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    Thread: AutoX Setup

    1. Member Light on Fuel's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 02:22 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      ...okay...where will the car be driven most of the time? Public road, AutoX, road course? We'll begin with track width then spring rates. What are the current wheel offsets? 40mm, 45mm etc?
      You are the man. Thank you for the walk through
      The majority of my driving is commuting to work (250miles a week). So far this season I've tried to hit at least 2 events a month. The current offset is 38mm (stock Santa Monica's).

      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      Do you have a digital level? You can determine SAI angle and control arm angle with this level. SAI is measured from the center of the strut at the strut bearing to the center of the lower ball joint. Knowing the distance from the center of the strut bearing to the center of the ball joint is sort of important too but we can kind of disregard that since some of the other elements will determine this.
      I do not, unfortunately. I will however pick one up this weekend. I measured my lower control arm with an angle gauge this past weekend and it read 7*, although I'm not too confident in its (my) accuracy.
      Anyway, Step 1: Measure the distance b/t the strut bearing and the ball joint.
      What should I do after this? Should I also measure the angle of the strut with a digital level?

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      10-02-2012 09:44 AM #27
      ...angle of the strut is fine...this won't be the SAI angle since the strut has to clear the inside of the tire/wheel.

      Changing wheel offset?track width will place some undesirable loads on wheel bearings and tie rods, FYI.

      I will make recommendations based upon the miles you drive commuting...it's much easier to align this setup with a car that is driven occasionally on a road course...a pure autoX setup isn't easy to drive on the street.

      Your car weighs about 2,800lbs?

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      10-02-2012 10:53 AM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      Changing wheel offset?track width will place some undesirable loads on wheel bearings and tie rods, FYI.
      Yeah I figured that might be the case which is why I wouldn't bump it out all that much and would only use them at events. But depending on how the car handles after getting it aligned and following your recommendations, I may not even need to use them.

      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      I will make recommendations based upon the miles you drive commuting...it's much easier to align this setup with a car that is driven occasionally on a road course...a pure autoX setup isn't easy to drive on the street.

      Your car weighs about 2,800lbs?
      Due to the 250miles I drive each week, it would have to be somewhat of a comprimise b/t driveablility and performance. I wasn't able to take that measurement yesterday (I've been getting home late these days) but I'll try and get that today, or this weekened (the latest).

      According to VW the car weighs 2,999lbs. I don't know how accurate this is so I'll say that 2,900lbs would be a fair guesstimate.

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      10-02-2012 05:23 PM #29
      Is the offset a stock offset? I'm actually trying to find the SAI or King pin angle.

      This is sort of a fun but tedious exercise that yields more or less results because as the car turns, the outside tire falls under the wheel a bit...how much depends upon speed, tire tire type and suspension setup of course. But the point here is that when we examine the SAI angle, we do so with the car at rest forgetting that as the tire deforms while in a turn, the point of intersect on the ground changes relative to tire distortion. So we kind of have to guess at how much tire deformation there might be. This direction I'm going in is all relative to steering feel.

      I am sure that you can alter track width more than you think you can - for a road course -...my mini began with stock 45mm offset and when I was finished the front track width was increased by 22mm per side and the rear by 12mm per side....about 1.75" per side front and a hair under and inch for the rear. I did have to alter my alignment to help the rear compensate for more camber in roll since the wider track softened the camber curve. This was a track setting...for the road front offset was 12mm per side and the rear 7mm per side. Wheel stiffness plays a role here too.

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      10-03-2012 09:20 AM #30
      Yeah, 38mm is the stock offset. I haven't switched out my stock rims yet: The majority of my cash went on the coilovers, tires, switching out tired old suspension components and entry fees. :^)

      Is there a way to accurately measure tire deflection? I'm on Hankook V12's. I tried to get the R-S3's but apparently 17" are the most popular size for them and they were on a 2 month back order at the time.

      I don't think that I'd want to go as far out as 12mm on the spacers because I don't want to cone cheat (have the wheels stick out further than the body). But honestly, I've had the rear spacers (10mm) for months now and have yet to even try them on, so I'm not sure how far they'll stick out, if at all.

      It was raining like crazy last night so I couldn't take that measurement. Since I don't have an extra set of hands to hold the tape measure would it alter my value all that much if I turned the wheel to gain more access or should the wheel be straight? If the latter, then I'll get someone to help me out over the weekend. Also, I'm assuming that the measurement would be to the approx center of where the balljoint inserts into the hub: Is that correct?

      Thanks again.


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      10-03-2012 03:54 PM #31
      Measuring anything at the contact patch is very expensive...so there isn't a lot of data...unless you happen to own an F1 team...then the engineers come visit you at home

      It's good to know that a tire will deflect when making assumptions about a setup. by extension, changing wheel offset or track width on a car with a SLA suspension design - Short and Long Arm or double wishbone - affects its motion ratio. A wider track essentially reduces spring and damping rates. When I was working with an engineer I asked a question about track width and motion ratio on a 99 Si I was setting up. We were discussing a 5m change...I don't remember his exact response but was the type of response you get from someone who knows what to worry about...it wasn't worth examining on a drawing board or on a computer. He said to keep track of changes...you'll know at some point in life when you pass through a threshold and have to begin to look at things more closely. So tire deflection is real...I have to remember a comparison between F1 and high performance tires...what aero does to F1 tires is amazing!

      Stiff and responsive tires that are light are best. Also, all of my talk about suspension geometry and steering feel can be eroded by the wrong tire...big blocky tread designs can ruin steering feel...but can aid grip...but can also over-heat quickly...it's all a compromise...and good driving!

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      10-03-2012 05:13 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      ...what aero does to F1 tires is amazing!
      I know. The FIA however are trying to reduce wheel climb and may be introducing a fender cover type of wheel enclosure (similar to IndyCar) to combat that. They are also looking into having some sort of enclosure for the driver to try and prevent what happened to Massa (getting hit with that spring off of Rubens car) from happening again.

      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post
      ...and good driving!
      This part I'm still working on. Although, I checked my PAX standings yesterday and I'm tied for 5th place in my class and I'm #218 out of 367 overall. Not bad for my first season.

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      10-04-2012 10:30 AM #33
      In F1, ~50% of total suspension deflection comes from tires...it's about 25% for a normal road car.

      One can assume that because an F1 suspension and body is so stiff it naturally transfer a lot of energy to the tires...aero accounts for a lot of this too. A road car car can be an absolute mess be comparison, even really good varieties.

      Trusting your skills behind the wheel - knowing where you are good and not, is the best way to improve. The truth helps to improvement process.

      I occasionally feel really good about my skills and at other times I have no confidence at all...in the later instance I try to break barriers hopefully increasing my previous learning/experience threshold.

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      10-04-2012 08:26 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by meboice View Post

      I occasionally feel really good about my skills and at other times I have no confidence at all...in the later instance I try to break barriers hopefully increasing my previous learning/experience threshold.
      Well that's pretty much the case with just about anything. Every so often you'll reach a point of stagnancy and need some sort of change to push you forward again. That's not my case by a long shot: Which is one of the perks of being new to the sport. Each event provides me with new experiences ad "lessons learned" type moments that keep me progressing. Looking back at my footage from the beginning of the season, I can clearly see that I've become much faster and much more confident in the lines I choose. That learning process is what makes the sport so addictive to me.




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      10-04-2012 09:08 PM #35
      Raise the car back up to about an 1 inch drop. Add about 2 degrees of camber. If you arent running good brakes get some. Hawk pads a great. Struts are about right. I dont like coilovers. But I know the spring rates are way soft. I use APR bar front and rear to keep the car balanced. Just the rear is at stiftest setting. Learn to brake before the turn-in and let some air out of the tires. I run 40 ft 38 r. Sounds like you are over driving the course a bit. Smooth and controlled is way faster.

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      10-04-2012 10:02 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 10:08 PM.

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      10-05-2012 09:17 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 07:27 PM #38
      Manny,

      What are your current spring rates?

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      10-09-2012 09:52 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 01:24 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 02:20 PM.

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      10-10-2012 09:48 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 09:34 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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      10-11-2012 11:07 PM #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 10:53 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 10:56 AM.

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      10-15-2012 03:18 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 03:36 PM.

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      10-15-2012 04:11 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 04:21 PM.

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      10-15-2012 04:24 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 04:26 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 05:07 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).




      \X/

    25. 10-16-2012 04:16 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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