Tokico Shocks

Tokico Advanced Handling Package

Tokico Illumina

Tokico HP shocks

Tokico Advanded Handling Package

[7/5/2001] Reviewed by: Sam Jabr -

Applicable to: '90 - '97

A set of 4 shocks and springs

Extremely mixed experience.

Here's the deal, if you live in a place where the roads are flat and mostly in good condition you will love this setup. I lived in Scottsdale Arizona when I got these, and loved the new sharper feeling that the car gave. I found myself intentionally gas'ing it at turns just to fly out of there. However, I moved to Plano, Dallas which I must say has the sh**iest roads I have ever seen in my life. An Engineer told me that the soil here shifts entirely too much with moisture? All I know is that I now ride with a pillow under my butt. I am not joking, my hiney is pretty numb after a 10 minute trip. If I had known it would be like this I would have kept my old shocks and springs. To be fair to Tokico I'm sure that any other performance shocks and spring setup would hurt just as much. Well I'm off to have my prostate checked:)

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[1/20/2000] Reviewed by Marty Springer -

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Springs and struts.

The Tokico Advanced Handling kit significantly improves handling. Almost no dive. Flat cornering. It lowers the car about one inch. The problem is, this ride is so stiff, it'll shake your fillings out. If you use your car only for weekends/autocrossing, this is a great upgrade. If you use your car as a daily driver, don't even think about it (if you live where the roads are less than perfect.) Of course, it could be I'm just getting old...

 Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Reviewed by: Kelly Riley

4 Tokico HP struts and matching springs

The struts and springs are designed to work well in combination with one another. I considered Eibach's with the HP's, as well as the FM springs. Seeing as how I do drive the car on a daily basis, I did not want somthing that would jar me to death. I've had setups in the past on different vehichles that fit that scenerio. It gets old quick. The kit seems to be a nice blend. The car sits approxamatly one inch lower, and is about 20% stiffer than stock. The cornering has definatly improved and nose dive under braking is considerably less a well. The rear of the car could stand to go a little bit lower, but when a driver is seated in the vehichle, the stance is right on the money. I can imagine that the extra travel is quite beneficial while actually driving, as opposed to some of the kits that tend to drop the rear a little more. Dont get me wrong, the kit does drop the car one inch, but with the factory slope being rtained, the drop shows a little fender gap in the rear as oppossed to none in the front. I am pleased with the kit, but the gap does bother me a little. I'm sure it will grow on me. If you're looking for improved handling without sacrificing ride quality, this is the best kit I've come across.

91 1.6l MX5, 70k. The kit cost's $445.00 and is available through almost any Tokico dealer. I bought them at a local import tuner shop after they agreed to match a mail order price I had run across. I had them do the install as well for $160.00. I've done several sets of srpings in the past, including a 300zx TT, which wasn't a lot of fun. I figured I would save myself the time and hassle this go round. They tried to convine me the car wouldn't need an alignment afterwards. Don't fool yourself. A four wheel alignment makes ALL the difference in the world. The car quickly regained its nimble effortless feel after having it done. The alignment was $80.00 for all four corners. The kit, labor, and alignment totaled $685. Not too bad for the performance gained. It's ready for a little forced induction now!

Tokico HP shocks

Tokico HP factory replacement shock

[9/11/2007] Reviewed by: Scott Rennie

Applicable to: '99-'05 1.8 liter

Tokico HP factory replacement shocks-front and rear on factory springs

The shocks are absolutely perfect if you prefer the following:

1. Nose Dive during braking (and shifting!!)
2. Nauseating body Roll
3. Scary lack of firmness in turns
4. 3" gap in rear wells

Ugh! Tried to be economical and could not be more disappointed with these shocks. They are so soft as to feel unsafe. My car feels like no shocks are installed. They are not leaking or blown out-they just flat out suck. Do not waste your money on these. I'm going with Flyin' Miata Stage One Suspension Kit like I should have done in the first place.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[1/2/2004] Reviewed by: Chuck Haas

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Set of (4) Tokico HP shock absorbers.

My Miata had around 50K miles after about 12 years, and the stock shocks felt blown-out, didn't build much confidence in bumpy turns, on-ramps, etc. Bought the Tokicos from Brainstorm. Competitively priced, in stock and no shipping (I lived close by). Thought about installing myself, and buying a spring compressor, but my dad talked me out of it. Got them installed for a reasonable price at Midas in Culver City.

Immediately noticed a slight ride height increase in the rears, but didn't mind the look too much. It may have settled a bit in the subsequent year. I love the way they work- not too stiff. Compliant and comfortable, but they keep my confidence and the rubber on the ground. Would definitely purchase again.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[11/18/2001] Reviewed by: Tom Lin -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.8 liter

Tokico HP shocks (It is light blue).

I bought if for $400 (including s/h) with springs in High performance package. I did not use those shocks and kept my OEM springs instead. I sold those springs on Ebay for $120. It is light blue in color. After getting replaced in local gas station for about $80. I now have it for about 2 months now and I really like how it rides. I am very happy that I did not use lowering springs, since I was not sure about lowering my Miata about 1-1 1/2 inches. My Miata has stock rims which is 14". But so far I have no complaints about this shock, it rides much better than stock shocks which had about 40k. I also added Ractive STB which also firm up the ride.

I recommended it, but I know I have not driven with it for more than 10k so I am not sure it will leak after 17k like other comments I read here. But I am quite pleased and I would probably do it again, if I have another shock needs. Check my Miata page:

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

Reviewed by: Lanny Chambers -

My '94C was a lease return with 54,000 miles on it when I bought it. It needed shocks, desperately, and Konis were impossible to obtain at the time (and for months afterward) so I ordered a set of HPs from PBC. Others have described them adequately (anyone metion they're blue?).

My mechanic installed them over my stock springs, with new OEM boots. Good points: bottoming was almost eliminated, more control than pooped-out stockers, good poise under stress, as long as the stress wasn't too extreme. Bad points: very busy/jiggly ride at all speeds, damping in sufficient for even stock springs over circa 80 mph (floating), crudely-chosen damping parameters. Worst point: one rear HP puked its oil at 17,000 miles, apparently an increasingly common occurrance.

I replaced the HPs when PBC got their next Koni shipment, and did the work muself. I wish I'd put up with the defunct OEMs until I could find a set of Konis, instead of wasting my time and money on Tokicos. I cannot recommend them.

I just shipped the HPs back for warranty adjustment. I understand it may be months before I hear from Tokico. As for the Konis, I concur with the positive reviews of others elsewhere in this section.

Reviewed by: K.Stogner -

Never Used Tociko's Before, But After Reading Many Posts In Various Newsgroups, I Thought I'd Give Them A  Try.

After My Stock Shocks Faded At 40,000 Miles, I decided To Upgrade. Tokico HP's Looked To Fit My Needs As They Were raved About In Newsgroups And Were Affordable. I Picked Up 4 For Under $300.00 And Spent A Saturday Morning Installing Them. To My Dismay, They Altered The Stance Of My Car By Raising The Rear Almost 2 Inches. I Did Not Like The New Look, Nope, Not One Bit. Since I Was Still Using The Stock Springs, I Figured Why Not Change Them Too? I Contacted Dealer Alternative And Had A Set Of FM Springs 5 Days Later. Another Saturday Was Required To Install The New Springs, But Wow What A Difference, The Car Now Sat Low And Level, A Big Difference. But to My Dismay, The Tokico's Proved To Be No Match In Dampening The FM Springs. The Ride Is Precise And Firm, But Hitting Any Dips In The Road Surface at 65mph Sends  The Rear End Reeling Skyward. I Added FM Sway Bars And They Made No Difference In Jouncing But Boy Do They Help in the Corners! Dealer Alt Mentions The HP's Are The Minimum Shock To Be Used With FM Springs And Not To Use  Stock Shocks What So Ever. I'm Going To UpGrade To Tokico Illumina's And See If Rebounding Can Be Controlled.  If Not,I'll Return To My Stock Springs.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Reviewed by: Robert Liu -

I have the Tokico HP shocks with Eibach springs, 205/50/15 Dunlop SP8000's (stock sway bars for now) on a 91 miata. In my opinion, the Tokicos are underdamped for the Eibachs. Ride is still fairly good with this combo, my only complaints would be due to hitting the jounce bumpers on larger potholes (which we have many in Michigan). Also, the car seems to wallow quite a bit over bumps. More damping would probably help keep the car off the jounce bumpers and stop the wallowing. I guess I can not recommend the HP's for cars with stiff springs.

Reviewed by: Jeff Barlow -

I don't like these shocks. I've tried to give them a chance for redemption, but they're not for my car. I'm using them on stock springs and maybe that's the difference between my review and others. Anyway, here's the scoop. First the car rides HIGHER! I've tried several times to correct this - the springs are fully compressed, the nothing is binding in the suspension, and still my car rides around like it has a wedgie (it rides a full inch higher in the back than it did with the stock shocks)! The shocks really seem like they are designed for a heavier car. My reasoning? If another person is in the car, or if I load up 50 lbs. in the trunk, the ride height of the car is where it should be and the car rides and handles like it should with upgraded shocks. I drove in a car fitted with Koni's and the stock springs and it drove, rode, and handled like I had hoped these shocks would. If anyone else has had this problem, I would like to know (especially if you were able to correct it). Bottom line - I liked my worn out stockers better than these (and I didn't like them).

Increased ride height and worse ride without noticeable handling gain (in fact handing appears worse due to ride height increase). Sorry I bought them - the only addition to my car I can say that about.


Have had them installed for about six months now.

This is an update of my previous entry. Bill Cardell of Dealer Alternative dropped an e-mail to me suggesting that I try loosening the suspension bolts while the car was on the ground, bouncing it a few times, and tightening things back up. This fixed the ride problem, but the car still sat too high. So, I sprung for a four wheel alignment and again this improved the height problem, but the car still sits about 1/4 inch higher than it did with the old shocks. The Mazda shop manual says that this is within tolerance. To verify everything, I measured the spring height with the car's full weight on them and compared it to a friend's '92 (mine's a '93). His springs were 1/8 inch shorter than mine. So, I guess I can live with the shocks now, but I still have a sour taste in my mouth from all the hassle. Also, the height issue may come up again if I ever save up enough cash for a larger wheel/tire combination. Overall, I think I could recommend these shocks now, just make sure they're what you want/need.

Reviewed by: William Allen -

I had the Tokico HP's, combined with the Eibach lowering springs, installed (at considerable expense) followed by a four wheel alignment. What a difference! This setup, combined with 15" Borbets and new Goodrich tires, turns the Miata into a whole new car. This is how a sportscar handles. During acceleration and deceleration, there's no dipping as with the old shocks. Steering is abaout as intuitive as it can get. I love these shocks!

Reviewed by: Fletcher Blades -

A high performance non-adjustable shock absorber that is firmer than stock, but not as firm as the hard setting of adjustable ones.

The ride with these shocks installed is not at all hard. I was worried that the ride may be too stiff for every day use, but its not. Whilst it is certainly not too soft, I could easily live with a harder setting. (YMMV) Driving on relatively smooth roads, there is no major difference with the ones I removed (OE. with 50 k miles), but when you drive over rutted roads, speed humps, or railway tracks the car feels much tighter and does not move around so much.

Driving around the tight, twisty, hilly roads on my favorite drive nearby, I was able to go considerably faster through (rutted) corners than I could before.

Tokiko Illumina, (adjustables)

[8/9/2006] Reviewed by: John Carroll -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Adjustable aftermarket shock absorbers

I installed these on a 1990 Miata, along with Tokico springs. I was pleased with their performance on the road, but have been greatly disappointed with their durability and/or build quality. I have a full set of shocks on the car, but due to their fragility, I have had to install seven (7) shocks on the car so far in order to keep all four corners off the ground!. The first shock failure was my fault, and happened on install. I overtorqued the upper nut and snapped the hollow shaft. These shocks adjust from the top with a small slot in the shaft for adjustment and a rather flimsy indicator dial. This system is a weak design in my opinion, and it really didn't take much to bust the shock. Tokico did replace it under warranty with no problem. The subsequent TWO failures, however displayed inherent quality/durability problems with the product. During a particularly snowy couple of weeks I parked and covered the car. It was parked sideways on a very slight grade (i.e., the dr! ivers side of the car was "downhill" from the passenger side). It was parked this way for only 2 weeks, and when I moved it again, the drivers side front shock had lost pressure and collapsed. Again, to their credit, Tokico replaced the shock under warranty. Just recently, I had my second true failure, when I left my car on jackstands for about a week. Once again, when I lowered the car, one of the front shocks had lost presure and collapsed. Bear in mind, this shock only had about 3-4,000 miles on it, max. I did not bother contacting Tokico, as it had been over 2 years since I had initially purchased the set. I have to say, that if they fail while the car is standing still, I am more than a little worried about the potential for a shock to collapse under hard driving. Also, returning shocks,, and waiting for replacements is no biggie since this is a weekend car only, but if it were my daily driver, I would have been extremely inconvenienced. I am replacing the one bad shock! , as I intend to sell the car. I am however going to advise t! he purchaser about their quality and if he wants to buy replacements, I'll install them for free. The Tokico springs seem to be fine. I have bought KYB AGX's for the car I'm currently rebuilding. I would not buy Tokicos again.

Questionable quality/reliability. Do not recommend these shocks, would not buy another set.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[5/7/2002] Reviewed by: Eric Derr -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

5-way adjustable shocks.

Over 20K without a problem.

I got these with my Eibach Pro-kit and would never think of changing. The adjustment for the rear leaves something to be desired, other than that, GREAT!

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[4/12/2002] Reviewed by: Dan Wery -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.8 liter

2001 Tokico Illumina Adjustable shocks.

Replaced stock shocks @65,000 miles. Tokico's improved high speed handling signficantly. Unfortuantely, I have found that the rear end is much looser as oversteer is now easy to induce. This is sometimes fun, but also disconcerting. No spin outs, but many corrections. Also very easy to spin tires from stop.

Have front set at 3/5 and rears set at 1/5. I think the initial stiffness is cause for lack of grip. Adjustments make an enormous difference, from firm to rock hard.

[11/14/2000] Reviewed by Scott vonCoops -

Tokoco's "Illumina" 5-way adjustable shocks.Combined with "Ground Control" Coil over system & eibach street springs.

I Had the complete system installed in late 96. What a great improvement over the factory equipment! This "KIT" adds usable horse power to the car.(in quicker& out faster of the turns) The down-side to my storey is the life span of the Tokico's has come to a dissapointing end. As a daily driver, not racing, they put in a solid 60k miles. Some might say this was good. My car now has a young looking 220k miles. the first 160k on the factory struts. All four have failed at the same time,aprox 3 months. We live here in northern cal. most roads are in good shape. So i'm not sure of the short life span ? The Springs and coil over system has been the best ever super ride out of the springs & the coil overs are sooo easy to adjust the over all ride height!!! I hope this helps out some others out there looking into a "New" set-up. Scott

I would like to here from other "Road Warriors" in the No-Cal area. Ie... Good roads to staighten out!!

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[10/28/2000] Reviewed by Rickie Garcia -

Applicable to '90 - '97

Tokicos 5-way adjustable shocks.

The performance of the shocks and adjustabilty is great, considering i only have three. One of the back shocks blew a day after installing them. They are inder waranty so i just have to wait for the other one. The difference between 1 and 5 is big, going from really hard to soft which causees to car to lean more and bounce after bumps.

When installing the shocks trim the bumpstops if you putting springs in too. To take the back shock off lift up to put the shock back in the mounting holes then the bottom will come out.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Reviewed by: John Hornsby -

Adjustable shocks

These are excellent shocks. They offer excellent control over the Eibach springs that were installed at the same time. The lower settings offer a smooth ride, although with my lowered springs can allow bottoming over large dips with a passenger and luggage. The higher settings definitely firm things up and make the car handle very crisply.

These shocks are a quality product. As I stated in my review of the Eibach springs, RSpeed is a terrific shop to deal with.

Reviewed by: Jaime -

4 Tokiko Illumina shock absorbers, I did use with the Racing Beat street springs.

They were just fine for my first race, but two months latter they fail, all of them (4), why? I donīt know, I just was feeling the car very strange in the corners, I check everything, tires, wheels, tie rods, bushing, alignement, because I never supossed it was the shocks, but finally I parted out, and they were soft, without any response. I think it is a bad product, or can not be used with those lower springs, that should be explained.

I am now using Koni adjustables, with my stock springs, (I am afraid the RB), but the car now looks too high in the rear, and too low in the front, my front tire is touching the inner fenderwhen I just conered a little fast, not race!do you have some advise for me?

Tokico Illumina Shocks

Reviewed by: Jim Guidry -

5-Way Adjustable Performance Shocks

Great Product! I can dial them up hard enough to rattle your eye-teeth, or tone it down for a Sunday run with the wife. Three years and 30k miles ago I installed the Illuminas, along with Racing Beat springs and swaybars. Did the job myself (mostly). After compressing the rear springs myself with a compressor borrowed from the local Auto Zone, I decided my life was worth more than $20 bill! Dangerous job, don't recommend that part. Remove the shock and spring as a unit and take to a shop to compress and reinstall on the Tokicos. Like I said, it cost me $20.

 The performance is incredible! I don't have a G-meter, but boy-howdy, does this thing corner. Ran 23k with the stock 825's. This tire is pretty good, when the suspension lets it work. Replaced with Yokahama AVS-I's 195/60-14. Rip your head off now!

After 30k miles, no deterioration in damping or rebound.

I highly recommend this entire package. The ride is good, pretty firm but not harsh. Dropped the car 1.25 inches all around, looks great. I would put this car against any car in the world on pure cornering ability.

Back to Product Reviews 30 September, 2007

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