I’m back, suckas!

Big ups to Moto for putting me up (or is that putting up with me) for a week. Plus, the fact that I had a JOB INTERVIEW in the middle of the week helped justify staying in LA for the week between two drift days. And the next event is only 2 weeks away…Should be a good time to shake down my NEW SUSPENSION.

Yes, no more blown shocks! No more unknown spring rates! Now I can plot the course of my corolla’s suspension development program:

  5/2001 6/2001 1/2003 12/2003
Spring, Front Stock Eibach Pro-kit ~5-7kg Pro-Active 8kg Tein
Spring, Rear Stock Eibach Pro-kit 4.3kg TRD Race 6kg TRD Race
Shock, Front Stock Tokico Blues TRD SS 5-Way Adjustable Tokico HTS
Shock, Rear Stock Tokico Blues Tokico HTS Tokico HTS
Comments As Purchased Initial Replacement Added Coilover Sleeve
Battleversion Camber Plate
Battleversion Lateral Rod
Tarmak NCRCA
Lower Control Arm Bushing
Raised Coilover Sleeve

That should summarize things nicely. I’ve favored a slow change to the suspension settings in order to help my learning process in sport driving. First I replaced the stock pieces with a very stock-like setup to make sure the shocks were fresh enough. The Pro-Kit says it’s lowered. After enduring the ridicule of this setup and getting considerably faster, I made the jump to a short stroke setup. This involved cutting the strut case down and sitting a coilover sleeve on top. The coilover sleeve I chose was a no-name (Pro-Active is the name, actually) set intended for a Honda Civic/CRX that sat un-purchased at Signal for ages. So, I got it very cheaply. Despite the pedigree, it’s a nicely done piece. I used the springs that came with it initially, despite not knowing the rate. For the most recent change to the suspension, it was natural to upgrade to a known quantity in springs. I took advantage fo the coilover owner’s ability to buy replacement 2.5″ springs cheaply and picked up 8kg springs. Along with the 6kg rear spring, this setup is as stiff as I’m likely to go for street usage. Even at this point, I’m thinking harder than ever about chassis reinforcements, which would definitely be required were I to go any stiffer on the springs. I can’t wait to try this setup out on the track, though. The upside should be beastly cornering grip compared to before. The downside is, no more excuses based on suspension!

One last thing to realize is that the TRD shock, despite being excellent, blew out(on one side). So , I was driving around with an expensive but inoperative shock on one side until now. As such, ride quality is GREATLY improved now, even though the spring rate is a lot higher. I got the HTS used for a very good price (less than one single new TRD shock) so I figured I’d try it out…

Also the best piece of information NOT on that table is this:

Original Coilover Sleeve Mounting Method:
     Cut up bracket from training wheels on Moto’s kid’s bike, welded to strut case. Placed coilover sleeve on top.
New Coilover Sleeve Mounting Method:
     Sawed off end of jack stand, welded to strut case. Placed coilover sleeve on top.

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