Why fitting new ones ?

My car is fitted with OEM shock absorbers. I didn’t realise it until I saw the picture but the car takes some roll and it seats quite high :


So I decided to replace the standard shock absorber and to go for new coilovers with adjustable height and adjustable damping. Severals brands are available : Tein, HKS, Ohlins, Nitron, etc etc and many other cheaper alternatives. Nitron is really expensive for my use. I read many feedback about Tein being harsh. HKS and Ohlins coiliovers have very good reviews but I was concerned they are designed for Japan roads and our roads may not be as good as the japanese ones. I though coilovers developed for our roads would be a better choice.

After hours of reading about the various brands I went for MeisterR coilovers. Their GT1 model was designed to challenge Ohlins DFV (Dual Flow Valve). I haven’t try the Olhins so I cannot comment. But the GT1 has also a dual flow valve system and they have been designed on UK roads.


Settings and installation

I received the coilovers quickly after ordering them – the guys from MeisterR were available to answer my questions and very helpfull. I will save you some trouble : if you order coilover don’t forget to order a set of Damper Adjustment Extension Cable : it will save you some pain for a small cost when it came to adjust the rear damping. Worth it.

The coilovers :

MeisterR GT1 for BNR34

On the picture below with both OEM and GT1 you will notice the GT1 is shorter than OEM and the spring has a different design.


I didn’t want the car seats too low. A little lower but not too much. I couldn’t find any existing settings to start with. You basically set the ground clearance by adjusting distance E.


After tests and trials I finally choose the following settings : front = 5.9cm, rear = 23cm. For the record this is the max height you can use on the front. It will lower the car by 3cm which is fine for my taste. However if you expect to keep the standard height stay away from the GT1.

Quick word about setting ride height and how to measure it : ride height distance must be take between the bottom fender and center of wheel with the car on a flat ground. This way tire size and wheel size don’t come in play. With standard shocks on front distance is 38.5cm and rear is 37.8cm. With the new coilovers distances are 35.5cm and 34.7cm. You will notice the distance is bigger at the front than at the rear : this is by design the front guard being bigger than the rear guard. When you install new coilover you want to keep this difference between front and rear.

Fitting the new coilover is easy. You need to jack stand the front axle to proceed the front and to jack stand the rear axle to proceed the rear coilovers. On the rear you will need to remove the back seat but that’s an easy job. When you fit the coilover don’t tighten the locking collar (B on the above picture) but leave some play for adjustment. Put all the bolts without tightenting them. Then, if you turn the body coilover it will allow you to adjust the height depending on the way you turn. That’s the C (or D) on the schema above.

But all this is explained in the MeisterR operational manual.

Something not explain in the manual : on the front you can notice the bracket has a longer side :


The longer side must be at the opposite of the bolt in contrary to the picture. The shorter side must face the nut.

Regarding the rear coilover you need to remove the back seats and the parcel shelf. And obviously if you want to be able to adjust damping without removing the parcel each time you will need the damper adjustabment cable. Here is a picture showing where to drill holes for the adjustment cables.



Road test

The coilovers offer 32 levels of adjustment. Level 0 is the hardest setting. To beging with I started with 17 clicks on front and 20 clicks on rear. Compared to the standard shocks they fill better. They’re not softer but firmer and definitely more confortable. That’s what you would expect with coilovers newer than 20 years. It’s really similar to modern cars.

It’s too early to talk about reliability but on the road they really outperform the standard ones and they provide a better feeling. I almost forgot : once you have them installed you should bring the car to have geometry adjusted properly. I’ll talk about this later …

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3 commentaires

  1. Hi Wardiz,
    Why you didn’t go for the custom shock way? No offer or simpler to go for coilovers?

  2. More like Viarouge. Custom shocks and spring for your application but no height adjustment or damping/rebound adjustment.

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