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Flatout Suspension

Flatout Suspension

Supporting Vendor
44
78
Sep 24, 2020
Baltimore, Maryland
Hello everyone,

Let me first warn you that I tend to get wordy and go off on tangents...

I received an email back in September from Chris (Ludachris) inquiring about our suspensions. We had a nice exchange back and forth and he urged me to post and let you guys know we existed. Since September, I've been meaning to post and give a little intro. Every time I would try to set aside time, we get flooded with work. We're still flooded with work, but if I don't do it now, when will I?

We all know the suspension world is flooded with options, some aren't so great, some are pretty good, and some are works of art. We try to fall in the middle of the last two, though our custom stuff has leaned more on the third option. A lot of our custom work is one-off rally suspensions. Last month we completed rally suspensions for a Jaguar X-Type, a Mercedes 190e, and a Mini Countryman. The month prior, we had some guy with a Buick Reatta that wanted coilovers and we came through.

Obviously the DSM stuff isn't much in the realm of custom. but it's not really mainstream either. Its pretty niche market like the MR2. I have the data needed to build a suspension for the 2G FWD and AWD. Doing a 1G wouldn't be too difficult, the OEM stuff is out there for reference. I don't personally know the compatibility of a GVR4 to a 1G, but I venture thats going to be the toughest one to build from scratch.

So back to the task at hand, Chris wants us to build suspensions for you and I'm totally on board. Here's the snag...who are we and why should you buy some brand new untested suspension from us?? Fair enough. I posed that to Chris and I think he's identified what we've done and the no cut corners quality of our suspensions. We're also completely open to making these work exactly how you guys need it to. We have basically everything at our disposal.

A lot of the brands out there (talking about the budget stuff, not the custom built Koni/ Bilstein) use a "universal" threaded shock body and throw on some mounts so it bolts on...then throw on 8k and 6k springs and send it. While we make that option available to please the masses (and depending on the application), we prefer to start with a 1-piece shock body measured and manufactured exclusively for the application. We typically do this for the more "enthusiast" applications. Our NA/ NB Mazda Miata is built this way, for instance.

After we have the threaded body made, we send it off to get electroplated. We chose to do nickel over zinc; a) because it looks fantastic, and b) it oxidizes at a much slower rate of 7-10 years. Most of those budget brands use a steel body and then coat it with some sort of black paint. The problem with that is the first time you move the perch up and down, you are taking off coating. Eventually, you are exposing the raw steel...aluminum, raw steel, moisture...well, it usually results in a thread/ post about "my coilovers are seized and I can't adjust them, what do I do?" We'd rather just avoid that all together in the name of quality. It's those extra details that set us apart.

Once the bodies are back, we take it from a tube to a shock. We use a proprietary cnc aluminum piston that weighs in at just 7 grams. Our shims are stainless steel from Sweden. Our oil is either light-duty or medium-duty Amsoil Shock Therapy oil depending on the build. Our dampers are adjustable, so we give it a linear curve at full soft, and a digressive curve at full hard. No one has ever complained about comfort, I can assure you of that.

Final details of the build are the Magnitude Suspension 2.5" linear rate springs paired with a helper spring. On the top side, we finish it off with top mounts with spherical bearings.

Here's a few that we've done:

Xtype.jpg


Tiguan.jpg


Miata.jpg


3FD462F6-B2F9-4E09-8557-D07E541B393F.jpg


In the near future, I'd like to work towards building a 2G AWD & FWD for someone here and coordinate a baseline version with an open door to custom tailoring to each individuals needs.

Let the fun begin!
 
Last edited:

bastarddsm

Proven Member
5,344
1,148
Aug 26, 2003
Mendota, Illinois
Do these have a gas bladder or a separator piston, or? Separate compression/rebound adjustments? Dyno plots of the shocks over the range of adjustments showing the adjusters are predictable, repeatable, and consistent shock to shock? If you are doing rally stuff, you have separate high and low speed compression damping adjustments?
 

ec17pse

Freelancer
5,094
2,343
Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
Welcome to the group and also for offering custom coilovers.

Is one able to get custom pistons inside (also what piston size do you run) and can you ask for specific length hoses for the remote res chambers? I assume you can offer 3 or 4 way adjustments for track units

Am i assuming the spherical top mounts are standard rather then rubber? Or would that be an optional extra

I currently run BC BR which i did some upgrades on, So i now use sphericals on all 4 corners and helper springs and had them revalved for a higher rate. I was thinking in 2021 of swapping over to their ZR series (unless i do something completely bizare) The BC has been nice and reliable and spares are easy to get if needed. I assume rebuilds are an option down the line also with yours?

One last question. Can you do the nickel in black in the factory they to the plating process?
 

Flatout Suspension

Supporting Vendor
44
78
Sep 24, 2020
Baltimore, Maryland
Do these have a gas bladder or a separator piston, or? Separate compression/rebound adjustments? Dyno plots of the shocks over the range of adjustments showing the adjusters are predictable, repeatable, and consistent shock to shock? If you are doing rally stuff, you have separate high and low speed compression damping adjustments?

It has a floating piston. I forgot to point out these are monotube. It’s an independent single adjustable shock controlling rebound. We do have a shock dyno to ensure consistency and provide on with each build. We do have a 3-way option, but our builds lately have been for rallycross; so they didn’t require the precise shock tuning of a 3-way (their choice - not ours).
 

Flatout Suspension

Supporting Vendor
44
78
Sep 24, 2020
Baltimore, Maryland
Welcome to the group and also for offering custom coilovers.

Is one able to get custom pistons inside (also what piston size do you run) and can you ask for specific length hoses for the remote res chambers? I assume you can offer 3 or 4 way adjustments for track units

Am i assuming the spherical top mounts are standard rather then rubber? Or would that be an optional extra

I currently run BC BR which i did some upgrades on, So i now use sphericals on all 4 corners and helper springs and had them revalved for a higher rate. I was thinking in 2021 of swapping over to their ZR series (unless i do something completely bizare) The BC has been nice and reliable and spares are easy to get if needed. I assume rebuilds are an option down the line also with yours?

One last question. Can you do the nickel in black in the factory they to the plating process?

Thank you! Happy to be here!

In terms of custom pistons (48mm), we don’t/ haven’t used any piston but our own. Not sure how we’d feel about doing that...or, for your wallet, it seems like customizing a cheaper option, like you’ve already done, makes more sense.

For reservoir hoses, I think we have a few options in between 5” and 18”. As you see above, some we just mount directly to the shock body.

Rebuilds are absolutely available starting at $125 for our more basic setup to $295 for our rally stuff. I think that’s pretty standard pricing.

I’ve actually inquired about colored nickels (we really wanted a slight olive color - looks much better than it sounds), but the facility we use only has the standard “chrome” option unless we’re doing significant quantities or if we are able to join on another run - which we can’t count on as availability is inconsistent. As we build to order, 4 bodies at a time is a speck to significant. So, at this time, no black nickel.

edit: you asked about spherical bearing top mounts, yes, that actually is standard on our suspensions and would follow suit for DSMs.

Thanks for your questions!
 
Last edited:

ec17pse

Freelancer
5,094
2,343
Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
Thank you! Happy to be here!

In terms of custom pistons (48mm), we don’t/ haven’t used any piston but our own. Not sure how we’d feel about doing that...or, for your wallet, it seems like customizing a cheaper option, like you’ve already done, makes more sense.

For reservoir hoses, I think we have a few options in between 5” and 18”. As you see above, some we just mount directly to the shock body.

Rebuilds are absolutely available starting at $125 for our more basic setup to $295 for our rally stuff. I think that’s pretty standard pricing.

I’ve actually inquired about colored nickels (we really wanted a slight olive color - looks much better than it sounds), but the facility we use only has the standard “chrome” option unless we’re doing significant quantities or if we are able to join on another run - which we can’t count on as availability is inconsistent. As we build to order, 4 bodies at a time is a speck to significant. So, at this time, no black nickel.

edit: you asked about spherical bearing top mounts, yes, that actually is standard on our suspensions and would follow suit for DSMs.

Thanks for your questions!
48mm is a nice size. its 2mm bigger then my BC ones. as for custom i was referring to the piston design as most opt for a digressive piston and shims to suit such a piston. Did not know if this is workable and can be swapped to suit ones specific needs
 

Flatout Suspension

Supporting Vendor
44
78
Sep 24, 2020
Baltimore, Maryland
48mm is a nice size. its 2mm bigger then my BC ones. as for custom i was referring to the piston design as most opt for a digressive piston and shims to suit such a piston. Did not know if this is workable and can be swapped to suit ones specific needs

Here’s a shock dyno for a WRX suspension we built a few months ago. He wanted comfort with the ability to turn it up and do a weekend autocross a few times per year. Nothing overly special about this, somewhat “run of the mill” as it is just our base coilover/ non-custom option. This is our off the shelf version, for lack of a better explanation.

WRX_Grote.png
 

ec17pse

Freelancer
5,094
2,343
Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
Here’s a shock dyno for a WRX suspension we built a few months ago. He wanted comfort with the ability to turn it up and do a weekend autocross a few times per year. Nothing overly special about this, somewhat “run of the mill” as it is just our base coilover/ non-custom option. This is our off the shelf version, for lack of a better explanation.

View attachment 615872
Nice. Well i think i will certainly keep you in mind when i come around to redo my coilovers again hopefully in 2021.

as for the other details above (sorry i half replied as i popped out and did not write it all down)

the rebuilding is good so people know they can have that option unlike cheaper options. the color is annoying but understandable if you do small units per order. i know chrome and green,,,, is not my cup of tea LOL

the hose length is a great thing to know, its a bit tight on the 2G and the ER BC units have a bit of a clearance issue, heck i even touch my spring on full lock so a res chamber in the way wont be good.

Thanks for your responses and reply, i like to ask so i know whats available and what not,

this now opens up a 3rd option for me when i get around to do this.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

DSM98GSX

Proven Member
133
12
Apr 16, 2008
Tucson, Arizona
Welcome to the group and can't thank you enough for offering this!

Few questions. I run a 98 GSX for reference and have been running a standard yellow Koni with Eibach spring.
1) What kind if a price range are these sitting at? I know this can be a loaded question as options and customizations are added but it'd be good to have a rough idea or at least a starting point.

2) Being that these can be adjustable, is there an electronic adjustment system that can be used (like an EDFC kit)?

I've recently changed from a drag built setup to a more track oriented build with the occasional drag weekend so I am new to the suspension needs. Was going to do the custom Koni setup but if you offer a setup that is comparable or slightly better I'd definitely be interested.

Thanks again!
 

Flatout Suspension

Supporting Vendor
44
78
Sep 24, 2020
Baltimore, Maryland
Welcome to the group and can't thank you enough for offering this!

Few questions. I run a 98 GSX for reference and have been running a standard yellow Koni with Eibach spring.
1) What kind if a price range are these sitting at? I know this can be a loaded question as options and customizations are added but it'd be good to have a rough idea or at least a starting point.

2) Being that these can be adjustable, is there an electronic adjustment system that can be used (like an EDFC kit)?

I've recently changed from a drag built setup to a more track oriented build with the occasional drag weekend so I am new to the suspension needs. Was going to do the custom Koni setup but if you offer a setup that is comparable or slightly better I'd definitely be interested.

Thanks again!

Hey Nic, thanks for the questions.

1) Our entry model (SR) is $1380. That gives you all the usual fun stuff and has features most people are looking for.

2) I have on a to-do list to test fitment of an EDFC system as I’ve been personally curious myself. As of right now, we don’t offer it - testing will determine which direction we go with that.
 

Flatout Suspension

Supporting Vendor
44
78
Sep 24, 2020
Baltimore, Maryland
very cool.
I have a few questions for the 1g platform.
Are the front struts inverted ?
can the rear be mounted inverted?
is the rear eyelet a spherical bearing or a bushing?
what is the extent of modification that you can provide to the mounting points?

The fronts can absolutely be inverted on the 1G, though it would be in a higher tier. By that I mean, our base set up is the SR which uses upright shocks....our ST uses inverted struts all around, but the rears get reservoirs on a-arm types (like the 1G). Basically, you'd have the same thing as our ST for the 08+ Impreza.

We might be able to do inverted. We always try to whenever possible.

The eyelet is a high durometer bushing.

As far as modifications for mounting points...what do you have in mind?
 

jakelandry

Proven Member
936
126
Oct 13, 2009
Minden, Louisiana
It’s unfortunate that you’ve chosen to get into the DSM market at this point in time. 7 years ago we would have absolutely killed for these and you would have had more orders than you could handle. Fast forward a couple of years and FEAL came to the rescue with an affordable spherical top hat, rebuildable, dyno’d setup that a lot of people jumped on. Now more than ever, the dsm’s knowledge of handling is degrading due to social media being the primary source of misinformation, so the market isn’t what it used to be. I hope you guys are able to make a dent in the community and hopefully re-spark some road course interest that has dwindled through the years.
 

Flatout Suspension

Supporting Vendor
44
78
Sep 24, 2020
Baltimore, Maryland
The way I look at it, we’re not setting our sights on world domination. We’re more cottage industry and like to do the little projects. We have our stuff that keeps the lights on...this is more of an occasional build. We know we won’t get 30 orders per month....a few every quarter is fine.

To me personally, doing this I know will be mostly custom requests (I don’t foresee someone searching on Google for DSM coilovers). I more expect to get a message saying “here’s what I have, what can you do.” To be honest we prefer that. In fact, we’re building a set of beastly coilovers for a 90 Buick LeSabre. I’m not kidding. We just finished rally suspensions for a Mercedes 190e, a Jaguar X-Type, and a Mini Coutryman. That’s the day to day.

Any time a suspension leaves here, it was worth it.
 

1990TSIAWDTALON

Moderator
7,532
3,605
Nov 14, 2013
Independence, Kansas
I'd just like to say THANKS for joining up with us on here and putting out, what looks like, some very nice products! This platform is getting old but the hobbyist's are still here and plan on keeping these old cars going. I am glad Chris reached out to you and you came aboard. WELCOME is overdue, so pardon the delayed welcome. I am a 1g guy but the fact that your company is willing to help out the 2g guys is a great thing for us all.
Respectfully,
Marty
 

ErikTande

Supporting Member
1,419
410
Dec 17, 2012
Centennial, Colorado
Thanks for supporting us! If I had the cash I'd be all over your prototype offer. I'd love some coilovers for my 2g with near stock spring rates, like 300 front 200 rear. I like how the car rides on public roads stock, i just want to drop it like 3/4 an inch. :cool:

97-99 OEM Stock 2G AWD
Front: 246
Rear: 151
 

Flatout Suspension

Supporting Vendor
44
78
Sep 24, 2020
Baltimore, Maryland
I'd just like to say THANKS for joining up with us on here and putting out, what looks like, some very nice products! This platform is getting old but the hobbyist's are still here and plan on keeping these old cars going. I am glad Chris reached out to you and you came aboard. WELCOME is overdue, so pardon the delayed welcome. I am a 1g guy but the fact that your company is willing to help out the 2g guys is a great thing for us all.
Respectfully,
Marty

Thank you very much, we're excited to be here!

We're going to have 1G stuff soon (maybe first of the year or thereabouts) so stay tuned!
 

walfamovil

Supporting Member
5
3
Oct 27, 2010
Ossining, New_York
The fronts can absolutely be inverted on the 1G, though it would be in a higher tier. By that I mean, our base set up is the SR which uses upright shocks....our ST uses inverted struts all around, but the rears get reservoirs on a-arm types (like the 1G). Basically, you'd have the same thing as our ST for the 08+ Impreza.

We might be able to do inverted. We always try to whenever possible.

The eyelet is a high durometer bushing.

As far as modifications for mounting points...what do you have in mind?

Thank you for the reply.
If the shock at the rear come inverted the only modification or option would be a 5/8 spherical bearing eyelet or the capability to put something other than the bushing.
For the inverted front it would be nice to move the mounting points to the spindle side a little to make more room between the wheel-tire to the strut.

Thanks again
 

Flatout Suspension

Supporting Vendor
44
78
Sep 24, 2020
Baltimore, Maryland
Thank you for the reply.
If the shock at the rear come inverted the only modification or option would be a 5/8 spherical bearing eyelet or the capability to put something other than the bushing.
For the inverted front it would be nice to move the mounting points to the spindle side a little to make more room between the wheel-tire to the strut.

Thanks again

On the front, if I understand correctly, you want the mounting ears/ tabs to be longer where they point to the hub so it moves the bottom of the shock inward? I don't know how that angle change would effect geometry or if it would force the hub to push outward creating a positive camber situation.

For the rears, I'm not entirely sure we could do inverted. We've done it on the Mini Cooper (https://flatoutsuspension.net/products/mini-st), so it is doable. But not for every application. Maybe something to pursue down the road.
 

Flatout Suspension

Supporting Vendor
44
78
Sep 24, 2020
Baltimore, Maryland
Thanks for supporting us! If I had the cash I'd be all over your prototype offer. I'd love some coilovers for my 2g with near stock spring rates, like 300 front 200 rear. I like how the car rides on public roads stock, i just want to drop it like 3/4 an inch. :cool:

97-99 OEM Stock 2G AWD
Front: 246
Rear: 151

I think I missed your reply...we can absolutely do that for you. It’d be 250/150 because our springs use round numbers...5/10/15/20, etc.
 

DogWhistle

Supporting VIP
673
254
Sep 13, 2012
St. Paul, Minnesota
Thanks for providing great options for the DSM world. You guys do it all. The other day I was reading about a build done on a Buick, and he had Flatout Suspension on it!
 

Flatout Suspension

Supporting Vendor
44
78
Sep 24, 2020
Baltimore, Maryland
Thanks for providing great options for the DSM world. You guys do it all. The other day I was reading about a build done on a Buick, and he had Flatout Suspension on it!
Thanks for the kudos!

If you think that Buick is something...our suspension being used by Tanner Foust in baja is even cooler!
 

Mahreeoh17

Proven Member
61
21
Jul 12, 2020
Bakersfield, California
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