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Education

Discussion in 'Wheels / Suspension / Tires / Brakes' started by FirstAccord, Jun 13, 2003.

  1. FirstAccord

    FirstAccord Member

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    on the basic purpose for all these things i keep hearing about? I am NOT going to pretend like i know everything, in fact, quite the opposite. As a result, i would like to learn as much as i can from this site. To start, what are sway bars, traction bars, and the different types of shocks, (loose tight) going to do to the feel of my ride? will it stop that tipping feeling in sharp fast turns? :(
     
  2. sloazcrx

    sloazcrx Senior Member

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    Dude, this ain't NASCAR.
     
  3. FirstAccord

    FirstAccord Member

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    hey, i didnt come here to get ridiculed. A friend told me people on this site were helpful and would be able to answer some of my BASIC questions. I got no friggin idea what im talkin about. Thats why im here. So maybe, someday, i can be as cool as you and make fun of people who just want to learn. :moon:
     
  4. 2fastCRX

    2fastCRX Senior Member

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    Damn Sloazcrx, give the guy a break. I hope you were just joking around with him.
    FirstAccord, sway bars will help you go around turns better and quicker. I don't know a whole lot about shocks, but I know that Tokico Shocks are really good. I hope this helps a little.
     
  5. asmallsol

    asmallsol Super Moderator

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    sway bars
    [​IMG]

    Otherwise called anti-roll bars, sway bars will make the most dramatic difference in your Integra's handling characteristics. The main purpose of sway bars are to reduce body roll. Sounds simple, but the effects of simply reducing the body roll of a vehicle are many.

    A sway bar consists of the main portion which attaches directly to the chassis by bushings (allowing the bar to twist), and lever arms which connect to both sides of the suspension through end links.

    [​IMG]

    Of course no sway bar is perfectly rigid, differences in suspension travel on opposite sides of the vehicle will still occur, so a sway bar can be thought of being a big spring. The bar is able to bend and flex as needed.

    There are many benefits from a sway bar's effects of resisting opposite suspension travel.

    The most stand out benefit that everyone talks about is the ability to change a vehicle's handling characteristics. Excluding the Type R, our front-wheel drive Integras come stock with pretty heavy understeer. This characteristic can be observed during accleration through a hard corner. The vehicle will have a tendancy to "plow" forward not turn as well as desired by the driver. Most will suggest that this can be solved with a larger sway bar in the rear. But why?

    Roll stiffness determines the cornering load at any given end of the vehicle. In a corner, with a stiffer front and flimsy rear, centrifugal force will throw the majority of the weight of the vehicle to the rear. This will cause the chassis to lean upward in front, removing weight from the front wheels and effectively losing turning traction. With both a stiff front and stiff rear, the weight is balanced properly on both ends, and neutral handling is achieved.

    Another side benefit is steering response. The further the body rolls, the longer it takes for the vehicle to become stable into a turn. With less body roll, steering response is greatly increased as the car will set in to a turn much quicker with less suspension travel. The quicker a vehicle finishes it's suspension travel, the quicker it can respond to new steering inputs by the driver.

    Honda's suspension geometery is also subject to change depending on the height of the chassis in relation to the axle. When body roll occurs, changes in toe and camber also occur. This is okay to a degree, but when suspension travel has reached an extreme level, you can bet your suspension geometery is not where you want it to be for optimum handling performance.

    Lastly, reducing the body roll will help the driver to maintain balance in the cockpit and concentrate on driving. The centrifugal forces of the corner are already pulling on the driver hard enough, when the car leans over the driver is then also subject to the force of gravity.

    Sway bar sizing

    The diameter of a sway bar determines it's stiffness. You can compare the stiffness of your stock sway bar to a bar you are thinking of purchasing by using a simple formula.

    % stiffness compared to stock = (new diameter/stock diameter)^4

    For example, if you have a GS-R with a 14mm rear sway bar and upgraded to a 22mm Type R rear sway bar you would calculate

    (22/14)^4 = 6.10

    This means a 22mm sway bar is roughly six times as stiff as the stock sway bar. Big difference don't you think? Subtract 1 at the end of that equation and you'll get a figure telling actually how much stiffer the bar is. So in that equation you'd come out with 5.10 or 510% stiffer than stock.

    It's important to make sure the company you are buying your sway bar from includes proper mounting hardware. Stiff sway bars can easily tear out of the chassis during a hard corner if not mounted properly and your spring rates are too low to assist the bar in minimizing suspension travel. From what I know off hand, Comptech's sway bar is very good and comes with proper mounting hardware and will not tear out of the chassis. Comptech even guarantees it. Also BSQ makes a kit to allow a Type R rear sway bar to mount onto a non-Type R chassis so it will not tear out. Check out BSQ's kit and install instructions at http://geocities.com/bretq/swaybar_install.html


    A big rear sway bar with a small one up front will make your back end more prone to swing out, called oversteer. something that is good for autoX
    With a big front and little or no sway in the rear, your car will have understeer or PUSH where you go to the outside. Good for nothing
    With a front and rear sway with the proportional sizes will cause your car to be nuetral. Good for road racing


    Traction bars

    These things are bars that help eliminate wheel hop. Other things that will stop wheel hop is better motor mounts.

    One of the biggest problems we front-wheel drive cars have in putting power to the ground at the strip is wheel hop. Bouncing across the line waiting to get traction is the last thing you want to waste your time on when you're trying to pull good ET's

    Polyurethane Motor Mount Inserts


    [​IMG]

    Probably the most effective upgrade you could do to your suspension for the price. What happens during acceleration is that the engine will flex and pull up on the suspension. These inserts will replace your stock rubber inserts to minimize this engine flexing. Supposedly you should also get a little bit more power to the wheels as torque is not wasted flexing the engine but I have yet to see a dyno to prove that.

    Z10 Radius Arms

    [​IMG]

    If you're willing to pay ten times more than polyurethane kits, the ultimate in eliminating wheel hop would be using radius arms. Z10 makes a kit for Civics/Integras that will bolt right up to the cross-member and front tow hooks. This braces the suspension assembly and does not allow for any deflection when launching. You can also adjust the stiffness of the arms as well as adjust wheel caster.

    Here's a picture of Z10's kit for the early generation Civic/CRX

    [​IMG]

    The radius arms would be the best choice for eliminating wheel hop and improving launch ability. However if the Z10 kit is a little out of your price range, the cost effective poly kits still do a good job in helping to get you those low 2 second 60 foot times at the strip.


    95% of this is thanks to Teamintegra.net
     
  6. asmallsol

    asmallsol Super Moderator

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    agian more for ti.net because I am too tired to type...

    This is a crash course for all suspension related components. The technical level is not extreme, but hopefully this will end all "what shock" and "springs vs coilovers" threads...We will start with the ground up:

    Tires:
    This is the only part of your car that makes contact with the ground. This makes it the MOST important part of your suspension. Different compounds and tread patterns react differently in real-world situations. There are very definate limitations to traction, those will be covered in my upcoming driving techniques article.

    Wheels
    Yes, they do more than just look good. Size and weight drastically change the performance of the car. A heavier wheel equals more unsprung weight (covered in a minute). A larger wheel means you will be running a tire with a shorter sidewall. As a rule of thumb, the shorter the sidewall, the thicker manufacturers make it. Due to a shorter height, it is also more resistant to rollover. This improves handling and ensures you manage a larger contact patch.

    Springs
    Springs are very important in determining the responsiveness of your car. All weight above the springs is called "sprung weight." While this has an effect on drag, the main concern is "unsprung weight." Unsprung weight is basically what the engine is trying to move. A generally accepted ratio is adding 1 lb. of unsprung weight is like adding 10 lbs. of sprung weight. Consider that before you buy your bling bling dub-deuces.

    Besides supporting the weight of the cabin, springs also affect how the weight in the car is distributed. For those of you with upgraded springs, you might have noticed the car doesnt rock back as far when launching. Springs push against whatever force is applied to it, so when your car leans in a direction, the springs counteract that. The stiffer the spring, the more it prevents weight transfer. This is why racecars use stiff spring rates. On uneven terrain, though, the spring might not react quickly enough to keep the wheel in contact with the ground.

    There are two types of spring designs: progressive and linear. Progressive springs are designed for comfort without giving up too much in the way of handling. They are coiled in a way that provides a low spring rate when uncompressed, and stiffens the farther the spring is compressed. This means you dont have a stiff ride, but can still have some fun. They are inferior springs for real racing. Linear springs have one set spring rate that does not change. This can be soft for a luxurious ride, or ultra stiff for precise handling, or anywhere inbetween. Linear springs provide a much more predictable feel.

    Shocks
    Ever see a car with cut springs that just bounces as it is going down the road? These people have blown out their shocks. Shocks act as a damping force to keep the springs from constantly compressing and decompressing (that is why they are sometimes referred to as dampers). The more force applied to the shock, the stiffer it becomes. If you ever install shocks, try compressing the shock on the ground, slowly. It smoothly compresses without much trouble. Now suddenly throw your weight on it. Nothing will happen until you relax some of the pressure. This is how a shock stabilizes a spring.

    A few factors go into choosing a shock. First of all, the travel of the cylinder. Shocks like to function towards the middle of their compression distance. That is why some shocks aren't warrantied, or don't perform well past a certain drop. When the shock is forced to perform at full extension or compression, it wont be able to dampen the spring and will blow. The other factor is the valve rate. Shocks have lots of little valves in the body that use a gas or liquid to create compression. As stated earlier, the faster the compression the more pressure the gas or liquid creates. However, if the valves aren't sized correctly, they will blow. This is why you avoid lower end shocks if going with a stiffer race-type spring.

    True coilovers and sleeves
    There are two different suspension setups that are referred to as coilovers. The first is a true coilover system. These are designed for the hardcore enthusiast and racer. They comprise of an adjustable height spring with a custom valved shock. The shock will always be designed to work perfectly with the spring, so blowing them isn't a concern. They are almost fully adjustable, so they have the versatility to work with any type of racing. The downside is the high price tag. These systems start at $750.

    The other choice is technically a coilover sleeve. This unit is only a spring mounted to hardware that allows a height adjustment. Most are low quality and come with cheap springs. They can be found for low prices and the adjustability is a plus for many people.

    Camber kits
    There are many factors that go into HOW the tire makes conact with the ground. Among these are camber. If you are looking at a car and the tires look like this:

    / \

    Then you have a camber problem. Camber can improve your handling, but if it goes too far, it will eat up your tires and actually reduce traction. I believe acceptable camber for Integras is between 0 and -1.5 degrees.

    Swaybars
    These are primarily used to change the understeer/oversteer characteristics of the car. To put it bluntly, understeer is when the front tires break loose and you go head first into a wall. Most cars come like this. Oversteer is when your rear tires come loose and you go ass first into a wall. Every mm increase in thickness makes the swaybar 10 times stiffer. Even a mild increase in diamter is enough to change the way the car turns at maximum grip. If I remember right, Realtime Racing was using a 22mm rear sway bar with a 26mm front sway bar.

    Bushings
    These are almost always overlooked and make a big difference, especially on older cars. Factory parts use rubber bushings between suspension components to absorb vibration. The downside is that these flex somewhat, and over time deteriorate completely. Polyeurethane bushings tighten up the entire suspension for a much stiffer feel.

    Tie bars
    These "tie" the sides of the chassis together to keep it from flexing. This improves handling to a point, but cheap knock-off tie bars don't do anything for you. You can just avoid these and go all out with a roll cage.

    I hope this is everything... If I missed anything, let me know and I will update this.
     
  7. 90 accord

    90 accord Chicks dig the box Moderator VIP

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    cliffs? knowing him he will look at that and tellme to interpret it.. :D
     
  8. XZILER8

    XZILER8 Senior Member

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    great info!......any chance of getting that put in the articles section? or is it copywrited?

    thanks for the crash course :thumbsup:
     
  9. asmallsol

    asmallsol Super Moderator

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    Cliffs? Just go to the section that you want to learn about then read, basicly says spend money and your car will handle better! lol




    We could right something simmilar but you cant just copy some other sites articles and put them as your own. Also with teamintegra.net, you have to be a member to view posts, articles, ect, so we can just link them.
     
  10. FirstAccord

    FirstAccord Member

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    Ahhh. First, does all this integra stuff apply to my accord? Ill assume it does...Anyway, thanks a whole bunch. Now I dont have to feel like an idiot. So, if i just want a decent set of anti-roll or sway bars, what should i go with? trying to go budget but would rather do it right than twice. Thanks again, i really appreciate it.

    :worthy: :worthy: :worthy:
     
  11. 90 accord

    90 accord Chicks dig the box Moderator VIP

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    your accord is never going to handle like an intrgra. accords are a family sedan, pretty much the complete opposite of an integra. not ti mention your car weighs 3000 pounds.

    i would lower your car first of all, making sure the springs you get have a stiffer rating, this will give you the biggest difference. after then you should go with strut tower braces, because their cheaper :D . then if your not happy, go with the anti-sway bars.

    skunk 2 or neuspeed are 2 that ihave heard good things about..
     
  12. asmallsol

    asmallsol Super Moderator

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    Basic exactly what 90 accord said. The accord is a much bigger car and is harder to make it handle very well. What ever you do, get new shocks and firmer springs first. If you just buy a stiff sway bar, your going to run the risk of subframe tear out which sucks. Next it is a toss up between strut bars and sway bars, but eventually get a sway, that is one of the biggest improvements to be had.
     
  13. 90 accord

    90 accord Chicks dig the box Moderator VIP

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    i don't think hes going to autoX so all he wants better handeling for is turning in general, under daily driving conditions, thus leading me to believe that he won't need anti sways. i personally am not going to spend the money on an anti sway bar; i'm going to invest in some adjustable shocks, probably kyb agx..because tokico blues just flat out blow.


    btw.. what is subframe tear out?
     
  14. asmallsol

    asmallsol Super Moderator

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    subframe tear out is this...

    [​IMG]

    The sway bar mounts at 4 points, 2 are the LCA's the other two are on the subframe. When you do not support them properly, the force of the swaybar's work will rip the bolts right out of the subframe (this one is kinda extreme) Way to prevent this is with a reinforcement kit like the beaks or bsq kit. Also, some bars are more prone to subframe tearout then others. This one was done by skunk2. The design of the bar makes the gap between the subframe and the bar even futher away which is not good.

    About swaybars in daily driving, you will notice a big diffrence. A rear sway bar is about the price of a decent front and rear strut bar. Strut bars do almost just about nothing for handling, they just make the car feel more stiff and rigid.
     
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