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New to rallying. Hoping to get valuable suspension information

Posted by loifs8 
loifs8
Wayne Iwanski
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New to rallying. Hoping to get valuable suspension information
May 05, 2016 08:04PM
I'm new to the forum and rallying. Looks like there is some really good information out there on some cool cars. I hope I can learn a little from all these topics. Thanks in advance

I am trying to setup my 2011 MINI Countryman S All4 for some rallying. I am specifically looking to see if anyone has any tips of where to start on my suspension.

Right now I am looking at inverted monotube front coilovers 7kg/mm digressive and monotube not inverted 6kg/mm digressive rears, approx 280 mm spring length all around.

Does anyone have a comparison on how this would work? I have about 1850 lbs on front axle and about 1350 on rear
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john vanlandingham
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Re: New to rallying. Hoping to get valuable suspension information
May 05, 2016 10:42PM
Quote
loifs8
I'm new to the forum and rallying. Looks like there is some really good information out there on some cool cars. I hope I can learn a little from all these topics. Thanks in advance

I am trying to setup my 2011 MINI Countryman S All4 for some rallying. I am specifically looking to see if anyone has any tips of where to start on my suspension.

Right now I am looking at inverted monotube front coilovers 7kg/mm digressive and monotube not inverted 6kg/mm digressive rears, approx 280 mm spring length all around.

Does anyone have a comparison on how this would work? I have about 1850 lbs on front axle and about 1350 on rear

What brand?
How much travel front and rear?
What price?

The 7kg/mm and 6 kg/mm sounds like spring rates.
7 kg/mm is 391.982 lb/in
6 kg/mm is 335 lb/in
If the suspension only has 3-3.5 inches of travel then those rates might be just a little stiff.

(you know there is a relationship between weight of car, available travel and spring rate..you know that?)

If the suspension has 7.5 to 8 inch travel---typical for what I make (190-200mm) then those presumed spring rates are nearly twice what I would think reasonable...

So if the springs are twice the rate we'd routinely expect to see, and short 280mm travel I am going to guess the stuff is Asian stuff or mis-labled German, mis-labeled in that it is not gravel rally suspension...

Digressive usually refers to the valving and again typically we don't see or want digressive valving..
It could refer to the social and political climate in the country for the last roughly 40 years but probably not.
Some springs are wound progressively ie tighted coils on one end for softer initial rate, then when those tighter coils go solid then you have wider spaced winding for the rest of the movement..
Some progressive springs suchas Ford Motorsports rally springs in the 90s, Saabs alternate rear springs in the 70s and DMS springs are done with "Taper ground wire" so even with a linear winding, the rate stiffens up as spring is compressed..
Nice if everything is perfect..

Nothing is ever perfect and height adjustment becomes a bear because winding UP the seats on the body first does nothing except compress the soft part leaving you short of spring travel..So a very wise man was recorded saying "Keep your politics progressive, but keep your springs linear."

So Wayne, welcome aboard (Oh when we say a REAL name we mean a first and last name...we really believe it helps to at least know that when trying to build a community and put people in touch with others nearby so could you edit the name thing? I don't know how you do it but the "Administrator" Skye could help you there..Thanks)
and as usual we have more questions.

once of which is: is this going to be a caged rally car or a fun weekend play thing?

Have you done lotsa motorsports of any kind previously? Done any dirt-biking?

This stuff goes to spring rates, too.

Get back to us. Photos of the mountings help a lot too.



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

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NoCoast
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Re: New to rallying. Hoping to get valuable suspension information
May 05, 2016 11:10PM
Go find Chris Wilson's build. I think it's on specialstage.com. He started with modified STI struts then went to something else. Rallying a Mini in Costa Rica for the past few years.



Grant Hughes
http://rally.build
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dunhamr1
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Re: New to rallying. Hoping to get valuable suspension information
May 06, 2016 06:19AM
Markus Saaranin also runs a 2007 Mini Cooper; he's based out of Arizona. Might run a search here or on Special Stage. I know he's had a lot of suspension problems over the years...
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wvonkessler
Wilson von Kessler
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Re: New to rallying. Hoping to get valuable suspension information
May 06, 2016 02:39PM
Welcome. Nice to see another Georgia rallier. Look forward to seeing you at 2017 Sandblast.



"Now, Pinky, if by any chance you are captured during this mission, remember you are Gunther Heindriksen from Appenzell. You moved to Grindelwald to drive the cog train to Murren. Can you repeat that?"
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loifs8
Wayne Iwanski
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Re: New to rallying. Hoping to get valuable suspension information
May 06, 2016 09:02PM
Thanks for the warm welcomes.

I will definitely check out 2017 sandblast and those other setups.

As for John' s post; no brand, no price and I have been searching for travel. Based on searching for applications for my car, those are the spring rates and valving that seem to be most available.

Would this be more 'track' or 'Tarmac' setups? Seems most with my car 'like' to lower their car rather than 'rally' it. So I am trying to figure a baseline and then modify the specs from there. I understand lighter may be better for grip on gravel but need the travel to go with it.

I am more used to air spring curves w/o spring forces added (think landing gear struts-metering pins) so it is a little different for a car.

Is digressive valves not good? Thought this would make the car stiff on smooth surface and be able to take g's on high impacts softly?

As for motorsports experience, not much. Caged? Eventually......maybe, want to get suspension right first.

Thanks again!

Wayne
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john vanlandingham
John Vanlandingham
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Re: New to rallying. Hoping to get valuable suspension information
May 06, 2016 10:25PM
Quote
loifs8
Thanks for the warm welcomes.

I will definitely check out 2017 sandblast and those other setups.

As for John' s post; no brand, no price and I have been searching for travel. Based on searching for applications for my car, those are the spring rates and valving that seem to be most available.

Would this be more 'track' or 'Tarmac' setups? Seems most with my car 'like' to lower their car rather than 'rally' it. So I am trying to figure a baseline and then modify the specs from there. I understand lighter may be better for grip on gravel but need the travel to go with it.

I am more used to air spring curves w/o spring forces added (think landing gear struts-metering pins) so it is a little different for a car.

Is digressive valves not good? Thought this would make the car stiff on smooth surface and be able to take g's on high impacts softly?

As for motorsports experience, not much. Caged? Eventually......maybe, want to get suspension right first.

Thanks again!

Wayne

Hi Wayne..Ok.. Look my background and where I learn all about life, the universe and everything was devoted about 15 years to becoming a self-sponsored professional in another sport...where everything was RWD and had insane power to weight ratios....like for example we could easily lift front wheel in mid corner and hold it, grab 3rd and still have time to wave to any of what was then called "pit tootsies". Much more power, much MUCH rougher and more variable surfaces and a lot of money being poured into suspension (did I mention we had all the power we needed?)
A completely revolutionary time...and we were ALL learning a lot..(like "it may not be strong, but at least it ain't pretty" and "Never resolve a load into air" and "suspension is supposed to move" <------ that last one a lesson extremely few ever learn.)


That was moto-cross in the 1970s..as such a lot of my examples and especially metaphors and allagories stem from that world..
It was also an interesting anthropological and sociological field of study...America was "the distant incoherent land of savages with atavistic and mystical belief systems, with its own languages and shamans and priests and of course language and dogmas.."

Anyway I of course see parallels everywhere...and still annoy the fuck outta those to who status and "reputation" are the central things in their lives...

So in my old world what you want is not some suspension for some way baaaaad moto-cross bike but for a "pretty damn good" enduro bike, OK? Works real good for having lots of fun...
Well here's your fronts:


Gawddamn thing looks like a Ford Xratty...a car I know well and have been making evidently really awfully good suspension for for 13 years---good enough that boys can win the 2wd catagory up here in the PNW.

Here's rear:

Sweet bleeding Jeezuz!

It looks like it almost couldn't be easier...

Here a question: can you dismount one strut and one shock and measure a bunch of stuff and make a sketch? If you can this should be possibly very easy....needless to say no need to wade thru years of old posts about somebody hacking up Subaru struts, all based of groundless guessing and assumptions. Very easy indeed...for some..eye rolling smiley



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

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Cosworth
Paulinho Ferreira
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Re: New to rallying. Hoping to get valuable suspension information
May 08, 2016 03:31PM
Quote
loifs8
Is digressive valves not good? Thought this would make the car stiff on smooth surface and be able to take g's on high impacts softly?
You got it the other way around. You want a soft suspension on smooth stuff so that you get the most grip, and you want it stiff enough on rough and jumps so that it soaks up the energy.

You got a lot of work ahead of you, and your choice of car is not going to help.
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john vanlandingham
John Vanlandingham
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Re: New to rallying. Hoping to get valuable suspension information
May 08, 2016 08:15PM
Quote
Cosworth
Quote
loifs8
Is digressive valves not good? Thought this would make the car stiff on smooth surface and be able to take g's on high impacts softly?
You got it the other way around. You want a soft suspension on smooth stuff so that you get the most grip, and you want it stiff enough on rough and jumps so that it soaks up the energy.

You got a lot of work ahead of you, and your choice of car is not going to help.

Paulinho he said mainly for playing around fun stuff...
A good friend had one of these and yeah they look pretty much like a MkI Golf/Rabbit construction in the front its just for fun...Its so similar to a couple or 3 other cars I know i can make some good stuff..

Maybe if the bug bites and he listens and learns---we can get him over on the dark side--the direction more and more normal guys are going: simple old RWD cars with nicer more modern powerplants...like so many say "Never had so much fun in a rally car" (too bad they did "what everybody said" first)



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

www.rallyrace.net/jvab
CALL +1 206 431-9696
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loifs8
Wayne Iwanski
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Re: New to rallying. Hoping to get valuable suspension information
May 08, 2016 09:36PM
Thanks for the input.
So if I get this right, soft springs and progressive dampers for gravel?
Would the digressive be for Tarmac then? (Just want to know the reason for digressive)
Anyways, what measurements would I need to sketch? Strut length, control arm lengths, extended compressed?
Lots more rear travel I will need to increase brake line length on the rear (see pic above) right?
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john vanlandingham
John Vanlandingham
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Re: New to rallying. Hoping to get valuable suspension information
May 08, 2016 10:09PM
Quote
loifs8
Thanks for the input.
So if I get this right, soft springs and progressive dampers for gravel?
Would the digressive be for Tarmac then? (Just want to know the reason for digressive)
Anyways, what measurements would I need to sketch? Strut length, control arm lengths, extended compressed?
Lots more rear travel I will need to increase brake line length on the rear (see pic above) right?

No right springs.. firm. but low preload so there's some intitial complaince which gives a "signal" to driver he's shifting weight and keeps the wheel on the ground where it can do whatever it can do (most tires have very poor grip when in the air and thus have very minimal affect on acceleration or braking and no measurable effect on turning).. The damping should be just enough to control the springs and be able to "blow off" well when hitting things with square shape like put holes or rocks--compression damping high speed effect is always the hard thing to get right and also the thing that when you do what too many do and crank it up, it leads to broken stuff.

The digressive valving is--as explained by lead tech at Bilsteins competition department is "initially very stiff for short travel application so you need damping now but with greater velocity it doesn't keep getting stiffer, it plateaus...Nothing you want in the stuff you're doing. Its for like road racing and stuff like that"..
Makes sense.
Our concerns are to control compression at low velocities (shaft speed, always referring to shaft speed, not car speed), not restrain the extension cause we want the suspension to return to the famous "static unladen height" fair quickly to be there for the next bump.. Above all we want to avoid excessive rebound damping and the dreaded 'shock packing" (you hit a good bump suspension compresses THIS much but only extends about 1/2 that before you hit another big un which compresses things YAY! much more and only extends a wee bit before WHAM--and pretty soon you are out of travel and on the bump stops..Next bump either you're kicked off the bike or the car goes wham and it hops over 3 feet--and you crash and burst into flames and die.

What are you going to do with all the valuable information you're getting?

If I may Wayne, you are way way way overthinking things.
.The job at hand is to drive car down some road laughing maniacally, between hair raising escapades where you make the sounds Curly ( brother of Moe and Shemp and cousin of Larry..you know? Howard, Howard, Howard and Fine? (which in a better world they'd a kept their names and it woulda been Horowitz, Horowitz, Horowitz and Feinstein.. But you know the sound when Curly is heading towards disaster ---and then his nyuk, nyuk nyuk when he escapes death)

You're not alone..Most people over-think virtually everything and ironically think that just looking at, SEEING lots of information means they have enough information to make "an informed decision"...Partially its culturally reinforced boy think 9that optimistic idea that we can learn anything in a couple of hors), partially its maybe we know 98% of anything you read now is made up and bullshit and done for ego stroking and cherished status and hence way suspect...

.But..Remember the whole point IS in the driving, the approach of the transcendent experience and that is NOT an matter of reasoning and hard thinking. Especially in advance.
Its done by doing. LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of doing until things you do you do reflexively...
And experienced guidance... (rotsa ruck round eye on that one)

Then afterwards maybe you can think and wonder..

But you don't have to try to gather enough to build your own stuff when there at right here some guys who have spent years already doing this...and who attained their enlightenment (in this and a few other pinpoint areas) long enough ago for it to eventually percolate upwards to the brain---
after a decade or so...



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

www.rallyrace.net/jvab
CALL +1 206 431-9696
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is 3 hours behind Eastern Standard Time.
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mekilljoydammit
Daniel DeRosia
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Re: New to rallying. Hoping to get valuable suspension information
May 09, 2016 08:08AM
Quickie comment about digressive valving to put it to bed for this application and why it's tarmac stuff - part of the deal with that stuff is to have the shock stiff at low shaft speeds so the car turns in faster, while softening up over bumps and the like because the spring rate may be kinda stiffer than theoretical optimum, all because you've got the roll center near ground level to avoid jacking effects and stuff. Works in combination. Now, I'll admit I have a relatively solid grasp of roadrace stuff but gravel, not so much, but to me it seems like all of the stuff that makes digressive make sense on tarmac doesn't much apply off it. John, feel free to tell me if I'm full of shit.

That said, pretty much agreed with John as to the "well, what're you doing with this?" bit. I mean, I'm an engineer and I like figuring out the whats and the whys of crap, but at the end of the day if you want to drive stuff you need physical parts you can bolt up. Unless you want to invest the time and resources to fabricate and valve the suckers yourself, you're going to be relying on someone else doing it anyway, because more than likely there's not going to be anything off the shelf that'll work. So it's all well and good to want to make an informed decision, but there can get to be a point where you're trying to get the people who know what they're doing to teach you enough that you'll be trying to second-guess their work on your stuff because you don't know everything they know, you know?
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john vanlandingham
John Vanlandingham
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Re: New to rallying. Hoping to get valuable suspension information
May 09, 2016 10:03AM
Quote
mekilljoydammit
Quickie comment about digressive valving to put it to bed for this application and why it's tarmac stuff - part of the deal with that stuff is to have the shock stiff at low shaft speeds so the car turns in faster, while softening up over bumps and the like because the spring rate may be kinda stiffer than theoretical optimum, all because you've got the roll center near ground level to avoid jacking effects and stuff. Works in combination. Now, I'll admit I have a relatively solid grasp of roadrace stuff but gravel, not so much, but to me it seems like all of the stuff that makes digressive make sense on tarmac doesn't much apply off it. John, feel free to tell me if I'm full of shit.

That said, pretty much agreed with John as to the "well, what're you doing with this?" bit. I mean, I'm an engineer and I like figuring out the whats and the whys of crap, but at the end of the day if you want to drive stuff you need physical parts you can bolt up. Unless you want to invest the time and resources to fabricate and valve the suckers yourself, you're going to be relying on someone else doing it anyway, because more than likely there's not going to be anything off the shelf that'll work. So it's all well and good to want to make an informed decision, but there can get to be a point where you're trying to get the people who know what they're doing to teach you enough that you'll be trying to second-guess their work on your stuff because you don't know everything they know, you know?


Pretty good description...I guess. Working so much with the tech lead at Bilstein, we gotten to know eachother well and we can talk. I've suggested tat much of what they publish is frankly inadequate and confusing and I've been modding and building their stuff a lot longer than anybody there so if I don't have a clue wot da fuq they're saying, then it probably ain't clear, and unclear info is worse than none.

As for where this is going...I have had about 10-12 guys over the years ask "tell me everything" about suspesnion so I can make my own...And i try and explain that it will cost them so much more, that the price for less than full sticks of the steel is rediculous, they have to be able to hold dead nuts tolerances or the bushings will move, theads tear out etc...None ever did anything..Waste of time.

Then there's unethical and lying weasels who buy one set at screamin discount cause it was for somebody I wanted to help back into the sport, and pleading and promising "to send you sooooooo much work on all these cars" and then run off and TRY to copy the stuff---but at a 35% premium (cause "ours are TiG welded and powder coated and JVABs are mere MiGed and painted"---yeah that's worth $700 more right there...too bad the execution was wrong and poor, but at least he's never unpleasant)

And then there's the "looking for confirmation/adulation" of a purchase already made like the professor from Iowa "I want to go grass-o-crossing AND auto ex-ing and wonder if a 35N spring and a 27mm sway bar will work perfectly for both usages if the BSFC and the YAWS rear diff controller is adjusted to Blah blah blah......"
Remember him?

Thing about fapping too much about theory is it prevents us getting on our backs and crawling around under the car and looking at shit and then seeing real crap like this


(click this before looking at piccie below)






Which demands immediate thoughts/plans for remediation/bitchin-ification..

and making CAD* templates for the front control arms...







*cardboard aided design



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

www.rallyrace.net/jvab
CALL +1 206 431-9696
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mekilljoydammit
Daniel DeRosia
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Re: New to rallying. Hoping to get valuable suspension information
May 09, 2016 10:45AM
This isn't about anyone in particular, just musing.

There seems to be this idea lately (I kinda blame stuff like LeMons and Chump Car and the like) that the Path To True Enlightenment is like, finding out as much info as you can for free on the internet, then cheap-assedly reinvent the wheel because it makes it easier to hide the actual final cost from yourself, especially when it takes a bunch of tries to get it right and figure out all the stuff that the internet posters didn't mention. And, you know, if information isn't available for free on the internet, it must not exist.

Of course, look at all the people over the years that start based on their theories and never get anything done enough to find the gaps in their knowledge or find out why their theories maybe aren't so great. Remember the guy a few years back who was all hot about the idea of building a 323 GT-X thingie with poked and stroked 2L engine and this and that and the other thing, but never gave a thought to gearboxes, where the hell to get parts, or if spending 15k on a motor build for a 323 made any sense whatsoever? How many people get really killer ideas on here, start building crap, then just fade away when they're in over their head for one reason or another? And before anyone talks about glass houses, at least I realized rally may not be the right bang per buck for me before shelling out umpteen grand.

'course, all that said, I'm an engineer, so god knows I'm guilty as anyone of overthinking things. This post as ample evidence.
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loifs8
Wayne Iwanski
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Re: New to rallying. Hoping to get valuable suspension information
May 13, 2016 08:38PM
So I made a couple Catia drawings today (one front and one rear). Hopefully I can get dimensions this weekend for the setup I have now so we can go about getting the 'right' setup. ( without over thinking it mind you)

John, what dimensions should I be looking to get? Whom can make something for this application?
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