After our latest two day trip to Hendersonville and back, with a couple of quick trips into the mean streets of Asheville, we have come to the conclusion that the leather seats wouldn’t have helped our comfort level at all. This got me thinking, “What is the big difference between the CTBNL and the Emperor?” The shocks are the same, slightly newer even, but the lowering springs are different. The Emperor had Flyin Miata springs and the CTBNL is sitting on Racing Beat, both trusted long term Miata parts purveyors, but further investigation reveals that the hive knowledge on the forums vastly prefer the Flying Miata units.
The secret is in the spring’s strength numbers. When you shorten the spring length you have to increase its strength to prevent bottoming out. The Miata’s stock springs are rated at 162 lb/in & 118 lb/in (front/rear), the Racing Beat springs that lower the car an inch all around are rated at 195 lb/in & 145 lb/in a slight increase. The Flyin Miata springs, which drop the car about three quarters of an inch, are rated at 318 lb/in & 233 lb/in which is nearly double the stock units.
The Racing Beat springs would probably be just fine if you ran only on race tracks or all smooth roads, but we live in the real world. South Carolina has very cheap gas because we have a very low state tax on it and this translates into plenty of deteriorating roads. Just on my little 6 mile commute there are several places I need to slow way down to cross railroad tracks or traverse drainage dips or edge real close to the center line to avoid burgeoning pot holes or pine tree root bumps. And don’t get me started on the transitions between asphalt roads and concrete bridges…
From my memory the Flyin Miata springs, even though they are stiffer that the stock (and the Racing Beat) shocks didn’t really ride that harsh and they would definitely keep me off the bump stops on the sharp hits of roughness. Today was Suspension Sunday as part of Flyin Miata’s Black Friday sales event with $60 off their springs, so I took the plunge. Not being sure how the Racing Beat bump stops are configured, I went ahead and added the FM bump stops to the order as well. So, in a couple more weeks the CTBNL, with the existing Koni shocks, will be riding on the FM Stage 1 Suspension Package which is the exact same setup as the Emperor had.
This afternoon, both cars got a bath. Didn’t take long to do both, they are small and they were covered only in a bit of road grime.