Suspension Cost

  1. My model of MX-5 is: NB 1.8 2000 Icon
  2. I’m based near: North East London
  3. I’m looking for technical help or recommendations on: Shocks and Springs

I’ve driven my friends NB last week, totally standard and I like the ride, feel and look of the car. Mine feels floaty and slightly disconnected. I would like to replace all the suspension.

In the past, I have always tried to buy original parts. However, I am finding an increase in costs from the NA to the NB. The genuine front shocks will not be available for a couple of weeks and the Eibach springs which I was considering as another option (cut costs) are also unavailable. To buy all genuine shocks and springs for the MX-5 would cost £750.
I spoke to someone today in the car trade and they mentioned you can’t go wrong with TEIN coilovers, the starter budget for them is £375. I also spoke to a specialist MX-5 supplier who sources all their OEM parts from Holland and the total price for the Shocks and Springs is £230. However, I am unsure of the quality of TEIN and the OEM parts and how they will impact the feel and handling.

I am not particularly interested in ride height or looks. I like the original ride and feel of the car and do occasionally go on track days, once or twice a year.

I’m now unsure what to purchase to refresh the suspension setup, anyone who has faced a similar scenario recently, I would be interested in your outcome?

Many thanks,
Theo

Remember to consider wheel sizes when comparing 2 cars back to back. 14" feel much different to 15" and then again 16" feel much different to the 15’s all on the same car. Hope that makes sense.

1 Like

2000 6-speed Icons had Bilstein shocks (yellow) as standard, not the usual Showa shocks, so the Icon should have a firmer ride than the standard model. MX5parts has the Mazda-supplied Bilsteins, but they are much more expensive than the Showas, they also have in stock.

The Teins you are looking are probably similar in spec to the Bilstein. The Eibach springs are lowering springs, so will give a firmer ride.

In Japan, there are basically 3 major shock absorber makers, who are top tier suppliers; Tokico, Kayaba (KYB) and Showa. KYB shocks end up getting rebranded by Mazdaspeed. Tein probably heads the second teir; they should be considered a performance shock.

In Europe, the equivalent would be Koni and perhaps GAZ, a UK maker. GAZ apparently get let down by their assembly standards, but the basic shock is an excellent design (according the suspension specialist who rebuilt my Protec shocks). Tein are ok, he can rebuild them, but he doesn’t touch the various Chinese/Taiwanese shocks that have flooded the market.

The Koni Sport kit appears to be better than the budget Koni Street kit.

If you are happy with ride height, and the car feels floaty maybe your dampers are past their best. If you look on Autodoc you will see a full set of KYB shocks for under £140, Sachs and loads of other manufacturers also available. This may be a cheap way to refresh the suspension.

If you want more than a refresh, meaning an upgrade then I would do as suggested above and get a matched spring and coil over set.

I was tempted by the TEIN kit, be aware that some is made in China, and the higher quality range is made in Japan (not sure that is too relevant, but worth mentioning) I didn’t go with them in the end (on my NC) as I couldn’t find anyone who had fitted them to the Mazda to comment, so I went with the herd and fitted Meisters (made in Taiwan).

Thank you all for your comments, the wheels on the car are 15 inch and tyres size 195/50/15 I will look under the car tonight and see what’s currently on there. Thank you @saz9961 I’ve learnt alot about shocks from your comments. Like the idea of the KYB as @McTrucky also mentions. Looked at autodoc and for a full set it’s more like £280 which is fine. If I was to purchase these, can you advise on which springs I should get too?

I haven’t ruled out the Bilsteins just need to see which model I need, I think according to website they maybe the B6s, I think I can get a set from https://www.bilsteinsuspensionstore.co.uk/ for £500. Again which springs…?

Many thanks,
Theo

I looked before posting, costs were £75 and £65 for each axle, dampers coming in a two pack. I assumed you would stay on the standard springs with these. You could buy new kyb springs, but why?

Okay…so usually if you purchase new dampers you don’t normally also buy new springs, is that right.

If you are changing a damper because it is worn out, and you are changing like for like then if the spring is not sagging or broken, then why change it? If you are going for an OEM equivalent damper, the standard springs should be fine as it is effectively a like for like change. But if you are changing for a different specification (compression/rebound damper setting, different travel length, etc) then you should get matched springs.

The original post suggested springs and ride height were fine, but dampers had lost their damping. Cheapest option to refresh is some aftermarket OEM equivalent dampers reusing the original springs.

If you want an upgrade, get a matched set of dampers and springs.

Accepting that £140 for a set of KYB, is very cheap compared to an £800 set of MeisterCRDs, bear in mind if are paying someone a couple of hundred pounds or more for fitting, then another £100 on alignment the price differential is not so great between cheap aftermarket shocks on old springs (that may be OK for now but imminently about to break) and the hugely respected CRD’s that will add value to the car should you ever want to sell it.

Pays your money, takes your choice.

Krupps-Bilstein tell me the Bilsteins supplied to Mazda had different settings to their aftermarket version. Certainly, the Bilsteins in NA models were typifeied by a very high compression rate, but a rebound similar to stock.

The original springs are 20+ years old now. Unless DIYing, wise to refresh the springs at the same time as the shocks.

Sorry @McTrucky my mistake, on Mx5parts the KYB Excel-G are £90 each and what appears to be the same product on Autodoc is £75 a pair. I was surprised by the massive difference in pricing points for the same shock.

Also been down the garage and looked under the car, the shocks are black and appear to be original. I am happy to replace all the shocks for £140 (still sounds too cheap) and get some new springs as @saz9961 mentions, might as well if these are 20 years old.

Having a look at the MX5parts aftermarket springs https://www.mx5parts.co.uk/standard-coil-springs-aftermarket-mk2-25-p-3091.html Mentions these are better than the originals.

Thank you guys…any further info would be great, will look at ordering the dampers from Autodoc and springs from MX5parts.

Many thanks,
Theo

Check out KYB springs on Autodoc as well - might be cheaper still. Incase you don’t know, Autodoc prices change every few days. There will be a banner saying something like “Last day - 20% off”, and a countdown timer. At the end of the day it might change to 15% off, or it might change to 25% off. Best I have seen there was 39% off, and only seen that once. Best is usually around 25% off. If you download the app to your phone, you will save another 1% or so, “Always cheaper on the App” is one of their selling messages.

Delivery takes a few days from Germany - but I have never had any trouble with them, had to send stuff back once and was refunded in a couple of weeks or so.

Thanks for the info. :+1:

Can’t see KYB springs on Autodoc, shame.

They definitely used to have them. I did a massive comparison before I purchased. The KYB springs from memory were very cheap. If you are not in a hurry, might be worth sitting on it for a week or two and see if they start listing again. Also gives you a better chance of pulling the trigger at the maximum discount time.

There you go:
Nb 1.8 kyb springs

Not sure if they are cheaper than elsewhere, but buying dampers and springs from the same supplier you can ask they check they are compatible and return easily if not for any reason. Buy seperately and find they don’t fit is a bit more tricky.

Hi, I put KYB springs on the rear of my 2003 Nevada and they felt just like the originals.
Very cheap as well about £20 each from mjd128 on eBay. A little more from my local motor factors.
Not a performance upgrade but a decent product and if you have it all stripped down seems a shame not to replace them as the lower coils can break over time. (Both my rears went within 6 months of each other).

Hiya,

Autodoc App says these springs, ‘spare part doesn’t fit MAZDA MX-5 NB’…as you and @Binty have mentioned I think this is the right Spring. Silly list with 1.8 engine, one listed is 1.8 and the other is 1.8 v16…!

Okay, all done…

Autodoc for front and rear KYB Dampers and Textar brake pads, thanks @McTrucky and @saz9961
eBay for front and rear KYB Springs, thanks @Binty

All your help is really appreciated, what an amazing resource and friendly community.

Will now see what other tools I need… :wink:

Many thanks,
Theo

You will need normal sockets or spanner’s and some form of spring compressor.
If you can get hold of a suspension arm lever the job is so much easier as you can push the arm down to give clearance to pop the coil over units out.
Sealey and Draper do them and there are some cheaper ones on Amazon for under £50.
Worth every penny and you can sell
It after you used it if you dont want to keep it.
Having done it with and without a suspension arm lever I would recommend them.

I had BBR GTI in Brackley fit their Koni/springs/geo package to my Mk3 which transformed the handling superbly. Apart from the sharpened roadholding, the geo setup (developed from their racing experience) made the car much more ‘pointy’ and positive which is especially good for trackdays. I don’t know the cost now but 3 years ago it was around £1100…