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supports what i've always said.. dont buy adjustable shocks if you dont want to get them set up professionally or know exactly what you are doing with them. as you'll never get them set up great.
 

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Better sell me Tein's and buy some Koni's then cause some bloke said they're better on t 'net.


Test bench data can be useful in the basic design of shocks, it also really helps in diagnosing exactly where certain problems lie.
Nothing beats real world driving though.

You can have the best racing shock money can buy, it'll be a pile of shite on a typical B road though.

The entire principal behind handling and suspension is getting a compromise that works over most the areas you drive in.
Add into that the fact that most people that buy suspension for road cars are clueless twats, that seem to think the harder the ride the faster and better their cars are, and i'm not even getting into "the lower the better"knobs


I'd bet good money that 75% of the cars on here would be faster around a typical B road course on stock suspension.
Car drivers seem to prefer a stiff ride though


Odd cause in motorbiking it's a case of "as soft as you can get away with".
Obviously entirely different dynamics involved, but still i find the different philosophy's funny.

Cheers
Mark
 

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I'd bet good money that 75% of the cars on here would be faster around a typical B road course on stock suspension.
Car drivers seem to prefer a stiff ride though


Odd cause in motorbiking it's a case of "as soft as you can get away with".
Obviously entirely different dynamics involved, but still i find the different philosophy's funny.
In car work it's the same, it's just that much of the aftermarket works on the principle that the suspension's brilliant if it doesn't move and is horribly stiffly sprung... Then of course there are the people who think that having moved the adjuster from where the 'expert' has set it, they've improved the behaviour of their car; the people who can diagnose suspension by bouncing a single corner of the car up and down; the list is endless...

Once many of these things weren't available for viewing, but t'Internet has fixed all that.
 

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A very cynical "god like" opinion Dave, said "experts" may have radical settings that don't need your approval on other makes of coilovers. Displaying a thread on "how coilovers work" is great, how interesting! but it's singular destruction of suspension calibration is opinionated to a single voice so irrelevant, when was that article released?

As you know suspension evolution is a constant factor, various companies explore developments offering what's deemed as a sound product only to find later on problems that result in discontinuation of the said product, well that's life but it's also wise to respect other products without "in field failures" and learn by them.
 

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A very cynical "god like" opinion Dave, said "experts" may have radical settings that don't need your approval on other makes of coilovers. Displaying a thread on "how coilovers work" is great, how interesting! but it's singular destruction of suspension calibration is opinionated to a single voice so irrelevant, when was that article released?

As you know suspension evolution is a constant factor, various companies explore developments offering what's deemed as a sound product only to find later on problems that result in discontinuation of the said product, well that's life but it's also wise to respect other products without "in field failures" and learn by them.
Twasn't meant to be in any way on anyone's products or indeed the Mazda market in general and I'm sorry you saw it that way. It was merely a comment that a large chunk of the aftermarket (and this is in no way '5 specific) works on the premise that suspension travel is a bad thing and thus limiting it is good.

As for the first article, I didn't post the original link and frankly anyone who sees suspension calibration as a pointless exercise tends to belong in the same group as those that think suspension travel is a bad thing. Much of that article is aimed at racers rather than combined track/road cars where drivers are intent on shaving hundredths of rather than having fun with their cars and his singular destruction of a whole country's damper output in lieu of products costing at least double if not four times the price because they're more adjustable in the ways he likes to tune should be considered in that light.
 

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moon dragon
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reading the article and one of the links, he doesnt specify which jap suspension, so to the OP saying teins aren't good...hmm. ive read reviews which says one of the teins isn't good which is why i didnt buy basic stuff. To many gereralizations in the artical, and as for his good list, he later states if ive not tested it it doesnt appear, so no great conlussions there either. the thing which i would have liked to of done and agree with is have seporate bump and rebound.
 

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A very cynical "god like" opinion Dave, said "experts" may have radical settings that don't need your approval on other makes of coilovers. Displaying a thread on "how coilovers work" is great, how interesting! but it's singular destruction of suspension calibration is opinionated to a single voice so irrelevant, when was that article released?

As you know suspension evolution is a constant factor, various companies explore developments offering what's deemed as a sound product only to find later on problems that result in discontinuation of the said product, well that's life but it's also wise to respect other products without "in field failures" and learn by them.
Twasn't meant to be in any way on anyone's products or indeed the Mazda market in general and I'm sorry you saw it that way. It was merely a comment that a large chunk of the aftermarket (and this is in no way '5 specific) works on the premise that suspension travel is a bad thing and thus limiting it is good.

As for the first article, I didn't post the original link and frankly anyone who sees suspension calibration as a pointless exercise tends to belong in the same group as those that think suspension travel is a bad thing. Much of that article is aimed at racers rather than combined track/road cars where drivers are intent on shaving hundredths of rather than having fun with their cars and his singular destruction of a whole country's damper output in lieu of products costing at least double if not four times the price because they're more adjustable in the ways he likes to tune should be considered in that light.
[/quote]

Then it's agreed the article is a singular one off opinionated overview of coilovers globally aimed at the track rather than the general public, so worthless information to most viewers here.
Dave i'm as fascinated as all other members are regarding the dynamics of suspension and the developing laws within but a splash paper defining suggested laws offered by the link are pants in the real world, start another thread and we will explore this knickers down ounce and for all.

You up for that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
reading the article and one of the links, he doesnt specify which jap suspension, so to the OP saying teins aren't good...hmm. ive read reviews which says one of the teins isn't good which is why i didnt buy basic stuff. To many gereralizations in the artical, and as for his good list, he later states if ive not tested it it doesnt appear, so no great conlussions there either. the thing which i would have liked to of done and agree with is have seporate bump and rebound.
Christ it was a Tongue in cheek comment


i found the site interesting but I didnt/don't take it as gospel either, I'm slightly more open minded than that. I'd prefer the topic to stay on the subject title rather that a discussion of whether a certain countrys shock absorbers suck or not.

For the record I hate stiff suspension and love suspension travel
 

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moon dragon
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reading the article and one of the links, he doesnt specify which jap suspension, so to the OP saying teins aren't good...hmm. ive read reviews which says one of the teins isn't good which is why i didnt buy basic stuff. To many gereralizations in the artical, and as for his good list, he later states if ive not tested it it doesnt appear, so no great conlussions there either. the thing which i would have liked to of done and agree with is have seporate bump and rebound.
Christ it was a Tongue in cheek comment


i found the site interesting but I didnt/don't take it as gospel either, I'm slightly more open minded than that. I'd prefer the topic to stay on the subject title rather that a discussion of whether a certain countrys shock absorbers suck or not.

For the record I hate stiff suspension and love suspension travel

[/quote]

i did wonder after i wrote it that you may have been a little 'Tongue in cheek'
 

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Problem is very few people have driven their 5's on decent stock suspension, so very few have a direct comparison.

I have a mate with a 5, he fitted a cheap nasty set of shocks with unbranded springs.
Car was a nightmare to drive, partly because the shocks were bolloxed and the spring rates didn't match em and partly because he'd got it really low and hadn't done anything with his bumpstops


He was raving how great the car was and how i should buy the same setup.
I drove it and without any exaggeration it took nearly all my concentration just to keep the foooooookin thing facing the right way.
an argument ensued with him saying suspension setup is like art and is open to interpretation


Sick or arguing we went back and fetched my car, found a quiet side road with good visibility, he did a run in hos car with us datalogging the speed via GPS.
I then did the same corner in my car and without even pushing it and him squirming all over the road my car was nearly double corner entry and mod corner speeds.

We then tried it with him driving my car for 3 runs a the corner, then driving his car for 3 runs.
After driving my car he spun his 2 out the 3 times even though he was entering and exiting the corner slower.

Now my car isn't a particularly good example, but it just goes to show how without hard data you really can't convince people their car feels like a crock of shite.

3 months later he fitted a secondhand set of stock shocks and springs as the others had popped their seals

And with a well used stock setup his speeds were almost exactly the same as mine.

Foooooooked up thing though, is sports bike riders tend to have a good understanding of suspension and what's needed to get a good setup.
Whereas most car "enthusiasts" THINK they know but in actually fact what they know is crap, which is worse than knowing nothing at all.

I think the main difference is various car media, most the people writing the "technical" articles know fooook all, and in the Max power type crap they put ALL the emphasis on looks over form.

In motorbike mags though the technical articles tend to be written by folks in the know and looks doesn't really come into any part of the articles.

Cheers
Mark
 

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Hey Gents, greetings from Canada.

I'm DG from farnorthracing.com.

Some history might be enlightening.

The Sports Car Club of America - the same guys who sanction Trans Am and the North American rally program - run a series called (for bizarre historical reasons) Solo2 and ProSolo. These are cones-on-a-concrete-surface time attack events - head to head on mirror courses for the Pro series - that North Americans call "autocross".

I understand you Euro types have similar events, but there is a major difference: North America has dozens of venues with very, very large open paved surfaces. Places like former B52 nuclear bomber bases that have been retired or mothballed. Literally acres of concrete six feet thick. They also have massive sports stadiums designed to accommodate Yank football crowds that can be 20 acres or more of open pavement.

So the size and speeds at these events are very much higher than a typical parking lot gymkhana, and the level of competition is quite a bit higher too. I suspect this is similar to certain classes of British hillclimb racing where you have F1 engineers and such designing and building cars.

At the time when I was seriously competing, we were starting to come out of an era where everybody bought the shiniest bit of kit from the newest supplier and started moving towards a much more analytical and engineering-based approach to car setup. I had a big hand in this because (to make a long story short) I had a really bad day and decided to find out just WTF was going on. I started dynoing shocks, and I started finding some really shocking (pun mostly intended) results.

I started talking about those results, because people were spending massive amounts of coin on bits of kit that were, effectively, steaming piles of shite. The secret squirrel culture of a lot of the shock suppliers, particularly the "elite tuners" (not so much the major players like Koni and Bilstein) was really hiding a lot of crap.

People started sending me shocks to dyno, and I tested hundreds.

The executive summary is on the website.

Those conclusions are, each and every one of them, backed up by my dyno. A SPA designs British dyno at that. There's no ass-dyno or subjective opinion in there at all; it's all backed up by data.

One of the more inexplicable results was that every single Japanese shock that crossed my dyno was junk. The best of them were the HKS - they at least performed as advertised, as far as functional adjusters and repeatability shock-to-shock. But the adjusters changed both bump and rebound in lockstep and the valving forces were out to lunch; massive amounts of compression that couldn't be tuned out without turning the rebound into a wet noodle. In theory, they could have been revalved to produce reasonable forces and would make a decent shock... but you can't get real revalving service for those shocks in North America. One customer sent out a set - I think they were Teins, or maybe JIC - and they came back EXACTLY THE SAME even though they had been purportedly "revalved".

I don't get it, and I came up with no end of theories as to why the Japanese stuff was so horrible. My best guess is that Japan is so small and so congested that the shocks are designed for to feel stiff so the customer thinks he bought something, and he is so unlikely to ever actually explore the limits of the car that there's no real performance penalty. But for damn sure they aren't designed to in any way improve handling.

Keep in mind too that I raced Japanese cars (Mitsubishis) and my daily driver today is the Dodge-branded version of the 3000GT. I have nothing against the Japanese. I would happily own a Supra, NSX, 350Z, or Skyline. But I sure wouldn't buy any of their aftermarket shocks.

The bottom line here is that if you are serious, you get the shocks dynoed and draw your conclusions from there. If you buy a set of Teins, have them dynoed, and they work as promised - awesome. But based on my experience, you are better off limiting yourself to my "good guy list" because those shocks worked, whereas anything not on the list is almost certain to be junk.

That is a tough lesson to learn, and a dude who just dropped coin on BCs or Megans or whatever the flavour of the month is tends to not want to hear it... but I'm in the business of winning, not boosting egos. Caveat emptor!

I'm happy to see you enjoying the site.

DG
 

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Then it's agreed the article is a singular one off opinionated overview of coilovers globally aimed at the track rather than the general public, so worthless information to most viewers here.
Dave i'm as fascinated as all other members are regarding the dynamics of suspension and the developing laws within but a splash paper defining suggested laws offered by the link are pants in the real world, start another thread and we will explore this knickers down ounce and for all.

You up for that?
I'm up for it, with a couple of provisos:

1) I want the thread to be device agnostic - too often we disappear up our own collective orifice with arguments between the various makers and the capabilities therein. If we're going to have a thread then it should be based purely on the dynamics of the vehicle rather than 'fit X, they're brilliant'.
2) You wait a week or so - I'm just about to disappear off on holiday
 

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Thing is though contrary to your Dyno figures they work.

Don't really have time to give a proper answer as we're heading out now, but having driven MX5's with Bilsteins Kona's Teins KYB etc etc i know for an absolute fact that in real world performance shocks like the Teins work.

I've read enough race reports to know that they do win races also.
If they're THAT shite how is that possible?

I'm no Tein fan boy, i'll bolt on what ever i think are the best shocks for the money i'm willing spend, there's a good chance my next shocks will be AFCO's, but i cannot see how geographical location can have any impact on shock quality and workings, just doesn't make sense.

So when i'll return i'll read up on your site properly and see what criteria your setting as shite and how your testing.

Be interesting to read what t'others say when i get back


Welcome to Nutz BTW


Cheers
Mark
 

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A very cynical "god like" opinion Dave, said "experts" may have radical settings that don't need your approval on other makes of coilovers. Displaying a thread on "how coilovers work" is great, how interesting! but it's singular destruction of suspension calibration is opinionated to a single voice so irrelevant, when was that article released?

As you know suspension evolution is a constant factor, various companies explore developments offering what's deemed as a sound product only to find later on problems that result in discontinuation of the said product, well that's life but it's also wise to respect other products without "in field failures" and learn by them.
Twasn't meant to be in any way on anyone's products or indeed the Mazda market in general and I'm sorry you saw it that way. It was merely a comment that a large chunk of the aftermarket (and this is in no way '5 specific) works on the premise that suspension travel is a bad thing and thus limiting it is good.

As for the first article, I didn't post the original link and frankly anyone who sees suspension calibration as a pointless exercise tends to belong in the same group as those that think suspension travel is a bad thing. Much of that article is aimed at racers rather than combined track/road cars where drivers are intent on shaving hundredths of rather than having fun with their cars and his singular destruction of a whole country's damper output in lieu of products costing at least double if not four times the price because they're more adjustable in the ways he likes to tune should be considered in that light.
[/quote]
I'm a total layman, a complete technical vacuum etc etc, but I must say, having driven a fair number of "performance" cars, I tend to agree with your sentiments Dave.

A couple of examples - the best resolved suspension I've ever driven was on a 996 C4 Cab on its original 17" wheels - compliant, comfortable, grippy, progressive, just all-round excellent (and which wasn't as good on 18s, interestingly). The Mk 2.5 Sport isn't too far behind, either, pleasingly, esp after WiM had made the wheels point in the correct directions!

Maybe there's something here, too - getting stock suspension set up properly will surely solve most handling issues, rather than spending megabucks on the latest and bestest suspension.

I've recently come out of an RB320, which was good, but lacked a little bit of compliance/travel (I'm not even sure if I'm describing the same thing?) to be as good as it could have been. Very similar was the Clio Trophy - fantastic on smooth roads, but slightly unsettling on "normal" B roads as it skipped from one bump to the next.

Just an untechnical view - suspect that motoring journos have something to answer for, too. Lean on cornering is almost always negatively commented in, I've seen, for instance.
 

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great article ,good find
i think its good to have actual researched info available

intresting on abs , i have always thought lack of it slowed the 5 down

cant seem to find raceland anywhere in the article
 
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