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Project Unpimp My Ride: Pedders Easyfit Suspension and Swaybars, Street Performance for the Toyota86/BRZ/FR-S

by Mike Kojima

 

Not all of us want a race car for the street. Although many of us are hardcore track day participants, autocrossers or canyon runner nuts, there are a lot of enthusiasts who don't want a super edgy race car with a license plate as a commuter or daily driver.  

Just recently, we were lamenting the days of not too long ago where the hot setup was a set of KYB AGX, Tokiko Illumina or Koni Yellow shocks with a set of Eibach Pro Kit or Raceline springs. One of the advantages of this sort of set up was simplicity and a lot less rattle, clunks and vibrations that coilovers with camber plates are susceptible to. 

One of the reasons why this whole market seemed to vanish is largely because KYB, Tokiko and Koni have seemed to abandon the high-performance street aftermarket and stopped coming out with new shock applications and technology. With no new fitments, the interest in these products dried up and coilovers took over the suspension market.  

Wouldn't it be nice for your daily, we lamented, if someone could come out with a simple, non-adjustable OEM configuration shock and spring that were matched to each other, with OEM-style rubber isolators, slightly shorter bodies to maintain bump travel with a built-in mild lowering? The damper would have to be sporty firm, but not too hard, and have a modern damping curve. This would be a step up from stock but be quiet and fuss-free. No more rattle, clunks, stuck collars and coilover in a daily car hassles. 

We wanted, we thought, something like what the factory might spec for a limited edition sports model. Not a week after we had this conversation, that we ran into the folks at Pedders Suspension, and they showed us a product they had that exactly matched what we were talking about the week before!

 

Pedders is an Austrailian company. Pedders is new to the US market, but they have been around for a long time- 67 years, in fact- being founded in 1950. The design philosophy of Pedders is to build high-quality, performance street suspension systems. These are the systems with engineering focus being put on achieving a balance between daily driving civility and performance handling.

The Easyfit front strut is fully assembled from Pedders and is sold ready to drop right into your car! The Easyfit kit uses Pedders heavy duty SportsRyder nitrogen gas-pressurized shock absorbers which are stock configuration. 

The Easyfit struts are designed for a slightly lower ride height and have a sports firmer damping curve tailored to their Sportsrider springs. The front strut has all the brackets for brake lines and sensors to make the installation easy as can be. There are also dust boot and rubber spring isolators for long life and a quiet ride. 

 

A cool feature of the front strut is the offset upper mount. This gives a half degree more postive caster for more straight-line stability, better steering wheel return, and more negative camber gain when cornering.  All with a smooth and quiet OEM-style rubber isolator. The front spring rate is 150 in/lbs.
 

The rear setup has the spring and gas filled shock all loaded and ready to be installed in the car. The rear spring rate is 210 in/lbs
 

The rear suspension has a dust boot and OEM-style quiet rubber isolated upper mount. 

 

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Comments
SilentG
SilentGlink
Monday, December 11, 2017 10:56 AM
how do these compare to STs coilovers?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, December 11, 2017 12:11 PM
Performance wise equivalent without coilover noise but without the abilty to address ride hight either.
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Monday, December 11, 2017 1:51 PM
am I the only one that thinks the Verus pedal relocation thing is an overbuilt and overly expensive solution? its just a spacer in a non dimensionally critical location that you will never see after installing.. same thing can be accomplished with a part that can sell for 30-40 bucks and still have plenty of profit built in...
Boxed Fox
Boxed Foxlink
Thursday, December 14, 2017 7:59 PM
Not to be pedantic, but aren't those spring rates in lbf/in? 150 in/lbs seems a bit low rate for a car spring.

Anyway, I like the price point of the EasyFit spring / strut assembly and the fact that you can buy it as a fully assembled kit that you just bolt on. It really is like buying the "STi dampers with pink springs" or the "HPD suspension kit" but for much cheaper.

How would you rate their customer service and support stateside? Are they staffed and warehoused to be able to get replacement parts quickly, or is there a lot of shipping to the other side of the world involved?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Thursday, December 14, 2017 8:31 PM
Not for OEM, the spring rates might surprise you as for how low they are. They have a fully staffed big warehouse in the Fontana area. I would equate this setup to the Nismo street stuff or STI dampers with pink springs that can drop right in for sure.
Boxed Fox
Boxed Foxlink
Thursday, December 14, 2017 8:35 PM
Sorry, I meant the units were backwards. 150 in/lbs would give you a heck of a lot of travel for a pound of force.
Understeer
Understeerlink
Sunday, December 17, 2017 11:51 AM
This suspension damn well better ride like OEM; the front springs are 5% softer than BRZ (14% stiffer than FR-S), rears 2% softer than FR-S. I suppose they're dramatically stiffer than EUDM GT-86 but we're well within the world of the OEM here. (I haven't kept up on the newer models, I hear spring rates have been revised). Combined with stiff sway bars, as they are here, it would be a profoundly sensible setup if it had adequate wheel travel.

Hopefully the damping isn't even vaguely like stock; super stiff high-speed damping gives a paintmixer ride quality, and even though firm mid-speed front damping does yield okay responsiveness, the super soft mid-speed rear damping means the tiniest of bumps results in drifting. They manage to combine awful ride quality with awful handling and dangerous changes in handling balance. From what I see on internet shock dyno, 2015+ models have entirely fixed this.

I suppose this car was in gestation during Toyota's 'unintended acceleration' debacle, which turned out to be pedal confusion. The result is a throttle and brake in entirely different area codes. I've seen a few brackets for sale that don't look helpful, a huge HKS throttle pedal which looks disgusting, and an OEM+ looking wide throttle pedal from SRP (whoever they are). I bought the latter; it's great except the real aluminum on the throttle clashes with the fake aluminum on the clutch and brake.

Let me save you some time: buy the Torque Solutions solid driveshaft carrier bushings. It dramatically reduces the driveline shunt during load reversal, with zero NVH increase. $30 and 15 minute install time if you're truly slow.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Sunday, December 17, 2017 8:48 PM
I agree, that's what we dislike about the stock suspension, too much high speed so you get the jiggles but not the control. The Pedders suspension is better in this regard but personally, I would prefer a touch more high speed than what they used. That's me being picky though.
MattAtPlaton
MattAtPlatonlink
Thursday, December 21, 2017 4:19 PM
The owner may want to consider installing some beefier front endlinks to compensate for the tougher swaybars. The stocks ones are known to be a bit brittle.
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