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View Full Version : GC's Advance Designs, overkill?


fairgentleman Z
02-11-2004, 06:53 PM
So last year I ran STS in my '91 SE-R took 9 firsts outa 12 events, and obvioulsy the championship (4th overall in index). However I lost that car in a garage fire.

So now I picked up a s13 and am planning on running it in DSP. I am already getting 15*8 wheels and some Hoosiers (225/50) with *some* life left in them. The only thing is that I can not make up my mind about the suspenion. I have narrowed it down to three choices:
Tein HEs
GC w/Konis
GC Advance Designs

I am liking the Advance Designs the most, I probably run 450/325 to begin with and go from there. I know that they cost twice as much and I probably won't get twice as much out of them. But I think they are worth it if they are the best. So, are they the best?

Also am I correct to say anything that says "spherical bearing" (JIC products) is not allowed in DSP.

DSC
02-11-2004, 07:19 PM
the advance designs are double adjustable aren't they? I don't think I've ever heard of anyone using them so I hope you'll get them and tell us how they are :)
Isn't 450/325 a little soft for a 240 on some hoosiers :p I dono, sounds soft.

according to this http://www.zilvia.net/f/showthread.php?t=33522 dsp only allows poly bushings :( boo

AceInHole
02-11-2004, 07:49 PM
hmm... adjustable upper control arms are allowed, but i'm not aware of any that use bushings. i wonder if in that case, the upper control arm rule will allowe the spherical bearing?

MovinUp-1
02-11-2004, 08:19 PM
No, you cannot use spherical bearings in street prepared. The rules state that the amount of metal in the bushing cannot be changed from factory.

Should you get AD shocks? Well, my friend has run ADs on his Mustang in ESP for three years. He has trophied at Divisionals, Tours, and at Nationals. They are excellent shocks. You have to ask yourself if you are going to be dedicated enough to require these shocks. It's going to take some tuning and time to set them up the way you want the car to feel, and you've got to know what you're doing with the adjustments of course, hehe. If you want to win a Tour or trophy at Nationals one day then ADs or something like them are the way to go. They are for racers only, if you get my meaning. I would not invest that kind of money in shocks if my intent were to only go to local events and so forth. Please don't take this as a slam or anything. I don't know you or what your intent will be. That's why I'm asking.

DS 240R
02-11-2004, 08:50 PM
Should you get AD shocks? Well, my friend has run ADs on his Mustang in ESP for three years. He has trophied at Divisionals, Tours, and at Nationals. They are excellent shocks.

I've got three friends that run AD shocks and one has complained about their poor design and another had one fail. It could possibly just be since they were a new application. I haven't heard of any of their more popular BMW apps having any problems. Not sure if the 240 is a new application, but it doesn't sound like there's a lot of experience with it out there.

I'd recommend picking the cheapest of the three alternatives. Then once you get more experience with the car and burn out the suspension you'll better know which one is best for you and if the shocks you have are leaving you hangin so to speak.

MovinUp-1
02-11-2004, 09:07 PM
I don't know if I would suggest the cheapest of the three. Tein HE's just aren't that great for the money. For around the same amount you could get GC coilovers in whatever rate you want and a set of koni yellows custom valved.

AceInHole
02-11-2004, 10:36 PM
I don't know if I would suggest the cheapest of the three. Tein HE's just aren't that great for the money. For around the same amount you could get GC coilovers in whatever rate you want and a set of koni yellows custom valved.

Hmm... Keith Casey won the National STX title with HE's....

LanceS13
02-11-2004, 11:25 PM
hmm... adjustable upper control arms are allowed, but i'm not aware of any that use bushings. i wonder if in that case, the upper control arm rule will allowe the spherical bearing?

Unless the rule changed for 2004, SP does not allow adjustable control arms. However, ST does. Spherical suspension bushings aren't legal in either class...only in SM. I think you can use spherical bushings on the upper shock mounts in ST and SP, though...like on coilover applications.

DuffMan
02-11-2004, 11:37 PM
I don't know if I would suggest the cheapest of the three. Tein HE's just aren't that great for the money. For around the same amount you could get GC coilovers in whatever rate you want and a set of koni yellows custom valved.


I don't understand why some people are quick to denounce the HE's compared to GC. Koni's aren't going to have enough suspension travel for much lowering. Even though lowering has disadvantages in geometry, in the end i think its the best way to go, assuming your class alows for HE's.

MovinUp-1
02-12-2004, 12:00 AM
Actually, konis are not effected by their stroke, so long as they don't bottom out.

I'm not saying that HEs are terrible and to be avoided. I do think there are better setups for the money.

fairgentleman Z
02-12-2004, 06:52 AM
the advance designs are double adjustable aren't they? I don't think I've ever heard of anyone using them so I hope you'll get them and tell us how they are :)
Isn't 450/325 a little soft for a 240 on some hoosiers :p I dono, sounds soft.



Then what would you (or anyone else) recommend. If I remember correctly the rep from GC said that the stiffest they had for the rear was 325, but I could be wrong. I thought that was low. I would go more toward 500/400 if they had the rear that stiff. But I honestly don't know, I'm just throwing numbers around right now.

You have to ask yourself if you are going to be dedicated enough to require these shocks. It's going to take some tuning and time to set them up the way you want the car to feel, and you've got to know what you're doing with the adjustments of course, hehe. If you want to win a Tour or trophy at Nationals one day then ADs or something like them are the way to go. They are for racers only, if you get my meaning. I would not invest that kind of money in shocks if my intent were to only go to local events and so forth. Please don't take this as a slam or anything. I don't know you or what your intent will be. That's why I'm asking.

I'm planning on hitting around 20+ events this year between 3 regions and at least one divisional this year (just to get my feet wet and to get schooled by real competition). It's probably a huge step considering it will be my first year in this car and my second year of auto-Xing. But I didn't buy this car to get groceries with.

It doesn't make sense to start of with a lesser damper, it just means that the time that I spent learning the cheaper damper would be lost. As I would have to somewhat relearn the characteristics of the new setup. Thats why I'm jumping into DSP and not spending any time in STS. Why learn the limits of the car on street tires then go and relearn the limits on R-comps.

You don't get better at running by walking more, you get better at running by running more. (so yeah, my mind is pretty much made up)

hurleyboi514
02-12-2004, 08:10 AM
the advance design full coilovers are some of the best 100% racing shocks in the country for the money you pay for them. ive never seen a slow car on AD's. although, the GCs and Koni's would be very good as well. i myself am going this route, but i have a sneaky trick! :) im goning to hack the stock spring perch off, and cut the bottom of the shock out, and weld the Koni in about an inch lower so i dont bottom the shock out. w00t! :) only thing i am waiting on is to hear from Koni about welding a bracket onto an strut insert. if they will still let me get it rebuilt, and wont have any problems, im gonna do that. shouldnt cost more than $20-$50 at any machine shop.

DS 240R
02-12-2004, 09:56 AM
Then what would you (or anyone else) recommend. If I remember correctly the rep from GC said that the stiffest they had for the rear was 325, but I could be wrong.

Don't the GCs use the standard 2.5" spring? If so, you have almost infinite options and can go way higher than 325. Perhaps he was suggesting you wouldn't want to go higher than 325 on Konis without revalving them?

You don't get better at running by walking more, you get better at running by running more. (so yeah, my mind is pretty much made up)

Well, if your mind is made up, your mind is made up.

It doesn't make sense to start of with a lesser damper, it just means that the time that I spent learning the cheaper damper would be lost. As I would have to somewhat relearn the characteristics of the new setup. Thats why I'm jumping into DSP and not spending any time in STS. Why learn the limits of the car on street tires then go and relearn the limits on R-comps.

Because if you learn on street tires you will develop better car control faster than you will if you just go to race tires. You may be a faster driver on race tires, but that doesn't mean that you will be a better one.

I disagree that if you start on a lesser damper, you will "lose" something. The knowledge that I have from stock and AGX dampeners applies directly to my dual adjustables. I learned a whole lot more by running the lesser dampeners than by just jumping to the DAs.

The reason I suggested the cheapest setup of the three is because they are all decent choices. You will get your most bang for the buck from the cheapest because even in your first or second year of even 20 events per year you are still not going to reach the limit of your suspension. And after 2 years, you will have learned enough about your car, driving style, etc that you will want to change the shock/spring setup. (That and after 2 years of racing, they might need replacement or revalving).

I'm not trying to talk down to you or anyone, this is just the learning curve I've experienced and then seen with many autox'ers and road racers.

Were I in your shoes, I'd try and replicate MovinUp-1's setup- or someone else with lots of experience and success- the best you can for DSP. He's already tried a bunch of different combos it sounds like and you can probably benefit from his experience. Then run it for at least a year before you make changes.

I know a guy that has been racing sedans for about 15 years and he's had several cars. When he buys a new racecar, even though he know a whole ton about setting up a car, he tries to wait a year before changing things, especially if the car came from a successful driver. Chances are, no matter how much you know, the previous guy knew more about that particular car.

So imitate- it is the sincerest form of flattery.

MovinUp-1
02-12-2004, 11:11 AM
The ground controls with konis are a good setup. Your spring rates of 450/325 are good. Believe me, you don't need a lot of spring rate to make these cars stiff, especially in the back. 450 is as high as I would go without getting the konis revalved. As others have said, GC uses a standard 2.5" coilover spring so you can get most any spring rate you can think of.

MovinUp-1
02-12-2004, 11:13 AM
although, the GCs and Koni's would be very good as well. i myself am going this route, but i have a sneaky trick! :) im goning to hack the stock spring perch off, and cut the bottom of the shock out, and weld the Koni in about an inch lower so i dont bottom the shock out. w00t! :) only thing i am waiting on is to hear from Koni about welding a bracket onto an strut insert. if they will still let me get it rebuilt, and wont have any problems, im gonna do that. shouldnt cost more than $20-$50 at any machine shop.

The front koni strut is an insert. You cut the guts out of your factory strut and slide the koni into it. You have to cut the stock spring perch off and weld the GC perch onto the factory strut housing. Watch your wheel clearance.

hurleyboi514
02-12-2004, 02:31 PM
The front koni strut is an insert. You cut the guts out of your factory strut and slide the koni into it. You have to cut the stock spring perch off and weld the GC perch onto the factory strut housing. Watch your wheel clearance.

yeah i know that.. what im saying is, im going to use the bracket that mounts the strut to the hub, and weld it onto the koni lower than it would be stock to gain some stroke. then, weld on the spring perch as well...

thx247
02-12-2004, 06:13 PM
When racing, its always a good thing to spend less than your competition.

I have heard nary a complaint about AD coilovers, and I've seen them on ALOT of race cars that dont have the budget for Penseke or Ohilin etc etc. I don't think you will go wrong getting AD's if you truely want to be competitive.

AceInHole
02-12-2004, 06:35 PM
yeah i know that.. what im saying is, im going to use the bracket that mounts the strut to the hub, and weld it onto the koni lower than it would be stock to gain some stroke. then, weld on the spring perch as well...

Seems easier to just make a custom strut housing, so if/ when you get new revalved koni's it's a bolt-in/out procedure. By custom housing... I mean cutting the strut housing off below the lower mount, using a similar sized pipe to the shock body (or a sleeve ideally) to extend the body, and weld it all back together. Hell... if you found a good pipe you could just make a completely new strut body... or maybe even find a threaded one and make your own adjustable lower mount (but now i'm just getting carried away).

The only problem is getting more stroke from the rears..... I was contemplating having a custom rear mount made, but then you have to deal with changing the characteristics of the shock angle vs. the spring angle as suspension compressions (probably not going to be a big deal, but still something to consider). The other option for S14 owners (sorry S13 guys, you're SOL) is to get S13 or z32 sized shocks and get a shock piston extension (basically screws onto the top of your stock piston). Just make sure the extension is sized slightly shorter, and you've got yourself however much travel you want. Biggest problem with this might be a compromise of piston strength as it will be more sucseptible to any lateral forces exerted on it (even though like 95% of the forces will still be axial).

I'm getting cheap coilovers untill I can afford Advance Design struts/ shocks. My thoughts on this route: easy enough to sell the coilovers later... everyone wants used coilovers these days. The sad part is: I wouldn't have done this (I was RIGHT ABOUT to buy ground controls!!!) if JIC hadn't come out with the A1's at such a low price, then JACKED UP THE PRICE TWICE (sorry, I'm just a tad bitter).

hurleyboi514
02-12-2004, 07:03 PM
yeh, i see what your saying about the custom strut housing. i had considered doing that as well, im just not sure what id rather do. either way, ill have a better setup that stock in front. now in back, i dont have any bottoming out problems, so im all good there...

MovinUp-1
02-12-2004, 09:43 PM
Why do you think you need a new strut housing for the konis? The koni Inserts into the old strut. You cut the top off the old strut, remove the guts, and drill a hole through the bottom of the old strut for the koni bolt to hold it in. The spindle bracket on the old strut doesn't have to come off. In fact, you shouldn't touch it. Am I misreading something here? Please explain what you're saying again so I can understand.

AceInHole
02-12-2004, 10:16 PM
basically, we're trying to buy another inch or so of strut travel.

MovinUp-1
02-12-2004, 10:28 PM
All you have to do is drill the hole in the bottom of the old strut housing big enough to allow the koni bolt block to pass through. Then weld a piece of pipe onto the bottom of the strut housing so you can still use the koni bolt to hold everything together. It gives you around 3/4". Strut travel isn't really an issue with konis anyway. They are not effected by where in their travel they are doing work, so long as they don't bottom out.

hurleyboi514
02-12-2004, 10:49 PM
thats what im afraid of though, bottoming out... do you have problems bottoming out? maybe im just being paraniod...

MovinUp-1
02-12-2004, 10:52 PM
Nope. With the spring rates you will be using and the correct ride height you won't have a problem either.

DuffMan
02-13-2004, 12:54 AM
Theres a lot of force involved here to trust it to welding. I think there is someone that sells modified short stroke konis, I think it was posted on Zilvia a while back.

Annother option is getting a hold of some busted old front coilovers off a clip that have an adjustable lower mount and then gutting them for the koni insert. If non-sleve type coilovers are illegal for a certain class, I'd be pretty sure that modifying the strut in that way would be illegal as well.

MovinUp-1
02-13-2004, 01:03 AM
I'm not saying to cut away the entire bottom of the old strut, just a big enough hole to let the bolt block pass through. The steel tube welded to the bottom is to provide a shoulder for the koni bolt to hold onto.

DuffMan
02-13-2004, 01:22 AM
I'm not saying to cut away the entire bottom of the old strut, just a big enough hole to let the bolt block pass through. The steel tube welded to the bottom is to provide a shoulder for the koni bolt to hold onto.


Ah, I looked at a pic and I see what you're talking about. Still it might weaken the bottom of the strut enough to cause failure.

I wonder how much suspension travel the konis actually have, if it would be safe to trim the bump stop without the possibility of damaging the strut.

nightwalker
02-13-2004, 05:23 AM
I've seen a lot of struts destroyed by removing the bumpstops. They have their role in the suspension equation.

I see what he is saying about putting the Koni into a gutted strut casing. Someone want to sacrafice some HEs? Double height adjustable Koni's would be nice.

hurleyboi514
02-13-2004, 07:12 AM
ya i understand now... cool! :)

MovinUp-1
02-13-2004, 08:16 AM
You're not going to have an issue, guys. I've been using this setup for over a year and a half. Trust me. You're not gonna bottom out.

AceInHole
02-13-2004, 09:34 AM
You're not going to have an issue, guys. I've been using this setup for over a year and a half. Trust me. You're not gonna bottom out.

your car isn't daily driven through pothole infested streets, though, is it :p

Chernobyl
02-13-2004, 10:17 AM
Holy crap guys... great ingenuity! I love the motorsports forum, seems to be where all the real engineers hang out.

I've thought about this bottoming out thing too, but I really don't think its as much of an issue as ace and hurleyboi are making it out to be. I've been on 5kg springs up front with tokico blues (thats right, way underdamped, but then again you'd be surprised) for a couple months now, daily driving and real track racing this past weekend, and I have not bottomed them out once. Then again, my car is not very low in front either.

Anyway, what I was thinking... is to lower the front of the car without sacrificing damper stroke, you can get camber plate inserts or upper spring hats that are shorter than stock. This'll allow you to basically set the frame of the car lower down on the strut assemblies. I've been looking into this, but I don't have the money for camber plates at the moment. It definitely looks feasable though as the stock top strut mounts are pretty long.

AceInHole
02-13-2004, 10:29 AM
I'd actually like to look into the coilover insert idea.... i'm getting some cheap ass coilovers for this season (D2/ KSport coilover group buy). I wonder how easily a Koni would slip into there.....

hurleyboi514
02-13-2004, 01:00 PM
You're not going to have an issue, guys. I've been using this setup for over a year and a half. Trust me. You're not gonna bottom out.


ill take your word for it... ill order koni's soon...

drift freaq
02-13-2004, 02:06 PM
motivational engineering sells short stroke Koni's as well as GC ,(if you ask nicely) last time I checked about 5 months ago. It used to be posted on their site until the came up with the Advanced designs.
Me? I am putting a uber rare custom setup together of KYB Buzz spec short strokes with Ground Controls. I am also going to outline how I put them together to make them quite and failsafe :D. These will be finished this weekend. I was going to to do Koni's as well but the price I got on these Buzz specs made the experiment irresistable.
Oh ya this setup is costing me a whopping (deleted price to low to print) hehehehehe

hurleyboi514
02-13-2004, 02:47 PM
hmm... the buzz specs would be great for the Koni's too! :) post pics of the buzz specs vs the agx's... thats what i was gonna do, extend the bottom of the strut...

240 2NR
03-04-2004, 06:24 PM
Ah, I looked at a pic and I see what you're talking about. Still it might weaken the bottom of the strut enough to cause failure.

I wonder how much suspension travel the konis actually have, if it would be safe to trim the bump stop without the possibility of damaging the strut.


I was wondering the same thing...... this is what I found out (http://www.zilvia.net/f/showthread.php?t=47261)

It's not much, even with a reasonable drop (~1.5")

hurleyboi514
03-04-2004, 06:32 PM
yah, there isnt that much... i havent really touched the issue yet, that'll be a mid summer thing! :)

MovinUp-1
03-04-2004, 06:50 PM
The tech guy at Koni North America told me that the konis are not affected by where in their range of motion they operate. AS long as they don't bottom out they are fine and will function the same as if they were higher up in their travel.

TheSparo
03-04-2004, 08:04 PM
which koni's are you all talking about? i might have missed it but i just read through the whole thing...

MovinUp-1
03-05-2004, 02:43 PM
Konis SA (yellows)

hurleyboi514
03-06-2004, 01:24 PM
but thats the thing, they are REALLY close to bottoming out. one bad hit, or pot hole or something, will damage that piston/valve thingy at the bottom thus reducing your strut to a useless state...

MovinUp-1
03-08-2004, 11:04 AM
then raise the car up. As low as possible is not necessarily the best thing. You need to look at your suspension at the height to get an idea of what it is doing. How far up in their arc are the control arms at? What is the alignment like then? How much bumpsteer are you getting when your at that ride height. It's a lot to consider. I raised my car up slightly this year and it was an improvement.