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    Thread: AutoX Setup

    1. Member Light on Fuel's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 11:02 PM #36
      Quote Originally Posted by JazzGTI View Post
      I use APR bar front and rear to keep the car balanced. Just the rear is at stiftest setting.
      Thanks for the input. I'm actually considering not running a FB so that I can increase turn-in response. I already have the rear set at 29mm and I actually noticed that the rear rotates a touch easier.
      Quote Originally Posted by JazzGTI View Post
      Learn to brake before the turn-in and let some air out of the tires. I run 40 ft 38 r.
      I tried braking before turn-in when I first started running but noticed (and read) that trailbraking will help rotate the rear easier and allow me to carry momentum thru the turn. Following the advice of a buddy who's a NASA instructor, I started trailbraking into the ABS (feeling the ABS pulse) and it really did help the rear rotate to the point of oversteer. Learning this was tricky and I went into a tank-slapper here and there, but I'm feeling much more confident with each event.
      38psi is a bit too high for my rears, at least with my tires. I started out my last event at 36psi and using my IR and chalked tires ended up bringing them down to 32psi. The tires weren't rolling and the temps were even across the face of the tread (varying within a degree or two). The fronts were über high (50psi) and I was still rolling. But that was more because of improper ride height and alignment. I've since raised the car to the very end of adjustment and will be scheduling an alignment soon. :^)







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      Last edited by Light on Fuel; 10-04-2012 at 11:08 PM.

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      10-05-2012 10:17 AM #37
      Michael; You mentioned scrub in this, and other posts. I have to admit that I'm still in the fog a bit with this one. Can you explain it a bit more?


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      10-08-2012 08:27 PM #38
      Manny,

      What are your current spring rates?

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      10-09-2012 10:52 AM #39
      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      Manny,

      What are your current spring rates?
      I'm still working on that one. I sent Koni an RFI and hopefully they'll reply sooner rather than later. And they seem to be allergic to the phone.

      Did you catch the race this weekend? It's now only a 4pt lead that FA has over SV!


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      10-09-2012 02:24 PM #40
      Alright, this is BS. I called the tech department of Koni NA down in Kentucky and they don't even know the spring rates. 0_o The tech said that most manufacturers don't like to share that information and that if I called the European office they definitely would not give them to me.

      So I looked around online a found a thread where WRD says that the front springs are 180mm long and have a rate of 286lbs. The rears are stated as being progressive.

      IDParts, however states the the fronts are 350lbs. and the rears are 190lbs. But that's for the ALH which isn't mine. So I'm not sure which of these it is, if any.
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      Last edited by Light on Fuel; 10-09-2012 at 03:20 PM.

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      10-10-2012 10:48 PM #41
      I love Koni dampers, but I hate the company...my experience with their service and tech departments is horrible!

      I used Eibach almost exclusively because I could order just about anything I wanted.

      for a street driven car, used occasionally on the track...weighing in at about 2,900 lbs, 350in.lbs for the front seams a hair light...but as I wrote earlier, standard Koni yellows are at their limit at 400 in/lbs. 190 rear is on the light side as well especially if you are AutoXing...but a pure autoX setup won't work well on the street...would be dangerous in fact.

      If, in an ideal world you could raise front rates by 25bs to 375 and raise the rears to 275 - 300 in/lbs you might have a better balanced chassis. But, this also assumes you employ a few other changes...you might want to consider increase total track width an additional 1/2"...or about 5mm-6mm more per side...install a stiffer front control arm bushing - rear bushing only.

      If you can install a spherical bearing in the strut tower that will help a lot...this might come with a camber kit.

      Rear...keep the rear track 5mm-10mm more narrow...your car has a dead axle / twist beam?

      What is the free length of the stock springs front and rear? And block height? you can calculate this loosely by measuring the free length of the spring and subtract the thickness of one coil x the total number of coils

      This exercise will help you select the proper spring length and this sets ride height. Just keep in mind that the lower the rise height, the stiffer the springs have to be. I would opt for a ride height within 15mm - 25mm lower than stock...

      Adding a larger adjustable rear bar finishes this off...then there is a lot of fine tuning

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      10-11-2012 10:34 AM #42
      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      ...but a pure autoX setup won't work well on the street...would be dangerous in fact.
      Which wouldn't work in my case since I daily 250mi each week. However, this coming March I will be getting a new Golf which will be my daily. At that point, I intend on turning my GTi into a dedicated track car. Until then, the suspension will have to be a compromise between performance and drivability.



      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      If you can install a spherical bearing in the strut tower that will help a lot...this might come with a camber kit.
      I'll look into this further.

      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      Rear...keep the rear track 5mm-10mm more narrow...your car has a dead axle / twist beam?
      Yes. It has a swing beam

      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      What is the free length of the stock springs front and rear? And block height? you can calculate this loosely by measuring the free length of the spring and subtract the thickness of one coil x the total number of coils
      So if I'm following you correctly; I'm basically measuring the length of the stock springs, top to bottom, correct? Would the subtraction account for the compression that the spring would undergo while on the car?





      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      Adding a larger adjustable rear bar finishes this off...then there is a lot of fine tuning
      I already have a RB that is adjustable (up to 29mm) and adjustable end links. Maybe you can help me out on this one: Does the length that I set the links have any effect on the bar? [Meaning: The length that I set the bottom of the SB (bottom of link), relative to the bottom of the shock (top of link)]. Does increasing that distance (angle of the SB ends relative to where the SB connects at the rear beam) hold any influence over the effectiveness of the SB?

      Thanks again.

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      10-12-2012 12:07 AM #43
      ...measure the free length of the stock springs...good enough.

      SB end links are funny things. Typically, or in theory they should be perfectly vertical around a central axis so they do not rip the SB bushings from the body, and, allow the bar to twist as much up as down. However, you can affect how a SB comes on line so to speak/write by altering the orientation of the bar ends. Think about how a bar works; if the bar ends are oriented up you will get one handling trait...if they re oriented down you get the opposite...you also have to make sure that the endlinks posses enough articulation so as not to bind. If this happens the car might literally skip through a turn. Heim joint type endlinks have about 26-27 degrees of articulation...mybe it's 23 degrees...I cannot remember. Ball joint type enldinks, like power grid endlinks posses about 56 degrees of articulation. This is important when the endlink is attached to a front strut for example. Here the endlink has to articulate as the bar twists and as the strut spins - it does so as the steering wheel is turned. Make sense?

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      10-12-2012 11:53 AM #44
      Ok. I'll have those measurements posted by the end of the weekend.

      In terms of the link: It does sort of make sense. I guess it's really just a matter of experimentation. But it seems like such a minute change that I'm wondering if I'll even notice it at my current skill level, or is it really something that I will notice?

      Should I flip the orientation so that the body of the link isn't flat against the lower shock mount? The guy who did my alignment last swore that this was the proper way to install them but it doesn't make much sense to me. In this orientation, it doesn't allow the top heim joint to rotate freely because the body of the joint is pressed tightly against the mount. Or is the mechanic right and I'm just not seeing it?


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      Last edited by Light on Fuel; 10-12-2012 at 11:56 AM.

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      10-15-2012 04:18 PM #45
      This is not correct! Neither the upper nor the lower heim joint can articulate...the endlinks are prone to bending or breaking...in the least they are not working correctly. The look very rust too. buy new endlinks. There should be a spacer between the trailing arm and the swaybar end that keeps the heim joint from touch anything.

      What is the length of these? you should consider Powergrid endlinks but they do not make a lot of oem style endlinks that are short.

      Manny, change these as soon as you can! I will search Powergrid...stay tuned.

      EDIT

      I left Chip a message, he owns Powergrid. I met Chip many years ago at Lime Rock when he was pedaling these to the show room stock field. As I wrote, they are not any lighter than stock, but they work incredibly well and are engineered to be adjusted very easily.

      I asked Chip if he can custom make a set...I do need to know the length of your stock endlinks and the the length of the current endlinks. This is an incredibly important component Manny...don't mess around with these. If one of these break in the middle of a high speed turn you will not be a very happy camper.
      Last edited by meboice; 10-15-2012 at 04:36 PM.

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      10-15-2012 05:11 PM #46
      Thanks for confirming my suspicions. I shouldn't be surprised by this: This is the very same tech that insisted that my LCA bushings were fine when they weren't. My point to him was that if the links weren't supposed to have movement, them what were the heim joints for?

      I looked at Powergrid and only found applications for '06 ad newer. So thank you very much for reaching out to your buddy on my behalf. If they can't accommodate me, them I'll have to do some more digging for a suitable alternate (Hoerr may have something that'll work). The last ditch effort would be Neuspeed, but I'd prefer not to use them. Thanks again.

      PS- This is the condition I found my LCA'S bushings (after the mechanic said they were fine). They were so far gone that I could easily move the bushing. That rip goes all the way through the bushing and that small unripped portion was all that was holding it together.


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      Last edited by Light on Fuel; 10-15-2012 at 05:21 PM.

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      10-15-2012 05:24 PM #47
      I guess I'm not racing this weekend. I'll measure the current length of my link. I don't have the stock link anymore. Does anyone have this?


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      10-15-2012 05:26 PM #48
      You are almost better off using stock endlinks...how much bigger is the current swaybar's torque tube diameter? is it the same length? Are thebar end lengths the same?

      If the length of the torque tube is the same, if the length of the bars ends is the same and if the pick-up points are the same then you really can use stock endlinks...especially if you haven't lowered the car much.

      It is true that a bigger bar requires stiffer endlinks to help with an increase in compression and tension. But what you have now clearly isn't correct. If you decide to reinstall stock endlinks just keep and eye on them.

      Chip did not respond yet...it may take several days.

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      10-15-2012 06:07 PM #49
      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      You are almost better off using stock endlinks...how much bigger is the current swaybar's torque tube diameter? is it the same length? Are thebar end lengths the same?
      I'm not sure. I bought the car with this SB already on it. So I don't have anything to measure. I posted another thread asking about the link length. Hopefully, whoever (if anyone) answers will also be able to measure their bar (provided it's stock that is).




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    15. 10-16-2012 05:16 AM #50
      As an FYI. The factory sway bar on the MKIV is welded into the beam. It is not removable. The Neuspeed swaybar that is installed on the rear of the car now is installed on top of the existing rear beam. The endlinks pictured above are installed the way that Neuspeed recommends they be installed, they are also the endlinks that are supplied with the Neuspeed kit.

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      10-16-2012 10:28 AM #51
      Quote Originally Posted by rex_racer View Post
      As an FYI. The factory sway bar on the MKIV is welded into the beam. It is not removable. The Neuspeed swaybar that is installed on the rear of the car now is installed on top of the existing rear beam. The endlinks pictured above are installed the way that Neuspeed recommends they be installed, they are also the endlinks that are supplied with the Neuspeed kit.
      Thanks for the input Rex. So if I'm understanding you correctly, aside from the hollow rod at the rear beam, the SB I have is a supplemental bar that isn't replacing an OE one? I didn't know that. As stated earlier, I bought the car with this bar already mounted.

      I'm still really confused about the links though. Last month I swapped out my rear beam bushings and while doing the work, I noticed that my links were completely seized: the heim joints wouldn't move at all. So after getting them nice and hot with some map gas, I was able to break them free. I took a wire wheel to them and cleaned off all the road grime that locked them in place and gave them a healthy amount of gear lube to keep them from seizing again. But after reinstalling everything, I noticed that the way in which they connect at the top doesn't allow for any movement anyway and this is why they became seized with grime. So what's the point in having such a joint if it isn't free to articulate at all? The body of the link, when tightened, places the joint at an angle and locks the top into place against the shock mount. This doesn't allow for any movement of the heim joint at the top. Any other setup I've seen (such as my cousins Gen.coupe) allows for the free movement of the links. Even my front SB has bushings that allow it to move freely top and bottom. So this really has me stumped.


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      Last edited by Light on Fuel; 10-16-2012 at 10:33 AM.

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      10-16-2012 01:54 PM #52
      I don't have a ton of experience with twist beams Manny, but my hunch here is that if the new sway bar's torque tube is not on the same axis as the center line of the twist beam and its trailing arms, then the new swaybar requires endlinks that do articulate...how much? I don't know.

      Still, from the picture I would suggest using a small spacer on both the swaybar and trailing arm that mates exactly with the machined face of the heim joint. This spacer will keep the hiem joint from contacting the trailing are or the swaybar end and allow it to articulate a little.

      But again, where does the swaybar's torque tube attach to the body? Or does it attach to the twist beam?

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      10-16-2012 04:37 PM #53
      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      But again, where does the swaybar's torque tube attach to the body? Or does it attach to the twist beam?
      This is pretty much what it looks like. It's hard to see in the pictures, but the SB is slightly further back from the torsion beam, which terminates at both ends of the trailing arm.
      From google:




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      10-16-2012 04:51 PM #54
      Okay, it's pretty close to the center of the twist beam. Still, I prefer to use heim joints.

      It's easy to test a swaybar and endlink package with a multi-link design but I am struggling to figure out how to do this with a twist beam safely. Typically we remove and endlink from one side of the swaybar, then remove the wheel and spring from the opposite side and move the suspension through its range of motion to detect what the endlink's range of articulation. But twisting a twist beam requires a fair amount of force...something I wouldn't try at home.

      You could jack one rear wheel off the ground and watch what both endlinks do, but they have to be able to articulate if you are to see anything valuable...if they are directly fastened to the trailing arm you probably won't see anything.

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      10-17-2012 08:24 AM #55
      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      You could jack one rear wheel off the ground and watch what both endlinks do, but they have to be able to articulate if you are to see anything valuable...if they are directly fastened to the trailing arm you probably won't see anything.
      I didn't see any movement at all. It appears that the SB is completely locked in place. Just to be sure I removed a link to make sure that the joints weren't seized again. The joints were fine, it's just that they are attached in such a way that it doesn't matter if they are seized or not because they aren't free to articulate. This is why I believe Neuspeed items are crap. It's almost as if they used Heim joints because they "look" good and have no regard as to whether or not they would function properly. A quick search yields countless images of adjustable end links that actually work. Below is a link that looks exactly like mine with the exception being that it actually works.




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      Last edited by Light on Fuel; 10-17-2012 at 08:28 AM.

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      10-17-2012 09:11 AM #56
      The problem with the swaybar ends being locked in place is if you were to - in side view - draw an arc that follows how the end or tip of the trailing arm moves and then another arc indicating the tip of the swaybar end, they will not form the same arc. In this case this system requires heim joints that are able compensate for two different arc.

      Imagine spinning the trailing arm 180 degrees - to 12 o:clock and 6 o:clock. Now imagine spinning the swaybar in the same fashion...if the two followed the same arc the relationship of both the trailing arm end and the swaybar and would be the same. But, the swaybar will be shorter when it moves to 12 o:clock and longer when it moves to 6 o:clock - longer and shorter are relative to static position at 9 o:clock.

      This means that the endlink has to be able to articulate, at least, in side view. And it may, but there can be no stiction/friction in its movement or it will not allow the swaybar to work as effectively as it should.

      This is so because the torque tube does not sit in the twist beam's side view axis of rotation.

      I would perform another experiment...remove both endlinks, reference the exact relationship of swaybar end to trailing arm end. Raise and lower the car and as you do, spin the swaybar and see if this relationship changes...it should. My geometry isn't as good as it use to be but I think this will prove out. Maybe a CAD drawing is necessary...
      Last edited by meboice; 10-17-2012 at 09:14 AM.

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      10-17-2012 12:47 PM #57
      That makes perfect sense. This is something that I observed while messing with the rear bushings. As a side note: I had to also change the SB bushings because they were badly torn up. This may be due to the unnecessary friction places on them by the links not articulating they way the should.

      If I can find some time, I'll measure an draw up a swing beam/SB section and diagram their range of motion.


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      10-17-2012 02:21 PM #58
      Exactly! Endlink function and bar end orientation can place loads big enough to rip swaybar bushings from the car. The actual orientation of the bar ends is a compromise between how the swaybar attaches to the body, and, equalizing twist up and down.

      In your case I believe the bushings are being pulled and pushed off the twist beam depending upon which direction you turn.

      I can create a CAD drawing...just need time and extremely accurate measurements...but I think we know that the endlinks may be problem. I might skip the drawing and purchase new endlinks. no response from Chip...not a surprise, he's typically driving all over the country.
      Last edited by meboice; 10-17-2012 at 05:50 PM.

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      10-17-2012 02:37 PM #59
      That's what I plan on doing ASAP. I'm registered for an event this Saturday, but I think I may just skip it: Even though it'll hurt my standings.

      Either way, visualizing the relationship between the bar and the beam is pretty easy. I took two rods (fixed at one end) and played through the motion of the bar and beam. What I found is that the end link should have the ability to rotate with the end of the bar in order to compensate for the length difference since the beam is rotating about an axis which not only starts higher than that of the bar, but is also longer in overall length to begin with. My link shows no sign of movement against the lower shock mount. Since it is tightened firmly against the mount, signs of movement would be etched against the side of the mount. So basically, what I have is a totally locked rear bar. Until either of us hear from Chip (I shot him a message also) I'm going to use washers to stand-off the heim joints from where they mount (similar to the image above). That should work in the meantime.


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      10-17-2012 05:53 PM #60
      Washers work, just not so big that they reduce the range of motion - articulation - of the heim joint.
      If you can find a suitable piece of aluminum tubing with an outside diameter the same size as the machined face of the bearing, you can cut this tubing and use it for a spacer. If you have a good machine shop near you they might be able to help...good luck Manny.

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      10-17-2012 06:26 PM #61
      Thanks, Mike. I'll post my solution shortly. Hopefully I can find a place this weekend.

    27. 10-18-2012 02:09 AM #62
      Quote Originally Posted by Light on Fuel View Post
      Thanks for the input Rex. So if I'm understanding you correctly, aside from the hollow rod at the rear beam, the SB I have is a supplemental bar that isn't replacing an OE one? I didn't know that. As stated earlier, I bought the car with this bar already mounted.

      I'm still really confused about the links though. Last month I swapped out my rear beam bushings and while doing the work, I noticed that my links were completely seized: the heim joints wouldn't move at all. So after getting them nice and hot with some map gas, I was able to break them free. I took a wire wheel to them and cleaned off all the road grime that locked them in place and gave them a healthy amount of gear lube to keep them from seizing again. But after reinstalling everything, I noticed that the way in which they connect at the top doesn't allow for any movement anyway and this is why they became seized with grime. So what's the point in having such a joint if it isn't free to articulate at all? The body of the link, when tightened, places the joint at an angle and locks the top into place against the shock mount. This doesn't allow for any movement of the heim joint at the top. Any other setup I've seen (such as my cousins Gen.coupe) allows for the free movement of the links. Even my front SB has bushings that allow it to move freely top and bottom. So this really has me stumped.


      \X/
      Yes the bar is supplemental. The factory bar is welded into the beam. I believe the regular Golfs and Jettas recieved an 18mm bar and the GTi recieved a 21mm bar.

      When the car is driving in a straight line the rear bar isn't going to move much, so you don't really even need articulation. Even under cornering, the entire rear beam is like a giant swaybar, you're just making it stiffer. When you corner again, the rear end isn't going to be moving much to need that much articulation from the link. The last time I checked for freedom of movement by loading up the bar and endlink, the two were able to move just fine. Any other type of car you have examined uses a totally different style of bar and endlink attachment which necessitates more freedom of movement.

      If you're really going to go through all the trouble of new endlinks then you first need to securely mount the swaybar to the beam. Even when it is clamped down it can move freely from side to side. Under cornering action, the trailing arms bend significantly. If you don't address that or fix the mounting of the bar its just going to push the bar from side to side. If you really look at the bar, you'll notice that it doesn't even sit evenly or flush w/ the rear trailing arms. This isn't even possible as the arms toe in and out as the car is lowered/raised, so you can't even get the initial alignment correct unless the car is setup at the height that the bar was designed around.

      If you're looking for setup advice I would ditch the rear poly beam bushings. They inhibit movement. I would also look into actually increasing front end grip through the use of camber/caster plates. I would advise against removing the front bar. I tested this setup and the results were far from satisfactory. I ended up needing so much front rate to compensate for roll that the front end washed over any sort of bump. I would also highly suggest you up the spring rates, the Koni coils are far from stiff enough for autox use.

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      10-18-2012 09:02 AM #63
      Good point about the torque moving, it shouldn't.

      rex_racer, Manny,

      The problem I see is as I wrote above...the torque tube portion of the bar is not on the same axis as the stock bar, and more importantly, the axis of the twist beam. So even in straight line driving, if the car rolls over undulations the trailing arms have to move up and down or pivot along the twist beam axis. The Neuspeed swaybar ends have to follow a complete different arc than the trailing arm ends. And more to your point rex_racer is that the torque tube is not firmly attached...if it were we might see other signs of damage.

      I have only had two cars with a twist beam, 1981 Ford fiesta and my 1990 GTI...so I don't know this setup as well as others.

      I also agree that the poly trailing arm bushings should be removed. These bushing typically help determine camber and toe compensation and as a car leans into a turn toe angle in particular can have a big affect on stability.

    29. Member Light on Fuel's Avatar
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      10-18-2012 10:33 AM #64
      Quote Originally Posted by rex_racer View Post
      If you're really going to go through all the trouble of new endlinks then you first need to securely mount the swaybar to the beam. Even when it is clamped down it can move freely from side to side. Under cornering action, the trailing arms bend significantly. If you don't address that or fix the mounting of the bar its just going to push the bar from side to side. If you really look at the bar, you'll notice that it doesn't even sit evenly or flush w/ the rear trailing arms. This isn't even possible as the arms toe in and out as the car is lowered/raised, so you can't even get the initial alignment correct unless the car is setup at the height that the bar was designed around.
      This I did notice. When I swapped out the bushings on the bar, I noticed that the bar had some wear at the rear mounting point which indicated to me that it was shifting laterally, or side to side. What methods are available to more securely mount the bar at this point so that it doesn't shift?
      Quote Originally Posted by rex_racer View Post
      If you're looking for setup advice I would ditch the rear poly beam bushings. They inhibit movement. I would also look into actually increasing front end grip through the use of camber/caster plates. I would advise against removing the front bar. I tested this setup and the results were far from satisfactory. I ended up needing so much front rate to compensate for roll that the front end washed over any sort of bump. I would also highly suggest you up the spring rates, the Koni coils are far from stiff enough for autox use.
      This is where it gets a bit confusing. I initially posted this question in the 12v forum where I was told that I should ditch the front bar. I had my doubts about how compliant it would be during my commute and was told that if anything, the car would behave "more" compliant. Although, a friend with a 20AE who didn't have the FB advised not to do it. So it is slightly confusing as to which direction to go in.
      In terms of the camber/caster plate: That's something that is definitely on my to do list this winter.
      In terms of spring rates: Since Koni won't divulge their spring rates it's hard to know how much to increase them to without a starting point. And I'll be honest, spring rates are completely foreign to me. What's a good spring rate that will allow me to (safely) drive the car 250mi a week and perform well at events? According to Koni, the valving can handle up to 700lbs on the front. That seems really high, but again, I don't really know much about rates.
      Thanks again guys. This is very helpful.

      Mike: Chip replied an said that they might not be able to help me out because they only have a 1" stud length at the bottom. I'll have to measure my bar at some point this week to see if that'll work or not.




      \X/
      Last edited by Light on Fuel; 10-18-2012 at 10:50 AM.

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      10-18-2012 04:50 PM #65
      Okay, glad he got back to you.

      Swaybar are a fine tuning option and that's a relative statement...fine tuning for the street and track are very different. You can use much higher spring rates on a track but not on public roads. So by comparison you can control body movement and balance to a greater degree with springs when the car is track driven.

      I wouldn't remove the front bar unless this were an AutoX only car.

      I think i posted suggested spring rates for you above...I would double check the standard Koni single adjustable dampers max spring rate...it was 400in/lbs for quite a while. I was in the 600in/lbs range for one car and I had to have mine re-valved...shortened and I decided to have True Choice make them double adjustable as well.

      350-375in/lb front and 300 - 325in/lbs rear is a pretty good sporting ride. I like 375 front and 325 rear. Some folks will debate the balance here but with 60%+ front end weight bias you need to control that weight. There are other tuning techniques that will help the car rotate.
      Last edited by meboice; 10-18-2012 at 04:53 PM.

    31. 10-19-2012 05:29 AM #66
      Quote Originally Posted by Light on Fuel View Post
      This I did notice. When I swapped out the bushings on the bar, I noticed that the bar had some wear at the rear mounting point which indicated to me that it was shifting laterally, or side to side. What methods are available to more securely mount the bar at this point so that it doesn't shift?
      Short of drilling and bolting in a new mount system, there really isn't a solution to this. I believe much of the issue is coming from the trailing arms flexing along the toe alignment. This causes the bar to get pushed from side to side. If you were to isolate the bar and not address the toe issues, you could end up putting more stress on the rear bar and cause it to snap as the bar would be stressed in a direction it was not designed to flex in. You can grease it up all you want, the bar is still going to get pushed side to side. Additionally, if you're not greasing the bushings every 6 months, you're going to see pretty fast wear on those bushings and the bar will begin to jiggle again.

      Quote Originally Posted by Light on Fuel View Post
      This is where it gets a bit confusing. I initially posted this question in the 12v forum where I was told that I should ditch the front bar. I had my doubts about how compliant it would be during my commute and was told that if anything, the car would behave "more" compliant. Although, a friend with a 20AE who didn't have the FB advised not to do it. So it is slightly confusing as to which direction to go in.

      In terms of the camber/caster plate: That's something that is definitely on my to do list this winter.
      Your friend is right, removing the front bar is not a good idea, especially not on a VR6 platform. The front end of the car has a very poor camber curve, letting the arms flop around even more is only going to hurt front grip. Keep the front end tight and you'll be amazed at how much looser the rear end can be. I've tested all the theories, BRB, BFB, large bars all around, and lots of spring (400lb - 900lb) on a dedicated MKIV autox car. So i can say with great certainty that if you drop the front bar, you're going to need a 600+ lb front spring. I would even recommend you look at a 700lb spring. However at that rate, the front end is going to get very skiddish over bumps. Your driving style is going to have to change to more reactionary than directed when you go with this type of setup.

      Quote Originally Posted by Light on Fuel View Post
      In terms of spring rates: Since Koni won't divulge their spring rates it's hard to know how much to increase them to without a starting point. And I'll be honest, spring rates are completely foreign to me. What's a good spring rate that will allow me to (safely) drive the car 250mi a week and perform well at events? According to Koni, the valving can handle up to 700lbs on the front. That seems really high, but again, I don't really know much about rates.
      Thanks again guys. This is very helpful.
      \X/
      VR6 Koni spring rates are 380lb frt and about 200lb rear after you fully compress the spring and account for dead coils. 400/400 is a great starting point on a 1.8T, so I would surmise that 450/400 will work well on the VR6 platform. The car will still ride pretty well and the car will have much better turn in and rotation. I would NOT recommend that you purchase new front springs as the change from 38 to 450 is still just barely noticeable by most average drivers. You really need to figure out what you can deal with. For 3 years I rode on 600lb front and 750lb rear springs on a race valved double adjustable shock as a daily, covering 70 + miles a day. The car was built to autox first and drive on less than ideal roads second. Though with some shock adjustments the car rode pretty well for a autox setup. I want to guess that a 600/600 setup might work well for your needs, but noone can really say as everyone percieves harshness differently. At anything above 400, I don't believe the Konis can handle it, unless they have revalved the off the shelf coils, which I highly doubt.

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      10-19-2012 11:15 AM #67
      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      Okay, glad he got back to you.
      Yeah, he got back to me but it's kind of up in the air as to whether or not they have something for my application. I'll keep you posted.

      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      There are other tuning techniques that will help the car rotate.
      These I would need to know. During hard cornering, it's very easy to get the rear to rotate. However, on long sweepers it's difficult to get the rear to rotate well enough. Usually, I have to balance the understeer with the throttle and I can't really communicate with the rear in terms of getting it to rotate more effectively.

      Quote Originally Posted by rex_racer View Post
      Additionally, if you're not greasing the bushings every 6 months, you're going to see pretty fast wear on those bushings and the bar will begin to jiggle again.
      I can honestly say that I am guilty of this and it may explain the condition I found the bushings in.



      Quote Originally Posted by rex_racer View Post
      Your friend is right, removing the front bar is not a good idea, especially not on a VR6 platform. The front end of the car has a very poor camber curve, letting the arms flop around even more is only going to hurt front grip. Keep the front end tight and you'll be amazed at how much looser the rear end can be.
      This seems slightly counter-intuitive. I was under the assumption that I would need to keep the front end as loose as possible (in terms of bars and dampening) so that it can twist while keeping the rear as stiff as possible. What are some good guidelines in terms of reducing understeer (especially on sweepers) and increasing oversteer?



      Quote Originally Posted by rex_racer View Post
      VR6 Koni spring rates are 380lb frt and about 200lb rear after you fully compress the spring and account for dead coils. 400/400 is a great starting point on a 1.8T, so I would surmise that 450/400 will work well on the VR6 platform. The car will still ride pretty well and the car will have much better turn in and rotation. I would NOT recommend that you purchase new front springs as the change from 38 to 450 is still just barely noticeable by most average drivers. You really need to figure out what you can deal with. For 3 years I rode on 600lb front and 750lb rear springs on a race valved double adjustable shock as a daily, covering 70 + miles a day. The car was built to autox first and drive on less than ideal roads second. Though with some shock adjustments the car rode pretty well for a autox setup. I want to guess that a 600/600 setup might work well for your needs, but noone can really say as everyone percieves harshness differently. At anything above 400, I don't believe the Konis can handle it, unless they have revalved the off the shelf coils, which I highly doubt.
      According to Koni, the 1150's are valved to accept up to 700lbs. But judging by the rates suggested above, it would seem that the rear spring rates are more critical to address considering that they are currently the furthest from what you've both suggested. Is this correct or is the front more critical than the rear?

      I guess the million dollar question is: How do I set up the car with my current configuration? I have many other issues to address with the car (it does have 111K on the clock) so to switch out already new components would make me feel as if I'm spinning my wheels (so to speak). I would feel like I'm not getting the most out of my car if I were to replace my new springs for springs of a different rate instead of using that money to buy R-comps or lightweight wheels.

      And secondly, what would be a good cut list of items to build a competent AutoX car? Thanks again guys, this is a really helpful dialogue.

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      10-19-2012 03:56 PM #68
      The most fundamental change you can make to roll stiffness is increasing track width. After this come spring rates...then damping - shocks- then swaybars. You also have to consider the tires you are driving on...high spring rates need sticky tires otherwise you'll find cornering power somewhat abruptly limited by a high spring rate matched to slippery tire. Same is true for brakes; big powerful brakes need stocky tires or they can burn up from over-working.

      It's the combination of all of these, and the assumptions that are made along the way, that define your final setup. I live in the north east and driving on 600lb springs isn't for me for my daily driver...but rex_racer does. Neither recommendation is wrong, but the rates you choose front and rear ought to reflect track width alterations first. Then you need dampers to control the springs and so on. I do think you can build a car with 300 lb springs that is god awful to drive and one with 600 lb springs that drives and rides very well...details count.

      Regarding rotation...with exception of autoX setups, even a pure race car should be easy to rotate through slow corners and progress through some degree of underteer. This appropriate and safe. At full bore on an autoX circuit are car does not have nearly as much kinetic energy as a car ta full bore on a race track. And, you need a car on an autoX circuit that is extremely controllable...which is more than likely too controllable or unstable on a road course.

      Again, by selecting the correct front to rear spring rate balance, and, fine tuning with the rear swaybar, you can dial out some unwanted high speed understeer. I focused on the rear toe curve a lot here. Rear toe affects stability more than front toe does...you can use rear toe to help maintain rear stability even at the limit if the car is setup correctly. And, a little rear toe in helps the rear tires to build slip angles in sync with the front as you begin to turn-in. Sure, rear toe in fights a little against oversteer so it has to be balanced with everything else you do and the car in question.

      ...as an example, if you install spherical bearings in both borings on your front lower control arms you need less rear spring and less rear swaybar...details matter. My last track, the JCW Mini I wrote about, had a ball joint and a dual compound poly bushing to locate the lower control arms. I also had a custom made rear swaybar with a splined torque tube and very adjustable bar ends. I actually used less rear bar than the stock rear bar after all was done. This car was the best handling front driver I ever drove...while not being perfect by any means. The short wheel base was at times frustrating under threshold braking.
      Last edited by meboice; 10-19-2012 at 04:03 PM.

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      10-19-2012 05:27 PM #69
      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      The most fundamental change you can make to roll stiffness is increasing track width. After this come spring rates...then damping - shocks- then swaybars. You also have to consider the tires you are driving on...high spring rates need sticky tires otherwise you'll find cornering power somewhat abruptly limited by a high spring rate matched to slippery tire. Same is true for brakes; big powerful brakes need stocky tires or they can burn up from over-working.
      So what I take from this is that I should purchase the rims and tires (R-comps) that I intend on using and use that as a benchmark to provide me with further direction. Because if I am understanding this correctly, simply switching my spring rates will overwhelm my current tires (Hankook V12's). I already have spacers to increase my front track width, although I purchased them with the intention of placing them on my rears: They're 10mm which may be too much of an offset for the front.

      There is a good bit of roll at the front when I have my dampers set on the softer end, but when I set my dampers further toward full stiff, it feels as if it's making the front tires lose grip faster because there is very little roll to allow my tires to take a set properly. So if I were to up my spring rates, wouldn't that actually accelerate the front end grip loss with these tires? Conversely, would R-comps increase front end roll too much, even at full stiff with my current spring rates?

      I'm also considering lowering the rear so that the centerline of my hub is below the CL of the front hub. I was thinking that this would reduce rear lift while threshold braking. Whenever I get on the brakes into the ABS, it feels as if the rear is lifting quite a bit and losing too much traction. Is there some merit to this?

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      10-22-2012 09:14 AM #70
      Gotta run out...but...dampers/shocks control the rate of roll...springs are a little more difficult to describe but they essentially define the degree of roll and balance. If your tires are losing grip when the dampers are set full stiff then you have a good feel for what will happen when you add stiffer springs. ...although your dampers may be too strong for your springs...

      Anti-dive or squat has to be determined by the axle with the driven wheels. So dive will be controlled at the front end, not the rear. If you are really talking about 'anti' features...which I don't like. ...almost feels like your spring rates are too soft after all...are they linear or progressive?

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