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looking for a soft ride

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 18 Sep 2010, 08:13 pm
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Default looking for a soft ride

Hi ! can anyone suggest a shock/spring setup for a soft ride?Most of my driving is in an urban enviroment with potholes,bumps,speed humps and just generally bad pavement. I am not concerned with "sports car" performance, just a soft and comfortable ride.
Anybody here have any experience or suggestions?
Thanks
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Old 18 Sep 2010, 10:21 pm
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Smile Re: looking for a soft ride

Hey their crc3jc,



OPTION A:

As for working towards a smoother ride, you could start by upgrading your struts to Tokiko Blues. Then either Tokiko or Koni Sport adjustable shocks, and then I might look into a high end tire possible one size larger than stock as any additional tire side wall will add to the overall cushion of your ride quality. This would be your most economical way to go.

OPTION B:

The next stage up would be to look into an aftermarket coil over adjustable suspension which since it is adjustable, you can tweak the rides softness or harshness to your liking but it comes with a bit more cost to it. Your talking around $1100.00 and up for a decent set up.

OPTION C:

And then their is air ride which is by far the most expensive and complex system, but you are essentially riding on air bags which of course is known for adjusting ride height, but also you have unlimited control over how much pressure you want in the bags at any given time. So you can adjust to exactly the right softness you want to ride at. And then if you have a good air ride management system you can set it with your personal preferences and even set it up to work via remote so one click of the button and your ride would go from dropped to the ground looking cool to exactly the height and softness you prefer in one shot. The downside of course is cost which for a good system can run as high as $3000.00 plus.

So their are three options for you anyway. I wish you the very best of luck, and please let us know what you decide to go with and how it all works out for you. If you have any more questions on air ride and so on, I am running an air ride system on my PT now and would be more than happy to try to answer any questions you may have.
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Old 19 Sep 2010, 07:02 am
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Default Re: looking for a soft ride

Thanks Candyman

That is the information I needed.I'll do some price shopping and considering now.
Regards
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Old 19 Sep 2010, 09:12 pm
edb edb is offline
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Default Re: looking for a soft ride

Hi, Candyman:

I am also looking for a softer ride. But I feel the rear end of my PT is the culprit, the front end is fine. If I go with option A, then I need two adjustable shocks. But as far as I know(I am very likely to be wrong), the coil springs have more to do with ride quality. Should not I replace springs first?

Thank you.
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Old 20 Sep 2010, 07:17 am
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Default Re: looking for a soft ride

My suggestion would be to get 15" wheels and tires - you have more rubber between you and the road....
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Old 20 Sep 2010, 08:21 am
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Smile Re: looking for a soft ride

Hey their edb,

In this case I would have to say replacing the rear shocks might be the better plan of attack initially. Yes Aftermarket Coil Springs are progressively wound which does ultimately help dampen the ride a bit however I am not sure they make an a good Aftermarket Spring Kit that is set up to retain stock height, or at least I have yet to be able to locate or track any down. Most all Aftermarket Kits that I am aware of are drop spring kits which anytime you lower a vehicles geometry you ultimately reduce suspension travel which in return will give you a harsher ride rather than a softer one sending you in the wrong direction.

They do make a very minimal drop kit which only drops by one inch which may or may not have much effect on ride quality but I kinda fear that the drop might offset any gain as a whole which doesn't do you much good either. So for me, I would maybe again take a good look at tires and shocks as being the best gain for the money.

You might also try dropping your tire pressure a bit if you are running it high as this can have some effect on ride quality as well.

As far as shocks go, like I had mentioned above Koni adjustable shocks are good as far as I know. I have known several people who have run them and have said they made a noticeable improvement. Bilstien makes an excellent shock and is well known world wide for making top quality parts though I believe they are more performance oriented as a whole and might give you a bit stiffer ride as well, but they may be worth looking into.

Though intended more so for leveling a vehicle when loaded or for towing purposes, Air Assist Shocks might be of help as well. I recon they might be worth checking into as well.

That's about my best advice I have anyway. I hope that might help out a bit. If you ever have anymore questions, please let me know and I would be more than happy to try to help wherever I can.
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Old 20 Sep 2010, 09:30 am
edb edb is offline
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Default Re: looking for a soft ride

Thank you very much, Candyman.

I just found this review about the Koni adjustable shock,

PT Cruiser LINKS .com ... A Review - KONI Adjustable Sport Shocks

it looks like it can only be adjusted to become firmer.
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Old 20 Sep 2010, 10:51 am
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Smile Re: looking for a soft ride

Hey their edb,

I haven't ever run the Koni's on my personal ride so I am not 100% sure how much room their is exactly on them. I believe the Koni yellows have about 22MM of play from firm to soft. Most adjustable shocks I have worked with usually come out of the box somewhere in the middle so you should have room to dial it in better. What your looking for is more of a Touring type feel with good control over dampening and rebound of the shock which the Koni Yellow's do have, and should be able to provide you with a little better ride.

Also, most aftermarket shocks will tend to be a bit better built using better components, better seals, slightly larger pistons and so on which even though don't make a huge difference, when everything is combined they still do make some difference which in the end is an improvement.

One thing you do have to be a bit careful with is going too far the other way as well where as your ride starts to feel a bit mushy due to being too soft on the suspension which can lead to the car handling, and acting abnormally.

Depending on what size wheels you are running, quicksilverdon's suggestion on maybe looking at dropping down to 15" wheels would make a big difference over running something like a 17" wheel as the more sidewall your tires have, the more cushion you have between you and the road.

Unfortunately most aftermarket suspension components are more geared towards the performance industry which is where the market is, and kinda leaves somewhat limited options to improve ride quality on a budget without spending the money for a coil over set up at least in the rear which ultimately would be the ideal situation. That is the most common form of rear suspension used on the majority of Street Rods as a result cause it just works so well. Just a shame their isn't much better options available for the PT.

So my best advice at the moment anyway would be to:

1. Try to get some 15" wheels if you are currently running any larger, and go with some medium to higher grade tires instead of the cheaper ones as you will get better usage and performance out of them. Also run your tires at a lower pressure which should also soften the ride a bit.

2. Try to get some adjustable shocks and adjust them to their softest setting which should give you better dampener, and rebound control, and should give you a better ride as well.

Either one of those should give you a better ride, and both together should give you a significant improvement on your ride quality.

Please let me know if you come up with anything else and we can see what we might be able to figure out for you together.
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Old 20 Sep 2010, 02:10 pm
edb edb is offline
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Default Re: looking for a soft ride

Thanks, Candyman.

I think I will go with shock change, and leave tires alone for now.

Thank you again.
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