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FC Race Suspension

Old 12-20-08, 01:56 PM
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FC Race Suspension

My 90% prepared '87 RX7 TurboII has been sitting in my garage for a few (5?) years after some issues with local shops. The build was started about 8 years ago, with a MazdaComp suspension put on the car 10 years ago. I assume there have been a lot of improvements since then and I could use for somebody to bring me up to speed.

This is a fun car, NASA ST or SCCA ITE so there are no real rules constraints. Bang for the buck is important, mind you. I notice a place called MMR-Direct has rear control arm spherical bearings but "only" has delrin for the fronts. I figure the car is 20 years old and all the bushings need replacing.

I also see AWR has new toe links, fancy independant rear camber adjusters and needle bearing front control arms. Are the AWR parts pretty much the best of the best still?

Finally, anybody running double-adjustable structs/shocks? I'll start on the KONIs currently on the car, but I have a feeling I'll be looking for more quickly since I'm spoiled with DA Penskes on another car...
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Old 12-20-08, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by gkmccready View Post
Are the AWR parts pretty much the best of the best still?

Finally, anybody running double-adjustable structs/shocks?
Yes and Yes. Here's a partial list of some of my parts...

Front
MMR control arm bushings
AWR strut housings
Koni dbl adjustables
Mazdaspeed camber/caster plates
AWR strut bar
AWR 2 piece rotors

Rear
AWR sphericals
AWR toe links
MMR individual camber
AWR single camber
Mazdatrix Delrin subframe
Custom Delrin upper hub mount
Mazdaspeed aluminum DTSS
Custom Koni dbl adjustables
AWR top mounts
AWR 2 piece rotors

About the only thing I don't have is the front control arm needle bearings, just couldn't justify the cost right now. Maybe in the future.
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Old 12-20-08, 05:48 PM
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Sounds like things haven't changed much in the last decade...

I don't see the AWR sphericals on their website. I'm short the toe-links, individual rear camber adjusters, and fresh bushings, but it sounds like otherwise I don't need to [re-]invest much in to the suspension right now. That's great news. The only suspension bushing I changed out way back when was the MazdaComp DTSS eliminator.
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Old 12-20-08, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gkmccready View Post

I don't see the AWR sphericals on their website.
http://www.awrracing.com/store/produ...products_id=86

Other choices are MMR and ISC for rear sphericals.

MMR said they were coming out with toe links after Thanksgiving, but have not seen such. Their individual camber adjusters I just got, they look pretty good, better than the AWR ones, but I'm no engineer.
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Old 12-20-08, 05:59 PM
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I don't think the AWR stuff is legal for ITE. It would be worth checking. I've built a warped version of an E-production car for time attack and road racing. I'm using the AWR rear spherical bushings and adjustable toe links along with independant camber adjusters and the AWR Bilstien non-adjustables. Running Yokohama A005 slicks (235/40/17 up front and 255/40/17 out back) the car sticks pretty good and puts down the A-Spec gt35R fed 400 rwhp quite well. Planned improvements are now centered around fixing some of the geometry problems (needs anti-squat in the rear and I need to raise the front roll center).

-Trent
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Old 12-20-08, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by TrentO View Post
I don't think the AWR stuff is legal for ITE. It would be worth checking. I've built a warped version of an E-production car for time attack and road racing. I'm using the AWR rear spherical bushings and adjustable toe links along with independant camber adjusters and the AWR Bilstien non-adjustables. Running Yokohama A005 slicks (235/40/17 up front and 255/40/17 out back) the car sticks pretty good and puts down the A-Spec gt35R fed 400 rwhp quite well. Planned improvements are now centered around fixing some of the geometry problems (needs anti-squat in the rear and I need to raise the front roll center).
I'd like to hear more about your car. Mine is an '87 RX-7 TurboII with a 60-1 HiFi.

I did look at the AWR sphericals now that I see a picture of them again. Tempting all the way around.

I thought ITE was a catch-all? Anyway, more likely to run with the NASA folks these days. My car is also mostly built as an EP car (by Frey Racing) so I would have the option of putting an NA motor in should I choose...
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Old 12-20-08, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by gkmccready View Post
I thought ITE was a catch-all?
It is. ITE rules vary from region to region. Here's a summary of them...

http://www.improvedtouring.com/forum...ghlight=sowdiv

BTW, your car can probably run PT in NASA. Might be more competitive than in ST.
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Old 12-20-08, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by SCCAITS View Post
BTW, your car can probably run PT in NASA. Might be more competitive than in ST.
That would be ideal, but being a turbo and heavily massaged it seems doubtful. More likely I'll be chasing the Corvettes in ST1/2.
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Old 12-20-08, 09:59 PM
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FWIW I have a set of the AWR rear spherical bearings but I haven't installed them yet, and after finding the MMR ones I don't plan to. The MMR ones seem to be a much better design. They are one piece and do not have to be welded; they are held by a snap ring so you can remove them to service the bearing.
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Old 12-20-08, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SCCAITS View Post
Yes and Yes. Here's a partial list of some of my parts...

Front
MMR control arm bushings
AWR strut housings
Koni dbl adjustables
Mazdaspeed camber/caster plates
AWR strut bar
AWR 2 piece rotors

Rear
AWR sphericals
AWR toe links
MMR individual camber
AWR single camber
Mazdatrix Delrin subframe
Custom Delrin upper hub mount
Mazdaspeed aluminum DTSS
Custom Koni dbl adjustables
AWR top mounts
AWR 2 piece rotors

About the only thing I don't have is the front control arm needle bearings, just couldn't justify the cost right now. Maybe in the future.
How are those AWR rotors? I was looking at them last time I needed rotors but the required machining put me off. I'm also lookin to go big brake kit in my fronts, but I'm open to putting those on the rear, they do look better than the stock replacement type stuff I've been running.
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Old 12-21-08, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
How are those AWR rotors?
I've ran the fronts for about 4 races now and just got the rears. So far I am happy with them. The front hubs do need to be machined at a shop. The diameter of the front hub needs to be reduced ever so slightly, cost me only $65 or so to have done. The rear hub needs to also be machined, basically the nub where the wheel studs are needs to be ground down some. I did that myself. The minor massaging of parts is not that big of deal. The worst part was all the drill bits I went through putting holes in the hat bolts so I could use safety wire.

Last edited by SCCAITS; 12-21-08 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 12-21-08, 11:23 AM
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The hat bolts don't come pre-drilled? That's lame. Do you have a safety wire drilling jig? Makes it easier.
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Old 12-21-08, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
The hat bolts don't come pre-drilled? That's lame. Do you have a safety wire drilling jig? Makes it easier.
Mine did not come pre-drilled. I don't have a jig, thought about making one but just put the bolts in a bench vice instead.
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Old 12-22-08, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
FWIW I have a set of the AWR rear spherical bearings but I haven't installed them yet, and after finding the MMR ones I don't plan to. The MMR ones seem to be a much better design. They are one piece and do not have to be welded; they are held by a snap ring so you can remove them to service the bearing.
I do like the design better, but the 2000(?) series aluminum makes me nervous. I'd much rather see them made from steel for better strength and durability, or at least 6061 T6. I'd also worry about them spec'ing cheaper bearings which would wear out faster, as it's some pretty extreme service for a bearing.

Originally Posted by SCCAITS View Post
MMR said they were coming out with toe links after Thanksgiving, but have not seen such. Their individual camber adjusters I just got, they look pretty good, better than the AWR ones, but I'm no engineer.
I prefer that AWR design, but I don't think those are under much stress, so just about anything's probably fine.
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Old 12-22-08, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by SCCAITS View Post
Yes and Yes. Here's a partial list of some of my parts...

Front
MMR control arm bushings
AWR strut housings
Koni dbl adjustables
Mazdaspeed camber/caster plates
AWR strut bar
AWR 2 piece rotors

Rear
AWR sphericals
AWR toe links
MMR individual camber
AWR single camber
Mazdatrix Delrin subframe
Custom Delrin upper hub mount
Mazdaspeed aluminum DTSS
Custom Koni dbl adjustables
AWR top mounts
AWR 2 piece rotors

About the only thing I don't have is the front control arm needle bearings, just couldn't justify the cost right now. Maybe in the future.
I have essentially the identical setup to you, except I am running the Evo Brembo's in the front and have the AWR front control arms as well. Love the setup!
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Old 12-22-08, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Black91n/a View Post
I do like the design better, but the 2000(?) series aluminum makes me nervous. I'd much rather see them made from steel for better strength and durability, or at least 6061 T6. I'd also worry about them spec'ing cheaper bearings which would wear out faster, as it's some pretty extreme service for a bearing.



I prefer that AWR design, but I don't think those are under much stress, so just about anything's probably fine.
I've actually broken on of the AWR rear camber pieces! The big vertical bolt that holds the two parts together snapped right at a thread root. I think what happened is the coating got damaged and it rusted a little and formed a stress riser, cracked and then kaboom. I don't think it's a fault of the design though, my replacement piece (free!) has held up for quite some time now.

I didn't notice it while driving though, I looked at the car in the garage and saw HUGE negative camber, looked under the car and saw it sitting there broken.

As for material choice for the spherical bearing, the part is mostly under compression stress between the inner and outer parts, and just about any material would be strong enough.
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