ES/BS MK2 Autox Setup Primer - Page 6 - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #101 of 108 (permalink) Old February 1st, 2016, 17:10
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Son just starting- Koni yellow advice

Hello Son is taking a car clinic for auto cross and we would like to set up the koni yellows that we just installed properly. We are aware that the shocks can be different but from the firmest- how far does one turn in the front and back? is goal to have stiffer front or back?

FYI he does have TRD front and rear export braces but not the TRD sway bars

Thanks in advance,

Grady
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post #102 of 108 (permalink) Old February 2nd, 2016, 01:25
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My son recently went to a "car handling" clinic, 1st day in a stock LS400 (think battleship like handling), and the second day in an mr2 turbo prepped for CS. I think he learned a lot on both days - understeer, oversteer, etc.

I'm not sure how much experience your son has, but my sense is the strut setup will not make a huge difference. If you have stock sway bars and stock springs, I would set the koni's to full soft for the first few runs - this is the most forgiving setting. Then as the day goes on, try 1 turn, then 1.5 turn both front and back at the same time. My understanding is that at the full stiff setting (~2 turns), the struts are simply too stiff - but full stiff may help control body roll if you're getting a lot of that.

Swaybars and alignment are key to achieving good car balance, and if you have not setup the steady state car balance, the car may push or oversteer - and strut settings can't help you there. I'd start with this ES/BS setup sticky - generally very stiff front sway bar, small front toe out, zero to small rear toe in.

...note that if you have full freedom in setting up the car (any springs, any swaybar), then the STS MK1 setup thread will be of use - but it is fairly heavy reading
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post #103 of 108 (permalink) Old February 2nd, 2016, 01:53
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I will have to disagree with that response, in particular the second paragraph. The son in question is "just starting", and in that case, don't touch the car during the day at all, and preferably, not for a few events and maybe for the whole first season. A new driver isn't going to be consistent enough and sensitive enough for the shocks to make any difference. The absolute last thing he needs is more variables changing between runs or between events.

Only one part on the car matters for the first season, and that's the nut that holds the wheel.
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post #104 of 108 (permalink) Old February 2nd, 2016, 10:10
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Car adjustments should compliment driver development. For an inexperienced driver a stock car that punishes errors is best. Smooth and deliberate inputs are rewarded, abrupt and in-appropriate inputs are punished. As the driver begins to demonstrate mastery of the current level of performance the car needs to be improved thus giving him more capacity for development.

All too often I seen inexperienced drivers tuning setups with shocks/springs/bars/tires to "fix" what are actually driver deficiencies (as opposed to handling/setup deficiencies). We know that a stock Mk2 is a fundamentally good platform. If it is in good working order and has a set of Koni yellows turned full soft, the car's capability will vastly exceed a novice driver's abilities. Thus the stock car is the best starting point and the shocks can be used to tighten up the car as the driver's abilities develop.

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post #105 of 108 (permalink) Old February 2nd, 2016, 10:15
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Thanks much

My son has TRD springs with the alignment set to TRD Stage 2 specs.

I suspect that he will not be pushing it hard enough to notice or know enough to adjust the settings to notice the difference.

I was trying to understand if for autocross the rear should be stiffer vs front/ vice versa/ or the same. I do know from personal experience that despite the thought that stiffer is better= it is not always the case as some movement actually helps.

As stated I am not too worried as he is not competing- just trying to learn what his car can and cannot do.

Thanks much,
Grady
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post #106 of 108 (permalink) Old February 2nd, 2016, 10:39
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First off, I just want to second what everyone else is saying. As long as he's learning, the rest is secondary.

If you just want something reasonable to start with, set the shocks a turn off full soft on the front and set the rears to full soft. Generally, stiffening the rear will just cause more wheelspin on an open differential car. The front stiffness can help build some confidence/responsiveness in transitional elements, but it can also make the car understeer more on corner exit during sweeping corners. There are tradeoffs on both ends of the car.

If the sway bars are stock, he may find that the MR2 is a bit snappy. (alignment being an unknown) Either way he should learn something!
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post #107 of 108 (permalink) Old February 2nd, 2016, 21:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gulfstreamaqua View Post

I was trying to understand if for autocross the rear should be stiffer vs front/ vice versa/ or the same. I do know from personal experience that despite the thought that stiffer is better= it is not always the case as some movement actually helps.
The standard Koni Yellows are stiffer in the rear than the front (at any given setting), but with adjustment that can be reversed. Basically, they are already roughly matched to the typical MR2 spring rates, so it shouldn't be necessary to set one end stiffer than the other as a base-line. I agree with the above, set it full soft and run it for a few events or a season maybe.

Resist the urge to think that the limits of the car have *actually* been reached. If you start to think they have, ask the fastest guy in the club to take it for a couple runs (or one of the fast drivers that you trust). If he has MR2 experience, even better! Ride along. If he is faster (my prediction is he will be 2-3 seconds quicker) then you KNOW what the car is capable of. It can be a very eye opening experience! On the other hand, you may find that he isn't any faster, in which case it's time to start improving the car.

Also, it's worth noting that the TRD springs and braces make the car not legal for ES/BS (you didn't say if it's turbo or NA). If NA, it might still be STS legal, if Turbo then BSP. At first it's unlikely anyone will care much, but it certainly looks better if you make sure you are at least mostly legal for the class you run.


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A retro-active build thread for my track / autocross car

Last edited by Alex W; February 2nd, 2016 at 21:25.
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post #108 of 108 (permalink) Old February 21st, 2016, 19:17
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Thanks to all

SUCCESS!!

Thanks to all who offered their thoughts. To add some more color to the event. Payton was the youngest- a few people wondered how an mr2 got to drive with the Porsches . It was a training and learning event for the upcoming autocross season at El Toro marine base in California held by the local Porsche Club. The instructors were very impressed as he was able to catch up to several of the cars (they kept giving him more space before setting him off). The fastest instructor took his car out and loved how balanced he has it set up (thanks to the Forum ). The instructor then told other instructors that it was one of the fastest out there and thus the other instructors wanted to experience it - even AFTER the event was over . Great day and a great way to learn the limits of his car as they did skid control (wet and dry) and had him push the car past the limits so he knows where they are.

As the car is fully funded by Payton I am not sure how much he is going to do in the future but he now knows what is out there and will most likely do it a few times for sure.

Thanks again
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