decided to give BC Racing coilovers a try to see if they are really what they are cracked up to be. I ordered a set from Auto Agenda here on the forums after some questions that I had. In my previous car I have used Bilstein and H&R coilovers. Both of them provided a very firm ride. I personally don't mind a firm ride and actually prefer it. I don't like a soft ride because I don't feel that I get enough feedback from the suspension. I daily driven my previous car this way and won't have it any other way. My passengers on the other hand hated it. But I rarely had passengers so it's all good! However, since getting the Camaro, any time that my fiance and I would go out, she always made me drive the Camaro so I decided to keep the damper a little bit on the softer side.

First impressions after opening the box was that the quality is surprisingly good for the price. The entire strut body was covered in what appears to be some type of thick enamel that would prevent rust. I was originally going to use some anti-sieze grease on the coilover threads but decided that it wasn't necessary. My previous two coilovers required this and even then, I found that the adjustors would bind up on the coilover threads because of corrosion. Not so with the BC coilovers it would seem. This is a nice touch. The instructions however were complete crap. Everything was in engrish and I cringed when I read through it. It's basically useless so I tossed it. The only thing remotely useful was the strut assembly diagram which I didn't follow exactly either but you'll read about that later.

For someone that have never installed their suspension before, this is totally doable if you have the correct tools and some patience. I have installed quite a few sets of coilovers before so the concept is pretty close to the other cars. But I can see some areas where someone that has never wrenched on a car before can get confused and make the process longer than it needs to be.

First riding impressions were that even on the stiffest setting, they were nowhere near the stiffness of the other previously mentioned brands. I found that 15 in the rear and 15 in the front provided a ride very similar to factory. I also noticed that right off the bat, that the BC coilovers eliminated the bounciness of the factory suspension. That's definitely a good thing as the bounce annoyed me quite a bit. Turn in was noticeably snappier compared to stock. It no longer "lagged" a little bit before it would turn. The suspension responded much quicker. Body roll was greatly reduced and it no longer feels like the car is shifting all its weight to one side. It feels very planted to the asphalt. On the stock suspension, you really feel the weight of the car. The BC coilovers seem to make the car feel lighter than it really is. I don't expect it to be as good as Pfadt coilovers but it's a good compromise for those that don't track their cars but want a better suspension setup than stock with the ability to raise or lower vehicle height. For the price, it's a really good bargain. I haven't put too many miles on it yet since I still need to get the car aligned. The steering wheel is pointing at 2'oclock after the install.(NOW FIXED) I'm planning to do that after putting a week of commuting on it so that every settles in first. But I will give you guys an update after it is aligned and then updated every 5k miles or so. So far I'm pretty happy with the quality and performance for the price.

Until then here are some of my advice for the install. It will really speed the installation along and lower the amount of frustration that you will go through.

FOR THE REARS

1. Get a 15mm ratcheting wrench. Seriously. Get one. It's like $15-20 bucks at Sears and IMO it is WELL worth it when you remove the swaybar endlinks in the rear. We had to use a standard combo wrench. IT TOOK FOREVVEERRRRRR. Also it is very helpful when you are taking off the 4 bolts that hold the rear upper strut mounts in place. The ones in the back don't have much clearance! There just isn't enough room in that area to use anything else effectively. The two that are closer to the outside can easily be removed and reinstalled with a standard socket.

2. YOU NEED A BREAKER BAR FOR THE 24MM BOLTS THAT HOLDS THE STRUT IN. Don't even think about using anything else besides a breaker bar unless you have Hercules arms. My breaker bar has a handle of about 16" and it still required a good amount of force. You want to buy a breaker bar with a pivoting head because of clearance issues.

3. For the rear coilovers, I assembled it a little bit differently than the instructions. It said that you should put the dust boot in before the small BC washer. I found that it would not be effective at keeping dirt out. From my experience, after you assemble the whole strut assembly, the dust boot will fall to the bottom and bunch up. It will allow dirt to get inside through the top and bottom. What I did was put the BC washer in first, then put the dust boot over it. When fully assembled, it kept the dust boot from falling down the strut body. Also, I can't see this small deviation from the instructions having any harm at all. You will understand when you do yours. I didn't realize this until we fully reassembled the whole rear assembly. Then I noticed that the dust boot was fully collapsed at the bottom of the strut. Then we have to taken EVERYTHING back apart including the entire coilover assembly. NOT FUN and a waste of time.

4. When you reassemble the BC coilover assembly DO NOT USE the T40 and T50 Torx bit to hold the piston shaft from spinning. The torx bit is ONLY for the factory strut shaft. You need to use a allen wrench to hold the BC piston shaft still when you tighten up the upper strut nut. If you use a torx bit, you will strip it out. NOT GOOD! So think of it this way, torx bit are for factory strut shaft, allen wrench are for BC coilover shaft. Some people that may be impatient may forget and think that you can use the torx bit for both.

5. Having a extra set of hands is VERY helpful. I found that with a extra set of hands, one person can hold the control arm up while the other person can easily push the bolts back through for the spindle bolt. Also, we found that using a small jack to slowly lift the control arms up helped greatly when trying to align everything to push the rear lower strut bolt back through.

6. When doing the rear coilovers, reassemble in this fashion. Tighten all 4 bolts for the upper strut mount. You need to do this step first or else you won't have enough clearance when you do it after the lower strut bolt or spindle bolts are put back in. Try to realign the bolts to match the imprint from the previous assembly on the upper strut mount. Have someone lift the spindle assembly and align it with the holes in the control arm. Then push the bolt all the way through. Push the swaybar endlink back through its mounting location. The endlinks pivot in a 360 motion. Then put a small jack under the control arms and lift slowly to align the coilovers to the lower strut mounting hole. Then push the bolt through. Then tighten everything up.

7. There is no need for a spring compressor from my experience for the rears. There simply isn't much spring tension at all when the strut and spring assembly are disassembled.


FOR THE FRONTS(much easier and faster IMO)

1. You absolutely need a breaker bar to remove the two 24mm strut bolts. Make sure you have something under the brake and spindle assembly to prevent the unit from dropping down. I used a surplus ammo can and it worked great.

2. In order to get a 1.5" drop like my pictures below, you want to adjust the coilovers so that 1.5" protrudes from BELOW the coilovers. Doing this way will allow you to get the drop you desire faster resulting in less time wrenching on the spanner wrench when it's back on the car. This coilover does not adjust the height through compressing the springs like most other coilovers that I have dealt with. It lowers the car by adjusting the entire length of the coilover.

3. Like the rear, I put the washer in BEFORE the dust boot. See my pictures below. The left side is the way that I did it and the right side is according to their instructions. You can see that the boot will bunch up on the bottom if you don't. The washer on top will prevent the boot from dropping down if you put it under the boot.

4. If your lift BARELY have enough room to clear the underside of your car, you will NOT have enough clearance to drop it back down after you lower it. What we did to get around this was to jack the car up first, then put a bunch of large plywood pieces under wheel. Then lowered the jack back down. This will allow you enough clearance to get the jack back out. Then you just drive off the platforms and you'll be good. It's like ghetto race ramps.

5. The front factory strut and spring assembly MAY require a spring compressor. There is a good amount of force in it. What we did to get around this was to put the strut with the top facing a wall. That way when we took the jam nut out that holds it all together,it hit the wall and prevented the jam nut and washer to fly out thus losing it. You need these parts for your coilovers. Be careful.

That's about all I can think of. I think they are a little bit lower than I want them to be. I can fit a good 1 finger all around. It's a 1.5" drop on every corner. I'm thinking of raising it back up another .25" on all fours. At this height I know that I'll pretty much scrap everywhere I go. Also, I think once everything settles a bit more, it might get even lower. I'm not sure if BC coils will sag a little bit or not over time.

The rears were much more involved than the fronts IMO. Having done this once, I can safely say that I can do the whole install again within 3-4 hours with a extra set of hands. A good time saver is to have all the tools ready and organized. We didn't have anything elaborate. Just your usual Craftsmen 150 piece tool kit, T40&50 torx bit, breaker bar, torque wrench, jack stands, and floor jack. GET A 15mm RATCHETING WRENCH. I WILL NOT INSTALL ANOTHER SET WITHOUT THEM!

Enjoy the pictures and I'll keep you all updated as I put more miles on them.
Attached Images
     

Last edited by Nessal; 10-12-2012 at 03:55 PM.
Nessal is offline   Reply With Quote