Ground Control kit?

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Ground Control kit?

Postby ppto2you » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:53 am

Here's one for the Sherlok Holmes of Miata world.

Apologies for the long post but I need help. My 93 LE with original bilstein shocks is a different height on each corner.

I don't know if the car's unibody is crooked due to a collision or the springs need to be changed. I've tried several fixes and I'm close to fed up with the issue. The car, from center of wheel to fender, is FL/12, FR/12.25, RL/13, and RR/12.5 and this makes me sick.

Old Bilstein shocks are still in really good condition (checked by several mechanics) and the car does drive like no other miata. The springs are the right color for the year (f/red & r/yellow), and each pair is the right measure.

Last mechanic I talked to suggested that the factory springs, although measuring the same, may be too old and so their rates are now all different and i need new springs. But I'm so frustrated that if i buy new springs and don't work, I'll shoot the booger.

I thought of cheap coilovers like Godspeed or Megan and adjusting the ride height as i please, but I just don't want to give up on the quality of the Billies--they are really amazing. So now I am more inclined towards your Ground Control/Eibach kit. But I wonder if ride would be unbearable (I live in pothole heaven Puerto Rico) and whether GC's are compatible with Bilsteins at all as they state "no sport suspension" on GW's site.

Car is used 3-4 times a week, including the spirited Sunday drive. I really don't want to spend over $600. (Actually, my wife would kill me if I spend that much.) The car has brand new polyurethane bushings all around.

So, what do you guys think? Springs? Cheap coilovers (with the added benefit of fancy adjustable damping)? old billies with Ground Control? Shooting the beast?

Any commentary would be greatly and respectfully appreciated.
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Re: Ground Control kit?

Postby mitchman » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:53 am

I'm not Brian, but I'll throw in my $0.02.

Each corner being at a different height is normal. Have someone sit in the car and measure again. You'll get a whole different set of measurements. (all 4 corners will still be different)

Even if you put the car on scales and corner balanced it getting the weights as close as possible, the ride height at each corner will still be different.

How many miles are on the car? i would guess that the shocks need to be replaced. (which has nothing to do with ride height) Good luck! :)
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Re: Ground Control kit?

Postby Brian » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:04 am

That's right, we might start with a level car for corner balance purposes BUT the result after the corner balance is NOT level, all corners will be a different height.

Factory springs do sag with age and your car is about the same height as what we get with many lowered setups. Yours is rather typical for a high mileage early miata, perhaps a little lower than most but the variation in heights is not unusual. Note it may not be just the springs, a few of your Bilsteins may be worn out enough to effect the heights too (lower pressure equals lower height). I would take a long drive with the top down and not worry so much about the precise heights of each corner.
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Re: Ground Control kit?

Postby ppto2you » Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:34 am

I know what you guys are saying, but the car looks as if it had a flat tire. This is my personal Miata project, my pride and joy. I sold my souped-up NC to build this LE. There must be a way under $600 (including shipping) to correct this issue without having to buy cheap coilovers.

Oh, and I do love putting the top down and driving the car as much as I love looking at it--at least the side that is somewhat leveled.

I don't have an excessive compulsive disorder; I just own a miata.
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Re: Ground Control kit?

Postby Brian » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:10 am

Okay, the Ground Control kit would give you precise height control...but the ride will be stiffer.
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Re: Ground Control kit?

Postby mitchman » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:20 am

I've had issues recently with "coil-bind" but that's with full race shocks/springs. But coil-bind causes one corner to sit higher than the other, not lower. Like Brian said, I'm guessing that one or more of your shocks are toast. Gas pressure can make a big difference in ride height. I'd either buy new shocks or send them to Bilstein and they can rebuild them for a small fee. (last I heard it was $60 per shock).

My gut says it's your shocks not your springs that's causing the mismatched ride height.
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