Deciding which set of coilovers/wheels and sizes? (PIC) - Lexus IS Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Deciding which set of coilovers/wheels and sizes? (PIC)

Sup folks,

So got my 04 MT IS (pic below) and i'm looking to ditch the really worn Tokico springs I got on there, as well as the 19" Vossens. I'm looking to get some Tein coilers with 18" Work wheels and sit the car about a half an inch to an inch lower. Now this is my first time getting coils on a car, so as you'd assume I'd have some questions.

-What would be needed to lower my car from these old springs to a set of coilovers?

-How do I determine the right size of wheels? I know for sure I want 18s and not 19s

-My fenders are rolled because of the wheel size, so would I have to unroll my fenders for the wheels to fit on more snug?

Sorry for the rookie questions, but anything would help. Thanks!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 07:24 PM
abj
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I found this thread to be very helpful.

The Slammed / Aggressive **WHEEL FITMENT** thread

You won't unroll your fenders and after installing coilovers, you should be good with an alignment.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! And I also want way less of an aggressive camber. How do I control this?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Alexandrethegr8 View Post
Thanks! And I also want way less of an aggressive camber. How do I control this?
The car has a pretty decent factory camber adjustment, but the geometry (rear especially) goes all kinds of wonky when the car is lowered. There are replacement arms and toe links available from Megan and FIGS Engineering (maybe others) that address these issues. If you decide to spend the extra money in adjusting geometry, you will improve the handling, ride quality, and tire wear all at the same time.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GKR_Nik View Post
The car has a pretty decent factory camber adjustment, but the geometry (rear especially) goes all kinds of wonky when the car is lowered. There are replacement arms and toe links available from Megan and FIGS Engineering (maybe others) that address these issues. If you decide to spend the extra money in adjusting geometry, you will improve the handling, ride quality, and tire wear all at the same time.

Since I'm such a rookie at this, what exactly are the toes and arms for the rear? And if I just swapped out some worn springs for a new set of coils, would that be a bad idea? Or do I NEED this?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 07:46 PM
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Since I'm such a rookie at this, what exactly are the toes and arms for the rear? And if I just swapped out some worn springs for a new set of coils, would that be a bad idea? Or do I NEED this?
The rear end uses a multi-link style suspension. What that means is, there are a handful of different arms or links, and they all kindof do a little bit of everything.



Sorry, I couldn't find a pic that shows everything clearly, but this should get the point across.

A is your upper control arm. This one is pretty straightforward. It just pivots up and down, and brings the hub along with it in a simple arc. There are no adjustments for it from the factory.

B is the toe link. Its main purpose is to keep the wheels going straight. Lateral loads (cornering) are applied to this arm. From the factory, it has an eccentric bolt adjuster to change your toe.

C is what I would call a trailing arm, or a caster arm. I'm sure it has a specific name in the Lexus crowd, but I'm not hip to it yet. Its job is to keep the whole hub assembly from moving fore and aft. No adjustment here either.

D, although you can't see it, is where the lower control arm would be. This works with the upper control arm to move the hub up and down in a nice arc. It's longer than the upper arm, which creates camber gain (the reason you get more negative camber when you lower the car). That's a really good thing for handling, but it's designed to work at stock ride height. It has a factory eccentric bolt adjuster which changes your camber.

This is where it gets tricky. If you adjust the camber, you also change the toe. If you adjust the toe, it may affect the camber a bit.

Also, the reason things go wonky when you lower the car is, you are putting all of these arms into positions that they will only hit briefly during normal operation at stock ride height. The geometry adjusts as the suspension compresses to be optimized for that bump or corner you are in, then goes back to normal for just cruising down the road. When you lower the car, you put the suspension into that "bump" zone all the time. The camber will be way off (as you've seen), but so will the toe. Plus, every bump you hit now puts the suspension into a more extreme area of its travel that you rarely ever see at stock height, and the AMOUNT of change per unit of suspension travel will be much higher.

So, what the aftermarket lower arms and toe links do is adjust your geometry to work more like stock at the lower ride height. The lower arm will be shorter, so you have less camber while sitting static, and the camber gain will be closer to what the factory intended so you don't go into that extreme zone. The toe link, on the other hand, will be longer so that each bump will cause less toe-in. It's all a function of the curve "drawn" by the outer pivot point, when held by the inner pivot point. See if that makes sense when you look at this picture:



It's just showing an upper arm and a lower arm so it's a bit simplified, but you can get the basic idea.

Swapping in coilovers isn't a bad thing. I think you said you want it a little higher than it is currently, and that's good: it will put the car's geometry closer to where Toyota intended it to be, and it will work better. Nobody NEEDS to change the arms, but for some the benefits are worth the cost.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKR_Nik View Post
The rear end uses a multi-link style suspension. What that means is, there are a handful of different arms or links, and they all kindof do a little bit of everything.



Sorry, I couldn't find a pic that shows everything clearly, but this should get the point across.

A is your upper control arm. This one is pretty straightforward. It just pivots up and down, and brings the hub along with it in a simple arc. There are no adjustments for it from the factory.

B is the toe link. Its main purpose is to keep the wheels going straight. Lateral loads (cornering) are applied to this arm. From the factory, it has an eccentric bolt adjuster to change your toe.

C is what I would call a trailing arm, or a caster arm. I'm sure it has a specific name in the Lexus crowd, but I'm not hip to it yet. Its job is to keep the whole hub assembly from moving fore and aft. No adjustment here either.

D, although you can't see it, is where the lower control arm would be. This works with the upper control arm to move the hub up and down in a nice arc. It's longer than the upper arm, which creates camber gain (the reason you get more negative camber when you lower the car). That's a really good thing for handling, but it's designed to work at stock ride height. It has a factory eccentric bolt adjuster which changes your camber.

This is where it gets tricky. If you adjust the camber, you also change the toe. If you adjust the toe, it may affect the camber a bit.

Also, the reason things go wonky when you lower the car is, you are putting all of these arms into positions that they will only hit briefly during normal operation at stock ride height. The geometry adjusts as the suspension compresses to be optimized for that bump or corner you are in, then goes back to normal for just cruising down the road. When you lower the car, you put the suspension into that "bump" zone all the time. The camber will be way off (as you've seen), but so will the toe. Plus, every bump you hit now puts the suspension into a more extreme area of its travel that you rarely ever see at stock height, and the AMOUNT of change per unit of suspension travel will be much higher.

So, what the aftermarket lower arms and toe links do is adjust your geometry to work more like stock at the lower ride height. The lower arm will be shorter, so you have less camber while sitting static, and the camber gain will be closer to what the factory intended so you don't go into that extreme zone. The toe link, on the other hand, will be longer so that each bump will cause less toe-in. It's all a function of the curve "drawn" by the outer pivot point, when held by the inner pivot point. See if that makes sense when you look at this picture:



It's just showing an upper arm and a lower arm so it's a bit simplified, but you can get the basic idea.

Swapping in coilovers isn't a bad thing. I think you said you want it a little higher than it is currently, and that's good: it will put the car's geometry closer to where Toyota intended it to be, and it will work better. Nobody NEEDS to change the arms, but for some the benefits are worth the cost.
Fantastic Write Up!

I'm doing my suspension this week.
Similar to you, I have 18" Rims at 8.5" width

I went with Fortune Auto 500 Series Coilovers with Swift Springs Upgrade
(12K in front and 10K in rear)
OE Front Upper Control Arms with new poly-bushing inserts
Figs Engineering Mega Arms Lowering Essentials Kit

Right now, I am sitting just barely above tire thread in the front and am looking to tune it a tiny bit lower just to tuck the tire a smidge.

I would definitely check out two kits before laboring the lowering:
1.) Figs engineering Front Refresh Kit
2.) Figs engineering Lowering Essentials Kit

I've got my car up in the air now and found the front lower ball joints (mainly passenger side) has some play due to the age of them. I may end up purchasing the front refresh kit in the next 2 weeks as the coilovers settle.

<3 IS LUV <3
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Posh469 View Post
Fantastic Write Up!

I would definitely check out two kits before laboring the lowering:
1.) Figs engineering Front Refresh Kit
2.) Figs engineering Lowering Essentials Kit
Thank you!

I highly recommend the FIGS parts too. There is cheaper stuff out there, but you 100% get what you pay for.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 12:34 AM
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It seems like a lot of the coils for the IS say they can adjust from stock to -x.xx" height... but when you try and adjust them to stock height, it goes beyond the coilover manufacturers 'recommended' or even actual 'warrantied' height in some cases. You can try for just coilovers, but as the other guys have mentioned, I would plan for toe arms and possible other corrections.

I bought the megan toe arms and trac rods. I paid for these arms/linkages that have more adjustment than factory and have better bushings than factory... interestingly, the quality is good and I did get what I paid for.

I grabbed some super no name front upper control arms... these for sure do suck like you would expect.

As for the rear control arms, I've almost bought 'new amazing super improved' arms from various vendors a few times. And honestly, when you remove the shock and stabilizer end, and you can squeeze the top together with your hand, it really makes one lean you towards grabbing new arms. But current plan is just to weld in bracing on top, better bushing, and drill in some holes for adjustments on the stabilizer links. It will be missing additional camber adjustment, but my rear camber actually isn't that bad right now. I see they have a lower adjuster that you can install on OEM arms now for $50-ish that I would consider as well

Last edited by whatthe; 04-22-2017 at 01:06 AM.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 09:17 AM
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Anyone have any experience with ZEAL X- Function coilovers?
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