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billywhiz

BC then MCA coilovers

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I've only used OEM and then BC ER coilovers. After a few years the BCs have blown a seal, could be $600 just for 1 blown cartridge.

 

Who has quantative motorsport experience of moving from BCs to something else. Are MCA Reds worth the extra grand (lose ERs separate bump rebound adjustment) or should i look at something else in few kay bracket?

 

This was the day they went

 

 

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MCA have a good rep, they're discussed frequently on suspension orientated racing sites like Nissanroadracing.com. If i had 2-3k to spend on an off the shelf set they'd be it.

 

Otherwise rebuilding bc's is possible at home. You could use the external reservoirs and bilstein/penske parts (shaft, seal head, piston and shim stack) to build a baller setup.

 

I was on the lookout for a blown set of ER's to do this myself.

 

Alternatively if you just want to rebuild your current setup, you can buy seals, good quality oil (which the BC's lack from the factory) and charge gas quite cheaply. The problem is lack of documentation, i only know of one full write up with a strip down and measurements, but that's for BR (and a lexus, but should be similar) So a home rebuild will be a bit of trial and error but possibly quite rewarding.

 

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/gs-1st-gen-1993-1997/770149-diy-shock-revalve-parts-1-3-a.html

Edited by r0berto

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Contact MCA, they are great product. Been in a few cars with blue and red series. It's day and night between mca and bc.

The new x series are cheaper than the reds if you are sticking with a particular style of Motorsport.

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Hi Robbo, I have talked to MCA but that's the problem, talk. Unfortunately I've not ridden in a car with MCAs round a track in Vic and MCA mentioned they didn't have one either- not sure I want to spend $2.5k on salespersons advice. Maybe I have to be the one in my group of mates to get that personal experience :-)

 

Hi Roberto, that link was brilliant, thanks. If I do the BC ERs will upload my findings. Only 1 has failed but all 4 are 15-20000km old so if I was doing it I might as well do them all, could I guarantee consistency L/R? maybe buy replacements have the car running and try this out on the spare set instead of selling the working ones as 2nd hand spares to people in my situation.

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I am currently in the process of reviewing a set of MCA X-Race in 10kg f and 7kg rear.. got a track day on the 20th of Dec will give the results then, but initial impressions are they are more comfortable than BC BR with 8 6 kg springs, not to mention they articulate bumps very well.. nearly feels like I'm just on my old BIlstein setup.

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My MCA's were "relatively" comfortable but no where near the levels I was expecting after reading and listening to all the feedback, they were excellent under compression but were terrible on rebound and extension. They made some weird noises too. Average for the road which was my main focus, with a bit of track, but then again most adjustable coilovers are the same.

 

My second hand Tein's (which were barely used) fixed all the issues.

 

But I will say MCA were excellent to deal with even though they couldn't fix the issues, or get back to me with what they found. Probably just a Q/C issue which should be well and truly resolved by now .

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I've got some MCA Reds in the shed but will be a while before I get a chance to test them! I didn't agree with their suggestion for rates though and spec'd my own.

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Hi Roberto, that link was brilliant, thanks. If I do the BC ERs will upload my findings. Only 1 has failed but all 4 are 15-20000km old so if I was doing it I might as well do them all, could I guarantee consistency L/R? maybe buy replacements have the car running and try this out on the spare set instead of selling the working ones as 2nd hand spares to people in my situation.

 

TBH it will be a lengthy process with a fully custom hybrid build, so would be best to have a spare set to use.The only tricky part being the valving. virtually nobody in aus will want to help you, i've already called the big companies and they dont want any part in it.

 

Consistency between shocks will come down to the quality of machined parts, seals and oil used. The adjusters are where you're going to suffer, as the machining needs to be so precise that only companies like Bilstein, Penske etc can do it accurately enough to keep a batch of adjustable shocks within spec. Quality springs like Hyperco will also help, i wouldn't reuse bc springs considering how cheap a good spring set will cost you.

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I am currently in the process of reviewing a set of MCA X-Race in 10kg f and 7kg rear.

10&7 What car is this BTW, they suggested nowhere near this for my s14?

 

My MCA's were "relatively" comfortable but no where near the levels I was expecting after reading and listening to all the feedback, they were excellent under compression but were terrible on rebound and extension. They made some weird noises too. Average for the road which was my main focus, with a bit of track, but then again most adjustable coilovers are the same.

Yeah I've been very dubious regarding the hype, to be honest in my chat with MCA they also dampened expectation mentioning adjustment didn't alter valving just the oil bypassing the valve so it's only a minor adjustment, say 10%. I'm more interested in track performance as that is the main reason for the car, saying that Vic tracks tend to be pretty bumpy apart from the super smooth Moto GP Phillip Island, so a coilover keeping the tyre in contact with the tarmac is important rather than super stiff poorly damped setup that bounces.

I've got some MCA Reds in the shed but will be a while before I get a chance to test them! I didn't agree with their suggestion for rates though and spec'd my own.

Shame you've not tried them out yet as I'd be interested in what rate you went for.

For reds they started with track valving and around 5-6 for the fronts but after explaining the variety of tracks I attend and super smooth PI they started upping rates to 8f & 5r. My BC ERs were 8 & 6 and adjusted heavily towards the harder spectrum - which possibly explains a seal going.

Edited by billywhiz

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10&7 What car is this BTW, they suggested nowhere near this for my s14?

 

It's probably because you were after just the normal MCA Blue range, which have been valved specifically for softer spring rates. Usually they recommend 6/4.5 kg/mm

 

I'm running the X-Series coilovers, which sit between Blues & Red, and FWIW they are on a R33 GTS-t boat.

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my 180 has MCA blues with 6/4 springs.

 

rides similarly to KYB SR shocks and lowered springs (RSR and Tanabe springs)

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Being in Victoria have you spoken with shockworks? They may be able to help with a set of coilovers.

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I have a friend of mine running MCA red in his s15, it is purely a track car run in Vic. He rates them but was running tien before this that we're getting tired. I'm running HSD coil overs in my car and prefer these to BC much more durable on track. After having a drive of my mates s15 with the mca's they will be the next set of coil overs I get.

 

My personal experience with them is at Phillip island, not sure what they are like on a bumpy track like Winton or sandown. But I know he has run some decent times at sandown with crappy Achilles 123's

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I am currently in the process of reviewing a set of MCA X-Race in 10kg f and 7kg rear.

10&7 What car is this BTW, they suggested nowhere near this for my s14?

 

(if you havent already...) read up on suspension geometry and how it differs between suspension setups. the main difference between sil and skyline is the wishbone front setup and weight, obviously, giving a very different motion ratio (on fronts).

 

sil motion ratio sits at about 1:1 as far as I know (might be 0.97:1 or something but I havent measured exactly).

spring rate may be 10kg/mm on the skyline, but they are heavier and have a motion ratio much lower, lets say 0.75:1 purely as an example, giving a wheel rate of 7.5kg/mm, then you'd also need to consider how weight will change the natural frequency and damping forces, which relate to comfort (like when people say 'my skyline is comfortable with 8kg springs, but my sil is uncomfortable etc)

(wheel rate = spring rate at the wheel, taking leverage into consideration)

 

my maths might be off but i'll recheck later haha. none of the above is talking specifics

 

Being in Victoria have you spoken with shockworks? They may be able to help with a set of coilovers.

 

considering the price of shockworks, you could probably do a custom BC / bilstein pss10 setup just about. or a solid bilstein setup using revalved inserts and your external reservoirs.

Edited by r0berto

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I've got the 3 way adjustable MCA Golds in the Rx7 FD I race, dampening is excellent and every click of adjustment can be easily felt.

 

Quality is awesome and I highly recommend, I've never played around with the Red's or Blue's, but I would imagine they also would be good and heaps better than BC.

 

Plus this year MCA came second at WTAC on the Red's, which should be enough in itself that their of good enough quality for you.

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most of the WTAC fleet runs MCA golds.

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i've ordered the x-r series with 7 & 4.5kg springs for grip and 9 & 7kg springs for drifting.

they should be here monday or tuesday, will do a write up for a street drive on the 9 & 7 setup after i get an alignment.

I'm doing a drift day on the 15th at queensland raceway will do a review that night. i'll swap springs after new years and do another review for that setup.

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Cheers, Well done.

 

I'll see if I can learn about dampers rebuilding the bust BC but in the meantime I've ordered a set of MCA Reds 8/5 with track valving.

I checked on things like Ohlins no go, Silvia shocks weren't from Sweden but Carrozzeria Japan so international Ohlins servicing would struggle for parts. Bilstein would be bespoke, so no mass market saving. I wanted maintainability so Australian it is, MCA mentioned they could supply parts etc but warranty goes if anyone else opens them which is fair enough.

 

I've got other rear suspension bits/brakes to go on but they'll stay in the garage for now - I'll end up servicing the same area twice but I really want to see, all things the same bar BC to MCA swap, what happens to my lap times! Problem is, I'll need a couple of setup days prior to hitting PI for a benchmark. so probably Autumn, so no butt comparison as I'll have long forgotten the BC feel by the time I've run through a couple of MCA setup days.

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Can't believe this comparison has come up. The dampener and development of a shock is so important. We all know bc valving and testing would be minimal If any. With mca, you can be assured they have tested Spring rates for certain cars and that there valving matches the spring rates and vehicle

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I'm expecting very little difference in lap times, we'll see. Sorry but the internet hype is too much - Rides like a street car drives like a race car - bah only if you have a rock for a brain. To be fair MCA agree, it's track valved, stiff springs with adjustment of the valve bypass only - it's going to be firm. I will admit they are slightly less harsh on the street but they are still firm. This car is track oriented so we'll see, that's all i care about, so come on Stuss what will they knock off my PI lap time?

They still source components from an asian country, how much is assembled in Oz? They mentioned they'd arrive set up for my car - dampers were set to different values, did we say quality control and dyno'd. They are just a suspension company not a deity :-)

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Sorry but the internet hype is too much . They are just a suspension company not a deity :-)

 

Should see what happens when someone mentions A1RM Brake Pads

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I'm expecting very little difference in lap times, we'll see. Sorry but the internet hype is too much - Rides like a street car drives like a race car - bah only if you have a rock for a brain. To be fair MCA agree, it's track valved, stiff springs with adjustment of the valve bypass only - it's going to be firm. I will admit they are slightly less harsh on the street but they are still firm. This car is track oriented so we'll see, that's all i care about, so come on Stuss what will they knock off my PI lap time?

They still source components from an asian country, how much is assembled in Oz? They mentioned they'd arrive set up for my car - dampers were set to different values, did we say quality control and dyno'd. They are just a suspension company not a deity :-)

 

Is there really that kind of Internet hype? I ran a search of the old NS threads on this, as I remember posting my experience with the MCA Blues (I realise that you're talking about Reds and not the budget MCA coilover), and certainly what I said didn't resemble that hype. In fact most of the comments didn't over-hype them, and I rated them as absorbing hard impact a lot better than my old Tein Control Flex, but the actual handling being mostly the same.

 

If anything, I'm guilty of hyping Hardrace adjustable arms, because for something that can be adjusted for a track alignment, they're magic on the street.

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If anything, I'm guilty of hyping Hardrace adjustable arms

 

 

lol aint that the truth. i am the same with bilstein. there is a good reputation out there for MCA products in general, but most of it stems from their original custom made gear 5-10k a set range.

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The handling is 90% the same as my KYB SR shocks and Tanabe GF210/RSR springs setup. the primary difference is that mid-large bumps are handled MUCH more smoothly, while smaller bumps are felt easier.

 

This was with the blues (6/4) set to the softest setting. I havent tried fiddling with the dampers while at the track, but i am keen to do this next time. Its not really going to be a fair comparison however as next track tim I will have an extra 80kw or so.

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First bit of feedback from my first track experience at Sandown.

No big difference to lap time, best was 0.6 slower than my personal best with same setup (bar swap from BC ER to MCA Red) with a but - PB was a cooler day by around 5-8deg.

 

One thing I was having to dial out with the new setup - understeer which was killing my entry on to the main straight. So I was playing with line, trail-braking, damping etc - to be continued. BC ER springs were 8/6, MCA Red 8/5

 

Note MCA Reds have a slightly better ride, build quality I need to wait and see but most people advise it's good - I was very underwhelmed from my experience of BC ER build quality.

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I'd assume the BC springs would be the same size? You should just be able to swap the rear to the 6kg/mm one, that should fix the understeer, or at least make the balance similar to what it was before.

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MCA are very good in this respect, if not damaged/marked believe you can swap them for minimal cost early doors.

 

I may give them a few dial in attempts, though will then probably need to buy more springs, maybe they'll be selling helper springs by then as well.

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You've gone 20% softer on the rear spring without softening the front, whatever you do it's going to understeer a lot more than it used to.

 

I'm not sure why they have recommended 8/5, I've never seen anyone run that before. I'd either change to 6kg rear or 7kg front instead of trying to dial it out other ways, especially if it was decently balanced before.

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