Updrade to BWR Penske Doubles or AIM MXL2 Dash Logger - What Would You Do? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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Updrade to BWR Penske Doubles or AIM MXL2 Dash Logger - What Would You Do?

Time to play the game of, ďWhat would you do?Ē

This round: BWR Penske 2-way shocks or AIM MXL2 Dash Logger with brake pressure and throttle position sensors.

Background on me and the car. I compete with a 2005 Lotus Elise in NASA time trials in their TT4 class within the Great Lakes Region. Car is maxed out per the allowable class rules with respect to aero and power. Opportunity in the rulebook is with shocks and gearing. Current shocks are Nitron 1-way adjustables and Iím very proficient with the use of my AIM Solo.

Not to brag, but as a driver Iím setting track records and finishing either 1st or 2nd regularly. This winter my intent is to upgrade the transmission with a helical cut close ratio gearset, which is completely allowed, as theyíre not straight cut, donít have dog-ring engagement, and still use synchros.

On top of this, I have the budget to upgrade something else, and Iíve narrowed it down to either BWR Penskeís or upgrading my data acquisition to an AIM MXL2.

The reason Iím wanting a better data system, is primarily to start being able to observe brake pedal pressure, throttle position, and steering inputs. Iím a huge proponent of the value of professional coaching and self-coaching with data, so the idea of having much more information than what my AIM Solo can provide is extremely attractive.

As far as shocks, well Iím getting to the point where I really want compression adjustment, and of course, the Nitron 1-way canít offer that. Donít get me wrong, theyíve been amazing performers for the dollar.

But, which upgrade path will lead to the best lap times? Upgrading to Penskeís or going deeper down the data hole. Letís hear your thoughts!

2005 Lotus Elise, naturally aspirated and always at redline!
2018 NASA Great Lakes Region TT4 Champion
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 04:15 AM
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I think you know my opinion! While I love data, how much improvement would it be vs in car camera for your development? It is hard to see braking on the video, so that is a thing. Not sure if you always brake in a straight line or you trail brake. Let us know, we'll be here.....


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fzust View Post
I think you know my opinion! While I love data, how much improvement would it be vs in car camera for your development? It is hard to see braking on the video, so that is a thing. Not sure if you always brake in a straight line or you trail brake. Let us know, we'll be here.....
The AIM MXL2 isn't a video device, it's is a combined dash and data logger. I already have a GoPro in-car for basic driver behavior observation.

While I can already view speed/distance and longitudinal/latitudinal G-force in AIM Race Studio, I think there is a lot more I can learn from observing brake pressure, throttle position, and steering position. I'm thinking along the lines of catching sloppy footwork. Being able to track this on my car can only be achieved with a more focused logger like an MXL2 or even more bare bones like the EVO4 with added sensors on the car.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 04:46 AM
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not sure how long you've had the nitrons, but you've obviously been riding them hard. they might be due for a rebuild soon. so good value to upgrade to penskes. i myself have the single adjustables and have been really happy with them.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 04:47 AM Thread Starter
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not sure how long you've had the nitrons, but you've obviously been riding them hard. they might be due for a rebuild soon. so good value to upgrade to penskes. i myself have the single adjustables and have been really happy with them.
I had them rebuilt about a year ago.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 05:19 AM
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As someone who has both, the penskes are more improvement and less work.

2007 Exige S with almost every track mod...
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 06:37 AM
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Shocks.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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Have heard similar advice on getting a "real" race shock. Keep the advice coming gang!

2005 Lotus Elise, naturally aspirated and always at redline!
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 06:48 AM
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+1 for Penskes
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 09:53 AM
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Hmmmm, I would be careful about listening to Kfennell or glagola1. You should be listening to people that win championships.... oh wait, whut?!? All kidding aside, you do what you think is best.


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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmmm, I would be careful about listening to Kfennell or glagola1. You should be listening to people that win championships.... oh wait, whut?!? All kidding aside, you do what you think is best.
I've asked this same question to trusted friends and other local resources. All are recommending better shocks, but figured I'd still ask Lotus Talk before making this significant investment

2005 Lotus Elise, naturally aspirated and always at redline!
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 12:41 PM
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+1 for penske DA
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 02:31 PM
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Penske single adjustable with 550/800lbs springs just installed 2 weeks ago on 05 Elise. I have not run them on a track or autocross yet but a 300+ mile social road rally, I am very happy. The ride is firm but NOT "oh crap I think I just broke something" after a bump in the road. A little spirited driving has me feeling more confident especially in long sweepers. I am looking forward to a track day in November and autocross later this month. However, data is very important to a racer and information is key to improvement. Good luck with your decision its great to have these choices.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 09:52 PM
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Penskes with some high-flow, digressive pistons and 8300 canisters

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 04:28 AM
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Penskes with some high-flow, digressive pistons and 8300 canisters
Well if we're gonna do that, why not High Flow Velocity Dependent Pistons, 8760 Canisters, with dual-bleed shafts AND regressive valving? :P Still want to try their Inerter F1 shocks, but at $10K per shock, perhaps another day! :P


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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 08:33 AM
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Well if we're gonna do that, why not High Flow Velocity Dependent Pistons, 8760 Canisters, with dual-bleed shafts AND regressive valving?
Because us mere mortals would get lost in an infinite tuning loop with that many adjustment knobs!

2006 Lotus Elise
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 06:50 AM
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If you have a good coach who is proficient with data, that will pay dividends in the long run. You recently spent the money to rebuild the Nitrons so there is some good life in them. I would spend money on the data system and high quality coaching, use the Nitrons for one more season. Brake data comparison with a pro driver is an amazing way to lower lap times. Call Ralph [email protected] for his opinion as well. You can compare your lap times with the records he set with his '06 Exige....

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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 01:11 PM
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If you have a good coach who is proficient with data, that will pay dividends in the long run. You recently spent the money to rebuild the Nitrons so there is some good life in them. I would spend money on the data system and high quality coaching, use the Nitrons for one more season. Brake data comparison with a pro driver is an amazing way to lower lap times. Call Ralph [email protected] for his opinion as well. You can compare your lap times with the records he set with his '06 Exige....


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- Larini Exhaust - BWR Close Ratio Gearset
We build the toughest Lotus Transmissions for the Elige. From Stock to SCCA-NASA-World Challenge Winners.

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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-12-2018, 09:11 PM
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BWR double adjustable Penske's sure improved autox times on my car.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 04:41 PM
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MXL Pista, FTW.

You already say you're on record times and finishing 1st or 2nd most of the time.

If you're familiar with your Solo, it's easy to expand your capability with a used MXL Pista or a new MXL2.

Even the best drivers are not as consistent as they'd like to be, and beyond a certain level, it's minimizing errors and significant variations in fundamental skill executions that get drivers further up the performance ladder.

Shocks are wonderful, but it's the loose nut behind the wheel that unlocks a shock's potential.
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