Nov. 22, 2015 10:46 a.m.

Recently picked up a Lancer Evo X
(GSR, because 5-speed)
Autocross is the focus, have been running BS.

Look at that roll!
(Bonus points that this picture is several months old... I just now noticed that I'm lifting a wheel and that they blurred my plate)

There are plenty of options for suspension (i.e. coilovers) if I jump up to a touring index, but almost no options for shocks.
Serious face, it's hard to even find OEM shocks for these, and there are - afaik - no other shock options without going custom.

So, I'm stuck between sticking with the OEM GSR shocks, spending $2k+ on custom shocks, or revalving/rebuilding the set of (cheaply sourced) MR Billies I have sitting in my kitchen.
With the obligation of OEM springs, is that last option even worth considering?

I have no experience with anything like this, I've been able to source adjustable konis on both of the previous times I needed to upgrade shocks but was unable/unwilling to go the coilover route.

The only other possibility that has been suggested would be some sort of adapter that might allow use of off-the-shelf shocks intended for another platform, though I'm not sure how doable or class-legal that might be.

Thoughts? Comments? Invective?

chiodos HalfDork
Nov. 22, 2015 10:51 a.m.

Which type of bilstein are they? If anything grab a part number and call bilstein themselves and see if they can revalve them for you. Iirc it's about $100 a shock. But talk to them about getting them valved right to your application

Nov. 22, 2015 10:59 a.m.

In reply to chiodos:

Yeah, I meant sending them to Bilstein, that sort of monkeying is beyond what I'm capable of or willing to tackle.

mazdeuce PowerDork
Nov. 22, 2015 1:20 p.m.

The hardest part about revalving is knowing what you want in a quantifiable way. I have a friend who revalves Bilsteins for nationals winning cars and he was able to make them work just as well and $5k Motons, but it took a shock dyno and a bit of trial and error to get there.
Revalving will certainly get you where you want to go, but you need to know where that is.

Mr_Clutch42 SuperDork
Nov. 23, 2015 4:11 p.m.

Is it much more to have Bilstein convert them to double adjustable shocks? I called them for a rebuild quote, but I forgot to ask them about a conversion.

84FSP HalfDork
Nov. 23, 2015 7:30 p.m.

Pricelist here - good bunch of folks to work with. Had them rebuild and custom valve the setup for El Rabbito for FSP.

Bilstein catalog for motorsports

Nov. 24, 2015 7:03 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Clutch42:

I haven't heard of that being an option, only to have whatever shocks you send in re-valved to your specs.
Having that adjust-ability would be great though.
Calling it a hunch that were I to call them they might have some suggestions, even if they haven't revalved a set for OEM Evo X springs
(all the examples I've found online have been redone for non OEM springs)

Mr_Clutch42 SuperDork
Nov. 24, 2015 7:16 p.m.

In reply to SnowMongoose: I want to do that for my auto-x E36 and switch up the spring rates on occasion. I know what spring rates I will buy, so I can tell Bilstein when the time comes.

Nov. 24, 2015 8:21 p.m.

Yeah, funnily enough, I think this would be an easier undertaking if I were NOT keeping the OEM springs.
I'll suck it up and call or email Bilstein early next week, I don't want to hassle anyone this close to Turkeyday.

docwyte Dork
Nov. 25, 2015 10:39 a.m.

It's $65 a shock for Bilstein to revalve them. However what's the point of revalving them if you're sticking with the factory springs? The valving needs to match the spring rate and I've gotta assume that's already been done from the factory...

Nov. 25, 2015 5:39 p.m.

In reply to docwyte:

I'm running on the assumption that the factory spec shocks would have been set up with more emphasis on comfortable ride than I need or want?
Everything I've read has suggested that the MR shocks are more 'plush' from the get go, despite the springs being almost identical from the GSR vs the MR.

RexSeven UberDork
Nov. 25, 2015 9:30 p.m.

I've read that guys who rallycross their Xs typically use the MR's Eibach springs and have the MR Bilsteins revalved, because it's that or drop some big bucks on custom rally coilovers. If valved correctly they can be very effective. However, I'm guessing the valving is going the opposite direction of what you are looking for.

Did you get the MR springs too? Have you tried swapping them in place of the stock GSR springs and dampers? I know the Eibachs aren't OK for Stock class since you have a GSR but you might get a better sense of how the Billies feel. I have a X MR and IMHO the Bilsteins are slightly underdamped.

Nov. 26, 2015 4:40 p.m.

In reply to RexSeven:

Opted to save some bucks (for the springs and for the shipping) so no, no springs came with the Billies.
And yeah, I'd imagine the rallycross guys are going for more suppleness to try and keep traction over rough terrain.
Unfortunately, other than a test drive in an MR I have no experience with how they drive, much less how they drive when driven hard
(with sticky tires and no salesman riding shotgun)

RexSeven UberDork
Nov. 27, 2015 9:59 a.m.

I haven't driven my X in real anger, like at an autocross (shame on me!). The best I can describe from some B-road caning is that the MR Billies feel like Koni Yellows on their softest setting, maybe even 1/4-1/2 a turn softer. Still a cut above most other shocks for sporty driving, still comfortable and composed over rough pavement, but I know I can get waaaay more out of this chassis with an improved setup. Right now I am driving on some sucky Hankook all-seasons with poor grip, but with the first level of traction control off, it's easy to get some nice controllable slides out of the car.

Jan. 31, 2016 3:44 p.m.

Shocks are at Fat Cat waiting for their turn in line.
Will update when they're back in my possession, then again when they're on the car.
ETA is mid-March, I'm excited!

March 23, 2016 4:55 p.m.

It's mid-March, Shaikh touched base with me, as of early last week mine were next in line.
Now we'll see if I'll get the chance to make the leap to a revamped suspension immediately ahead of the last event in the 'Slush Series' autocross or if I'm 'forced' to play it safe and stick with the OEM setup as I've come to get to know it.

beans Dork
March 24, 2016 9:46 a.m.

Good to hear he's sorting them out- he definitely knows his stuff. If he were more local to me, I'd consider having him do mine if my warranty doesn't cover my failure. Considering Delta Vee in Grand Rapids, MI but don't see many reviews except from the Ferrari crowd, which are great.

84FSP HalfDork
March 24, 2016 11:27 a.m.

Need to see good pics of the updated adjustable Bilsteins when they come back! I considered doing this but struggled as the known people were having biz struggles at the time. What kind of $ are we talking about?

docwyte Dork
March 24, 2016 9:38 p.m.

Why not send them to Bilstein? They rebuilt and revalved the Bilstein Escort Cups in my 951 for $65 a shock...

SnowMongoose SuperDork
March 24, 2016 11:22 p.m.

In reply to docwyte:

Opted to go the FCM route on the strength of recommendations from AXers, including a darn-quick (now formerly) local guy.
Plus, being able to pick Shaikh's brain was helpful in terms of getting things where I wanted.
Especially since I am not personally qualified to decide specs to revalve to.

SnowMongoose SuperDork
April 12, 2016 10:31 p.m.

Heard back from Shaikh today, he's running behind, mine are second in line.

S'OK, I'd lose the championship this weekend even with the new suspension.

Harvey Dork
April 13, 2016 9:41 a.m.

I've never heard of a completely good experience with the FCM guy. At best people get a decent product extremely far past the original deadline. I personally dealt with him and the poor handling of the whole thing made me decide never to do business with him again.

SnowMongoose SuperDork
April 13, 2016 12:44 p.m.

Meh, I was leery about the thought of radically changing my setup mid-season anyway, and it's not like I'm a good enough driver to blame the car for any losing I may endure.
Just too bad it's scheduled to be nice on Saturday and the FRS that's a hair ahead of me is demonstrably faster sans precipitation.

SnowMongoose SuperDork
May 12, 2016 10:17 a.m.


Shocks are on a FedEx truck for delivery today.

Related note, that FRS that's a hair faster ended up beating me by .003 of a possible 5 points in the series
(Second place due to a questionable rules call hurts, though having taken second with stock suspension under the car feels pretty alright)

Hopefully will get the shocks and swaybar on in the next week or two, along with all new fluids and a non dinged-up radiator.
Oh, and a new, slightly larger set of RE71R's as soon as they go on sale at Costco early July.

SnowMongoose SuperDork
June 13, 2016 11:54 a.m.

After a massive debacle involving two shops and a loooot of emails, the shocks are on the car!
And I've autocrossed on them twice!
And done an autocross school!
One of the clubs I run with does two AX schools a year, I volunteered at the first one, was a student for the second.
(Was flattered several times when instructors voiced confusion and asked if I was also there as a student)

Shaikh had used the term 'slalom monster' in describing the goal for these shocks, and along with the front sway set to full stiff, yep, he got it right.

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