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Old 05-22-2003, 03:36 PM   #1
sn8kbit
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Post Got the car back, first week impressions

I'll try to keep this short (ribs soaking, kevin and co. in town ). Most of this is suspension related, but there is a gear/diff comment in here too.

First, the list of mods done:

MM front c/o kit with Koni D/A struts. 400# springs
MM cc plates
solid steering shaft
urethane front end bushings, sway bar endlink
solid steering rack bushings
Griggs rear "track" coilover kit Koni 30 series shocks, 600# springs
MM IRS subframe bushings
Torsen T-2 differential
Motive 3.90 gear
FR500 diff brace
"Groth Implement Racing" inspired diff cooler
SPEC aluminum flywheel
Steeda pulley delete, switched to Romac Pro-billet damper
Autologic chip
Ford 2000R wheels with 275/40/18 Potenza S0-2A's

There's been discussion over rear spring rates and c/o's for the IRS. With the 30 series rear shocks, the 600# springs so far seem to be working just fine. Ride quality while firm, is not bonejarring on anything other than really bad spots in the road. Overall, I feel the ride quality is excellent, much better than my wife's contour even. I've got to do some tuning with the front struts, there's a bit of bounce in the front end over dips and small bumps. I have a small "rattle" in the rear passenger side, and after playing a bit last night, figured that it's most likely a ride height/corner weight issue. With a passenger in the car, there is no "rattle". I suspect the spring becomes slightly unloaded over spots with just myself in the car, and rattles against the adjusting nut. Clearance with the rear Griggs kit however, is very close, the shock sleeves actually ride on the rear tie rod ends. Everything back there is a tight fit.
Turn in is un-frickin-believable. I understand now what the phrase "on rails" means. The car has nowhere near the body roll it had before, feels much more predictable when applying power in turns. I'm very very pleased with how this turned out.
The Torsen. This was something I wasn't sure I'd notice right out of the box. Au Contraire! Putting the car through some hard 90-110* turns, I was able to get on the power much faster without the rear trying to "step out". The car would plant itself and just go. Passenger comment was "Wow! Automan!" (if you remember that TV show). Wheel hop (for me) is gone. If I happen to trip traction control, the way the Torsen works, it's on for just a second, and the car starts to grip. 5th gear feels useable, finally, although the "mooseballs" are gone, my vibe is back. Gonna have to knuckle down and try to figure out how to index that dang thing. The Griggs driveshaft is nice, but didn't cure it. With the urethane bushings in the IRS, along with the FR500 brace, it's more annoying than it was when stock.
While not a technical review, seat-o-the-pants tells me it's incredible. It is truely a new car. I can't wait to get the fine tuning out of the way, and get it to a track.

Major major thanks to Delk Performance for the hard work done. They mostly do street/drag stuff, and this was the first "open track" style setup they had ever done. Great job fabbing up the mounts for the cooler. I'm taking it in tomorrow to go over all the bolts and stuff to make sure they're tight, they're going to get some pictures of all the work (so am I) as a permanent "feature" car on the website. They were very pleased at how it turned out also, even with what they thought at first were "windshield shattering" spring rates. Thanks to Andy, Matt, John, Heath, and Brent for a job well-done!

side note
Alignment setting front and rear:
Caster: 5*
Camber: -1.3*
Toe: 0
rear camber: -1.1
rear toe: -.5
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