Join Date: Nov 2005
"Stance GR+ for the IS300
Installation was super simple, setting the spring perches was a piece of cake, but the ride height was a little tricky. I wanted to go super low all around, but I decided on a fairly mild drop, about 2" in front and 1.5" in back.
I set the suspension on full soft and went for a ride. It's very smooth over the normal streets ... I'd say that it's just as smooth as the Tokico Illuminas and Eibach Prokit springs. The ride is very well damped for having such stiff springs in there. I'd say the ride is firm yet supple, meaning that the overall motions were very small (maybe about half or less of the height changes from the illumina/prokit), but there was a nice fluidity during and after the car went over the bumps. The only "harsh" moment was over a manhole cover that was about 2-3" below the level of the asphalt ... but I'm going to guess that the stock suspension would be harsh in that situation as well.
Full hard felt really nice, but the harshness definitely went up. I could feel just about every bump and undulation and the "smooth" roads on soft were almost causing the car to feel like it was bouncing rather than staying on the road. I think the harder damper settings should only be used on smooth roads or the road course.
The car was amazing on track. It was very composed, even going sideways over a transition from the road course onto the banked part of the oval. The car handled turning transitions very well.
Even on 205/55/16 all season Continental tires, I was able to do pretty well against a Mustang GT with springs, swaybars, shocks, some other under-the-car suspension bracing, Steeda brakes, and 295 series BF Goodrich KD's (I don't remember, they're the sticky dry tires). He was pulling away in braking and acceleration, but in the sweeping and hairpin turns, I was able to close just a bit because of being able to get on the power sooner. Overall, the car felt amazing. It handled the elevation changes, rumble strips, sweeping turns, hairpin turns, undulating braking zones ... everything was just wonderful, I couldn't ask for anything more.
Dialing in the dampers was a cakewalk to get the proper balance for drifting. I was able to do CRAZY angle on most of the turns by just powering over, no need for clutch kicking or Scandinavian flicks. Once in the slide, the car was very easy to control, even going on the roadcourse-to-banked-oval transition sideways. The exits out of the drifts were smooth for the most part (I'm still learning this car, so I was a bit nervous pulling out of the drift), but tires with less sidewall flex would be nice.
Over the course of a 500 mile trip, I had the dampers at 5/15 front and rear and swapped over onto my snow tires (225/50/16 Michelin X-ice @ 46psi). The car was very smooth on the road and when I got to the border of NM and CO, the downhill into CO was super fun, even in the wet =P The car felt very planted in the turns and over the undulations in the road. I never felt like the car was out of control.
The only thing I didn't like (well, I wasn't ready) were transitions from bridges back onto the road. On some, the transitions combined with the speed (95+ mph) and the higher spring rates and soft damping setting caused the car to become pretty unweighted, but the car regained composure as soon as it came back down.
There's also another transition from I25 to highway 36 from Denver to Boulder and with the old suspension, the car would blow through the suspension travel and scratch the bottom of the car on the road =\ With the Stances, the car didn't even come close to bottoming out, but once again, coming out of the bump, the car unweighted and came right back down and was solid again. I'm interested to see what happens with a harder damper setting.
Off-roading ... ok just crappy roads:
I started going up north to visit my girlfriend's family and the roads SUCK ... so I raised up the car just a touch. Before, I was almost tucking 205/45/16's up front and 205/50/16's in back. Now, I have about an inch of fender between the tire and fender. I also installed stock swaybars front and rear.
Handling has gotten better from raising the car. Before, when taking a turn, it would load the suspension up and if there was a bump in the road, the car would feel like it would waver side to side. It wasn't a lot, but I could feel it. The car didn't loose any grip, it just felt weird. After raising the car, it is SOLID through a turn. It's much more confidence inspiring.
Out of a rating of 10, I'd give them a 9.5 overall, just because it'd be nice if they came with a way to mount the ABS lines in the front. For handling, I give them a 9/10 because it'd be nice to have stiffer springs, but that's just my opinion. For street handling, 10/10. They're more than capable for spirited driving, even on crappy roads. For street comfort, 9/10. It's not jittery at all on full soft and it's not harsh at all until you hit hard bumps or pot holes, but like I said before, they're firm but have a great feel and fluidity when the car is being driven on the street."