May 17, 2012 1:31 p.m.

Can anybody point me in the direction of someone that might make a spacer that would sit between the snap ring and the spring seat of a Bilstein HD shock?

I have a 2006 Mazdaspeed6 with aftermarket springs (RPM Street), and I'm not very happy with the ride height of the front of the car. The front is very vulnerable to speed bumps and road humps installed in neighborhoods, designed to slow cars down.

I'd like to be able to raise the front of the car around .5 to .625 inch. I'd prefer to not use spring rubbers, as I have heard that they will eventually wear out and need replacing. I figured a spacer beneath the spring seat would be a perfect solution as not only would it improve the bump travel on the car, it would be a non-moving part which is very unlikely to wear/fail.

I had also considered purchasing a second set of spring seats and milling them to the desired height, and installing them between the existing seat and snap ring, but I've had trouble sourcing a pair of them.

I'm willing to consider other solutions as well. If I can't find a way to space up the front of the car, I may just reinstall the factory springs and wait until Ground Control releases their coilover kit for the Mazda6/Mazdapseed6.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide, Chris

EvanB UltraDork
May 17, 2012 1:44 p.m.

How about something like this?

thewheelman New Reader
May 17, 2012 2:02 p.m.

In reply to EvanB:

That looks like a viable solution - I already have a couple of spring seat pads from a Ford Crown Victoria that I was going to try, but I'd be able to get a different thickness if I were able to pick up something like a cutting board.


mazdeuce Reader
May 17, 2012 2:27 p.m.

I've been using cutting boards to make spacers for bump stops and I've been quite happy. Cheap, easy to work with, cheap. Give it a go.

44Dwarf SuperDork
May 18, 2012 6:36 a.m.

PVC pipe. cut your own.

thewheelman New Reader
May 18, 2012 10:46 a.m.

In reply to 44Dwarf:

Would it really be strong enough to support the weight of the car, plus dynamic loads? That scares me a little.

KATYB HalfDork
May 18, 2012 11:02 a.m.

just wanna add raising the front up another half an inch is going to mess with the over handling of the vehicle.

KATYB HalfDork
May 18, 2012 11:04 a.m.

heres an idea why not try doing the speed limit in nieghbor hoods and i promise ull never hit that front bumper.

thewheelman New Reader
May 18, 2012 1:59 p.m.

In reply to KATYB:

I can guarantee you that I don't speed down residential streets. Nice of you to jump to that assumption, though. I have kids, and heaven help the person that hits one my children because they're speeding down my street. I'd only expect the same to happen to me if roles were reversed. Your statement in your profile about doing 90 in the fast land putting on mascara only makes your above statement that much more hypocritical.

I'm going to disagree that raising front a 1/2 inch is going to disturb the handling too much. Increasing suspension travel in the front will allow more compression stroke, allowing the shocks to perform their job better, and reduce the chance of the vehicle hitting its bump stops.

This car is my daily driver, and the roads around here are pretty bad - any little clearance I can gain will make my commute much more pleasant. Staying off the front bump stops will help reduce understeer when I do occasionally autocross the car.

KATYB HalfDork
May 18, 2012 3:51 p.m.

just assuming because i know i never hit my front bumper on my 6 and being lowered 2.8 inches even when i ran the sport bumper with the br lip i didnt hit it on speed bumps. the 90 in the fast way is a quote. not something i do. rarely if ever do i exceed the speedlimit anywhere! whether it be highway or residential or city. the one exception being a couple country roads in which no one is around litterly 5 6 7 miles without a house.

KATYB HalfDork
May 18, 2012 3:54 p.m.

i do however scrape my exhaust in the middle going over the speed bumps.

ahutson03 Reader
May 18, 2012 4:14 p.m.

Isnt it anoying when you just want help with a problem and all you get is someone telling you your problem is stupid?

KATYB HalfDork
May 18, 2012 4:49 p.m.

and look at what that .5 inch raise does to your wieght distribution and tell me it doesnt effect handling. raising whole vehicle wont be as much of a diff as just the front. the front only yep no good.

thewheelman New Reader
July 30, 2012 1:46 p.m.

Just to update this topic:

The company that I originally bought the springs from (RPM), at one point made a set of taller, stiffer springs strictly for use with Koni or Bilstein dampers. Those springs sold out ridiculously fast. I've searched around for a set of those springs for a while, and decided to contact RPM, and see if they by chance had an old set lying around in their warehouse. Lo and behold, they did! $150(!) later, I had the springs on my doorstep. I installed the springs yesterday, gained about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of ride height, roughly 20% increase in spring rate, and the car rides even better than before - these springs are a great match for the Bilstein shocks.

The car corners very flat now, and with the rear sway bar, it is very neutral. I'm a very happy camper.

Moral of the story here; just because the car is low doesn't mean it handles better, and stiffer springs don't necessarily kill your ride quality if you're running a quality shock/strut.

I can't wait to run a couple of autocrosses this fall.

EvanB UberDork
July 30, 2012 1:53 p.m.

Good to hear, it's always nice when there is an easy solution.

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