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Old 01-05-2013, 03:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Suspension mod ideas

I have been trying to determine what could be done to the I2 to improve ride comfort on choppy roads and came across this article http://www.rqriley.com/suspensn.htm. It was mentioned previously that the 2012 I2 changed some suspension components from steel to aluminum. After reading this article I believe the reason they did this was to decrease the unsprung weight of the car, thereby increasing the ratio of the sprung to unsprung weight. This supposedly improves the comfort of the ride. Some have posted that the I2 has a soft suspension because it leans on turns. However, I think the natural frequency of the car is actually closer to a sports car and this is why it has more of a choppy ride. A car can lean and still have a stiff suspension with respect to vertical forces. Apparently it is difficult to design a comfortable ride for a lightweight car (see the reasons in the article). We are quite happy with suspension modes we have made so far to our I2. However, I am looking for suggestions on how to enhance the ride further without lowering the car. I was hoping Koni or other quality shock/strut manufacturer would make some parts for the car. At this time only coilovers are available for the car and they all require some lowering. And I am not sure what coilovers would do for ride comfort, which according to the article requires a natural frequency for the car in the verticle direction of 1 to 1.5 cycles per second. I look forward to some ideas on this.

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Old 01-05-2013, 06:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think Honda just got the suspension backwards for the insight vs the crz. The crz is nice and spongie. I guess you could go back to stock springs, lower the tire psi and edit the bump stops. There are 2 6 inch ones in the rear shocks as well as the ones in the front shocks. I use to get a ache in my neck when I would go over certain bumps til I left only 2 inches of bump stop in the rear shocks. Its on the rod under the dust cover. You need to remove the shock, use a chisel to open up the collar then the assemble slides off from the top.

Now with the tanada df it is lower and when I removed the sub, amps and 4 kilowatt phev kit the ride soften up as its not ridinghte bump stops. I dont get the whip lash feel, but most moderate bumps are gone.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Cobb for the idea. However, I believe the mods you propose would work well for the case where the car is going over bumps at relatively low speeds. This is not an issue with our I2, especially with the suspension mods we have already made (rear sway bar, front lower type 2 arm bar, front strut tower bar). What I am looking to improve is the ride at say 30 to 70 mph over roads that are not smooth (such as the roads and freeways in Southern Ca). In this case there is very little vertical movement of the car and you are just dealing with the natural frequency of the car and the damping characteristics of the shocks/struts.

By the way I read in a Subaru forum that for some rally car setups it is advantageous to have the car lean a bit in turns. Apparently, these improves the control when going on dirt roads. So some Subaru rally cars are setup this way.

Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sounds like we are on 2 different pages. Can you give more examples of what you are talking about? My only compliant is that its not too stable above 80 mph. Its not the insights fault, my scion xa was like that too. It would drift 2 ft left or right for no reason at those speeds and I just assumed despite the springs, sway bars, etc, etc, etc it just air getting compressed up under the front of the car.

Maybe you can find a 11 or 12 insight that was wrecked at the local pick n pull and grab those parts? Maybe some of us can get lucky and buy one from an insurance co for 3 grand and start our own pnp selling parts online?



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Old 01-08-2013, 07:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb View Post
Sounds like we are on 2 different pages. Can you give more examples of what you are talking about? My only compliant is that its not too stable above 80 mph. Its not the insights fault, my scion xa was like that too. It would drift 2 ft left or right for no reason at those speeds and I just assumed despite the springs, sway bars, etc, etc, etc it just air getting compressed up under the front of the car.

Maybe you can find a 11 or 12 insight that was wrecked at the local pick n pull and grab those parts? Maybe some of us can get lucky and buy one from an insurance co for 3 grand and start our own pnp selling parts online?



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The car tracks very straight at high speeds (except if there is high lateral wind). The stock car before the mods we made had this issue. What I am talking about is generally described by reviewers of the I2 as a "choppy" ride. This is noticeable at night driving at say 30 mph where you have a slightly rough road. You will see the headlight beam patters move up and down very quickly. The car has a relatively high fundamental frequency, which is typical of a sports car or many lightweight cars.

I am quite happy with the ride in general, only trying to improve it. I am not sure the 2012 with its revised suspension, would be better than my modified 2010. One of the reasons the car tracks so straight is the addition of the Cusco front components. I was surprised how much the strut tower brace made to the handling of the car. It really stiffened up the chassis (adding some understeer). The rear PT sway bar (which you thankfully recommended) made the steering fairly car neutral. The Cusco front lower type 2 arm bar really stabilized the car over big bumps. While the strut tower brace further stiffened the car making it track very straight indeed. It is not so light on turns as with only the front lower arm bar and the PT rear sway bar. But at 80 mph it really tracks straight. And when you push the car around turns hard it actually is fairly neutral (just a bit of understeer and certainly less than the stock vehicle).

When we had the tires replaced, they checked the wheel alignment. There was 44K miles on the tires and the wheel alignment was exactly the same as when the first set of tires where installed, so perhaps the claim by Cusco that the lower arm bar helps with alignment has some validity. The Nokian's also add to the straight line stability of the car. I assume that the Yokohamas you have on your car are not the issue.

By the way there is a replacement for the Nokian WRG2 tire in Europe which we don't have in the US, which is called the WRA3. These have great reviews, even better than the G2s. Maybe some of our European insight owners are familiar with this tire. I believe that Nokian even makes a tire that fits the I1. With its low rolling resistance it may be an alternative the OEM Bridgestones that I see everyone on the Insight 1 forum recommends (RE92), a tire I am familiar with as it comes standard on many Subarus I have owned.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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In that case its the shock valving. I guess you can try shocks for a lighter vehicle. I guess the Fits are one option that maybe close or better yet, maybe there are some sport ones out there with adjustments?

Yeah, I am happy with the way the car corners and with the Egr blocker plate it has mo steam for getting out of turns, but its still a little lacking. I imagine 5-12 psi of boost will fix that.


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