The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just want to give a big shout out for the best mod I have done to any of my cars. It helped close the gas dramatically between me a few foes in autocross. For those of you who don't know, the exige gets put into a highly competitive category stock (because nothing about a stock exige is considered "stock").

I also got the 550/800 spring setup and it rides awesome on the street.

Thanks BWR!

Skaria
2009 exige s260 sport
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Oh, the stock Ohlins will be available soon for sale as soon as I get to take some pics!
 

·
** The Enforcer **
Joined
·
7,594 Posts
How do these compare to nitron 3 ways?
I can't answer about the Nitron 3-ways, but I have the Penske double-adjustables with the same spring rates (550/800) and they are actually more comfortable than the Nitron singles I pulled off that had much softer springs (nearly half the spring rates). The Penskes are very firm at slow speeds due to the rates but really perform well at speed. The other great thing about Penskes is they hold their value.

San
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
Penske's DA were a great choice on my SS/ASP/FP Elise.
 

·
2006 Exige
Joined
·
752 Posts
I have an '06 Exige on LSS suspension approaching 25k miles. In the near future, I want to refresh the suspension and upgrade to adjustable and better coilovers. I really trust the work Lotus did with the chassis setup and therefore would love to have something like the S260 Ohlins. BUT... if the Penskes are way better, than I would obviously be interested in going that route.

I know the Penskes are good for autocrossing, but I don't autocross. How are the Penskes for general or aggressive street driving? I'm not worried about my body being jarred by bumps in the road, but I am concerned about driving smoothly through a turn with bumps. Will the Penske spring rate be too stiff? I want excellent performance under a range of street conditions. For instance, there is a short series of bumps as I turn onto my street that the normal LLS suspension cannot soak up above a certain speed.

Also to the driving pros out there, would the Penskes give greater feel and control at the limit or would they be more likely to 'snap oversteer' (like going from street tires to slicks - less time to react)?

Thanks for any replies and ideas!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
Interesting! I'm going to try 480/600 springs on my Ohlins first but will give these some thought for the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
831 Posts
It's the compression adjustability more than rebound that affects ride comfort. I went from Ohlins DAs with stock spring rates (375/425 if I recall) to Nitron DAs with 50% higher rates and am able to set it up to get a supple ride even on Michigans terrible roads. Even with the Ohlins adjusting the compression made the difference in ride quality far more than rebound.

Having said all that I doubt if there is any great bang for the buck in any of these for a street only set up. But I wouldn't worry too much about the adjustables making the car handle more unpredictably. You do have to coordinate the setup with the front sway bar, which should be adjustable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
831 Posts
if going to higher rates, what do we do with the rebound settings? increase to cope with the stiffer springs?
On which setup?

Any DA system will be infinitely adjustable, you have to experiment, by taking clicks off the hardest settings and doing a lot of driving. Depending on what you do, you can, to a limited degree, affect a bit more oversteer. You also have to consider the degree of understeer that your front sway bar induces, especially if you use an adjustable bar (the Ohlins factory setup typically comes with a 3-hole adjustable bar). On some settings your front end will hop, or your back end will feel floaty, until you get it right when it will feel just right. Depends on your roads and what you need. Where I live we have stretches of just awful frost heaves that make the car crash and bounce if things are to stiff. It's a trade off to adjust for that condition versus smooth roads, but the DA systems let you do that.

The spring rate is just another variable.

I went from the non-adjustable suspension to DA Ohlins with the softer factory spring rate plus adjustable swaybar to DA Nitrons with helper springs and harder spring rates. I am able to get a better, more supple ride with the Nitrons for everyday driving than I was able to coax out of the Ohlins. But the Ohlins gave me a better ride than the base suspension.

On the track, the Ohlins gave me a nicer turn in than on the base suspension, but when I went too far in adjusting rebound settings the back end was too twitchy for my driving skillset. The Nitrons with the higher spring rate feel superior on the track as I was able to lower the car 10mm and keep everything flatter. The back end twitch is gone, even when I set the front swaybar at the hardest (most understeer) position. So I'm getting about 1.5 seconds faster times so far, after maybe 4 days of use, out of the Nitrons than the Ohlins.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
I have the Ohlins DA, currently with the standard 325/425 rates. The car has been set up beautify and it's very neutral and predictable on the street and track however with the soft springs directional changes are difficult and sometimes a change in grip feels very vague (which would be more of an issue if the car was poorly balanced. It's really only exposed on a race track.

In search of more feel I am going with 480/600 which is the stiffest available from Ohlins. I just have no idea what I should be doing with my compression and rebound. I figured I would start by backing the compression off 4 clicks from where it currently is but not sure whether rebound needs to go up or down?

I also have an adjustable front bar (mine is a cup 240) but I will play around with that once I'm happy with the dampers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
972 Posts
Is an adjustable front sway bar more or less "required" if you're running stock on an Elise (05') and thinking of going with SA or DA shocks?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,309 Posts
I...
I figured I would start by backing the compression off 4 clicks from where it currently is but not sure whether rebound needs to go up or down?
...
The real men seem to say back it off from full stiff...

I would start with where you are (or softer) and increase it. As a car underdamped is easier to drive fast than a car overdamped. But an over-damped car may "feel like" more fun.

The problem is that the settings adjust the low speed I think. And the high speed is probably the more important setting.

You may need a-hole day at mallala, with data, stopwatch, camera, and notepad...

The Mrs had a Hyundai... I would rive that as smooth as I could and when I was in the Lotus I would envision the Excel, and "silky the car" from turn to turn in super slow motion like a romance scene with the music playing...

When we had it rego'ed the MVR chap said, the damper mount i broken...
And I said "Maaate... One drives around those things without complaining."

My driving has not improved one bit with the hyundai fixed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
831 Posts
I have the Ohlins DA, currently with the standard 325/425 rates. The car has been set up beautify and it's very neutral and predictable on the street and track however with the soft springs directional changes are difficult and sometimes a change in grip feels very vague (which would be more of an issue if the car was poorly balanced. It's really only exposed on a race track.

In search of more feel I am going with 480/600 which is the stiffest available from Ohlins. I just have no idea what I should be doing with my compression and rebound. I figured I would start by backing the compression off 4 clicks from where it currently is but not sure whether rebound needs to go up or down?

I also have an adjustable front bar (mine is a cup 240) but I will play around with that once I'm happy with the dampers.
What you are describing as directional "feel" doesn't sound like a spring issue but turn-in understeer. Adding camber makes a world of difference. Going to stiffer springs may have the effect of you having less directional "feel" initially because you're losing the visual aid of the car weight transferring to one side or the other as you turn in.

Sounds like experimentation's in order!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
What you are describing as directional "feel" doesn't sound like a spring issue but turn-in understeer. Adding camber makes a world of difference. Going to stiffer springs may have the effect of you having less directional "feel" initially because you're losing the visual aid of the car weight transferring to one side or the other as you turn in.

Sounds like experimentation's in order!
true, the alignment was not perfect and I have some new steering arms and shims here ready to go in to both increase and tidy up front camber. although i am running a bit of front toe out so the turn is was actually not a problem for me. there was a hint of mid corner understeer, not so much on entry though.

I have ordered the springs anyway so we'll see how it goes!


Holmz: not sure where my dampers are currently set (havent counted the clicks) but leaving them as they are and trying that first is probably a good idea as at least its a reference point.

regarding front to rear balance, i'm actually sticking with a very similar ratio of front to rear spring so hopefully the neutral is retained.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,350 Posts
Is an adjustable front sway bar more or less "required" if you're running stock on an Elise (05') and thinking of going with SA or DA shocks?
No, changing to coilovers does not necessitate moving to an adjustable sway bar. A single sway bar does not change weight of the vehicle, nor front to rear weight bias, nor left to right weight bias. What it does do is to reduce body roll (improving steering response), make tires stand up straighter, and change weight distribution from corner to corner. Its just another variable and point of adjustment.

Depending on your drop you may want to get adjustable sway bar links, in order to completely remove any pre-load on the sway bars.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
3,335 Posts
I have an '06 Exige on LSS suspension approaching 25k miles. In the near future, I want to refresh the suspension and upgrade to adjustable and better coilovers. I really trust the work Lotus did with the chassis setup and therefore would love to have something like the S260 Ohlins. BUT... if the Penskes are way better, than I would obviously be interested in going that route.

I know the Penskes are good for autocrossing, but I don't autocross. How are the Penskes for general or aggressive street driving? I'm not worried about my body being jarred by bumps in the road, but I am concerned about driving smoothly through a turn with bumps. Will the Penske spring rate be too stiff? I want excellent performance under a range of street conditions. For instance, there is a short series of bumps as I turn onto my street that the normal LLS suspension cannot soak up above a certain speed.

Also to the driving pros out there, would the Penskes give greater feel and control at the limit or would they be more likely to 'snap oversteer' (like going from street tires to slicks - less time to react)?

Thanks for any replies and ideas!
Firstly guys, thanks for the kind words! We put alot of time in effort into these and it is really gratifying to see folks appreciate the result as much as we do!

AZ Elise et all....

The Penske's have a massively larger shaft displacing more fluid and a bigger piston to handle it. Thus there is more control surface area. The Penskes help eliminate the snap oversteer rather than make it worse. A couple of things we hear from our Penske customers alot:

"I can't believe how well these ride on stiffer spring rates!"

"These ride better than the LSS even with 5XX/X00 springs!"

"The car is just so much easier to drive now"

"I have more confidence in the car before"

"I just set dropped XX seconds/set fast time of the day/lap record"

A couple other notes:

1. The shocks come with a comprehensive setup guide that provides starting point settings for both street and track settings as well as a tuning guide to help you learn what you are feeling from the car and how to adjust the shocks.

2. My wife did an 800 mile round trip in our yellow street car from Tempe, AZ to San Diego, back through Indio(set FTD at local autox on street tires) and back home. She did this on the 550/800lb springs with the shocks set to the COMPETITION settings the whole time! She did complain that the A/C wasn't great and the lack of cruise control kinda sucked.

3. Lastly, spring rate is not a holy crusade. We've done softer for folks that wish it. There is enough adjustment range in the shocks to handle a wide variety of spring rates.

4. We have hand adjuster knobs for rebound now that are from Penske's NASCAR program. 95 clicks of total adjustment range providing massive range and granularity.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top