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The Ultimate Street & Track Torsion Bars, Shocks, Bushings and Ride Quality Thread

OK you guys (and gals) with suspension upgrades…time to speak your mind.

I’m going to upgrade my suspension this month or next. I have a set of what I believe to be 30.2 hollow Weltmeisert/Sway-a-way rear tubes that will give me the effective rate of 29mm torsion bars. (What is that spring rate?)

I am aware of some of the combination of torsion bars in the neighborhood of what I plan to do. That is, the popular and common combination of front and rears for a track/street car have been 21/29 and 22/29. Some (Dickster?) have gone with 23/30 for a street car.

My target weight for the car is 2350lbs (or LESS!), and I plan to get new strut inserts and get my Bilsteins in the rear rebuilt and revalved for that weight (or what ever it ends up being). I am aware of the Bilstein HD’s up front and Sports in the rear or HD's all around. I’m also aware of the Koni adjustable shock/struts, but it seems the jury is still out on the Koni adjustables.

I like the idea of being able to change the damping and/or rebound rates for street or track, but since not everyone I have talked to “love” their Koni adjustables, I’m reluctant to spend the money for adjustables.

What I want for my car:

I want a track car that is kind enough during street driving such that my passengers will be comfortable (understanding that it's a very sporty car). I want to still be able to give the kids a ride in it. I drive the car to work (15 miles each way) when the weather is nice, but I’m more compromising on the ride quality than the kids or my lady.

I plan to use rubber bushings to make the ride a bit more comfortable on the street (I plan to use a harder or solid bushing for the inner banana arm bushings). If at some point I want to go harder on the bushings, they will be easier to deal with than new t-bars.

I have not driven nor been a passenger in a car with 21/28 or 22/29 or 23/30 bars on the street (not that I'm aware of), so I want to make sure I have some idea of what I’m getting into.

So!

Will 21/29 be a good combination? (I figure the 21mm bars will make the front a little more pliable (w/ appropriate strut inserts) than 22mm bars.)...I plan to add an adjustable front anti-roll bar down the road.

Would I even notice the difference between 21/29 and 22/29 mm bars?

Koni adjustable shocks/strut insert or Bilstein? (This one I’m really torn over )

If Bilsteins, Sports all around or HD all around? Why not Sports all around for those guys that have HD and Sports? Hmmm?

Lets hear gang…empirical data would be very helpful.

Last edited by MotoSook; 02-16-2004 at 03:29 PM..
Old 02-16-2004, 03:24 PM
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Why not Elephant Racing poly/bronze bushings? The seem to be the best of both worlds. I put them on the front when I rebuilt last year, they ride great. Also, no machining involved-went right in.
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Old 02-16-2004, 03:36 PM
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I had Koni on my 84 carrera before, it is only adjustable one way (rebound I think) and I have to admit that I did not fall in love with the ride. I have bilsteens now on my 80 and I find that much more to my liking.
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Old 02-16-2004, 03:46 PM
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Full Elephant suspension, bushings, t-bars, s-bars, get some proper SC/Carrera flares 7(or8) & 9 x16 wheels w/ 205/55 &245/45 x16 MPSCs
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Old 02-16-2004, 03:54 PM
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Oh and Bilstein hd/sports
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Old 02-16-2004, 03:55 PM
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22/28 sway-away t bars, bilstein hd shocks in back, notsure about the froont, but I think Boge stock inserts. Stock sway bars...whatever came with the 1978. Replacement neoprene bushings.

Ride is compliant but firm. Noticably reduced (no discernable) body roll.

I did the t-bar update back when I had my bushings replaced. At the time I didn't do any more mostly for budget reasons. But, you know 5 years later of hard driving street,autocross,DE I have honestly never felt the need for more suspsension.

My advice (for what it's worth) is to upgrade to 22/28 or 23/29, some good hd shock abosrbers (are you really going to adjust the shocks to anything less than 3/4 way to firm?), and leave the sway bars the way they are.

tya
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Old 02-16-2004, 04:09 PM
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Can't say how it handles yet Souk but here's the direction I'm going for my SC 3.2 :

22 / 29 Torsions
Poly bushings w/zerks installed (see Chucks thread....search for bushings)
Neatrix bushings in the rear (still trying to to get the dang old ones off!!)
Bilstein Sports on all 4
Turbo tie rods / bump steer
New rotors / new rubber lines

When researching, most told me that the 23/31 torsion setup is too harsh for street use.

Next up will be either a fender mounted Carrera cooler to replace the loop or a front mounted cooler with fiberglass front/rear.
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Old 02-16-2004, 04:19 PM
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Souk,
Here is Chucks thread that I mentioned above. It helped me quite a bit when it came to installing the poly A arm bushings and tapping for zerks.

Suspension bushing, the right way
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Old 02-16-2004, 04:25 PM
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Souk,
Last summer I did the new front rubber bushings and rear neatrix bushings, turbo tie rods and 22/28 torsion bars. I'm very happy with the set-up. It handles much better and has much less body roll. The stiffer t-bars don't make the ride a lot tougher, just different. It seems the car hops more up and downover bumps, but isn't at all harsh. My wife didn't even notice the difference and it is a very streetable set-up and I'd highly recommend it.
The font bushings changed the feel dramatically from the old worn bushings and the tie rods made a huge difference as well.
If your bushings are in bad shape you'll see a huge improvement from there alone. Good luck.

John
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Old 02-16-2004, 04:27 PM
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Hi Souk,

I have Bilstein HDs and solid 22/29 torsion bars on my '87. The ride is fine for a street/track compromise. '87's have 22/21 sway bars stock, so I haven't changed those yet. I am happy with the setup, a marked improvement in fast directional changes and it seems to turn in better also. My car is quite a bit heavier than yours, so YMMV.
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Old 02-16-2004, 04:37 PM
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I've got 22/30mm solid t-bars, 22/20 sways, Bilstein Sports all the way around with cut down bump stops, poly carbonate bushings, poly graphite camber plate bushings, turbo tie rods, bump steer kit, 7x9 Fuchs wearing 225/50 and 245/45.s, lowered to Euro Spec and corner balanced. The car is a joy to drive on the track and I do not think it is too harsh at all for the road. IMHO, the ride was more harsh before upgrading the t-bars and running with Bilstein Sports cuz they were not matched up right. I get very little body roll and the car feels pretty well balanced. It instils a definate sense of confidence to have so much feedback from the road. This was my daily driver, 100 miles RT daily before I bought my Civic.

Have fun with your project!!

-Brad
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Old 02-16-2004, 04:40 PM
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Great thread and timely, I want to go through the suspension on my old Hot Rod '74 very soon.

I am very impressed with the link to Chuck's thread. Thanks Craig!

This board Rocks!
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Old 02-16-2004, 04:41 PM
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.....here's a pic.....

Me, Ingo (Ischmitz) and Dan Byers (Dbyers) at WSIR..
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Old 02-16-2004, 04:42 PM
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really, here is the pic

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Old 02-16-2004, 04:43 PM
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Here is what i have in my 88, all done by the PO

Turbo Tie Rods
Bilstein Sport shocks front and rear
Poly graphite bushings front and rear
22mm in the front and 29mm bars in the rear (Sway away bars)
21mm front and rear adjustable Weltmeister sway bars w/poly urethane bushings.
Lowered & Corner balanced to 165lbs drivers seat
1/3 degree toe alignment front and rear
negative ˝ degree camber front
negative 1 ˝ degree camber rear
Weltmeister strut bar with cambermeister

I use my car as a semi daily driver, 25 miles to office & back. Ride is fine on the street, but the bushings need to get a dose of litihium every 4 weeks or so to prevent squeaking. I have not rode or driven in a stock set up to compare.

Also running, 7&9s Fuchs with Toyo RA1 225/245 which ride a lot softer than the R1s i had in the summer.
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Old 02-16-2004, 04:46 PM
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John, Very cool Pic!

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Old 02-16-2004, 04:48 PM
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Thanks JMZ,

I only wish the front wheel was off the ground!
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Old 02-16-2004, 04:55 PM
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Cool

I think the bushings will be the determining factor for the street transmitted harmonics.

The bar size, etc is a personal matter.
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Old 02-16-2004, 05:19 PM
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Re: The Ultimate Street & Track Torsion Bars, Shocks, Bushings and Ride Quality Thread

Quote:
Originally posted by Souk
I am aware of the Bilstein HD’s up front and Sports in the rear or HD's all around. I’m also aware of the Koni adjustable shock/struts, but it seems the jury is still out on the Koni adjustables.

I like the idea of being able to change the damping and/or rebound rates for street or track, but since not everyone I have talked to “love” their Koni adjustables, I’m reluctant to spend the money for adjustables.

You can spend a lot of money on suspension work and have a fast car. Then you can spend a ton of money and have an even faster car. It depends on what your trying to achieve. One item that wasn't out when I did my custom valving on my shocks was reservoir shocks like the Fox Racing shocks that SmartRacing has been developing. I just saw these are available. They are externally adjustable with adjustable front spindle heights. One of the biggest advantages of these is they can be adjusted easily for softening on the street and then back to track. The car with these shocks showed an overall improvement in lap times with these in the Excellence Aug 2003. Oh yeah, $1,034 front and $439 rear. Lower times don't come cheap.
Old 02-16-2004, 05:30 PM
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on the 84 Targa:

Chuck's bearings front and rear
22/29s solid
Bilstein sports front and rear
turbo tie rods
stock sway bars
AJ-USA shock tower brace
lowered a bit under euro height
7x9x17 inch Cup II's with Pilots

with fixed-back MOMO Nascars (Corse)

Car is comfortable on the street (I can drive to NY without fatigue), no creaks from suspension, handles world's better than stock, very stable at high-speed. Never had it on the track, that should change in a month.
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Old 02-16-2004, 05:51 PM
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