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Picking the right suspension for your performance needs.

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Picking the right suspension for your performance needs.

Old 07-21-2014, 01:40 PM
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dkmura
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Default Picking the right suspension for your performance needs.

There's been a lot of questions on this board about which coilover kit is the best for the Z33. As a Z33 owner with over 28 years of road racing experience, I find it incredible that many Z owners seem to automatically assume using a coilover suspension kit is superior to the OEM Z suspension. Coilovers are most useful if you are taking the car to different racetracks for track days, time trials or door-to-door racing AND have the experience and expertise to adjust the suspension to suit the conditions and shave precious lap times. This usually entails employing a specialist who can align and corner weight your Z to make small adjustments EVERYTIME you swap something.

For those who are only taking their Zs to the track 2-3X a year, you're most likely wasting your time and money. Some who say dropping the ride height will always lower the CG and result in tighter handling, are misinformed. Any changes in ride height will also result in camber and toe changes; factors that significantly impact how the Z handles. Having too little wheel travel can also result in the Z hitting the bump stops and the spring rate going through the roof, resulting in a spin or worse.

There are many new Z enthusiasts who would be better served by buying a high performance, single adjustable (usually on the rebound side) shock and pairing them with either the OEM springs or an aftermarket spring kit. Just make sure the shocks are properly valved for use with the particular aftermarket spring you want. The advantage to using the OEM suspension setup is you can take it to the alignment shop ONCE and get it properly dialed in.

For those that want a coilover kit just to slam their Zs on the ground to impress dogs, girls and the masses, this advice won't be of much help...
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:42 PM
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+1. Should be a sticky.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:43 PM
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Very true. I purchased coil overs just to lower my vehicle but I did notice that the handling dropped slightly compared to OE suspension.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:46 PM
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+1 sticky vote. Great advice, sir
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:29 PM
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very good post, but the younger generations want to see how low that can go or how much negative camber they can get. guess they don't realize that it pretty much kills the drivability of the car
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:14 PM
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Well stated! Great explanation of an issue that confuses many owners.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:26 PM
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I agree with this post! That has been the route I have gone on many of my AutoX/time attack cars, however with this being my 1st "z" chassis car, it seems like all the info on the collective "G" sites seems to be about coilover suspension..... I am in that exact debate with myself and all the info provided here, as to go with a set of Fortune 510's, KW V3's or KONI Yellow w/Swift Springs or another performance spring.... As my car will be 85% AutoX/ 10% drag racing/ MAYBE 5% Street... I apologize for all this same info Ina thread just a few threads down, however this seems like exactly the place I need to be for the info I am seeking!

Thanks,
Jonathan
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:55 PM
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jonathan, come out to the meet that we are having and you will get to talk to people with shocks and spring setup, and those who have coil overs. there are fast auto crossers with coil overs and fast ones with springs and shocks. check the dfw meet section
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:09 PM
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Ok, cool, I will be there!!
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:32 AM
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It's also worth mentioning that switching to coilovers in most solo classes will throw you out of the stock class. Better to find out what the rules allow in ANY racing class before doing the mod and then finding out it puts you into an uncompetitive position.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:47 AM
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Mods- any chance this can be made a sticky? There are hordes of new Z owners posting every day who think they know how coilovers work and I'd rather not have to say this again...
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by dkmura View Post
Mods- any chance this can be made a sticky? There are hordes of new Z owners posting every day who think they know how coilovers work and I'd rather not have to say this again...
I'm thinking so, but with a title change to " choosing the proper suspension for your needs"
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:35 PM
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I do think that dkmura’s post is great material for a Sticky.

I agree that changing the title to Choosing the Proper Suspension for Your Needs is an improvement. The original tile (Before you buy that coilover suspension kit….) creates a negative connotation for a coilover solution, which isn’t the article’s (Sticky if it becomes that) intention.

Originally Posted by terrasmak View Post
I'm thinking so, but with a title change to " choosing the proper suspension for your needs"
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:31 AM
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You can title it any way you like, but negative connotation or not, this thread deals primarily with coilovers. I have no problem with coilovers as a suspension tool, but you still need a broad understanding of how a suspension works to get the tool to work! For the few that want a better understanding of this complex topic, I'd suggest books like Tune to Win by Carroll Smith or the Skippy school Going Faster as being much better suited to explaining in detail how a suspension works, and how to pick one.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:42 AM
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Just being honest IMO this as a sticky isn't going to stop people from asking those questions, should I get coils, what spring rates should I get, how do I set them up, etc. Of course I agree with what you're saying, but I think it needs some more meat to make the point salient.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:44 AM
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Interesting. Thanks for posting this. You may have persuaded me to get Koni Yellows + springs instead of KW V3's...
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by terrasmak View Post
I'm thinking so, but with a title change to " choosing the proper suspension for your needs"
+1

"choosing the proper suspension for Road & Track use"



Originally Posted by guitman32 View Post
Just being honest IMO this as a sticky isn't going to stop people from asking those questions, should I get coils, what spring rates should I get, how do I set them up, etc. Of course I agree with what you're saying, but I think it needs some more meat to make the point salient.
+1

Great post OP!

It does get old, many don't push the OEM setup to the limits or themselves to the limits. Then thinking that purchasing Ohlins is going to turn them into seasoned Road Racer...

I myself stayed OEM for 4ish years before ditching it, really should of just done sways and tires first.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:03 PM
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i try and tell people this all the time, but everyone always thinks "lower is better...because RACECAR!" you try and tell them that suspension geometry and suspension travel have been accounted for in the stock vehicle, and you need lots of parts to make them handle like stock if you dump it. parts that arent made, parts that would cost a fortune to develop and fabricate. but people love their "stance" and wont listen to what you say. i slammed my old Altima on coilovers, and bottoming out and the horrible ride wasnt worth it, not to mention the horrible handling. i raised it up a bit, but in all honesty it was still too low...but that horrible stock wheel gap!!! haha! still, i didnt race that car, just had fun learning and messing with it.

now, the Z, ive added Tein S-Techs (not a whole lot of drop, so still within a decent range), and changed the rear spring mounts to energy suspension parts to lower the rear a little more to even out the gap. i need to get some camber arms to get the camber adjusted a little more towards stock in the rear (its at 2.4 now) but the front is good (1.4 left and right). will add better shocks in the near future, bushings in the lower control arm and compression rod, and sways as well. its not super low, but it looks good, and handles good as well right now. new sways and shocks will make it much better, and better tires will need to be put on too.

i have to say, getting the fenders just to the top of the tires looks nice, but i want my car to handle well. taking away suspension travel and screwing up the geometry is not the way to do it, and most people think it is. i always see ads for cars saying "its been lowered the right way!" and all theyve done is throw on some Megan springs or cheap coils and slam it to the ground. lol!
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:06 PM
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^^^

+1

Misinformation, is a killer ! When I lowered my car I knew something had to give ! To regain that travel. So when folks claim I'm low and slow, or my car is all looks..I shed tears of joy that assumptions are making them a fool!

It's possible just a lot of cutting, a lot !
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:59 PM
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You relocated the mounting points of the arms?
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