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Type Q
Type Q HalfDork
1/25/09 2:56 p.m.
Salanis wrote: What is your recommendation for damping higher springs rates, on a budget? Say 500#/350# or so? Since Spec Miata uses them, I'm guessing the Bilstein HD is okay with those rates. Although, I think my spring rate is not the weak point in my suspension right now. I think I should replace the bushings first.

I am running currently running those spring rates on a set of used "R" package Bilsteins. They work pretty well. There is a guy named Kurt Wong in Fresno SCCA who has been running 550 front and 350 rear in a set of Bilstein HD's. You can find him on the Bay Area AutoX site if you want to ask more questions. http://www.baautox.com/forum/index.php

If you are in the Bay Area anytime soon you are welcome to try my car out. I going to be sporting revalved Bilstiens from Fat Cat Motorsports in San Jose hopefully in the next month of so.

Regarding the question of oversteer vs understeer in various sway-bar/spring combinations I have tried a few different combinations in the past year. I am mostly an autocrosser. Last year, after nine seasons of competing in a Civic, I started running my Miata in local events. The car came with Flyin' Miata springs and sway-bars on AGX dampers. I autocrossed like this for six months and did a track weekend at Thunderhill. At Thunderhill, it was wonderful; neutral yet forgiving. It is clear that Keith and company at FM really did their homework. At the autocross, the extra torque and engine breaking in second gear made what was balanced in sweeping corners in 3rd and 4th gears, tail happy and bit of a hand full. I eventually started running no rear bar. I put up with some understeer on corner entry to be able to get on the gas sooner in the tight confines of an autocross. As I moving along the RWD learning curve, I am experimenting moving with handling balance toward less understeer.

Salanis
Salanis SuperDork
1/25/09 3:27 p.m.
Type Q wrote: I am running currently running those spring rates on a set of used "R" package Bilsteins. They work pretty well. There is a guy named Kurt Wong in Fresno SCCA who has been running 550 front and 350 rear in a set of Bilstein HD's. You can find him on the Bay Area AutoX site if you want to ask more questions. http://www.baautox.com/forum/index.php If you are in the Bay Area anytime soon you are welcome to try my car out. Last year, after nine seasons of competing in a Civic, I started running my Miata in local events. The car came with Flyin' Miata springs and sway-bars on AGX dampers. I autocrossed like this for six months and did a track weekend at Thunderhill. At Thunderhill, it was wonderful; neutral yet forgiving.

Cool. I'm thinking of picking up some used "R" Bilsteins as well. I understand they hold up really well, but is there a rule of thumb for how long they're good for? How do the "R"s compare to the HDs? I made the mistake of buying some used Illuminas once, and paid the price for it. I don't want buy shocks only to have to replace them almost immediately. Although, if I can get them cheaply enough, I could probably send them to Bilstein for revalving for about the price of new HDs.

Since you've gone from roughly what my current setup is, to what I think I'd like it to be, how do you like the difference? What would you do the same or differently.

Thanks for the offer to let me try your car. I'd love that opportunity, if it works out. Who do you usually Auto-X with, where?

gamby
gamby SuperDork
1/25/09 3:47 p.m.
Woody wrote: What can the Koni Sports handle for spring rate?

My EG Civic has GC 380/450lbs sleeves on stock Koni Yellows. Nothing is blown and this setup has been on the car for ~50k miles. Pretty damn stiff combo.

My 99 Civic Si has Neuspeed SofSports--which are in the 200lb range--on stock Koni Yellows and they're downright sublime. A perfect mix of ride quality and auto-x/track capability.

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/25/09 6:51 p.m.

Unfortunately, that's not a great comparison. The valving could be quite different between the Civic and the Miata applications. The spring rates are also not comparable in terms of ride quality, as the geometry of the suspension will mean different wheel rates - and it's the wheel rate that matters.

While we do have autocrossers at FM (I'm one of them), our first love is the road and the track. So it's true that our suspension kits tend to be designed to work in those conditions, potentially to the detriment of autox potential. That said, I can usually pedal my track cars through the autox course reasonably well. I do like to steer from the back half though...

I've heard a lot of good things about the revalved Bilsteins from Fat Cat. The price can go up pretty quickly, so compare what else is available for a similar total cost if you decide to go that route.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/25/09 7:25 p.m.

The reason that I had asked / hijacked the thread is that I just ordered a set of FM springs. The car already has a set of adjustable Konis that have very low miles on them. I know that they're not the ideal choice for those springs, but I won't have the budget for new shocks for a while.

Josh
Josh Reader
1/25/09 7:28 p.m.

I have driven a stock class Miata with the Fat Cat revalved setup for stock class. It was much better than I thought a car on stock springs could be, but the shocks alone cost more than my STS coilover setup, so not being beholden to any rules I know what route I'd go :). But they certainly have the stock spring setup worked out very well.

Josh
Josh Reader
1/25/09 7:31 p.m.
Woody wrote: The car already has a set of adjustable Konis that have very low miles on them. I know that they're not the ideal choice for those springs

I'm not sure why you have that idea. The Koni sports should be fine with rates up to around 500f/400r. I think they'd match the FM springs very well.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/25/09 7:42 p.m.
Josh wrote:
Woody wrote: The car already has a set of adjustable Konis that have very low miles on them. I know that they're not the ideal choice for those springs
I'm not sure why you have that idea. The Koni sports should be fine with rates up to around 500f/400r. I think they'd match the FM springs very well.

Keith says they work best with stock springs. Right, Keith?

Keith
Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/25/09 8:12 p.m.

That's how I prefer them. I don't think they have the damping to deal with stiffer rates (ask Shaikh at Fat Cat about his opinion), but we have have had some happy customers running that combo. They're not going to be terrible, far from it. Just make sure you use the top perch with the FM springs.

Type Q
Type Q HalfDork
1/26/09 9:53 a.m.
Salanis wrote: Cool. I'm thinking of picking up some used "R" Bilsteins as well. I understand they hold up really well, but is there a rule of thumb for how long they're good for? How do the "R"s compare to the HDs? I made the mistake of buying some used Illuminas once, and paid the price for it. I don't want buy shocks only to have to replace them almost immediately. Although, if I can get them cheaply enough, I could probably send them to Bilstein for revalving for about the price of new HDs. Since you've gone from roughly what my current setup is, to what I think I'd like it to be, how do you like the difference? What would you do the same or differently. Thanks for the offer to let me try your car. I'd love that opportunity, if it works out. Who do you usually Auto-X with, where?

I usually run the San Francisco Chapter SCCA autox events. you can find the schedule here: http://www.sfrscca.org/solo2/cgi-bin/schedaction.cgi?autox&where=all&Next_three_months . PM me if you want to set something up.

The differences between the two setups are interesting. First, the ride is about the same in spite of the higher spring rates. AGX's for all their virtues, have valving that does shake you a bit. Handling wise, the car reacts faster to inputs and is noticeably flatter through corners. I found that it liked lower tire pressures than I had been running before. About 32psi all the way around was best for asphalt. The end result of all this was that I went averaging about 2.5 to 3 seconds off the pace from class hot shoes to about 1 second off the pace when I made the changes. I am still moving along the RWD learning curve, so I hopefully I can continue to close it.

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