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Old 05-02-2009, 11:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I searched the forums best i could, didnt really find a solid topic on extended tophats.
Are they worth it?
im already on skunk2 sport strusts and springs but im looking for that extra half inch of drop to tuck without going crazy on the price.

Could extended tophats be the answer? maybe with some polyurethane bushings in them?

and one last question, anyone know where i can buy a set for a DC?
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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if you have pro-c's i don't see why you need the top hats....they wont drop you more they just allow the shock to work then your car is lower

because the shock body is adjustable on the pro-c's i don't see what your trying to accomplish.
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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sorry, not pro-cs at all ill fix that, there sport struts and springs from skunk2. Im at a comfortable height, but i really would like a little lower without going the right way on some coilovers. Sleeves i always felt was a little half ass, but i just wanted to see peoples opinions and ideas on tophats.
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i have skunk2 sleeves on ITR shocks and i like the ride... im sure if you have sleeves on performance shocks you will like the ride
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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i LOVE my eibach sportline's 1million mile warranty on sagging and breaking as far as top hats like it has already been said that does nothing for your height it only allows the struts to operate closer to the center of the cylinders instead of close to the bottom
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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thanks for clearing that up guys, its apreciated
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have Ground Control top hats with my Gc/ Koni yellow combo and they just allow the shocks and extra 24mm of roomif you say hit a pot hole or something it just saves your shocks. and looks cool in your engine bay while its doing it.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Am sorry for bringing back an old topic but my post ended up getting deleted.There is another topic on extended tophats here and someone replied saying you only need two tophats for the front because the rear has plenty of travel.? That didn't make any sense to me? Why would the rear be different? I have a 96 Ls Se sedan and I'm on i believe progressive springs 2-3 inch drop. I was looking at theseext.tophats My brother saw a post on another site saying this guy has extended tophats and ended up with his strut towers bashed in from control arms contacting? Could this happen?
I also will be getting new struts Tokico blues or possibly whites.I heard blues aren't very good for more than 1" to 1"1/2 drop? More info is definitely needed if anyone has experience on this i would greatly appreciate it.What i want to accomplish is a better ride with still great handling. I jacked my car up the other day and saw oil dripping like crazy.(stock shocks).So struts for sure but i need to know what works with what shock tophat combo? I came here cause i know there is great reliable info from TI members.My bday is coming up on the 7th so the tophats will be a present.Maybe? Ahh help!!!
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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imo, i'd just opt for Skunk sleeves. I know you stated that you don't want to go that route, but it'll get you at a lower height since the perches are mounted lower...that, in addition to an adjustable ride height the sleeves will offer, it's almost like going to the pro-c's at a fraction of the cost. Skunk+Skunk.

Unfortunantly, they don't offer the dampening-adjustablility that IS offered with most other full-bodied coilover set-ups. Slam=yes, ability to adjust ride quality=no. Fits into what most enthusiasts need it for=yes. You save some cash at the same time=yes.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Here is a well established thread covering this topic that I found with a quick search.

All a top hat does is allow your shocks piston to be in a better position than it would normally be on a lowered car without extended top hats. I have the ebay ones and they are great. NO problems to speak of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chickwithastick on Dec/27/09
** Disclaimer: This is a non technical way to explain extended top hats in relation to shock/damper travel and suspension.**

So, I have seen a number of people ask this very same question, and unfortunately there is little information on this topic. It all seems to be spread over the site. So here is your one stop shop for extended top hat info.

Exhibit A: This is a picture of extended top hats thanks to the Google:


Exhibit B:This is a picture of the extended in red, and oem in black:


If you aren't blind, you can clearly see that the red top hats are "taller" than the black top hats.



Problem #1:
The first problem that we run into with top hats and suspension is that people want to lower their cars improperly, or "slam" their cars to the ground for whatever reason. When you "slam" your car, the shock body sits closer to the top hat, giving you less available damper travel, or less room for the shock body to move. If you then hit a good sized bump, your shock body may hit your top hat (hopefully hitting a bumpstop first) causing damage.

That said, the first purpose of Extended top hats is to solve the problem of hitting your top hats with the shock body.


If you look at the above pictures, the bottom picture best shows the difference between the two. The middle part of the extended top hat is "taller", and just happens to be big enough to allow for the shock body to slide into it. That is not coincidence. Because of this extra room, when you hit that "good sized bump" your shock body now has the extra room it needs to travel to not hit the top hat.

Again, when a car is lowered, the shock body will sit closer to the chassis/top hat. Because of this there is less available suspension travel to handle bumps making it more likely to cause the shock body to have impact with the top hat. If you were able to provide an extra inch or 2 of extra shock body travel with the extended top hat, you would effectively increase the room in which you have to work with, and lower the chances of hitting the top hat.


Problem #2:
Another reason for extended top hats is to help your shocks/dampers travel within their optimal range. The problem here is that each shock will have an optimal working range usually not known by the general public until you blow out your shocks. Some companies will give you a suggested drop measurement range, let's face it... not everyone listens to that.

The way extended top hats help your shock to travel in their optimal range is by changing the resting point of the shock body in relation to the damper shaft. If you are starting out an inch or two further extended then you would without the extended top hat, you are then giving yourself the proper range in relation to your starting point to work with. How much more room you need depends on your drop and the shock/damper you are using. Unfortunately, there are way too many options to have a solution layed out for each situation. You should just make sure that your shocks/dampers are properly rated for the spring rate and height that you want to achieve.

What extended top hats DoN'T do:

Extended top hats will NOT change the ride height of your vehicle. This is because your car is resting on springs, not solely on your shocks/dampers. The extended top hats are only moving the point at which the damper shaft bolts to the chassis and top hat, pulling the shaft out of the shaft body more, not extending your springs.

Extended top hats will NOT make blown shocks work... if your shocks are blown, they are done for. Replace them with proper shocks/dampers for your setup.

Extended top hats will NOT make OE shocks, or shocks not rated high enough for your application work. Use the right shocks/dampers for your application. Extended top hats will not be the end all solution to a poorly designed suspension setup. They have their purposes, and will only work when used properly.


**once again, this is a NoN TECHNICAL way to try to explain extended top hats to the masses. I know that there is physics behind all of this, but let's keep it there ie: behind all of this.**
Just to put this so it can be seen when this thread comes up in searches. I noticed that this thread come up with 'tophat' and to find the other I searched 'extended' and noted it has 'top hat' and 2 words. Which probably explains it not showing up to you. The above is not my work but I feel it useful to your question.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:12 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The big thing you need to look at is the struts you have. Some struts (like koni yellows) work good within the range of the entire shock travel. Other struts (like stock) work best in a certain range (work better when the strut is extended more). You need extended top hats to either get more strut travel to prevent you from bottoming out your suspension or you need them to put your strut in its optimal operating range. If you don't have a problem with either of these then you don't really need extended top hats. And you don't need them in the rear because if you look at the struts they have a lot more travel before they bottom out so the only reason you would get them would be to have your strut operate in its optimal range.
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone for your time and info.It helped me alot! I believe i will be going with the ebay tophats and Tokico whites.
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