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Home > Help Needed / General Tech Chat > Suspension Damper selection

Graham T

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Hungerford, Berks

Guy’s,

Quick question which is possibly fairly basic, but something I’d never looked into before…
On all the “standard” Mini’s I have ever been involved in rebuilding, we have always used “budget” dampers on the suspension set up. (my coupe included).
I’ve just finished putting together my shopping list for the subframes, but I’m questioning damper selection.

Are there any benefits to fitting adjustable dampers on a road car? And is more expensive better in this case?

I’m just trying to get a feel for cost over advantage, before I buy cheaper when I should have gone more expensive, or even the other way around.
I was looking at a basic Koni model, for example from Minispares - C-STR1794 which would work out at roughly £320 for the car set and appear to not be adjustable, but I also read on this forum that Protech are good at around £238 for the car set.

EDIT - Got caught out with the VAT on the Protech site: £285 for the car set...



New rubber cones all round.
all new suspension and steering components.
Adjustable ride height cones.
Rose joint lower arms and tie bars on the front.
Solid mounted front subframe, poly bushed rear subframe.
Camber and toe adjustment for the rear.
12” rims and probable Yoko A539’s.

Any advice greatly received.


Thanks

Edited by Graham T on 12th Apr, 2021.

’77 Clubman build thread
http://www.turbominis.co.uk/forums/index.php?p=vt&tid=618189

Siamese 5 port EFI testing
http://www.turbominis.co.uk/forums/index.php?p=vt&tid=611675


shane

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Lowestoft, Suffolk.

Whilst trying to get to the bottom of some handling issues late last year/early this year I made the transition form Gaz adjustables to Protect ones. Not only was I surprised with the quality difference the shocks are leagues apart in operation.
Ive not ran a standard shock on the car in over 15 years nor driven one with standard shocks with decent HP to comment on the advantages/disadvantages.
I'm having an alignment and the corner weighting completed on the 21st so should be able to offer more feedback after.

Shane


e5tus

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284 Posts
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Dorset

I ran standards (Monroe I think?) for many years, but bottomed out with passengers or weight in the car (12" at the time). Switched to Spax adjustables (when I moved onto 13") and they were ok for a few years but I had a couple leak. I replaced them with Gaz adjustables and they have faired well.

I'm refreshing some of the surrounding components soon, trying to get my head around the available damper lengths and mounts to figure out what to run with a switch to 10". My thoughts were Protech too, but I'm a long way from decided. Hoping to pick some experienced brains when I'm at the dyno next week.


R.Rodrigues

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Algarve/Portugal

Couple of years ago I change the GAZ adjustable, which I hate, to Kayaba AGX and what a difference, much more stable and less bumpy.


Graham T

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568 Posts
Member #: 1106
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Hungerford, Berks



On 12th Apr, 2021 shane said:
Whilst trying to get to the bottom of some handling issues late last year/early this year I made the transition form Gaz adjustables to Protect ones. Not only was I surprised with the quality difference the shocks are leagues apart in operation.
Ive not ran a standard shock on the car in over 15 years nor driven one with standard shocks with decent HP to comment on the advantages/disadvantages.
I'm having an alignment and the corner weighting completed on the 21st so should be able to offer more feedback after.

Shane




Did you get to having the alignment, corner weighting and tracking done?
If so, have you had a chance to drive out yet to test it?




On 12th Apr, 2021 e5tus said:
I ran standards (Monroe I think?) for many years, but bottomed out with passengers or weight in the car (12" at the time). Switched to Spax adjustables (when I moved onto 13") and they were ok for a few years but I had a couple leak. I replaced them with Gaz adjustables and they have faired well.

I'm refreshing some of the surrounding components soon, trying to get my head around the available damper lengths and mounts to figure out what to run with a switch to 10". My thoughts were Protech too, but I'm a long way from decided. Hoping to pick some experienced brains when I'm at the dyno next week.



Did you get to pick the experienced brains?



Thanks Guy’s.

’77 Clubman build thread
http://www.turbominis.co.uk/forums/index.php?p=vt&tid=618189

Siamese 5 port EFI testing
http://www.turbominis.co.uk/forums/index.php?p=vt&tid=611675


e5tus

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284 Posts
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Senior Member

Dorset

I did, one was on coils but his other car was on protechs, standard length shocks but with the lowered upper mount.

I'm going to throw my brakes, wheels and new cones on with the shocks i've got in June, then play around with height as needed. Will report back if i start bottoming out the shock


wolfie

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Somewhere around Swindon

I took a set of protech dampers off a friends TVR a few years ago as one had a problem, even though they were a good few years old they rebuilt them free while i waited.

Crystal Sound Audio said:

Why wolfie...you should have your name as Fuckfaceshithead !


"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely
foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."-Douglas Adams


Yo-Han

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North of the Netherlands

IIRC these were also recommended bij Keith Calver many years ago.


On 13th Apr, 2021 R.Rodrigues said:
Couple of years ago I change the GAZ adjustable, which I hate, to Kayaba AGX and what a difference, much more stable and less bumpy.

Dazed and Confused....


Rod S

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Formally Retired

Rural Suffolk

On 12th Apr, 2021 Graham T said:

New rubber cones all round.


IMO the choice of springs (yes, I know most people call them cones or donuts but they are actually springs) is more important than the "dampers".

The rubber (real or synthetic) used in the various versions has/have immense self dampening qualities, the physical "dampers" just fine tune it. And there are many versions of the "cones" available

It may be over fifty years ago but Isigoness chose rubber for a reason on a small light car. His original concept was hydrolastic (still rubber springs but hydraulicly linked front to rear) but he couldn't get that developed in time so it came later. The "dampers" on the hydrolastic cars were just for show because BMC didn't think they could sell a car without them....

Schrödinger's cat - so which one am I ???


theoneeyedlizard

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The Boom Boom speaker Police!

Essex

I’ve not had a load of experience in this area, but my car had always had Gaz dampers and I bloody hated them, especially the rears. They just seemed so stiff/crashy.

Swapping to Protechs was night and day. As above the quality of build and performance is amazing for the price.

In the 13's at last!.. Just


e5tus

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Dorset

Well, I tell a lie, stripped the back down to fit new arm assembly and I didn't have Gaz on the rears, I still had Spax.



I know I replaced the fronts in 2016 with Gaz so guess it was the front's that leaked. Whilst it's apart I'll throw shocks on the rear, gone for Protechs. Whilst I wait for them to arrive, I'm going to look and see if current arch mountings would clear tubbed arches. Not looking to go really low, just stop the arch interfering with new tyres at a sensible height.


Graham T

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568 Posts
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Hungerford, Berks

Thank's for the input all.

Based on the feedback, I've bought Protech too.

I manged to pick up a car set for £260 including VAT in the end, so not as bad as I thought.

’77 Clubman build thread
http://www.turbominis.co.uk/forums/index.php?p=vt&tid=618189

Siamese 5 port EFI testing
http://www.turbominis.co.uk/forums/index.php?p=vt&tid=611675


robert

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uranus



On 24th May, 2021 Graham T said:
Thank's for the input all.

Based on the feedback, I've bought Protech too.

I manged to pick up a car set for £260 including VAT in the end, so not as bad as I thought.



prob cheaper cos they did not want you in the shop with that skin condition graham ?

Edited by robert on 25th May, 2021.

Medusa + injection = too much torque for the dyno ..https://youtu.be/qg5o0_tJxYM


Graham T

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568 Posts
Member #: 1106
Post Whore

Hungerford, Berks




On 25th May, 2021 robert said:




prob cheaper cos they did not want you in the shop with that skin condition graham ?



It is either that or when I open the box I find that there are 4 old ones in there off of a scrap car.

’77 Clubman build thread
http://www.turbominis.co.uk/forums/index.php?p=vt&tid=618189

Siamese 5 port EFI testing
http://www.turbominis.co.uk/forums/index.php?p=vt&tid=611675


robert

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uranus

that was a typo related joke in case you missed it *wink*

Medusa + injection = too much torque for the dyno ..https://youtu.be/qg5o0_tJxYM

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