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2G Flatout Suspension Club Sport Coilover Review (AWD)

I've been wanting a decent suspension on my Eclipse ever since I got it but generally mixed reviews for all of the big names kept me from ever pulling the trigger. Flatout advertises the CS as "Designed for Street Comfort" and in talking with them directly about suspensions, I mentioned that the only coilover set that I liked was the old Flyin Miata V-Maxx Classic that I had on my NA and got "if you like those you'll love these" as a response, so I pulled the trigger. Default spring rates are 11.6kg front and 6.2kg rear (650/350 lbs) which are pretty mild given the motion ratio of the 2g suspension. 4.5kg front and 2.6kg rear are stock.

They arrived on Saturday, conveniently right as I finished rebuilding the husband's Volvo, so I set to work.
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Handles on each of the boxes was a nice touch that I haven't seen before. The package included three pages of info for setting up and dialing in the coilovers, plus swag.
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The hardware itself is very nice. I'm more of a black on black guy when it comes to mechanical components, but I can't complain about any of this. Struts came adjusted so that the helper spring was fully extended, corresponding to the lowest that they could reasonably go on a car. I decided to go in the opposite direction and compress the helper spring all the way without adding any preload to the main spring. The listing advertises a drop of between 0.5" and 3" at all four corners and I'd like to stick to the low end of that spectrum. The install itself was straightforward, although my rusty DSM put up a fight as usual.
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Stock on left. Fully compressed helper spring on the right. Rally DSM, anyone? So this makes me really happy. I'm sick of people designing "adjustable" coilovers where the range of adjustment is between "too low" and "bump stops." With the sheer amount of thread on the shock body I suspected that the ad was being pessimistic about the range of adjustment but it's very nice to see that confirmed. I didn't settle the suspension before taking measurements at this height, but it's about 1.25" higher than stock. Anyway, down to a more realistic height.
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Again stock on the left, but this time I lowered the rear 2" and the front 1.5". I've still got tons of adjustment left but I'm going to leave them here for now.

First test drive. All corners at softest setting (because I wasn't paying attention). The ride is really smooth but there was very little control with some unusual behavior over bumps with larger displacement. With all corners at halfway the car reminded me of the husband's Bilstein coilovers on the Volvo: responsive with lots of control, but slightly bouncy over the collection of potholes and crumbling concrete that is my alley. I dropped the front to -4 from center and the rears -2 and ooh boy. I wanted a GT style cruiser with some sporty tendencies and this is EXACTLY that.

These are just like my favorite V-Maxx setup which, on the Miata, tripled the spring rates without harming the ride at all. The quality struts and proper matching manage to completely hide the huge jump in spring rate. The Flatout CS default spring rates likewise don't feel stiff at all but body roll and turn-in are GREATLY improved. Even after my switch to snow tires I can feel a jump in mechanical grip; an intersection that normally forces the car to plow and understeer into the far left lane on right turns did no such thing today even though I was on the gas through the whole turn. It's very not the autocross season right now but this has me excited to continue pushing the car when I can. A track suspension this is not but it is way more fun to beat the crap out of the car on the street now.

Ride quality is actually slightly improved as well due to the poor matching between the OE springs and the old strut valving. With the struts on the soft side of center these are absolutely DD level struts with a comfortable ride and greatly improved body control, and while I was initially wary of the pillow ball uppers, I don't notice any increase in NVH with this new setup and I couldn't be happier with the purchase! It's a net quality-of-life improvement! Hopefully I can try out the stiffer settings on some less punishing roads this week. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these to anyone who's looking for a handling upgrade on a street build! More to come.
 
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Flatout Suspension

Supporting Vendor
48
106
Sep 24, 2020
Baltimore, Maryland
Wow, thank you so much for the comprehensive review.

One consideration in these was a bit of “reading the room.” You guys don’t seem like the stance crowd and we tend to build suspensions with gobs of travel (we are a rally suspension company, after all).

Do you think we’d improve the product by giving a 1-1.5” reduction in assembly length or do you think these would go lo enough to please the guys that want to be a bit lower (two finger gap for instance)?
 

randman2011

Proven Member
509
236
Feb 26, 2012
Indianapolis, Indiana
I haven't checked what travel would be like lowered but it doesn't look like the car can go much lower without air, especially at the front. The reason I only went 1.5" lower than full extension at the front is because at a 2" drop the bumper was resting on my low profile jack and I couldn't drop the car all the way to the ground. I had to add a half inch back just to be able to get the jack out.

I doubt anyone would really want to take advantage of the lift that these could provide (maybe we have some rallycross fans here?) but unless you've already got shorter shock bodies available for the same proce it doesn't seem worthwhile to change them. I will probably drop the rear some more today so I'll see if things are different back there.

And by the way, I am measuring the drop distance at the strut and not at the wheel, which makes a difference on the front suspension. The ride height drop at the front is much greater than the 1.5" I'm measuring.
 

Flatout Suspension

Supporting Vendor
48
106
Sep 24, 2020
Baltimore, Maryland
It wouldn’t be overly difficult to reduce the assembly length an inch if that got the car a bit lower...if that’s needed. I’m just curious if it will allow for a 2 finger gap (tire to wheel arch) as it is now.

As far as adding height, funny thing, I got an email recently asking if we could build a suspension to allow +1”. Seems it may already do that.
 

spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,184
695
Jul 11, 2009
Some where in, Colorado
It appears in current configuration it’ll lift the amount you wanted!
That is great. I will send more questions through the emails so I don't overtake this review. Looks promising for my application though.
 

randman2011

Proven Member
509
236
Feb 26, 2012
Indianapolis, Indiana
I dropped the rear another half inch not long after my original review. I've only used about a third of the available threads on these shock bodies so these things can go WAY lower if one wanted. This will definitely be my final ride height, though: front strut helper spring expanded 1.5" beyond fully compressed and rear strut set at 2.5" past fully compressed. This is as low as I can go at the front and still fit my low profile jack underneath, and the gap matches front to rear now. Also worth noting that I STILL haven't had a professional alignment, but I did order new Volk toe arms today so that shouldn't be much longer.

I added the RM sway bar set and everything got a lot tighter. I had to increase the stiffness of the rear struts by two more clicks to even things out. Whereas before with the factory sway bars I thought of these coilovers as "OEM compliant," with these sway bars they're more like a mildly sporty set in terms of compliance/road manners, which is fine with me since they're still very comfortable over the piles of gravel that used to be roads before this winter. Still no interior squeaks and rattles, which is a huge plus. I'd recommend this to absolutely anyone who wouldn't be disappointed that the handling improvement isn't accompanied by an extreme increase in roughness, which should be everyone but Honda enthusiasts exist.

All that's left now is to swap back to my summer wheels and get an alignment, then check the coilovers again.

@spyderdrifter did you ever get your suspension sorted out?
 
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