My 2 cents worth:
I went into today with a negative attitude on this program. After seeing the drawings and hearing the statements from Mazda, Penske and drivers I trust (Todd lamb and Randy Pobst) I feel this is a positive step forward. Is it perfect? Probably not, but I won't let forward progress be stopped by the search for perfection.
Info I think is 100%:
Cost on a new build will only increase around $300.
Cost to upgrade $1050 for parts, about $300 for labor plus a full scale/allignment. You actual costs may vary
Uses the same springs, sway bars and coil over sleeves. This is not a threaded body shock. I assume part of this is to keep costs down.
Uses a standard NB shock hat with a slight modification.
Eliminates the Fat Cat style bump stop we are currently using. The Penske kit is cheaper than the Fat Cat version.
Uses spherical balls for both upper and lower mounts
Shocks will be servicable by Penske only. Rebuild cost $100 (labor, seals small parts) if not damaged. That is about the same as buying a new Bilstein.
Tech will be easy. The shock is crimped together, so opening the shock will be very noticable.
The gain from modifying will be much smaller. If our current shocks are "this far from perfect" (hold your hands 3 feet apart) The new ones will be only "this far from perfect" (hold hand 3 inches apart). The improvement from Penske spec to "perfect" will be so small it will not be worth the effort. In theory, reducing the desire the cheat.
Penske shocks are high quality, they know what they are doing.
I currently own 8 SM's. So eventually I will spend $8k to convert. I feel this will be a positive step in the long run for the class as a whole. And that is where we need to concentrate.
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