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Track Junkies, Coilover setups on FC3S?

Old 01-12-12, 11:54 PM
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Track Junkies, Coilover setups on FC3S?

What coilover setups are you running at the track? I am trying to get my car ready for my first track day in May 1.3mi at MSR in Cresson Tx. Coilover selection I am finding is not very pleasing...geared more towards slammed vehicles, single adjustable and no gas adjustability.

I am looking for:
1. Rebound and Compression adjustable
2. Gas adjustable (nitrogen)
3. Do not care if it has separate height adjustment, pre-load only is fine
4. Serviceable shock as they will need to be rebuilt every season

I've seen that Stance offers an OTS application with these options, but back from my S2000 days, did not hear good things about their shocks...inconsistent valving when ran for more than an hour, but I have no personal experience with them.

I've contacted Koni USA, but they only offer a strut insert for the fronts and a kit for the rear. The front strut insert involves cutting the factory strut as it is non serviceable. I would also have to modify it to accept a coil over sleeve. I am looking for a better option than this.

I also have a friend that has a hook up from AST, local serviceability and I'll be looking into this as well for a custom application dependent on price and willingness to design something for a 25 year vehicle.

My next options are to contact JRZ and Moton to see what they have to offer.

So what are you guys running?
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Old 01-13-12, 03:13 AM
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I can't help you very much with your questions as I'm primarily an FD guy, but what event are you running at MSR-C in May? I'm planning on running some NASA-TX events this year(Southeast transplant) so keep an eye out for an ugly yellow FD.

As far as coilovers in general... I'm sure you know AST bought Moton. In your post above, after contacting AST, you would contact JRZ or Moton. Lex Carson, who basically ran Moton USA, now has his own company: http://www.motioncontrolsuspension.com/ I'm sure they are the "new" Moton.

What kind of budget are you looking at? I'm running Penske's 8665's and have been extremely happy with them. I'd think they have something for the FC as well. They have a really nice, double adjustable, dual bleed shaft damper that is called the 7565 that is alot of bang for the buck.
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Old 01-13-12, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by hollowfikation View Post

I've contacted Koni USA, but they only offer a strut insert for the fronts and a kit for the rear. The front strut insert involves cutting the factory strut as it is non serviceable. I would also have to modify it to accept a coil over sleeve. I am looking for a better option than this.

I have double adjustable Koni front and rear. They make an off the shelf double adjustable for the front that fits these: http://store.awrracing.com/products/...-RX%252d7.html or http://store.awrracing.com/products/...-RX%252d7.html and for the rear you get a single adjustable and have it converted to double.

I'd recommend looking more at what AWR has as they were a supplier to Mazdaspeed for many of the FC comp parts. AWR pushes Bilstein rather than Koni though. You can also call http://www.flatout-motorsports.com/ who can set you up. Check on improvedtouring.com as I recall seeing some complete suspension packages lately for double adjustable, not sure if they have sold or not.

Finally, a shop mate of mine is trying to unload an EP FC roller that he never got around to finishing, PM me for details. The good thing is it's here in Dallas and you can pick up suspension and more for pennies on the dollar.
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Old 01-13-12, 09:36 AM
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whats your budget? Near as I can tell there is little to no difference amongst the sub-1000$ "coilovers". I have a set of BC coilovers on my FC and they are ok, and with a little tweeking they will be close to adequate. They are rebuildable, which is a plus, but like all of the OTS dampers in this pricerange, they do not dyno even close to the same.

On the RX8's I use Koni 8212 double adjustables that have been sorted by TrueChoice, and they work awesome.

The sport yellow Koni can be revalved into a very good damper, and is not a bad choice for the money. Modifying a strut housing etc. is not a big issue at al, as long s the original housings are in good shape.

Penske, JRZ, Ohlins, AST, etc. will all work but you are looking at a custom built damper which will not likely be cheap. If it were me, and its not, but if it were- I would do Penskes. Pretty much every major metro area has at least one circle track or formula car shop with a shock dyno and access to Penske parts, and Penske themselves have always been great to work with. The thing you run into if you have JRZ/Ohlins/Koni Race Dampers is the parts may very well not be in the country when you really need them, and overnighting bits from Holland- which is where most of these companies are based for some reason- sucks. AST is also an option, and I have thier product on my Challenger, and they seem to stock a lot of parts, but I would likely still go Penske.

Whatever you do, do not buy a used set of shocks without literally sending them off immediately to be serviced. I have seen people chase handling issues for months only to find out it was the dampers they dot a "deal" on.
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Old 01-13-12, 11:12 AM
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doing the koni setup is actually very easy, and it does work really well, its the best $1000 option.

back in the day we were looking at doing something better too (JRZ's i think), but the market isn't there.

we did do an inverted bilstein in a custom housing (which is also very easy). if all goes well it'll see the light of day this season.
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Old 01-13-12, 12:45 PM
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you're gonna have to go custom for anything decent. Bilsteins can be fairly easily converted to single/double adjustable, just gotta buy shafts and canisters and put it all together (or have a shock place do it..). if Bilstein's off the shelf FC shocks can go low enough for you, there ya go. THey can probably be shortened if needed. Check out fatcatmotorsports. Its all miata parts, but the guy builds double adjustable Bilstein coilovers out of oem units for a very reasonable price. I know he's done one off stuff for other cars (RX8, solstice, etc), so he could probably help you out

FWIW, i used to have 8611's in front, DA converted Yellows in the rear, and I switched to non-adjustable bilsteins. I like them a lot better. the difference is notciable.
my horribly wordy writeup - https://www.rx7club.com/showthread.p...light=bilstein
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Old 01-13-12, 01:57 PM
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https://www.rx7club.com/showthread.php?t=983642

I'm selling my double adjustable koni/mazdaspeed coilovers if you're interested.
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Old 01-16-12, 10:57 PM
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Thanks for all the info. I talked to AST and it looks like that they may be able to come up with something for me for not too bad of a price. They are local as well...so servicing will be very convenient. As of now, its up in the air for whether or not they will be able to do nitrogen adjustable w/o an external reservoir....I am not really wanting externals as if I decide to enter a points based classes it'll bump me up significantly. I will keep you guys up to date, possibly get the FC some real track worthy damper setups!!!
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Old 01-17-12, 10:45 PM
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It looks like that I have struck out with AST and Moton... They can make a custom set for a decent price for what I am getting, but out of my budget which was $3500. I am hesitant about the inserts that bilstein and koni make as they are twin tube shock and that will not work for me. Well back to square one or find me an FD roller to build up.
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Old 01-17-12, 11:04 PM
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Bilsteins are monotube.
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Old 01-17-12, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by eage8 View Post
Bilsteins are monotube.
oh really? I'll look into bilstein next then.
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Old 01-18-12, 10:07 AM
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why are you dead set on monotubes?
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Old 01-18-12, 12:43 PM
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I vote FD roller.

I have both FC and FD and I am also frustrated by lack of decent suspension for FC and the fact that even if it had expensive suspension work it still wouldn't be as good as a stock FD.

$2800 Ohlins DFV on an FD sounds great to me.

We even have a forum member working on sunroof/mechanism delete panel which will made cheaper sunroof FD rollers much more appealing for a track car.
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Old 01-18-12, 02:02 PM
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There is not a lack of decent suspension for the FC, these cars have been raced a very very long time and there is stuff out there that works.

Even "crap" shocks can be made to work if you take the time to have them dynoed and matched by someone who cares what they are doing.
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Old 01-18-12, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by D Walker View Post
There is not a lack of decent suspension for the FC, these cars have been raced a very very long time and there is stuff out there that works.

Even "crap" shocks can be made to work if you take the time to have them dynoed and matched by someone who cares what they are doing.
+1

99.9% of people aren't going to get near the limits of a decently valved set of DA konis or even bilsteins.
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Old 01-18-12, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by D Walker View Post
There is not a lack of decent suspension for the FC, these cars have been raced a very very long time and there is stuff out there that works.

Even "crap" shocks can be made to work if you take the time to have them dynoed and matched by someone who cares what they are doing.
I still believe there is a lack of decent suspension set ups, that is my opinion...My definition of a great shock is what I listed in my original post, that is my criteria followed up with a dyno plot and to each his own. Regardless, most reputable shock builders will not touch and revalve a shock that does not belong to them. That being said, AST, Moton, JRZ and Penske do not have applications in there catalog for a 26 year old car. They are more than happy to make a custom set and they would be valved to my specification, but not for my budget....one person = FAIL compared to a Race Team budget. (even tho I may break my budget in this one area...AST has me interested but still very expensive)

Yes the car has been raced for a very long time....but I can guarantee that those race teams had large budgets that would allow for a custom setup to be created or made something work to what their expectations were. None of the OTS shocks are going to meet the demands of competitive racing. I am sorry, OTS shocks may work awesome for an occasional HPDE, but not for what I am doing.

Most of the shocks are twin tube and assuming it has a great dyno plot....Have you gone any longer than a 20 minute session on a twin tube shock? If you have then you will completely understand what I am talking about....heat doesn't dissipate very well. Performance becomes inconsistent and the characteristics of the vehicle change. Example being the KWV3 for the S2000, one of the best OTS you can buy with consistent valving, dual adjustable....become foamy after 20 minutes on the track., but awesome if you are an avid HPDE guy thats on a sub $2000 shock budget. That being said, you say go Monotube...well OTS shocks are put together very quickly and in a factory. I have had OTS monotubes dynoed....inconsistent valving between a set of 4...and different plots in all 4 shocks, I'm not bashing any brands or names, so I am not going to say who.

So when you look for a competent shock, you hit up the big dogs in racing that are standing on the podium (AST has grand am now, Moton JRZ and Penske). OTS shocks are great if you are looking to lower your car for the stance you want or whatever...not ideal for competitive racing.

Koni makes a twin tube insert that many of you have ran, but again the twin tube is not going to work for me. I do have an interest in the Bilstein Monotube insert they have available, it seems promising with a competent builder, but again these are not OTS shocks and just because there are one or two decent options...the rest are epic fail.

26 year old chassis just does not have the support that newer cars have. Miatia's , FD, S2000 and so on...have a lot better support for track side parts.

And yes I have seen the STANCE 2 way and 3 way adjustable setup they have for the FC....great if you are part of their movement and what they believe in...not for competitive racing.
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Old 01-18-12, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by eage8 View Post
+1

99.9% of people aren't going to get near the limits of a decently valved set of DA konis or even bilsteins.
I agree with this statement.
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Old 01-19-12, 12:09 AM
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Your really making a lot of assumptions without much backing them up, so I am going to take this on a per-statement basis, so bear with me.

Originally Posted by hollowfikation View Post
I still believe there is a lack of decent suspension set ups, that is my opinion...My definition of a great shock is what I listed in my original post, that is my criteria followed up with a dyno plot and to each his own.
Dyno sheets can be generated for any shock. In fact, if your serious, you should have every shock dynoed on a regular basis. Honestly, most people will never know and could never tell until a real problem existed.

Originally Posted by hollowfikation View Post
Regardless, most reputable shock builders will not touch and revalve a shock that does not belong to them.
No. There are shock centers all over the country that will build you whatever you want.
The FC shock is not a particularly unique shock and tooling and parts exist for it. The problem is in wanting an off the shelf unit to meet your needs, and that is not the case for anything.


Originally Posted by hollowfikation View Post
That being said, AST, Moton, JRZ and Penske do not have applications in there catalog for a 26 year old car. They are more than happy to make a custom set and they would be valved to my specification, but not for my budget....one person = FAIL compared to a Race Team budget. (even tho I may break my budget in this one area...AST has me interested but still very expensive)
No. The age of the car has nothing to do with it. There are many recently built E-prod cars throughout the country. These are cars that handle beyond well. Not all of them use a secret squirrel setup.

Originally Posted by hollowfikation View Post
Yes the car has been raced for a very long time....but I can guarantee that those race teams had large budgets that would allow for a custom setup to be created or made something work to what their expectations were. None of the OTS shocks are going to meet the demands of competitive racing. I am sorry, OTS shocks may work awesome for an occasional HPDE, but not for what I am doing.
Negative Ghostrider. Eprod guys are normal sorts of guys with normal budgets. To Repeat- There are NO high budget teams running FC's. Even in the Pikes Peak FC we used an off the shelf BC coilover, and it worked fine, albeit the springs were a bit stiff. They still work fine. They even have a shock dyno and an understanding of what they are doing and can rebuild/revalve to suit your needs. Might cost something though, wouldnt know, I had mine redone by a local guy.

Originally Posted by hollowfikation View Post
Most of the shocks are twin tube and assuming it has a great dyno plot....Have you gone any longer than a 20 minute session on a twin tube shock? If you have then you will completely understand what I am talking about....heat doesn't dissipate very well. Performance becomes inconsistent and the characteristics of the vehicle change. Example being the KWV3 for the S2000, one of the best OTS you can buy with consistent valving, dual adjustable....become foamy after 20 minutes on the track., but awesome if you are an avid HPDE guy thats on a sub $2000 shock budget. That being said, you say go Monotube...well OTS shocks are put together very quickly and in a factory. I have had OTS monotubes dynoed....inconsistent valving between a set of 4...and different plots in all 4 shocks, I'm not bashing any brands or names, so I am not going to say who.
All over the counter damper will vary. Period. Thats why they make shock dynos.


Originally Posted by hollowfikation View Post
So when you look for a competent shock, you hit up the big dogs in racing that are standing on the podium (AST has grand am now, Moton JRZ and Penske). OTS shocks are great if you are looking to lower your car for the stance you want or whatever...not ideal for competitive racing.
I disagree, my experience has been as stated above. I have Koni 8212's on my #07 RX8, and they work flawlessly. I have Eibachs on the #08 RX8 and they work fine as well. As stated above, I have a set of matched (now) BC's on my FC and they also wok fine. The consistent thing here? The dampers are dynoed, revalved, and matched. When I was looking for an emergency solution for the #08 car, we almost picked up a set of off the shelf Ohlins, revalved to suit (temporarily) our needs.

Originally Posted by hollowfikation View Post
Koni makes a twin tube insert that many of you have ran, but again the twin tube is not going to work for me. I do have an interest in the Bilstein Monotube insert they have available, it seems promising with a competent builder, but again these are not OTS shocks and just because there are one or two decent options...the rest are epic fail.
The Bilsteins are a proven answer, as are the Konis, and proven by race cars, on slicks, in National competition.

Originally Posted by hollowfikation View Post
26 year old chassis just does not have the support that newer cars have. Miatia's , FD, S2000 and so on...have a lot better support for track side parts.

And yes I have seen the STANCE 2 way and 3 way adjustable setup they have for the FC....great if you are part of their movement and what they believe in...not for competitive racing.
There is not better support for those cars. If I need dampers for my RX8 they are MADE not sitting in inventory somewhere. I almost went Penske this year just because Koni pissed me off so bad last season. I came up with a work-around, but still may go Penske's.

Not sure what kind of racing your doing, but if you tell me what your application is I can maybe help you further.
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Old 01-19-12, 08:39 AM
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We us Advanced Design shocks on all 4 corners. They meet the criteria in your original post except you will need to but or build strut tubes to accept the insert. I don't think there is any way around that for a good shock. They are a budget friendly option as well. That all being said Ground Controls customer service is horrendous and I try to avoid using them if possible. We bought ours from a guy that gave up on a EP project. They were brand new and never run.
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Old 01-19-12, 01:13 PM
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while i wouldn't argue that better shocks are better, its been my experience that the difference between a really good setup and a great setup is very small, in terms of lap times.

we have run our car with the shocks full soft and full stiff, on Koni 86xx's. the lap times at thunderhill vary by about .2 of a second. switching from Ra1's to R888's was a bigger difference!

also we ran the normal season in 2011, i think our longest session was 20minutes. previously we've run 3 25 hour of thunderhills. contrary to your 20minute and the shocks have gone off, we typically record our fastest laptimes in the middle of the night, so that's AFTER running for 10 HOURS.

the take away? buy good shocks, dyno them. drive car
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Old 01-22-12, 02:12 PM
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http://www.anzesuspension.com/applications.cfm -- These guys claim to have a package for the FC, looks like it's Penske based...
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Old 01-23-12, 06:28 PM
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I got a price quote on the above and it ranges from about $5k for single adjustable no option kit without camber plates/strut tops up to around $15k for triple adjustables with all the options.

I know you have to pay to race, but do you think an FC with $15k dampers would hang with an FD with sub $3k Ohlins DFV?

The FC still has inferior suspension geometry that will not keep as much of the tire's contact patch on the track as well as only being able to fit 255 all the way around versus 295 all the way around on stock body.

It seems obvious to me the only reason to spend so much on an FC is if your class requires the chassis.
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Old 01-23-12, 10:59 PM
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bummer, that's way more than Penske's for the FD cost.
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Old 01-23-12, 11:36 PM
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Tha Anze stuff is all more or less handmade, and your paying for the development work that has gone into them. Penske's can be done for far less, but than what would I know.

Also FWIW- the Anze stuff is well engineered and developed, and they know what they are doing. Once you get beyond buying stuff off the shelf your car, the cost can add up pretty quickly.
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Old 01-24-12, 11:21 PM
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I talked to the guys over at ANZE. They seem pretty cool and know what they are doing. I talked to their fabricator/shock builder. Rough estimate for singles was $4500, doubles $5500, triples $7k. All Penske products. I still need to fill out their vehicle sheet to get an exact quote.

AST/Moton triples were $5200 with a 12-16 week lead, may end up going that route. The other option was AST is going to rework some koni 2812 that may work for the FC, they are monotube doubles w/o remotes with all the fab work for $2500. Its still very up in the air....I go back and forth on ditching this track build and picking up an FD roller and building that up....it'll be very similar to my s2000 as they both have double wishbone setups with 50/50 distribution....just more power..LS1 We shall see, I'll keep everyone up to date on the suspension setup if I can hammer things out.
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