FCM 3040 coilovers, Mazdaspeed MX5 Review
The coil-overs are in place, the bushings all seem to have settled down, and I’ve dialed in a quick ride-height adjustment to get me to and from Houston next week for the official corner-weight and alignment at Gas Head Motorworks and Autocross that weekend.So here’s a quick preliminary review on my new FCM 3040s
These 3040’s are non-adjustable damping height adjustable coil-overs. Total price tag was $1,672 dollars.
I dialed in 12.1” front and 12.8” rear fender lip to center of hub as a temporary ride height setting.
I’m using the 949 Super Miata end links and have the front sway-bar set to full stiff. I removed the 14mm MSM rear swaybar entirely due to throttle-over-steer issues.
I called Shaikh up about 6 weeks ago ready to bite the bullet on a new setup. After all, there is only so much discomfort and lack of handling you can stand with the stock MSM package.
I had a few ideas about how I wanted to proceed that I was kicking around at the time, in retrospect I realize that the spring rates I was aiming for were really too low for the added weight of the MSM.
After a 30 minute conversation, Shaikh and I had settled on a setup that would meet my needs and goals for the car (Autocross with some grand touring thrown into the mix).
Autocross performance was important, but good ride comfort (something substantially better than the MSM, maybe even better than the NC) was going to be an absolute MUST on this car… Yeah, I was being that guy.
One of the things I love about ordering a FCM setup is that the setup is completely customized to your needs, not just a mix and match of preselected items sitting on a shelf that work only in certain conditions and not as well in others.
The exhaustive tuning of the dampers to not just the spring rate but to the customized bumpstops and their engagement point is pretty amazing.
Another feature of these Elite 3040s is that if my goals change in the future, I can send them back to be re-built into single or double adjustable dampers.
6 weeks later the 3040s were at my door as promised and right on time.
Dealing with Shaikh has been nothing but an absolute pleasure. He kept a great open line of communication with me during the waiting period, and was always happy to answer any questions I had.
I don’t consider myself a suspension simpleton by any means, but I still learn something new every time Shaikh and I have a conversation or if I call him up to ask a question regarding my setup.
Technical stuff on the setup:
Spring Rate: 800lb/in front, 500 lb/in rear.
Swaybar: RB 1.125” hollow bar.
Bounce Frequencies (Hz): 2.54/2.36
Front Roll Couple: 64%
Roll stiffness (lb-ft/deg): 4226.6
This is presently the stiffest MSM setup that FCM has ever built, and there was one little snag we hadn’t counted on.
The threaded collars were too short for the added weight of the MSM, the result was an extremely low ride-height (around 11.5” front and 12” rear at the top of the perch) where I wanted to keep a minimum of 12” in the front and 12.6” rear to clear the stock wheels and most of the speed bumps in the area.
A quick call to Shaikh and he had a solution immediately, he even made a quick instructional video for me on how to flip the sleeves to gain back that lost ride height.
A few hours later and after the purchase of an impact wrench, I was back in business and a happy camper.
Despite the staggering increase in bounce frequency and roll stiffness, this setup has more compliance and better composure over a variety of surfaces than even the NC1.
The damping profile is just amazing.
It generates so much grip yet keeps the ride more civil than any OTS setup I’ve driven so far. And the fact it does so with the MSMs massive 17X7 wheels is even more impressive, I’m not even cheating by running smaller wheels with bigger tires!
The bumpstops feel… Well honestly I can’t feel them.
Even with a passenger in the car you never actually feel the bump-stops engage at any point, even on massive surface undulations. That it isn’t to say it doesn’t happen, but with how Shaikh customized the damping to not just the springs but the bumpstops, it makes the transition from spring to stop seamless.
Nothing I’ve driven after market in the Miata world outside of the Xida CS even comes close to the impressive road manners that this setup demonstrates on rough and badly paved surfaces.
On the interstate, the ride quality is just amazing. The car feels like it’s sitting on top of a suspension and at no point does it ever feel like it’s jacking down onto the bumpstops like it always did with the MSM setup.
The car is much sharper in how it turns-in and responds to mid-corner corrections, but it never feels twitchy or vague, always assuring, and very grippy. .. Very very very grippy!
I honestly can’t get over the sheer amount of grip that the car manages now. It literally feels like somebody swapped out my tires for something stickier.
When you do over-step the limits of adhesion, the car is very easy to reign back in, requiring only a slight amount of opposite lock before the tires regain their grip.
The suspension handles mid-corner bumps with the greatest of ease, you may feel the bump, but you won’t upset the traction of the tires.
I really wish I could write more here, but I can’t comment on the balance or say much until I have everything dialed in correctly.
At the moment, out of the box the car has more grip, is easier to control at the limit, and is just plain better in every way.
So am I happy with my new setup?
Yes, yes I am. Ecstatic actually!
Driving the MSM just to and from the store is a sheer delight again.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the new setup copes with the autocross next weekend, my only regret is that I’ll still be on these 215/40/17 Contis instead of a set of 225/45/15 RS3s like I had originally planned.
Jeff Goji – FCM Elite 3040 Coilover Review – Another Excited FCM Elite Client
We continue today highlighting feedback of our FCM Elite solutions.
Jeff Goji, one of the more active contributors on Miata.net, took the time to write up a thorough review of not only our product, but our comprehensive consultation process. We can’t thank him enough for his enthusiasm and it is our pleasure to have him as an FCM Elite Client.
Here is a link to the original post on Miata.net