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Discussion Starter #41
Ahnuld, don't cheap out on shocks. At the very least, stick with the factory style Bilsteins.

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Wow robotech! I can't thank you enough for taking the time to write out all of this information! This is really an awesome writeup.. should be a "sticky" for all to read

My apologies for not getting back to this sooner.

Going back to re-read your commentary.
:grin:
 

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First 2000 Sr. Member
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Discussion Starter #42
Ahnuld
If I remember correctly you are not too far from me. I have swapped out suspensions so many times on our kappa's that I am pretty quick and efficient. If you get some replacement parts and want help, feel free to drive over to my place. I have the tools and space

Thank you for the suggestions... and the offer to help!
I just may take you up on that!

I am going to go with new shocks. Just got a nice quote. Once I pull the trigger i'll reach out to you and see if we can coordinate a time, and compensation for your time!
 

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For those so-inclined, the book "Performance Handling" by Don Alexander is something you might like. My copy to pretty old (90's), and you can get it for less than a buck. Mr. Alexander has some other books out there along the same lines. Some newer.

One of the difficulties with doing the math is determining the height of the center of gravity of the vehicle distributed along its length (to determine the CG axis).
As a working model, you may presume that the CG axis is higher in the back (but how much higher?)

What you can do is learn the effect(s) of a change is likely to cause.

The good thing for Kappa owners is that it has a very good chassis to work with. Outside of our forums it takes a lot of hits for being a parts-bin car, etc.
But the chassis and basic suspension design is really good (IMHO). You know, because I am an expert after reading the book.....
 

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As for the different parts of your suspension, here's a quick rundown:

Springs - These are the part most people are familiar with. These are coiled springs in our cars (other cars like trucks may have leaf springs...VW Bugs had torsion bar springs...there are a lot of different "springs" but our Kappas have coil springs). Their job is to carry the weight of the car while allowing the suspension to move up and down. How much they allow up and down movement depends on the rating of the spring. A "heavier" spring rate will resist motion more than a "lighter" spring rate. A heavier rate will let the car roll less in the corners but will result in a harsher ride while the opposite is true of lighter spring rates.

Shocks - Also called dampers. The job of the shocks is to absorb the energy transferred to the suspension by road forces and the springs of the suspension. When a spring is compressed, energy is stored in the spring. When you release that energy, the spring is going to expand past it's original position. As it slows, it now wants to return to it's resting pos...
That entire breakdown was great, one of the better written explanations of things that I've seen.
 
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