Javelin SuperDork
March 14, 2011 8:11 a.m.

It was pouring down rain the entire time! Oh well, it was nice to go racing again. The car is very well balanced, but needs some help. When you come into a corner it understeers and if you give it any throttle the back will start to swing out, making most over-cooked corners a 4-wheel-drift as the nose never catches. I'm thinking it needs tires immediately as 8 year old Michelin street tires aren't cutting the mustard, and then probably a giant dose of negative camber up front, followed by a suspension refresh (front ball joints, all 4 shocks, new endlinks & bushings).

What say the peanut gallery? Any other ideas? Which parts/brands? I'm in the PCA Class P02 for what it's worth, and the car will be street driven to events.

I'll get a YouBoob video up soon so you can see the nose washout.

mike Reader
March 14, 2011 8:21 a.m.

This peanut says get new tires and try again. A suspension refresh is always good, too - it can only help, and it's such a pleasure to drive a car with all new bushings and ball joints!

Gimp Dork
March 14, 2011 8:45 a.m.

I'd say don't change anything until you are in the dry.

ditchdigger HalfDork
March 14, 2011 8:53 a.m.

8 year old tires are well aged out. The poor car doesn't stand a chance on those.

sachilles Dork
March 14, 2011 8:57 a.m.

Evaluate again on the dry, but 8 year old tires are doing you no favors what so ever.

Javelin SuperDork
March 14, 2011 9:04 a.m.

Next event is in 4 weeks, and should at least be less wet. So new tires and that's it? I guess I could concentrate on fixing the other things like the rear wiper, rear defrost, cruise control, and ripped seat.

ZOO SuperDork
March 14, 2011 9:07 a.m.

It's pretty hard to set a baseline in the wet, unless you are really, really disciplined. New tires are a no-brainer, but anything else is conjecture at this time. I'd suggest new tires and a good alignment, and then go from there.

Javelin SuperDork
March 14, 2011 9:18 a.m.

Well it does have 224,xxx miles, so I'd say it's a pretty solid conjecture that the suspension needs help but yeah, I understand where y'all are coming from. Sounds like a good plan to me. I can fix the little stuff on it for normal driving, get tires on it, and race again. Then I can look into the other stuff.

sachilles Dork
March 14, 2011 9:33 a.m.

Decent tires, and a good baseline on the alignment making sure all suspension is in good working order.

Apexcarver SuperDork
March 14, 2011 9:36 a.m.

I wouldnt think upgrades, i would think maintenance. stuff that should be done anyway.

bravenrace SuperDork
March 14, 2011 9:46 a.m.

Another vote for running it in the dry before spending money, unless it's something you were plannning on replacing anyway.

unevolved Dork
March 14, 2011 10:00 a.m.

I agree with the rest of the peanut gallery. I wouldn't go upgrading until you get a solid dry baseline, but it sounds like most of what you were planning on replacing was/is maintenance items anyways. New tires never hurt, either.

Javelin SuperDork
March 14, 2011 10:51 a.m.

Yeah, on the PPI (Post-Purchase Inspection ) it was confirmed that at least the two rear shocks and RF ball joint were bad. I just figured if I'm going to pay a shop to dismantle my entire suspension, they might as well do it all.

Supposedly the M456 suspension uses non-adjustable Koni's, but who knows if my shocks are all original or not. I figure I'll just get 4 shocks (Koni Sports? Bilsteins?), the replacement ball joints, and any bushings that need to be done at the same time. The original springs and torsion bars should be OK, right?

4cylndrfury SuperDork
March 14, 2011 12:02 p.m.

I say put the keys to the P-car in a drawer and forget about em till the AMC is running...

pres589 HalfDork
March 14, 2011 12:15 p.m.

I agree; time spent bringing the AMC back to life would probably be a cost saving measure at this point.

Capt Slow Dork
March 14, 2011 12:47 p.m.

Guys, Javelin is in the pacific northwest it may be years before he gets a dry event.

I would go ahead and change out the ball joints, bushings, and shocks (chalk it up to maintenance). add new tires and then go "baseline" the car.

The original springs and torsion bar should be ok, though since your already going to tear the suspension apart you could swap stiffer springs in easily (if that's the path you want to take)

Maroon92 SuperDork
March 14, 2011 1:00 p.m.
Javelin wrote: Yeah, on the PPI (Post-Purchase Inspection ) it was confirmed that at least the two rear shocks and RF ball joint were bad. I just figured if I'm going to pay a shop to dismantle my entire suspension, they might as well do it all. Supposedly the M456 suspension uses non-adjustable Koni's, but who knows if my shocks are all original or not. I figure I'll just get 4 shocks (Koni Sports? Bilsteins?), the replacement ball joints, and any bushings that need to be done at the same time. The original springs and torsion bars should be OK, right?

Mike, my personal preference is the Koni setup, but it's at least twice what the bilstein HD's cost. New bushings are a good idea too, but a full kit from Elephant Racing is about a grand (there are others, and you could always go with stock, but then, what's the point!)

The springs might be a little squishy, but it's hard to tell until you get new shocks under them. The torsion bars usually will be fine. I have seen broken ones before, but it should be okay.

Javelin SuperDork
March 14, 2011 1:18 p.m.

It has the Sport Suspension, so the nose is already pretty low and stiff. Though a pair of springs is pretty dirt cheap...

And yes, I realize that the Javelin would keep me from blowing money on this, but how am i supposed to autocross a car that hasn't run in 27 years? (More Javelin updates coming soon ).

Besides I can wallet-build this car and let a shop install everything.

turboswede SuperDork
March 14, 2011 3:02 p.m.

If it still has the factory Koni's keep them and have them rebuilt/revalved to match the spring and torsion bar rates you want to use on the car. I would add some coil-overs to them as well.

My suggestion?

Get some new tires, increase the negative camber in the front (gotta love strut-based suspension) Try it again.

Pick up a cheap set of KYB shocks and struts to ride on while you have the Koni's rebuilt by Truechoice, Koni-na, etc. and refresh the suspension components (ball joints, bushings)

While waiting for the shocks and struts to come back, pick up a set of these:

http://www2.cip1.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=C12-6569-28

Plus a set of 300lb x 12", 2.5" diameter front springs, adjustable camber plates and adjustable sway bars front/rear.

That should provide enough adjust-ability to keep you busy for the season ;)

A friend with a 924 turbo has Koni's and the above parts and loves the way the car handles now and it is still something he can road-trip comfortably as well.

fast_eddie_72 HalfDork
March 14, 2011 3:08 p.m.

What class do you want to run in?

Javelin SuperDork
March 14, 2011 3:11 p.m.

Yikes man, that is quite the shopping list! I've got less than Challenge money in this car, the big funds are for the family and the Javelin man. That's a list that costs more than the car.

I don't know what the shocks are, as Koni provided the adjustables in the M030 Sport Suspension, but the M456 Sport Suspension either wasn't very popular or else nobody really knows anything about it.

I already have front and rear sway bars (and it corners pretty flat with no grip), and it's already lower and stiffer than standard-suspension 944's I've driven.

I'm thinking:

  • Tires (225/50/15 Toyo Proxes RA1's, about $175 each)
  • Shocks/struts (About $600 for Koni Sport's from TR unless I can find something else)
  • Camber bolts (2 degrees negative for $40)
  • Replacement ball joints ($200)
  • Have it all installed ($???)

That still nudges it too pricey for me, which is why I'm still looking at tire and wheel options...

Javelin SuperDork
March 14, 2011 3:11 p.m.
fast_eddie_72 wrote: What class do you want to run in?

P02 in PCA.

93EXCivic SuperDork
March 14, 2011 3:15 p.m.

If it has the Konis still on it could you wait and have them rebuilt while the car isn't on the road. I would think it would be cheaper.

Javelin SuperDork
March 14, 2011 3:53 p.m.
93EXCivic wrote: If it has the Konis still on it could you wait and have them rebuilt while the car isn't on the road. I would think it would be cheaper.

How can I tell with them still in the car? I have a "Season Pass" for AX, so I don't really want to miss one...

dean1484 SuperDork
March 14, 2011 5:01 p.m.

Koni sports are the way to go. Rebuilds will cost as much as new and with new you can get adjustable in the rear. However adjusting them required partial removal.

I have mine set full hard front and rear and have never changed them. I sue the sway bars to adjust how the car handles

Camber

-1 in front -2+ in the rear Should not need special bolts

If you get serious about tracking it I run 0 toe on high speed tracks and about a 1/8" (total) on short tracks

Otherwise everything else stock with alignment.

Sway bars:

Weltmeister adjustable are great I have them and they have allowed me to dial the balance of the car in really well.

Springs:

Iboc progressive springs in the front (do then with the strut replacement) lowers the car 1 1/4 in the front and you done need a spring compressor to put the struts back on.

Adjust ride height in the rear with the trailing arm adjustment. Stay out of re indexing the torsion bars. It is serious PITA

Add some good pads (I like cool carbons or porterfields) and good tires and you are ready for the track / cone killing.

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