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Tein Flex- Initial Impressions and Pics

5147 Views 23 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  slammed06tsx
For those who don't know, I have been a long time advocate of the factory A-Spec suspension, and I still am. It solves a lot of the problems of the factory suspension without introducing any problems (except a little more negative rear camber-but even stock people have this issue). I feel that the car should come this way, maybe even just the 6MT, kinda like the TL 6MT has the Brembo's and summer rubber....
Last year, when I was using my car for work related duties and planning on using the car with our new baby daughter, the A-Spec was the perfect solution for me.

But this year, things have changed. My baby girl is practically never in the TSX; instead, my wife's Ody is used anytime we're going out. And I've managed to change my responsibilities at work, leaving me free to work on the car and turn it up a notch or two.

To that end, I ordered a set of Tein Flex coilovers. These are the new CL9/TSX application, with 14KF / 8KR spring rates. This sounds like quite a lot over the CL7 Flexes that have been for sale for the last year or so, which carried a rate of 10KF / 6KR. To put these numbers in perspective, they are close to triple the factory rates.

I started having second doubts about these spring rates; after all, Flexes promise ride comfort to go along with the improved handling, and I was having a hard time fathoming that there would be any comfort whatsoever. But, I stuck them in last Sunday, and have spent a couple of days tuning them.

At this point, I must say that I am flabbergasted that springs this stiff can have any type of compliance, but they do! Damping is adjustable, and I started in the firmest position. It's like driving a race car on the street, way too stiff for my taste. Next I went to full soft, but this didn't work either. The ride was quite soft, but the car felt underdamped at this point, and somewhat bouncy as well. Today I spent some time increasing both the front and the rear damping; I'm now at 4 clicks from soft rear and 5 front.

With this setting, the car rides a little stiffer than A-Spec, firm but still pretty comfortable. The damping is perfect, and there's no bounce. The one things that's different from stock is how fast the car drops on large dips, but it remains completely settled, and there is no impact harshness at all.

At first, I though I must be dreaming this, but to make sure, I took my wife for a ride tonight under the guise of getting ice cream. Our neighbor sat with Maddie, and I took her out for a "date". She has no idea that I put the suspension in on Sunday, and even after riding in the car over some fairly bad roads, she didn't notice any difference. Now, I know when you see the pics of the car that you're going to wonder how see can't see a difference, but she's just not into cars. I wouldn't notice if she got a new Longaberger basket :rolleyes: ........

On the handling side, the car remains very flat, and can be pushed a lot harder into turns. It's also much more tossable, and is far less prone to understeer, partially due to the Comptech rear sway. I can't believe the combination of ride and handling that these provide.

The install was very straightforward, as these are complete units. And amazingly, I don't have any noise at all. I can hear the struts compressing when going over a large bump slowly with the window open and the radio off, but I think I could hear the A-Spec do that too. I got nervous this afternoon when I heard a clanking sound from the rear, but it was just the spanner wrenches from the kit banging together in the trunk :D.

As far as the drop goes, the kit says that it's pre-set for a 2" drop in the front and a 1.6 drop in the rear. Uh, no. I double checked the measurements and put them in, and I'm sure that it's dropped more than that. However, I haven't scraped, rubbed or bottomed yet, so I probably won't raise it unless I do. The strut has an amazing range of adjustment; like 4" in the front. One thing I did not expect that the if you grab the car and give it a push, it moves. I don't know if it would have if I set the damping to full hard. My S2K really didn't move at all......

Here's a couple of pics; once I get my new rims and tires on I'll post some more. Don't expect anything radical; the budget is shot for this year, especially now that Hondata is out. Next year I can look at Advans :D.........

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dj_brown said:

that car is nice and the drop is perfect. hard to believe, but the stock rims looks sick on the dropped TSX. making me wonder if i should hold off on the rims and just get the kit.

once again. sick car.
Thanks man, the guys at work said the same thing-they never really liked the rims until now. I do have a new set going on in the next couple of weeks, still OEM, still 17", but hard to get right sticky rubber too.
Joker said:
Can't wait to read your write up after getting the new tires :thumbsup:

Joker - who knows you'll be loving your new suspension even more :nod:
Thanks, wish I was in an area where I could run summer rubber all year long :D.......
Silv04TSX said:
thats looks good!!! I cant til my tein basics go on. Is that set all the way down on the coilovers?
No, from the perspective of the coilover, it could go a lot lower at least another 1.5" of adjustment. But from a rubbing standpoint, not that much. My front lip is dangerously close to my driveway apron; I may even raise it a little........
LI_NY_1 said:
Great stuff. My a-spec susp. is being delivered today and hopefully installed by this weekend. Sounds exactly right for me, as with 2 kids, while my Ody is primary family mover, the TSX still gets kid duty on an almost daily basis.
But also similar to you, pretty sure no-one will notice anything with regard to handling and small drop with the a-spec (except hopefully me!).

What tires are you getting? Searched but didn't find mention of specifics... Facing same situation soon - want to keep 17's but deciding whether to just upgrade to high-perf a/s vs. dedicated summer/winter.

p.s. those longaberger things are on par with Mugen as far as pricing!
I've got a set of 225/45/17 Yokohama AVS ES100s, but I'm waiting to put them on. They're talking 6-12" of snow tonight :mad: .......
Hey Lanny.... I like your write up a lot!! i just had a few questions and wanted to see what you thought... I like the tein a lot... i was wondering if you ever thought about getting the EDFC for it??? also, i just wanted to let everyone know that im looking to be buying my TSX in september if all goes right :)
im driving a BMW 318ti now and its nice, but i gotta get a TSX !!! LOL

im kinda looking around for as much general knowledge so when i do get mine, i can go crazy with it !!! :ben:

BTW... great color, and the drop looks awesome!!!

Thanks, it has has proven to be even more than I hoped for.

I wanted to wait and get a feel for how the car responded to the different adjustment points before going with the EFDC.

After a few weeks of playing around with, I've determined that EDFC wouldn't be worth it for me. It would have been helpful when dialing the car in, but now that its set, I doubt I would change it unless I took it to some type of event, in which case I could go firmer in a matter of a couple of minutes. If you were serious about track events, it would be awesome to be able to dial in on the fly though.
Right, you can send the strut back to Tein to be rebuilt. Not likely to happen anytime soon unless you track it......
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