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Izza

What is an suspension upgrade for a Vitz and how/where to get it done?

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Hi folks, 

Recently got down a Toyota Vitz 1.0 2017,  and am looking to make it a bit more exciting to drive :) Can't do anything about the engine of course, but I have heard that you can do suspension & wheels upgrade which can make it far more interesting. I searched the autolanka forums but could not find enough information. So, has anyone done this? What exactly are the benefits of doing it? How much would be the cost and where to get it done?

Thanks in advance!

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Well...how deep are your pockets ?

1. You might want to start off by putting on some strut bars (upper and lower).

You get decent after market ones at a reasonable price as well as more expensive ones like Cusco, TRD, etc...

2. Coilovers would be an added benefit...if not there are lowering springs. 

Either way..go for decent brands.

3. You might want a wider wheel with tires with a lower profile. Stock wheels I believe are 14" with a width of 6" ? You might want to go with what the GR Sport and GR variants have which is 16" or 15" that is 7-7.5 inches in width. Granted your fuel economy will suffer as your engine will slightly work harder to get the car rolling.

4. If you want you can go with a air intake and exhaust upgrade and let it breath a little better, but getting a proper system will not be worth the money for the performance gain ....

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Thanks @iRage

Have not decided on a concrete budget yet, but anything up to 150k is fine. And I  would rather only do the strut bars and coilovers/lowering springs at least to start with.

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Yes...take progressive steps...

150K...hmmm...that would get you certain brands of coil overs and MAYBE A strut bar as well (might be hard to pull off all upper and lower ones...)

Wheels...do not go for 90% of the Chinese ones around. Go for a decent licensed reproduction or used branded wheels. Only hitch is you will have buy tires as well and that might put you over the 150K amount if you decide to go with the wheels first.

So perhaps start with just the strut bars ?

Once you get done with those...you might want to start adding things like strengthening braces and bars for the body.....you get door lock jams, fender strengthening frames, etc....you can even go to the extent of putting performance focused engine mounts, polyurethane bush kits, etc....but I think those would be over kill, especially considering the cost.

This is a personal belief....many people would disagree with me on this....once you upgrade your suspension...think about upgrading your brakes as well. With the better suspension you will be inspired to brake later and harder and good brakes would be nice. Some would say not necessary because you are not increasing engine power...but my view is its not always about power. You brake later and harder you need brakes that will not fade with heat and will grab properly. So think about some good ventilated disks and some decent pads for the front. With the rear...well..not much you can do with drums...although some manufacturers do have performance inspired shoes for drum brakes.

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Does your car have alloy wheels? If not, I say get a good set of lightweight alloy wheels. Although switching to alloys will not give you significantly noticeable better handling, steel wheels are heavier and cause more strain on the suspension system whereas alloys have far less unsprung weight that contribute to lower inertia on the suspension. You might want to look into upsizing and going for wider rims as the stock skinny tyres on the stock rims aren't that great for handling. 

If you have alloys already, I say go with coilovers next. :) It's one of the mods that transforms the look/stance and handling of your car completely and you'll notice it every time you drive the car and even look at it! The downside to coilovers is that you might find it a bit inconvenient to be driving on rough roads, onto your driveway etc. The trick is to get adjustable ones so that you can find best height.

 

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@iRage Thank you so much! All of these are too much for a single round, will have to do them over a considerable period of time, if I decide to do it :)

@Davy No it does not have alloys. Yes I too pondered about getting alloys, but got the same response you have given that with the stock set of tyres there might be no big difference. Will try to go for wider ones. Also, since good alloys are light weight, that should counter the additional weight from wider tyres and the affect on fuel consumption? 

Bdw, thanks a lot for the input!

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55 minutes ago, Izza said:

No it does not have alloys. Yes I too pondered about getting alloys, but got the same response you have given that with the stock set of tyres there might be no big difference. Will try to go for wider ones. Also, since good alloys are light weight, that should counter the additional weight from wider tyres and the affect on fuel consumption? 

 

You might be able to do a swap with a decent reduction for your current stock wheels and tires

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29 minutes ago, Izza said:

@iRage Thank you so much! All of these are too much for a single round, will have to do them over a considerable period of time, if I decide to do it :)

@Davy No it does not have alloys. Yes I too pondered about getting alloys, but got the same response you have given that with the stock set of tyres there might be no big difference. Will try to go for wider ones. Also, since good alloys are light weight, that should counter the additional weight from wider tyres and the affect on fuel consumption? 

Bdw, thanks a lot for the input!

The best way to go about it is to lay out a plan that is correlated with your budget availability...see what you can afford at what point in time and then see what would actually give you more function than form (eg. wheels would be form, suspension would be function). So you might want to start by getting the braces....it would really tie the car down (especially the rear end) then perhaps go with the wheels....and then )...then go for the coil-overs/springs (some like to go with the shocks first then the wheels. You can get used/refurbed TEINs etc...from Japan at a decent price..or go for something like D2 or GEKHO which have local agents). 

As for the comment about fuel efficiency...well...it can go either way....but most likely it might go down a bit...yes you do have a lighter wheel but now you have a larger foot print on all four wheels with a better grip...

So basically your list would have the following

- Strut braces

- Wheels

- Coilovers / Springs (if you go with springs you probably could afford to buy them with the braces...)

- Brakes (better ventilated disks and pads)

- Front splitter/rear spoiler

- Swap aiRintake

- Swap exhaust <becareful about this one...our cops have no idea what they are doing and harass people for this>

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Here is some motivation:

Story is here https://www.craft-web.co.jp/blogs/suzuka/17_11/

IMG_8380.JPGIMG_8420.JPG

Another mod with stock like wheels on Modelista low down springs

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Stock vs low down https://minkara.carview.co.jp/userid/255681/blog/39252747/

NHP130DOWN.jpg

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p2.jpg?ct=d0443c4d09c7

 

Another:

ã®ã«ã¹ã¿ã äºä¾ç»å ããã®ã®æ稿 2æç®

another one (might be too aggressive for you in SL)

https://cartune.me/notes/wRu8bXXWVp

https://cartune.me/notes/Pqo6rJRzHW

https://cartune.me/notes/p1xcQjURFr

https://cartune.me/notes/pZ4jlbnqWO

ã®ã«ã¹ã¿ã äºä¾ç»å ããã®ã®æ稿 1æç®

ã®ã«ã¹ã¿ã äºä¾ç»å ããã®ã®æ稿 1æç®Custom Case Images of 's 1st photo

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I think every component in car carefully designed and aligned with other components to work together in best optimized way. It is not wise to messed up with these configurations which set by manufacture after extensive testing and engineering. For example when you change tire profile, there are other compromises happens safety or handling. Best thing to use the car which has tested configurations. I know its little dull for vitz but that is the best configuration  when considering safety and handling.  Also second hand market value would be dropped after modifications. 

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1 hour ago, virajn said:

I think every component in car carefully designed and aligned with other components to work together in best optimized way. It is not wise to messed up with these configurations which set by manufacture after extensive testing and engineering. For example when you change tire profile, there are other compromises happens safety or handling. Best thing to use the car which has tested configurations. I know its little dull for vitz but that is the best configuration  when considering safety and handling.  Also second hand market value would be dropped after modifications. 

What you say has validity...but your reasoning for compromise of sfety and performance  applies only when you do modifications pointlessly and aimlessly like a majority of Sri Lanka's so called car fans who are ricers.

Yes..in stock form the car is configured to be safe and economical to the best of its ability. However, NOT optimally. The car in stock form is configured to meet the regulatory and consumer requirements in the best possible way. This means the manufacturer has to balance all performance and functional aspects of the vehicle.  This is coupled with the fact that the components used are components have the minimal specifications that will meet the given requirements (i.e. the above balance); after all no one will buy an over engineered car because it would be too expensive.

So looking at it...this way....in stock form cars like the Vitz, Fit, etc, have significant body roll and this contributes to under-steering and can be dangerous..can the manufacturers drastically reduce body roll ? Yes...they can and in special models they have ! But the stock Vitz and Fit still has the softer, body-rolling suspension because it gives the best between comfort, performance and price. Adding strut braces will improve handling/steering and will have NO compromise of safety; tests have shown that it will drastically reduce the chances of a roll-over in an emergency maneauver. Does Toyota had strut bars to the Vitz ? No..only on the higher grade models.Why ? Original strut bars which are TRD or CUSCO adds 30,000-50,000yen to the price tag of the car. Considering the type of people buying the low-end Vitz and what the car is used for, putting that extra 30K-50K to the price tag is not worth it because a lot of buyers will get turned off by the price. These cars have appalling braking distances and the type of brakes they have are susceptible to heat fade making the car dangerous if you drive and brake constantly on curvy roads. Can you improve this ? Yes....and Toyota has with special models with better ventilated brakes, etc....

Out in the market there are plenty of performance and upgrade parts made by third parties that are far better than the stock parts. Manufacturers themselves use these parts for special models. They do not put them on standard models because although it improves the performance it compromises on the customers' requirements of cars like the Vitz which are budget friendly city vehicle (thus breaking the balance I mentioned earlier). We Sri lankans have this stupid mentality that stock parts are the best (in reality even the manufacturers do not make these parts, they buy it from other manufacturers). So upgrading the vehicle with these proper parts is a value addition. In Sri Lanka the issue is 90% of the people "modify" their cars with sub-standard Chinese parts that are untested ripoffs.

Then there is the actual modification itself. When a proper car enthusiast does a proper modification, it is a carefully planned project that will be done with a lot of research so that it will not compromise the safety and performance of the vehicle. Then the modifications themselves are done with people who actually are skilled and know what they are doing. These modifications will improve many aspects of the car. Granted it will compromise things like fuel economy, ride softness, etc...slightly; but then those who do proper modifications do so because for them improving certain other areas of the car whilst reducing fuel economy and ride softness is acceptable (as long as the car's safety and functionality is not compromised).

Now..the issue in Sri Lanka....90% of the modifiers are ricers...they just stick things on the car just so that it looks "patta". To make it worst they use cheap parts (for example cheap Chinese "allow" wheels that break in to pieces if it hits a curb at 40kmph). Then there is the senseless and unplanned fitment of random parts and modifying existing parts, look at the beat cans..what the hell do they do ? NOTHING except piss everyone off...but our ricer boys get their panties wet over these. Then they go and make stupid changes like cutting the original springs to lower the car (dangerous as it gets) which completely changes the telemetry of the steering and the balance of the car. Then they go and add various things like huge spoilers without thinking of how it effects the car (the added weight of the plastic they stick on and what kind of lift/drag it creates. Lets not forget...we live in a country where we take a car that has crashed and flattened to a pancake; fix it up and then proudly use it like we hit the freaking jackpot.

Bottom line is....if you do modifications/upgrades like the ricers in SL do..yes you spoil the car. You might as well throw the car in to a junk yard. But, if you do a proper planned modification with proper parts, you will not compromise the safety of the car nor its intended functionality (manufactures themselves do it and manufacturers sponsor popular third parties to do them as well). You will change some of its attributes like kmpl; but you will gain something else in return and will be a value addition. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, virajn said:

I think every component in car carefully designed and aligned with other components to work together in best optimized way. It is not wise to messed up with these configurations which set by manufacture after extensive testing and engineering. For example when you change tire profile, there are other compromises happens safety or handling. Best thing to use the car which has tested configurations. I know its little dull for vitz but that is the best configuration  when considering safety and handling.  Also second hand market value would be dropped after modifications. 

^This

If I were you I'd sell the Vitz and buy something that is exciting to drive as it is - possibly a 4-pot.

 

Edited by Hyaenidae
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25 minutes ago, iRage said:

When a proper car enthusiast does a proper modification, it is a carefully planned project that will be done with a lot of research so that it will not compromise the safety and performance of the vehicle. Then the modifications themselves are done with people who actually are skilled and know what they are doing. These modifications will improve many aspects of the car. Granted it will compromise things like fuel economy, ride softness, etc...slightly; but then those who do proper modifications do so because for them improving certain other areas of the car whilst reducing fuel economy and ride softness is acceptable (as long as the car's safety and functionality is not compromised).

Nice explanation ! Thanks !

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Hyaenidae said:

^This

If I were you I'd sell the Vitz and buy something that is exciting to drive as it is - possibly a 4-pot.

 

but is there much choice in terms of a 4 pot that i decent to drive as it is in the same budget range ? unless one goes used....

Edited by iRage

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6 minutes ago, iRage said:

but is there much choice in terms of a 4 pot that i decent to drive as it is in the same budget range ? unless one goes used....

Yea I meant a registered vehicle

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I’d like to add, the vitz has kinda good handling and feels very planted, but then again I’m used to old school suvs, 

does your car have steel wheels or an alloy set, if not I’d suggest a safe set of jdm alloys, a tad bit wider with the factory tyre size, my car came with Enkei factory alloys, they are butt ugly but came specced to the car, emblems and everything  and I’ve decided to keep em, moving. Between Vitz s I’ve realized the wheels make a huge difference, my first car had steelies, I swapped em for some oz racing used wheels, I saw the difference 

the new one with the enkeis and a wider tyre feels even better, you ll loose like 35k on a used jdm set

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been reading this thread as I also own a Vitz and looking forward to add some decent cosmetic and performance mods later on. It still got steel stock wheels with 14 inch 165mm width Japanese Bridgestone tires. Tires are in good condition and only done 23k. If I were to get alloys, can I still use these tires? I am planning to keep the wheels at 14 inches. I would love to have wider tires someday but until then I wish to use the stock tires. (Step by step progress 😉)

Does wheels support a bit wider tire than what is currently used? (Let's say 175 or 185)

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2 hours ago, tiv said:

I’d like to add, the vitz has kinda good handling and feels very planted, but then again I’m used to old school suvs, 

does your car have steel wheels or an alloy set, if not I’d suggest a safe set of jdm alloys, a tad bit wider with the factory tyre size, my car came with Enkei factory alloys, they are butt ugly but came specced to the car, emblems and everything  and I’ve decided to keep em, moving. Between Vitz s I’ve realized the wheels make a huge difference, my first car had steelies, I swapped em for some oz racing used wheels, I saw the difference 

the new one with the enkeis and a wider tyre feels even better, you ll loose like 35k on a used jdm set

The reality is...the Aqua and Vitz (and to a certain extent the Axio..well a little bit) has a very lively chassis/frame and you do feel like shoving it in to the corners. Only thins is the suspension is way too soft and the steering is way too light that you have no sense of feeling or control; yet the steering is quite direct, albeit a bit delayed (which you feel doing a slalom run :D

Yes a good JDM used set will cost you 35K at least plus the cost of tires. So he should be able to do the wheels and the braces with his 150K budget, and even good lowering springs if he goes that route (used TRD set costs about 8000yen.

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Just now, iRage said:

The reality is...the Aqua and Vitz (and to a certain extent the Axio..well a little bit) has a very lively chassis/frame

 

What did you mean by a "lively chassis/frame" ?

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1 hour ago, amsandun said:

been reading this thread as I also own a Vitz and looking forward to add some decent cosmetic and performance mods later on. It still got steel stock wheels with 14 inch 165mm width Japanese Bridgestone tires. Tires are in good condition and only done 23k. If I were to get alloys, can I still use these tires? I am planning to keep the wheels at 14 inches. I would love to have wider tires someday but until then I wish to use the stock tires. (Step by step progress 😉)

Does wheels support a bit wider tire than what is currently used? (Let's say 175 or 185)

well....it depends on the wheels you actually get...if you get 14 allows that are 6"wide (165mm) then yes you can use the current tires. If you get a wider alloy wheel....then depending on the width you might be able to use the tire (tires can be mounted on to a wheel within a small variance of width of the wheel). If you go for a larger wheel, say 15"then you will not be able to use the tires.

For both of you...you can either wait till the current tires wear out (which can be a long wait depending on how much your tires have been used and how much you use the car for); or you can take your existing wheels and sell it off (you might not get a good price for it..but you will get something)

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Just now, Hyaenidae said:

What did you mean by a "lively chassis/frame" ?

Its very chuckable..you put it in to a corner the frame (rear end) just turns in nicely and then wants to straighten up quite well. So it has a nimbly feel to it. Whilst the body is willing to do all this dancing the suspension just simply breaks it lose. Toyotas for the most part have always been like this...which is why the "sporty" grades feel so much more different than the base/normal grades.

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Just now, iRage said:

Its very chuckable..you put it in to a corner the frame (rear end) just turns in nicely and then wants to straighten up quite well. So it has a nimbly feel to it. Whilst the body is willing to do all this dancing the suspension just simply breaks it lose. Toyotas for the most part have always been like this...which is why the "sporty" grades feel so much more different than the base/normal grades.

So you're saying that with the body roll gone, a Vitz could actually be a fun car to drive around (like the aqua?) considering we can't put it into a corner exceeding 70kmph anyways, Vitz has quite the body roll even at 60kmph

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4 minutes ago, Hyaenidae said:

So you're saying that with the body roll gone, a Vitz could actually be a fun car to drive around (like the aqua?) considering we can't put it into a corner exceeding 70kmph anyways, Vitz has quite the body roll even at 60kmph

Yes....the Vitz changes quite a lot with suspension upgrades...which is exactly what Toyota does to make the GR Sport and the GR Sport GR to improve handling (granted they also have a few more extra welds). But the other issue is 90% of the Vitzes in SL are the 1L variants...that engine is an old dog that has been groomed...and re-groomed until its fur has fallen off.

Yes...a Vitz stock will have a lot of body roll and I suppose it can't get through a corner at 60 without body roll (its surprising that the 1L engine can keep the car moving at 60kmph)...eliminate the body roll...put some braces on..lower the car a bit....then put some wider wheels to increase the track width.  Granted this would also mean the slushy ride would also be gone

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, iRage said:

..eliminate the body roll...put some braces on..lower the car a bit....then put some wider wheels to increase the track width.  Granted this would also mean the slushy ride would also be gone

 

I don't suppose all that could be done to the standards you mentioned before for 150k though, right?

12 minutes ago, iRage said:

 (its surprising that the 1L engine can keep the car moving at 60kmph)

1

I didn't manage to do it, had to let go and brake as the body roll was quite bad, it was not my car and a brand new one - didn't even have proper licence plates. I was just testing the waters so to speak

Edited by Hyaenidae

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1 hour ago, Hyaenidae said:

I don't suppose all that could be done to the standards you mentioned before for 150k though, right?

I didn't manage to do it, had to let go and brake as the body roll was quite bad, it was not my car and a brand new one - didn't even have proper licence plates. I was just testing the waters so to speak

yes but no...strut bars are reasonable in price....wheels if used can be reasonable too...then if you go with lowering/sport springs then it would be possible (assuming he doesn't lower it to an extent that he will need short stroke dampers)

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Well well...Reading the comments, feels very urged to do some of the mods..

For strut braces, is it required to install both upper and lower bars or just the upper bar would be enough? I guess it require some drilling on the top of the strut towers? Does it have any consequences?

And where can I get them done neatly and professionally?

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