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Stiff Springs, Soft Damper?

Old 08-23-03, 10:00 AM
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Question Stiff Springs, Soft Damper?

What would be the downside of running stiff springs on soft dampers at the track? ie. stock dampers with 2-3x stiffer springs. What would happen to the car as you're going around the track?

I realize this is more a suspension related question, but I want to take a track spin on it and you guys give the best answers. Thanks.
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Old 08-23-03, 12:06 PM
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I'm not a super experienced track guy, but I've been there once or twice and I drive hard on the street...

I have pretty stiff springs with 16 way adjustable shocks, and I can tell you that in my experience, setting the damping too soft makes the car drive terribly. The car bounces up and down so much that it makes you seasick. When I stiffen the dampers up to match the springs, it feels "hard" and stiff and can definitely rattle your teeth, but the see-sawing motions are gone.

Just my $ 0.02

Brian
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Old 08-24-03, 01:13 PM
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the shock or damper is just that a damper to control the spring. if springs are to stiff for the shock/damper it will just bounce, as the shock/damper will not be able to control the spring. better to use the too stiff shock on the soft spring
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Old 08-26-03, 11:26 AM
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Re: Stiff Springs, Soft Damper?

Originally posted by Snrub
What would be the downside of running stiff springs on soft dampers at the track? ie. stock dampers with 2-3x stiffer springs. What would happen to the car as you're going around the track?
What you have essentially achieved is underdamping. Your springs will become pendulums for weight and momentum transfer. IOW, when you drive over a bump with this setup, the car will bounce continually until enough energy is dissipated to remain at 'equilibrium'. You ever see a vato-mobile with hydraulics go over a speed bump? Ever notice how the car just keeps bouncing after it passes the bump and doesn't stop for a good while? That's underdamped ... or in that extreme case, no damping.

For a track setup, you want shocks that are valved to your spring rates. Unless you actually like being the slow guy on course ....
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Old 08-27-03, 06:11 AM
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Re: Re: Stiff Springs, Soft Damper?

Originally posted by redrotorR1
For a track setup, you want shocks that are valved to your spring rates. Unless you actually like being the slow guy on course ....
LOL...Good point. Another thing to keep in mind is what type of driving you will be doing, i.e. drift or grip. I can tell you first hand that having a stiffer spring than what you need doesn't feel too good on the track. It may feel fine at first, but once you try to hit the turn faster and harder, the car won't respond as well.
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