Ugggg…. setup Blues

Uggg. That what I think when I think about my new suspension setup. It should have been easy. It wasn’t. Nothing has been intuitive. I put the Koni Sport shocks and 400 lb/in spring front & rear on the car over a month ago. And I still don’t feel like it is setup right. I drove around for more than three weeks on the new spring/shock combo w/o an alignment. I didn’t think the alignment would change much since I kept the ride heights about the same. If anything, I thought the front was fine and rear would need some tweaking. Who cares about the rear tires in a FWD car anyways. 😆 Boy was I wrong. When I did take it in to get aligned the front tires were toed-in a good 1/8″. I guess thats why it felt like the car wouldn’t turn during the two autocrosses I did on the new setup. 😮 Ugggg…

Let’s get back to that ride height thing. It was a PITA to set the ride heights on this new setup. Popular internet wisdom says to put the Konis on the lowest spring perch so your springs don’t rub the ground control sleeves as much. OK. When I lowered the car the front was dumped and the rear was monster truck high. I tired playing around with different perch settings in the rear but nothing made any difference. It wasn’t until I asked on RR-AX.com that it was pointed out that using a higher perch would only make the car higher. Ride height is a function of shock body length, spring length, spring rate, and vehicle weight. My other big concern with the rears is that when I finially got the ride height were I wanted it, with the rear suspension at full droop the spring was off the perch by an inch or two. I don’t like this situation. Guess some tender springs would be in order. That is more money.

In the fronts, since the ride height was dumped w/ the spring just touching the perch @ full droop I had to raise the perches a lot to get the ride height up to an acceptable level. This meant they got very hard to turn. Too hard by hand. Ground Control doesn’t give you a spanner for the perch so I had to improvise. I got my oil filter plyers and used them to grip the perch and spin them. They kept slipping and now the anodizing is all scratched up. Uggg…. I finially ordered the real deal.

Now we get to the most recent part. I took the car to a very repuatble shop to have the car corner balanced, aligned, and to have my new front camber kits installed. The camber kits is the reason I waited so long to get this work done. Didn’t want to pay for the alignment twice. So I dropped it off for the day so I wouldn’t have to take any days off from work and Irene drove me to work. They ended up working on it the ENTIRE day…. and charging me for all that shop time. 😡 They spent three hours fooling with the corner weighting. The fronts were nornal but the rear weights were way off. The left rear was way heavy. I got the car corner balanced last year and it was not like that. So they ended up dumping the LF to 4.625″ ride height (from 5.375) to try and get a good balance. It is still only 50.8% now. I should be able to get 50.5% or better. 😡 I don’t like the ride height being that low, especially in the front where the steering happens and the shock travel is the least and all the weight is. And they charged me an arm and a leg for it. Opinions after the fact all say that they should have disconnected the rear sway bar as that is likely causing the large L-R weight imbalance. I want to take it back but will only do so if it’s for free. I’ve paid them enough. I want to use the excuse that the front is bottoming out. I think it may be but it’d hard to confirm. I do see and small mark that looks like the camber kit stud hitting the shock tower metal. Otherwise it’s hard to tell. Uggg…