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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At Infineon and Thunderhill last week and this past weekend, I discovered that my LSS dampers (either the fronts or rears, I'm not sure which) need replacing -- I only know this because a fellow Lotus owner and I swapped cars and I followed my own car around T'hill watching the ass-end wiggle in all kinds of scary ways. The dampers must have gone bad slowly enough that I just started driving around the problem and got used to it.

Whereas his Elise (same year, same car) felt very settled over bumps, my car felt very uneasy, particularly as I moved weight around by braking or cornering. Quick left-right or right-left combinations required me to pause briefly between turns. Most likely, I think, it is the front dampers which are bad, as Lotus replaced the rears last spring when they did some warranty work on the car.

The car's exclusively a track toy, but I don't trailer it and I do the long drive to NoCal 3-4 times per year to get to events. My inclination is to spend money wisely, so I'm not looking necessarily for the fastest solution but for one which best balances cost and track performance, while still be comfortable enough for 9-10 hour drives a couple of times per year.

I'd consider just buying replacement LSS dampers from Lotus, but I suspect that they'll cost enough that I ought to consider buying something which is adjustable and has threaded spring perches so that I can adjust ride height and rake. But I'm out of my league as to what to buy and what the advantages/disadvantages are.

I'm a reasonably competent driver -- even with bad dampers, I was turning 1.57's/1.58's at Infineon, running the historic course (with the carrousel, the full esses, and the extended T11). With that background, I'd appreciate any feedback you guys might have to offer -- and I'd particularly like to hear from others with similar concerns/constraints who've actually bought coilovers for their cars.

Thanks,
Twin
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi John: thanks for the input. Did you go with their standard recommendation -- 99% of our customers are happy with our standard recommended Road and Track spring rate of 325lbs front 400lbs rear -- or did you specify your own spring rates? I've actually got aftermarket springs already on the car -- in precisely those spring rates -- and my feeling is that the rates are okay but could be a bit higher.
 

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Hi John: thanks for the input. Did you go with their standard recommendation -- 99% of our customers are happy with our standard recommended Road and Track spring rate of 325lbs front 400lbs rear -- or did you specify your own spring rates? I've actually got aftermarket springs already on the car -- in precisely those spring rates -- and my feeling is that the rates are okay but could be a bit higher.
If you get the Eibach springs for the 111r, they come in higher spring rates by default (525 and 650 lbs/in) - same as the ones sold at Sector111. It's stiff, but by dialing down the shock the ride is more comfortable than the stock suspension. I don't think you'd go wrong with that, 425/550, or the rates you currently have. I just installed mine a week or so ago, so don't have a lot of miles on them yet...

John
 

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I'm sure there will be lots of suggestions for suspension upgrades - and for me it was a great upgrade (see signature) but you should diagnose the problem first - couple of thoughts:

1. if your ass end is wiggling, I'd tend to think its a problem with your rear suspension, not front

2. check your alignment isn't out for any reason e.g. insufficient toe in at rear

3. check your wishbone bushings as with track use, especially sticky tires, these can wear enough that they allow the rear wishbones to move about, effectively toe-ing the rear wheels in and out. solution is new wishbone bushings ... with the exact same design flaw, or replace with polyurethane bushings e.g. polyflex

4. if it's a suspension damper problem and you don't want to blow big $$$, just get the dampers rebuilt?

Good luck!
 

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Interesting......

Funny thing is two weekends ago I had the '08 Factory Five Cobra 25 hrs of T-hill winner barely keeping up with me at my home track (the cobra was set up for endurance races). The driver thought I would benefit from getting my shocks rebuilt after following me for a couple of sessions. Maybe you could too. $65 per shock:

Bilstein
 
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I just bought the same single adjustable nitrons with eibach springs as the poster above. bought from the same vendor eliseparts.com. Terrific customer service.Thanks Geary. fairly quick build and delivery and with the exchange rate GBP vs USD in Feb when ordered they were $1431 USD delivered to my door including upgrade of springs to 500 lbs front and 600 lbs rear. good Luck and be sure to order the adjustable spring wrench as it does not come stand with the kit. Jon in Delaware
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, everyone, for the input, particularly the "bird's eye" suggestion which ChrisP offered (that I first be sure that I'm seeing the right problem). This is helpful, and I appreciate the advice.
 

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Info:

* FREE SHIPPING

* Inverted Design

* 30 Way Adjustable

* Springrates: 5k front/7k rear. Can also be customized to anything for NO additional fees. They will be revalved accordingly if you need anything significantly higher.

* 1 Year Warranty - Excellent exchange program also. In the unfortunate event that a damper was to blow out, BC will replace the blown damper with an entirely new unit for only $95. That limits your downtime, as well as not costing an arm and a leg to get them repaired.




The most exciting part about these is the price. Not looking to pay over $2000 for an awesome set of coilovers? Well we have your option right here. These babies are only $1250 , with free shipping to the 48 states. We run these on the shop Evo X, which sees frequent track time, as well as our Elise.


 

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ET, I hope you go with the adjustables. I finally got Ohlins and it is so much more comfy on long freeway drives. I, like you, occasionally take a 500 mile road trip down to SoCal and, at least 4-5 times per year, a Buttonwillow trip (260mi). It is far easier to manage the freeway ride with the suspension set on soft than it was with the stock dampers.

Also, you'll probably pick up another another 3 seconds on your Infineon time. I still haven't been there since I installed the Ohlins, so that's a guesstimate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to weigh in on this discussion. Has anyone tried *both* the Nitrons and the Ohlins and have any opinions on how they feel relative to one another? Seems as if there are two schools, but without much overlap, so it's hard to know what to conclude. They seem to approach the issue from opposite directions in that the Nitrons seem to favor stiffer springs/softer dampers whereas the Ohlins seem to use softer springs and to rely on the dampers to limit and control roll. I'm not sure what to make of that debate.
 

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I've read the shocks on nitrons weren't as great as ohlins.. This was posted by a suspension shock engineer testing on a shock dyno.. He favored ohlins over nitrons.. FWIW, he didn't specify which shocks..
 

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I have the Ohlins and love them. Once I drove an Elise with an Ohlins, I knew I could never get one without 'em...
 

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Word on the street is that the nitron triples are absolutely awesome... I bought a set:D...

Cheers,

Phil
 

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I installed Ohlins on my Elise last summer (purchased from ForcedFed). My first track event on them will be next weekend, so I can't speak as to how they perform on the track. What I can tell you is that the Ohlins made a *huge* improvement in ride quality on the street. Much much better over the uber-bumpy Chicago streets at the suggested street settings (not even full soft).
 

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ET - I have the "standard" single-adjustable Nitrons as sold by Elise Parts and fine them to be as perfect, for me, as I can imagine. I have driven a car will Ohlins at the track and found them to be excellent and capable of a more compliant ride for the street. I told the owner the car drives like "track Cadillac".

Personally, for track duty, I prefer stiffer springs; I am not a fan of using dampers for increasing suspension stiffness.
 

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Ohlins

Go with Ohlins. They are the best out there and one's that all others used to compare to, there are the benchmark. They have 60 adjustments for compression and rebound and great factory tech support. I plan on getting a set for my Diasio when the stock one's wear out. My mechanic is in charge of all the suspension set up at Newman Haas Lanigan Racing and he won't even entertain any other brand.
 

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We just received a batch of Nitron Sport Pro in last week. The exchange rate continues to be in our favor. Our kit features the Eibach springs which are of higher quality AND lighter weight than the Nitron springs.

$1750/set = All brackets, spacers & wrench

When you need them rebuilt, we can take care of it for you here in the US.

 
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