If you haven't upgraded your shocks yet you are making a huge mistake - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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If you haven't upgraded your shocks yet you are making a huge mistake

So I have made a few changes to the car so far that have made little changes, but nothing compares to the change that I got when going from track pack shocks to Penske DA's.

Before my car would be best described as a rattly track car and I just assumed that was the only way the car could be.

After it is just so much better. It rides smoother, I dont bottom out on small bumps on the road, there is 90% less rattling (TBH some of this could be that I replaced the ball joints at the same time).

Fred isn't kidding when he says the car is way smoother with double the spring rate with these Penske shocks.

So whether you track your car or just drive it to car shows on the weekend I 100% suggest everyone upgrade their suspension to something with proper springs and valving, it is just such a world of difference that I didn't expect!
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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by kfennell View Post
So I have made a few changes to the car so far that have made little changes, but nothing compares to the change that I got when going from track pack shocks to Penske DA's.

Before my car would be best described as a rattly track car and I just assumed that was the only way the car could be.

After it is just so much better. It rides smoother, I dont bottom out on small bumps on the road, there is 90% less rattling (TBH some of this could be that I replaced the ball joints at the same time).

Fred isn't kidding when he says the car is way smoother with double the spring rate with these Penske shocks.

So whether you track your car or just drive it to car shows on the weekend I 100% suggest everyone upgrade their suspension to something with proper springs and valving, it is just such a world of difference that I didn't expect!

All of the above. Since I broke free of the Street class autocross rules, the car feels better on the road and is way more fun to drive on course. The Penske DA setup from Fred is worth the money, so don't settle for halfway stuff.

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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 05:52 AM
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After building my last Elise with near $80k invested, by far the most seen track time improvements where the adjustable shocks
(with proper 4 corner adjusted balance) and A6 Hoosiers tires. But non is any good without instructed track time.

Current 2007 Exige S TOURING PACK, TRACK PACK, LSD, Aspen White, BOE Torque300, Tank,2bular muffler, Larini header/Decat, RLS Intercooler, Intercooler Vent Ducts/tubes PENSKE SINGLE-ADJUSTABLE SHOCKS, CUPdiscs-Front ULTRAdisc rear, Lotus AP 4 Pot Calipers, Fidanza lightweight flywheel, ACT HDSS Clutch......way too much to list..

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post #4 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by qz5gxt View Post
After building my last Elise with near $80k invested, by far the most seen track time improvements where the adjustable nitron shocks
(with proper 4 corner adjusted balance) and A6 Hoosiers tires. But non is any good without instructed track time.
Lets not even talk about track times here.

These things are a 100% worthy improvement even if all you do is drive back and forth to shows, I 100% promise.

Edit: I think a more accurate summary of what I am thinking is: Don't wait until you are a pro driver to get these, just the improvement in ride comfort is worth it until your driving catches up.
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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 07:43 AM
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Thanks, Guys! Yeah, I guess that doesn't come across as much as I would like. We put a ton of work into the build and setup of our Penskes to make the car easier to drive fast. HOWEVER, there are alot of side benefits. These shocks flow alot more oil in a bigger body, with a bigger shaft and piston, which yields a ton more control. Control is also equal to comfort, even with stiffer springs. I drove a car across country on Penske's with stiff springs to illustrate the point last year. https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f3/b...shocks-266866/

Every time someone puts them on they are just shocked(pardon the pun) at how much better the overall ride is!


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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 08:56 AM
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Does smoother shocks mean more body roll? There is already too much.
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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 09:31 AM
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Does smoother shocks mean more body roll? There is already too much.
Less body roll with the Penske DAs for me (versus the Nitron SAs). Even with nearly double the spring rates the Penske DAs are more comfortable.

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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Way less body roll, on the track I keep thinking I am sliding because there is so little and I am backing off way too early :S
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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by kfennell View Post
So I have made a few changes to the car so far that have made little changes, but nothing compares to the change that I got when going from track pack shocks to Penske DA's.

Before my car would be best described as a rattly track car and I just assumed that was the only way the car could be.

After it is just so much better. It rides smoother, I dont bottom out on small bumps on the road, there is 90% less rattling (TBH some of this could be that I replaced the ball joints at the same time).

Fred isn't kidding when he says the car is way smoother with double the spring rate with these Penske shocks.

So whether you track your car or just drive it to car shows on the weekend I 100% suggest everyone upgrade their suspension to something with proper springs and valving, it is just such a world of difference that I didn't expect!
Is there a link to these magical shocks?
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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 10:24 AM
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Is there a link to these magical shocks?
Penske Lotus Elise Exige double adjustable BWR spec

But even the comparatively lame Nitron SAs I'm running are a world better than the LSS shocks they replaced, both on the street and at the track.
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post #11 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 01:50 PM
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Interesting. I thought my track pack shocks were pretty good already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kfennell View Post
So I have made a few changes to the car so far that have made little changes, but nothing compares to the change that I got when going from track pack shocks to Penske DA's.

Before my car would be best described as a rattly track car and I just assumed that was the only way the car could be.

After it is just so much better. It rides smoother, I dont bottom out on small bumps on the road, there is 90% less rattling (TBH some of this could be that I replaced the ball joints at the same time).

Fred isn't kidding when he says the car is way smoother with double the spring rate with these Penske shocks.

So whether you track your car or just drive it to car shows on the weekend I 100% suggest everyone upgrade their suspension to something with proper springs and valving, it is just such a world of difference that I didn't expect!
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post #12 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Possibly mine were a little long in the tooth, but there is no way you can match the performance of these with those spring rates. in order to not bottom out over every bump I had to run the adjustment way too high to be comfortable.

The difference is beyond night and day.
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post #13 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by kfennell View Post
Lets not even talk about track times here.

These things are a 100% worthy improvement even if all you do is drive back and forth to shows, I 100% promise.

Edit: I think a more accurate summary of what I am thinking is: Don't wait until you are a pro driver to get these, just the improvement in ride comfort is worth it until your driving catches up.
I agree. Although my autocross times did improve.

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2004 Suburban 8.1, Sport Red
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post #14 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by philethier View Post
All of the above. Since I broke free of the Street class autocross rules, the car feels better on the road and is way more fun to drive on course. The Penske DA setup from Fred is worth the money, so don't settle for halfway stuff.
You realize shocks are unlimited in SCCA street class so long as you stick with OEM springs . . . . I've driven an S2000 with $5,000 Ohlins and an FR-S with $3,300 Motion Controls - both cars were amazing - its hard to explain, but they instill a higher level of confidence.

The only thing you're going to do with more horsepower is go faster.
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post #15 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 05:48 AM Thread Starter
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Can you change the shock mounts in Stock? Because you need new mounts to run basically any aftermarket spring on the lotus.
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post #16 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by kfennell View Post
Can you change the shock mounts in Stock? Because you need new mounts to run basically any aftermarket spring on the lotus.
That is not true. I have after market springs on the OEM Ohlins and I am using the stock shock mounts.

Later,
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post #17 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by fzust View Post
Thanks, Guys! Yeah, I guess that doesn't come across as much as I would like. We put a ton of work into the build and setup of our Penskes to make the car easier to drive fast. HOWEVER, there are alot of side benefits. These shocks flow alot more oil in a bigger body, with a bigger shaft and piston, which yields a ton more control. Control is also equal to comfort, even with stiffer springs. I drove a car across country on Penske's with stiff springs to illustrate the point last year. https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f3/b...shocks-266866/

Every time someone puts them on they are just shocked(pardon the pun) at how much better the overall ride is!
How would you describe the settings on the non-adjustable shocks? Are they set up for street use? What are the spring rates that come with them compared to the DAs? Would it still have the better ride and flatter cornering compared to the LSS?
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post #18 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
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That is not true. I have after market springs on the OEM Ohlins and I am using the stock shock mounts.

Later,
Eldon
To run aftermarket coilovers I meant.
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post #19 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 06:19 AM
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To run aftermarket coilovers I meant.
Mine are aftermarket coilovers. It all comes down to free length of the spring. Since we do not have much shock travel, you do not need a very tall spring. With the shorter springs, the perches will clear the mounts.
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post #20 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-01-2015, 06:32 AM
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You realize shocks are unlimited in SCCA street class so long as you stick with OEM springs
Yes, I realize that.

My car was born with a startling lack of front camber. Dunno why, but you could see the difference compared to other Elise cars.

I finally got tired of it and put in trick steering arms and lowered the car a bit with Fred's DA Penske setup. Now the car feels much better in all situations, and I no longer cord the front tires on the outside edge. I don't care that it is hugely-uncompetitive in SSM.

Phil Ethier Minnesota USA
1973 Triumph Stag LE22439UBW "uncle jack", Sapphire Blue
2004 Suburban 8.1, Sport Red
2005 Lotus Elise, Bordeaux Red Pearl
2017 Ford Fusion (wife had to stop driving manual due to shoulder problem), Oxford White.
2006 Gulf Stream Conquest Super C
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