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Suspension Suspension Options for 2008 JCW Convertible

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Suspension Suspension Options for 2008 JCW Convertible

  #1  
Old 02-15-2019, 10:02 AM
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Suspension Options for 2008 JCW Convertible

Hi all, Iíve got an 08 JCW convertible with an aftermarket suspension added by the prior owner, and Iím not happy with the setup ó itís way too stiff and low for my preferences and purposes.

Current setup:
  • Koni yellow shocks
  • H&R springs
  • H sport rear control arms
  • front control arm bushings (aftermarket, I think)
I know the above is a little vague, but thatís all the info I have.

Anyway, the current setup is way too stiff and too low, so Iíd like to change it up.

Iím thinking about two different scenarios: a return to a stock OEM setup, or maybe a highly adjustable aftermarket setup.

WRT the stock OEM setup, whatís unclear to me is whether there are special parts that are specific to an 08 JCW convertibleÖ or what. In other words, which parts would I need to buy? Iíve tried looking on various parts sites but Iíve not had much success understanding my options, nor what my car was originally equipped with from the factory.

I might also want to consider an aftermarket setup, if thereís an option that would have a similar ride and compliance levels to a stock setup while daily driving, but could then be adjusted to make it much stiffer for weekend racing. This seems to be complicated by the fact that the car is a convertible; the current Koni shocks are adjustable but Iíve yet to figure out how to access the tops of the rear shocks so as to adjust them. So I guess Iíd need a set of coilovers thatíd be adjustable via the wheel wells? If thatís right, are there any coilover setups that have such a wide range of adjustability, such that theyíd ride like a stock car during the week and like a ďrace carĒ on the weekends?

Iíd very much appreciate any help understanding my options in either of these scenarios! Thank you!
 
  #2  
Old 02-15-2019, 10:41 AM
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I would change back to oem springs and see how that does first.
Make sure that the Koni Yellows are not set too stiff,
about a quarter turn from full soft would be good.

if itís still too harsh, then change the Koni yellows
for Koni Special Active (this product line used to
be called Koni FSD). These only work with the
stock height oem springs.

The control arm bushings and the rear control arms can stay
Lastly, what tires are you running now?
 
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  #3  
Old 02-15-2019, 11:50 AM
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Does anyone have specs on the H&R springs... even their website doesn't have any of this info, other than lowers by 1.4" ??

Wondering...For the H&R 50452's....

Are they Progressive or linear rate?

What are the rates, F&R ??

What is the installed height?

What is length to coil bind?






.
 

Last edited by mountainhorse; 02-15-2019 at 11:56 AM.
  #4  
Old 02-16-2019, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cristo View Post
I would change back to oem springs and see how that does first.
OK, makes sense. I just need to look into which parts to buy. I think I saw in another thread somewhere, at some point, that the convertibles have stiffer springs in the back to handle the extra weight. And I donít know whether the JCW convertibles used the same springs as the S, or not. Iím also curious whether I could maybe find some progressive-rate springs thatíd be nice and compliant during normal driving but stiffer when pushed harder (and would retain the stock height, or only lower the car slightly.)

Originally Posted by cristo View Post
Make sure that the Koni Yellows are not set too stiff,
about a quarter turn from full soft would be good.
OK, thanks for the tip. I still havenít figured out how to access the ***** of the rear shocks, but hopefully someone will enlighten me at some point!

Originally Posted by cristo View Post
if itís still too harsh, then change the Koni yellows
for Koni Special Active (this product line used to
be called Koni FSD). These only work with the
stock height oem springs.
OK, cool.

Originally Posted by cristo View Post
The control arm bushings and the rear control arms can stay
OK, cool.

Originally Posted by cristo View Post
Lastly, what tires are you running now?
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3.

Thanks!
 
  #5  
Old 02-16-2019, 01:48 PM
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There are no aftermarket springs with stock ride height, all of them lower at least some, so just get the oem springs.
The convertible oem springs do differ from other models, and several parts are available that match to approximate curb weight depending on options.
The difference is getting the ride height the same rather than changes in spring rate.
From the VIN, the particular set that matches your car can be determined. I think there are 3 different possible sets of fronts and rears.
The JCW should be the same as a similarly equipped S unless you have the JCW suspension kit,
(which you don't since you have Koni Yellows and H&R springs now).

To adjust the rear Koni Yellows you have to drop the shock to get to the top. It's actually pretty quick and easy..
Two bolts hold the upper mount to the body, and it's easier if you also remove the bottom shock bolt and take the whole assembly out .
(Be careful not to cross thread the lower bolt, since the trailing arm that it goes into is softer aluminum and it's not too hard to mess up the threads.
For that matter, don't cross thread the upper bolts either) .
You should be able to undo the top mount, pull down a little, and adjust it blind if you don't want to take the whole thing out.
Some people have drilled a hole in the body to get to the adjustment area, but the method above is easy enough that it's not really worth doing.
You don't have to re-align after taking the rear shock assembly out and putting it back in.
Put both rear sides up on jack mounts. If you just do one side at a time the sway bar will pull up on the side you lift.

The Michelin P S A/S3 is a fairly comfortable riding all season tire. Not the best in the deep snow or ice but one of the best all season choices the other 3 1/2 seasons of the year.
 
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  #6  
Old 02-16-2019, 06:23 PM
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Wow, super helpful info, thanks so much!
 
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