Those of you keeping up-to-date with the various projects in our fleet will surely have seen Brian’s Titanium sedan going through some changes this season.
First it was fully tinted, then as highlighted in an earlier post it received the OEM 2.3L throttle body, had an interior makeover in the form of ST3 Recaros and black pillars (which, come to think of it, I should make a point to properly shoot for the site), some coding work via Focccus and Forscan, received new decals, and now the suspension makeover has started. Well, the actual suspension makeover.
You may recall that in preparation for Sunday School ’17 we had thrown in my old VMaxx lowering springs so that the car wouldn’t be on stock suspension, when the setup Brian had on order unfortunately got delayed. We also tossed on the Wintermacs (winTarmacs?) to fill out the wheel wells and relieve the OE 17s of their duties for a few days. Following the show the stock wheels went back on but we didn’t bother to switch out the suspension again because frankly, we didn’t want to. Haha
We felt it wasn’t worth performing so many suspension swaps so close together so we just kept them in until the new pieces arrived; which they did, last month. Three decently-sized boxes from Rebel Devil Customs showed up and we wasted no time in making a start on the installs, beginning with what was surely the most-anticipated; the new Rebel Devil Customs Drops (or Devil Drops for short) springs.
Made by VMaxx specifically for RDC, these springs are for both the Mk3 NAs and STs. They are intended to be used with OE ST or Handling Package front struts for their maximum drop of 50mm; if paired with standard NA front struts expect a front drop of about half an inch less. Also, STs will drop a touch more in the front due to the extra weight. Brian opted to go with ST struts, and Mike kindly pre-assembled everything on his end so they’d be ready to go as soon as we pulled them out of the box.
To go along with the ST struts and Devil Drops, Brian also ordered adjustable front swaybar endlinks and adjustable rear camber arms, both from Massive engineering.
Brian also wanted the engine to get a bit more attention, so he added an SCT X4 tuner to the shopping cart; the new tune has been loaded onto the car since these photos were taken and it has definitely woken it up! But, back to the suspension…
The evening before what we expected would be the Titanium’s last show of the season, Brian came over so that we could install the new springs and struts. Due to the time constraints we decided to throw only them in, leaving the endlinks and camber arms for another install day when we’d have a bit more time (we actually tried to install the endlinks but the originals’ hardware was completely seized in place so we decided to return to those afterwards instead. We didn’t want to risk breaking something or otherwise making a bigger headache for ourselves when we had to be up in a matter of hours to head over to a show). For the same reason – time – we won’t have photos for a step-by-step install guide here but it’s the same process as for any spring/strut or coilover install on Mk3s…plus all of the light outside was gone not long after we started and my garage lighting could be much better. Excuses!
I did make sure to grab some final shots of the car on my old VMaxx springs before starting though. As these were based on the European diesel Mk3s the result was that the front of a North American Mk3 would sit a bit higher than the rear; something the new Devil Drops would address.
Fast-forward to the next day at the show, and this was the result of the new setup; as you can see we threw the Tarmacs back on too to not only spruce the car up for the show, but to see how a much more aggressively-sized wheel and tire package would fit with the car’s new drop. Brian’s own wheels will be making a return to the car for next season sporting a new, custom finish so be sure to watch for those!
Naturally we were curious to compare the Devil Drops to my setup; we took the actual measurements a week or two later after the suspension had had enough time to settle, and found them to set the Titanium at about half an inch higher both front and rear than the ST4. For reference, my sedan sits on ST coilovers at their lowest setting, with the rear adjusters removed and some extra weight up front from the ST powertrain and its accessories. Due to the swap it wasn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison but close enough to give an idea of the Devil Drop’s altitude adjustment.
The exact ride height measurements, for those wondering, were 12 5/8″ front and 12 3/8″ rear as measured from the center of the hubs to the fenders.
Having lived with these for a little while now, Brian has reported that he’s extremely happy with the new setup. I’ve ridden shotgun a few times too and I can vouch for the comfort and handling they provide. They’re firm but not harsh, and honestly are how these cars should ride from factory. It’s a setup that is easy to live with but provides the feedback that an enthusiast would want, plus one that gives an aggressive drop to pass the MCM shoe test while still leaving a very usable amount of ground clearance.
Now, to get to those endlinks and camber arms…