Tein Street Basis Coilovers Review | 2011+ Scion TC
We had the fortunate chance to get these Scion TC coilovers from Tein on our stock order this week. In todays blog post, we are going to discuss the basic differences of most coilovers, and the advantages and disadvantages of the Street Basis coilovers compared to others. No dyno charts or track time differences here, just a simple comparison to help you understand the basic differences when shopping for the right set of aftermarket coilovers for your Scion TC.
Packaging: Tein packages their coilovers exceptionally well. Nothing fancy with their packaging, but compared to some other brands, they have neatly precut cardboard in various spots to hold the contents. This goes a long way in protecting the struts, springs, dustboots, and miscellaneous parts from moving around and possibly getting damaged during shipment.
Kit Contents: The Scion TC Tein Street Basis coilover kit includes everything you need for the install besides top mounts. The kit comes with quality struts, springs, dustboots, spring perches, an adjustment tool kit, a warranty letter, and a certificate of JDM authenticity.
Top Mount Situation: This is probably one of our most asked questions by customers. Its widely believed that coilovers without top mounts are budget or bargain coilovers that took a shortcut in manufacturing (don't forget KW V3's don't come with top mounts either). Yes there may be a very slight cost saving to a huge manufacturer by not including top mounts, but there are a lot of benefits as well. The OEM top mounts include rubber bushings, as opposed to metal, with pillowball top mounts. The biggest advantage would be noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH). OEM top mounts were engineered specifically to provide a reduction in NVH with their OEM bushings. Pillowball top mounts definitely provide a performance advantage, however the downside would be that they generally cause increased noise and a decrease in road comfort. If your Scion TC is primarily daily driven on the street, it may be most beneficial to run coilovers with OEM top mounts.
Height Adjustment: The Tein Street Basis coilovers have an impressive height adjustment range at -.1" to -2.3" front and -1.2" to -2.4" rear height adjustment. The height is adjusted through the spring perch, which makes it very easy to adjust the height. These coilovers were designed for overall street use, but if you are looking to absolutely slam your Scion TC, there are better options available such as the BC Racing Coilovers.
Build Quality: We are not going to go into extreme detail about the manufacturing process, but it should be noted that Tein has been building coilovers for decades now. They have a detailed manufacturing process shown on their website as well. One thing that really stuck out to us was the coating of their coilovers. All their coilovers are powder coated a signature high quality green that is very durable. Their shock body threads are also zinc coated which help prevent rust. This is very important since coilovers are susceptible to the elements. We have personally seen coilovers rust which causes the spring perches to seize. Not a common issue with Teins.
Performance: With a twin tube design and spring rates at 336 lbs/inch both front and rear, these coilovers perform exceptionally well on the street. We tested these coilovers on a street setup Scion TC with Yokohama S-Drive tires and can honestly say there was not a big difference in NVH compared to the OEM coilovers. The Scion TC was still very comfortable with excellent road manners. There was also a drastic noticeable difference in handling. We felt that the TC had much less body roll and more predictability when going into turns. This was an excellent upgrade, while still retaining the factory comfort.
Where It Shines: These coilovers succeed at exactly what they were designed for; the daily street driven Scion TC looking to add a little more performance and to lower their ride height. These coilovers do all of that while still being comfortable on the street and in the wallet. Dampening is also preset, so there really is no fine tuning required, which is great for owners looking to just install these and enjoy the benefits right away.
Where It Lacks: You technically can still use these coilovers for recreational track days, but there are a lot of other better options out there if you plan to track your TC regularly. From what we felt, as well as according to Tein, these coilovers were designed primarily for street use with spirited driving, not for dedicated track use. Also the height adjustment range is not the absolute lowest, so if you are looking to slam your TC, there are other better options as well.
Overall if you mainly daily drive your TC and just want a bit more performance, while still retaining comfort, these coilovers are a great option. Starting in the mid $600's you are definitely getting a lot of value for your money. We have the Tein Street Basis for the 2011+ Scion TC currently in stock and available for purchase here.