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Noob needs help (mostly street, some track)

Hey guys, hope you guys don't think I've been cluttering up the forum too much. Just needed some help on planning out/deciding what to do about suspension. I read the

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Old 06-06-2018, 12:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Noob needs help (mostly street, some track)

Hey guys, hope you guys don't think I've been cluttering up the forum too much.

Just needed some help on planning out/deciding what to do about suspension. I read the stickies and honestly came away more confused than before I started reading. From sport bikes, I'm somewhat familiar with the adjustable aspect of the dampers (in the sense that I vaguely know what the words mean lol), but when people started to throw shock dyno charts down, I got super lost. The response for true coilovers, non-"true" coilovers, springs, springs and dampers, seemed to be pretty varied and I don't know if the various OPs' question was too vague or just that it's more opinion than fact. I came away with a bunch of weird technical tid-bits, but no real recommendation on which way to proceed.

So this is basically what I understood:

1. For the absolute best, real track performance and lap time reductions, you need a set of really nice dampers with matching spring rate springs to complement the valving from a race-heavy brand (AST, Moton, Penske, etc.)

2. If you don't give a crap, cheaper is better to a degree.

My problem: What the hell do guys who want something in the middle do?
After my first track outing with the Z, a few things are very apparent:

1. The car is extremely capable out of the box and handles very nicely. Definitely beyond my current ability. There are better lap times to be had simply by improving myself.

2. Despite that, I found that the car still squatted and had more brake dive than I'd like, but it cornered pretty flat relative to the amount of front to back springiness. I love the way it takes the corner, less in love with the pitch on brakes and gas.

3. Tires are king.


So now, what do I do if I want to modify it a bit to get what I want performance-wise (a little bit firmer on the brakes and on the gas) but I also desire a slight drop for aesthetic purposes (.5-.75 inches max, don't want much)? I mostly drive on the street (DD), but it will see a couple track days/AutoX every year (as the wallet dictates).

I don't need anything mega adjustable, and something with a minor, but fixed performance benefit would suit me fine. I know that springs can be a reasonable change, but I also don't want the damper to blow out early. I have made this mistake on a previous car and the struts were leaking much sooner than anticipated.

I'd rather just take a little improvement and get better as a driver than get a fancy bit of kit and not be able to do anything with it. And I definitely, DEFINITELY, do not want to make the thing handle worse...

I have run into this situation on my motorcycle. After messing with it and doing all sorts of damping adjustments and getting a suspension guy to look at it, the real improvement just came from riding it.

TLDR: What suspension springs and dampers should I be looking at for reasonable performance improvement, without the need for 3-way adjustability? Is the answer to do nothing? Or just change spring rates?


Please help, you are my only hope.
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am glad you are enjoying your car and I would jump over to the track and autox section and a lot your questions can be found there. I will provide you with a quick run down:

1. Hotchkis front swaybar
2. SS brake lines
3. Motul 600 brake fluid or equivalent
4. Better brake pad carbotech 8-10 combo or ECB yellow stuff
5. A number of decent coilovers from $1300 to $1500...Fortune Auto, BC, Powertrix, HKS to name a few.
6. Get a tune or sprinter box

This will provide you the basics to have great time on the track the street.

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Old 06-06-2018, 02:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks man! Those coilovers are pretty decent then? The coilover sticky seemed to indicate that all below the high end stuff was just for show. Thanks for the input! I’ll ask in the track/AutoX section or perhaps mods could put it there? Wasn’t sure if it belonged there or here.
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Old 06-06-2018, 02:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Shoeshear View Post
Thanks man! Those coilovers are pretty decent then? The coilover sticky seemed to indicate that all below the high end stuff was just for show. Thanks for the input! Iíll ask in the track/AutoX section or perhaps mods could put it there? Wasnít sure if it belonged there or here.
I ran Fortune Auto 500 for the past two and half years before upgrading them in April. The beauty in the Fortune Auto coil overs is they can be rebuilt and upgrade to whatever level you want them. The are built and based in the US as well. Also a couple of other critical items I left out:

- SPL Front upper A arms
- SPL rear camber arms
- SPL or SPC toe bolts

If you go true coilovers, which I did this last go around you will need SPL toe arms as well.
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Tires>everything else

You'll want to first get away from the staggered tire setup before you start throwing cash at new parts. All these extra parts mean nothing if you don't have the right tires. Lateral g's comes from the tires. Controlling additional g's (suspension) isn't even necessary if your tires are sliding before you start to roll.
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaysEffect View Post
Tires>everything else

You'll want to first get away from the staggered tire setup before you start throwing cash at new parts. All these extra parts mean nothing if you don't have the right tires. Lateral g's comes from the tires. Controlling additional g's (suspension) isn't even necessary if your tires are sliding before you start to roll.
Yeah, I went up to the conti extreme contact sports from the OEM tire, slightly upsized (255F/285R). I can't go nutty with the tires because it's also my DD. For tires, I think I might end up going 265/295 for the next set, but we shall see. The dream was to run a square setup (buy a set of rears for the front) so I could rotate the tire and get some serious meat up front, but I really like the understeer to oversteer ratio/dynamics that it has now and I'm worried that going square will end up making it rotate way more than I want. It's super controllable/progressive without much snap with this setup.


Also, truth be told, I do look at my car and think dang, it would look hot just a *tiny* bit lower with some spacers. I love the whole car experience (looks, sound, driving), hence the desire to mod. Just kinda caught between wanting to mess with it, since that's how I am, and leaving it to grow as a driver.

Also just to be clear, I totally agree that tires are king, but just trying to keep the tire DD-able.
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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In AZ, you can easily get away with daily driving on extremes.
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ah gotcha. Wasn’t sure if you were suggesting to go up to something even more aggressive (Re71R or something in that category).
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Save up and wait until july, November or December when there will be summer or holiday sales

Then grab the fortunes and SPL arms all together and throw them on for one alignment

Also check the for sale forum for wheels

Some TE37's used are probably the best wheels around
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Old 06-09-2018, 04:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotrodz View Post
I ran Fortune Auto 500 for the past two and half years before upgrading them in April. The beauty in the Fortune Auto coil overs is they can be rebuilt and upgrade to whatever level you want them. The are built and based in the US as well. Also a couple of other critical items I left out:

- SPL Front upper A arms
- SPL rear camber arms
- SPL or SPC toe bolts

If you go true coilovers, which I did this last go around you will need SPL toe arms as well.
What ar you running now hotrodz?
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:24 AM   #11 (permalink)
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What ar you running now hotrodz?
I am still on Fortune Auto coilovers, I just had serviced and upgraded to 510's and a true type setup. My spring rates are 14k front and 12k rear. I have not been to the track since the upgrade but the car seemed really settled on the Dragon.
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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TE37 look and seem amazing for weight. Definitely want to move on to some lighter wheels sometime in the future, but that's an expensive mod, so I'm gonna hold on that and maybe get them as a gift to myself after I finish residency lol. I actually really want the TE37 6061...Those look amazing. Hopefully as an attending I'll be able to afford stuff I want haha. But yeah, the mod wish-list is long. Probably going to save up for the CMAK w/ lightweight flywheel and stage 2 clutch and then the RJM pedal set first. Just want that peace of mind you know (can't get stranded).

AND THEN I'll probably do the FA coilovers and SPL links after. I just love agonizing about this stuff in advance lol.
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Old 06-09-2018, 01:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Off topic, what specialty are you going for?

Anyway, once you finish your residency, there will be no need to agonize about mod list, especially if you are sticking with the Z
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Old 06-09-2018, 04:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Off topic, what specialty are you going for?

Anyway, once you finish your residency, there will be no need to agonize about mod list, especially if you are sticking with the Z
I'll be an internal medicine resident in just a couple weeks! I am absolutely terrified, but it'll be a good experience overall I think. Finally being paid for our time (albeit not much) and given responsibility instead of just standing there trying to predict what questions they're going to shoot our way next...

I have to agonize. It's my favorite part hahaha. I spent 9 months deciding what exhaust to get for my previous car even though I had the money in advance. Idk, the build up to a purchase is great haha.
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Shoeshear View Post
Hey guys, hope you guys don't think I've been cluttering up the forum too much.


Just needed some help on planning out/deciding what to do about suspension. I read the stickies and honestly came away more confused than before I started reading. From sport bikes, I'm somewhat familiar with the adjustable aspect of the dampers (in the sense that I vaguely know what the words mean lol), but when people started to throw shock dyno charts down, I got super lost. The response for true coilovers, non-"true" coilovers, springs, springs and dampers, seemed to be pretty varied and I don't know if the various OPs' question was too vague or just that it's more opinion than fact. I came away with a bunch of weird technical tid-bits, but no real recommendation on which way to proceed.

So this is basically what I understood:

1. For the absolute best, real track performance and lap time reductions, you need a set of really nice dampers with matching spring rate springs to complement the valving from a race-heavy brand (AST, Moton, Penske, etc.)

2. If you don't give a crap, cheaper is better to a degree.

My problem: What the hell do guys who want something in the middle do?
After my first track outing with the Z, a few things are very apparent:

1. The car is extremely capable out of the box and handles very nicely. Definitely beyond my current ability. There are better lap times to be had simply by improving myself.

2. Despite that, I found that the car still squatted and had more brake dive than I'd like, but it cornered pretty flat relative to the amount of front to back springiness. I love the way it takes the corner, less in love with the pitch on brakes and gas.

3. Tires are king.


So now, what do I do if I want to modify it a bit to get what I want performance-wise (a little bit firmer on the brakes and on the gas) but I also desire a slight drop for aesthetic purposes (.5-.75 inches max, don't want much)? I mostly drive on the street (DD), but it will see a couple track days/AutoX every year (as the wallet dictates).

I don't need anything mega adjustable, and something with a minor, but fixed performance benefit would suit me fine. I know that springs can be a reasonable change, but I also don't want the damper to blow out early. I have made this mistake on a previous car and the struts were leaking much sooner than anticipated.

I'd rather just take a little improvement and get better as a driver than get a fancy bit of kit and not be able to do anything with it. And I definitely, DEFINITELY, do not want to make the thing handle worse...

I have run into this situation on my motorcycle. After messing with it and doing all sorts of damping adjustments and getting a suspension guy to look at it, the real improvement just came from riding it.

TLDR: What suspension springs and dampers should I be looking at for reasonable performance improvement, without the need for 3-way adjustability? Is the answer to do nothing? Or just change spring rates?


Please help, you are my only hope.
Suspension is a deep rabbit hole both in dollars and setup. This is why it was the last thing I am doing performance wise to my car. And I'll probably spend the rest of my time trying to figure it out.
I finally got to test my new suspension on the track and it was much better then it was shaved a almost full second off my best right away with the default settings. But getting it setup correctly (I have 14 compression steps x 21 rebound steps = for 294 different settings. Not to mention sway bar settings and spring rate options.) was going to be impossible. I actually hired a driver to put a few sessions in and dial in the correct settings in the pit lane after each few laps. IMO it was worth it because after it I dropped another full second. If it hadn't rained in the afternoon we would have finished what it would have taken me many track days to get even near.

Anyway enough about me, the car will squat and dive on stock springs, even nismo ones. Stiffer springs will fix that but you will lose ride comfort. I have 1000lb/in (17.8kg/mm) front springs and it was/is painful for me especially after the recent harsh winter here in the NJ. On nice pavement it's fine but on concrete roads from 40 years ago with joints ever 25' it makes me want to cry sometimes regardless of how I set the dampers.

#1 Budget is your biggest concern/limiting factor.
#2 Less adjust-ability is more in this instance. Spend more on a better 1-way. And have an easier time learning and tuning it.
#3 Front sway bar. As good as the car may feel in the corners it sure does get it's lean on.
#4 Make a spread sheet of all your potential part options and their prices and pros/cons; make 2 or 3 columns for low cost, middle, and high. Look at it, sleep on it, change it, think about it, then change it again, and after some time you will see one you like more and then go and get it. And after you got it you won't be worried you made a bad decision because you planned and though it through. It took me over a year from start to finish for my suspension overhaul.
#5 Remember you can have plenty of fun with the car as is just by being a better driver.

Edit: IMO I feel the Fortune 500 would be great and make sure you get a dyno sheet with it since each are custom built and tested already.
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