The Staff of Motorsport Marketing
The Staff of Motorsport Marketing Writer
2/19/21 8:11 a.m.

[Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the May/June 1997 issue of Grassroots Motorsports.]

Story by Lee Grimes

If you, like many motorsports enthusiasts, were hungry for any racing action as the 1997 season began winding up, you likely paid attention to the practice and qualifyin…

Read the rest of the story

fearlesfil
fearlesfil New Reader
2/19/21 3:52 p.m.

Helpful article. I have yellow Koni adjustables on my 2011 Mustang GT Brembo, and knowing when/ when not to turn that rebound knob, and what for, is terrific. I'd known about using springs rates and anti-roll bar sizes to affect front/rear balance, but hadn't thought about adjusting the front shocks to improve rear traction. Now that you mention it, it makes sense!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/20/21 10:57 a.m.
fearlesfil said:

Helpful article. I have yellow Koni adjustables on my 2011 Mustang GT Brembo, and knowing when/ when not to turn that rebound knob, and what for, is terrific. I'd known about using springs rates and anti-roll bar sizes to affect front/rear balance, but hadn't thought about adjusting the front shocks to improve rear traction. Now that you mention it, it makes sense!

Glad that it helped. Yeah, with rebound-adjustable shocks, you kind of have to think "backwards" sometimes. But when you do, it makes sense.

Also, this article is from back in the day. Physics are physics. Share it! Tell your friends. laugh

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
2/20/21 12:49 p.m.

I've always felt if you are going to learn one thing on a car learn dampers. Coming from the two wheeled world I was surprised by the number of people who didn't take the time to learn the adjustments

300zxfreak
300zxfreak Reader
2/22/21 1:38 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

I concur. I've spent a lot of time on various bikes tweaking the  suspension  and then  wondering why I didn't do the same on my cars, or at least have the ability to do so. I guess it's so much easier to understand and quicker to analyze results on bikes than cars, but I'm about to make that leap on my Z.

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
2/22/21 3:44 p.m.

In reply to 300zxfreak :

Bikes, especially dirt bikes, are easier because you can make adjustments then blaze up and down the same section of trial trying out the changes. Autocross doesn't lend itself well to testing (other than an actual test day) Track days work well for testing but if you're on your own there isn't much time to do two laps, unbuckle make a change, strap yourself in and then go and and test it.  In a 30 minute session you'd probably only get  one change in.

Dampers are mostly about transient handling, given the amount of time the car spends in transitions you're giving up a lot of time by not dialing them in.

It also comes down to driving style; I aggressively rotate the car with trail braking and throttle steering mid-corner, while a friend does the same with trailing throttle (does all his braking in a straight line). Neither one of us particularly likes the others driving style, we once drove the same car at an autocross and the discussion about increasing or decreasing the rebound was hilarious. I tend to set up a car as soft as you dare.

So at the end of the day you have to play with the settings to fine tune it so it works for you.

AENfor43
AENfor43 New Reader
8/19/21 7:39 p.m.

I hope a lot of people read this article. Also, WATCH OUT when looking for new shocks/struts because many aftermarket companies will sell only a "one type fits all" unit that they say works with both 4 cyl. and 6 cyl. vehicles. 6 cyl. vehicles are heavier up front, right? Just check the OEM manufacturer to see if the part numbers are different between 4 cyl. and 6 cyl. models.  And, there are so many vehicle types out there and just so many adjustable shocks/struts available, which makes my point important.

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