Monday, December 9, 2013

The Shock of the New

Further examination of my suspension revealed that the rear-left shock had broken the spring perch, the rear right had broken the shock mount off the chassis, and one of the front left shocks was leaking.  All this, gentle reader, after having spent a bunch of cash having all six Ohlins rebuilt after the DC.   They are 5 years old and having been rebuilt twice, they now seem to have lost their Mojo.  The good news is that every failure is an upgrade opportunity!
The problem with suspension is that everyone you speak to has their own opinion of what constitutes the ideal system.   What they all agree on is that your choice is only limited by the thickness of your wad.  The FIA allows a maximum wheel travel of 300mm all round for T1, so it would be nice to achieve as much of this as possible.  However, then you get into the realms of radically changing the suspension geometry, which in turn affects drive shaft angles, exhaust location etc.  This results in ever-increasing cost, complexity and risk.  Then we have the discussion about how many shocks we need, what size, what make, standard vs coilover vs bypass…the choices are endless.   What does seem clear is that the single shocks at the rear have not proven to be man enough for the job.

Finally I decided to avoid radical changes to the suspension geometry, but to go with twin Radflo 2.5” shocks all round.  Each corner will now have one standard remote-can adjustable shock, plus one by-pass shock.  The advantage of the by-pass shock is that the damping is position-sensitive – in other words the damping increases in stages as the shock approaches the limit of its travel.  Robbie - chief fabricator and suspension guru at Saluki Motorsport - assures me that this will transform the handing of the Beast.
Whilst the standard shocks could be a drop-in replacement for the Ohlins, the by-pass shocks need more space – especially at the rear, where they will protrude through the floor.  So Robbie is fabricating a new set of mountings, and the shocks should be shipped at the end of this week.

Meanwhile, the new fuel-cell, fabricated by my new friends at MERIN in Italy, has arrived and will also be installed shortly.  A pair of funky new Corbeau carbon-fibre seats are also winging their way towards Dubai, leaving only a new set of harnesses to be ordered.
Over in Jeddah,  a new rally is being organised to take place at the end of January.  Tempting though this is, it would mean missing two events here in UAE – the 3rd  EMSF rally and the 2nd Motorplex Solo Race on consecutive weekends.  And since the Jeddah rally only consists of two stages totaling 150km, it seems a lot of hassle to go there for such little benefit.  So reluctantly, I’m giving Jeddah  a miss.

Back to UAE events, and I can advise that the dates I had given earlier for the Desert Challenge are WRONG.  The correct dates are April 3rd – 10th, the prologue being on 5th.
I’m around for the first Solo Race at the Motorplex on 21st December – so I’m hoping against hope that the shocks will be installed in time for this.  Watch this space!

1 comment:

Grumpy Goat said...

I guess I should talk to Robbie about Rio's suspension, seeing as he's a guru. He did some splendid welding work for me last year.

I see that ADDC will clash with the Bahrain F1, not that I was going to Bahrain anyway.

And good luck on 21 December. Sorry I can't be there; the Goat will be winging his way to the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.