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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently became the proud owner of this little beauty.
6EBB8EE4-4C7B-4175-9163-41BDA847B155.jpeg

Stock engine was swapped out for a Toyota 2gr-fe V6, which is 111 lbs heavier. Transmission and axles upgraded as well.

BUT, nothing has been done to the stock suspension. It rides too low. Every tiny bump or crevice in the road is a menace.

Hoping to lean on the wisdom of the LT community for recommended upgrades to solve this. Thanks in advance!! 🙏
 

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Recently became the proud owner of this little beauty.
View attachment 1290022
Stock engine was swapped out for a Toyota 2gr-fe V6, which is 111 lbs heavier. Transmission and axles upgraded as well.

BUT, nothing has been done to the stock suspension. It rides too low. Every tiny bump or crevice in the road is a menace.

Hoping to lean on the wisdom of the LT community for recommended upgrades to solve this. Thanks in advance!! 🙏
I would talk with Fred at BWR and tell him what you have and he can suggest the best Penske setup to take into account that extra weight. Link him to the cars build that was posted here on LT. BTW The Exige will feel every crack and bump that's completely normal but a good setup with Penske's will make it more manageable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, Cat, I’m contacting BWR. Thanks brokenblinker. That’s not even the best angle to view it. Check out the custom exhaust the prior owner made for it! He’s an ARTIST.
1290034
 

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More feedback would be useful. It sounds like you want to improve two different aspects:

1. Rear ride height is lower than stock. It looks like you have 17” wheels from and rear. That would contribute to less rake than stock or anti-rake (nose higher than rear) with stock suspension. Any coil over solution with adjustable perches could solve this issue for you. If you have 17” front wheels, you will need to manage clearance to the fender liner and headlight buckets (maybe not depending on year? Someone else can correct me, if I’m wrong). This will limit how low the front can go. Another option to help with rake is small OD front wheels/tires. 16” would work fine, as it’s the stock front rim diameter for Elise and Exige. 15” wheels can work depending on which front calipers you have - if stock AP 4-piston calipers, 15” won’t fit.

2. Ride is rough. This is a spring and damper tuning exercise. The stock dampers, especially LSS dampers, are valved with significant rebound damping. This contributes to a rough ride. As others have mentioned, BWR sells a variety of solutions to fit your application and budget. Other dampers could also suffice (Nitron, Ohlins, etc.), but I don’t think those dampers have had the R&D time put into them like some of the BWR solutions.

Cool car - good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, jd. Front are 17x8. Rear 18x8.5. So the rake is right, I think. But I suspect the rears are oversized and, at full suspension compression, rub the inner edge of the fenders.

To clarify, I’m overjoyed to feel every bump and crack in the road. Riding rough is fine. I just want to stop worrying that anything larger than a crack will make the suspension travel bottom out.
 

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2005 Lotus Elise; 2007 Lotus Exige S; 2012 Porsche 991S
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Saw that car in a few posts on Facebook, wow!!!

I think the Penskes or Ohlins TTX are the way to go if you want the best of the best that have both a great ride quality and great handling (which I think is the magic of Lotus!) Anyone can make a car ride like crap and handle well around corners by making it stiff as hell. But making compliant AND still hand is magic.
 

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Thanks, jd. Front are 17x8. Rear 18x8.5. So the rake is right, I think. But I suspect the rears are oversized and, at full suspension compression, rub the inner edge of the fenders.

To clarify, I’m overjoyed to feel every bump and crack in the road. Riding rough is fine. I just want to stop worrying that anything larger than a crack will make the suspension travel bottom out.
The proper way to check for rake is with the car loaded with 150# each seat the do your ride height measurements. Make sure you have proper amount of air in tires. Measure now even if statically with nothing in car so you have a baseline. You measure at front and rear jacking points at the ends of the side rails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, chiarov. I haven’t posted it on FB, but it does tend to draw a flock of paparazzi in every parking lot, so maybe one of them posted 🤔
 

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Having less sidewall will contribute some to the roughness of the ride. +recommendation for the Penskes.

My previous S2000 CR (stock was not renowned for being soft at all) was modified with some JRZ coilovers as part of the conversion to run in the STR class. It was a very hard car to beat in STR locally but I never did get the shocks right even after runs at revalving over 8 years. On the street it was a bit punishing.

My Exige with the Penskes was far more civilized than my S2000 ever was, even compared to stock. I'm about to head off on a 9 day trip to the Tennessee area for some racing and a vacation. I have no worries about driving the Lotus the whole way. Having a good shock tune baseline is so much better than trying to do your own.
 

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Having less sidewall will contribute some to the roughness of the ride. +recommendation for the Penskes.

My previous S2000 CR (stock was not renowned for being soft at all) was modified with some JRZ coilovers as part of the conversion to run in the STR class. It was a very hard car to beat in STR locally but I never did get the shocks right even after runs at revalving over 8 years. On the street it was a bit punishing.

My Exige with the Penskes was far more civilized than my S2000 ever was, even compared to stock. I'm about to head off on a 9 day trip to the Tennessee area for some racing and a vacation. I have no worries about driving the Lotus the whole way. Having a good shock tune baseline is so much better than trying to do your own.
What’s the deal with JRZ shocks? I have seen 1 for sale ad for them and the dude said they are the best like it was an absolute fact (and provided no more specific info on them) yet I barely know anything about JRZ and I’m a car guy who works in the auto industry! Are they just well made shocks that require the user to specify exactly what they need? What am I missing?
 

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What’s the deal with JRZ shocks? I have seen 1 for sale ad for them and the dude said they are the best like it was an absolute fact (and provided no more specific info on them) yet I barely know anything about JRZ and I’m a car guy who works in the auto industry! Are they just well made shocks that require the user to specify exactly what they need? What am I missing?
Is that guy still trying to sell those for $5000? Lol
 

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What’s the deal with JRZ shocks? I have seen 1 for sale ad for them and the dude said they are the best like it was an absolute fact (and provided no more specific info on them) yet I barely know anything about JRZ and I’m a car guy who works in the auto industry! Are they just well made shocks that require the user to specify exactly what they need? What am I missing?
What do you do in the automotive industry? JRZ is a very well known brand in the track / racing community.
 

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What do you do in the automotive industry? JRZ is a very well known brand in the track / racing community.
I’m a quality engineer for a big OEM. That’s exactly what I mean though! Everyone just says they are well known and used in racing and that is what makes them good, but I have yet to hear anyone say what specifically makes them any good! I mean I’m sure they are one of the better shock companies, but I have always found it strange that just because the brand name is JRZ they seem to get a pass.
 

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JRZ was founded by an ex Koni engineer. Very popular in rally, DTM, and F3 in Europe. TrackSpec carries them. @Driver Dave, what dampers do you have now? They maybe adjustable for ride height. You don't want to ride nose high, will generate aero lift.
 

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I’m a quality engineer for a big OEM. That’s exactly what I mean though! Everyone just says they are well known and used in racing and that is what makes them good, but I have yet to hear anyone say what specifically makes them any good! I mean I’m sure they are one of the better shock companies, but I have always found it strange that just because the brand name is JRZ they seem to get a pass.
JRZ is a high quality shock used on high end and race cars.Pretty sure I saw them on Indy cars. I also saw them at the Rolex 24hr at Daytona. I also have them on my Corvette.JRZ is like Performance Friction,mostly for racing and very expensive.OEM stuff is often reliable but low end. It has to be cheap right?JRZ tends to be more expensive than Penske.
When you’re product is on winning race cars that’s not getting a free pass!
 
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The founder wrote a book about the early years when he worked at Koni and a lot of the early work in automotive shocks was done in various types of racing. I was told to go read the book since I was going to add double adjustable high-end shocks of some type to the S2000. I gotta think this was some joke handed down to me as it's latest victim. I read the whole book but it was just astounding the number of spelling and grammar errors that it had. It was very obvious that the speaker was only limited ability in English but it was astounding how bad the text was. The story I heard is that the publisher accidentally published the first submittal instead of the corrected text. I was Amazed that I could buy a book like that on Amazon new decades later.
 

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JRZ was founded by Jan Jan Zuijdijk, a former koni engineer. I have read his book as well. Jan started Moton with a partner and I believe they had a falling out so JRZ was his new company. I don't think he has much to do with it anymore as I believe he is pushing 80 years old at this point. Some of his philosophies I agree with, some I don't.

Shocks/Dampers are one place where you largely get what you pay for. There are 3 important things: 1. Quality/Consistency of components. 2. Technology development 3. How have the previous 2 been tailored to your application. I know the Penske folks very, very well. I've spent alot of time with their engineers. They do F1, NASCAR, MotoGP shocks, they make ALL the shocks for Spec Miata, and custom things for the DoD. They run 7 post rigs and recently took over the Reohrig Shock dyno software development. They provide a fully customize-able toolkit that can be optimized for any specific car geometry etc. and provide great dealer support to solve technical problems. The Penskes on my XP car have tested out some of the cool technology which has resulted in some pretty good results.

Anyway, I replied to the OP to get some additional data, but I don't doubt we'll be able to get him sorted out.
 

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+ for Fred at BlackWatch Racing. I have had several national-level drivers test my car on autocross courses and they all characterize my BWR/Penske suspension as magic.

The most-obvious advantage for you is the adjustable spring perches, which are included in most advanced suspension suspension mods. Fred can suggest which of his Penske products and settings most-matches your intended use. Installation is not difficult. Then I suggest you bring the car to a competent performance-oriented alignment shop to be aligned and corner-balanced. Check with local car enthusiasts to find the right people. In the Twin Cities, for instance, it is TheAlignmentGuy.com in Hopkins Minnesota.

It would be a good idea to take the car to that locally-recommended shop beforehand to have the corner weights measured. This would be valuable information for Fred to consider before giving you his recommendations.
 
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