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Old 05-01-2004, 11:43 AM   #1
makofoto
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Default Setting up my new Coilovers for AX, suggestions?

I ordered a set of the "new" Tein Flex's (and a Rev-Lab steering rack, STI Group N bushings and lateral links, Cusco Model 1 lower brace) ...

I'm going to install the Flex's with the heavier 550 springs in front, 450's in back ... for now. Luckily I have our local California Sports Car Club AX school next weekend ... two days of classes ... with instructors to help set-up my SM '03 WRX ... but can you guys make some suggestions as to a starting point for setting the dampners? Course is going to be the smooth grippy CA Speedway parking lot.

13.5" ride heights?

Since one can set the ride heights with the Flex's ... without adding preload ... are there any other Flex set-up suggestions?

Keeping my camber shouldn't be a problem anymore!
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Last edited by makofoto; 05-02-2004 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 05-02-2004, 09:10 PM   #2
solo-x
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*DISCLAIMER* i do things differently then most everyone else. my advice will probably not work unless you are a smooth driver that can handle driving a loose car.

first, i like your choice of spring rates and the ends of the car they are going onto. the stx guys aren't generating as much cornering force as your car is capable of and as a result need to run a slightly different spring configuration. basically, as grip goes up, roll stiffness should move forward.

second, you are still going to need at least -3* of negative camber in the front. for the rear, i'd start somewhere right around -1*. also, run any adjustable swaybars you have at full stiff.

now, for the dampers. i assume these are like most of tein's dampers in that both compression forces and rebound forces are adjustable, but only from one pot. stiffer in this case would mean both more compression and rebound.

if the surface is smooth, run as much front damping force as you can. the determining factor on front damping is how well the tire conforms to the surface. if the front of the car chatters across bumps, soften the shocks. the other factor is going to be breaking the front tires loose at corner entry. this would be most evident in slaloms as the car will flat out refuse to turn.

rear shocks could probably get away with a lot of damping force as well. your limiting factor here is driveability at corner entry and in transitions. you'll know they are too stiff if the car wants to spin in slaloms. as you adjust the shocks, try not to soften the front shocks to cure corner entry push but try using more rear shock or smoother steering inputs. (stiffer suspension is less forgiving of "harsh" inputs. harsh inputs are the number 1 cause of corner entry push)

ride heights, i'd follow what most everyone else is doing. 13-13.5" with some amount of rake. i think a suby could probably be run a little lower then that, but without knowing the amount of travel you have available and how much of it you're already using it's just a hunch. if tein recommends spring pre-load, i'd follow there recommendations. if they say nothing about it, i'd probably run just a small amount of preload both front and rear, but only if it didn't compromise my ride height. (a little pre-load in the front will help avoid bottoming the outside front suspension. run too much pre-load, you risk "topping out" the shock. infinite reboud=not good)

as you're tuning the car, some things to keep in mind. do NOT reduce your front roll stiffness to get more rotation. it may rotate better, but it won't have as much grip. you have to control the camber of the outside front tire. if you need more mid-corner to corner exit rotation, first make sure you aren't causing the car to understeer at corner entry. if that isn't the case, try using less rear toe-in or even some rear toe-out or move further from optimum on your rear tire pressure. (i prefer going higher since lower then optimal rear tire pressure will make the car looser in transitions and corner entry) if it still pushes too much, start dialing out rear camber.

if the car is loose at corner entry and it isn't the driver doing something dumb, reduce rear shock stiffness or add more front stiffness. if the car is tight at entry and again it's not the driver doing something dumb, add rear shock stiffness or decrease front shock stiffness.

one last note. i mentioned several times making sure the driver wasn't doing something wrong before changing the car. you can ask kC, this is something i learned very well last year. you can make any change in the world to the car, but if the driver is causing the unwanted behaviour, you are only making things worse by changing the car. i've adopted kC's approach and try to overcome a "difficiency" in the car with driver adjustment first, car adjustement second. learn from my mistakes! (this does not mean that i'm going to neglect basic maintenance on my car though. bleeding brakes, getting an alignement, etc. are all important too. you listenin keith? :P )

nate - good greif, did i write all this crap? who let this honda guy in here anyhow?
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Old 05-02-2004, 09:37 PM   #3
makofoto
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Hmm ... well thanks Honda Guy!

Glad to get some some suggestions. Hoping to have the mods done in time for my two day AX driving course this coming weekend ... where I hope to practice smoothness and proper braking and braking to steering transition ... with my new FAST steering rack ... should be fun and interesting!
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Old 05-02-2004, 11:59 PM   #4
MNbiker
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Mako,

Nate generally provides pretty good advice (even if he is a Honduh guy! )

One note - when Nate says run as much damping as you can, I don't think he means run full stiff. With most of the coilovers I've worked with (JIC, Tein, a couple others) , full stiff is typically not recommended, and is hard as a rock. I'd start at about halfway to full stiff and tune from there.

-Steve
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:22 PM   #5
driggity
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Quote:
Originally posted by makofoto
Cusco Model 1 lower brace
I thought lower braces like that one were illegal in SM. Am I wrong there?
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Old 05-05-2004, 02:11 AM   #6
makofoto
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Model II is illegal because it connects the cross links with longitudinal links. Model I is a simply single cross member ... like a strut tower brace ... for the bottom of the car. Most people say they aren't worth anything ... but since I was having problems maintaining my negative camber ... I'm putting everything I can on the car!

Teins arrived today ... tomorrow ... if Arnie is caught up ... we INSTALL.
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:03 AM   #7
jbrennen
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Quote:
Originally posted by MNbiker
One note - when Nate says run as much damping as you can, I don't think he means run full stiff. With most of the coilovers I've worked with (JIC, Tein, a couple others) , full stiff is typically not recommended, and is hard as a rock.
I installed some JIC FLT-A2s last Friday on my Evo. I set the dampers to full stiff for the 40 mile drive home from where I did the install, just to get a feel for it. The car scared me just taking gentle freeway curves at 65 - 70 MPH. It felt like even the slightest little ridge or bump in the road wanted to make the back end step out, and that was nowhere near the suspension loads that I get when autoXing.

I wouldn't say that it was "hard as a rock" but that's not far off.

You could improve the ride a great deal with full stiff dampers by running low tire pressures, but that would just be silly for autoX.

Look to adjust the dampers to the stiffest setting which doesn't cause the car to skip or hop, and then soften up one end of the car to balance it (you need to figure out which end depending on your own driving style and preference). If it rains, do the opposite -- go to full soft dampers and stiffen one end (if needed) for balance.
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:15 AM   #8
makofoto
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Shouldn't a suspension be as soft as possible ... for the conditions ... otherwise ... you get that skipping ... which means your suspension, isn't doing anything. Obviously, the faster you go ... and the smoother the surface ... the stiffer you can have your dampners set to ...
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Old 05-05-2004, 04:06 PM   #9
AllSeven
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loose is fast............. proven
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Old 05-05-2004, 05:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by makofoto
Model II is illegal because it connects the cross links with longitudinal links. Model I is a simply single cross member ... like a strut tower brace ... for the bottom of the car. Most people say they aren't worth anything ... but since I was having problems maintaining my negative camber ... I'm putting everything I can on the car!
The model I is still illegal. Subframe connectors are allowed, but each connector must be attached individually without any lateral components attaching the two longitudinal frame rails. Subframe connectors may be bolted or welded. So you can have subframe braces, but they cannot run left to right on the car, only front to back.

And yes, I have learned that no matter how minor the rules violation, you will get protested.
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Old 05-05-2004, 05:36 PM   #11
jmott
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Quote:
Originally posted by makofoto
Shouldn't a suspension be as soft as possible ... for the conditions ... otherwise ... you get that skipping ... which means your suspension, isn't doing anything. Obviously, the faster you go ... and the smoother the surface ... the stiffer you can have your dampners set to ...
it should be as stiff as possible without the skipping.

or, more accurately, it should be that stiffness which keeps laptimes at their minimum, which may include some skipping in some section (lost time) but make up that time elsewhere.
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