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echoechoecho Reader
10/22/17 1:29 p.m.

I didnt have time to post photos before the challenge, so here they are better late than never.

the story on this car is it was my coworkers father in-law car that was over heating badly he put a new rad in it but it was still overheating, he said he was gonna junk it so I offered to buy it for the junkyards price. $200 later and the car was mine.

drove it half way home it got hot parked it ate dinner did some shopping then drove it the rest of the way home.

other than the overheating problem the car was pretty clean it looked like it was in a front end crash because the hood and the front fenders was green under the gold paint.

to resolve the overheating issue all I did  was remove the thermostat and leave the cooling system "open mode" with no restriction, I made my own gasket for the T-stat housing with some gasket maker.

I inspiration for this year was a Colin Chapman quote "Any Suspension, no matter how poorly designed, can be made to work reasonably well if you just stop it from moving"

So I did this in all four corners, I removed the springs and added a bunch of washers over the bumpstops. took a lot of trail and error to get the right number of washers to be as low as possible without rubbing.

Well my experiment WORKED, a otherwise stock auto corolla with a most likely blown head got 13th place in the autocross. the car was very well balanced and turn in was AMAZING. you just had to make sure you pointed the car in the right direction before hitting that "huge" bump on the autocross course lol

I had a ton of fun this year and it was great to see lots of old friends and meet new ones. THANKS!!!

accordionfolder HalfDork
10/22/17 1:53 p.m.

Hey that's awesome!! I love this execution of that concept  - though I'm sure it comes with a few caveats. 

He looked like he really wanted to shift in that video!

Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
10/22/17 1:55 p.m.

We thought it looked stiff.


But not solid suspension stiff.

echoechoecho Reader
10/22/17 2:25 p.m.

In reply to accordionfolder :

he was shifting!, between low and 2nd, this auto trans was pretty cool if you had it in low it will keep it in 1st gear and let the engine bounce off the rev limiter forever. 2nd gear sucked lol

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/22/17 3:40 p.m.
Dusterbd13 said:

We thought it looked stiff.


But not solid suspension stiff.

Looks like the bumpstops were still there. So basically, a classic Mini then.

mndsm MegaDork
10/22/17 4:43 p.m.

I love these cars. Good on you for running one. 

MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/22/17 4:50 p.m.

Have you considered stacking two bumpstops per corner to get slightly more travel before you hit infinite spring rate? Seems like combining this idea with the "phonis" shock oil swap method would get you a challenge worthy suspension.


Edit-Yours obviously worked incredibly well, just throwing out more ideas for tweaking the setup.

Matthew Kennedy
Matthew Kennedy GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/22/17 5:09 p.m.

In reply to MrJoshua :

That would also have the added benefit of halving the spring rate, which would probably make it a bit less bouncy.

MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/22/17 5:26 p.m.

LOL-that thing was almost solidly sprung after 1/2" of travel.

mazdeuce MegaDork
10/22/17 6:06 p.m.

This was on my list of "cars I'm pissed that I didn't get to look over".

I was watching it autocrossing and we were talking about how competent it looked. I'm going to keep this idea in my pocket for next year. We may have to refer to this as "echo springs" from now on.

sleepyhead HalfDork
10/22/17 7:50 p.m.

jumping in to agree that this is awesome, and I'm glad you wrote it up for all of us to see!

"echo springs" has a nice ring to it

Jerry UltraDork
10/22/17 9:55 p.m.

I was watching the morning runs and thought you blew your budget on cheap coilovers clamped all the way down.  Now I'm thinking $500 MR2 with this same suspension setup for the 1/2 budget award.

echoechoecho Reader
10/22/17 11:02 p.m.

mwahahaha what have I started, I love it!!! Im glad you guys like it, my next years challenge car is gonna have the same set up but its gonna be in a much faster car (thinking turbos). the plan was to junk the corolla after the challenge but it was so fun driving it I may keep it and do a few events in it until I kill the engine then junk it. By the way I forgot to post this above but my total budget this year was $237.

oldopelguy UltraDork
10/23/17 12:11 a.m.

Wasn't there a pro street j-body back in the day with a valve spring for the suspension? Seems like it would work here too.

NOHOME UltimaDork
10/23/17 5:00 a.m.

So with all the washers did it make a noise like a pocket full of loose change when transitioning to and from droop to compression? 

pres589 PowerDork
10/23/17 6:34 a.m.

In reply to oldopelguy :

Yes.  http://www.hotrod.com/articles/rick-dobbertins-j2000/


dculberson PowerDork
10/23/17 6:46 a.m.

In reply to pres589 :

Dobbertin! I knew that name from his "surface orbiter." Cool to read about him again. 

ultraclyde GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/23/17 7:00 a.m.

That's a great simplified application of a basic concept.  I think it's called elegant engineering. Any chance you have photos of the final bump stop setup?


hobiercr GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/23/17 10:17 a.m.

$237 all in! I seriously don't think you could have had more fun with less money at the Challenge this year.

jfryjfry HalfDork
10/23/17 10:26 a.m.

How did the wheels figure into the budget?  They look good!

echoechoecho Reader
10/23/17 2:27 p.m.

In reply to hobiercr :

Not as fun as a free ford probe that sold before the weekend was done for $3200 lol If there was a best buy award they should get it.

 In reply to jfryjfry :

I almost zeroed out the car by putting the airbags on ebay, the wheels I took off my last years challenge car, I found them on craiglist for $175 they were plastidipped but cleaned up nice.

Apexcarver PowerDork
10/23/17 3:36 p.m.

Basically, an overweight F-Mod...laugh

mazdeuce MegaDork
10/23/17 3:45 p.m.

Or instead of junking it you could sell it to a challenger to "improve". It's a solid start. 

Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman Dork
10/23/17 4:34 p.m.

I could hear the jingling of the washers while it was running around the course, couldn't figure out what was going on at the time. 

echoechoecho Reader
10/23/17 5:05 p.m.

In reply to Andy Neuman :

what you heard was the trunk and hood rattling lol. the washers never moved the bump stops was underneath them. 


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