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    Thread: Autocross Suspension Setup Help

    1. Member AutoX Matt's Avatar
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      04-26-2012 08:16 PM #1
      I'm looking for a good autocross setup that is still viable as an occasional daily driver. As of this moment I have shine real street front and rear springs, no front sway bar, a stock 16V rear sway bar, an SCCH rear toe-control kit, Boge Pro-Gas shocks, 205/50-15 Yokohama AD08s on 15x7s, neuspeed upper front tie bar, autotech upper rear tie bar, polyurethane front control arm bushings, and poly rear axle beam mounts. I have poly upper rear shock mounts & GoKraut's front cross member brace waiting to be installed. I am not putting my shine racing sway bar back on.
      My front alignment is currently at -1.1 front camber and +0.40 front toe. I think I want to keep the camber but go to -0.25 front toe. I run in STC.

      Advice please?
      Thanks in advance,
      Matt

    2. 04-27-2012 01:47 AM #2
      First I think you need to get 195 50 15 Toyo R1Rs.

      Do you know your spring rates?
      TEAM DHE/FAST 76 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 SILVER SCIROCCO 2X 08, 09, 10, 12 & 13 regional champ.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 1980 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 RED SCIROCCO 04 & 07 regional champ.
      1987 KARMANN 16V MK2 SILVER SCIROCCO
      Parts--> http://www.parts4vws.com Need Wax?--> Mother's

    3. Member AutoX Matt's Avatar
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      04-27-2012 10:23 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug T View Post
      First I think you need to get 195 50 15 Toyo R1Rs.

      Do you know your spring rates?
      Just dug them up last night. 200 front, 110 rear.

      If it matters, we use somewhat narrow old runways so our courses tend to resemble slaloms with turn arounds at the ends more than a tight technical course.

    4. 04-27-2012 11:44 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by AutoX Matt View Post
      Just dug them up last night. 200 front, 110 rear.

      If it matters, we use somewhat narrow old runways so our courses tend to resemble slaloms with turn arounds at the ends more than a tight technical course.
      Like this?



      Questions:
      1) What is the local competition running as far as cars?
      2) Do you want to be a front runner?
      3) How much time and money are you willing to spend on this project?

      First thing you have to understand is that your car will never be as fast as a well driven STC CIVIC. Out my way we have a very strong STC class. Many of the top STC National champions live in my back yard. I have driven a few of the top cars like Ken's, Jason's and Kurt's (the one that made the 05 STS class rethink what is fast). Keep the car squeaky clean as far as the rules go because the STC guys are into living and dieing by the rules.

      It looks like you have more of a road setup than an Auto-x setup to me. I am not sure how much you want to spend on your 16V? It looks like you need to spend about $1500 - $3000 to make this car work better but it still will not take the class. I think your springs are way too soft. Your shocks are doing more of the work than the springs at this point. You need new adjustable shocks if you want to really step up your program. I am guessing you have lots of wheel spin and the car sifts its weight in the transitions. Your acceleration must be poor. 110 in the rear is at least 300#s too soft. I think you need to increase the rates and add a BIG front sway bar. Remove the rear sway bar. You need to corner weight the car. I would NOT put any extra weight on the front of the car that is not necessary like a core support replacement bracket. Take out as much weight as you can and stay inside the rules (add race seats).

      Don''t change the springs without adding the sway bar on the front. The suspension needs to work as a system so if you start taking my advice you need to commit to the entire setup for it to work.

      Some of us have run stiffer front springs. I have a full assortment of springs from 300#-900# and two cars to do side by side testing. I don't publish my spring rates because I change them for different conditions. Setup depends on many factors. One thing to consider is the surface that you drive on and the tires and wheels you are running. On concrete many drivers use a very stiff front bar because of the insane grip in the tight corners. The front bar ties the front wheels together in the corners but not as much in the sweepers or in a strait line. Front bars give the car a "progressive" suspension. On slicker surfaces a lesser bar is more optimum. You never want the car to push (under steer) The size of the bar does not 100% determine the stiffness of the bar. The bar's "spring rate", attachment points and geometry change the characteristics too. I have never driven two cars that work 100% the same. I notice big differences at different times of the same day on the same tires and the same track. Track temperature and air temp have nearly as much effect as a 50# change in spring rate. At some point you just have to stop thinking about the setup and drive the dumb car as it is.

      You have less bar and less spring. For road racing I would agree that less bar and more spring is valid. Mike Potter had his car set up with more spring and less bar and his car felt good on the infield track at Speedway but the same car was not working as well at auto-x. Auto-x setup is very different than road racing for many reasons.

      One major thing to consider with a MK2 16V is the bumpers! I don't think you can change them out for lighter ones in STC. Having all the extra weight on the ends will greatly alter the handling. I think that stiffer springs like 550# f and 700# r may be required because of the extra weight on the ends. With springs that stiff you won't want to drive your 16V on the street.
      Last edited by Doug T; 04-27-2012 at 11:53 AM.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 76 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 SILVER SCIROCCO 2X 08, 09, 10, 12 & 13 regional champ.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 1980 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 RED SCIROCCO 04 & 07 regional champ.
      1987 KARMANN 16V MK2 SILVER SCIROCCO
      Parts--> http://www.parts4vws.com Need Wax?--> Mother's

    5. Member AutoX Matt's Avatar
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      04-27-2012 02:07 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug T View Post
      Like this?



      Questions:
      1) What is the local competition running as far as cars?
      2) Do you want to be a front runner?
      3) How much time and money are you willing to spend on this project?

      First thing you have to understand is that your car will never be as fast as a well driven STC CIVIC. Out my way we have a very strong STC class. Many of the top STC National champions live in my back yard. I have driven a few of the top cars like Ken's, Jason's and Kurt's (the one that made the 05 STS class rethink what is fast). Keep the car squeaky clean as far as the rules go because the STC guys are into living and dieing by the rules.

      It looks like you have more of a road setup than an Auto-x setup to me. I am not sure how much you want to spend on your 16V? It looks like you need to spend about $1500 - $3000 to make this car work better but it still will not take the class. I think your springs are way too soft. Your shocks are doing more of the work than the springs at this point. You need new adjustable shocks if you want to really step up your program. I am guessing you have lots of wheel spin and the car sifts its weight in the transitions. Your acceleration must be poor. 110 in the rear is at least 300#s too soft. I think you need to increase the rates and add a BIG front sway bar. Remove the rear sway bar. You need to corner weight the car. I would NOT put any extra weight on the front of the car that is not necessary like a core support replacement bracket. Take out as much weight as you can and stay inside the rules (add race seats).

      Don''t change the springs without adding the sway bar on the front. The suspension needs to work as a system so if you start taking my advice you need to commit to the entire setup for it to work.

      Some of us have run stiffer front springs. I have a full assortment of springs from 300#-900# and two cars to do side by side testing. I don't publish my spring rates because I change them for different conditions. Setup depends on many factors. One thing to consider is the surface that you drive on and the tires and wheels you are running. On concrete many drivers use a very stiff front bar because of the insane grip in the tight corners. The front bar ties the front wheels together in the corners but not as much in the sweepers or in a strait line. Front bars give the car a "progressive" suspension. On slicker surfaces a lesser bar is more optimum. You never want the car to push (under steer) The size of the bar does not 100% determine the stiffness of the bar. The bar's "spring rate", attachment points and geometry change the characteristics too. I have never driven two cars that work 100% the same. I notice big differences at different times of the same day on the same tires and the same track. Track temperature and air temp have nearly as much effect as a 50# change in spring rate. At some point you just have to stop thinking about the setup and drive the dumb car as it is.

      You have less bar and less spring. For road racing I would agree that less bar and more spring is valid. Mike Potter had his car set up with more spring and less bar and his car felt good on the infield track at Speedway but the same car was not working as well at auto-x. Auto-x setup is very different than road racing for many reasons.

      One major thing to consider with a MK2 16V is the bumpers! I don't think you can change them out for lighter ones in STC. Having all the extra weight on the ends will greatly alter the handling. I think that stiffer springs like 550# f and 700# r may be required because of the extra weight on the ends. With springs that stiff you won't want to drive your 16V on the street.
      Yes, our courses look very much like the ones in your picture. The surface is old asphalt.

      I belong to the south-jersey region, which has a relatively small autox group (likely because the Philly region is so close by). The last 2 events we had a total of 47 & 55 cars. Currently I'm the only car in STC. Before ST split into STC & STF, main competitors were an RSX type-S, E46 323i, E36 318ti, and EP3 (5th gen) civic. The old civics run in SM, SMF, EP, and HS.

      Although this car's main purpose is autox, it still needs to be usable as an occasional daily driver (about 400 miles a month). I also want to be able to occasionally use it for PDX/PDE. I know and accept that both of those requirements will compromise it's autox performance.

      My primary goal is to have fun. After just purchasing a Golf R money is a bit tight.

      The car does easily spin its tires.
      H&R race springs would be affordable. What are the rates on those? Will my ProGas shocks still work with them or would I needs new shocks for the 1" drop? I'd rather do springs now and shocks later.
      Can I corner weight without having coilovers?
      I still have the stock front swaybar & mounts so putting that back on should be easy.
      The Toyo R1Rs will have to wait until I use up the AD08s. Why would I want to go down to 195 when the Toyos are available in 205?


      Thank you.
      Last edited by AutoX Matt; 04-27-2012 at 03:37 PM.

    6. Member AutoX Matt's Avatar
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      04-28-2012 10:25 PM #6
      I'm currently leaning towards H&R Race Springs, Bilstein Sport shocks, and stock front & rear sway bars as a large step in the right direction while still being cost-conscious.

      Mainly based on this thread: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...ross-STS-Build

      Should that satisfactorily meet my goals?

    7. 04-30-2012 01:35 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by AutoX Matt View Post
      I'm currently leaning towards H&R Race Springs, Bilstein Sport shocks, and stock front & rear sway bars as a large step in the right direction while still being cost-conscious.

      Mainly based on this thread: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...ross-STS-Build

      Should that satisfactorily meet my goals?
      You can see my responses in that thread. I think it will work for you as long as you are just out for fun and seat time. I think driving your car as much as possible is the most important thing to do. I personally would go with a ride height adjustable spring setup but I think I am looking for more performance than you are.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 76 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 SILVER SCIROCCO 2X 08, 09, 10, 12 & 13 regional champ.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 1980 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 RED SCIROCCO 04 & 07 regional champ.
      1987 KARMANN 16V MK2 SILVER SCIROCCO
      Parts--> http://www.parts4vws.com Need Wax?--> Mother's

    8. Member AutoX Matt's Avatar
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      04-30-2012 05:25 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug T View Post
      You can see my responses in that thread. I think it will work for you as long as you are just out for fun and seat time. I think driving your car as much as possible is the most important thing to do. I personally would go with a ride height adjustable spring setup but I think I am looking for more performance than you are.
      I think my driving ability & technique could still use a lot of work. I want a good platform to learn on for now. I'll worry about fine tuning it to be the best it can once I can get all it has out of it. As it is now, an instructor driver friend of mine can routinely jump in and take 3 seconds off my best time up to then, and my first run afterwards is usually 1-2 seconds faster than my previous best. I wouldn't know where to start adjusting w/ ride height & damping. Hopefully I'll learn something from the difference in how the car handles after installing the new springs & shocks & putting the front bar back on.

    9. 05-01-2012 12:09 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by AutoX Matt View Post
      I think my driving ability & technique could still use a lot of work. I want a good platform to learn on for now. I'll worry about fine tuning it to be the best it can once I can get all it has out of it. As it is now, an instructor driver friend of mine can routinely jump in and take 3 seconds off my best time up to then, and my first run afterwards is usually 1-2 seconds faster than my previous best. I wouldn't know where to start adjusting w/ ride height & damping. Hopefully I'll learn something from the difference in how the car handles after installing the new springs & shocks & putting the front bar back on.

      Cool and cool.

      I would feel bad if I did not tell you that you left some time on the clock with your setup. I wish I could just have fun and shed time each lap. At this point I am lucky to take 1 second off in three or more runs. The last two events I was only .015 better on my second and then .9 on my third. It sucks driving so consistently. It sounds like you have a great attitude and I hope you get sooth and fast at driving. Driving is the hardest part, not car setup.

      BTW the 195 wide Toyo R1R works better because 1) it is wider than 195 in reality and 2) it needs the sidewall pulled to increase turn in because the sidewall is not stiff enough. The wider tires are not as fast (as seen in side by side testing on Civics).
      Last edited by Doug T; 05-01-2012 at 11:06 AM.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 76 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 SILVER SCIROCCO 2X 08, 09, 10, 12 & 13 regional champ.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 1980 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 RED SCIROCCO 04 & 07 regional champ.
      1987 KARMANN 16V MK2 SILVER SCIROCCO
      Parts--> http://www.parts4vws.com Need Wax?--> Mother's

    10. Member AutoX Matt's Avatar
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      05-01-2012 06:50 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug T View Post
      Cool and cool.

      I would feel bad if I did not tell you that you left some time on the clock with your setup. I wish I could just have fun and shed time each lap. At this point I am lucky to take 1 second off in three or more runs. The last two events I was only .015 better on my second and then .9 on my third. It sucks driving so consistently. It sounds like you have a great attitude and I hope you get sooth and fast at driving. Driving is the hardest part, not car setup.

      BTW the 195 wide Toyo R1R works better because 1) it is wider than 195 in reality and 2) it needs the sidewall pulled to increase turn in because the sidewall is not stiff enough. The wider tires are not as fast (as seen in side by side testing on Civics).
      Thanks.

      Are you refering to the comparisson that Grass Roots Motorsports magazine did? That & the TireRack comparisson are why I bought the AD08's. If you say that 195/50 R1Rs are better then 205/50 AD08s, I'll switch when the AD08s wear out. I had been thinking of RE11s as people seem to like them.

    11. 05-02-2012 03:00 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by AutoX Matt View Post
      Thanks.

      Are you refering to the comparisson that Grass Roots Motorsports magazine did? That & the TireRack comparisson are why I bought the AD08's. If you say that 195/50 R1Rs are better then 205/50 AD08s, I'll switch when the AD08s wear out. I had been thinking of RE11s as people seem to like them.
      My comparison is from working with and watching the top STC Civics in the country. I have 4 auto-x cars myself. Two of my cars run on street tires. We have several top STC Civics including James Wong's national champing winning Civic in our region. Thees guys are running 4 sets of wheels and 2 or three drives per car. They change wheels between runs. We have tested RE-11s, Star specs, RS-3, Toyo R1Rs, and Federals side by side. The RE-11s work well (I have some on my Scirocco 16V BTW) but I think the Toyo (tire of choice) is faster for light cars. The RE-11 works better on heaver cars. The Star specs work better than the RS-3 in the rain or cold conditions. RS-3 are better in heat and on heaver cars. 15" RS-3 are too wide for your car so they are not an option. Toyo R1Rs are good in the rain and in the dry.

      Andy Hollis's testing in GRM was with the 205 R1R and the 195 is faster. We all agree that the Falken Azenis RT-615 is not the tire to have. The 205 RE-11 is a good contender.

      http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/art...-tires-part-1/




      Last edited by Doug T; 05-02-2012 at 11:35 AM.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 76 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 SILVER SCIROCCO 2X 08, 09, 10, 12 & 13 regional champ.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 1980 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 RED SCIROCCO 04 & 07 regional champ.
      1987 KARMANN 16V MK2 SILVER SCIROCCO
      Parts--> http://www.parts4vws.com Need Wax?--> Mother's

    12. Member AutoX Matt's Avatar
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      05-02-2012 08:06 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug T View Post
      We have tested RE-11s, Star specs, RS-3, Toyo R1Rs, and Federals side by side. The RE-11s work well (I have some on my Scirocco 16V BTW) but I think the Toyo (tire of choice) is faster for light cars. The RE-11 works better on heaver cars. The Star specs work better than the RS-3 in the rain or cold conditions. RS-3 are better in heat and on heaver cars. 15" RS-3 are too wide for your car so they are not an option. Toyo R1Rs are good in the rain and in the dry.

      Andy Hollis's testing in GRM was with the 205 R1R and the 195 is faster. We all agree that the Falken Azenis RT-615 is not the tire to have. The 205 RE-11 is a good contender.


      What size are the tires in that picture? are they both 195? That's a R1R and a Star Spec, right?

      Why didn't you also test AD08's and Kumho XSs?

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      05-02-2012 09:55 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by AutoX Matt View Post
      What size are the tires in that picture? are they both 195? That's a R1R and a Star Spec, right?

      Why didn't you also test AD08's and Kumho XSs?
      I think the left is 185-60-14 Star Spec on 6" factory Snowflake and right is 195-50-15 R1R on a much wider wheel.

      I am currently debating this dilemma myself. I have very nice 15x6 BBS RAs that could go on the car (can't seem to sell them) but a bit narrow for auto-x. While the R1R is a better auto-x setup per Doug, I am leaning to the Dunlops as these tires would see regular use, too - i.e. road trip to Cincy.

    14. 05-03-2012 01:18 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by AutoX Matt View Post
      What size are the tires in that picture? are they both 195? That's a R1R and a Star Spec, right?

      Why didn't you also test AD08's and Kumho XSs?
      That is my star spec 185 60 14 street tire next to a R1R 195 50 15 on an 8" wide wheel.

      The AD08's never impressed us. With the AD08s the grip was great on the first run, they fell off and were unpredictable the 2nd and 3rd laps. You need to be very smooth on your last run with that tire.

      We did test the Kumho SX on the Civics.

      We ran the Kuhmo XS (full treaded and shaved). I don't have hard data comparing the Kuhmo to the current fast tire, the Toyo R1R. I only can tell you how they feel...

      1. Braking on the Kuhmo's compared to the Toyo's are a night and day difference. I felt like I never knew the maximum braking threshold on pavement. On a gripper surface the Kuhmo's seem fine and predictable.

      2. Kuhmo's don't really like being cold, the first run was always slippery no matter what surface we were on. It really killed my confidence in the car, especially on a Championship day. They do like heat. I've shaved them and I felt like dialing in the car was necessary. As with most tires they do work better shaved. I felt I had to think about the car setup more with the Kumho and I would rather not think about the car when driving it. As far as the sidewalls go I would say they are on the stiffer side as Kumhos tend to be, this makes them great in transitions.

      The Toyo R1R sidewall is soft and that is why you need to run the 195s on a wider rim (7-7,5). It's a sticky tire. it's good in the rain. The compound is very near an R compound. They don't last very long but the grip is great. For Auto-x they are fantastic.

      B-Stone RE-01Rs were great back in the day but are now old news. Any that you could get would be old and will have lost the new tire freshness. I still have a set and use them for daily driving.

      The RE-11 (have them on another set of wheels) are expensive but I like them too. They are wide (195s measure wide and meaty) but very nice road drivers. You will need stiff springs to prevent wearing off your 16V body kit (fender flairs) if you lower your car. I have H&R sport springs on my 16V and I still rub on some bumps but with Auto-x transitions you are going to rub with any soft spring and wide tire.

      RE-01R
      Last edited by Doug T; 05-04-2012 at 11:32 AM.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 76 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 SILVER SCIROCCO 2X 08, 09, 10, 12 & 13 regional champ.
      TEAM DHE/FAST 1980 KARMANN 8V FSP MK1 RED SCIROCCO 04 & 07 regional champ.
      1987 KARMANN 16V MK2 SILVER SCIROCCO
      Parts--> http://www.parts4vws.com Need Wax?--> Mother's

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