Since his first attempt at building a track car, his 2008 Honda Civic Si Coupe, Damir Pecenkovic worked closely with Paul Pilpa and the rest of his team at Tein suspension. Naturally when it came time to upgrade the suspension on his #19 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Damir only looked at one place, Tein. After taking some time to discussion different versions and options and after explaining to Paul exactly what his end goal was he came to the conclusion that the best way to go for his current setup would be Tein’s Flex Z coilovers with Tein’s EDFC Active Pro system. This particular setup would provide Damir with fully ride and dampening adjustable coilovers with spring rates that fit his car and the type of feel that he is looking for, and with the addition of the EDFC Active pro Damir will be able to adjust his dampening on the fly without having to get out of the car by simply hitting a button, or he could even go in to full automatic mode and let the car adjust its own dampening based off of speed and it built in G-Sensor. The decision was made and the parts were on their way.
Fast forward about a week and the Tein suspension set up has shown up at our door and install time is upon us. Install was fairly straight forward as it always is with Tein coilovers and we were able to get the car out and testing in no time. A good sing of quality products is settling, we have used other brands in the past and after you install your suspension, a day later it sits a good inch lower, this is called settling and it is a result of low quality components being used. This was not an all an issue with the Flex Z, we saw no settling what so ever and the coilovers came from Tein already preset for their recommended ride height values. This made install super easy since we like the expected ride height and did not have to adjust anything, just straight bolt on and go.
Initial impressions are all positive, on the softest settings the car feels better and more comfortable than the stock club suspension for those times when you just want to be comfortable and relax, but on the other end there is plenty of stiffness to be had when wanting to have some serious fun. This particular setup made the car feel very maneuverable and kept body roll to a minimum with our coilovers workin in tandem with our CorkSport sway bars and endlinks. After a proper alignment (something that you should not skimp on) the cars suspension setup just feels perfect.
When it comes to the ride quality and performance we simply have no complaints as this setup meets all the needs of the #19 car. Well, we do have one complaint, and this one is not at all Tein’s fault. On the ND Miata (and on many other cars for that matter) the rear coilovers are in the trunk hidden behind carpet and sound deadening material, so, to be able to adjust between all of the awesome settings on the ND that we use we have to either try to reach behind the carpet scratching up our hands (fairly bad too) or taking about twenty minutes to remove all of the carpeting in the trunk to expose the top of the rear coilovers to gain access to the adjustment knobs. Neither option was ideal and honestly picking between the two became a chore as we changed the settings quite often depending on the needs of the car. Thankfully Tein had a solution, in comes Tein’s EDFC Active PRO system. That’s right, a fully electronic, and partially wireless (wireless where it matters) dampening control system that allows the driver to adjust suspension stiffness from inside the car (and without having to mess with the previous two options mentioned above).
The EDFC Active Pro system is amazing, aside from solving our issue of reaching the rear coilivers it provided a much faster, simpler and more programable way to fine tune our suspension between track driving, autocross and street driving. Aside from manual adjustments the EDFC Active Pro also has automatic modes that can adapt the suspension based on a couple of different inputs and settings, for example on the #19 car when out of track mode the suspension automatically firms up by six clicks when reaching freeway speeds to provide more stability, relaxes the suspension to full soft when the car is parked with the e-brake up, and has one button control for switching between preprogrammed settings for track, daily and autocross. Lastly the full automatic mode is simply insane as each of the four corners adjusts individually and automatically based off of how you driver your car and the readings coming from the accelerometer in the main control unit. Needless to say the EDFC Active PRO is an amazing piece of technology.
As always the Tein team and their products have delivered upon their promise of top quality and improved performance. If you want to improve your cars handeling be sure to reach out to Paul at Tein, you wont be disappointed.