Jump to content

Mike

Tokico Adjustable Shocks - Advantages/Disadvantages

Recommended Posts

Tokico Illumina Shocks:

-----------------------

Looks like most current owners of Tokico Illumina's keep them

set on one position most of the time. It doesn't seem to me that

these are the kind of things you'll be adjusting often.

Disadvantages:

1- Convenience. Don't expect to switch the suspension on the fly.

I don't think you'll be able to say, "Oh, hey... look! There's

a corner. Let me adjust my shocks." (faint sound of a car

screeching to a halt, a door slamming, and the cussing of some

guy trying to adjust his shocks on the side of the 2-lane coast

highway) - Probably won't happen.

2- Price. These things are spendy. Average price is $50 more than

a "nice" performance shock. They usually run anywhere from $110/ea

to $150/ea. Average performance shocks (non-adjustables) will run

anywhere from $70 to $90 (or so).

3- Stiffness. Sounds like these shocks are pretty stiff even on

their lowest setting. Again, these are my findings and not my

facts. I have not purchased shocks yet.

4- Comparisons. It's tough to compare these shocks to other shocks

because suspension performance isn't JUST in the shocks.

Advantages:

1 - Flexibility. I'll be able to get the performance of at least

three different responses (yes, they are 5-way adjustables).

Therefore, since one can't go out and buy all the shocks that

they want. It might be safest to buy the adjustables and pick

a setting. If you buy one shock. You're stuck.

2- Adjustable. They are adjustable. So, if you're going to take

a fun ride, pull the car into the garage, and tweak 'em up to

full strength. Then go out and have fun!

3- Price. It's a lot cheaper to buy one set instead of 2-3 sets

of other shocks that don't quite do it for you.

4- Comparisons. I also have this in my advantage list because

IMHO it's a lot safer to buy an adjustable shock and know

that you got the best. Your other route is to buy the

non-adjustable and HOPE that it's what you want. At least

you have a way to "tune" the adjustable shock to what you like.

Conclusion:

Buy the adjustable if you have the $$. If you want to save money

then buy a Tokico non-adjustable. I understand that the non-adjustable

Tokico is about midway between soft and hard on the adjustable. Again,

this is not from experience. Just hearsay - I've talked to a lot of

people about shocks.

If you don't have the cash. You'll have to check into a comparison

done between different non-adjustable brands. This comparison is

to clear up "MY" findings between adjustable and non-adjustable while

considering price/performance/and so on.

Keep in mind that adjustables might be too firm. They are made for

performance. If you want a smooth ride and good performance, look

into replacing the bushings and/or springs.

-- Mike Gholson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the 5 ways on my rx-7, its a third gen. Sometimes even on the softest setting they are still a little rough, but overall, i love them, and they are a must buy for any car, i would recommend them to anyone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To destroy your kidneys, do as my husband has done. Tokicos set on 3, 1" heavy duty sway bars, polyurethane bushings, Suspension Techniques lowering springs (2"), adjustable front and rear strut tower braces, 4 wheel adjustable camber kit and a LSD. :hurt: Very, very, very rough ride and beware of a pebble in the road.

Vicky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I can imagine in on the stiffest setting, the illuminas would be deadly when coupled with stiffer lowering springs, hehe. Couple that with strut braces and swaybars and sounds like you've got the fixings for hairline framerail cracks, hehe....maybe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am doing some research to find 5 way regulated solenoids to they can be adjusted on the fly like Tein shocks.

If I can find electronic solenoids, great. If not, cable driven. This means 4 cables into the cabin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have Illumina's and like them. I set them on 2 for street driving and 3,4 or 5 for autoxing. When I drive with all my tires and tools in the back of the 240 I set the rears on 3 to deal with the extra 250 LBS in the rear of the car. The ride on 2 is not too firm, I think it is better then the ride I had with my old KYB's. I paid $360 ($90each) for the set of 4 on Ebay new in the box. If I did not have a street/track car I would use the HP's instead of the Illuminas, the higher settings are useless on the street or with not so sticky tires. On 4 on the street tires the car will skip all over the place, way too stiff, but with the sticky Goodyear slicks 4 works pretty good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I run my illuminas 3 front 4 rear. Currently no rear sway bar. I got my illuminas for $355 on ebay from JDMwerks...5 day shipping.

I am running coilovers and 150lb/in 10 inch springs on the back and 225s up front same length.

I drove with the illuminas on 5 for a day on the street and it is like a go cart except with crazy understeer. At the 3 front/ 4 rear setting ther car is neutral and slightly stiff. I am just used to my dad's 944 turbo and that is like illuminas on 7 if there was such a setting. :-( one of his front struts just died and so the front ones need replacing. my illuminas are very comforable and make the ride like a new car compared to the rodeo my car used to be with stock springs and blown inserts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use to use the Illuminas till I realized I kept them set at 3 f/r all the time...even durin Auto-X....my current set is HP, howver I am looking into Bilstein or Koni for options

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So question for you guys. If i go with the Racing Coil-Over Camber Plate Kit from motorsports and then adjustable Illuminas do you think it would be a good set up?? anythoughts???

post-7858-14150797596336_thumb.jpg

post-7858-14150797596543_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So question for you guys. If i go with the Racing Coil-Over Camber Plate Kit from motorsports and then adjustable Illuminas do you think it would be a good set up?? anythoughts???

The kit from MSA is essentially a Ground Control or an EMI kit. It would be best to go directly through them, you will get a better price, and they will be able to get you the right shocks. You will need to shorten the strut housings and use shorter inserts (shocks) to get the maximum benefit from a coilocer kit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Tokico Illumina shocks typically used on a 240Z application are:

BZ3015 - 240Z front.

BZ3016 - 240Z rear (which is the BZ3015 shock with a 2" spacer attached at the bottom).

BZ3099 - Toyota MR2 rear.

For a nearly stock ride height car (stock length struts) the BZ3015 and BZ3016s are fine. For a car lowered 2" or more the struts need to be shortened and the BZ3099 is used on front and the BZ3015 is used in the rear struts.

Per the Tokico engineers and my experience, the Tokico Illumina rebound control is limited to about 250 lb. in. spring rates. Anything over those rates and the rebound valving tends to go open and not control the springs as well as it should.

Another negative for racing purposes is that the Tokico Illumina adjustment affects both compression and rebound. That is typical of a street performance shock where drivers want to feel things get stiffer without resorting to stiffer springs. Its not as good for a racer who is looking for compliance in compression because the racer is already running stiff springs. The combination of stiff springs and stiff compression damping makes for a car that doesn't handle as well as it should.

IMHO, Illuminas are fine for a street car with spring rates up to about 200-225 lb. in. (I run a set on my street 240Z) but once you go beyond those rates a properly valved Bilstein, Koni single adjustable, or something more exotic will make the car handle much better.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I've also found that two advantages to having adjustable shocks is that they are flexible in that they are adjustable and also that they are adjustable which is quite an advantage when you need to make an adjustment to the shocks (makes them quite flexible IMHO). And yes I agree it is quite inconvenient to have to stop the car to adjust the shocks. What a PITA. Really a disadvantage over those other shocks out there that can't be adjusted at all. What were those guys who designed those non-adjustable shocks thinking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah I've also found that two advantages to having adjustable shocks is that they are flexible in that they are adjustable and also that they are adjustable which is quite an advantage when you need to make an adjustment to the shocks (makes them quite flexible IMHO). And yes I agree it is quite inconvenient to have to stop the car to adjust the shocks. What a PITA. Really a disadvantage over those other shocks out there that can't be adjusted at all. What were those guys who designed those non-adjustable shocks thinking?

ROFL ROFL ROFL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the Tokico Illumina are no longer available.  What is an equivalent replacement?  I'm looking for an adjustable shock and am looking for a comfortable ride, not a track setup.  Any suggestions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should have started a new thread, I think.  Mike pretty much covered the pros and cons in his first post.  There's a toooooonnnn of threads and posts out there about the various shocks available.  Rehash after rehash.  Pulverized hash.  You said adjustable in your first post but now you're just talking about ride.

If you have to have adjustable you'll probably have to modify the strut tube and upper mounting point.  Pretty sure I've seen people fit adjustable Bilsteins in to their Z's with some work.  Might have been on Hybridz though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes indeed he did.  I was all set to buy a set based on the info in this thread but they are no longer available.  So my question was, if the Illumina are NLA, what to use instead for similar performance (No Koni's, way too expensive)? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that you're pretty much stuck with KYB or Stagg.  Or modifying your strut tubes.  Or buying an aftermaket "coilover" kit.  But they're expensive.

Not to harp, but another reason to start your own thread, besides getting more looks and responses, is that Mike says so...

From the top of the page...

image.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.