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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone done any thing to their stock shocks. Replacing, moding? I was only wondering if any one makes a replacement shock that may help in Autoxing events. I need to stay with something close to stock that may have some adjustability, like KONI's yellow shock. Also I was wondering if the Insight has a front sway bar and if so is there any aftermarket replacement sway bar.

Thanks.
 

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The Insight does have a front sway bar.
But since less then a handful of Insight owners seem to race their cars nobody makes any aftermarket parts for the car.
 

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This may be your best bet for getting adjustable shocks for the Insight:
KONI wet kit conversion
KONI can fabricate anything you may need. We can take your existing strut housings and install our internals; we refer to this as a wet kit. We can make a wet kit single adjustable or double adjustable depending on your budget. We can convert the strut body to utilise a coil-over sleeve or we can modify the housing to meet specific needs. KONI can also fabricate shocks or strut inserts. Let us know your needs and we can give you a cost.
http://www.koniracing.com/autocrossitems.html

Please let us know when you get a quote because I may be interested and i'm sure there are others....
 

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I have researched and found nothing for our insight !
Perhaps, with a group buy, we can have a suspension set up custom made for our insight from a manufacturer.

I know that Gold-Line make a custom application for a Acura RSX with Club RSX, perhaps they can make the same for us...

I think that all of the major manufacturer will custom an application for our insight, but at what price ? Koni, Tein, Tanabe, B&G, Eibach, H&R, FK and the list goes on ......

What would be the base of such a suspension, some would prefere xtra stiff, some, like me, would prefer a nice balance between confort and performance as the roads in Quebec are pretty bad...
would it be ajustable to suit anyones need, daily driving during the week and autocrossing during the weekend !

Would it be standard configuration or coil over.....

For sure we would want to correct the rear suspension bottoming

Many questions about this, what do you think about this !
 

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These are the front dampers to get if they fit:
We need someone with an extra Insight strut to cut it open and measure the internals. Or at least measure the external dimensions to see if there is hope.
http://www.koniracing.com/8610.html
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I got a reply from KONI. They sent me to a guy here in California. I have sent him an email. KONI basically said that due to limited number of Insights they didn't think it would be a good business decision to do the necessary research for the Insight. Although they seemed to think that this guy could do the job. Once I get a reply from the new contact I will let everyone know what I found out.

On another note have you changed your alingment Guillermo? If so what do you have it set at?

Mike
 

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I bought the "crash bolts" mentioned in the service manual.
They allowed my alignment shop to get -0.9 degrees of camber and some reasonable toe out in the front for better handling. There is no alignment adjustments for the rear but they are already at -2 degrees of camber from the factory :twisted:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Crap -2 at the rear from the factory. That is awesome. No wonder this thing handles so well stock.
 

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Im not very experianced at suspension setup. But I do know a good bit aboutspring mass damper systems! When you get your shocks changed, are you also planning on changing your springs.... ovecourse you always want to avoid and underdamped system, but if you make your shocks stiffer without changing your springs, you may end up with a severly over damped system. That can result in poor rise time and sluggish suspension response. In general you add stiffer springs to compliment you stiffer shocks.

Ok, purely from an engineering stand point (as my driving experiance is not nearly enough to justify these comments)


assuming you got a set of widely adjustable shocks and matched them with decent springs. You could vary the shock stiffness from stock to "solid metal bar" ... lets make your test track an autocross course.


at stock you are slightly underdamped (i.e. ossiclations) so stiffening up your shock will bring you to a critically damped situation. This should basically remove your ossilations and get your settled more quickly. In a turn this is going to mean that you are going to settle into your final body position more quickly. But as the system will be adjusting more rapidly, your transient grip will go down! This could give some novice drivers trouble because novices tend to have poor driver input smoothness which results in bad transitions between turns.... ultimately you end up in a transient situation longer and will have less grip during it.
However you also end up getting back to settled faster and hence will have more grip for longer assuming you know how to drive the car there. The question is... do you have the experiance to handle the transient situation so that you can get the car setteled (through use of good throttle and steering inputs going into and during the turn) and make use of that grip.
So basically as you increase the shock's damping ratio you are going to make the car increasingly more "twitchy" so to speak as you will get quicker response to your inputs. This can be both good and bad depending on your driver skill. Then as you further increase the damping ratio past critically damped you start to losse suspension response.
and you get back toward slower transition times. In smoother pavement situations this can be good. On a track, where you suspension disturbances are few, you can afford to have sluggish response times ... it keeps your wheels planeted better! but on a typical autocross with parkinglot conditions... one pothole means your spining out or wheel hoping because your suspension didnt absorbe the disturbance enough!


But there are other issues at play here. The above situation basically assumes a single spring mass damper system. Howver your car happens to be sitting on 4 spring mass damper systems. To further make things worse... the two in the front and the two in the back are each coupled by the use of swaybars (acts as a tortional spring between left and right) and then you have wieght transfer issues between front to back and left to right as you account for body roll and weight transfer as a result of throttle/break inputs......

good rules of thumb for body roll and weight transfer are:

Stiffer springs mean less body roll... but require stiffer shocks to keep the system response proper

The best way to deal with poor weight transfer is to properly distribute the weight of the car (the insight does a fairly good job from what i can gather.... although its not mid-engine)

The other way to deal with weight transfer is to learn how to make smooththrottle inputs and clean/smoot turn transitions.

ok so if you have read this far... your thinking so what?

What im gettin at is that really your suspension setup depends on your driver skill combined with certain unchanging characteristics of the car, and alot of personal preferance. There are far to many variables here to simply guess at what shock stiffness and spring combinations to use. Testing would be required to get it right. That is why Koni doesnt want to make us anything. They would have to buy a car and mess around to get a good setup! That would take time and money... with little market for the result because there simply are not enough insights!

In my limited experiance its rare to find people requesting their own specs for suspension for cars.... as to get it right would mean you already knew the answer from alot of testing and that would mean you already had the setup you needed (or close to it and your tweaking!)

In general you find ready made kits that people have found worked well with some adjustablility built in for personal preferance!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Justin,

I agree with most all of your comments and observations. You're absolutly correct that what we are talking about here is not for the average daily driver. I have been doing autox events for about 4 years. I have driven anything from The Insight to 350Z's, to G35 Sedans. Every car has "Factory" settings that can be improved upon.

The G35 that I was driving prior to the Insight had a "tuned" suspension. I was running the Eibach prokit springs, and the Eibach adjustable sway bars. The nice thing about "tuned" suspensions is just that, the manufacture gives some adjustability to the driver to suit their driving style. Some people prefer soft set ups, where I prefer a more stiff set up.

It isn't always necessary to change shocks and springs at the same time. What I'm trying to do in this post is get an idea of what kind of adjustability would be optimal for the Insight in my situation and the situation of other Insight owners that AutoX or do track events. As you are aware the Insight has no sway bars. So to stiffen up the ride I was looking into shocks first.

Does anyone know the weight rate of the stock springs? How about the stock shocks, who makes them? Honda? This info will be necessary in future development of a new adjustable shock and possible springs. The problem with doing springs is you risk being moved to another class in autoxing. Shocks you can get away with if they don't alter ride height.

My intention of this post wasn't to try and address any inherient ride charateristics of the stock Insight. I'm looking to change the handeling characteristics of Insight for purely "sport" driving. :twisted:
 

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Commuter,
The insight does have a front sway bar. It does not technicaly have a rear sway bar. But one look at the rear suspension should confirm that in fact it is a giant sway bar all to itself!

If you want to tune the handling of your Insight i would definitely start with installing the crash bolts in the front end that allow for some extra camber and toe in....

I too have autocrossed a few time, although only in my buddies miata. I have not yet taken my insight to the events though. From simple driving though, the handling on the insight seems extreamly neutral. I would be very careful when you change you dampers... the front end has a mcpherson strut setup. Changing the front shocks could mean that you will loose that neutral handling. Stiffer Front dampers should bias the grip toward the rear somewhat.

http://www.insightcentral.net/encyclope ... nsion.html

there is a picture of hte front suspension setup. You can see the swaybar .... if you are looking for a tweak i would start there! Look into getting a stiffer sway bar... or maybe trying to make an adapter plate to make this one adjustable!
 

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i will look in my service manual for you when i get home....
 

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commuter,
the bolts according to the repair manual are Part Number: Part Number 90117-S3Y-900

You should be able to oder them at any honda dealership... or majestic honda.

You will need four of them. Two for each wheel. The manual says you can get up to another degree of camber from these.

The toe in is controled by adusting bolts on the rack...

Dont do the adjustments yourself... take it to either a dealership or your local alignment guy who you trust. Just bring him the bolts. He will know what to do!
 

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JustinGray said:
. take it to either a dealership or your local alignment guy who you trust. Just bring him the bolts. He will know what to do!
You have to request that you want - 1 degrees of camber in the front.
Make sure the alignment shop is willing to try what you want, some places are nervous about not setting everything into the middle of the factory settings.

Most cars have toe in for stability, Insights have zero toe for fuel efficiency. But Toe in on the front wheels provides better turn-in responce and handling for those that don't mind a twitchier ride and more tram lining.
It has been well worth it in my car. :twisted: +
 

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Wow, that's a really bizarre front swaybar arrangement. I guess I haven't gotten around to getting my head under there on my car since I bought it six months ago. I was going to suggest finding some harder polyeurethane bushings to firm up the swaybar action, but I see now that nothing universal will fit. Is the Insight swaybar arrangement anything like other Hondas/Accuras? Would any other bushings fit? I read something awhile back about making your own poly bushings, so maybe that's the way to go here.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well the guy got in contact with me via email. He sounds pretty knowledgable about cars in general. He has driven an Insight and is somewhat familiar with the car. I told him to come to Insight Central. net to take a look at the encyclopedia to get familiar with the suspension and how the car works in general. He seems really interested in trying to improve the handleing (of course he is that's how he makes his money). We are suppose to meet some time next week to see what we can do. He has asked to get a set of stock shocks for dimensions and all. Does anyone have an extra set? If so I could use them and then return them after he gets the measurements. Let me know.

Mike
 
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