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sydr

Suspension set up 84 Carrera Coupe

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I'm looking for ideas and recommendations for suspension set up. 

Currently my car is track oriented; after 35 years of spirited club competition (1984 3.2 Carrera that I've owned since new) it is time to ease the old girl into semi-retirement.  This is a car that genuinely has seen more track miles than road miles.

The engine/gearbox has been rebuilt with full reward for excellent service, engine by Michael Newton now with ITB, dual sparky things, high compression forged pistons, gt3 crank and rods, 3.5L of goodness, motec, lsd.  Not too wild a cam, it is tractable, strong and drives in a more friendly fashion than when it was new.  There are big brakes, gearbox rebuilt, wevo quick change - everything mechanical is superb.

Except that the suspension is rock, rock hard.  Unforgiving.  Lovely for the track and an absolute pain otherwise. 

So I want to consult with someone knowledgeable and arrive at a balance that will provide reasonable road manners, acceptable track handling - stiff and responsive but not rock hard.  I'm thinking to change the torsion bars for something a bit softer (currently 23mm front and 33 rear) and upgrade all the suspension bushings by replacing the track oriented hard nolathane with spherical bearings for compliant movement. ( I've noticed that as the chassis loads up there are times that the suspension does not play ball.)  New shocks.  Whatever it needs.  After 35 years of sensational fun the budget, while a consideration, is not the first cab off the rank.

I'm attracted to some of the options by Elephant racing and also the progressive shocks by KW but have made no decisions yet.  I want to ensure that the shocks and the Torsion bars are in tune with one another.  I've been holding off on buying new road tires (Currently on A050 17" and/or depending on the track and the weather, Kumho 16") to complete the package and am interested in what is recommended by other 911 enthusiast drivers for road use. 

I'm in Sydney but would consider taking my 911 to other centres if there's someone truly exceptional and am looking forward to the collective wisdom of this forum.  Over to you guys.

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Hi @sydr,

I'd recommend getting in touch with fellow Sydney member @Robert930, he has an 87 3.2 with pretty much the whole elephant setup on it, I've done some seat time in that car and it just the right balance IMO, of comfort and precision.. its a really good steer. 

Cheers

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19 hours ago, edgy said:

Hi @sydr,

I'd recommend getting in touch with fellow Sydney member @Robert930, he has an 87 3.2 with pretty much the whole elephant setup on it, I've done some seat time in that car and it just the right balance IMO, of comfort and precision.. its a really good steer. 

Cheers

thank you for your suggestion, have messaged him

14 minutes ago, sydr said:

thank you for your suggestion, have messaged him

Well, that did not work; got an error message advising that @Robert930 cannot receive messages.  Is it ok to message me with his contact details please? or call me oh41818oh418

Thanks @Edgy

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Hi

I have a 86 3.2

I have gone from standard to bilstein, 23/31, sport rubber bushings, 16 inch wheels.

Now have MCA  coilovers, elephant rose joints everywhere and 17 inch wheels.

The car now rides better, handles way better and the chassis doesn’t load up  that weird way anymore that it did with torsion bars.

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9 hours ago, jamesb said:

Hi

I have a 86 3.2

I have gone from standard to bilstein, 23/31, sport rubber bushings, 16 inch wheels.

Now have MCA  coilovers, elephant rose joints everywhere and 17 inch wheels.

The car now rides better, handles way better and the chassis doesn’t load up  that weird way anymore that it did with torsion bars.

Hi James, Thank you, yours sounds like a great setup and is very interesting to me. 

Did you do the coilover conversion work yourself, or is there a specialist in Melbourne that you recommend?

Some other questions if you don't mind:

Was it necessary to re-inforce the chassis or modify it when fitting the coilovers?

Has anyone fitted the self aligning chassis bushes to a torsion bar suspension and if so, does it stop the 'loading up' that James speaks of, that I've also experienced?

I went through several installs of torsion bars, going harder and harder because when cornering at the limit the car was inclined to squat at the rear and understeer.  Admittedly, I was pushing very very hard.  The current ultra hard set up cured that, but at the expense of comfort when using the car on the road.  What are the thoughts/experiences of others with regard to a good compromise for torsion bar thickness and suspension set up?

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6 hours ago, sydr said:

Hi James, Thank you, yours sounds like a great setup and is very interesting to me. 

Did you do the coilover conversion work yourself, or is there a specialist in Melbourne that you recommend?

Some other questions if you don't mind:

Was it necessary to re-inforce the chassis or modify it when fitting the coilovers?

Has anyone fitted the self aligning chassis bushes to a torsion bar suspension and if so, does it stop the 'loading up' that James speaks of, that I've also experienced?

I went through several installs of torsion bars, going harder and harder because when cornering at the limit the car was inclined to squat at the rear and understeer.  Admittedly, I was pushing very very hard.  The current ultra hard set up cured that, but at the expense of comfort when using the car on the road.  What are the thoughts/experiences of others with regard to a good compromise for torsion bar thickness and suspension set up?

Hi

Ben at Weltmiester did all the work. Wish I could do it myself.

Yep had to weld bracing to the rear strut towers. Not a tricky job they told me but does require the engine out.

I have the self aliging front torsion bar bushings. https://www.elephantracing.com/porsche/911/bushings-bearings-for-911/sphericals/

I think to completely get rid of rear squat you need 930 trailing arms or do the rear roll centre mod like Teutonic did. Mine is pretty good now with better shocks.

To put into perspective my car has 200lb front, 400lb rear springs,  a bigger front sway bar, lower profile tires, no rubber in the suspension and still rides better than it did with torsion bars. 

I think the bushings bind a lot on the front a arms and rear trailing bushing points. Doing the elephant front sphericals has fixed the front. The rear rebel racing ones may fix the rear if sticking with torsion bars. 

 

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Thank you James, I'll call Weltmeister once they reopen and talk it thru with them.

Cheers and Merry Xmas

 

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does MCA have something off the shelf for 911's? for 964 i was going to have to go custom golds at 5k (minus fitting).

loved the mid level MCA's i had in my e36 m3, and already have a custom set of golds in the FC but i don't need golds for my 911 if i can help it

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22 hours ago, clutch-monkey said:

does MCA have something off the shelf for 911's? for 964 i was going to have to go custom golds at 5k (minus fitting).

loved the mid level MCA's i had in my e36 m3, and already have a custom set of golds in the FC but i don't need golds for my 911 if i can help it

Custom golds only for g series. The stub axles had to be stuck onto the front shocks.

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59 minutes ago, jamesb said:

Custom golds only for g series. The stub axles had to be stuck onto the front shocks.

Well in that case, go right down the rabbit hole and get some custom MCS struts and dampers.  (MCS is founded from the guys who used to be Moton and JRZ, so they know what they are doing)

They make entire billet front struts/axles especially for G series cars.

Did that for my latest 911,  and for not much more than KW or MCA but can get MCS custom made to any spec you like and paired with 1, 2 3 or 4 way dampers.

(sorry this was meant to to be returning a race car to hot rod thread, not converting it to coilovers ! )

 

 

PS

i used to love following your car around Eastern Creek / Wakefield Syd spitting huge flames out the exhaust....

Is it still the same engine build?

23/33 is very hard, i used to run 22/31 and that was firm enough for a light 911.

I expect you will comfortable and notice a huge difference by just dropping a few bar sizes and getting the some Bilsteins custom valved to match - and will still be much firmer that stock. Plenty of  good shops in Sydney (AH or PR). RIchard @ PR did much of the suspension geometry on my last car and send out the Bilsteins for valving to match to TB’s. With a few small mods, was great even with factory rubber, then later i added all the sphericals and Rebel gear front and back and it just got better but kept the torsion bar/dampers rates the same.  If you dont like bump and crash on the road keep rubber in the strut tops as the sphericals transmit a lot of the noise into the chassis. I didnt mind but many dont like it... its all a compromise!

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On 26/12/2018 at 13:22, DHE11 said:

Well in that case, go right down the rabbit hole and get some custom MCS struts and dampers.  (MCS is founded from the guys who used to be Moton and JRZ, so they know what they are doing)

They make entire billet front struts/axles especially for G series cars.

Did that for my latest 911,  and for not much more than KW or MCA but can get MCS custom made to any spec you like and paired with 1, 2 3 or 4 way dampers.

(sorry this was meant to to be returning a race car to hot rod thread, not converting it to coilovers ! )

 

 

PS

i used to love following your car around Eastern Creek / Wakefield Syd spitting huge flames out the exhaust....

Is it still the same engine build?

23/33 is very hard, i used to run 22/31 and that was firm enough for a light 911.

I expect you will comfortable and notice a huge difference by just dropping a few bar sizes and getting the some Bilsteins custom valved to match - and will still be much firmer that stock. Plenty of  good shops in Sydney (AH or PR). RIchard @ PR did much of the suspension geometry on my last car and send out the Bilsteins for valving to match to TB’s. With a few small mods, was great even with factory rubber, then later i added all the sphericals and Rebel gear front and back and it just got better but kept the torsion bar/dampers rates the same.  If you dont like bump and crash on the road keep rubber in the strut tops as the sphericals transmit a lot of the noise into the chassis. I didnt mind but many dont like it... its all a compromise!

Thanks for the advice, I'll follow up and talk to Richard.  I don't mind some bump and crash on the road but the 23/33 with stiff shocks and track rubber with stiff sidewalls is just painful. 

I'm not sure which engine I was running when we were at WP together.  Probably it was when I was still running the original engine.  That was a remarkable engine - did 28 years and never took a cylinder head off it.  When it started getting tired, we lifted the rev limit by a few hundred rpm and it just kept going. 

Then I gave it a big birthday, direct to head Throttle Bodies, all the good stuff I could find but that rebuild always had low oil pressure despite being totally rebuilt and only lasted 10,000 km.  Haven't hardly tracked it with rebuild no 2, now with GT3 crank and rods, about 3.4L, but milder cams.  After 35 odd years, I've now grown too fond of the car  to risk fanging it without a care as I used to.

 

Mount Panorama.jpg

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Was definately after the big birthday, I recall it had the Rothsport style plenum into individual throttle bodies...

Good luck with the suspension, try some softer bars and road tyres and see how it goes !

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On 21/12/2018 at 08:12, sydr said:

I'm looking for ideas and recommendations for suspension set up. 

Currently my car is track oriented; after 35 years of spirited club competition (1984 3.2 Carrera that I've owned since new) it is time to ease the old girl into semi-retirement.  This is a car that genuinely has seen more track miles than road miles.

The engine/gearbox has been rebuilt with full reward for excellent service, engine by Michael Newton now with ITB, dual sparky things, high compression forged pistons, gt3 crank and rods, 3.5L of goodness, motec, lsd.  Not too wild a cam, it is tractable, strong and drives in a more friendly fashion than when it was new.  There are big brakes, gearbox rebuilt, wevo quick change - everything mechanical is superb.

Except that the suspension is rock, rock hard.  Unforgiving.  Lovely for the track and an absolute pain otherwise. 

So I want to consult with someone knowledgeable and arrive at a balance that will provide reasonable road manners, acceptable track handling - stiff and responsive but not rock hard.  I'm thinking to change the torsion bars for something a bit softer (currently 23mm front and 33 rear) and upgrade all the suspension bushings by replacing the track oriented hard nolathane with spherical bearings for compliant movement. ( I've noticed that as the chassis loads up there are times that the suspension does not play ball.)  New shocks.  Whatever it needs.  After 35 years of sensational fun the budget, while a consideration, is not the first cab off the rank.

I'm attracted to some of the options by Elephant racing and also the progressive shocks by KW but have made no decisions yet.  I want to ensure that the shocks and the Torsion bars are in tune with one another.  I've been holding off on buying new road tires (Currently on A050 17" and/or depending on the track and the weather, Kumho 16") to complete the package and am interested in what is recommended by other 911 enthusiast drivers for road use. 

I'm in Sydney but would consider taking my 911 to other centres if there's someone truly exceptional and am looking forward to the collective wisdom of this forum.  Over to you guys.

I got the full "restoration" package which is about $2k USD if you use the suspension builder from Elephant Racing.  It's on an '81 911SC and drives great.  My suspension was original and this has completely transformed the car.

 

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Hi Syd,

I’m a bit late to this party but here my 2c worth.

Have a look at the Von brand shocks sold by Chuck at Elephant Racing. His logic is that there are only about 5 torsion bar combos that work and he has 5 shock valvings to suit.  

My hot rod targa has his level 2 shocks with matched torsion bars (21 and 28 from memory) and it is an amazing set up for a fun/fast street car. 60 series tyres help with a comfortable ride too.  I went with non adjustable for a simple life and couldn’t be happier. You’re welcome to have a drive.  Sways are stock  

I now also have his level 5 Vons in my group s car (torsion 24 34 I think). Again, works really well. 

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35 minutes ago, OBRUT said:

Hi Syd,

I’m a bit late to this party but here my 2c worth.

Have a look at the Von brand shocks sold by Chuck at Elephant Racing. His logic is that there are only about 5 torsion bar combos that work and he has 5 shock valvings to suit.  

My hot rod targa has his level 2 shocks with matched torsion bars (21 and 28 from memory) and it is an amazing set up for a fun/fast street car. 60 series tyres help with a comfortable ride too.  I went with non adjustable for a simple life and couldn’t be happier. You’re welcome to have a drive.  Sways are stock  

I now also have his level 5 Vons in my group s car (torsion 24 34 I think). Again, works really well

thank you, that is really interesting.  I'm especially interested in the correct shock set up relative to whichever torsion bar I use.  The jury is still out regarding going softer on the torsion bars or perhaps using coil springs as per the earlier post by FUCHer

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1 hour ago, sydr said:

thank you, that is really interesting.  I'm especially interested in the correct shock set up relative to whichever torsion bar I use.  The jury is still out regarding going softer on the torsion bars or perhaps using coil springs as per the earlier post by FUCHer

My experience with level 2 and 5 is they both suit the recommended torsion bar sizes very well. 

 

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Hi Syd long time!

I too remember following you around EC & Wakefield but you kept disappearing!

I have the same year/colour Carrera as yours but not modified other than sway bars & weight loss. Some years ago I was going to embark on a similar path to you but life and motorcycles got in the way and I now find myself thinking about preserving the old girl as you are.

It has around 100k on it and is still pretty original. So all the interior is going back in and I'm half way through a restoration of the engine bay, engine hardware, tinware, heat backdate, rear suspension etc. 993 HE's going on and that's about it.....I'm hoping to have it done as my daughter's chariot for her wedding later in the year.

I'd love to see your car again & check out what you've done.

Cheers

Phil

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