Are Tokico HP (blue) worth it over OEM KYB?

Nomad

P5 OG
Contributor
So who's gone from perfect condition OEM KYB to Tokico HP on the same set of springs? I'm wondering if it is really worth it or if it is just been reiterated so much that the 'forum' believes it?

I can see moving to adjustable Illumina type struts, but I'm beginning to wonder if the Tokicos are not just the same basic thing as the KYB?

So here's what I see as positives for FRONT Tokico:
1. The struts look identical to the OEM KYB so no fitment issues (obvious).
2. Has thicker sway bar attachment tabs.
3. Pretty blue color.

Negatives:
1. Tokicos have a .5" higher strut tube which effectively decreases available suspension travel.
2. The front sway is very difficult to change so stronger sway bar tabs benefit very few. Have not heard of many OEM tabs breaking.
3. More expensive.

Unknowns:
1. The damping force seems the same but I'd love to see a comparison of the damping numbers. That may be the difference.

2. Do the Tokicos last definitively longer than the KYB on lowered suspensions?
 

Foolish

...of Awesometon
:
'94 Miata! '10 Mazda5 Sport 5MT, '16 Mazda3 S GT
Hmmm... I can't actually speak for the direct swap you're talking about, 'cause I did struts and springs at the same time, but I will say that I love the Eibach Pro-kit/Tokico blue combination on our P5. Great handling without too rough a ride, low and sexy without constantly smashing the front lip into stuff, it's just the right compromise of practical and racy.

You've got the Pro-kit with stock struts? Do you get much bouncing or body roll? I have none. Does that answer your question at all? :D

Edit: Oh, yeah, I've got that big-ass-sway-bar in the rear, too, and I love it, especially for autocross!
 

Nomad

P5 OG
Contributor
Here is my experience:
I installed Eibach ProKits about at about 80K miles. OEM struts dampened them fine and the ride was nice. No bouncing, chattering and seemed to be a great setup. Now, 7K mi later the front struts gave out and started leaking. I've noticed them getting worse and now I don't have a "nice ride" just a "nice look". Ride is bumpy and can chatter over washboard/bad highways and isn't fun when hitting a one wheel bump while cornering.

So far, only the fronts have gone south (rear OEM are exact same part number as Tokico blues but with more suspension travel).

Was it the springs? Dunno. Was it the previous 80K miles? Could be.

The 20K OEM struts I was going to use feel slightly stiffer than the used blues I got and rebound slightly slower. Again, I don't have two brand new ones to compare.
 

fishdonotbounce

Registered Zombie
:
08.5 CWP Speed3
I am almost exactly the same as you Nomad. I am at 80k miles right now and I installed the Sprint springs about 10k ago. The ride was great at first but now the front passenger strut I believe is almost completely gone. I don't know about the Tokico Blues and I'm sorry if this seemed pointless but as far as I'm concerned, stock struts + springs = short term.
 
:
Rust Bucket
well ive been on my tokico blues with tanabe springs (cant remember which ones, but they are purple in color) for about 100K and they are holding up fine
no leaking, no bouncing but a definitely stiffer ride

my setup is alot softer then my brothers protege sedan, he has the eibach/illumina setup and his car is really stiff
 

joe944

porschefreak
Contributor
:
2002 mazda protege 5
I don't want to influence you either way, however, I just wanted to say that my tabs broke with the progress 22mm bar and awr endlinks.
 

Nomad

P5 OG
Contributor
Feel free to influence!
That's the rear bar right? I totally agree that the rear is useful if you are upgrading the rear bar. The rear blues have longer bodies though so there is less suspension travel in the rear over the OEM tokicos (same exact part number as the blues).


It's worth it to upgrade the front if you are getting a bigger front bar as the tabs are larger too. My point was that most don't bother with the front bar so "is it really worth it?" for fronts.

I like the Illumina up front idea though.

Anyone else want to weigh in? If I have some time I'll call to see what I can find out about the Tokico rates.
 

Not Jo3L

MOCC Member
:
2002 Mazda Protege 5
So you think my protege will perform better with the OEMs in the front and some blues in the rear to accompany my MSP rear swaybar..all will be dropped on goldlines.
 

Nomad

P5 OG
Contributor
I'd say go with the Tokico-blue rears if you EVER want to upgrade the rear bar. The increase in strength looks significant.

For the fronts, the jury is still out on something that is dropped over 1.4". My gut says go with the blues for anything dropped. I'm wondering how NEW KYBs would fare in the front as opposed to my old ones that gave out.

Maybe you can drop by and take a look at them for yourself.
 

Not Jo3L

MOCC Member
:
2002 Mazda Protege 5
For sure any meet your going to this summer I will probably be able to go since im out of school next week.

and i already got the msp bar on my OEM struts, thats why I really wanted to upgrade to tokicos
 
:
Lancer Ralliart Sportback
Because of the labor involved - i would go for 'better' struts (tokico) over OEM if you are lowered! Too much of a PITA to be worth it!

One more for totally satisfied with the combo in my sig.
 

Cloudland

Contributor
:
Mazda 323 SP20
my stock struts (with 25k KM on it) were shot after 18k KM on eibach pro kit. i was in a hurry and bought oem kyb from local dealer and 5k later the structs are squeaking. the mechanics did something (probably lubrication) and it was gone for 6 months and back again.

i should have bought the tokico blues and get them done the same time. havn'd heard anything bad about them.
 

jeg0024

Banned
:
2002 22V Protege DX
I totally killed my stock struts from between 56k to 75k miles with Goldlines and replaced them with Tokico's and Eibach Pro Kit and its so much better. Mostly a difference in the struts I think.
 

Nomad

P5 OG
Contributor
I took an hour yesterday and changed my front struts over to the Tokico blues. Of course, going from blown to working gives a nice improvement in feel. I won't be able to test between good oem and good blues unfortunately.

Here's my thoughts:

The slightly decreased strut travel in the front should be offset by trimming the bushings (probably needed with Eibach Pro Kits anyhow).
The high speed damping (tiny bumps) seems very good. Over cobblestones the car felt really composed.
The low speed damping (large bumps and cornering) they do a nice job damping the transitions.

They definitely improved the feel of the car. I have OEM rears on right now as they are not leaking and seem to allow more suspension travel due to strut body length. They are Tokicos with the same part numbers as the tokico blues and are not leaking yet. I may swap out to the rear blues in the future and see what if any difference it makes.

I'm still interested in a front strut side by side comparo with new OEM kyb vs Tokico Blues. I do believe that the rear OEM is a better option though.
 
i too just swithced over to tokico blues. i have evotion springs. i was really expecting the ride to be alot stiffer on bumps and city driving. surprisingly the ride hardly changed. the car just felt more together.....if that makes sense. just more solid. i was almost wishing they were more stiff. but once i took my first circle onramp onto the freeway i was soooo impressed. i was able to hit 50mph by the end of the onramp without any tire squeel and hardly any understeer. actually i dont remember any understeer. did i mention i have no sway bar right now!!! i was shitting myself. i could only imagine the addition of that bar. i would highly recommend the tokicos for replacement. especially cuz i only paid 325 to my door.