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Andy Dawson

Shock absorbers

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Relatively new to this whole ownership thing, but loving the warmer weather that has sort of arrived.  But I'm worried about the ride quality of the midlifecrisis.  Don't get me wrong, I've had stiffly sprung cars before but they have come with some semblance of shock absorbtion.  The MLC seems to crash over even the smallest bump, with apparently very little give or compliance.  Is this normal?  It's great on a smooth road, but there aren't many in Norfolk!  Shocks (and car) are 8 years old and done 9300 miles.  

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Quite often the difference between a reasonably comfortable ride and a bone-jarring one is literally 5 minutes with a footpump (lower tyre pressures) and careful counting of 'clicks' on the damper adjustment. Other times it might need a change in springs, ride height or even dampers and wheels. So 'no and yes' to your question - many cars ride badly, but they don't necessarily have to...

A bit more info would really help - like a picture of the rear ride height, wheel size, tyre pressures and a picture of the shocks. Don't start 'randomly' adjusting anything though without a bit of a plan...

There are some real suspension experts on the forum that will be able to offer sensible suggestions on where to start looking, like @DamperMan , @BLiNK Motorsport and @AdamR

 

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As mike says above, tyre pressure can make a massive difference. Especially if the tyres have just been fitted and the tyre fitter has put 30psi in them!! I run mine at 18 psi when cold..

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Agreed with the above... tyre pressure.. is a good point to start with.   

Make sure the cars not sat on its bumpstops when your in it and has little suspension travel.

privided the springs are someware close you should be able to achieve a reasonable ride comfort if the dampers can be set correct.

You have not said what damper you have.  The dampers if adjustable and if correctly factory set should be tuneable to get a sensible ballenced between performance and comfort.    Purely from a comfort point of view adjust them to zero...  the ride will be softer but!!   Could be bouncy.   Increase the dampers damp the bounce but if you adjust to stiff they become shock transmittors.. 

I fitted some badly fitting polyurethane bushes on the rear of mine.  I'd damaged a hand between taking apart and put back together I didn't have the will to correct it at the time..They would not  articulate smoothly and that gave an aweful ride .. no damper or spring could correct..   

 

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43 minutes ago, DamperMan said:

Agreed with the above... tyre pressure.. is a good point to start with.   

Make sure the cars not sat on its bumpstops when your in it and has little suspension travel.

privided the springs are someware close you should be able to achieve a reasonable ride comfort if the dampers can be set correct.

You have not said what damper you have.  The dampers if adjustable and if correctly factory set should be tuneable to get a sensible ballenced between performance and comfort.    Purely from a comfort point of view adjust them to zero...  the ride will be softer but!!   Could be bouncy.   Increase the dampers damp the bounce but if you adjust to stiff they become shock transmittors.. 

I fitted some badly fitting polyurethane bushes on the rear of mine.  I'd damaged a hand between taking apart and put back together I didn't have the will to correct it at the time..They would not  articulate smoothly and that gave an aweful ride .. no damper or spring could correct..   

 

Thanks for the info.  The tyres are Toyo 888's and are running at around 19psi all round.  Size 205/50/15.  Shocks are I'm guessing original, photo attached.  I've softened the dampers off as much as they will go already.  White springs at the rear, black with white blob at the front.  I've recently lifted the rear up a little as it wouldnt get over the speed bump at work, so currently around 170mm at the rear and 145ish at the front I think.  I'm guessing it's all as per the factory build to be honest.

IMG_1453.JPG

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2 minutes ago, Westford said:

Shocks look upsidedown to me!

Hmmm.  I've read various about that, but it's a thought.  Does it alter their operation?

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I think shocks can operate in any orientation (from my bike days) and there are small gains in unsprung weight (better handling) if mounted as per the picture above. ALthough when upside down, the COG is slightly higher.

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The factory advise that the shocks are mounted that way with the inboard ARB.

The best thing I ever did to my car was to remove the ARB, it's far too stiff even on its softest setting. As a quick and dirty fix you could unbolt the rods between the bottom of the shock and the bell crank then test the car.

They are only held on with 10mm nuts and bolts.

Check the rear one as well. Mine snapped :o so I junked that as well.

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I think only shocks the likes of Nitron etc. Will run upsidown correctly. Those look like the more normal twin tube intervals fitted to the bulk of Westfield's and I am pretty sure will not perform correctly as mounted. Didn't the inboard arb specify Nitron shocks so they could run upsidedown?

 

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I think from looking at the pic the suspension might be on full droop? Hence the funny angle.

With the shock mounted the other way up (correct way) the bell crank clashes with the shock...

I would lay money on there being a massive improvement just by trying it with the bar disconnected. 

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Thanks all, really useful as always.  I would guess but don't know that this is all how it came out the factory, but first off will try with no ARB connected, and then failing that I might take you up on your offer Rory's Dad as I think you are only in Fakenham and I'm in Aylsham.  I could run over one weekend?

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