KYB Ultra

I was so happy to see Achmad on Saturday and I was happier when he pulled out a box from his bag. Its the KYB ultra suspension that I have been waiting for since the past month.This is the photo of my much awaited Kayaba Ultra special performance shock absorber for my Toyota Avanza. This better quality suspension upgrade apparently is only available in Indonesia. Although there is a factory that produces Kayabas in Malaysia, they only have limited selection and only cater for certain vehicle model.

Achmad was kind enough to hand carry the pair of rear Kayabas all the way from Jakarta for me and that save me from paying transportation fee. He said it wasn't a problem to carry the small box (13cm x 49cm x 7 cm), although it weighs quite heavy when I carried it.

For those that have been following my blog, you will know that I have been tinkering with my suspension for my Avanza for a while now. This quirky car is a hate and love car. One minute you love it and the next minute you will hate it down to every inch. Its beautiful car to some and ugly looking to a few. But the worst nemesis of this car is its' bouncy suspension. If you own one, you will know what I am talking about!

Anyway this is and will be (hopefully! - fingers and toes crossed) my final suspension upgrade attempts to solve this Avanza suspension woe. As I am getting sick from the, god knows how many times I have taken down the suspension to experiment with different setup.

And the answer to my suspension problem is this yellow looking nitrogen filled tube
Since it was a Saturday, I had the whole afternoon free. So I immediately drove to my mechanic but was disappointed when he turned me down as he had a long Que of cars to service. Come back on Monday he said.

I can't wait until next week and as impatient as I am, I decided to take on this absorber upgrade replacement project on my own. Why not I said to myself, I am good with my hands. :)

So, out came the trusty old tools and I was set. In fact, only minimal tools were needed. There are :
1. Car jack (the one from the car is sufficient)
2. Size 17 spanner
3. An adjustable spanner as a normal guy usually don't have x2 size 17 spanner in a box
4. Lubricant spray (its for the nut!!)
5. A can of water (just in case I get thirsty)
6. And lots of energy and enthusiasm
I will not go into details on how to jack up the car because that's the basic for a DIYer. If you don't even know how to jack up a car, especially if you are a guy then this is not a project for you. My advice to you is to take up cooking class or something that's more feminine.
Tip: remember to put the jack at the correct location. For Avanza, the point is the rear arm bar as shown in the picture above. Do not jack up at the side of the chassis as the small jack will not be able to lift the car high enough for the wheels to be clear out.

With wheel taken off
I was a little shock to see that the Eibach prokit spring + Original absorber could not hold the load. As you can see from the photo above, the marks on the rear axle, evidence from the multiple impact from the bump stopper. Yikes!
It took only minutes to take down the abs manually with size 17 spanner. Tip: For ease or removal, remember to spray some lubricant such as WD40 to loosen up the nuts. As can be seen from the photo above, Kayaba Ultra performance compare to the stock original abs. They are about the same length but the diameter of Kayaba ultra is much bigger. However, the main difference is the 3 stage and faster rebound rate on Kayaba Ultra.

In goes the Kayaba Ultra and I am set.
How is the ride? After years of experiment, this is so far the best combination, Kayaba Ultra with Eibach pro Kit spring. It reduces the bounciness by a fair bit. Not to the extend of a sedan ride but it's comfort is close to that. Ride over hump, bump and pot holes are bearable for a small short wheel base SUV. 100% better than the stock.

KYB + original spring is nothing to shout about as the ride is still harsh. And APM + eibach is the worst combination, so never try it or you will regret it as APM is too soft to be paired with Eibach. However, APM paired with original spring + all the UR bars, which I have been on for the past year is a good combo. The only set back is the big fender arch and tyre gap.

As a conclusion, it was fun in a way to experiment with different suspension setting but I had to cough out plenty of resource and time to tinker with it. And come to think of it, its a bit ridiculous for me or any Toyota Avanza owner to cough out extra money to improve this vehicle suspension. As to me, Toyota should have done all the necessary R&D and shouldn't have came out with such sub standard suspension quality. In another word, as a Toyota Avanza owner I felt I have been short change by this popular mass produce profit making Japanese company. Buckle up Toyota or you will lose loyalty in the long run.

My 2 cents worth. Do leave a comment if you have any question.

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Anonymous said…
what about the front? kayaba ultra also?
Anonymous said…
Thanks for sharing your suspension tweaks on Avanza.

Would you be kind to share pics especially from the sides for us to appreciate change in height/ground clearance if any?


Anonymous said…
What is the best alternative avanza absorber which can be purchase locally. Pls advice.
Oriza said…
Is there a big difference between the kayaba ultra SA and the stocks one ??

I have read in a many articles that kayaba ultra isn't as comfort as the stocks one.

anyway nice article dude :D :D
Anonymous said…
Hey, I am checking this blog using the phone and this appears to be kind of odd. Thought you'd wish to know. This is a great write-up nevertheless, did not mess that up.

- David
Anonymous said…
Hi , any idea if you can get kayaba ultra in Kuala lumpur?

If not, what brand you recommend ? GaB or Gabriel
Anonymous said…
Nice post bro.
Cleat most of my doubts.

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