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Old 19th November 2011, 16:50   #1
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Default Softer suspension for my Swift

May 2010 – Looking for a diesel hatchback, test drove the Figo 5 times, Punto and the Vista. i20 petrol also was part of my list just because of the looks. One of the test drives of the Figo I took my family with me and everyone was happy – the space, super cool a/c, decent suspension, ‘sedan’ feel from within, boot space etc etc (all of those we know). By May end I was 99% on to Figo TDCi. Now many start wondering why Ritz and Swift was not in my list! Yes, I purposely avoided them because for some reason I dint like both the cars though I had been using Maruti Esteem for 5 yrs before that which of course I loved a lot. Vista was another car which to me had a decent suspension though ignored since it was a Tata QJT.

June 2010 – Finally, I made up my mind and decided to test drive the Ritz. I just hated the Swifts design so no Swift till then. To my surprise the dealer brought a Swift Diesel instead and said he was very sorry that Ritz had a problem with the transmission and he said 'afterall its all the same’. Despite being a auto freak for many yrs I never drove the Swift diesel before that and the moment I met the ‘super turbo’ I knew I was onto something. Rest is history.

July 23rd, 2010 a brand new Swift Diesel landed in my porch! Despite all the better things of the Figo, the Swift engine just couldn’t be ignored just as it happened for many other guys out here.

November 2011 – Despite a 3-4 months break due to an onsite still she is nearing the 25000 kms and is on song and I am just enjoying every km with her. Loved the way she used to stay close with the Audi’s and BMW’s on the highway and easily ‘rubbished’ any Innovas, Scorpios, Safaris, Fiesta TDCi, ‘other’ hatches and most other under 15 lakh cars except of course some petroheads (Comparison is just for fun and my list doesn't include cars like Cruze. And I drive safely as well!)

All was well with the car except for mom and wife as they always used to complain about the ‘hard’ suspension. We all know the goods and bads of a hard suspension. Coming over from an Esteem it was too ‘hard’ for my family but I was enjoying each moment! Last visit to Kerala from Bangalore, the roads were at the worst in a decade in Kerala. All three of us had backaches and first time in my life (have been driving for almost 14yrs now), due to severe exhaustion I almost fainted just because of the jerks the Swift was giving inside. Admit that the roads were too bad, but the car wasn’t built for those kinds of roads. And finally, to say the least, now my wife is expecting and I am unable to drop her at office because going in a Bus is far better than going in a Swift

So finally I admit, I made a mistake by not going for the Figo. Just went for the freak-in-me and opted for a spicy engine than the suspension. A recent article said that the 70 bhp petrol Figo was faster than the 85 bhp K series Swift on a racetrack. It underlines the fact that Figo has both ride quality and handling as well. So to me, Maruti just haven’t learnt the trick and I fell just for the engine and now cribbing. Though after all these still Maruti says Swifts suspension is designed for 'Indian' roads. Hard suspension not just breaks the back it also is the core reason for all rattles in Swift as per my finding.

Alternatives –

Option 1 of course is to sell her NOW since Swift is in demand and I would easily get ~5 lacs for her and then go for say a Manza or the Fiesta Classic though it also means I have to restart my car loan all over again and all the hassles.

Option 2 - Work on the suspension. I spoke to Petes but they said none of the suspensions make the car softer instead makes it harder. Spoke to a few other people too but finally talked to Red Rooster Bangalore and they claim they have a custom suspension (TEIN) which is Soft and still gives the handling too. They are quoting 60k for it and asking me to come and have a look at one of their modded Swifts.

Option 3 - Someone told me that Dzire has a gas shock in the rear and Swift has oil filled. I never felt Dzire any better even if its true! But worth trying if its suitable.


So guys, I hope you understood my problem. I am sure the very same thing is faced by LAKHS of people in India who own a Swift, though most don’t speak up because the Engine and the ‘feel’ makes up for all the ‘jerks’ and most Swift owners are better off in the driving seat (which course is the best place). But now, I am doomed.

Note1: I drive on 195/65 R14 Yokohama A Drive with Alloys. Was on stock for first 13k kms and then 12k on new set.

Note2: From day one i dont see any change in the suspension. For almost 9 months I was on stock tyres. All the while its all the same, horrible.

Note3: I haven't test driven the new Swift so i donno about its ride quality.

Auto gurus please suggest.

Last edited by sam_sant2005 : 19th November 2011 at 17:15.
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Old 19th November 2011, 17:19   #2
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Default Re: Softer suspension for my Swift

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_sant2005 View Post
All was well with the car except for mom and wife as they always used to complain about the ‘hard’ suspension.
Quote:
I drive on 195/65 R14 Yokohama A Drive with Alloys. Was on stock for first 13k kms and then 12k on new set.
Simplest solution:

- Downsize your tyres to 175/80 R13 size, and choose a soft comfort oriented tyre compound. This will greatly enhance the ride quality of your Swift. You could also go for a suitable profile with 185 tyres if you are so keen on grip.

- Drop 2 PSI from the air pressure within the city (only!!).

- Rent / borrow / steal a more comfortable car when driving on a highway that you know has awful roads.
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Old 19th November 2011, 17:24   #3
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Default Re: Softer suspension for my Swift

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Simplest solution:

- Downsize your tyres to 175/80 R13 size, and choose a soft comfort oriented tyre compound. This will greatly enhance the ride quality of your Swift. You could also go for a suitable profile with 185 tyres if you are so keen on grip.

- Drop 2 PSI from the air pressure within the city (only!!).

- Rent / borrow / steal a more comfortable car when driving on a highway that you know has awful roads.
Thanks GTO. But will changing the tyres make so much of a difference? I felt no different when I was on the stock tyres. Currently pressure I have in Yoko is 30psi. So I guess I should try 28 or 27 for sometime.

Last point worth noting. May be should rent a car for some years if iam keeping this car with me while going on long tours. But the whole point of owning a Diesel car is defeated. :(

Finally, when a person like GTO (best in team-bhp) didnt utter a word about suspension change, its end of the roads for me. Is it good bye Swift?

Last edited by sam_sant2005 : 19th November 2011 at 17:35.
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Old 19th November 2011, 19:22   #4
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Default Re: Softer suspension for my Swift

Changing tyres would be the easiest option. And reducing the pressure in the tyres SHOULD definitely improve ride quality, although the mileage will come down a bit.

Alternately you could also go for composite/carbon fibre leaf springs.
Dr.Nano makes custom leaf springs. If you search this forum you will find some threads on this.

Dr.Nano -> Automotive Composites Springs,Compound Sticks Manufacturer,Suspension Systems,Supplier,India

If I remember correctly Khan Sultan and Samurai have tested these on different vehicles.

I guess resetting leaf springs might also help.
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Old 19th November 2011, 21:13   #5
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Default Re: Softer suspension for my Swift

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Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
Changing tyres would be the easiest option. And reducing the pressure in the tyres SHOULD definitely improve ride quality, although the mileage will come down a bit.

Alternately you could also go for composite/carbon fibre leaf springs.
Dr.Nano makes custom leaf springs. If you search this forum you will find some threads on this.

Dr.Nano -> Automotive Composites Springs,Compound Sticks Manufacturer,Suspension Systems,Supplier,India

If I remember correctly Khan Sultan and Samurai have tested these on different vehicles.

I guess resetting leaf springs might also help.
Thanks. I was going through that link but couldn't find any mention about Swift :( But nevertheless looks very interesting since it doesn't require any major modifications. Will give them a call on monday and revert on this forum.

'Resetting' leafsprings though i didnt get it :( Most cars dont have leaf springs. Omni has, but otherwise i have seen those only in Sumo. Swift to the best of my knowledge has a Coil spring and a damper in rear. And i feel the problem is with the damper which doesnt allow the spring to be 'soft'.

Those who dont know the function of Damper - The function of a damper is to control the oscillation of a spring. When a wheel falls into a pothole, the spring compresses, but the damper prevents it from sprining back to the default state too easily. It 'slows' down the oscillations thereby 'damping' both compression and expansion. Without a damper a spring will keep swinging almost for ever as long a car moves!

Bilstein website shows different types of dampers. One among them was the 'air suspension' module. Looks very promising if any of those suits Swift. But then I need to find someone who can fix it in Bangalore.
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Old 19th November 2011, 22:04   #6
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Sam_sant, Reviews suggest that the new swift have a better suspension than the old model. Please ask any friendly a.s.s service adviser if we can fit the newer suspension in your car? Just a suggestion. If it works, i think you will have many followers :-).

Last edited by ontheroad : 19th November 2011 at 22:06.
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Old 19th November 2011, 22:05   #7
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Default Re: Softer suspension for my Swift

Okay, let me play devil's advocate. Here is what I advocate keeping in mind of your requirements

SELL the car. You'll get pretty good money.

and buy
1) A new Skoda Fabia, Toyota Etios Diesel (If you insist on new car)
2) A used Chevrolet Optra magnum, by adding another lakh to the equation
3) A used Optra 1.6 and invest couple of lakhs you are left with in Petrol
4) A used Baleno and invest couple of lakhs you are left with in Petrol

and drive with a wider grin on you face, what say?
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Old 19th November 2011, 22:09   #8
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Default Re: Softer suspension for my Swift

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
Changing tyres would be the easiest option. And reducing the pressure in the tyres SHOULD definitely improve ride quality, although the mileage will come down a bit.

Alternately you could also go for composite/carbon fibre leaf springs.
Dr.Nano makes custom leaf springs. If you search this forum you will find some threads on this.

Dr.Nano -> Automotive Composites Springs,Compound Sticks Manufacturer,Suspension Systems,Supplier,India

If I remember correctly Khan Sultan and Samurai have tested these on different vehicles.

I guess resetting leaf springs might also help.
Since when did swift come with leaf springs
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Old 19th November 2011, 23:18   #9
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Default Re: Softer suspension for my Swift

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Originally Posted by Frankenstein View Post
Since when did swift come with leaf springs
Was about to ask the same question. I am nearing a suspension change on my Accent (80k on odo), would be interesting to see what experts here have to say on options are available while somebody is looking for alternatives to stock ones.

Last edited by deepaktpatil : 19th November 2011 at 23:20.
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Old 19th November 2011, 23:43   #10
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Default Re: Softer suspension for my Swift

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Originally Posted by sam_sant2005 View Post
Thanks GTO. But will changing the tyres make so much of a difference? I felt no different when I was on the stock tyres. Currently pressure I have in Yoko is 30psi. So I guess I should try 28 or 27 for sometime.
Buddy, what you did - and what GTO suggested is totally different.

195/65 -14 has a tyre wall width of 126mm, while 175/80 R-13 has tyre sidewall width of 140mm. Thats a lot of extra rubber and rubber plays an important part in absorbing impacts before passing it on to the suspension.

Overall circumference remains the same, and hence not much speedo error. Handling might be marginally less, but i dont think it will be noticeable in a sweet-handling car like Swift.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 19th November 2011 at 23:44.
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Old 20th November 2011, 00:47   #11
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Default Re: Softer suspension for my Swift

@sam_sant2005, My advice not to sell your car, its one of the best car you have with you and you will surely regret when your kid is little older

I myself am a spine patient, i have undergone major surgery and i have 2rods and 8screws in my back, i drive my swift very badly in bangalore pot holes and i know the entire vehicle shakes, but it doesnt hurt my back, but i dont know in your wife's case, here are my suggestions:

1. since your wife's pregnancy is temporary, why dont you loan a car for a month or rent a cab.
2. travel through alternate better roads
3. As GTO said, change tyre size and give a try, couple of months back i test drove a ZXI in used car showroom for my cousin and its tyres were alloys and huge in size (sorry didnt note the tyre size), it was so smooth that i crossed a speedbreaker at 30-35 and didnt notice anything, i was surprised if it was really swift.
4. Let your wife sit in the passenger's seat and give her couple of pillows in the back, which might make her more comfortable during the journey.

All the Best
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Old 20th November 2011, 01:17   #12
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Default Re: Softer suspension for my Swift

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Originally Posted by sam_sant2005 View Post
Note3: I haven't test driven the new Swift so i donno about its ride quality.
Yes the new swift's suspension is softer than the older one. Does not affect the handling much tho.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Simplest solution:

- Downsize your tyres to 175/80 R13 size, and choose a soft comfort oriented tyre compound. This will greatly enhance the ride quality of your Swift. You could also go for a suitable profile with 185 tyres if you are so keen on grip.
Does downsizing the tyre size enhance the ride quality?? Please tell me more about it.

And if so, does the top end swift Z[d/x]i which comes with 15" alloys, have hard ride as compared to the V and L variants(14" wheels)??
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Old 20th November 2011, 02:03   #13
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Default Re: Softer suspension for my Swift

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Option 3 - Someone told me that Dzire has a gas shock in the rear and Swift has oil filled. I never felt Dzire any better even if its true! But worth trying if its suitable.
Can someone shed some light on this aspect?

I found the Dzire to be a wee bit better in bumpiness as compared to a Swift. Or was it the extra weight playing tricks on my mind?

Change your tyres to comfort oriented ones. Increasing the tyre profile + downsizing on rims will help greatly as there will be more rubber to cushion you from bumps.

Finally, I have to admit that the Swift is not a car to be in if you want a majestic ride. The Figo does a far better job in that department.

What you're facing now is called buyer's remorse. All of us have faced this situation where we have questioned our buying decision somewhere in the period of ownership. All this is a part & parcel of owning a car. Don't sell it as you stand to lose a lot. Moreover, you have the nicest diesel mill in the era of atrocious petrol pricing. Enjoy it!
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Old 20th November 2011, 10:14   #14
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Default Re: Softer suspension for my Swift

I dont believe any option exists that softens the suspension of a car, rather all aftermarket options are towards stiffening a suspension.

You could try comfort tyres (e.g.: Michelin). If that doesnt satisfy you, only another car with a softer sprung suspension will.
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Old 20th November 2011, 10:48   #15
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Default Re: Softer suspension for my Swift

Most of the responses suggests that the suspension change isn't gonna help. But the point which I cant understand is we have had Zen and Esteem with a soft suspension from Maruti. Agree that Swift is designed differently and moreover they say its 'tuned' for handling. So why not de-tune it? Isn't there something like that? For that matter, my mom owns a M800 which feels much 'softer' falling into potholes than the Swift atleast when you drive slow.


I really appreciate all the points shared above. Personally I too don't wanna let go this one gem on a car (in terms of performance). So only Iam here to invest on the shocks.

If any of you bump into this thread please share contact of people in Bangalore Mechanics who are into all these. Atleast I could discuss with them and let everyone know if at all there is a chance. I am meeting my M.A.S.S mechanic soon to discuss about Dzire suspension.

Last edited by sam_sant2005 : 20th November 2011 at 10:52.
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