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Coilover choice: Ohlins vs ??

20
26
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Jacksonville, FL
Does anyone have feedback on MCS RR2 Remote Shocks?

GB33, have you had much seat time with these fitted?
Not enough seat time to say and have to sort out the adjustments still. They are also my first dual adjustable coil overs so don’t have a comparison to share. That said, everyone I know that has them loves them. Will update this thread over time. I’ll be at the track twice in the next month.
 
82
50
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
So Cal
I run the same MCS package racing only no aero nearly a streetcar in SCCA touring class.
I don't think my car pitches at all and nor does it porpose. What is the mechanics of pitching?

He's commenting on the 'flat ride' spring concept on which a lot of people seem hang their hats. It's *at least* a tertiary effect and maybe more of a fourth or fifth order influence. In short, you might *possibly* feel what he's talking about if you drive at a certain constant speed on a freeway with a specific type of bump. The car will have a bit of a 'pitchy' heave motion. It's preferable to reduce that 'pitchy' quality, but, in practice, it's nearly meaningless compared to the other concerns which need addressing whether on the street or track.
 
75
49
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
TX
He's commenting on the 'flat ride' spring concept on which a lot of people seem hang their hats. It's *at least* a tertiary effect and maybe more of a fourth or fifth order influence. In short, you might *possibly* feel what he's talking about if you drive at a certain constant speed on a freeway with a specific type of bump. The car will have a bit of a 'pitchy' heave motion. It's preferable to reduce that 'pitchy' quality, but, in practice, it's nearly meaningless compared to the other concerns which need addressing whether on the street or track.
Flat ride is a personal preference for me. There is a lot of theory regarding transmissibility and flat ride does have some trade offs in that regard. Flat ride is a valid alternative, IMO justified by the use in OEMS (Ford, Ferrari, GM, etc). I would also argue that reducing pitch, or addressing pitch is far from meaningless when most race vehicles are aero dependent and in a lot of those cases, aero balance is pitch sensitive.

Give me something to read, or take the time to justify the dismissal you make so easily regarding flat ride. I'd rather learn how or why I have an incomplete or plain wrong understanding rather than just be told "meaningless". Because it is not exactly obvious why.
 
Quick input: I currently have a MCS Single adjustable systems. I wanted to upgrade to a triple adjustable to get better high speed damping to allow me to run more speed bumps. At the same time, I wanted to explore an inverted setup on the front Mcpherson struts as I feel like major side loads put on the shaft could affect damper performance and wheel alignement (but I could be wrong here).

here Are the options I looked at:

Ohlins: Nice inverted design on the TTX 46 and seems like a great shock. But no racing suspension available for the S550 as no-one manufactures the front clevis to hold the strut.
Penske: REALLY nice shock, inverted design, fits the S550 chassis. But MUCHO dinero, 2 way is $11k depending on options but the kit is 100% custom to your car. Their customer service is impeccable.
MCS: Front strut is not inverted, but the 3way system seems like great quality and the price is hard to beat at $6,800.

what is your input? Would you pay almost double for Penskes 2 ways?
 

JDee

Ancient Racer
1,301
1,181
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
halfway between Mosport and Shannonville
I would ask how important is racing to you? Are you running for fun or bucks? Do you have some pressure to perform well? Like for sponsors who are doling out significant money? Or are you just racing for fun and camaraderie with people of like mind? Can you write the costs off against personal or business income without fear of the tax man auditing you and having it all disallowed? You have to be able prove potential for profit or at some point in time they will audit you and suck it all back.

I spent tens of thousands of dollars every year racing for trophies and even when I got into "pro" series the payouts were paltry. Even the championships I won were largely meaningless, it was exciting until you got home and put the trophy on the wall shelf of the dealership that picked up parts cost, then the other bills came in and that prize money didn't go far. And last year's championship trophy meant very little in the hunt for this year's money guy.

If you're just having fun, then keeping costs down should be a priority. But in funding racing activity, as I well know, common sense mostly has no place in the thought process.

But.....the real bottom line is if you can afford the top end parts cost and it's worthwhile to you then do it.
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
418
404
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Connecticut
Ohlins: Nice inverted design on the TTX 46 and seems like a great shock. But no racing suspension available for the S550 as no-one manufactures the front clevis to hold the strut.

If you're willing to spend the money on the TTX46, I'd think having Cortex/PSI/Anze/shock vendor of your choice fab up the mounting tabs is a minor issue. Getting the valving right for your setup may take more time. For the S197, PSI actually uses the older 36mm inverted strut in their kits - https://performanceshock.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65_221_272&products_id=1318
With the TTX46, you may be able to save a little money by getting the 2-way Club version and adding the optional "blowoff kit" depending on what you're trying to acheive.

If all you're looking for is a little more ability to "crash the curbs" I'd first suggest talking to MCS, or the vendor you got them from, about tweaking the valving on your current shocks. They may be able to dial in the feel you want by just swapping a few piston shims / deflective discs. And if they're a few years old, they can freshen any worn seals and the oil while they're in there.
 
I would ask how important is racing to you? Are you running for fun or bucks? Do you have some pressure to perform well? Like for sponsors who are doling out significant money? Or are you just racing for fun and camaraderie with people of like mind? Can you write the costs off against personal or business income without fear of the tax man auditing you and having it all disallowed? You have to be able prove potential for profit or at some point in time they will audit you and suck it all back.

I spent tens of thousands of dollars every year racing for trophies and even when I got into "pro" series the payouts were paltry. Even the championships I won were largely meaningless, it was exciting until you got home and put the trophy on the wall shelf of the dealership that picked up parts cost, then the other bills came in and that prize money didn't go far. And last year's championship trophy meant very little in the hunt for this year's money guy.

If you're just having fun, then keeping costs down should be a priority. But in funding racing activity, as I well know, common sense mostly has no place in the thought process.

But.....the real bottom line is if you can afford the top end parts cost and it's worthwhile to you then do it.
Thats the question we always ask ourselves. and the answer is always extremely complicated. The thing is, when you're competitive, a substantial part of the fun come with winning.
 
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If you're willing to spend the money on the TTX46, I'd think having Cortex/PSI/Anze/shock vendor of your choice fab up the mounting tabs is a minor issue. Getting the valving right for your setup may take more time. For the S197, PSI actually uses the older 36mm inverted strut in their kits - https://performanceshock.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65_221_272&products_id=1318
With the TTX46, you may be able to save a little money by getting the 2-way Club version and adding the optional "blowoff kit" depending on what you're trying to acheive.

If all you're looking for is a little more ability to "crash the curbs" I'd first suggest talking to MCS, or the vendor you got them from, about tweaking the valving on your current shocks. They may be able to dial in the feel you want by just swapping a few piston shims / deflective discs. And if they're a few years old, they can freshen any worn seals and the oil while they're in there.
Yeah, in fact I think the rear are 36 and the front are 46. But I could be wrong. PSI cannot fab the front Clevis, already asked them :-( . Maybe Cortex?!

What's your take on Penske's?
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
418
404
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Connecticut
What's your take on Penske's?
The same as yours. :)
Personally, I like the design theory behind the Ohlins TTX where all the fluid is moving through adjustable poppet valves instead of deflective discs on the piston and some kind of bleed nozzle/jets. But the Penske regressive piston is really interesting. And @ajaquilante does pretty well on the Penskes.

At the high-end, another possible option for you is the Multimatic DSSV. They're used on the current Mustang GT4, so I'd think there's a fitment for a regular S550. Actually, Multimatic builds the GT4 for Ford (as well as the Ford GT). And they're a Canadian company. The DSSV valve design is similar to the TTX.

The thing I always have to consider when thinking about dampers at this level is if I can actually take advantage of them, vs something for half the price. Professional drivers can get extra tenths out of the high-end dampers, but I probably can't. And you really need someone who knows how to set up the valving, ideally based on suspension data logs, and it probably takes several rounds of revalving to get them dialed in. The Mutimatic may have a leg up there, if you're able to use the whole GT4 damper/spring/bars package.
 
82
50
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
So Cal
Flat ride is a personal preference for me.
..............
Give me something to read, or take the time to justify the dismissal you make so easily regarding flat ride.

I don't have anything for you to read until The Gospel According to TeeLew is finished, so that is not something I can provide.

Here is my problem with using F-R for anything on a track. It's a concept which makes a street car ride better at a constant cruising speed over a very specific type of bump. We should appreciate that Maurice Olley, the chief vehicle dynamicist at General Motors in the 50's and 60's, was the man who first recognized F-R as a tool to make cars ride better. He was working with land yachts cruising Route 66 that had emulsion dampers installed as little more than decoration. In no way was F-R developed for the racetrack.

On a track we find few areas of constant speed; we should be either slowing or accelerating, especially in these heavy but powerful tanks. We also don't usually find the type of bump which F-R works best with, which is a freeway poured with regular concrete sections. Most tracks are asphalt and the bumps are either ripples in the surface in brake zones, frost heaves or pavement transitions. The car is never really in the position to develop that annoying 'pitchy bounce' which F-R cures.

F-R does nothing for pitch control due to driver inputs. The front ride height is always the most sensitive. This is especially so in an aero car, but even if we're strictly talking mechanical grip, it's the most important because it's the steered axle. Limiting the total range of travel with a relatively stiff front spring goes a long way toward making a more consistent car through the corner. Minimizing the balance shift through the corner is no small task. We have to appreciate that spring tuning doesn't happen in a vacuum. It's part of a feedback loop which includes all the other car components, including the driver.

When I'm tuning a car, I know I can't make it perfect everywhere. That's a fool's errand. I have to make it good in the important spots and liveable everywhere else. The important spots are braking/corner entry and the throttle roll-on portion of corner exit. As long as everything else is reasonable, those two things right there will get you in the hunt on the stopwatch. In both situations, you need an excess of rear grip. On corner entry, you're loading the front end braking, so the front will likely be responsive for that fact alone, but this front grip due to the long. load transfer can very easily make for a nervous rear and fingertip driving.

Fingertip diving must be avoided like The Plague (choose one), because that's what a driver does when they're not confident. If he's not confident, then he'll be turning in early and shallow (he'll spin if he turns late and aggressive), at the end of the brake zone he'll be in a bad position. He might be 40% through the corner, but he's only accomplished 10% of the turning. That means a tight radius (slow) mid-corner and, generally, the driver will get impatient, go to throttle about 30%,which prolongs the suffering, because it produces understeer. As the edge of the road creeps up on exit and we're running out of room, our hero has to either give it the boot to slide the rear or lift and allow the nose to tuck, either way it's a bad exit. (By the way, they'll return complaining of understeer and the entry oversteer will be invisible)

So, to improve my corner entries, I run a relatively stiff front spring. To improve corner exit grip I run a relatively soft rear spring. I've made my priorities and, if we were on a skidpad, my car would have more understeer. Racetracks aren't skidpads. With a secure car on entry and a rear end that grips on the throttle now I've got a driver who can turn in late and aggressively while still loading the front longitudinally. The driver in this car will be able to do much more of the actual turning of the car early in the corner and then have his hands much straighter in the power application portion of the corner. The compromise the driver *has* to make is patience before throttle application. It's often a good thing to be off both pedals and just let the car turn for a moment after brake release before applying throttle. We want to go to throttle (0->100%) in about 1 second. Gradual, extended throttle applications are huge time wasters. Often drivers will come back and report *less* understeer with this type of spring setup than with a rear-stiff setup just due to the lines they are now able to take.

If we're introducing aero into the equation, though, that further argues against flat-ride. The sensitivity of front ride height>> the sensitivity of rear ride height aerodynamically. F-R ride rates would suggest an increase in front aero distribution as the car went faster, which *no one* wants, driver, mechanic or engineer. I'd be willing to bet there is no aero dependent professional race car in the world run rear stiff to the point of F-R. It's the complete opposite of how aero car setups, where rear ride frequencies might be 20% or greater lower than the front.

So, in a nutshell, that's how I tune springs on a car.
 
75
49
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
TX
I don't have anything for you to read until The Gospel According to TeeLew is finished, so that is not something I can provide.

So, in a nutshell, that's how I tune springs on a car.

Thank you for the indulgence. I do know there are some GT3 and GT4 cars which do have F-R or near F-R frequencies. I also know that there are more than one valid way to achieve a setup. The same way some setups do not run bump rubbers and others do (with similar success). I have yet to see anything conclusive that F-R either is not or cannot be run on a race setup and be successful. That is not to say it is the only way to do things either. When I first started my own experimentation to understand why certain configurations are a "golden rule" I liked a neutral jacking setup, but the heavier the car the more I began to understand the rebound bias most tarmac setups go with. I also know that with 3" or less total stoke there is not much time to develop proper damping forces and so the spring is where most of the performance change may come from. We both agree that the shock ties together whatever spring package is chosen and for the large majority of setups spring packages (and dampers too for that matter) are limited by series regulation. So what is optimal vs what is allowed are at times very different and compromises are made. In this case where we have a vehicle with no series regulation to adhere to, maybe we can address ride comfort AND track performance, although the tyre is going to really drive (pun intended) how much of either performance type you have access to. I am still inclined to baseline with a F-R setup though I know for sure I dislike a 20% split. 5%-10% Seems to be the sweet spot. Although I agree again that it is speed dependent and the faster you are going the less F-R matters anyway. Thinking out loud though as I type this... maybe I better understand the meaningless or wasted effort exploring F-R because if each spring is of the relatively/ subjectively correct stiffness, maybe it doesn't matter whether its in a F-R configuration or not.....
 
82
50
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
So Cal
With GT3/GT4 cars, one has a certain combination of several front & rear spring rates available. Out of that combination, one might make a F-R combo, but that shouldn't suggest it's common. Dampers are FIA homologated with a picture. It must look like that picture externally. The damper internals are fair game. You might get painted into a corner with the damper valving the car arrives with, but that's a short term problem for a race team.

You're asking for some sort proof that doesn't exist. No one can show mathematically that X springs are good and Y are bad. You can attempt to use the philosophy racing and see what happens, but that would be an unusual reason for racing. Ultimately, we'd have to go to some high level race series and try it. In that scenario, you're swimming with sharks. It better work and it better work right away, because you'll not get many opportunities if it doesn't.

There are many ways to produce a setup, no question. It's amazing the different directions people will go tuning the same car, but, the great thing about racing is that, at the end of the day, we have an objective way to determine which answer was closest to correct. The guy who can open the butterflies first has a hell of an advantage.
 
69
32
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Bulgaria
The same as yours. :)
Personally, I like the design theory behind the Ohlins TTX where all the fluid is moving through adjustable poppet valves instead of deflective discs on the piston and some kind of bleed nozzle/jets. But the Penske regressive piston is really interesting. And @ajaquilante does pretty well on the Penskes.

At the high-end, another possible option for you is the Multimatic DSSV. They're used on the current Mustang GT4, so I'd think there's a fitment for a regular S550. Actually, Multimatic builds the GT4 for Ford (as well as the Ford GT). And they're a Canadian company. The DSSV valve design is similar to the TTX.

The thing I always have to consider when thinking about dampers at this level is if I can actually take advantage of them, vs something for half the price. Professional drivers can get extra tenths out of the high-end dampers, but I probably can't. And you really need someone who knows how to set up the valving, ideally based on suspension data logs, and it probably takes several rounds of revalving to get them dialed in. The Mutimatic may have a leg up there, if you're able to use the whole GT4 damper/spring/bars package.

Could someone post a link to Ohlins TTX shocks for the Mustang ? My understanding is that they only sell R&T shocks for S550 ? Multimatic DSSV are really really expensive I think it's like 20000$ or so which is way more than Penske. But they do work for sure on S550 after all GT4 is just V6 body in white.
 
Could someone post a link to Ohlins TTX shocks for the Mustang ? My understanding is that they only sell R&T shocks for S550 ? Multimatic DSSV are really really expensive I think it's like 20000$ or so which is way more than Penske. But they do work for sure on S550 after all GT4 is just V6 body in white.

So yeah actually I called to the Multimatic and it would be around $25k as many parts are proprietary to the GT4. I'm sure I could make it work for less but it feels like they dont really want to sell the shocks.

There is no 100% racing TTX setup for the S550 from Ohlins. There is one for the previous generation. Which is too bad...
 
69
32
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Bulgaria
So yeah actually I called to the Multimatic and it would be around $25k as many parts are proprietary to the GT4. I'm sure I could make it work for less but it feels like they dont really want to sell the shocks.

There is no 100% racing TTX setup for the S550 from Ohlins. There is one for the previous generation. Which is too bad...
To be fair Penske may be your best bet from what I have read considering the fact that Multimatic is not available / pricy.
 
82
50
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
So Cal
So yeah actually I called to the Multimatic and it would be around $25k as many parts are proprietary to the GT4. I'm sure I could make it work for less but it feels like they dont really want to sell the shocks.

There is no 100% racing TTX setup for the S550 from Ohlins. There is one for the previous generation. Which is too bad...

There would be a way to modify an existing strut body to accept a TTX damper. I'll be honest, though, that's a lot of damper for this type of car. You better be at least semi-pro racing. Buying a set of DSSV struts from Multimatic directly seems unlikely, but I bet you could source a set through a GT4 team with a little effort.

I feel like the off-the-shelf Ohlins, which give you a single adjuster to tune shaft bleed (both comp & reb) would go a long way with most users, specifically if they wanted to play with valving a little. The bang/buck is pretty good with this package.
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
418
404
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Connecticut
Chuck, I know you started off looking for 3-way control with an inverted strut, but have you looked at the Shelby S550 2-way package?
Penske internals, looks like Cortex strut housings, and spring rates & valving deteremined from testing on a shaker rig.
 
75
49
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
TX
Chuck, I know you started off looking for 3-way control with an inverted strut, but have you looked at the Shelby S550 2-way package?
Penske internals, looks like Cortex strut housings, and spring rates & valving deteremined from testing on a shaker rig.
Cortex uses JRI which was founded by ex Penske guys. Wouldn't surprise me if any similarities exist. Although I'd be surprised if they were developed on a shaker rig.
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
418
404
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Connecticut
I did put a link in my post. If you look at the closeup of the strut, what appears to be a Cortex logo on the mounting ears is pretty clear. As a good number of the Shelby parts seem to be products from other manufacturers (Moroso oil pans, Maximum Motorports S197 camber plates, etc.) with CS logos on them, I wouldn't be surprised if they contracted with Cortex to build the strut housings.

From the Shelby page:
Shelby and Penske Racing Shocks developed not only the proper spring rates, but the proper damping levels on a 4-post shaker.
4-post vs 7-post means they couldn't simulate aero load & dynamic roll/pitch/squat, but they were probably targeting street/HPDE non-wing cars so it doesn't much matter. But it gives you a much better starting point for revalving for stiffer springs needed for big aero than starting from scratch and some educated guesses.

My approach to this would give Penske a call to see if they have access to the shaker data, and that thse use "standard" Penske parts. They (or your local Penske shock tuner) could use that to come up with valving for the spring rates needed for the aero you're running - but you need to know the actual downforce you're making (from suspension travel data logs). Buy the Shelby kit, replace the springs with stiffer for the aero load, and have the dampers revalved to match (if the stiffer springs are outside the range of stock adjustment). Figure a few hundred bucks in springs and the same for revalving - still way cheaper than TTX or inverted Penske. And it gives you the chance to try the Penske digressive valving.
 

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