The FC3S stock dampers are pretty good for stock OEM units,
when they are new.  Due to age, wear & tear, the dampers
leaks and go bad.  The term "dampers" is generally used
to describe any mechanical damping device to control
oscillation - this covers both shocks and struts, although
technically, the FC3S uses "struts" both up front (Macpherson)
and rear.  A lot of people use the word "shocks" or
interchange them easily with the word "struts".  We
will use the term "dampers" to reduce confusion.
A good cheap and quality replacement is made by Tokico.  If
you're looking for a stock replacement with no need for fancy
adjusting features, Tokico makes their "Premium" line of
non-adjustable dampers.  Prices are under US$400 for all
four units for the FC3S.  These are recommended if all you
need is a replacement for the stock units and don't need the
flexibility of the adjustable units; the adjustment feature
can only be really exploited for racing and really overkill
for a street vehicle, unless you want and can afford the
If you're looking for adjustable units that don't break the
bank, Tokico also makes their "Illumina" line of adjustable
dampers.  These Illuminas are 5-way adjustable, with the
adjusting knobs on the tops of the shaft; this feature might
or might not be a problem for those wanting to keep their
stock rear speakers (or those convertible owners have no
easy access to the tops of the rear strut towers), which cover
the tops of the rear strut towers.  Prices are under
US$600 for a set of four for the FC3S.  These Illuminas are
very popular with the autocross and other amateur racing
crowds due to adjustability and price.
GAB also makes a set of adjustable dampers for the FC3S,
but these are pretty expensive!  The fronts are
4-way adjustable, and the rears are 8-way adjustable.
The fronts (4-way) are adjusted by a knob located on the top
of the shocks shaft, but the rears (8-way) are adjusted by
a knob on the middle of the strut body; to adjust the rears,
you need to get under the car to turn the adjustment knob -
this feature is very attractive for those wanting to keep
their rear speakers intact or convertible owners who don't
have easy access to the tops of the rear strut towers.
Another option for serious racers is to go with Koni race
(yellow) struts.  The fronts need to be retrofitted
into a set of stock, Macpherson strut housings; the rears
need just slight modification for installation.
Adjustment is continuously adjustable over ~2.5 turns with
no set detents.  These struts are generally stiffer
than most of the aftermarket drop-in units, like the ones
KYB recently release it's performance line of dampers
called "AGX".  The KYB AGX dampers for the FC3S are
fully adjustable front and rear.  Shock dyno tests show
wide range of adjustments - basically about the same as
the Koni race units or any other adjustable damper in
this price range!  Front KYB AGX units are 4-way
adjustable, and the rears are 8-way adjustable.
Rumor has it that these are basically the same as GAB's!
(GAB has discontinued their FC3S application.)
KYB AGX dampers have an advantage over the Koni race
dampers:  the KYB AGX units are stock, drop-in
replacements; the Koni race front struts needs to be custom
installed in the stock FC3S MacPherson strut housing.
Priced even lower than the Tokico Illuminas, we,
at K2RD, feel that these KYB AGX dampers are the best
adjustable shocks for the money!
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