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View Full Version : Handling Improvements - what to do?



IanHowell
18-02-2007, 11:53 AM
I would like your thoughts on what to do to improve handling for the Ring.

I am looking to keep to budget and stage it over time.

I have posted on the owners forum as well for some specifics but wanted your opinions aswell.

Some information on the car: Nissan 200sx Turbo, RWD
Running around 240-250BHP
Suspension - Lowered, 35mm Eibach springs; standard shocks ( I think original maybe, checking reciepts to see)
Wheels/Tyres - 17" OZ, Eagle F1 rears
Front / Rear Strut Braces

What I want achieve is better handling for the Ring / track, as this is where the car will do most of its driving.

I don't have 1000's to spend and would like to do this in stages.


So, what do I do first for the biggest improvement for the lowest spend, then what next.

I don't want to change something though and then have to change it again latter for a future upgrade, ie shock change then go to coilovers.

Ideas I am looking at are: ARB's - front and rear (what if I do just the fronts or rears?)
Polybushes

your thoughts and comments please,

Ian

Darren Langeveld
18-02-2007, 12:25 PM
Sparco/OMP stickers
Polybushes plus any other rubber bits in the suspension
Dampers
Tyres
ARB's
Strut Braces


I'd say in that order over time ... ? IMHO

Tony
18-02-2007, 12:42 PM
Originally posted by Mr Teflon@Feb 18 2007, 01:25 PM
Sparco/OMP stickers
LMAO :lol: :lol: Those are worth a couple of seconds on their own ;)

It depends on whether you are doing this for the best lap times or to get the car to handle how you like it?

If it is speed you want then the biggest improvements will be gained by:
1) Driver training (whoever you are!)
2) Big brakes
3) R rated tyres
4) Strip weight ................in that order.

If you want to be able to set the car up to handle how you like it then the suspension will need to be your priority.

Polybushes would be a good start and not too expensive - look on eBay for the cheapest Powerflex kits - this will 'tighten' everything up.
Followed this with the ARBs and adjustable top mounts, then save up and buy yourself some KW Variant 3 coilovers. Expensive, but they will allow you to adjust the suspension in every direction.
Your current suspension is merely lowered which will lower the CoG but will offer very little else.

PM Dave (Pooky) as this is what he does for a living :thumb:

T

s1rst
18-02-2007, 03:52 PM
Originally posted by Mr Teflon@Feb 18 2007, 12:25 PM
Sparco/OMP stickers

easily worth a couple of seconds a lap on a normal track! on the 'ring, worth an easy minute B)

Pooky
18-02-2007, 09:23 PM
I'll add my two pence worth.

The absolute first thing you should do is fit a roll cage.

Now you've that done we can talk handling.

Tony's right about the most important bit being the guy behind the wheel, if I remember right from talking to you at the ring the ringracer 318 was the first time you'd used a rear wheel drive car on track. If so the ring is not the place to get used to rear wheel drive cars.

Next is to think about what you want the car to do. My advice would be to go for a set-up that is not ultimately the fastest but is fairly easy to drive, is stable at high speed and gives consistent performance. Last thing you want is a twitchy car over the crests or at Schwedenkreuz for example.

So with that in mind I always think the first step whilst boring is the most important and that is to make sure the car is completely refreshed in terms of moving parts, balljoints and bushes and so on. No point in spending money on trick kit if you have worn bushes and balljoints. I did this to mine replacing the track rods complete with both balljoints, lower arms, bushes, recon steering rack, ARB bushes and droplinks. It transformed that start point of the car before I'd put any shiny stuff on it. Within this I think comes the consistency of the car but only with decent race pads and fluid and also proper R tyres. I'd do all this before spending money on new parts as you will have a reliable tight car to begin with.

In terms of parts to fit I'd say forget about ARBs until you have the spring/damper set up sorted. ARBs are much less effective plus running stiff ARBs with soft springs and dampers will make it wayward over larger kerbs or off track on bumpy roads.

The spring and damper combination is the most important part to change and it will have the biggest effect so it should be where all your money goes. I don't think there's any point fitting spring kits or road dampers as they won't be up to the job. I definitely wouldn’t use old road dampers with stiffer springs and as Tony says your current set-up of lowered springs with original dampers will be offering very little. I think a good coilover kit is the most sensible thing to do, yes it costs money but you’ll spend it once plus get more options if you get adjustable damping. Also you should be able to change the spring rates as most use 60mm race size springs. The advantage of this is being able to set the ride heights as well as the spring rates and damping. It should also mean that stiff ARBs aren’t needed, you don’t want to be running a stiff rear ARB on a RWD car anyway as you lose traction.

To match this you also should have a decent set of top mounts, especially as your car is McPherson strut front and rear I think. Decent adjustable top mounts matched with good coilovers will make it a bit of a weapon and will also let you set the car up as you like it. This should allow adjustable geometry too as R tyres like a lot of camber.

I don’t think you need do much more than this to have a fast, reliable and easy to drive car. In terms of what to get I don’t know much about what’s good and what isn’t for Jap cars, I think there is plenty available. Most of it seems to be down the drifting route which won’t suit the ring as you don’t want it silly stiff. Also you need to retain as much wheel travel as you can for all the crests so the kit should use main and tender springs.

Hope that helps.

I could go on and on, but my fingers are tired...

Oh, and polybushes are mega.

IanHowell
18-02-2007, 09:46 PM
Many thanks for the great advice guys, Pooky especially! :thumb:
Be interested to hear your thoughts on the Poly bushes issue.

As for the RWD experience, I have a little more than you understood form earlier discussions from Road to Track to Rally use (None of it competitive though).

BUT, I do agree with the Driver training being the most important to get the most out of any car.

What I was looking for was to look to improve my car for the Ring without going crazy with money.
I ran my previous 200sx round the Ring last Oct and really enjoyed it. With the newly acquired one making a trip to Bedford next week hopefully I will get a good idea about how it fares.

I am concious that the struts may be stock and the original and some of the bushes are wearing etc so if I have to replace what do I do, and what do I improve?

Ian

Nige
18-02-2007, 09:51 PM
I too would be interested to hear Pooky`s thoughts on polybushes. I dont need the comfort and compromnise you get for a `normal` mainstream road car, I dont mind if the Golf is stiffer so thought the polybushes would be OK for that. :unsure:

Not wanting to hijack the thread, so back on topic......

Ian, as you say, Bedford should be a good starting point to find out what the car does / doesnt do. As usual its all down to budget and spending what funds you do have wisely I guess. Its not like you to plan ahead and ask before going out and spending some money though :whistle: ;)

I suppose the comments people are making in this thread are relevant for all of us who have vehicles they want to setup for the ring, so I`ll keep an eye on it for the time I may need to spend more money on my car :thumb:

IanHowell
18-02-2007, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by Nige@Feb 18 2007, 09:51 PM

Ian, Its not like you to plan ahead and ask before going out and spending some money though :whistle: ;)

Cheeky Bugger :P

Ian

Floyd
18-02-2007, 10:02 PM
I was thinking about polybushes but after having 'Nylatron' bushes on my Metro it sorta put me off - they dried out and made horrid noises and didn't move very well :angry:

F

pye21
18-02-2007, 10:06 PM
I'd be interested about the issue of poly bushes myself. I am in the process of getting parts ready for an overhaul of the suspension on my 182. I have already bought the poly bushes (lots of friends have recomended them), but after several people have told me stories of them, i am really unsure wheather to use them.

I agree with nige, though it might be interesting to follow a thread like this, will give a lot of general advice that would apply on a lot of folks cars.

GVK
18-02-2007, 11:32 PM
I do think Dave's ARB comments are a 'RWD' thing tbh as on Golfs especially unless you have totally unusable spring rates for the road, a set of Eibach/Neuspeed/H&R ARBs are pretty much essential track mod imo.

You can use high spring rates and stock ARBs to reduce the roll,but then you find yourself dodging every bump, manhole cover and white line en route to a circuit :lol:

Look forward to the rant about polybushes when you have a spare few minutes Dave :P

GVK
18-02-2007, 11:34 PM
Originally posted by Pooky@Feb 18 2007, 09:23 PM


So with that in mind I always think the first step whilst boring is the most important and that is to make sure the car is completely refreshed in terms of moving parts, balljoints and bushes and so on. No point in spending money on trick kit if you have worn bushes and balljoints. I did this to mine replacing the track rods complete with both balljoints, lower arms, bushes, recon steering rack, ARB bushes and droplinks. It transformed that start point of the car before I'd put any shiny stuff on it. Within this I think comes the consistency of the car but only with decent race pads and fluid and also proper R tyres. I'd do all this before spending money on new parts as you will have a reliable tight car to begin with.




Absolutely :thumb:

GVK
18-02-2007, 11:36 PM
Originally posted by pye21@Feb 18 2007, 10:06 PM


I agree with nige, though it might be interesting to follow a thread like this, will give a lot of general advice that would apply on a lot of folks cars.
But bearing in mind what works on one car doesn't always work on another.

What works on a RWD car needs a totally different approach for FWD for example.

Tony
19-02-2007, 12:00 AM
Originally posted by Pooky@Feb 18 2007, 10:23 PM
As an aside I would say that poly bushes send shivers down my spine, you won't see any manufacturer using them for very good reason. I wouldn't have one anywhere near my car and I have a mixture of OE bushes. The reason why I don't like them is for another topic as it would mean a 2 page rant.
Oh sod it - thread hijacked - Sorry Ian :lol:

What's the problem with polybushes Dave? I was about to buy them for the M3, but don't know what to do now :huh:

T

pye21
19-02-2007, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by GVK+Feb 18 2007, 11:36 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (GVK @ Feb 18 2007, 11:36 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-pye21@Feb 18 2007, 10:06 PM


I agree with nige, though it might be interesting to follow a thread like this, will give a lot of general advice that would apply on a lot of folks cars.
But bearing in mind what works on one car doesn&#39;t always work on another.

What works on a RWD car needs a totally different approach for FWD for example. [/b][/quote]
I was meaning the approach rather than the actual doing, if you see what i mean.