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Features-wise, the Flex Z mirrors the current STREET FLEX. It includes full-length ride height adjustment for separate spring preload and height settings, upper mounts,16-way damping force adjustment using the ADVANCE NEEDLE technology which provides a much wider range of damping force adjustment per click (~ 200% increase in damping force adjustment range over our previous needle design), EDFC series compatibility, and our proprietary coatings (ZT coated damper bodies, and our 2-layer/1-bake powder coating for lower brackets and upper mounts). We were able to bring costs down on the new FLEX Z dampers by making them fully sealed units (non-rebuildable).Notice anything different about the image to the left... Introducing the new MX5 Tein Flex Z for MX5's including NA, NB, NC & ND models - featuring an innovative "Sealed Structure" design.
The new Flex Z includes all the features of the Flex A range and adds Hydraulic Bump Stop (H.B.S.) technology...more on this below. TEIN have been busy working on making their coilover kits more affordable to match every customer’s budget. Their involvement in motorsports has also yielded new innovations which has lead to the development of the new MX5 TEIN Flex Z.
The biggest benefit to a fully sealed non-rebuildable damper, other than the extremely affordable price, is that you'll have a maintenance free damper (we still recommend to periodically inspect external components such as seat locks and spring seats, dust boots, and bump stops). Instead of rebuilding their damper, or if they have a blown damper several years down the line, they can purchase a replacement single damper. This translates into less downtime.
How does our HYDRAULIC BUMP STOP work?
This means that the damper will not fully bottom out. The effect on ride quality is that it will not be as harsh during rebound, much like would be the case with a longer polyurethane bump stop. Why is that? A polyurethane bump stop is compressible. However, it acts as a much stiffer spring, which the damper isn’t necessarily valved properly to control. This means that rebound force is much greater, and that can also translate into uncomfortable oscillation (where the vehicle feels very floaty). With the H.B.S. the rebound rate is not affected, and the vehicle can return to it’s 1g (vehicle weight on the ground) ride height in a smoother fashion.As the damper reaches/nears full compression, there is a spring that the piston makes contact with. This helps to build up pressure closer to the base valve. As pressure continues to build around the base valve, a secondary spring will compress, which allows a cup shaped washer to seal most of the orifices around the base valve. This effectively restricts damper fluid flow, increasing this pressure and slowing down the piston’s speed. Finally, as the damper approaches full compression, a third spring will compress allowing a needle washer to open and allow damper fluid to pass through this single orifice. In all, the way the HYDRAULIC BUMP STOP works is by gradually increasing pressure during compression. While mainly based on piston speed (high-speed compression), the unit will work even as the damper nears full compression.
That may be a bit of an exaggeration of what our H.B.S. does for a street car, however it is the same effect, just in a smaller package and for a shorter damper stroke.If you’ve ever watched videos of off-road race prepared trucks with very long stroke suspension, which use another form of hydraulic bump stop (typically mounted externally from the damper), watch what happens after a huge jump. The vehicle lands back down, suspension squatted nearly all the way down. However, when the suspension rebounds and the vehicle returns to it’s 1g ride height, it just settles. No crazy up and down movement. In other words, there is no wasted vehicle body movement. The driver can continue driving full throttle after a jump. Pretty impressive!
The end result is one of the most innovative dampeners on the market at an amazingly affordable price. The new range of TEIN Flex Z coilover kits are available for the NA, NB, NC and the new ND MX5.