Looking for the Best Coil-Over Kit for the Track or Street? Bilstein is the Answer!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

When looking to improve the performance of your vehicle, a coil-over kit can provide the most dramatic effects when it comes to reducing body roll, controlling bounce and adjusting ride height. A coil-over kit is best described as a spring, shock and bump stop incorporated into one assembly with the spring encompassing the shock and bump stop. It often uses an adjustable spring perch to allow different vehicle ride heights without changing the springs.

One of the most recognized and trusted names in the suspension industry is Bilstein. When it's time to upgrade the suspension on your vehicle, take a look at their PSS Coil-Over Kit, PSS9 Coil-Over Kit and PSS10 Coil-Over Kit.

 Bilstein PSS Coil-Over Kit
Bilstein PSS Coil-Over Kit
 Bilstein PSS9 Coil-Over Kit
Bilstein PSS9 Coil-Over Kit
 Bilstein PSS10 Coil-Over Kit
Bilstein PSS10 Coil-Over Kit

Bilstein PSS Coil-Over Kit:

  • Matched performance spring and threaded ride height adjuster
  • Includes application specific, progressive rate coil springs
  • Set your vehicle low and tight for optimized performance or revert to a more stock-like ride

Bilstein PSS9 Coil-Over Kit:

  • Fully adjustable monotube gas shock absorbers offer nine precise compression and rebound settings, from comfort to competition
  • The front and rear progressive rate springs allow for the accurate adjustment of a vehicle's ride height, stance, cornering balance and ride quality to maximize performance
  • Adjuster style differs per vehicle

Bilstein PSS10 Coil-Over Kit:

  • "Click" from comfort to competition with no tools or jacking required
  • The PSS10 Coil-Over System, evolved from the PSS9 system, adds a matched performance spring and threaded ride height adjuster to provide a complete suspension system for your vehicle
  • Ride height adjustable from -1.0" to -1.75" (front) & -1.0" to -1.75" (rear. minimum 1" lowering)
  • Lighter weight reduces wear and tear on suspension components
  • The Bilstein PSS10 Coil-Over System offers ten vehicle adjustment settings and includes numbered adjusters at the base of the shock body so you know exactly what setting you are on without counting clicks

All Bilstein gas pressure struts/inserts and gas pressure shock absorbers operate on the same principle. They're designed with the rod pointing down into the strut tube, thereby utilizing the thicker, stouter body portion of the shock absorber to dissipate side loads. Due to the increased diameter and surface of the pressure tube, the Bilstein gas pressure strut/insert or shock is better suited to take increased side loads when compared with the conventional version.

Additional advantages, based on development strongly influenced by the motorsport industry, include increased stability, improved road handling and accurate steering. And extremely high quality manufacturing and materials as well as a weather resistant coating to resist oxidation, mean Bilsteins will last approximately four times as long as Original Equipment.

For more information on Bilstein products, read "Which Bilstein Replacement Shock or Strut is Best for Your Vehicle?"

Best Tires for Roadrace and Autocross Events

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by Colin .

With spring here, many drivers are getting ready to purchase tires for roadrace or autocross use.  

For those who want tires they'll use mostly on the street, but want to do some racing, the Extreme Performance Summer category offers some good options. Tires in this performance category won't give you the fastest lap times compared to competition tires, however they are a good choice for the less serious racer. If this sounds like what you're looking for, consider the following options:

For the more serious race enthusiast, take a look at our selection of Track & Competition DOT tires. These are options that shouldn't be driven on the street and are for the track only. If you are looking for a tire for your roadrace event, consider the Hoosier R6. If autocross is your event, take a look at the A6 from Hoosier.

BFGoodrich g-Force Rival

Hoosier R6

Hankook Ventus Z214

Hoosier's set-up process to maximize treadwear and handling is more involved than other tires, however their tires are hard to beat! For those that want a good competition tire at a lower price point, the Hankook Ventus Z214 is available in both a roadrace and autocross compound. 

Will your new set of tires need to be saved? If so, how far should they be shaved? Read "Shaving Tires for Autocross / Track Use / Competition" to see how this service can help you maximize your tire's performance capabilities early in their life.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11

Monday, April 15, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9

1998 Ford Mustang Cobra Conv.
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Miles driven on tires: 250
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 250 Miles on Tires
April 13, 2013

I have a 1998 Mustang Cobra with 280 HP at the rear wheels. I had a set of BFgoodrich g-force sports in 245/45/17 and would spin through 1st and 2nd gear and slide in most hard corners. To be fair, I impacted weight transfer with an Eibach kit that included lowering springs, sway bars etc.(Love the kit) and then I added caster/camber plates and set camber for cornering. That said, the 255/40/17 Potenza RE-11 is a dream come true. Better ride, no wheel spin, no slide in corners. If tread wear isn't a concern (no wear claim or warranty.)Then this is the only tire to consider. I went from years of un certain launches and corners to feeling like a pro behind the wheel. This is the only street tire I will purchase.


Eliminate Fender Gap with Eibach Springs

Thursday, April 11, 2013 by Ben Rooney

Looking to get rid of the empty space between the tire and fender arch? Many people think they need to use taller tires to fill the space, but the right way of doing this is with lowering springs. A well tuned set of lowering springs will make the car look better, handle better and unlike oversized tires, it will not make the speedometer, odometer and other systems overestimate vehicle speed and mileage.

The good folks from Eibach dropped by to visit us last week and reminded us of all the wonderful things they do. All Eibach springs, from the popular Pro-Kit springs for street cars, to the special titanium springs they make for the Bugatti Veyron, to the custom springs they manufacture for the premier professional racing series are built to the same standards of quality and durability.

If your car is a daily driver, the Eibach Pro-Kit Spring Set is one of the best options available. It gives a nice boost to performance without compromising ride quality. The lowering is usually between 1" and 1.5" depending on the application. This amount of lowering generally doesn't require any special alignment parts to be added in order to obtain a proper alignment. It's recommended to have an alignment done after the springs are installed.

View all Eibach products and choose the one that best fits your vehicle.

Improve Performance at the Track with Eibach Lowering Springs

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

An easy and inexpensive way to increase the performance and handling of your vehicle is to add lowering springs. By lowering the vehicle's center of gravity, you can reduce body roll in the turns, dive under braking and squat during acceleration. Eibach offers two different kits, the Pro-Kit Spring Set for performance street use and the more aggressive Sportline Spring Set for autocross and track use.

A key to choosing the one best suited for your needs is the amount of drop the kit can provide. The lower the drop from the spring kit, the lower the center of gravity - which provides the best performance. However, the lower the spring kit drops, the stiffer the ride for everyday driving will become. It's important to choose the Eibach Spring Kit with the appropriate amount of drop for your driving needs.

 Eibach Pro-Kit Set
Eibach Pro-Kit Spring Set
 Eibach Sportline Set
Eibach Sportline Spring Set

Eibach's Pro-Kit Spring Set is designed to provide improved handling and improve the look of the vehicle. It's the perfect balance between performance and handling, while still maintaining the original ride quality of the vehicle. Eibach Pro-Kit Springs minimize the fender gap that makes a car look lifted. The Eibach Pro-Kit typically lowers the vehicle 1.00"-1.25" depending upon the application.

If you're looking for the ultimate in track performance, the Eibach Sportline Spring Kit will give your car a low, race-replica look. A radical reduction in wheel well gap and improved handling is achieved for serious track and autocross enthusiasts. The Sportline Kit provides a drop typically between 1.50"-2.00" depending upon the application. This kit is for someone willing to give up some ride quality in exchange for the best cornering grip and turn-in response.

Shop by vehicle to see if an Eibach kit is right for your application. Also, be sure to read "Altitude and Attitude Adjustment" for more information on properly lowering your vehicle.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus

Monday, March 18, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.3

2007 Honda Civic EX Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 20,000
Location: Houston, TX
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 20,000 Miles on Tires
March 15, 2013

These were great tires. Mine wore out quickly but this was not unexpected as I had the suspension setup on the car with a -1 degree camber on the rear and -.5 degree negative on the front. Caster and toe were set to factory Honda specs. These tires gave excellent dry traction and cornering stability as they were used on a sporty Civic that had been lowered 2 inches and had a fully adjustable autocross suspension setup. I am considering purchasing these tires for my 2012 Civic Si that is fully stock and has not been modified in any way just to see how many more miles I can get out of them. These are a great set of All Season tires for spirited driving or for those wanting the flexibility of an All Season but with the performance of a Max Performance Summer Tire. These Pilot Sport A/S Plus' were used in Northern Arkansas for the majority of their life and were purchased over a summer tire due to the inclement weather conditions that Arkansas receives during the winter months. Obviously I wouldn't recommend venturing out into a blizzard with these tires but they fared will on freshly snowed roads and over a few day old black ice spots along the highways. Spring and Summer times rainy and dry days are what these tires were meant for and they are made to be driven hot!


Caring for Your Tires: Even the Experts Aren't Perfect

Thursday, December 13, 2012 by Ben Rooney

I was having lunch with a colleague today, and he was telling me that when he took his summer tires off, the inside edge was down to the cords and the outside was almost at full tread depth. He guessed the culprit was excessive negative camber, probably from his custom springs settling lower than they were when the alignment was set. 

The life of a tire expert usually means that we're paying attention to the tires of many other people: customers first and foremost, but also friends and relatives. Sometimes that means we forget to pay enough attention to our own. I have seen my colleagues (and yes, sometimes myself) running with tires over-inflated or under-inflated. Or driving with too much negative camber, bent wheels, winter tires in the summer, and numerous other sins against proper tire care. 

While defects do happen, modern tires from reputable brands tend to have extremely good quality control. But since everything the car does goes through the tires, it's the tires that often show the results of other problems.

Next time you see strange or premature wear on your tires, talk to an expert about what might be causing it. Finding the real problem early will often save you a lot of expense and frustration later. 

To make sure you get the most out of your tires, check out our Tire & Wheel Owner's Manual. This manual also has links to relevant articles about checking air pressure, proper rotation and other topics on properly caring for your tires.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All-Season

Monday, November 5, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All-SeasonReviewer's Overall Rating: 8.75

2013 Ford Mustang GT Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 1,200
Location: Pelham, NH
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,200 Miles on Tires
October 23, 2012

'13 GT (brembo / track pack) Car came with PZero summer only, which worked tremendously as long as temp is above 50F. No plans to drive car in any snow however in NH we have quite a few days in the fall and spring that are obviously below 50. Wasn't ready to "park it" for the winter so ordered these with a set of ford track pack wheels.

Steering and handling - no noticeable change. Progressive break-away, recover nicely as well. Steering response / turn in just as immediate as the PZeros. Does provide a bit more feedback information through wheel (mostly because of stiffer sidewalls)

Braking - Under hard braking tire does induce more ABS action however still can generate similar braking #s. Wet road braking is probably better than PZeros

Ride / Comfort - Do ride stiffer than the PZeros. Road noise is lower. No change in tracking for car

Wet traction is great; equal to PZero. Zero issue with hydro-planning.

Dry traction is more than adequate but not nearly the bite that PZeros have (provided it was 50 degrees out). My best 0-60 time on Pzero was 4.2 with these it's 4.5 (according to onboard track app)

Overall = Good looking tire, tremendous in wet conditions, rides very quiet. Ride is stiffer and dry-road traction is 90% as good as summer only tires.

Tire-Rack Service : Ordered tires at 3:00pm on monday afternoon. Had them on my car by 10AM tuesday (next day). Wheel balance is spot-on.. no shakes or vibrations on speeds fast enough for a few week stint in the pokey ;)

Seek Out More Curves to Conquer with Bilstein's B12 Pro-Kit

Thursday, October 25, 2012 by Doc Horvath

Looking for a complete lowering spring and damper kit that'll add improved handling without a big sacrifice in comfort? Then take a look at the Bilstein B12 Pro-Kit. By combining Eibach's proven Pro-Kit springs with specially tuned Bilstein shocks and struts in one complete package, you can get the best that both companies have to offer for the following vehicles:

  • Late model C- and E-Class Mercedes-Benz
  • Fifth-generation Volkswagen Golf
  • Fifth-generation VW GTI

In nearly all cases, the use of a lowering spring requires replacement of the Original Equipment struts and shock as the higher spring rates are more than the O.E. units can handle. For best durability, switching to a performance oriented shock with heavy duty components will maximize the performance of the spring and eliminate the chances of premature wear. Eibach went to one of the best in the suspension industry and asked them to design a durable and responsive companion for their Pro-Kit spring.

Key Features & Benefits of Bilstein's B12 Pro-Kit:

  • Professional Cornering System
  • Lowers up to 40mm
  • Bilstein monotube gas pressure technology
  • Eibach Pro-Kit application-specific progressive rate performance springs

To see if the Bilstein B12 Pro-Kit could improve your vehicle's performance, shop by vehicle.

Finding Smaller Wheel Sizes for Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Packages

Monday, October 15, 2012 by Ben Rooney

Many of our customers know about the potential advantages of going to a smaller wheel size when selecting a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package. When minus sizing, not only would deep snow traction be enhanced, but the cost of a winter package is usually lower than a package maintaining your vehicle's original size tires and wheels. An additional advantage higher profile tire sizes offer is they feature taller sidewalls and smaller diameter wheels that more easily resist damage associated with winter road hazards and early spring potholes. However, we often receive questions from customers looking for wheels who only see equal or larger sized wheels when shopping, and nothing smaller than what is Original Equipment on their car.

In some cases, the size that's on your vehicle may be the smallest size possible that will still clear your vehicle's brakes. For most cars, it's possible to go smaller, you just have to know where to look. One way is to shop for a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package rather than searching for wheels in our website's wheels section. Tire Rack's Preferred Winter Package often feature alternate sizes that combine smaller diameter wheels with narrower, higher profile tires that have equivalent load capacities and overall diameters. Unfortunately, wide, low profile tires have to "plow" a wide path through deep snow, where narrower tires have an easier time. So if you're likely to drive through deep snow this year, you'll want winter / snow tires and wheels in sizes that better help you.

Your winter tire and wheel sizes should be based on one of the following:

Your Vehicle's Original Equipment Tire and Wheel Size

While not a dimensional advantage, winter tires and wheels in the Original Equipment size to replace your all-season or summer tires will offer more traction in cold temperatures, slush, snow and ice.

The Tire and Wheel Size from Your Vehicle's Base Model

This is often an easy way to select an appropriate narrow tire for your car, van or truck. While this may only provide a small dimensional difference, a smaller combination (for example, 225/50R17-sized tires to 215/60R16-sized tires on 16" wheels) will reduce your cost while increasing your vehicle's wintertime traction.

A Minus Size Tire and Wheel

Minus Sizing combines taller profile tires with smaller diameter wheels.

Begin finding a smaller diameter wheel for your winter driving by searching for Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Thursday, October 4, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Super SportReviewer's Overall Rating: 10

2005 Mazda RX-8 6-speed
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Miles driven on tires: 100
Location: Riverview, FL
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 100 Miles on Tires
September 25, 2012

So far 100 miles on these Michelin Pilot ss barley broken in and they feel like champain quality in every performance area.They are almost too good for my RX-8 like a class up on it. Might be because I have 100,000 miles on it. I put 4 of these tires on with new Mazdaspeed shocks, Mazdaspeed lowering springs and a cold air induction K&N intake system all at once. The car runs and handles like new.I highly recommend doing this even a little at a time. These are better than the PS2 tire 235/40/18 do fit all around. Still havent put these through some real hard driving yet, will report back with some feedback in time. Did shift across two lanes hard with just two fingers on the steering wheel and it was amazing! steering response that is. It felt like my internal abdominal organs suddenly shifted!I was there in a second! Total control is outstanding! 6-speed 2005 RX-8

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star SpecReviewer's Overall Rating: 8.2

1979 Mazda RX-7
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Miles driven on tires: 100
Location: SALEM, MO
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 100 Miles on Tires
August 26, 2012

These tires are on a '79 rx7, car has stiffer springs and has been lowered. Was a bit concerned about ride quality and noise levels after reading some comments about this tire being noisy. Both concerns, for me , were un-founded as tires have a good ride and I have not noticed them being noisy. Hi-perf tires are a bit noisier than passenger car tires, but is not an issue with these. This car is not an everyday driver, has been modified quite a bit, and these tires are even better than I had hoped. They stick VERY well, have a more than acceptable ride and low noise level. What more could you ask for in a hi-perf tire?

E46 M3 Track Tires and Wheels

Monday, August 6, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

The E46 M3 is great for high-speed cruising and awesome for the track. If you're doing lapping days once a year just make sure your tires and brakes are in good shape. If you're heading to the track every weekend then fix the car's understeer by upgrading your wheels and tires and getting a "track" alignment.  


Running wider wheels and tires of the same size in the front and back in a square set-up will remove some of the car's inherent understeer. We offer a few 18x9.5 35mm offset wheels designed to work with 265/35R18 and 275/35R18 tires. 18x9.5 ET 35mm on either size will require a combination of fender and wheelwell modification, along with changes in negative camber to fit. Even with the changes, this is a proven E46 M3 set-up.

For this wheel size, take a look at the matte grey TR Motorsports MT1 and the O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT in anthracite painted finish. You can also special order the black, blue, gold, matte graphite silver, orange, red and white.

18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Matte Grey Painted TR Motorsports MT-1 $329**
18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Matte Grey TR Motorsports MT1
18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Anthracite Painted OZ Alleggerita $419**
18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Anthracite Painted O.Z. Racing Alleggerita

Non-Streetable Track Tires:

Are you installing a second set of wheels at the track? Then the ultimate grip from non-streetable track tires such as the BFGoodrich g-Force R1 available in both 265/35ZR18 and 275/35ZR18, 275/35ZR18 Hoosier R6 and 275/35ZR18 Hankook Ventus Z214 are great options to consider.

BF Goodrich G-Force R1 265/35-18 $289** & 275/35-18 $299**
BFGoodrich g-Force R1
275/35-18 Hoosier R6 $334**
Hoosier R6
275/35-18 Hankook Ventus Z214 (C51 Compound) $235**
Hankook Ventus Z214

Streetable Track Tires:

Will you be using the same set of tires at the track that you drove to the event on? The non-streetable tires mentioned earlier are easily damaged by road debris. A piece of wire the size of a paper clip can get picked up by the tire, work its way into the shallow tread, through the tire's lightweight plies and puncture the inner liner.

So if your track tires will be driven to the track, consider streetable race tires like the Toyo Proxes RA888 available in both 265/35ZR18 and 275/35ZR18. The 265/35ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup or the 265/35ZR18 Toyo Proxes RA1 are also great options worth taking a look at.

Toyo Proxes R888 265/35-18 $300** & 275/35-18 $270**
Toyo Proxes R888
265/35-18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup $351**
 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup
265/35-18 Toyo Proxes RA1 $268**
Toyo Proxes RA1

Drivers will differ in their preference in predictability versus overall grip, but the Toyo Proxes RA888 provides slightly better grip than the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup and a little bit of a better value. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup's main advantage is more consistent grip from lap to lap, therefore it may be the better choice for a longer event. Toyo Proxes RA1s are less sensitive to small flaws in the vehicle set-up, so if you're still tuning with respect to damper settings, ride height and camber, then the Proxes RA1 would be a good choice.


Optimum alignment settings will vary with tire, damper and spring choices. Most drivers will find that running 3.5-3.8 degrees of negative camber and zero toe for the front to be optimum. You'll need to get adjustable camber plates for the front so you can run that much negative camber.

For the rear, 2.4-2.6 negative camber and the high side of the factory toe-in is normally ideal. You should be able to adjust to these specs without a camber kit. Camber is adjusted at the lower eccentric bolt attaching the lower control arm to the hub assembly (under the axle).

E46 M3 Track Wheels and Tires FAQ:

  1. I've heard of other drivers running 285/30R18 or wider tires on 18x10 wheels, will that fit? When we assess the risk of rubbing we're very conservative. We consider the above wheels and 265/35R18, 275/35R18 and 285/30R18 sized tires all to be custom sizes requiring varying degrees of fender modification and wheelwell modification. High negative camber helps with front tire clearance, too. If you've changed to coil-overs or aftermarket struts, you may have less inside clearance with any of the above sizes.
  2. I still drive a fair amount of street miles on my M3, can I adjust camber at the track so I can preserve some tire wear? For the front you can mark your camber plates so you can adjust between track and street settings. In the rear, the washer at the bolt head has notch marks on it that can be highlighted with paint.
  3. What about brake pads for my vehicle? For better bite and fade resistance switch to dedicated track pads like the Hawk DTC70 in the front and DTC60 in the rear. Once you get back from the track be sure to switch back to your normal brakes, as the race pads will be noisy, dusty and ineffective in cool weather.
  4. Do I need to shave and/or heat cycle my track tires? All the above tires will benefit from heat cycling which acts like a second curing for the tire and helps them maintain consistent grip from lap to lap. The Hoosier R6, BFGoodrich g-Force R1 are molded at 4/32" of tread depth so they don't need to be shaved. Shaving will improve dry performance for the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup, Toyo Proxes RA1 and Toyo Proxes R888.

Eibach Pro-Kit Springs for the 2013 Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ Now In Stock

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Have you been waiting for Eibach to release Pro-Kit Springs for the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ? Well, they are now in stock and one of my co-workers has already installed them on his BRZ. 




Eibach makes the same Pro-Kit Springs for both the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ. The average lowering is about an inch for both the front and rear. In addition to looking great, the Eibach Pro-Kit provides a great balance between ride and overall handling. Compared to his BRZ on stock springs, my co-worker has noticed the following:

  1. The car feels like it is stuck to the road, especially when the road is smooth.
  2. There is much less body roll with the Eibach Springs and the car corners better. You can dive into a corner and feel very safe and comfortable with the car.
  3. The feel is very tight when going in and out of corners.

Eibach Pro-Kit FAQ:

  1. What are the Pro-Kit's spring rates? The Eibach Pro-Kit Springs are progressive rate springs. Their rate varies with the amount of spring compression. The more compression, the stiffer the spring. Therefore, minor road imperfections cause less spring compression and will result in the springs working at a lower rate for a better ride compliance.

    During fast cornering, hard braking and rapid acceleration you'll get dynamic weight transfer from front to back, and side to side. Greater weight compresses the springs more so they act at higher rates for better vehicle control.

    The actual spring rate range is 48-200 lbs./in for the front and 103-274 lbs./in for rear.
  2. What wheels and tires are on your co-worker's vehicle? He's running 245/35ZR18 Michelin Pilot Super Sports with 18x8 ET48 5-100 gold O.Z. Racing Alleggerita wheels.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Kumho Ecsta 4X

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Kumho Ecsta 4XReviewer's Overall Rating: Not Rated

2001 Chevrolet Camaro SS
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Miles driven on tires: 300
Location: Alexandria, VA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 300 Miles on Tires
June 27, 2012

2001 Camaro SS
Performance Springs, Koni Shocks & Struts, Performance Tubular Lower Control Arms, Performance Tubular Panhard bar, 35mm Front Sway Bars/22mm Rear sway bar, Subframe connectors.

My suspension is tuned for corner carving performance and these tires are TERRIBLE! It felt as I was driving an old land boat! My stock truck felt safer than my car. These tires felt dangerous to drive on in corners and any speed on the highway. Enroute to work I take a curve at 85mph safely with good tires and I could barely drive 60mph with these on the same curve.

The size is 275/40 17 on my car. Different size tires might have a better performance.

Road noise is virtually not there. Didn't drive in snow or rain.

These do have a 30 day return policy which I took advantage of.

Good luck in choosing the correct tire.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 (W-Speed Rated)

Friday, June 22, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 (W-Speed Rated)Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.25

2002 Nissan Maxima SE
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Miles driven on tires: 6,000
Location: Medford, MA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 6,000 Miles on Tires
September 21, 2010

I have another Nissan Maxima that is lowered with adjustable shocks (Illuminas), Falken tires and for this reason, is completely awesome on the highway even when taking turns, rides in the city can be a little uncomfortable sometimes. I mention this for perspective- my 02 is pretty much bone stock with the exception of replacement Tokiko shocks (Blues). I needed to replace the original Michelin's (which I loved but could not justify the price) and picked these up for the Spring, Summer, Fall (I have a set of Winter tires that I use).

So far I am very satisfied with these tires, I’ve been through heavy rain and purposely gunned it to test the traction and never did I feel myself hydroplaning. I have tried to break the tires loose in dry weather and nothing; you have to get that pedal on very close to the floor to get anywhere near loose- no fan fare, the tire just grips and goes. The only thing, which is not really an issue since the perfect tire hasn’t been invented yet, is that the sidewall is a little stiff so if you're driving around the city on roads that aren’t perfect, you'll feel those imperfections. I actually had one tire replaced under warranty after I hit a large pothole in the rain at 60 about mph. Also on the highway, when making sudden lane changes, it feels a tad soft BUT this is probably because my other car drives like its on rails due to the aforementioned modifications. I’ve had no concerns about making a lane change at 75-80 mph. Put another way, I wouldn’t drive this car the way I drive the stock Avalon or Altima that’s in the family.

In summary, apart from wishing it were a tad more comfortable around the city, I COULDN’T be happier. The tire has so far met every need that I had- great dry/wet traction, good steering response. I will update the review when I get some more miles on the tires.

Which Bilstein Replacement Shock or Strut is Best for Your Vehicle?

Thursday, June 21, 2012 by Zig Ziegler

Has your vehicle become bouncy and uncomfortable? Or have you recently lifted or lowered your vehicle? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then chances are it's time to upgrade your shock or struts. Depending on your desired result, Bilstein offers a wide assortment of shocks and struts that could be a match for your application.

Bilstein HD Shock
Bilstein HD Shock
Bilstein Touring Class Shock
Bilstein Touring Class Shock
Bilstein Sport Shock
Bilstein Sport Shock

For full-sized sedans, SUVs and trucks that are stock ride height and looking to maintain the vehicles original ride qualities, the following options are a good match:

  • Bilstein HD Shocks, Struts or Cartridges
    • Improved handling and ride control without sacrificing comfort
    • Fade-free, high gas pressure monotube design
    • Lifetime warranty
  • Bilstein Touring Class Shocks, Struts or Cartridges
    • For driver who want to restore their vehicle's original ride and handling
    • Valved about 10% firmer than stock
    • Same German engineering and quality as Bilstein's monotube gas pressure shocks, but in a competitively priced, twin tube design
    • Limited lifetime warranty

For driving enthusiast and/or owners of lowered vehicles take a look at the following option:

  • Bilstein Sport Shocks, Struts, or Cartridges
    • For the enthusiast who demands superior handling
    • Bilstein's highest level of control
    • Excellent match for vehicles with lowering springs or upgraded anti-roll bars
    • Superior monotube design provides strength and heat dissipation
    • Lifetime warranty

Off-road enthusiasts with lifted vehicles or larger diameter tires should consider the following 5100 Series options:

Bilstein 5100 Series Adjustable Shock
Bilstein 5100 Series Adjustable Shock
Bilstein 5100 Series Shock
Bilstein 5100 Series Shock
  • Bilstein 5100 Series Shock
    • Self-adjusting deflecting disc valving
    • High-flow piston reduces harshness
    • Independent rebound and compression tuning
    • Larger working piston area for exact damping
    • Superior control for large diameter tires
    • Strong Monotube design
    • Lifetime warranty
  • Bilstein 5100 Adjustable Shock
    • Same superior design as the  Bilstein 5100 series shock but includes the option for ride height adjustment
    • Multiple snap-ring grooves on the body of the shock accommodate different spring seat positions, allowing height adjustments from 0" to 2.5" depending upon the application
    • By raising the spring seat position, the factory rake can be altered to achieve a level front to rear ride height while accommodating up to 33" tires.
    • Lifetime warranty

My Experience with H&R Coil-Overs

Thursday, June 21, 2012 by Gary Stanley

There are many ways to upgrade your vehicle's suspension. You can simply replace the existing shocks (or struts) and springs to lower your vehicle. Sway bars (sometimes called anti-roll bars) can also improve handling and reduce body roll. However, many enthusiasts feel that the pinnacle of complete suspension upgrades is to install a set of coil-overs

What is a coil-over? While many think that a coil-over is simply a shock and spring put together, there's more to it than that. A typical coil-over set-up, such as the H&R Street-Performance Coil-Over (pictured above), is specifically tuned and designed for each vehicle application. It features a threaded body so the spring perch can be adjusted up or down to change the vehicle's ride height. This kit uses progressive rate springs that assure an acceptable ride on the street while dramatically improving handling, reducing body roll and brake dive. For more information take a look at "A Look at Lowering."

For all their benefits, one would think they would be much more common. However, two main stumbling blocks come between most enthusiasts and coil-overs. The first is price. Coil-overs are more expensive than simply replacing the springs on a vehicle. The second hesitation many have is a concern about ride stiffness.

I personally used an H&R coil-over kit on my E36 BMW M3 for the last seven years I owned the car. The increase in handling and cosmetic appearance was quite dramatic. Myself and others who drove the car found that the ride wasn't as stiff as expected from a coil-over kit. In fact, the ride was comparable to a standard performance shock and lowering spring set-up. 

Shop by vehicle to see which suspension options work best for your vehicle.


Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax HP

Thursday, June 21, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General Altimax HPReviewer's Overall Rating: 8

2007 Honda Accord Sedan SE
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 8,000
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 8,000 Miles on Tires
June 20, 2012

Very quite tire. It is a softer tire than the OEM tires I had that lasted over 70k miles, mostly highway. These have better grip and are much better in the rain. I expect tread wear to be significantly lower than the OEMs but that is the trade off for the softer tire. The price was almost half of the OEM's. I only have about 8k on them and they still look brand new.

Factory Style Shock at a Reasonable Price: KYB GR-2/Excel-G

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 by Marshall Wisler

Not everyone is looking for or needs a stiffly valved adjustable race shock. For those looking for comfort and a return of factory ride quality, an Original Equipment style replacement shock will do just fine. These shocks and struts feature a lower price tag due to a lack of adjustability and features, but aim to stop the bouncing associated with old, worn out or leaking factory pieces.

Of the shocks that fit this criteria, my favorite is the KYB GR-2/Excel-G.  Featuring shock valving that is typically no more than 10% stiffer than factory, these shocks add a splash of performance without over-doing it. Add in a cost-effective price point and an industry leading warranty and you have a combo that is tough to beat.

It should be noted that the KYB GR-2 is not intended for use with aftermarket lowering springs. If you have these springs installed on your vehicle and are looking for an alternative to a KONI or Bilstein product, I suggest you check out the KYB AGX Adjustable. It features more aggressive valving and 4-8 way adjustability depending on the application.

KYB products are manufactured for a wide range of light-duty passenger vehicles including cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans. Find a KYB product that's right for your vehicle.