Z32 Maxpeedingrods 300ZX Z32 Coilovers Review

Discussion in 'Technical' started by ryzan, Nov 19, 2023.

  1. ryzan

    ryzan Moderator Staff Member

    A couple months ago I found myself in a position needing a set of cheap shocks, and the cheapest ones I could find were a set of Maxpeedingrods on Ebay. They have two versions available, one with 24 way adjustable dampening and one with no adjustment.

    I decided to spend the extra $20 and get the adjustable dampening ones. Against my better judgement, I handed over approximately $300 after using an ebay discount code and the partial refund Maxpeedingrods gave me (more on that later) and a week later I had a box at my front door.

    Initial impressions were good, build quality was better than inspected with the top hats and collars being billet aluminium. The lower cups and spanners were mild steel as a clear cost-cutting measure however they do retain the factory ABS wire mount on the front which is nice. Overall for the price they present exceptionally well out of the box.

    Front Install
    The front struts installed easily enough with no real problems. They have a decent range of adjustment though don't seem to be properly designed for the Z32. Despite having the correct lower mounts, ABS sensor brackets and ovalled top hats, I had to adjust the base height using the lower cups a lot to get them to a reasonable amount of ground clearance, and can't confidently say the bump stop will be sufficient before the upper arm hits the body.

    The other concern I had is that their lower mounting bush is a bit too long and I could only just get full thread engagement on the mounting nut. Factory design uses a nut and a large washer as a safety measure, as if the rubber bush tears and fails, the washer keeps the shock in place. I had to either run without full thread engagement on the nut, or remove the washer (the option that I chose). While this is a small risk overall, it is something to keep in mind.

    Rear Install
    The rears also went in without drama, until I went to attach them to the rear knuckle. It was at this point I discovered that either their jig is way off, or they are repurposing the lower mounting cup from another vehicle (the ones I received were a slightly different design to the advert picture with a 10mm extension fitted).


    Measurements confirmed that both sides were the same width (within a few mm), so this was likely not a manufacturing defect. When I pulled them out I found that I could fit a stock shock inside so it's possible that someone confused an inner measurement with an outer measurement?


    When I contacted the seller, they were extremely apologetic but not overly interested in fixing their defect and instead suggested I buy a longer bolt and use washers to fill the gap on both sides. They did offer me a partial refund of around $20 (which covered the cost difference for the non-adjustable shocks). I took the refund but instead decided to use my heat gun and impact driver to slowly pull it tight. If doing this yourself, I would recommend adding two washers with grease in between to minimise friction as the nut spins. 300nm on the gun got it eventually, but I wouldn't want any less than that.


    Driving Impressions
    I'm just going to say it, these are garbage. At first I expected them to be overly stiff and have very little give, however the opposite turned out to be true. They were on the softer side, but with hardly any dampening at all on the lower settings causing them to wallow, especially in the rear. The ride was hard to describe though I would liken it to driving with blown rear shocks. I ended up winding the fronts up to around 3/4 of their maximum dampening adjustment and rears all the way to max just to get some reasonable ride quality. This definitely improved the driving experience, although I still wouldn't consider them to be 'good'. They are definitely on the softer side and more comfort oriented, although they didn't quite feel right and I couldn't quite put my finger on why that was.

    I also had a squeaking noise after these were fitted, which turned out to be the top washers that hold the rubber bush in place. They are slightly too big and rub on the body as the bush flexes. I would replace these with smaller ones if doing the job again.

    After doing some research, I came across this video where they put a set of (older) Maxpeedingrods on a shock dyno along with several other brands and from the graph results you can see they don't represent the same profile as any other shock. I think this helps explain why they felt overly soft but also crashy at the same time.

    Final Verdict
    So, would I buy them again? Probably not. For the price they are hard to argue with if you need a new set of shocks. And to someone who knows very little about cars and bases this type of purchase on price rather than brand or quality, they would seem ok, just see all the glowing reviews for them online. But their shock profile makes the ride feel completely different and something I actively noticed and disliked on every drive. If they could be re-valved for a reasonable price (or if Maxpeeding rods would change the valving) they could be a quality budget coilover.

    These had one job and that was to pass a roadworthy, and they will do that just fine as long as your mechanic doesn't mind vehicles with adjustable coilovers.
    geron likes this.
  2. geron

    geron National Petroleum Equipm

    From what I see personally, purchasing anything other than the trusted brands, you get what you pay for.
    With Chinese products, assuming they were made in China, it's a hit and miss, sometimes the quality is good and the reaction is WOW and sometimes completely the opposite!
    But $300 is very cheap for coilovers.

    By comparison, a set of H&R pregressive springs (front & rear set) for my Laser KQ SR are $650. For an N15 SSS Pulsar they are $700!
    Fitted them on the KQ and the ride quality and handling are 'superb'!
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2023
  3. geron

    geron National Petroleum Equipm

    'is Superb, not are superb', doh... edit timed out, LOL
  4. AZ32

    AZ32 New Member

    Thanks ryzan, great review and perfect timing in my case.
    It’s worth spending a few more bucks if it goes on the Z…
  5. ryzan

    ryzan Moderator Staff Member

    Exactly right, when a pair of springs costs the same as a full set of coilovers you know what you are getting. I would be curious as to what their margins on a set of these are considering how much they would cost to freight to Australia, and then distribute.

    I wish I had access to a spring and shock dyno to see how they measure up to their claimed performance too. The coilovers used in the video I posted do seem to be an older version.
  6. geron

    geron National Petroleum Equipm

    Not sure what their margins are but they would be at least $200 to ship from EU.
    H&R sell through distributors. If I had to get springs for the Z32, I would consider the H&R brand and would speak to them about making sure they are designed specifically for the Z32TT (2+2 or 2+0) and that they are progressive, if lowering the rear.
    They do coilovers as well as normal lowered springs but I don't know of the options available for the Z32 b/c have not enquired about it.
    I have a feeling whatever is available, will be expensive.

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