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Discussion Starter #1
While in winter storage I lowered my car with Eibach springs and KYB struts, and added CHE swaybars. My goals were slightly lowered stance with increased performance while keeping close to factory ride quality. With 55,000 miles, the stock suspension seemed to be in good working order.

Install-
The springs and struts, with new boots and bumpers were under $500 shipped. Installation was basic, even without a spring compressor (I used a ratchet strap). I reused the top mount with the 3 bolts that hold the top of strut and the associated components. I did not install crash bolts. I centered the 3 stud mount in the middle of the holes and loaded the suspension 1/2 way with a jack under the lower ball joint before torquing the strut to hub bolts.

CHE sways and new stock replacement endlinks were under $180 shipped (I could not justify the cost of upgrading to beefy links). Again, install was simple and easily done with the suspension swap. I used the less aggressive setting on the rear bar.

The project was completed in one long day- air tools helped move quickly.

Test drive-
The car handled amazing! Turn in was so sharp and crisp I was taking corners way too tight. The turning of the car now seemed to exceed the movement of the steering wheel. The ride was noticeably firmer, but not unpleasant or uncomfortable. The springs and struts work very well together. Body roll was essentially gone. Exactly what I was looking for- enhanced performance and look without decreased comfort.
I thought about skipping an alignment, until I drove above 80mph- things became very unsettled and twitchy, something was off. The car had never been aligned , and I have no idea what the specs were before beginning but speeds over 100 were rock steady.

Alignment-
I chose a local indy with a great reputation and a brand new Hunter machine, and asked for the owner to perform the work personally. The only adjustments would be toe.

Before- The front and right rear toe were essentially nil, and the left rear was way off at .50. I have no idea why the LR was off, and could have been there before, but tire wear was always even.
After- Caster front L/3.3 R/3.3
Camber front L/-.8 R/-1.3
Camber rear L/-1.2 R/-1.7
Toe front L/.07 R/.04 Total toe .11
Toe rear L/.08 R/.1 Total toe .17
Thrust angle -.01 Steer ahead .01

Lowering effect on alignment-
Caster- was unchanged.
Camber- Although my camber was within Toyota spec, I dont know why the right side was about -.5 greater than left.
Toe- Toe in was reduced, needed adjust after lowering.
Conclusion- If I had to do it again, I would install cam crash bolts to equalize L-R camber values, and adjust to -1.0 front and -1.5 rear.

Factory specs (pulled off this site- unknown accuracy)
Caster: 3.13 +/-.75, Left to Right difference .75 max
Front camber: -.78 +/-.75 L-R diff .75 max
Front toe in total: .15 +/-.2
Rear camber: -1.08 +/-.75 L-R diff .75 max
Rear toe in (total): .3 +/-.2

I definitely recommend this set up for an affordable upgrade!
 

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I am running the same setup with the exception of the end links. I got the links from Two's R Us. You don't need the beefy upgrade with the Che bars as they aren't large enough to require the extra long threaded section. You will notice a difference from the aftermarket links. A very noticeable difference.
I still recommend the upgraded end links but not the step beyond that to the beefy end links. The regular aftermarket links are much better then the OEM units.

I agree about the ride quality. It is a bit more firm but not harsh or abusive to a driver. I have a bulging disc in my neck so I'd be one of the first to tell you if it was.

I replaced my front mounts as mine were worn out and I got the crash bolts in advance. I didn't want to be without my car due to being surprised by needing them and not having them on hand when the alignment was done. That is also in part to my car having an unknown past where it was wrecked once despite what Carfax and the Certified Toyota bullshit claimed.

Oh, I got my KYB's from shockwarehouse.com
I got my springs from another member here who upgraded to coilovers. Sadly he is now parting his car out to sell it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I got my springs from Tire Rack and struts, boots, end links from Rock auto.
Use RockAuto discount code 86889807156856 until May 13, 2012 for 5% off!
 

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I got my springs from another member here who upgraded to coilovers. Sadly he is now parting his car out to sell it.
same...Stop copying me bro lol we have too many simularities :cool:
 

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How do you know if your top mounts are shot?
I had noise coming from them when turning the wheel while at a dead stop. A bit like a crunch noise. Visually the bearings looked like they were out of a car with 100+ miles. After replacing the crunch noise is now gone.
 

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Have a similar setup, as my springs are tien lowering springs. You described the driving experience perfectly. The car just does what is asked of it. After a while with the setup I have been able to tell a few areas that need improvement. The bushings need to be replaced, I need to inspect my top mounts as well (since the crunching sound you described happens on my car, usually after a creaking sound), and I want to go for the upgraded end links. FYI, I have maybe 40k miles on the Che swaybars on original end links and they are holding up just fine, no bends or cracks. Now go add some chassis braces and you will never want to drive another car.
 

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I also have the Tein springs with KYB struts and my experience matches exactly. Turn in is very sharp and handling is noticeably improved. The car was aligned after install, but I don't have the specs (long story), but in my case stability at higher speeds was much improved, perhaps because the front is lowered a bit more than the rear with the Tein springs.

The only negatives are reduced suspension travel, harsher ride on rough roads, and ground clearance. Driveways are now a challenge, but judging the size of road kill has become real important.
^_^
 

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I also have the Tein springs with KYB struts and my experience matches exactly. Turn in is very sharp and handling is noticeably improved. The car was aligned after install, but I don't have the specs (long story), but in my case stability at higher speeds was much improved, perhaps because the front is lowered a bit more than the rear with the Tein springs.

The only negatives are reduced suspension travel, harsher ride on rough roads, and ground clearance. Driveways are now a challenge, but judging the size of road kill has become real important.
^_^
Yeah, I have the Tein springs and a custom front lip that's about 2 inches tall...I know exactly what you mean. Clearing squirrels is iffy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I had noise coming from them when turning the wheel while at a dead stop. A bit like a crunch noise. Visually the bearings looked like they were out of a car with 100+ miles. After replacing the crunch noise is now gone.
I added some grease to my front strut top mount bearings with a grease gun needle (its not a sealed bearing, just pop the dust cap). Often they are just dried out and need some lube. I had no noise or play, but want them to be trouble free another 50,000 miles.
 

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Camber front L/-.8 R/-1.3
Camber rear L/-1.2 R/-1.7

Camber- Although my camber was within Toyota spec, I dont know why the right side was about -.5 greater than left.
It'll be worth your while to get some crash bolts (probably just need for FL and RR) and get the camber closer to even. Of course, it'll cost you another alignment.....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It'll be worth your while to get some crash bolts (probably just need for FL and RR) and get the camber closer to even. Of course, it'll cost you another alignment.....
Yeah, it was foolish not to put them in, trying to save $60 will cost me another $80....
For now, I will wait, the car drives great. I can get thru this year on these tires, and do crash bolts, tires and align next spring (and new wheels if things go well)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
is there much difference in eibach vs tein? Found the tein quite a bit cheaper
I was looking for the smallest drop, to keep my chin off the pavement, and best ride quality. I have never heard bad things about eibach ride quality, although I have heard grumbles about tein- but I have never been in a car w tein. They are much less $.....
 
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