Best of all worlds: BWR Non-Adjustable Penske Shocks with Intro pricing! - Page 7 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #121 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-04-2015, 12:34 PM
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is the driver's side higher?

It might be set that way to compensate for driver weight, so its even when you're in the car but slightly higher when you're out.

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post #122 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-04-2015, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Typically, to get the corner balance correct with driver only, the perches are a touch lower on the driver's side, raising ride height a bit on the driver's side. When you get the 150+ lbs in the driver's side the corner balance/ride height are spot on.

THAT SAID, Lotus being Lotus, these cars are all a bit different. You could do a corner balance of your own to correct any variation. Alternatively, for appearance or "Stance Nation" one could set left and right perches the same and it should(barring Lotus variation) look the same.


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post #123 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-04-2015, 04:13 PM
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I will say, the pre-corner balancing from Fred is quite good. It was about a 49/51 cross weight before adjustment.

I've taken the car to Thunderhill, but realized that because I didn't know the track, a track impression write up of the suspension would not do the car justice. I am going to Streets of Willow this weekend, a track I know very well. I'll have the write up then. Until then, I have to say the ride quality is very noticeably improved.

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post #124 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 11:12 PM
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I promised a review, so here it is. Apologies for the length, but I hope being more in-depth will help people make a more informed decision.

Keep in mind I am coming from stock LSS suspension. I had previously installed a BWR front sway bar, which was set at the second hole from full soft. The bar wasn't touched. The car was aligned and corner balanced. Installation was smooth, and the alignment settings are 1.5 degrees of front camber and 2.5 degrees of rear camber. 3.something degrees of caster and just a touch of rear toe in. The car was very minimally lowered. Maybe 5 mm lower than stock all around. I may have one of the highest riding Penske equipped Lotuses out there. My car has a stock Torsen LSD, 15/16 inch Volk CE28Ns, and 195/50-15 and 225/45-16 Dunlop Direzza Z2 Star Specs. So onward...

On the street: The ride is much nicer than the LSS and a bit nicer than the standard black Bilstein suspension (I had previously owned a base suspension Elise before my current one). On lower amplitude bumps, you hear it more than you feel it, though the sound the suspension makes over bumps is a bit different than stock. Higher amplitude bumps result in a firm, but not harsh, impact. Very well controlled. There is one section of Highway 237 up in San Jose where just the right amount of speed, bump amplitude, and bump frequency seemed to set in motion almost a resonant frequency within the suspension. My guess is, since those bumps were more of a gradual much and down and hence, don't result in very high wheel speeds, that that's where the blow-off is happening in the damping curve. A little more damping in that mid-speed region would probably fix the problem. Overall though, the car handles well on the street and rides extremely well. Much better than stock.

On the track: Streets of Willows is what I consider to be my home track. I'm very familiar with it, and I feel it's a track that can really showcase a car's handling. The following is a map of Streets of Willows, for reference:



Speedventures puts a haybale at turn 10 that is just balls. They say it's for safety, but it cuts the track in half and really makes me feel like I'm going to do something bad everytime I go through there. They also say it slows you down by 0.5 seconds, but I believe it's more like 1.5 seconds. Nobody likes that damn haybale, but they keep putting it there.

Still, the suspension performed very well. So well that my friend who rode with me said he was still amazed by my suspension two days after the trackday (he drives an AE86, a S2000, and a 997 and has an E30 M3 lying around not getting miles).

The car really is composed. Through turn 1, which is high speed and off camber, the Lotus previously didn't like it when you put the car on the inside curbing, which is small and a bit high. With the Penskes, I didn't even realize I was putting the car on the inside curbing until the second session, when I heard the tire noise change when going over the curbing. That's amazing! Also, previously I had zero confidence that the car could go flat through turn 1, where if you spin you might be totally the car. Now, I swear the car can go flat through turn 1. I didn't have the balls to try it though, as winds were high all day and having your car be pushed half a car width offline in the middle of the corner can be scary.

The car is just generally controllable. Turn 2 rewards trail braking and a lot of rotation. Of course, sometimes you'll overdo your rotation, but with this suspension, it's basically a flick of opposite lock and you're back going where you want to go. The car is also very responsive. Extremely responsive. I could transition between the turn 5, a left hander, and turn 6, a right hander, so quickly that it felt like I was punching the side of my body with my seat bolsters (I have a Bride Zodia). I always expect the car to be unsettled going from left to right so quickly, but it stayed drama free all day and I think it could take more. In general, the car never did anything that seemed like it would get away from me.

I am considering adding some bumpstops though, perhaps just to the front. Through turn 8, the bowl, where I can pull more than 1.2 gs, the outside front tire was rubbing the fender liner. I know Lotus guys tend to view fender liner rub as a normal occurrence, but part of the reason I changed to 15" front wheels was to eliminate the rub. Now the rub is back and it'll probably drive me crazy if I don't fix it. I might get some short aftermarket bumpstops and cut them down further to about 25mm or so in height. I know Fred says bumpstops aren't needed, but I HATE HATE HATE rubbing.

One nice advantage is I could put a ton of power down very early. Compared to the stock suspension, I felt I could get on the power a touch (like half a car length) earlier since the car was no longer being unsettled by a bump in the middle of the bowl. My friend, who followed me in his C7 Z06, reported that he was amazed how quickly I could exit the bowl. He basically said the Lotuses and the AWD monsters were the only cars he couldn't catch coming out of the bowl.

The other amazing part about the nice ride was over the chicane. The chicane is a bit bump right where you'll be doing some braking (a lot of braking in this case because of the damn haybale). You could really feel the bumps with the LSS suspension, but with the Penskes it feels like you're gliding over them. You just have so much more confidence with them than with the LSS.

Overall, my best time of the day was a 1:30.1. My personal best at Streets was a 1.29.4, but that's without the haybale. Without the haybale on the Penskes, I'm pretty sure I can run into the 1:28s, and without high wind conditions I might be able to break into the 1:27s. That's not a world beater time, but the 1-1.5 second improvement that I forecast with this suspension is pretty impressive considering it was the 6th trackday for these tires and the grip is very obviously going away. I'm really curious to go back with fresh rubber (and a bit more front camber), but alas the 225/45-16 Star Specs are back ordered.

Overall, I'm very impressed, though I might be tweaking it just slightly. Advice about how to do so would be appreciated, if anyone has some thoughts.

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post #125 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 07:44 AM
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Any video from the event? In-car video is the best... or some vantage point that allows the audience to see your steering inputs.

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post #126 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Lion,

Thanks for the great review! I think we hit what we strive for with NAs, which is a true dual purpose shock with the emphasis on the street vs the occasional track day.

Your comments about "power down earlier" and "much more confidence" are what we strive for.

Bump stops are typically a band-aid for soft springs. They have their place, however they act as a quickly ramping spring rate and can cause weird handling at the limit. In the front, once you hit the stops the car will push since the spring rate goes up a ton. There isn't alot of travel up front, but if the rubbing bugs you we can look at putting some soft, short stops on your car and see if you can live with it.

I prefer the occasional fender rub to get predictability out of the car. Another thought is experimenting with slightly stiffer setup. I was thinking about trying 450/600 on the car with the NAs.....


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post #127 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LionZoo View Post
Speedventures puts a haybale at turn 10 that is just balls. They say it's for safety, but it cuts the track in half and really makes me feel like I'm going to do something bad everytime I go through there. They also say it slows you down by 0.5 seconds, but I believe it's more like 1.5 seconds. Nobody likes that damn haybale, but they keep putting it there.
I know what you mean! That said, I think it does help with safety as you slow down even more than you would have if it was just a cone and less chance of someone blowing through the area and ending up in oncoming traffic on another part of the track.

Why don't you come to Buttonwillow with Speed District on May 23rd? Me and another forum member are going on the day. He's running LSS, I'm running Nitrons with 450#/600# springs. Would make for a nice back to back to back comparison!

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post #128 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 10:35 AM
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@jdawson : I have video, but I'm still editing it and it's from the dash. My track videos are notoriously boring though as I'm generally one of the smoother drivers.

@fzust : On a racecar, I'd agree and take the rub. However, I generally view the car as a trackable canyon (street) car. A holdover from my days as an engineer is that rubbing is generally unacceptable through any range of travel within the suspension (hence, stiffer springs in my mind wouldn't be a real solution). I'll experiment with some short stops, but I might put them on both the front and rear to keep the balance (as much as I can) when the car hits the stops. Regardless, this is only a problem out of the bowl, so I don't want to have it engage the stops anywhere else. I'll keep you updated on the results.

@Vantage : I'm going back to Streets on 5/23, though possibly (probably?) with the Miata. Maybe some other time? Keep me updated. I do need new tires for the Elise.

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post #129 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 10:54 AM
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Final (maybe?) thought on bumpstops: I have considered maybe running only front stops with possibly a softer front sway setting to offset the increase in stiffness from any stop engagement. This is really where the adjustable BWR bar becomes useful, but in order to make it work, it will be a bit of a test and tune commitment.

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post #130 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 12:36 PM
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Final (maybe?) thought on bumpstops: I have considered maybe running only front stops with possibly a softer front sway setting to offset the increase in stiffness from any stop engagement. This is really where the adjustable BWR bar becomes useful, but in order to make it work, it will be a bit of a test and tune commitment.
If you were getting rub in a corner, a softer sway may make it rub even more? Though I understand that the bowl @ SOWs is quite banked, so may be a unique situation.

Even with 450/600# springs, I get some rub in the front on the streets in extreme situations like a corkscrew parking structure. On the track, I ramp my shock stiffness up considerably, and haven't noticed any concerning amount of rub. I'm running fairly low 123/127 mm ride heights.

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post #131 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 12:41 PM
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If you were getting rub in a corner, a softer sway may make it rub even more? Though I understand that the bowl @ SOWs is quite banked, so may be a unique situation.

Even with 450/600# springs, I get some rub in the front on the streets in extreme situations like a corkscrew parking structure. On the track, I ramp my shock stiffness up considerably, and haven't noticed any concerning amount of rub. I'm running fairly low 123/127 mm ride heights.
I'm concerned about the mechanical limits of a system. Even if I had a stiffer sway, there could still be a bump, corner, whatever where the suspension will rub. It's not about eliminating rub for that corner, it's about eliminating rub entirely. This is why I want to add the bumpstop: it prevents the suspension from compressing as much and thus, hopefully, eliminates the possibility of rub in the system. A softer front sway setting is an idea to take away some of the rate that I know adding the bumpstop might give in a steady state situation. However, I know that will also change my transient response so it's all a tuning balancing act.

Keep in mind I have a smaller diameter front tire than what most people run on Lotustalk: 195/50-15. It was the first mod I threw on the car, and I did it to prevent rubbing that I knew the stock setup had. I realize this pursuit is pretty damn OCD, but... I am who I am.

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post #132 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 12:53 PM
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The issue from a performance perspective is that generally you don't want to be riding bump stops, though maybe this is less of a concern if the stops are soft. With a softer sway bar, in theory you will get to the bump stop sooner, which is not where you want to be. Fzust mentioned odd handling when riding the bump stops. The Lotus sway bar is already pretty soft so making it softer isn't really going to offset the high effective spring rate of the bump stops.

I'd probably try the bump stops alone, but I know less about this stuff than either you or fzust.

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post #133 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 01:15 PM
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The issue from a performance perspective is that generally you don't want to be riding bump stops, though maybe this is less of a concern if the stops are soft. With a softer sway bar, in theory you will get to the bump stop sooner, which is not where you want to be. Fzust mentioned odd handling when riding the bump stops. The Lotus sway bar is already pretty soft so making it softer isn't really going to offset the high effective spring rate of the bump stops.

I'd probably try the bump stops alone, but I know less about this stuff than either you or fzust.
I'm hopeful I can find bumpstops that engage fairly softly, be relatively short, and still have the requisite compressed height to work with the front suspension. As I said, I don't want to be on the bumpstops all that much and really just want something to limit travel at the extreme end. I'm not using the Lotus sway; I'm running the adjustable BWR sway and I still have adjustment range so I can soften the setting to be only slightly stiffer than the OEM sway (but still stiffer than stock). Hopefully the stops alone will fix the problem, but the beauty of adjustable sways is that changing settings is a 5 minute job at the track.

I'll keep the forum updated on my progress. I'm not looking forward to doing more alignments with the car, but I do like problem solving.

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post #134 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 01:33 PM
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@Vantage : If we can't schedule a trackday together, let me know if you want to head out to the canyons. That wouldn't be a bad way to compare either.

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post #135 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 01:35 PM
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@Vantage : If we can't schedule a trackday together, let me know if you want to head out to the canyons. That wouldn't be a bad way to compare either.
Sounds like fun, I'm game. Will shoot you a PM if it's looking like I'm going out over the weekend.

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post #136 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 01:40 PM
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Sounds good.

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post #137 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 01:45 PM
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I'm hopeful I can find bumpstops that engage fairly softly, be relatively short, and still have the requisite compressed height to work with the front suspension. As I said, I don't want to be on the bumpstops all that much and really just want something to limit travel at the extreme end. I'm not using the Lotus sway; I'm running the adjustable BWR sway and I still have adjustment range so I can soften the setting to be only slightly stiffer than the OEM sway (but still stiffer than stock). Hopefully the stops alone will fix the problem, but the beauty of adjustable sways is that changing settings is a 5 minute job at the track.

I'll keep the forum updated on my progress. I'm not looking forward to doing more alignments with the car, but I do like problem solving.
Thinner bumpstops typically equate to stiffer bumpstops. Taller, cone shaped bumpstops offer the gradual stiffness increase you're looking for. The stiffness added by contacting a relatively stiff bumpstop will easily trump the stiffness decrease caused by softening the front bar.

As Vantage stated, the softer front bar setting will cause you to contact a bumpstop sooner than a stiffer bar setting.

Sounds like your best bet is to increase the ride height if you want to avoid rubbing.

Where is the rubbing occurring? If it's between the outer edge of the tire and the fender lip/liner, could you have your steering arms milled? This would increase camber and increase clearance between the outside edge of the tire and the fender lip.

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post #138 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 02:15 PM
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Thinner bumpstops typically equate to stiffer bumpstops. Taller, cone shaped bumpstops offer the gradual stiffness increase you're looking for. The stiffness added by contacting a relatively stiff bumpstop will easily trump the stiffness decrease caused by softening the front bar.

As Vantage stated, the softer front bar setting will cause you to contact a bumpstop sooner than a stiffer bar setting.

Sounds like your best bet is to increase the ride height if you want to avoid rubbing.

Where is the rubbing occurring? If it's between the outer edge of the tire and the fender lip/liner, could you have your steering arms milled? This would increase camber and increase clearance between the outside edge of the tire and the fender lip.
Bumpstop selection will really depend on what compressed height I desire. There are some bumpstops that have good ramp characteristics. I THINK I need about 10 mm of compressed height. It'll be in the tuning anyway. Like I said, I'll be experimenting at the track between various setups.

Increasing the ride height will absolutely not solve my problem. Increasing ride height is just a band-aid in my opinion. At the limit of travel, which increasing the ride height doesn't affect, you'll still get rubbing. I want to eliminate the problem at the limit of travel.

I currently have V2arms and so already have more camber than stock. The rubbing is occurring between the tire and the headlight blister in the fenderliner (where they all rub). A stock car on stock suspension will rub there, but a 15/16 car with stock suspension won't.

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post #139 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-14-2015, 07:21 AM
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Lion, your OCD about rubbing is going to ruin your day. Take a heat gun to the fender liner and call it good. The same engineering principles that are making you lose sleep over rubbing will rip you balls off for a plan that involves riding bump stops as part of a "solution".
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post #140 of 185 (permalink) Old 05-14-2015, 07:41 AM
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^ agree. You will be compromising performance to save a piece of plastic

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