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Body roll, how to reduce it?

6117 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  AccentAE86
behold, my suspension:

now then, I have no choice but to remove a coil from the front spring to lower it, (which I checked allready should not adversely affect camber) and the back I will use lowering blocks with stiffer shocks sourced from either a Datsun 510 or an Chevy S10.

I want to STIFFEN the chassis though. WAY too much bodyroll. Obviosuly I will build a strut bar, but what else can I do, especially out back (the tires slide over the body housing wheel well on moderate turns...) I CANT CORNER with it at all!

I've changed the inner, outer tierods and also the idler arm. The pitman arm is good, but I have to adjust the gearbox (too much play)

[Edited by Jed118 on Jun 27, 2006 10:00 AM]
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Eh... get rid of the leaf spring.. :puzzled:

You might be able to frankenstien a s10 rear roll bar to work in there.

Best bet is bigger wheels + low profile tires. That will change the handling so much. Plus stiffer springs and having it lowered.

You could add a helper spring in the back to stiffen it up more. Or run coilovers + the leaf spring. Thats what i have in my courier. Techically the coil is the overload spring, but i cut the mounts so it works all the time. Went from flab to soild.
Get airbags for the rear.
ahh.. like drag bags.

Why didnt i think of that?
Since you have leafs in the back, you could fabricate up a set up 4 links, or even a 3 link. Might be a bit difficult though for a car if you dont think it through all the way.
no one makes any type of springs for this car, or shocks. Fronts will have to be cut one coil.

I could probably get a multilink off an old volvo for the back. It's a real simple setup.

THe idea with the springs and leafs is awesome! I kinda did that allready on another one of my ponys wherein the leafs were saggy. I used a mustang spring, stuck it between the leaf spring and the frame on each side, and voila: 6 inch lift to the back!

And I know where to get good suzuki swift springs to do this too! (except no lift this time)
well.. i was thinking on the shock.. but that works too!
hows the leaf bushings? you can get some made out of Delrin/UHMW and that will eliminate side to side slop. or at least find some poly from another application that is the right size. as mentioned, adapt a rear sway bar from another vehicle.

up front check out the control arm bushings. hows the balljoints? sway bar-to-chassis bush can be replaced with poly, as can the strut rod pucks. end links - again, use poly bushings. or there are better(more expensive) options like Delrin "ball & cup" bushings or Heim joint links.
The front is simple, but not cheap: Call Koni. They will make you a set of adjustable struts using the stock housings (called a wet kit) and convert it to an adjustable perch setup that will use standard 2.25" or 2.5" dia springs. I'd imagine it would be around $400/corner.

For the rear, I'd again call Koni for the struts (they'll have an application that will work since its just a standard shock) and find someone to make a custom leaf spring for the rear, or convert to something like the 1st gen RX-7's rear end (coil springs, shocks, panhard bar).
Hehe I know the front is not going to be cheap... unfortunately I have even less money to play with now. I will begin looking at other RWD cars in the same size (AE86, Older mitsubishi/chrysler cars) for something a bit cheaper.

Out back I will most likely go with a Mustang 8.8 inch w/LSD. I might just take out the entire suspension system with it if it can be had at the next $45 parts day. That will solve the rear brake problem too... as for the front brakes, I will probably adapt the stellar2.0 rotor and hub assemblies.

I have NO idea about tuning suspensions at all, as I have never cared (up until now that I actually have a decently quick car) to do anything but go in a straight line.

I'll have to take a look at how the 240SX has it down, although from what I can remember it's an IIS setup.
The pony front strut design is almost identical to the AE86.

For a killer front setup, try something like this:

Get a set of coilover sleeves. Not cheap weapon-R ebay crap.
Ground control makes a great set. So does QA-1. I went with QA-1 as it was only US$135 for the sleeves and springs, and they are well known in the race world as high quality units.

Then get a set of shocks that will fit your car. Do you know what OD strut insert your front struts will accept? If it will accept a 43.5mm OD cartridge, you may have a large selection to choose from. It you need a smaller size like 41mm OD then your choices will be more limiting, though there still are options in that size like Tokico Illumina 5-way adjustable.

I've used a zillion different types of shocks, from KYB AGX adjsutable, KYB GR2, tokico blues, tokico illumina, Tokico HTS 45-way adjustable, TRD race, Koni sport, and Koni Race. I am currently running on Koni Race series.

Now there are two paths you can choose to go down. You can go with a full length, full stroke strut that is the same dimensions in all areas as the stock setup. Or you can go the extra mile and do a short stroke conversion that will be optimized for your lower ride height.

If you wanna go the easy route and stick with the full sized strut housings, take a grinder and grind off your stock spring perch:

If you wanna do the short stroke conversion, you will want to actually cut your strut housing into three pieces and weld the two together to get a shorter strut body. This will gain back all the suspension travel you lose when you lower your car. If you want to do this, then you can either hacksaw the strut, use a power cutting tool, or use a pipe cutter. I use pipe cutters as the cut is very clean and straight:

Here is my cousin (Red_AGT) cutting the strut with a pipe cutter:

I cut above and below the spring perch instead of grinding the perch off. Less work. But you will have to know at this point how much of your strut you want to remove. This depends on your chosen ride height and choice of shocks. If you go the short stroke route, it is likely that your strut cartridge will be shorter than your strut body. You need to either machine a spacer to fill the gap at the bottom of the strut, or go to cheap route like me and throw a bunch of washers into the strut.

Now put it all together for a test fit. IT should look something like this:

What I did next was make some new spring perches for the sleeves to sit on. I used some flat steel and bought two bi-metal hole saw bits. If you have a lathe, that's even better. One hole saw was the same as the OD of my strut body (almost exactly 2 inches) and the other was 1/2 inch larger. Using a drill press, punch the small hole, and then the big hole and now you have a nice spring perch. You can also purchase what some call "weld rings" from places like Ground control.

Now you position the perches onto the strut and weld them on! Then you weld your strut body back together so it's one piece again. Throw some paint on to keep the rust out! It should like like so:

Now put the washers/spacers into the struts, pour some oil into the strut, put your cartridges in, slide the coilover sleeves/perches/springs on, close the top gland nut, put the spring top hat on, put the strut mount on and you're good!
Here is my old setup using TRD shocks, QA1 coilover sleeves/springs, and cusco camber plates. (You can use your stock strut mounts)

If you want to reduce noise in your suspension (and minimize risk of improper seating after taking air) then you may want to run a helper spring too.
This is my current setup using Koni Race shocks, QA1 coilovers, Eibach helper springs and spring couplers, and Project Mu height adjustable camber plates:

On the car:

One thing you may notice when you lower the front of car is increased bump steer and less stability, more twitchiness, and general unhappiness. This is because the roll centre of your front end has been compromised with lowering. What you can do is put a spacer under your strut close to restore the angle of your front lower control arms. This will improve handling and even put less stress on your steering as everything is working at the angles it was designed for (including your stabilizer bar).

Here is a pic of my spacer to correct the front Roll centre:

For the rear... well... I don't know much about leaf springs.... can you convert to coil? How stiff do air springs get? Can you get custom made leafs that drop your car and give you a higher spring rate? I have no idea if that is easy or if it costs a fortune. I had a crazy Pony friend who used Monroe heavy duty mega stiff rear shocks made for a freaking RV.... I asked him before posting here and he said for near stock ride heights, use Monroe 555004. If you are lowered a couple inches, use 555003 which is shorter and allows for more travel.

Hope that gives you a couple ideas...

[Edited by AccentAE86 on Jul 17, 2006 10:22 AM]
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