[s-cars] Calling all suspension gurus

Mark R speedracer.mark at gmail.com
Wed Oct 10 14:28:33 PDT 2007

As a I general rule-of-thumb, I push people towards coil-overs when
possible.  My experience is a small drop over stock (anywhere from 3/4" to
1-1/2") provide the handling (and looks) as desired, yet still leaves more
than adequate suspension travel.  Of course, a good alignment is imperative
for entry, exit, and mid-corner performance.  Another one of my "rules of
thumb" are -1.5 degrees camber at all 4 corners (esp. with AWD) provides
even tire wear and the ability to aggressively corner.

Whenever anyone comes to me looking to "slam" their car... I take them for a
fast ride on a local road.  New pavement, no potholes, but terrible
undulations.  It's a prime place to explain spring rates, tire pressures,
shock valving, and why it's so important to have suspension travel.

As an aside, I try to talk people OUT of adjustable valved shocks.  I find
that once they're set, they never get adjusted.  And for the occasional
track event or autocross, I ask, "why completely change your car when you
should be working on making yourself a better driver?  After all, you have
ALL of this seat time in your car and as soon as the shock valving is
changed, it's a totally different vehicle."  There are a few clients who
really could use adjustable rebound or compression, but they're few and far

My personal B5 S4 is set up with H&R coilovers (lowered 3/4" over stock,
which is 10-15mm lower than a stock A4), a very stiff rear anti-roll bar,
and a good alignment.  Fun to drive, well balanced, and if I want to show
off, 4 wheel balanced slides on the track are no problem.  =)

Hope I've helped,
Mark Rosenkrantz

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