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Discussion Starter #1
Randy, I saw your post on whether one should pick LSS and it seems to make sence for me. I'm only competing locally on a budget using V700's and unlikely to upgrade to stickier (=short life, event only use) Hoosier tires.
From all the postings it looks like Kumho's are very similar to A048 tire that LSS is tuned for. This means I won't have to do anything to the car out of the box for a long forseeable future. So when I was called in to SVAG Friday to make my choice I checked LSS option.

Today, I was at Palo Alto British Car meet and spoke to Miike (sandsmueum) who presented his ST/hardtop/LSS elise. He said due to sport suspention the car felt horrible driving over highway concrete joints and such. To the point where he tried to steer to the shoulder to avoid hitting joints. You drove thousands of highway miles, is it really that bad? Driving to/from events involves enough highway travel. And I would not want to stress my wife on our ocasional rallies either.

I now start to second guess my choice.

Too bad dealers don't have LSS demos.
Without first hand experience I have to rely on others.
 

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Hey, come down to San Diego and you can drive mine.

It's only an issue on certain roads. All concrete and with a bumpiness or a lot of joints. Less than 5% of the roads. Maybe far less.

But those roads are annoying.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Randy! I'll talk to my sales to see if I can postpone the decicion until testing LSS car. Do you have any events coming next week?

Randy Chase said:
Hey, come down to San Diego and you can drive mine.

It's only an issue on certain roads. All concrete and with a bumpiness or a lot of joints. Less than 5% of the roads. Maybe far less.

But those roads are annoying.
 

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I know it's not much help (unless you happen to travel a lot), but AutoEurope's demo in Birmingham (Detroit), MI has LSS.
 

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I drove the Auto Europe LSS and didn't think it was that harsh. I also drove one of their standard suspension cars and because I won't be doing a lot of tracking, I'm happy I picked the non-LSS. I wouldn't worry about picking LSS, its really not as bad as he's describing.
 

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How many miles did you drive that LSS car?

Please trust me when I say that on certain roads, it's bad.
 

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I think that the tires make a huge difference here. There is likely little ride difference bewteen LTS and LSS if the LTS wheels and tires were used on each car for example. R-Compound tires have stiff sidewalls to aid the handling characteristics.
 

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Ask Kiyoshi about I20 headed to Birmingham for LOG from Atl. Rattled the fillings in my standard car, know Kiyoshi really got the jouncing there. For both cars, it seems the concrete sections on interstates are bad, especially at the expansion joints and if the surface is a few years old.

Also, think LSS depends on the roads where you live. One fella living in NJ bought LSS and regretted it from the first moment. Also depends how much street driving you want to do.

Chris
 

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I do *not* have LSS, and have found some roads in the San Jose area to be uncomfortable. Specifically, highway 101, mostly the southbound side of the freeway, from the penninsual down to 880. Just awfull, way too much bouncing around. I can only imagine what LSS must be like on that road. Most other roads around here have been OK so far, but I wouldn't recommend a stiffer suspension unless your goal really is to be as competitive as you can at the autocross.
 

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My previous car was a race prepped MR2 and I always left the adjustable struts on stiff. And I liked driving on R tires. I do not mind a stiff ride.

I now have over 3300 miles in my Elise with LSS. 95% of the time on local roads, it's great and very compliant. Nice ride.

However, the other 5% of the time, it's freaking painful. I can live with that. But as I have posted many times... if most of your driving is on roads like that, you may want to reconsider getting LSS. Because you will find yourself looking for alternate routes.

Again, it's been my experience that it happens on old concrete roads. Though I have found one local street here that is cobblestone and I will try to never go down that road again. :)

Bridge joints are jarring, but I can live with that. It's the roads where the jarring is continuous that bothers me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the reference point Matt! How about local mountain roads: HWY9,35, Hamilton, etc. Have you driven these?

On the other hand, if even standard suspension car feels bad on these particular freeway sections you mention the hole argument of going with non-LSS for ride comfort is mute.

MattG said:
I do *not* have LSS, and have found some roads in the San Jose area to be uncomfortable. Specifically, highway 101, mostly the southbound side of the freeway, from the penninsual down to 880. Just awfull, way too much bouncing around. I can only imagine what LSS must be like on that road. Most other roads around here have been OK so far, but I wouldn't recommend a stiffer suspension unless your goal really is to be as competitive as you can at the autocross.
 

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Hwy 9 was just fine. A few rough patches but the car handled it well. 35 is great, as was 84. 280 is good; hwy 17 (between 101 and Los Gatos) is fine.

Hamilton is bad in *any* car (the west side, at least), though I haven't taken the Elise up there yet.

101S was really the only bad section I've encountered. It's driveable, but a constant bouncing around from the expansion joints made it very uncomfortable (the carpool lane is much smoother though).

The more I think about it, the more I think that 101 really is the worst road I've encountered in California, so if you won't be driving that one much, you may have no regrets about the LSS.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks every one for input!

Graham @ SVAG said the order has to go today. I've decided to buy time and save money and go with standard suspension.

I can get second set of wheels and adjustible shocks once they become available (at which time lotus springs and wider fronts may come in as well).

I like my current MR2 setup where I ride it on soft seting most of the time and only set shocks to stiff for autoX or some special occasion. I'd like to have same flexibility with Lotus.
 

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Alexander, I think you made a good decision. If you are able to install the parts yourself, I think you will spend about the same amount of money to duplicate the LSS package as you would buying the package.

You need the springs and steering rack mounting plates from Lotus. You may want to buy the shocks from Lotus. You could also send the stock shocks to Bilstein in San Diego to be revalved. They may know the LSS valving, or they may be able to develop something for your preferences (slightly stiffer than the standard shocks, but not LSS-stiff), or match the damping rates determined by someone else (say, once Randy has discovered the magic settings on the Penskes, and you bribe him to have his shocks dynoed by Bilstein). Or you can get Penskes ($$$) and have the adjustment range include the standard suspension damping rates on the low end.

Good luck; I've opted to slip to the next order batch because I was underwhelmed by the test drive. Following pickup trucks around residential neighborhoods in Los Gatos told me nothing about how the car performs. I haven't decided whether I'm going to keep my deposit down until I get a chance to autocross one, or if I'm just going to take it back and make other plans.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
John, thanks for you input! After I talked to Mike and you at British car meet I decided to re-evaluate my order.
I cureently have tokico adjustible shocks on my MR2. I installed these along with H&R springs with help of fellow MR2 owner and later replaced springs myself back to stock ones. That took me 5 hours.

I don't know how working on elise suspension compares with MR2, though.

I wonder if Tokico (or some other vendor) may come up with elise fitment kit eventually.


John Stimson said:
Alexander, I think you made a good decision. If you are able to install the parts yourself, I think you will spend about the same amount of money to duplicate the LSS package as you would buying the package.
 

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From the pictures that people have posted, it looks like the shocks are very accessible on the Elise.

I forgot to say that I think the main contributors to the difference in ride quality between the LSS and the standard suspension are the shocks and the tires. A set of Toyo T1-S tires should smooth out the ride, and adjustable shocks ought to do the rest. The 10% difference in spring rates shouldn't really be something you can feel.
 

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apkom said:


I wonder if Tokico (or some other vendor) may come up with elise fitment kit eventually.
Koni already has a double adjustable strut for the Elise. More news to follow.
 

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So Randy, if you had it to do over again, would you order the LSS or the standard suspension and backdate plus add DA's?

It seems like the standard suspension is a break even affair, as buying aftermarket rims, standard springs, and the rack kit probably offset the LSS cost.

Any ideas on costs for the Koni's? Will they be adjustable on the car?

Steve
'94 Miata
'05 Elise (hoping to order soon!)
 

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I have no idea how one would adjust them, though I have wondered. :)

$700 a corner is what Robert Puertas told me. He talked to the Koni reps today.

I have mixed feelings about the LSS. I will have wasted most of it. I will get racing rims and tires. So the LSS rims and tires are just nice street tires, but not needed. Buying LSS means you still have to buy a separate set of rims like the SSRs. So it's more expensive.

It is a little less hassle to get some of the stuff done as far as being lowered and steering rack and springs. Is that worth $2400? Depends on the person I guess. Let's assume that a serious autocrosser will have to convert to LSS in order to have a 5mm lower ride (it may be legal anyways, not sure yet)... and to have slightly stiffer springs. It might cost a good chunk to replace the springs.

I will be going with aftermarket or custom valved shocks. I will probably play with the swaybar or get a custom made one. I will adjust the alignment to something else.

We start the real tuning soon.

So... I am not sure. I have mixed feelings about Touring and SPort. I am more sure I would not get Touring if I did it again. I would do Starshield.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Looking at suspension pics it looks like adjustment nob could be placed at the top of the shock. Wheel would have to be removed of course to make adjustments.

Randy Chase said:
I have no idea how one would adjust them, though I have wondered. :)

 
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