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Old 05-19-2004, 12:34 PM   #1
zoomfactor
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Default Rally-X vs. Auto-X Suspension Set-up?

Now that the local SCCA chapter has been successfully running Rally-X events down here, I was wondering what would be a decent baseline Rally-X set-up.

I'm most interested in ride height and alignment recommendations. Right now I'm running a modest STX set-up...
Tein RA's 450/400
22mm FSB/22-24mm RSB
2.5+ camber front
1.7-1.9 camber rear (not optimal but camber bolts go in this weekend)

After getting tagged by an asshat running a red light with no witnesses stopping I figure I'll just be more aggressive in the use of the car and upgrade as I break stuff.

Wheel & tire choices - Stockers with 032R's or should I put the RE-92s back on. I'd love to get a set of the new SSR's with some gravel tires but I'm likely to be castrated, killed and fed to my bull terrier. I wish the wife would realize that it's perfectly natural for someone to have four complete sets of tire & wheels

Thanks for any feedback,
JD
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Old 05-19-2004, 12:50 PM   #2
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hmm.. I would guess that, if you wanted to do both, you'd have to have height adjustability.. can the RA's do that? I'm not familiar with Tein..


- Miranda (oo... 8 more to go!)
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Old 05-19-2004, 12:55 PM   #3
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I don't know if you want to use those coilovers on a rallyx course, but it all depends on the course. You may run out of strut real quick depending on how bumpy it is. I think they are independently adjustable as far as ride height and spring preload so raising the height won't really buy you anything. Maybe raise the lower spring perch some. You want the car to roll somewhat and bite into the dirt as it transfers weight, otherwise you'll just skitter around and not be able to get the car to actually rotate without throwing it in sideways. That's why some rally people disconnect swaybars or run without them. Don't think you need to drive a rallyx course like a rally, if you drive it like an autocross you'll do suprisingly well.
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Old 05-19-2004, 01:31 PM   #4
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Those springrates are much too stiff, you will likely bend your chassis!
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Old 05-19-2004, 01:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Those springrates are much too stiff, you will likely bend your chassis!
That's why I'm asking

In any event, the courses appear pretty flat - like a big grass parking lot.
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Old 05-19-2004, 01:43 PM   #6
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like Phil said, it really depends greatly on the site. if its smooth and flat you may be ok. if its really bumpy your setup is much less then ideal. the springs are on the stiff side but that would honestly be the least of my concerns. i would be concerned about shock travel and ride height (i don't know your coilovers very well). you would want close to stock ride height probably. either way, get a skidplate. if nothing else, its worth it just for piece of mind. i'd recommend the primitive racing one.

if its uneven, you're really going to hate those swaybars. i recently added a 20mm front to my car, and while it made a HUGE improvement for auto-x, it blows at rally-x. i still beat Paul Dunn ( ) but the car wasn't as good, especially under braking as the bar just wouldn't let the tires make good contact with the dirt. you may consider disconnecting the bar.

i might take it out on a gravel road to see how it does. most roads are smoother and easier on the suspension then a rally-x, but it should be a good indication.

Quote:
I wish the wife would realize that it's perfectly natural for someone to have four complete sets of tire & wheels
i'm up to 5 now myself. of course, i don't bother with the wife
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Old 05-19-2004, 02:12 PM   #7
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Zoom, are you talking about Ft. Meade?

If so, the course is pretty smooth except for the areas that get rutted up, then it can get hairy. I learned that sideways is not faster and things get broken. After the first two runs of the day we disconnected the swaybars and turn in got much better. I run a softer setup than you with SPT springs and Koni strut inserts set to full soft.

RE92's should be pretty decent, Good luck with getting multiple sets of wheels/tires. I'm up to three, I haven't had to sleep in my car yet, but I'm dancing on that line I think.
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Old 05-19-2004, 02:33 PM   #8
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I wouldn't go over 200 lb/in for springs (I'm using the stock springs), stock height would be good & good dampers (Konis, for example) are required. Camber is good (maybe around -1.5?) -> the car is going to sway a bit, so if you don't have it, you'll be on the sidewalls (not a good thing). STi Group N suspension bushings or something similar would be nice, too. Street tires on dirt is not real effective, but an open tread pattern will work better - something like the 205/55/16 Contiextremecontact (what I use). No swaybars!

If the surface is smooth, hard-packed clay or something where you can actually make the tires squeal, then the autox setup would probably work better.

edit: forgot to mention that my wife sees nothing wrong with me owning 2 Imprezas & 4 sets of tires.
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Old 05-19-2004, 02:54 PM   #9
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You guys are pretty much reinforcing what I thought...too much spring. Well there's always drag racing.

Quote:
edit: forgot to mention that my wife sees nothing wrong with me owning 2 Imprezas & 4 sets of tires.
...somebody always has to rub it in!

I've got 17" Volk CE-28s/Azenis, 18" Technomagnesio/Kumho MX, and the stockers with Yoko 032R's. I've been floating the idea of a Caterham 7 project, but my wife just gives me this blank look like I'm speaking Japanese.
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Old 05-19-2004, 03:00 PM   #10
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Nunyo -

Ft. Meade is the closest site. Everyone I talked to liked the place. I have been tempted to go but it looks like I've crossed the line on my way to asphalt bliss. I've actually been thinking that 450/500 pound springs are too soft.
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Old 05-19-2004, 03:49 PM   #11
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Obvious solution: You need a gravel suspension for rallyx days.

Oh, and an RS to put it on, so you don't have to keep swapping it back and forth on the rex.
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Old 05-19-2004, 04:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fred
edit: forgot to mention that my wife sees nothing wrong with me owning 2 Imprezas & 4 sets of tires.
That's because Fredswyfe is often driving the other Impreza.
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Old 05-20-2004, 10:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by zoomfactor
That's why I'm asking

In any event, the courses appear pretty flat - like a big grass parking lot.
they appear flat. that is true. however looks can be deceiving. i was there at the first rallyX at Fort Meade and i witnessed a stock STi loosing it's fog light cover. so you can imagine a stock STi ride height hitting the ground hard enough to cause the bumper to deform for a bit and let the cover fall off. also, i ripped out my front right wheel well lining (that plastic covering piece) b/c i was missing two of those push plastic screws up front. you won't lose your wheel well lining but just keep in mind that the Fort Meade course gets rutted by the 3rd or 4th car. of course they run them so the 2wd cars run first. and the 2wd cars just spin their tires a whole lot. this causing a raking effect and basically the course looks like the grand canyon.

Last edited by MRF582; 05-21-2004 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 05-21-2004, 09:06 AM   #14
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Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 05-22-2004, 12:41 AM   #15
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i rallyx alot her in MN and WI. mark utecht rallyxes his stock 04 sti. w/nokian hakkas. he routinely wins and is vey fast w/it. i think it is better at rallyx than his GN car. ride height is important. you want at least stock on wrx. get some used rally tires from a team. look at specialstage.com's classifieds. worn out rally tires are perfect for rallyx. btw you want 15's. i say go for it. just drive accordingly. your setup may not be ideal but you will still have alot of fun. my friend disconnected his sway bar and thought that the handling was a little too vague and would bite in alittle too hard. and sideways may not be fastest but it is definately the most fun. btw i rallyx a 90 fwd legacy sedan. and love beating wrx's w/it!
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Old 05-24-2004, 12:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by MRF582
i was there at the first rallyX at Fort Meade and i witnessed a stock STi loosing it's fog light cover. so you can imagine a stock STi ride height hitting the ground hard enough to cause the bumper to deform for a bit and let the cover fall off.
MRF582,
That was me and I had to relace the damn cover at $50 a pop! You're right though, Ft Meade can def take it's toll. I was out there last weekend and we lost a number of cars (I think it was 5 or 6) b/c of tires coming off the rims. Not enough air pressure. I was running 42f/45r and was still getting grass inside the front wheel bead. Scary.
I agree with you about ride height. The ruts get very deep and 3 inches or so of height would be greatly appreciated. With all that, I'll be going back whenever they hold it, http://www.planetarydomination.com/R...20Schedule.htm , as it's a blast and I'm really getting a handle on how this car handles in the dirt (rain?). I'm now able to get the car to drift basically as I please.
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Old 05-24-2004, 05:15 PM   #17
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that's cool oldalfaguy. yeah, rally-xing there is a blast. that is for sure. i just wish we got more runs. if i remember correctly, we got 4 runs the first time. that's about 4 mins of driving at the limit per day. that's def. not enough.

actually the times were somethign like 20 seconds and 30 seconds per run. so it's more like 2 mins of dirt driving for $30. if i had more money...
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Old 05-25-2004, 10:49 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Midnight_Gold
hmm.. I would guess that, if you wanted to do both, you'd have to have height adjustability.. can the RA's do that? I'm not familiar with Tein..


- Miranda (oo... 8 more to go!)
I'm not very familiar w/ Tein either. What all us RallyX/AutoX'ers need is a dual-sport specific coilover set that allows you to lower the car and stiffen the damping, AND also raise the car and soften the damping- I don't suppose anyone makes something like that?
How hard could that be?

Wishful thinking,
Russ R
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Old 05-25-2004, 11:40 AM   #19
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Most coilovers have some degree of height adjustability -- some at the expense of suspension travel.

The real issue is changing spring rates in addition to dampening.
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Old 05-25-2004, 01:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Oldalfaguy
Ft Meade can def take it's toll. I was out there last weekend and we lost a number of cars (I think it was 5 or 6) b/c of tires coming off the rims. Not enough air pressure.
I had the silver RS that spent more time reseating tires than I did driving. I had a couple of other drivers that day too. I pushed the bead in on the driver's front tire enough to gather up grass and dirt and lose air three times, I popped the passenger front tire completely off the outer bead once. There were at least two other cars that popped tires off the bead as well (one was a rental Legacy Wagon). I think I also damaged a tie rod end on the drivers side. So, yes sideways is more fun, but you have to be ready to fix things too.

My car ended up riding home on a rollback. I had an aftermarket intake installed that day that does a poor job of isolating the MAF from vibration. The MAF blew and I didn't know at the time that I could limp it home by unplugging the MAF.

It can be argued that I simply had the wrong tires (Michelin Pilot Sports), the wrong intake setup, and I drove too aggressively. I plan to return to the next rallycross with that attitude and plan to do better next time.
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Old 05-25-2004, 02:43 PM   #21
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You need the "field mechanic - mod" to go with the

Quote:
"awesome driver" mod
(stolen from Leecea)
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Old 05-25-2004, 03:03 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by wrrrx
What all us RallyX/AutoX'ers need is a dual-sport specific coilover set that allows you to lower the car and stiffen the damping, AND also raise the car and soften the damping- I don't suppose anyone makes something like that?
Praxxis maybe? Expen$ive though...
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Old 05-25-2004, 07:40 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by MRF582
that's cool oldalfaguy. yeah, rally-xing there is a blast. that is for sure. i just wish we got more runs. if i remember correctly, we got 4 runs the first time. that's about 4 mins of driving at the limit per day. that's def. not enough.
You are absolutely right. I was discussing this with the organizer, I think his name was John, and he agreed as has been trying to figure out more runs. It def IS a long way to drive for about 4 mins of seat time. My wife (the errant organizational expert) claims there was alot of wasted time during the day and I can't disagree with her. I just don't see how I could get 10 timed runs in the autoX I did at IRCC last Sat and only 4 at Ft Meade.
In any event. I have been learning some invaluable lessons in car control that I haven't been able to do since being on active duty and thrashing some HUMVEE's at really inconceavable speeds in the dirt and desert.
Complaints aside, I'll be there in August.
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