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Author Topic: Proposed Shock Hat / Bumpstop Solution
POWERSS Verified Driver
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Is it at all possible that you have pulled the shock rod through the hat by overtightening the nut on top rubber bushing attaching the shock to the shock hat?

There have been alot of procedures I have seen to just get the nut started to thread if you do not cut the top rubber bushing to get the nut started.

I would think those forces are much higher than the damping forces usually encountered.

These shocks have releatively low compression damping compared to many other shocks I have seen.

I'll try to get the actual compression damping forces at high speed from our MTS shock dyno to see.

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2009 SOPAC Division Champion

Matt Johnson Verified Driver
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That is entirely posable - and at a minimum it is a large factor... but the current rules do not allow the bushing to be cut down, so to be legal that is what you are forced to do.

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Matt Johnson
1990 SM #73 - yet another red miata.

Drago Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Johnson:
I personally think that we have to collectively ask ourselves what we want to achieve; new parts for everyone to make the whole system better or patch up what we have to make it live or live with what we have?

I couldn't agree more. From what I have heard, most of the larger budget guys want it fixed, not patched. But the majority want the cheapest solution possible that requires the least work on their part. I like the system from fat kat, I just installed on ITA car, but too expensive for SM.
Personally, if this is the box I am working in.. I say we should allow modification of the AWR bump stop as long as it is not shortened. If made a little narrower and the glue broken, It wll stay firmly against the shock hat. Then you add a .29 washer under the stop and you no longer need the spacers either. If we are going after cheap.. That is as cheap and as effective as you can get with the AWR stops IMO.

If we want a solution. I think I laid one out but need a better stop. I will test the urethane upper spring retainer with a fat cat stop and see what I find. If the system works well and something we want to do, it needs support. I will put up a poll once I have tested and see what we come up with. If it has some support, someone can send in a letter to SMAC. I can't and wont push my own ideas through SMAC, it has to be sent in by someone else and only if it has support
Jim

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Jim Drago
East Street Auto Salvage
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Slow Ride
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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Johnson:
That is entirely posable - and at a minimum it is a large factor... but the current rules do not allow the bushing to be cut down, so to be legal that is what you are forced to do.

This seems to be a major safety issue. Nothing like loosing your shock at that fast right hander at (insert your track here) and putting the car in the wall. The first person to be injured due to the slow motion action of the sanctioning body to resolve a safety issue that the sanctioning body is in control of could hold said sanctioning body culpable. I'm told a "good" attorney can punch a hole in any contract, or disclaimer.

I don't recall any rules that require you to replace worn bushings. Now what about excessive wear to the bushing by it's close proximity to a belt sander?

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jigou Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Slow Ride:
quote:
Originally posted by Matt Johnson:
That is entirely posable - and at a minimum it is a large factor... but the current rules do not allow the bushing to be cut down, so to be legal that is what you are forced to do.

This seems to be a major safety issue. Nothing like loosing your shock at that fast right hander at (insert your track here) and putting the car in the wall. The first person to be injured due to the slow motion action of the sanctioning body to resolve a safety issue that the sanctioning body is in control of could hold said sanctioning body culpable. I'm told a "good" attorney can punch a hole in any contract, or disclaimer.

I don't recall any rules that require you to replace worn bushings. Now what about excessive wear to the bushing by it's close proximity to a belt sander?

If anyone is concerned about their safety when running the new hat setup, I'd like to point out that the old setup is still perfectly legal.

Jarrod

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quote:
Originally posted by Slow Ride:

I'm told a "good" attorney can punch a hole in any contract, or disclaimer.

Well the standard waiver you sign at any SCCA race is pretty iron clad. In fact several years ago our region and virtually every officer was sued after a racing incident at turn one, lap one at Mid-Ohio when a driver was involved in a horrific accident that resulted in the loss of both legs. To boil it down the waiver he signed held up over and over in the original case and appeals. He himself was an attorney and he brought in high powered guns as well. That was just one example, but that case can be cited and sets a precedent for others. Its a very well written waiver and thats the reason SCCA is so hard on those that try and enter an event without signing the waiver (see the most recent Fastrack court case). as always though YMMV.

db

Slow Ride
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Please read the second sentence in my "disclaimer".

I think each of us knows the risks we take when we strap on the car. I doubt that most of us couldn't keep the car under control. I remember a post by someone that basically stated they were running around with a shock that had no dampening for a while and didn't know it until some maintenance came due.

All of us would like to see the issue resolved and I think there are some good choices here. The big question is whether we spend $0.29 per corner, $140, or $450 for the solution.

Someone also stated that they believe the amount of force to compress the bushing is the root cause. Anyone care to do a failure analysis of whether it was from the bushing compression or the shock dampening? Maybe it's a combination of the two.

The problem I see with the washer, is it would require more compression of the already difficult job of compressing the bushing. Maybe excessive wear is a good thing on the bushing.

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No matter where you go, there you are.

Motor City Hamilton
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Before you post the poll, should we try to agree on the options to go into the poll?

1. Thick washer inside/under bump stop.
2. Run spacer that comes with shocks and cut upper rubber bushing in half.
3. Come up with a new bump stop and hat to fit the car and current shock package.
4. ???

Shaikh_A
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I am preparing a set of shock mounts for Drago, and already sent one to George at Eurosport for evaluation in his fleet of Specs. I appreciate your consideration and let's see how the actual parts work in your environment.

I wish I'd gotten involved sooner but apparently it's not too late to help provide a good solution. Problems like rod push-through NEVER happen with our kits unless someone actually forgets the install the (supplied) lower bushing. Also, it would seem a step backward to use a band-aid method for adapting 99 shock mounts when a proven solution exists, with 3 years of results for hundreds of cars. I'm confident that track testing in a Spec will bear this out.

It's in my best interest as a business owner to make sure the kit is reliable and delivers results. I've had the time to continually improve the design over the years because I simply obssess over the Miata's suspension! The extensive development and testing I've performed and fact that this is the best-engineered solution I have seen to date, make it a strong candidate for a 'spec kit'.

For those curious about the genesis of the FCM shock mounts and bump stops, you can view some early testing/photos of the Miata suspension travel and interference points on my Cardomain page. The main website gets my attention now.

Shaikh

Shaikh_A
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quote:
Originally posted by Drago:
quote:
Originally posted by Matt Johnson:
[qb] I personally think that we have to collectively ask ourselves what we want to achieve; new parts for everyone to make the whole system better or patch up what we have to make it live or live with what we have?

I couldn't agree more. From what I have heard, most of the larger budget guys want it fixed, not patched. But the majority want the cheapest solution possible that requires the least work on their part. I like the system from fat kat, I just installed on ITA car, but too expensive for SM.
I'm looking at the best pricing I can offer on the full kit to adapt 99 shock mounts to Spec Miatas. and am confident this will be accessible to the Spec Racer, for less than the cost of one tire.

Please correct me if my understanding/proposal doesn't jive with your situation:

-Most Spec racers already have the 99 shock mounts or can get them directly from Mazda Motorsports so we wouldn't need to supply that part. I think the price is about $14 each?

-The FCM upgrade kit for Spec Miatas would be purchased through our website.

I have a few more quotes coming in from suppliers, but I am fairly certain I can keep our complete kit cost around $125 and S&H at $10. That's about 50% less than retail price.

This provides a TOTAL solution to make your 99 hats work properly with NO rod push through issues, proper MCU bump stops sized for the Spec spring rates (gains of over 1.5" of suspension travel, better predictability, reliability and longevity vs the old rubber design), a high-strength urethane spring isolators, durable stamped aluminmum washers to load the lowering bushings, stamped 18/8 washers to load the upper bushings, and machined 4140 steel shoulder nuts to tighten the whole assembly down.

Proposed contents:

-Upper and lower MCU bushings
-Spring isolator, 95A
-Stamped aluminmum washer, used with spring isolator
-Upper M14 fender washer
-M10 shoulder/shock nut
-36mm or similar length MCU bump stop

Loctite 242 wouldn't be supplied unless deemed critical - I figure most racers or shops have that readily available. It's what we use to secure the shock nut.

This really is the right way to do it and the cost will be VERY reasonable (a steal really!) given the large order quantities I'm expecting to see. There is plenty of great history on how well our FCM mounts work and the Spec cars deserve a well-engineered solution, that we can provide very affordably, not just a band-aid.

Let my experience help give you the right, final solution to your problem.

Shaikh
408-221-8247

Casey Z Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Shaikh,

Assume the solution you are looking at is the same as the photo's you posted in the first page of the thread?

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Z Brothers Racing / East Street Auto

Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
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Shaikh_A
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Casey,

Yes, from my first post in this thread.

A few components will change slightly. Upper nut will become black oxide 4140 steel instead of the stainless we're now using. The red anodized lower cupped washer will not be cupped moving forward. A flat, stamped part will be work fine.

I'm also having the MCU bushings custom-cast, to be truly drop-in. Again, cost and time savings during installation, better able to meet growing demand.

Shaikh

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Has there been any progress on this issue? Do we have a final solution yet? Or are we still in the beta phase?

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Sphinx Racing
Atlanta Region
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Support our racing efforts by shopping at your favorite online merchants at SphinxRacing.com!

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Drago said it is in front of the SMAC now. Hopefully we will hear something soon. I wouldn't expect a rule change till after the runoff's.

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Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
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Drago Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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Small Update
Last night SMAC legalized another bandaid to put on top of our current bandaid. The small washer that many are using on the shock rod in order to help the shock rod from pushing threw the bumpstop washer passed threw SMAC and should be legal before the Runoffs.
We also are looking at the Fat cat setup and things look promising, other SMAC members are looking at the setup, we are putting it out for member input and if all goes well, this set up will be sold by Mazda and become part of the kit.
Most likley sunsetting the old setup entirely.
This will go out for member input, so please send input in when it comes up!
Jim

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Jim Drago
East Street Auto Salvage
jdrago1@aol.com
2006-2007 Mid-West Division
07,09 June Sprints Champion

EAST STREET RACING

David Dewhurst
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Jim, thanks for your time, $$$ & effort. I am not unhappy with the effort forwarded by Jim. I am miffed because with the 99 shock hat package failures to date the potential options & or options test results are not open to the Spec Miata car owners/drivers.

There is no open discussion on the Spec Miata site since 8/5/08. [Frown] 1,500 Spec Miata's out there & 6 SMAC membes make our decisions. Are these SMAC the same folks who made the previous 99 shock hat decisions?

Shared knowledge is wealth to all. [Smile]

Why are WE waiting for a member input request to discuss our input?

Over my 10 plus years of driving SCCA cars I have written maybe 3 to 4 letters on different subjects to the CRB. If I was a fast learner I would have got the message after the first letter. [Wink] After 4 letters I don't write letters to the CRB/SMAC. [Smile]

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Have Fun [Wink]

David Dewhurst
CenDiv
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quote:
Originally posted by David Dewhurst:
After 4 letters I don't write letters to the CRB/SMAC. [Smile]

But you are happy to throw them under the bus in this forum? Hmm... [scratchchin]

Go look at the threads that are out there asking for input and ideas. There is a place to comment and offer suggestions there. I believe what the SMAC is considering is at least based on what was posted and discussed here. Also, you are getting feedback directly from SMAC members in this very thread, the day after their meeting for goodness sakes. Let's give them a break on this one.

Also, the SMAC doesn't make the rules, the CRB does. SMAC just makes recommendations based on our input and their own research. How about we understand the process before we go off on it? Just saying...

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Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
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David - I think you will find there was allot of open discussion on the topic if you go and look for it.

But here is a little recap for you so you won't have to look to hard.

NASA made the change first - A multiple page thread followed and a very lively and public discussion followed. The masses demanded that the SCCA follow suit so the cars would be legal in both series without having to make changes to the cars between week ends.

The SCCA followed NASA as the drivers demanded and made the 99 upper shock mounts legal for all the cars.

Early in the season a pretty public failure of an upper shock mount started another lengthy public discussion (thread) about what could or should be done to fix the obvious flaw in the 99 upper shock mount system we were given.

Jim and a couple others took it upon themselves to figure out a way to fix the problem without it costing us all a fortune and yet another lengthy public discussion (thread) developed to talk about said cure.

Here we are now it has been discussed openly on multiple threads on multiple web sites, it looks like a good fix has been found that is reasonably priced, we have been advised that our opinion on the proposed fix will be requested but David says he won't write the CRB and make his opinion known because in the past it didn't work out for him.

Well, that's Ok if he or others don't write in to tell the CRB what then they want then have no one to blame if the result is not what they wanted.

Jim - Please advise us when the subject is open for input so those of us that will write the CRB can make our opinions known.

Thanks for the hard work guys.


MZ

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Well said Zwoelle!
It will be out for input in the next Fastrak, but you can send it now if you like.

The reason for the member input is because of the mistakes/problems that were encountered with the shock hat changes and solutions. We want to do this one more time if humanly possible and get it right.
As far as the 6 guys making a decision for 1500. We ask for the input to see what the general feeling of the membership is. If the majority of the input is in one direction, we rarely if ever go against that input. Perfect example is the spec tire, I think all of us, or perhaps all of us less one are for OPEN tire in SM. But the majority of the class and input is for a Spec tire, thus the spec tire rule.
Hope that helps, I certainly understand the frustration
Jim

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Jim Drago
East Street Auto Salvage
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2006-2007 Mid-West Division
07,09 June Sprints Champion

EAST STREET RACING

Dusty Bottoms Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
99 all the way!

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Well said Casey, Mark, and Jim.

Also, don't forget the 99 bumpstop problem already existed with the 99+ cars. [Wink]

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"Your victory is tainted! Asterisk! Asterisk!!!"--Lisa Simpson

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Letter sent.
Now, how about that lighter flywheel for the 1.6's......

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If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's got electrical problems.

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I'll repeat it again. THANKS Jim for for your time, $$$ & effort. I am not unhappy with the effort forwarded by Jim.

Casey, who has been thrown under the bus on this whole 99 stop hat deal more than the car owners?

Take everything from the 99 shock hat parts package including the bump stop/alum spacer except the shock hat & throw it in the bus trash including labor. Then go out & buy another package for approx $125.00 plus labor as of today.

Without knowledge of all the test data for the "good fix" that has been forwarded to the SMAC how can people provide meaningful input when requested. Connected people may have the test results but the test results have never been posted. [Smile]

I'm here to tell you had a test been concluded using the addition of a spherical bearing to each shock hat I would not be asking questions or typing this post. Spherical bearings are competition proven at the end of shocks in race cars. Small machined bearing carrier welded to the 99 shock hat, spherical bearing, snap ring, Ny-lock nut. [Wink]

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Have Fun [Wink]

David Dewhurst
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quote:
Originally posted by David Dewhurst:
Casey, who has been thrown under the bus on this whole 99 stop hat deal more than the car owners?

David,

Thank you for ignoring the rest of my post, I love it when people do that as it helps me understand their intentions. It is unfortunate that your perfect solution won't be considered since you won't write a letter. Somehow your logic seems circular to me... [Wink]

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Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
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Jim,
Please post exactly what address to send the letters to.

The CRB?


MZ

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crb@scca.org

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Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
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CRB@SCCA.COM
For the record, The input we are looking for is on the Fat Cat setup from the shock rod north only. We are more looking for yes, please look into fixing this and testing etc and finding a better solution, or leave it as it and don't bother.
We will certainly test whatever we choose and only implement if that is what the majority wants
Jim

--------------------
Jim Drago
East Street Auto Salvage
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2006-2007 Mid-West Division
07,09 June Sprints Champion

EAST STREET RACING

David Dewhurst
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Casey, being that you seem to take on the responsibility as the SMAC spokesman please answer the following questions.

Was there a decision made by the SMAC after the two posted shock rod blowing through failures that there was no issue with the shock rod blowing through the bump stop washer? The answer is YES or NO.

Has there been any current Fat Cat parts test results by Jim provided to the general population of Spec Miata car owners? The answer is YES or NO.

When Jim refers to "shock rod north" is he refering to the shock mounting at the rod end of the shock? The answer is YES or NO.

When Jim posts "We are more looking for yes, please look into fixing this and testing etc and finding a better solution, or leave it as it and don't bother." what information shall the car owners use to form a judgement relative to the current Fat Cat parts test so that the Spec Miata car owners may respond to the SMAC/CRB?

^ No tough reading, nothing circular. Four questions for which three questions require only a YES or NO answer. The fourth question you may need to have some inside information of the current Fat Cat parts tests to answer.

I can & have read the information posted by the Fat Cat guy. I also read most everything else that has been posted on this subject. It would be interesting to read what the suspension engineers that post have to say about the Fat Cat parts/ expected parts life/potential to failure. I presume the info Jim presented to the SMAC after his tests was positive. Do I say oh goody Jim presented positive information (no disrespect Jim) & go along with the crowd or do I ask for the test results & determine from the test results what my thoughts are.

--------------------
Have Fun [Wink]

David Dewhurst
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Spec Miata #14

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by David Dewhurst:

Was there a decision made by the SMAC after the two posted shock rod blowing through failures that there was no issue with the shock rod blowing through the bump stop washer? The answer is YES or NO.
Yes, that is why we are looking into changing it.

Has there been any current Fat Cat parts test results by Jim provided to the general population of Spec Miata car owners? The answer is YES or NO.

No, I have tried these on my car, feel it is a sustantially better system then we have now. People have been using in IT and Autocross for years with no issue. I see no problem at all with this setup. Could there be a problem? Sure there could. But we cant very well do a 12 month study, just doesnt make sense.

When Jim refers to "shock rod north" is he refering to the shock mounting at the rod end of the shock? The answer is YES or NO.

Fat Kat will replace everything that attaches 99 hat to the shock including the bumpstop

When Jim posts "We are more looking for yes, please look into fixing this and testing etc and finding a better solution, or leave it as it and don't bother." what information shall the car owners use to form a judgement relative to the current Fat Cat parts test so that the Spec Miata car owners may respond to the SMAC/CRB?.


We are looking for a simply yes, apply your time into a better setup or no, leave it as is. As far as the details, that is kind of what we are supposed to be trusted to work and yes we have made mistakes and will make them again.


I can & have read the information posted by the Fat Cat guy. I also read most everything else that has been posted on this subject. It would be interesting to read what the suspension engineers that post have to say about the Fat Cat parts/ expected parts life/potential to failure. I presume the info Jim presented to the SMAC after his tests was positive. Do I say oh goody Jim presented positive information (no disrespect Jim) & go along with the crowd or do I ask for the test results & determine from the test results what my thoughts are.


As far as my testing, it was pretty simple...
We assembled these and put a set on Mac Spikes ITA car, we really liked the way the went together, looked, worked, the whole 9 yards. I tried a set on my 99. I did not go back and forth, from Fatkat to Mazda. They performed well. I ran the car as low as 4.25 inches at the bottom of the pich weld and never had nasty bumpstop transitions. It eliminates all cureent problems and eliminates the need for a spacer, which itself is now causing problems rubbing on shock bodies etc.
In all seriousness, I have a set here, if you want to test and send back I would love some more input and certainly don't mind if someone finds a fault as I will certainly be blamed if and when arises. [Big Grin] [Wink]

If you wnat any further info, just call me.. My fingers are getting tired [Smile]
901 647 1700

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Jim Drago
East Street Auto Salvage
jdrago1@aol.com
2006-2007 Mid-West Division
07,09 June Sprints Champion

EAST STREET RACING

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quote:
Originally posted by David Dewhurst:
1,500 Spec Miata's out there & 6 SMAC membes make our decisions. Are these SMAC the same folks who made the previous ... decisions?

Shared knowledge is wealth to all. [Smile]


America is worse. 1-2 (or 537) making decisions for 300 million. Its a republic, not a democracy. [Big Grin]

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Mike Backus
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As a member of the ASAC, I might point out that the SMAC does not make any decisions about the class. They make recommendations, based on their experience and input from the other drivers. The CRB, Club Racing Board, doesn't make any decisions, they make recommendations, based on the input from the SMAC and their other contacts. The BOD makes the decisions.

Or, at least, that's the way it is supposed to work. I can't count the times we have gone through the long process and the BOD has gone counter to what we recommended.

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I would be in favor of leaving the rules as written at this point. The hardened washer should be enough of a countermeasure for this failure mode. No need to go out and buy a bunch more new parts.

Mike Donick

[ 08-07-2008, 08:38 PM: Message edited by: AllardK3 ]

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Mike Donick

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I need to clear up a few misconceptions that seem to be floating around.

Casey Z is NOT a member of the SMAC.

The SMAC discussed 99 bump stops prior to the announcemnt that NASA was going to allow them. Everyone screamed on this forum that SCCA had to follow suit. This kind of forced our hand, into allowing them in SCCA. In order to get it processed through all the committees, we rushed it through without any testing. At this point noone had any problems.

Then came the spacers!!!! Everyone went bonkers that there was a gap between the upper spring mount and the steel shock hat. Several of us put our heads together and quickly came up with a quick fix.

Now that we have more people using 99 hats, we have had a few failures and are looking into possible fixes. This time we are not going to rush the situation.

The question that will be asked via FASTTRACK will be something like; Would you like the SMAC to investigate another version of the upper shock mount?

If we get more YES replys the SMAC will investigate. If there are more NO replies we will leave it as status quo.

The Fat Cat system is one option, a spherical ball could be another option. If you have a better idea, let the SMAC know. What option is recomended will be up to the SMAC.

Then the SMAC makes its RECOMENDATION to the CRB. Who then pass it on to the BoD for final approval. Then it becomes a rule.

The SMAC members (as well as the other committees, CRB and BoD) are all volunteers, We don't get free race entries, we don't even get out membership dues paid. We put in countless hours discussing ALL the letters and ideas that are officially sent in to SCCA. We have a private forum that we use through out the month, then spend several hours on the phone. We take the responsibility very seriously.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the SMAC, feel free to send in your resume. We read those during our conference calls.

My grandmother used to say there are 2 things you don't want to see being made: Sausage and laws.

Dave Wheeler
Chairman,
SCCA Spec Miata Advisory Committee

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Thank you Jim, shared knowledge is wealth. [Wink]

Casey, I didn't want to [fight] with words to begin with.

Mike, please go back under your rock. [cheerful]

EDIT:

Guys, I understand the rules path. Dave, I understand & knew before I posted that Casey is not a member of the SMAC. Please read a second time. [thumbsup] "Casey, being that you seem to take on the responsibility as the SMAC spokesman please answer the following questions."

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Have Fun [Wink]

David Dewhurst
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ahamos
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Plain-old-driver weighing in:

Whatever is decided should be clear and concise, with clear and concise part numbers (or even better, a single kit). Looking at the FCM solutions, I see what appear to be several options to choose from, many of which seem at odds with the rules.

I get frustrated and give up because I don't want to order a bunch of parts just to find out that I can't use some (or all) of them.

The rules, as written, show a rendering of a "metal or delrin plastic" doodad. You can build or buy the doodad, but there's no part number to order, and FCM shows ancillary parts that you can get with your order of doodads. Mazdamotorsports.com lists a kit, but apparently that kit is only one small part of the puzzle.

If it's clear and concise, I'll be all over it. And I'd like to be, since I drive a '94. I hate leaving performance on the table.

I say continue developing the current solution, and then post it as a Solution, not a parts-bag.

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quote:
Originally posted by davew:
Casey Z is NOT a member of the SMAC.

LOL, I am in meetings all day come back and now I get labeled as a SMAC member? Like I want to be associated with that crowd! [Big Grin]

Thanks for clearing that up Dave!

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Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
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quote:
Originally posted by AllardK3:
One more vehicle dynamics engineer cheking in on this issue.

I would be in favor of leaving the rules as written at this point. The hardened washer should be enough of a countermeasure for this failure mode. No need to go out and buy a bunch more new parts.

Mike Donick

Absent the failure mode, how do you feel about bending loads through the shock absorber due to no rotational DOF at the shock hat?

(Adjust rear camber to max and then take out lower shock bolt ...)

At what point does shock replacement costs break even versus the cost of a shock hat that works?

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So far our choices have been:
1. a washer as a patch at $1, which should work.

2. FCM's solution at, as best as I can tell, $400 but it's very nice.

3. Or a spherical ball which is not made yet. Probably $$$.

There is a fourth option that should be looked into that replaces the hats with even more travel. This costs $35 per corner and should fit all years. Specific sizes can be ordered from the company as well.


http://www.iscracing.net/pdf%20files/Miata_Upper_Plate_inst.pdf
The springs rides on the bottom of the plate, there is
no need for anything to center it.

The step on the shock shaft rides on the underside of
the plate with the rubber grommet & washer on top.
This allows a slight amount of angle change.


My opinion is that option #3 is the best, but at what cost. I currently have the 99 hats on my car but am getting concerned with the safety of those. It would be good to test all option, but for now, the best solution would be to put in the washer, then do some in-depth testing on the setups.

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Another mid-pack, tight-budget racer here who would like to understand more about options before responding to SMAC request for input. I have run a 92 for about 4 years, and have just bought the 99 shock hats & parts, new bumpstops (removed the hardened steel spacer inside), and made a jig for compressing the upside down rubber bushing to get the nut on the shock shaft.
I also used the just approved hardened washer in between top of the bumpstop and bottom of the shock hat. Everything went together ok & got enough threads through the nut, but I am concerned about the extreme compression of the rubber bushing and deformation of the steel washer under the nut (downward into the center of the rubber bushing). From the pictures posted by the first racer who showed us how to make the wooden block jig, I see that his washer under the nut also deformed slightly.
So, here are my questions that I would appreciate knowledgeable feedback on:
1) Would using the hardened washer in conjuction with cutting the rubber bushing in half prevent the 'Drago pushthrough' while eliminating deformation of the topmost steel washer?
2) As far as bending forces on the shock rod, where it goes through the shock hat, is there any difference for the assembly I describe in (1) above and what we've been running under SM rules prior to the 99 shock hat approval?
3) How does the proposed FatKat solution compare with current 99 shock hat rules on a) practical ride height and b) spring rate progression of the bumpstops if you end up hitting them?

Dick Hancock
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Another failure with the current set up.

A fellow racer broke the Shock rod at the top were the rod goes from the smaller OD to the Larger OD. It snapped in half.

The installation was done correctly. It failed on the left rear corner. The hardened washer was not installed.

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Ralph Provitz
#38
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The target of the Fat cat deal is less than $200 per car.They would be sold at Mazda, the kit will actually be less with the Fat Cat set up than t is now with the AWR stops.
The ride heights will be similiar, perhaps slightly lower tahn with 99 hats. The shock travel will be also a little more than with stock set up
Jim

--------------------
Jim Drago
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quote:
Originally posted by 38BFAST:
Another failure with the current set up.

A fellow racer broke the Shock rod at the top were the rod goes from the smaller OD to the Larger OD. It snapped in half.

The installation was done correctly. It failed on the left rear corner. The hardened washer was not installed.

That'd be the bending loads. Washer won't help, might hurt.

Scott

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quote:
Originally posted by 38BFAST:
Another failure with the current set up.

A fellow racer broke the Shock rod at the top were the rod goes from the smaller OD to the Larger OD. It snapped in half.

The installation was done correctly. It failed on the left rear corner. The hardened washer was not installed.

This is a potentially big issue, and as others have said likely stems from the shock rod lacking a rotational degree of freedom in the currently approved '99 shock hat setup' and in my oppinion would be the biggest driver for finding an alternative solution.

One other question that the thought of alternaive solutions brings up in my mind; how low should we let the cars get? As someone said the Fat Cat parts that have been tried to date allow the cars to run even lower - at some point ther will be deminishing returns and something somewhere will eventually bottom out. I don't have the answer here, just suggesting that if we as a group go down the path of inventing something we also get to effectively set the minimum ride heights (and should be thinking about that as part of the decision making process).

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quote:
Originally posted by DickCDawg:
2) As far as bending forces on the shock rod, where it goes through the shock hat, is there any difference for the assembly I describe in (1) above and what we've been running under SM rules prior to the 99 shock hat approval?

Dick Hancock
39SM SEDiv

Yes. The original first-gen shock hats are two pieces of steel separated by rubber. One of the plates is bolted up hard to the shock shaft, the other is bolted to the chassis. The rubber allows for compliance in bending (and compression/rebound, but the point is bending.)

This is what God and Mazda intended, as far as shock mounting goes.

The '99s used a single steel shock hat and got the compliance from a pair of rubber bushings, one on each side of the hat, squeezed between an upper and lower washer. Not too different from what we are trying to do with the '99 hats on the early cars, but an engineered system instead of the grab-bag of random parts we have now.

Scott

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Hey, Jim:

Are you guys thinking that whatever system the early cars wind up with will also be legal on the '99-and-ups? Seems only reasonable.

Scott

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Matt
I agree 100%, that is a concern of mine as well. Since testing the first time, we are also looking at some spacers that would essentially lenghten the bump stop to a similiar dimension to what we have now in order to not further add to the bumpsteer issues we already have.

Jim

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Jim Drago
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Here's a radical though: put the 90-97 hats on the 99+ cars. No more problems. The shocks we run were designed for those hats. Right?

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Ooh, I like. I could get plenty of camber before, so why not?

Scott

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quote:
Originally posted by Ara:
Here's a radical though: put the 90-97 hats on the 99+ cars. No more problems. The shocks we run were designed for those hats. Right?

They could never do that Ara, for one, it would be way too easy and effect the least amount of cars, besides, it just makes too much sense to do it that way.

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Viking Sjovall
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Slow Ride
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quote:
Originally posted by Ara:
Here's a radical though: put the 90-97 hats on the 99+ cars. No more problems. The shocks we run were designed for those hats. Right?

Are you suggesting we do something cheap, simple and proven??? [cheerful]

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By being able to lower the car and gaining the much needed camber, I have saved well over $200.00 in tire rubber this season. On average I have been getting 4-6 more sessions out of my tires this year. The added bonus is that my times have as well dropped.

With That said going back to the old hats would cost me more and make me even slower than I am now. I would definitely spend another $200.00 to make the current 99 hat setup safer and more dependable. A shock failure in a 90 mph turn would scare me.

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Ralph Provitz
#38
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