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Old 09-23-2004, 02:14 PM   #1
Dr. Design
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[:)][:)][:)][:)][:)][:)]Suspension FAQ's (Answered!)[:)][:)][:)][:)][:)][:)]

Hello,
We have noticed through various forums that there are a few misconceptions about handling, and what makes a car handle well.

For starters....
"If I lower my car will it handle better?"
- Of course it will handle better then it would stock because you are lowering the cars center of gravity. You are basically placing the cars weight between the tires versus on top of the tires.

"Will my car handle better if I get better tires?"
- Yes, your car will handle better if you get a better grade of tire. A softer compound and a wider tire will keep the car planted through turns. Ideally you would like the widest footprint you can obtain without loosing clearance.

"What size rim is the best for handling?"
- Motor trend did a study for this a while ago, when manufactures were coming out with factory cars that had 18" wheels. The study showed the best results were obtained using 17" wheels. Second were 18” wheels. All rims used the same brand tires and the same compounds.

“Will regular springs be fine for canyon or track driving?”
- This too is an interesting question. For the average driver normal springs are fine. However those that are into track racing and canyon runs, you might want to upgrade to a higher spring rate. When increasing the spring rates the main idea is to not allow weight transfer to the rear of the car or to the rear corners when turning. In a front wheel drive car this is key! If the vehicle is allowed to transfer weight to the rear of the car through a turn you will notice that the car will tend not to want to turn, thus causing understeer. By keeping the weight in the front of the car through the turn the rear end will turn in line with the front of the car, thus allowing the car to achieve a higher cornering speed. Almost all spring and coilover companies sell a decent product. It is up to you to select the correct spring rate for your cars.

"Will Poly Urethane bushings help?"
- Bushing deflection is really overlooked by most people. If you can address the bushings, seriously consider doing it. It will certainly cut down on suspension play.

"Will a Chassis Stiffening Kit (CSK-C) help the handling of my car?"
- Yes! Why? It will neutralize your chassis and keep it from flexing. As a direct result of that it will allow your suspension to do what it was originally designed to do. A FLEXING CHASSIS IS IMPOSSIBLE TO TUNE! IT ACTS AS AN UNDAMPED SPRING. This is almost always overlooked!

“Will sway bars help the cars handling?”
- Yes, it will keep the body from rolling on the suspension. Nothing more can be said about that.

"Will wheel spacers help the handling of my car?"
- This is a touchy subject. If you add spacers to your car for clearance issues then you do not want to go too far out. Remember, the further you go out with the wheel, you have to worry about the scrub radius. Yes, a wider track is better for handling, however you have to do it in moderations. There is a certain amount you can go without compromising the suspension. If you run anything more then a 2-3mm spacer then it is suggested you go with aftermarket wheel studs to ensure proper thread engagement.

"Will a front strut tower brace make my car handle better?"
- Yes and NO. Let us explain why we say no. If the strut tower bar does not attach to the firewall it will not be worth it to add it to your suspension modification list. A good strut tower bar will attach to the firewall. Even if you add a straight brace from tower to tower, sure you have the towers attached, but they are still moving. Now they are just moving together. This is why it is important to attach it to the firewall. The firewall will not move under any driving condition.

"Will a rear strut tower brace help the handling of my car?
- Yes and No. Again location is very important in a good design. If the mounting point is too low it will lose its function. It has to stay high on the parts it is trying to keep from flexing. These are key points to remember when searching for a rear strut tower brace:
If a strut bar (or any bar) has tie rod ends = IT ALLOWS FLEX
If a brace uses adjustments = IT ALLOWS FLEX
If a brace uses bolts for mounting = IT ALLOWS FLEX
If a brace is mounted via welding = SIGNIFICANTLY LESS FLEX
If a brace uses triangulation = SIGNIFICANTLY LESS FLEX
Brace is used in the correct location = SIGNIFICANTLY LESS FLEX
If a brace uses inferior material = IT ALLOWS FLEX

"Will sub-frame connectors work?"
- Yes, if they are done correctly. They will give you the front to back support that is needed. Does material make a difference? Yes! The stronger the material, the stiffer the chassis would be. Stay tuned on those; we are working on those as we type this!

"Do different wheel offsets make a difference in performance?"
- NO & YES. It really depends on why you choose to use a different wheel offset. Different wheel offsets will help you if you are having clearance issues with brakes. Some brake systems require more clearance then others. This is one of the reasons different offsets are made available. Bottom line is that if you are looking to run a wider tire without going into the fender, you can look at changing the offset to get more tire in the wheel well. So if you have two inches of clearance on the inside and only one on the outside then you can play with the offset to find a tire and wheel combo that will fill up the gaps. This will go back to the original question, “Will my car handle better if I get better tires?"
So the answer is a question. How do YOU intend to use the wheel offset?

Now we understand that this is about $10K worth of suspension modifications. We are not saying that you will not notice any gains if you choose to do one or two of these mods. However to obtain the absolute best out of your application you are going to have to address every issue as best you can. There is really no right or wrong way to go about doing this. Each modification will help to a certain extent. But at the end of the day they are all designed to work together. The most important thing is to identify what it is that you are trying to do with your car. This will help you figure out what is the best setup for your car.


Please let us know if there are any other questions.
Thank you,


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Old 09-23-2004, 03:00 PM   #2
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Good Post. Question though. I bought lowering springs (1.5 drop) and I have 17x7 wheels with 215/45/17 tires and notice that even with a 4 wheel alignment already done that my rear tires are still sitting like this / \ . Not as bad but it's definitely not straight. Is there anything I can do to correct this?
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Old 09-23-2004, 03:09 PM   #3
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If your tires are like that, they didn't do the alignment very well. With a 1.5" drop you don't or shouldn't need any camber adjustment bolts. I dunno, did you see the specs' of the alignment.
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Old 09-23-2004, 03:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by S2
If your tires are like that, they didn't do the alignment very well. With a 1.5" drop you don't or shouldn't need any camber adjustment bolts. I dunno, did you see the specs' of the alignment.
Thanks. That's what I thought. I'm going back to them and see if they can re-do the rear set. I'm now thinking that they only did the two front when I paid for all four.
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Old 09-23-2004, 03:18 PM   #5
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Yes they should NOT be leaning in like that with a Prokit. I got the Eibach Prokit springs and my back wheels do NOT lean in like that.
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Old 09-23-2004, 03:19 PM   #6
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Good info and facts. Learned something new.
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Old 09-23-2004, 03:52 PM   #7
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good stuff. thanx
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Old 09-23-2004, 04:05 PM   #8
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Good post but can you please say than?? Is it that hard ? More than less than. than than than.

If you can do that, THEN I will be happy.

;)
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