coilovers vs conventional on front? - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-24-2008, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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coilovers vs conventional on front?

i bought a 93 LX hatch roller with a qa1 k-member, it has stock arms on it, im gonna be ordering the rest of the front end parts(bumpsteer kit, control arms, and springs) trying to decide if i should go with coil overs or a conventional coil spring setup, the car will be mostly street driven, but not everyday, it will see some track time, but not a dedicated track car, using strange 10-ways front and rear

if i go with a conventional setup, will probably use 4cyl front springs or moroso trick springs

coilover will probably be a 14/175 spring

car has no a/c but retains the heat, aluminum headed iron block

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post #2 of 20 Old 08-24-2008, 06:57 PM
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Coilovers save some weight, and really have no negatives. I can't see why you wouldnt use them, given the choice.


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post #3 of 20 Old 08-26-2008, 03:51 PM
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yea coil overs all the way. do it right the first time. save yourself the headache later. plus have fun with that bouncy front end on the street with 4cyl fronts
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-26-2008, 04:02 PM
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The only good thing about front coilovers is front ride height adjustment. The stock style springs will give more front end lift and ride better on the street.


Troy

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post #5 of 20 Old 08-26-2008, 04:08 PM
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i dont believe you bout the better front end lift.. better ride on street id probably agree.
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-26-2008, 06:32 PM
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Here is a qoute from the man himself (kevin$):

"I did some calculations several years ago when coilovers started becoming popular to try and duplicate the stock spring energy in a coilover and I “think” I came up with a 19”/90 lb spring BUT this would NEVER fit w/o coil bind."

Just in case you don't get it, a 90 lb/inch spring requires 90 lbs to compress it one inch. The inverse of that is that it will only require 90 lbs of force to lift the front end one inch. So unless you are running 90 lb/inch coil over springs you aren't going to get the same lift.

There are a slew of other people that have posted their results comparing coil-overs to moroso's or eibachs and have stated the moroso's pitched the front end more. Obviously that isn't desirable for every car... I suppose the issue may lie in the fact that one would have to concede that they don't already know everything to use that information.


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post #7 of 20 Old 08-26-2008, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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i had an 88 coupe with a iron headed 302 and big ass turbo on 4cyl springs and lakewood 90/10s, and i didnt mind the ride at all,

im just looking for a decent street/strip setup, if conventional is where it is, ill go that way, or coil overs, doesnt matter to me, just want the best
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post #8 of 20 Old 08-27-2008, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 79Sleeper View Post
TThe stock style springs will give more front end lift and ride better on the street.
Sorry, but just went from conventional springs to coilovers and the ride is 10 times better even with the 325 lb/in 8" springs I'm running up front.

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post #9 of 20 Old 08-28-2008, 01:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by durty View Post
i had an 88 coupe with a iron headed 302 and big ass turbo on 4cyl springs and lakewood 90/10s, and i didnt mind the ride at all,

im just looking for a decent street/strip setup, if conventional is where it is, ill go that way, or coil overs, doesnt matter to me, just want the best
how many NMRA cars you see running conventional? if you want the best go with coil overs. the adjustability alone is worth it. and they arent that expensive.
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post #10 of 20 Old 08-28-2008, 04:06 AM
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I found that my car worked better with the trick springs in the front than the coilovers.
Rode better was faster at the track.

I have the coilovers on the car now because I am messing with rideheight in the front trying to get the car to work better. The coilovers are OK but the trick springs are better on my car with the radials.

Alot of 10 sec and slower radial tire cars are faster with stock style springs

Tim


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post #11 of 20 Old 08-28-2008, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mastrdrver View Post
Sorry, but just went from conventional springs to coilovers and the ride is 10 times better even with the 325 lb/in 8" springs I'm running up front.
Well if rattling your teeth over every last little bump or crack in the road is your idea of a good ride...so be it. The 175lb 14" springs I had were enough to pound my kidneys and bend a weld racing rim on a small pot hole, I can't imagine what those 325's are like. Why not just put in solid metal bars for struts? It would be cheaper and probably have the same ride...

eleanorfox- not everyone gets to race on nmra prepped race day track surfaces. The extra lift that the stock style springs DUE produce is useful in that case....or if your not a guru suspension tuner. Tim's one of those guys that a person should listen to that has it pretty much figured out and is hooking without 100lbs of lead in the bumper. Here is another one of those guys:

https://forums.corral.net/forums/show...1&postcount=12

I'm just curious what kind of 60's do you pull with your coil-overs on your car? You've tried the trick springs?

Troy

79' pace car, blow-threw jytt,stock 302, c4.
10.66 at 126.5

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post #12 of 20 Old 08-28-2008, 12:45 PM
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The amount of energy stored in the front springs has nothing to do with spring rate or where the spring is mounted. It only has to do with how much weight the front springs are supporting. This is called sprung weight.

It is correct that the wheel rate of a stock Mustang is about 90lbs/in (actually 100lbs/in). From this standpoint, a coilover spring that is 175lbs/in, will give a wheel rate that is around 160lbs/in. This is 60-70% more wheel rate (160 versus 90-100). This amount of increase is not going to have that much effect on ride quality. If Troy's car rode that badly with a 175lbs/in coilover, I strongly suspect something else was wrong. For a street driven, non drag oriented car, we never recommend less than 275lbs/in. Anything softer than this and the customer complains that the ride motions are too large and the car responds too slowly.

Softer front springs work well in drag cars because they reduce the roll stiffness of the front suspension. The higher the ratio of the rear to front roll stiffness in the car, the more equally loaded the rear tires will be on launch. The more equally loaded the rear tires are, the more total traction they can develop as a pair. The more total traction they have, the harder the car can accelerate. The harder the car accelerates, the more weight transfers from the front tires to the rear. The more weight on the rear tires, the more grip they have, again allowing the car to accelerate even harder.

Coilover springs are lighter. They allow the use of lighter FCAs and K-members. They allow easy ride height and weight jacking adjustments.

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post #13 of 20 Old 08-28-2008, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack Hidley View Post
The amount of energy stored in the front springs has nothing to do with spring rate or where the spring is mounted. It only has to do with how much weight the front springs are supporting. This is called sprung weight.

It is correct that the wheel rate of a stock Mustang is about 90lbs/in (actually 100lbs/in). From this standpoint, a coilover spring that is 175lbs/in, will give a wheel rate that is around 160lbs/in. This is 60-70% more wheel rate (160 versus 90-100). This amount of increase is not going to have that much effect on ride quality. If Troy's car rode that badly with a 175lbs/in coilover, I strongly suspect something else was wrong. For a street driven, non drag oriented car, we never recommend less than 275lbs/in. Anything softer than this and the customer complains that the ride motions are too large and the car responds too slowly.

Softer front springs work well in drag cars because they reduce the roll stiffness of the front suspension. The higher the ratio of the rear to front roll stiffness in the car, the more equally loaded the rear tires will be on launch. The more equally loaded the rear tires are, the more total traction they can develop as a pair. The more total traction they have, the harder the car can accelerate. The harder the car accelerates, the more weight transfers from the front tires to the rear. The more weight on the rear tires, the more grip they have, again allowing the car to accelerate even harder.

Coilover springs are lighter. They allow the use of lighter FCAs and K-members. They allow easy ride height and weight jacking adjustments.
Jack,
I know that you know alot about suspensions, far more than me I'm sure. Perhaps drag race suspensions is not your forte? Your statement regarding storing spring energy is not correct. You are completely disregarding ride height and preload. Surely you know that a spring with a lower spring rate will require more preload than a stiffer spring to maintain the same ride height. That extra preload IS stored (potential) energy. And the location matters also. The motion ratio of a stock location spring ensures it will have more preload (stored energy) at full extension (continuing to help pitch rotation) then a coilover at full extension, regardless of spring rate (hence installing trick springs is such a bitch). Since you are talking in terms of wheel rate, could you please post the motion ratio's of the stock spring location and of the coilover location?

Perhaps my struts bind when used with coilovers. I haven't figured out a way to verify that without swapping them out.

In my mind a 60-70% increase of effective spring rate at the wheel is quite a change!
I can all but guarantee that the people that go from 275 lb/in springs to 175's, to 150's, then 130's, all the while launching quicker and more consistently, has little to due with roll stiffness and mostly to do with preload. To qoute Dave Morgan, "the suspension would respond quicker, potential energy is helping to move the mass sooner."

Of course non of what I am trying to convey would apply to car that didn't need more/easier pitch rotation.

Troy

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post #14 of 20 Old 08-29-2008, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 79Sleeper View Post
I'm just curious what kind of 60's do you pull with your coil-overs on your car? You've tried the trick springs?

Troy

I know you weren't talking to me, but maybe I know something about suspension setup, my car, a street car with nothing radical, not even adjustable struts or shocks, runs low 1.4's every time I'm at the track, with a best of a 1.40. On radials. 275/60 radials. Coil overs up front. Stock springs out back. No weight in the trunk.

Its not all about pre load and front suspension lift. You only want the front springs to lift enough to get "enough" weight transfer to make it hook up. It has to do with the whole package. If you have the front end of the car too loose, the car will be wasting power lifting the front end, rather than pushing the car fowards.

And there is a reason that every serious racer, in every class that allows it, has coil overs.

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post #15 of 20 Old 08-29-2008, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by 79Sleeper View Post
Well if rattling your teeth over every last little bump or crack in the road is your idea of a good ride...so be it. The 175lb 14" springs I had were enough to pound my kidneys and bend a weld racing rim on a small pot hole, I can't imagine what those 325's are like. Why not just put in solid metal bars for struts? It would be cheaper and probably have the same ride...
You would be the first one I've heard of, so either we are all wrong or there might have been a problem with your setup or how it was bolted together.

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post #16 of 20 Old 08-29-2008, 08:05 AM
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I'm just curious what kind of 60's do you pull with your coil-overs on your car? You've tried the trick springs?

Troy
I have been 1.38-39 with the slicks and trick's on Drag week.
On the radials I have been 1.41 with tricks. and the rear suspension was really bad.

I now have the rear susp working better and with 150-14 coil overs 1.40 on raidals. I think with trick springs baised on prior testing it would be better. I am just out of $$ and time to test them.

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post #17 of 20 Old 08-29-2008, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 79Sleeper View Post
Jack,
Your statement regarding storing spring energy is not correct. You are completely disregarding ride height and preload. Surely you know that a spring with a lower spring rate will require more preload than a stiffer spring to maintain the same ride height. That extra preload IS stored (potential) energy. And the location matters also. The motion ratio of a stock location spring ensures it will have more preload (stored energy) at full extension (continuing to help pitch rotation) then a coilover at full extension, regardless of spring rate (hence installing trick springs is such a bitch). Since you are talking in terms of wheel rate, could you please post the motion ratio's of the stock spring location and of the coilover location?

Troy
I want to clarify what is being said and meant.
What Troy is saying is correct IF both springs are compressed the SAME distance. However the spring with the higher spring rate will not collapse as much as the spring with the lighter spring rate. It will only collapse as much as is needed to suspend the car in equlibrium. For this reason there is no "preload". My definition of Preload is "tension" that is present above/beyond the equilibrium state. So neither spring will exert any "preload".
The below is for the front spring on a car.
So when a 450# spring in installed it WILL have the same Potential Energy (stored energy) as a 175# spring. The difference is that the 175# will be able to release the stored energy over a farther distance b/c it will be collapsed farther in the same car. This distance is what is important in a lot of drag cars b/c if the spring is only compressed 2" like a 450# spring would be BUT the car needs 5" of extension for best weight transfer the the heavy spring can not extend far enough. There will be 3" of strut extension where the spring is rattling around and then there will only be about 2" of front end lift.

Jack made the comment that "The amount of energy stored in the front springs has nothing to do with spring rate or where the spring is mounted. "
This is not necessarilly true DEPENDING how you look at it. The position of the spring WILL change the amount of Potential Energy stored if the spring is moved closer to the pivot point or farther away. The spring RATE will not change but the stored energy will.
The stock front spring location is closer to the pivot point than a coilover spring so a stock location spring will require a HIGHER spring rate than a coilover spring to obtain the same spring charecteristics. For this reason

Jack also made the comment "From this standpoint, a coilover spring that is 175lbs/in, will give a wheel rate that is around 160lbs/in. This is 60-70% more wheel rate (160 versus 90-100). This amount of increase is not going to have that much effect on ride quality. "
I disagree 100% and mainly because the coilover spring operates at a 1 to 1 ratio with the wheel where a stock spring operates at a 1 to 3 ratio (simple guess on my part) so going from a 130 coilover spring to a 175 can have a HUGE affect depending on the weight of the car.

Quote: "The higher the ratio of the rear to front roll stiffness in the car, the more equally loaded the rear tires will be on launch. The more equally loaded the rear tires are, the more total traction they can develop as a pair. The more total traction they have, the harder the car can accelerate. The harder the car accelerates, the more weight transfers from the front tires to the rear. The more weight on the rear tires, the more grip they have, again allowing the car to accelerate even harder."
While this explaination of forces to the rear tires is true it can fail in reality b/c a stiffer spring may not absorb the initial shock from the launch and cause the car to spin which defeats the purpose of trying to get traction. The car NEEDS some give to absorb the shock from the launch and the only way to do this is to use a lighter spring. I recommend a coilover spring around 110# for most cars then up/down from there but very rarely anything over a 120. If there is a lot of weight added to the rear of the car (like in a DR car) then the spring rate will have to go up to hold up the extra added weight.

Remember you can not compare the spring rates for a coilover to a conventional spring b/c the conventional spring rates will be much higher.

hth's
ks


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post #18 of 20 Old 08-29-2008, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by FN RCKT View Post
I know you weren't talking to me, but maybe I know something about suspension setup, my car, a street car with nothing radical, not even adjustable struts or shocks, runs low 1.4's every time I'm at the track, with a best of a 1.40. On radials. 275/60 radials. Coil overs up front. Stock springs out back. No weight in the trunk.

Its not all about pre load and front suspension lift.

And there is a reason that every serious racer, in every class that allows it, has coil overs.
FN, I know that you have your car working well and it is impressive. I was very interested in it at one time until I found out you were adding weight. Having said that, don't try to bull#### me man. You've said yourself the drag radials require a good track to work-maybe your track is good everytime you go? No weight in the trunk? Bumper is same difference.

https://forums.corral.net/forums/show...&postcount=23\

And it's obvious that pre-load isn't what it's *all* about. It's also obvious that everything has to work together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mastrdrver
You would be the first one I've heard of, so either we are all wrong or there might have been a problem with your setup or how it was bolted together.
If I'm the first one you've heard of then you haven't been paying attention. I could back that up with dozens of posts, but here's just one:

https://forums.corral.net/forums/show...9&postcount=12

btw, Jack's math showing a 70% increase of wheel rate with a 175lb/in coilover is a mathmatical admission of significantly increased stiffness with coilovers. That's a 175lb/inch spring. You do the math with a 300+ lb/in, let me know the % increase in effective wheel rate and then tell me with a straight face it rides great.

EDIT: I'll do the math. Jack's numbers- a 175lb/" c.o. spring having a 160lb/" wheel rate indicates a .914 motion ratio. So your 325lb/" spring will create a 297lb/" wheel rate. According to jack the stock wheel rate is about 100 lb/", so that's just short of a 300% increase of effective stiffness at the wheel! I'm sure it handles great, but rides nice? Come on.. Next thing you'll be trying to tell me that your F550 with no load in the back goes over railroad tracks like a Caddy!

Troy

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10.66 at 126.5

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post #19 of 20 Old 08-29-2008, 10:28 AM
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post #20 of 20 Old 08-29-2008, 10:52 AM
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Naa. I think everyone pretty much agrees but it's the explaining of the details that can get confusing b/c everyone has a different description of what is going on.

ks


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