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So are we not going to talk about the new/pending shocks rules then?

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#1
gerglmuff2

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Much ado about slots and sloots, but so little on the recomended shock change:


2. #21854 (John Bauer) Shock Spec Data Review Add to 9.1.7.C.3.a.1.: 1. Shocks (including internals) must be as delivered by Bilstein/Mazda. No modifications to the compression and/or rebound forces are allowed.

this of course has fat cat motor sports unhappy: 

 


 


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#2
MPR22

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Since we only run stock Bilsteins nothing to talk about.
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#3
gerglmuff2

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Since we only run stock Bilsteins nothing to talk about.

 

I'm not sure what to make of this comment. a "stock" bilstein can perform in a multitude of different ways, even from mazda/blistein themselves. not to mention the shock specs in the rule book are about wide enough you could drift a school bus through them sideways. 


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#4
MPR22

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I'm not sure what to make of this comment. a "stock" bilstein can perform in a multitude of different ways, even from mazda/blistein themselves. not to mention the shock specs in the rule book are about wide enough you could drift a school bus through them sideways. 

and they have been that way for along time.  Some people in an effort to make money, nothing wrong with that, will post videos and graphs detailing how wildly different the factory sealed Bilstiens perform.  Several years ago there was a run on the rebuilds so much so the shops doing the work could not keep up.  Either through lack of results or through lack of availability the trend faded out.  I will be the first to admit I am no shock expert, I would even go so far as to say I am one of the least knowledgeable shock set up guys around.  All I am saying is I pull them out of the box, I go race them, I win sometimes and not once have I ever felt the dampener cost me a race.  I suspect there is so much flex in these cars that any tuning on a shock is lost in the twist of the body.  If these were real race cars, truly dependent on the dampener for contact patch then we might need to be worried.  


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FTodaro

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They should just come up with a seal on the new shocks and require Stock shocks only. IMO the cost to rebuild is not worth it in light of the cost of new. We have to stop the expansion of the class in every direction, including shocks. IMO.


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#6
gerglmuff2

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and they have been that way for along time.  Some people in an effort to make money, nothing wrong with that, will post videos and graphs detailing how wildly different the factory sealed Bilstiens perform.  Several years ago there was a run on the rebuilds so much so the shops doing the work could not keep up.  Either through lack of results or through lack of availability the trend faded out.  I will be the first to admit I am no shock expert, I would even go so far as to say I am one of the least knowledgeable shock set up guys around.  All I am saying is I pull them out of the box, I go race them, I win sometimes and not once have I ever felt the dampener cost me a race.  I suspect there is so much flex in these cars that any tuning on a shock is lost in the twist of the body.  If these were real race cars, truly dependent on the dampener for contact patch then we might need to be worried.  

I come from an opposite background, autocross and HPDE, where shocks are more important in almost every way than power. now, the less time the car spends transitioning, the less important shocks are and the more important steady-state suspension is (bars, springs, bushings etc) are. and autocross compared to road racing, the car spends much less time on track in transition, and much more time at steady state (or near) loading. that being said, if we spend thousands of dollars in search of a few HP on engines, there is probably speed to be also gained from setting up the shocks ideally. 

i just entered the class, and road racing in general. my car as i presume stock as delivered shocks, as i see no evidence of them being opened up. so its not an issue of my car needing new shocks to comply. just seems that if we have a massive thread on slots, then we should probably have a discussion about something far more complex and big of a rules change like shocks. 

my personal take on it, is that SCCA already has a spec for shock forces. if they want to make re valving illegal, a better plan is to simply tighten the shock specs, rather than mandate "as delivered" but thats just my simple man's opinion. 


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#7
MPR22

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I come from an opposite background, autocross and HPDE, where shocks are more important in almost every way than power. now, the less time the car spends transitioning, the less important shocks are and the more important steady-state suspension is (bars, springs, bushings etc) are. and autocross compared to road racing, the car spends much less time on track in transition, and much more time at steady state (or near) loading. that being said, if we spend thousands of dollars in search of a few HP on engines, there is probably speed to be also gained from setting up the shocks ideally. 

i just entered the class, and road racing in general. my car as i presume stock as delivered shocks, as i see no evidence of them being opened up. so its not an issue of my car needing new shocks to comply. just seems that if we have a massive thread on slots, then we should probably have a discussion about something far more complex and big of a rules change like shocks. 

my personal take on it, is that SCCA already has a spec for shock forces. if they want to make re valving illegal, a better plan is to simply tighten the shock specs, rather than mandate "as delivered" but thats just my simple man's opinion. 

I have no problem with those that have their shocks rebuilt, not sure why the SCCA wants to take the option away.  I am just trying to provide a little background to my real world experience with the shocks on these cars.  If like in the video, they could make a car 1 second faster they would be on all the top competitors cars, maybe even with multiple sets specifically valved for specific tracks.  Now that I think about it, maybe that is why they are taking it away.  I just won a well attended  race on a track that demands excellence out of suspension components with stock untouched shocks.  If any track would demand a superior shock it would be Sebring.  

 

My guess is it is a way to keep the masses from having to put "the best shock possible" on their car to "feel" competitive. 

 

Oh BTW, 3 HP difference here is a real and tangible deficit.


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#8
BNaumann

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Modified shocks have been illegal since day one under IIDSYCYC.
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#9
gerglmuff2

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I have no problem with those that have their shocks rebuilt, not sure why the SCCA wants to take the option away.  I am just trying to provide a little background to my real world experience with the shocks on these cars.  If like in the video, they could make a car 1 second faster they would be on all the top competitors cars, maybe even with multiple sets specifically valved for specific tracks.  Now that I think about it, maybe that is why they are taking it away.  I just won a well attended  race on a track that demands excellence out of suspension components with stock untouched shocks.  If any track would demand a superior shock it would be Sebring.  

 

My guess is it is a way to keep the masses from having to put "the best shock possible" on their car to "feel" competitive. 

 

Oh BTW, 3 HP difference here is a real and tangible deficit.

 

there are many reasons why a specific shock valving could be better, not the least of which is how a driver like his car to feel. if the shocks make it feel more stable and controllable, the driver can push harder etc etc. there are second order driver effects here to consider. there can be objective reasons, as imagine a more digressive piston over curbing would allow the tire to be contact with the road more, and thus put more power down earilier in a corner for example ...

 

it could be pure placebo effect as well. im not even claiming that re valving the shocks are objectively better, but i can see how they could be better. 

but its not as cut and dry as power is, more is always better. shocks are more complex than that.

 

Modified shocks have been illegal since day one under IIDSYCYC.

my understanding was that was the reason why SCCA made a shock force spec, rather than made this rule from the start. why have a shock force spec, if you can't modify them?


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#10
MPR22

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there are many reasons why a specific shock valving could be better, not the least of which is how a driver like his car to feel. if the shocks make it feel more stable and controllable, the driver can push harder etc etc. there are second order driver effects here to consider. there can be objective reasons, as imagine a more digressive piston over curbing would allow the tire to be contact with the road more, and thus put more power down earilier in a corner for example ...

 

it could be pure placebo effect as well. 

but its not as cut and dry as power is, more is always better. shocks are more complex than that.

 

my understanding was that was the reason why SCCA made a shock force spec, rather than made this rule from the start. why have a shock force spec, if you can't modify them?

One of the most attractive aspects of this class is the spec shock.  If we had adjustable shocks the costs would skyrocket.  If people feel they have to re-valve to be competitive then they will spend that money blindly.  I am as picky as it gets on car handling and again I tell you, the shocks are the least of my worries.      


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Tom Hampton

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my understanding was that was the reason why SCCA made a shock force spec, rather than made this rule from the start. why have a shock force spec, if you can't modify them?


Because, as it turns out, if you don't have a spec you can't tell if its been modified. The spec was created to define "unmodified"...not to define an allowable level of modification. A subtle, but important distinction. Nevertheless, one becomes equated with the other...because as with all things racing...there is such a thing as "optimally spec".


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#12
Tom Hampton

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I just won a well attended  race on a track that demands excellence out of suspension components with stock untouched shocks.  If any track would demand a superior shock it would be Sebring.


Oh really, which race was that?  :moon:

 

Very subtle. 


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#13
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So back when Bernie was still doing shocks...and I think he did a LOT...the selling point I remember was "smoothing" of the graph. I remember getting a before and after picture...was this of any benefit or snake oil? The difference between then and now is Bernie charged the same price to rebuild as it cost to buy new shocks! So for the same price you got a "smoother" shock...which I viewed as better...no idea if it was!

 

So now we have a shock builder that is very open about what he can do by rebuilding a shock...and more important it would seem he can do so completely within the CURRENT rules. I assume his shocks absolutely pass a dyno test otherwise his arguments are pointless. AND...there is no CURRENT rule that says the shocks cannot be opened or "rebuilt"....because as long as I have been in the class this has been offered and obviously no issues!!!!

 

So I ask myself...what is the motivation here with Bauer's rule change request???

 

IF the shocks are of NO advantage and pass any local shock dyno...are we trying to save people from spending their money unwisely??

 

IF the shocks DO improve performance...but that performance does not show up on a shock dyno(LEGAL shocks)...are we doing this so deep pockets can't buy a win(PRO motors ARE an advantage and technically all are LEGAL with the CURRENT rules)? Or have the powers that be SUDDENLY realized there is a loophole in the CURRENT rules and because they dont want to bother with the thought of internal shock inspections(unenforceable rule)?

 

First off...I think money(budget) needs to be off the table in these discussions because it is never applied equally...If rules are optional(but cost money) the budget racer complains. If the rule is optional(and cheap)but brings all racers closer in performance...those who have the advantage already thru their own development complain.

 

I would like the motivation of the rules makers here to be transparent before I make a decision on which way this should fall.

 

In Fatcats defense...he(and I'm sure others)as a PRO builder has optimized performance within the rules(just like any PRO engine builder)and his shocks PASS tech!

 

Weighing against Fatcat is how the CRB ruled on the STR dilemma at the 2014 runoffs. Basically parts were modified(material removed) that fell into the IIDSYCYC. Ironically I would expect none of those people who appealed that ruling at the 2014 runoffs to be against(fatcat or others) what is being discussed here if they are consistent. Either that or they realize now they were wrong and have changed their tune.

 

One of the arguments to keeping the STR legal was look at how many people will have to change their heads! So I ask, how many people will have to change their shocks if this goes thru? 

 

The next obvious question moving forward if this were to become law...can the layman see if a shock has been opened? Does it take an expert to notice? Do we have to consider buying SEALED shocks? 


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#14
BNaumann

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Wasn't the STR arguement standard machine shop practice? There is no standard practice to change the valve code when you rebuild a shock.

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Oh really, which race was that?  :moon:

 

Very subtle. 

It was subtle.  Not everyone knows me. 


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Tom Hampton

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It was subtle.  Not everyone knows me.



I agree. But...to know you is to....

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MPR22

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I agree. But...to know you is....

that actually might be a good poll question.  I think most people would be, I know him but I don't really have an opinion.  Who is he again? 


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gerglmuff2

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Because, as it turns out, if you don't have a spec you can't tell if its been modified. The spec was created to define "unmodified"...not to define an allowable level of modification. A subtle, but important distinction. Nevertheless, one becomes equated with the other...because as with all things racing...there is such a thing as "optimally spec".

 

i do not agree with the bolded. 

and if you do agree with the bolded, then the proposed rule change is unenforceable, as the rule is based on being able to tell if the shock is modified without measuring shock forces directly. and the obvious solution to that, if deemed true, is to refine the shock forces spec farther (which is what i agree with). 


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#19
Jim Drago

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 A few things.. 

 

Full disclosure:  I have run bone stock shocks from 2006-2015. I tried shocks revalved from a few vendors( not Fat Cat) given to me during that time and All SUCKED!  Lots of the new shocks were all over the place. I found someone I felt was knowledgeable and honest to send me a balanced set, NOT modified but were rebuilt with factory unmodified parts and all balanced and tested the same. I sent them in for testing AT SCCA and the curves are the same as stock, they passed. They passed again at a random compliance test at a super tour event.  I have run them in 2016-17 with no issues. 

 

On why,  I assume SMAC felt there was a problem and decided to change something which is what they should do. However, I think the current proposal is a VERY bad idea.  Asking John Bauer to look at a graph "shapes" basically and making a judgement call is not a good idea. Especially when we aren't using numbers and his decision is not appealable. The problem as described to me is that at higher inches per second testing the stock shocks are all over the place and they were unable to come up with a spec to encompass all, but the curves were similar.  I have no issue with people rebuilding the shocks, but IMO we should not be allowed to change the internals or modify parts. If we are no longer allowed to open, then I will run what they say as I can get there buying a few sets and testing them. 

 

As far as the video above.. What a condescending fluff piece... Obviously Shaikh has no clue what the members of this class want and he wants to sell his shock service which I don't have a problem with.  However, his claims are exaggerated, grossly exaggerated IMO.  I heard the same claims from Bernie at Stewart when I told him his shocks were terrible in my car. "I have been getting nothing but people telling me how great these shocks are"  My answer and unfortunately what I still believe, most in this class, yes MOST can't tell the difference and if something is "supposed" to be better and they paid a good biot of money for it... All of a sudden,  it is better, at least in their mind. :(

 

The 1 second a lap claim...   

Well p1-2 in qualifying this year in the biggest race EVER were both cars that I had built, both cars had out of the box NEVER touched or rebuilt shocks on them. If these or Any shocks provided a 1 sec per lap advantage, we would ALL have them even at $5000 a set. It would also show up BIG TIME. Does anyone stop and listen for a second and just think how silly these claims are? Especially when the top 15 cars were within a second? Or perhaps Chris and Preston would have had an additional second on the field if they ran those shocks?

 

Shaihk did a set of shocks for me for my 2002 STL Miata and IMO, they cost me the Runoffs win in 2013. I burned the tires off a miata in 3 laps.. At Road America no less! I had the lightest "handling car" at a track that doesn't wear tires.. yet I burned through mine in three laps and the heavy FWD civic and RX8 did not.  I probably just don't know how to properly set up or drive a miata. ;) Had I gone back and just run out of the box Billsteins I feel I would have a VERY good shot at the win and had I put real shocks on the car, IMO I would have won.  In all fairness to Shaikh, I should have put more time in testing and possibly sending back for different valving, but we were out of time.  But his first shot at these was way, way off, which was surprised me with his 'expertise and knowledge", the end result was a shock far worse than i sent off to be modified. 

 

So to the demeaning tone taken in the videos where I feel the entire class was being spoken down to by a self proclaimed expert who knows little of our class or racing in general.

 

I offer this challenge.. 

At ANY Super Tour test event test day in the 18 season... 

 

You pick any SM driver of the top 25 in supertour points in 2017..

We install the best shocks you can build that pass the current spec

We run two sessions on your shocks... two sessions on stock shocks..

No suspension or set up changes other than correcting toe.

 

If your shocks are faster by 1.0 second plus relative to the field average ( temp and track compensation)  I'll pay you $5000, if they aren't you pay me $5000.00 and look at how many shock rebuilds you will sell. 

 

You can structure the rules however you like as long as they encompass the general feel of what I mentioned above.. I'll provide all the labor and scales to verify set up and can give a list of drivers that would be more than willing to drive in this test. 

 

The entire shock deal is being blown out of proportion IMO 


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#20
Danica Davison

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The entire shock deal is being blown out of proportion IMO

 

Pun intended?


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