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Fortune Auto Coilovers Review 2017

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  • Fortune Auto Coilovers Review 2017

    I did some extensive searching and was only able to find one review of the Fortune Auto 500 Series coilovers for the AE86, which was a few years old. I know these are popular in the s-chassis drift crowd, and I have a good buddy with these on his IS300 and they felt really good, so I decided to take a risk and try them out myself. These are hand-assembled in the USA

    Retail price off of their website is $1475, without the radial bearing upgrade or Swift spring upgrade. They come standard in 8k front and 6k rear spring rates, but you can choose your own rates when upgrading to Swift. I chose the standard 8k/6k because I don't have very much experience with ae86 suspensions. The spring upgrade is an extra $300 I think.

    Initial thoughts

    People compare these to the likes of BC Racing or Stance coilovers, but I think the build quality is wayyyy better. You can tell they didn't cut any corners when designing and building these. Hell, even the packaging was top-notch. I have BC Racing coilovers on my Scion tC so I knew as soon as I picked them up, they were better built.



    Installation

    Installation is very straight forward. Although I will say when taking off your old suspension, take note of the tophats and double check the FA's to make sure the camber plates aren't switched. The one inner stud is a little off center. I made the mistake of not checking and ended up fighting with the car trying to put them on because they had the plates switched. No biggy though, just take off the 4 allen bolts and swap them over.

    Stupid mistake on their part, but hey ... at least you know they were hand-assembled, right?

    Another thing ... The old thread/review the dude had a problem with the rear spring perch thingy not fitting completely over the bump stop mount in the rear. These are more like cups, they have a solid bottom, so they came up about an inch short. His solution was to cut off the mount to make them fit. BUTTT that was two years ago. FA corrected this issue by providing spacers. You still won't be able to use your stock bumpstops, but they fit without any chassis modifications.

    oh ... and you can literally slam the piss out of your car. I still have plenty room to go lower, all around. Your frame would be underground if you tried maxing these out Lol.

    I still have some adjustments to make as far as the height goes, but here's what the car looks like. Definitely not a fan of the "raked" look, but I think thats due to the rears having bigger tires.




    THE FEELS

    Please keep in mind, I am very low and these are some stiff springs. So if you read this review and expect to float like a boat, sorry but thats just not going to happen Lol.

    Anyways .. Man these are so sick. Although the setup is very stiff, it still feels really good. They don't bounce like some "el cheapo" ebay suspensions, which is good because FA and their whole "digressive" dampening shocks actually work. Gradual stresses, like tackling a corner, they stay stiff; while sudden impacts like bumps or going over bridges they still absorb well. Ironically, this rides smoother than my Scion, and I have softer springs on that car! I know its kind of like comparing apples to oranges, but once you ride in enough lowered vehicles you can feel a good vs bad setup. I live in Kentucky where the roads totally suck, but I would have no problem daily driving the 86.

    All in all, this setup is awesome. I'd take these over any Megan, BC, Tein, Stance, etc. etc. any day. These might not compare to all you DIY guys, but for those like myself who don't have much experience with building their own setups and want a straight store-bought option ... these are perfect. They cost a little extra than most store-bought setups, but those few extra hundred dollars are well worth it.

    10/10 for sure



    ____________________
    UPDATE 30 Sep 2017

    So ... if you read later on in this thread I mention some spring noise while turning. This is due to the spring getting "caught up" on its self between the rotating spindle and the stationary tophat. I originally tried to counter the issue by fiddling with the preload, which helped temporarily but the noises kept coming back. I also had really poor steering return; like if I made a hard right turn, it would pull to the right. Make a hard left, it would pull to the left.

    Although it wasn't hurting anything, the loud "pong" noises were so freaking annoying, so I bought Fortune Auto's Radial Bearing Mount upgrade to counter this issue. Finally got around to installing them today, and I'm glad I did. I should have got these in the first place.



    You can see the difference between the upgrade, and the standard spring perch thingy. This allows the spring to rotate freely while turning, eliminating the spring noises and relieves some of the stress off the bearing in the tophat ...

    ... Resulting in steering that is smoother than a knife in butter. No noises, and I don't have to fight with the car to drive in a straight line anymore 8-) 8-)
    Total night/day difference.



    DO NOT GET THESE COILOVERS WITHOUT THE RADIAL BEARING MOUNT UPGRADE!! DEFINITELY WORTH THE MONEY!!!
    15/10 for sure


    and some eye candy of the babe in her current form.
    Last edited by Jayrdee; 09-30-2017, 09:34 PM.
    [Eurobeat Intensifies]

  • #2
    Very nice coil overs.
    "Wait, that thing is rear wheel drive?"

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    • #3
      UPDATE

      Its been a few weeks since I've installed these and so far so good. I haven't had a chance to tackle some hard corners yet since I needed new tie rods and an alignment, but I have taken it on some long drives around town and on the highway.

      The roads here in KY aren't the greatest, but the car handled them like a champ. I hit some pretty harsh bumps on the highway, and they really soften up and absorb the impact really well. Idk how the whole "digressive" thing works, but whatever it is, its awesome Lol.

      I'll continue to update the thread as time passes by
      [Eurobeat Intensifies]

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      • #4
        Awesome! Thanks for the review!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Delphi View Post
          Awesome! Thanks for the review!

          No problem!!

          ___________

          Another update!

          If someone does decide to get these, make sure you pay attention to the pre-load specs that are given in the little instructions book. The fronts require exactly 1/4 inch of preload from uncompressed.

          If not, you might get tons of spring noises when turning. I know it was the springs because I couldn't feel anything when turning, and i was able to re-create the noises when rotating the spring collars. I didn't read the directions, just straight installed them. Then when the noise came i tried adding more preload to them to hold the springs in place but it only made the noise worse, and totally ruined the ride quality... like, I added a sh*t ton Lol.

          This morning I went back, noticed the 1/4 inch thing and adjusted accordingly and its all better.

          I guess the springs only need enough preload to hold them in place, but still able to rotate freely? I've always been under the assumption that springs stay in place while the shock itself rotates. Oh well, you learn something new everyday!

          **EDIT** The noise is due to the AE86 having a MacPherson style struts in the front, where basically the lower strut assembly rotates while the upper is stationary, causing the spring to get "caught up" between the two and drag on the perches. In my case, excessive preload only amplified the binding when turning. Fortune Auto does offer a Radial Bearing upgrade to counter this issue.

          On a more personal note, these combined with falken azenis rt-615k tires turns this thing into a gokart. I love it.
          Last edited by Jayrdee; 08-27-2017, 06:46 PM.
          [Eurobeat Intensifies]

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          • #6
            Nice write up. Fortune has a pretty good rep in the Evo crowd as well. Parts look well made from what pictures I have seen.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by seymour86 View Post
              Nice write up. Fortune has a pretty good rep in the Evo crowd as well. Parts look well made from what pictures I have seen.

              Thank you! Yeah I did a lot of research on the company and saw nothing but great stuff. They have killer customer service too.
              [Eurobeat Intensifies]

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              • #8
                All, updated the original posting with the radial bearing mount upgrade.
                [Eurobeat Intensifies]

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