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Hey all,

Its been about a month since I've purchased my 2016 Mazda 3 hatch its my daily and I cant stand looking at my wheel gap anymore lol, I live in Massachusetts and the pot holes are god awful here and the winters can be pretty rough. I did check out the spring and coilover thread and it definitely helped me out with seeing what my options are but can anyone give me any insight on the pros and cons of springs vs coilovers with the road conditions I deal with. Also car came stock with the factory 16" wheels but eventually in the future might look into aftermarket 18"-19".
 

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Quality is quality. In staying close to stock ride height (ie; not slammed) either will give you similar performance, dollar for dollar. The lower you go the more shock cartridge performance you sacrifice without using coilovers that adjust height by adjusting the mounting points. You pick up suspension flexibility with coilovers, but if you`re a set-it-and-forget-it person, good springs and shocks will be great. The advantages of either will be determined by your needs. I went coilovers because some days I go to the track and may want a super stiff spring set, which I can swap in in about 45 minutes (for all 4). It was just the added benefit of Bilstein cartridges at all 4 corners now as well. Springs and shocks will generally cost less, so they definitely have that going for them. A couple of things to keep in mind as you`re shopping: Koni Str-T shocks are little more than stock replacements. Good, not a performance part. Koni FSD cartridges are designed to be used with near stock ride height. They are defeated by their own engineering on lowered cars. Koni yellows are a great performance offering and nearly a standard. Bilstein B8 are excellent, but not adjustable. I have found they`re just fine out of the box.

A bit of a dissertation, I know, but there`s some info for you :)
 

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Hey all,

Its been about a month since I've purchased my 2016 Mazda 3 hatch its my daily and I cant stand looking at my wheel gap anymore lol, I live in Massachusetts and the pot holes are god awful here and the winters can be pretty rough. I did check out the spring and coilover thread and it definitely helped me out with seeing what my options are but can anyone give me any insight on the pros and cons of springs vs coilovers with the road conditions I deal with. Also car came stock with the factory 16" wheels but eventually in the future might look into aftermarket 18"-19".
Coilovers aren't going to help with potholes and rough roads as they mostly have springs that are stiffer than stock. Lowering the car with stiff springs will make it so much worse, and lowering the car with stock rate springs is just as bad. There are probably some higher end options ($$$$$) that might help but there are not too many to choose from.
You can however find better OEM style replacement springs and dampers that might help some. In the end, potholes are potholes and there isn't a lot you can do but drive around them. Lowered cars are more prone to to their effects no matter what kind of suspension you have.
18"+ wheels won't help matters either. Unless you are planning on a serious outlay of cash huge heavy wheels will just add to the problem. Heavy wheels make the suspension slow to react and make it work harder. Many less expensive 18" rims weigh close to 30 lbs each, with 22+ pounds of tire on top of that. That is a huge problem if you want the car to ride better.
If the roads are really bad, using large expensive light weight rims ($300+ each before you add the cost of tires) is a big risk as damage is almost certain to happen with associated replacement cost.

Koni FSD cartridges are designed to be used with near stock ride height. They are defeated by their own engineering on lowered cars. Koni yellows are a great performance offering and nearly a standard.
Koni FSDs work just fine on lowered cars. It is marketed as "Koni 2100 FSD Lowering Kit". Mine is lowered 25mm in front and 45mm in the rear. The FSDs combined with H&R springs have no issues and ride better than OEM. Koni yellows are fine if you live in Florida and the roads are like a billiard table. In New England the roads are more like the surface of the moon. Yellows ride harsh and that gets old quick in a daily driver.
 

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i had eibach lowering springs installed when i bought my mz3 and was not happy with the springs, i think it made to mutch air in the fenders over the wheels, so it looked like a spaceship.
Here is a pic when it was on eibach springs


So now im on Bilstein coils, with 19" wheels instead of the 18" OEM wheels


i love the car on coils when you go into a corner, but the car will be mutch stiffer :)
 
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