[200q20v] Re: Suspension set up

Bernie Benz b.m.benz at prodigy.net
Tue Jul 10 12:29:32 EDT 2001

Oh boy!  I can retire and let the kid support me.  Thanks, Dean.


> From: Dean Benz <dbenz at usa.net>
> Date: 10 Jul 2001 10:43:43 PDT
> To: 200q20v at audifans.com
> Subject: [200q20v] Re: Suspension set up
> OK, Bernie, my dad, has dragged me out of the shadows. My Lurking days are
> over.
> He and I don't always agree, but get into some very interesting discussions.
> I do track my cars ('99 A4 1.8TQMS, and '87 5K TQ) and drive perhaps a bit
> more aggressively than the old man.
> I am a Quattro Club driving instructor, so I know enough to be dangerous, but
> still have plenty to learn about driving, and car handling/setup.
> Comments below.
>> Date: Mon, 09 Jul 2001 14:14:23 -0800
>> From: Bernie Benz <b.m.benz at prodigy.net>
>> Hi Chris,
>> Response to your Qs below, but I'll take the liberty to copy the list also,
>> inasmuch as I don't track my car, and some think that my opinions are
>> contrarian.  (Who, me?)
>> Bernie
>>> From: "Chris Alber" <Calber at TheSycamoreGroup.com>
>>> Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2001 15:27:50 -0400
>>> Hi Bernie,
>>> I have a 1989 200Q.  I purchased this from a person who set up the
>>> suspension as follows:
>>> Konis all set at the firmest setting
>> IMO, unless these Konis are very old and worn, the firmest setting is way
>> beyond critical damping for this spring/mass system, and will really slow
>> down the rebound recovery.  Critical damping, the optimum, will return the
>> suspension to static position in the shortest time without overshoot.  I'd
>> start by setting the adjustment just 1 turn firmer than wide open, and
>> increment a half turn at a time from there, if necessary.
> First, he is right about firmest setting probably being way to high for the
> stock springs. He may have oversimplified it a little in relation to
> adjustment. His method should produce good results from a ride comfort
> perspective. If you are concerned about more than ride comfort, and want to
> work with cornering issues as well, there is a very good article on the
> Grassroots Motorsports web site that has a ton of shock information, including
> an alternate adjustment procedure that is more focused on cornering
> performance. http://www.grassrootsmotorsports.com In Tech Topics, Shocks.
>>> Stock springs with spacers removed or replaced with shorter spacers, not
> too
>>> sure
>> The front suspension upper spring perch uses a rubber damper ring,
> available
>> in 3 thicknesses, 3/8, 5/8, and 3/4", intended for equalizing ride height,
>> side to side.  No adjustment on the rear.
>>> 16x8 ( I think) A8 rims, the ones that came on the 98 or 99 modes, five
>>> spoke
>>> Dunlop SP5000 205/55/16 Zrated.  rubbing a little on left rear since I
>>> replaced the p7000 50 series, seems to have less clearance on the left
> rear
>>> than the right rear, is this normal?
>> Check Cris Miller's web page on this.  Quite a bit has been written about
>> the rear wheel well liners having a "kink" in the plastic that can be
>> removed with a heat gun.
>>> I think the car could be better for instance I had a 85 4000Q with Boge
> TG's
>>> and Eibachs with Bridgestone re930 on stock, I think 14" wheels, that car
>>> felt so much better, pure driving pleasure..
>>> The car I drive now is too firm, wallows over  one sided bumps in the
> road.
>>> I feel it has more potential...
>> Apparently a common problem with larger wheels and wider tires, which
>> aggravate loose/worn suspension components and poor alignment.
> Your shock settings are the major culprit, but...
> Larger wheels etc. are not a problem, the problem is pesky old Physics! Your
> tires are the very first suspension component on your car that road changes
> act on/through. Larger rims and higher tire speed ratings mean stiffer
> sidewalls, so more energy is transfered to the rest of the suspension and then
> the chassis, and ultimately to your back side! On a track, this may be a good
> thing, driving down urban potholed streets, maybe not! Wider tires have more
> contact area, and for the most part, therefore, more traction. If your
> alignment is not right on, you will notice you would with a thinner tire. The
> wider tires will also tend to "hunt" more across pavement changes because of
> this additional traction. All of this is exacerbated by the poor excuse most
> shops call an alignment. Most alignment shops just get "close enough" to get
> the machine's green light to turn on, they don't actually align your car to
> the exact specification, or even bother to make the two sides equal. Don't
> believe me, ask for a printout from the alignment machine next time. Again,
> this is not the tire's or wheel's fault!
> Physics is full of trade offs. Suspension engineers do incredible things, but
> you can't have a car that drives like it is on rails on the track, or twisty
> mountain roads that also rides like "your father's Oldsmobile" on the city
> streets and highways.
> Active, computer controlled suspensions may make that last statement false in
> the future, but don't hold your breath!
>>> I am looking for a better set up and any input would be appreciated..
>>> Probably buying your strut bar too
>>> Oh, my driving habits, I have never been on the track, might go someday,
> but
>>> I enjoy curvy roads and the occasional exhilarating ride.  I love the car
>>> but I feel there is better handling to receive from it...  It is a daily
>>> driver that I feel could handle better....
> Getting the shocks set right will help a lot!
>>> Regards,
>>>> Chris Alber
>>>> Senior Solutions Analyst
>>>> The Sycamore Group
>>>> (office) 215-283-9958 x249
>>>> (mobile)  215-280-4344
>>>> calber at thesycamoregroup.com
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