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> Urethane Coil Spring Wheel Cushions for MD/UD , install by benman
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Installation


Installation is fairly easy -- especially in the front -- and took me a total of 30 minutes. Basically, you

1. jack the car up to decompress the spring,
2. clean the springs with soapy water (I used dish soap) and put soapy water on the cushion
3. put the cushion between two coils until the coil fits into the groove in the cushion.

The front wheels on the MD are easy because the spring is completely exposed with plenty of room when the car is jacked up. For the rear wheels, you need to either take the wheel off or do it from behind the wheel. I was not going to crawl under a jacked car and do this stuff from behind, so I took the wheel off, but if you had ramps or a lift, you could do that safely.

In both cases, you want to get the spring completely into the bottom channel first. In the front, it's easiest to work from one end since the top of the cushion doesn't need to be forced at all. Once you have it started, work your way along the top until the spring is completely in the top channel. In the rear, I found it easier to get the middle in first, then work my way out. Either way, you can re-position the cushion once it's on (assuming you used pretty soapy water and cleaned the spring well).


Some oddities -- even with the weight of the car back on the wheels, the ends of the cushion were a little loose between the coils. It's just the ends though, and the channel is still deep enough to keep it in -- I just expected it to be uniform.

On the back, there was a little bit of overlap as the bottom of one end of the cushion met the top of the other end. This shouldn't be a problem, but I'll keep my eye on it. I'll include a picture the next time I have the wheel off.

It definitely raises the car, as you can see in these side-by-side pictures (although the shadows in the after pic may make it look worse than it is):


General Ride Improvement


As I pulled out of the driveway, I instantly felt the softer ride. There's an inch-and-a-half drop-off from my driveway concrete to the street, and there's a patched area in the middle of the cul-de-sac that's pretty rough. They just felt better than usual. I rode over a rough road with some patched potholes (filled with asphalt, but not very cleanly) three times before installation and three times after (for the app) and there was significant difference in the way it felt. There was a particular small pothole that I was sure to hit on each of the pre-installation runs, and in the post-installation runs, I was afraid I'd missed it the first time. The second and third time, I was sure I'd hit it, but it felt nothing like before. It was very shallow-- just a place where the top layer of asphalt was gone--but it was pretty noticeable before.

I also ran over a particularly bad stretch of road where the right wheels ride on a long rough patch from a water line that was repaired this past summer. Still felt rough, but noticeably better--I didn't feel like I was bouncing up and down as much as I usually do. The same thing with some non-flush manhole covers (about 1" down from the surface) and some railroad tracks. There's also a large dip in one road where you "sink and lift" when you go through it, if you know what I mean (the kind of motion you feel in your stomach), and it was significantly less lift than usual. Finally, pulling into my driveway is always a pretty hard bump (I don't turn into my driveway since I'm at the end of a cul de sac, so I'm hitting it with both wheels with some speed). I do it every day and I can tell you it's a world of difference.

At one point, I hit some smaller speed bumps in a parking lot at 20 mph. It seemed different, but not enough to say it was significant.

Handling and Body Roll


Since my plan was to do repeatable turn tests in a parking lot (which ended up not being repeatable enough), I didn't collect data from the plumbbob while driving around, but there was one place I had noticed the reading to be about 14 degrees before installation and it didn't hit 10 going the same speed after installation. Take that with a grain of salt though, because one of the problems I noticed was that the plumbbob read high anyway, as it seems to work off the accelerometer (if I quickly move my iPhone to the side, without tilting it vertically at all, it still reads a significant tilt of 10-15+). So, it registers lateral force, which is nice, but the app isn't designed for that so it's not accurate.

However, I definitely felt less body roll in turns--especially noticeable in sharp turns at slower speeds It seemed to have that better handling feel that you get when you buy new tires after having pretty old ones on before--not quite the same feel, but the same degree of noticeability).

Conclusion


$130 seems a lot to pay for four pieces of urethane, but, at this point, I'm satisfied with it. Given the Elantra MDs ride on Pennsylvania back roads and that I'm comparing it either to my Mercury Montego or the Mountaineer, these are a huge improvement. They feel great, they improve handling nicely -- I would definitely recommend them.

Don't expect a Cadillac-like ride, but it certainly takes the edge off the rougher stuff. The greatest difference is on the smallest bumps of uneven surface. Medium-sized things, like the railroad tracks, manhole covers and small potholes are noticeably better, but you still feel them (but I did in my old car as well). On large potholes or speed bumps, you won't notice much difference.

Also, since I drive over a lot of roughness every day -- including railroad tracks and speed bumps -- I can see how these might extend the life of the shocks a bit.

Hopefully someone else will give them a try and compare notes.

-----------------------------------------------------


Here's a video and a link to additional information at the manufaturer's website:



http://www.thinkthinkcar.com/us/page_e/pro_page03.html

Last update: Jan 2 2013, 01:09 AM by elantragt    Created: Jan 28 2012, 09:51 PM by elantragt    Edits: 8    Views: 3,291
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