Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:04 AM
"The Pro-C also has a large 22mm shaft which displaces more fluid for more sensitive damping."
This sounds like ad-copy as it full of errors.
1) While the shaft is in the fluid chamber so it does displacement fluid, the impact on damping is minimal at best.
2) The piston is the key element in damping sensitivity and what actually displaces fluid in order to provide damping.
3) The size of the shaft of a shock, as opposed to a strut, is of very little meaning. As long as the mounts aren't constrained all it has to do is move the piston.
The article does say "the bigger piston in the monotube displaces more oil" which is true in general, but without a specific measurement of the piston, the reader is left to guess. If this site wants to live up to its mantra of 'more signal, less noise' how about giving some detail on teh "12-way adjustable valving" mechanism. You'll probably find out that it isn't adjustable in 12 ways, but has 12 positions for the 1 adjustment. After that, my guess is that you will quickly hear someone tell you that cross talk is bad and then have a much lower opinion of the units you bought. Or were given to you in return for publishing their ad-copy under the guise of a technical article as the case may be.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 7:55 PM
Thanks for this write up.
I am interested in hearing more about the Skunk2 Pro-C's as well (if its not too much of a burden of coarse).
Judging from your experience on the track, I'm sure you can provide a good feedback on how well the new coil over set behaves vs the old Ground Control/Koni set.
Btw, I can't tell from the dirt but, what front upper control arm are you running?
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 9:59 PM
Team DFL, I am a suspension engineer with experience in both OEM and Motorsports chassis development and I do extensive work with dampers. I also edited this story for tech correctness before it went live. I can tell you that you are wrong.
1. Shaft fluid displacement makes a large impact on damping force in both low speed sensitivity and high speed blow off. Some shocks like KW Motorsports actually use shaft size as a tuning factor for high speed blowoff. Moton uses a 22mm shaft for additional low speed sensitivity.
2. The piston contains the valves so of course it has the biggest effect on damping. Piston movement through the fluid is the primary valve flow volume creator but shaft displacement still accounts for a pretty large percentage of the flow, I am not bothering to calculate it but it's around 20%.
3. It makes little difference if the shaft diameter is large on either a shock or a strut other than the effect of shaft displacement could be larger on a strut since struts typically run at lower motion ratios and have usually more overall displacement.
Sorry that we did not disassemble the shocks to measure the piston size for you but most monotube pistons are larger than most twin tubes and that is the point of the statement. What are you gonna glean from knowing the exact piston diameter? I won't really glean much although larger does have more room for more features on the piston, travel though a higher volume of fluid and has more bearing area. To my knowledge Penske is the only monotube that makes extensive use of piston features other than orifice size and number as a tuning factor.
We told you that the damping adjustment is single adjustable in 12 ways with most of the damping adjustment affecting the rebound in the low speed range. We even explained that this is where the biggest difference is because it is where most body motion occurs. Is this not pretty thorough or did you not understand it? Maybe you need to ask some questions clarifying what you want to know before you criticize this story.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:43 PM
I'm just really glad that the threaded body wasn't hyped about how much better it is than adjusting spring "preload." That little bit of marketing speak really jumps all over me.
Definitely looking forward to see how this performs compared to the Koni/GC combo. I'm not sure that revalving the Konis wouldn't have been just as fast as a shiny new set of entry-level coilovers for a good bit less cash. But I'm not cool enough to get to play with shock valving so what do I know?
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 11:04 PM
Adjusting preload to a degree can help mechanical grip my improving tire contact on the unloaded side of the car in a turn but too much usually hurts it.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 2:01 AM
Hey Annie (or Mike), you guys know by any chance what's the spring rate that came on those Skunk2? (front and rear). Thanks.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:27 AM
Shaft displacement is responsible for asymmetrical compression and rebound behavior, and is the reason that many high end motorsports dampers are a through-shaft design (where the shaft displacement is negated to regain symmetry). There are some benefits to the amount of shaft displacement though, and many drivers (some Indy drivers for example) like the asymmetrical damping and the stability from the damper nose pressure that goes along with it. That has mostly do with aero and ride height sensitivity, but that's a different story.
Shaft displacement is a pretty convoluted topic though, and there are definite effects on damping.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:56 AM
Mike, I know you know your stuff, but you contradict yourself.
"Shaft fluid displacement makes a large impact on damping force in both low speed sensitivity and high speed blow off."
"shaft displacement still accounts for a pretty large percentage of the flow, I am not bothering to calculate it but it's around 20%."
Are you characterizing 20% as a large amount? That is a secondary consideration with a minimal impact compared to what the piston valving does. If I were to say to you I wanted to hire you for a day to tune my take-a-part shocks, would you have more success if I had only a box of pistons and washers or a box of different shaft diameters? As Fabrik8 says, shaft displacement is a complex topic and does have some impact on damping, but as I said, if you want to evaluate a damper, you should be talking about the piston. This is a story that evaluates dampers that omits details of the piston.
Also, you are factually wrong when you say "It makes little difference if the shaft diameter is large on either a shock or a strut other than the effect of shaft displacement". A strut acts as a suspension member and the larger diameter shaft provides extra rigidity. This is (in part, perhaps even in whole) why we see inverted monotubes dominated production based rally cars. I know you have experience racing strut equipped cars and I would assume you have use Konis thus probably experience shaft seal failure due to shaft deflection under load. I am honestly surprised that you would overlook this, given your experience.
Now, on the adjustment. I did read what was said, but you did not read what I posted. I will post it again, with emphasis.
how about giving some detail on teh "12-way adjustable valving" _MECHANISM_.
Mechanism, in other words, how does the adjuster work? If you are willing to emphasize shaft size which accounts for only 20% of damping (thanks for that data point, btw) how about an actual examination of how the damping is changed by the adjusters? I can find cutaways of monotube shocks in dozens of places, if you want to actually provide 'more signal' then you should be publishing higher quality information. This article is little more universal shock information that is readily available mixed liberally with manufacturer advertizing material. While I have never been a suspension engineer, I have worked in automotive aftermarket product marketing and this much I know for sure. I cannot remember who, but a magazine writer coined the term advertorial, and that is exactly what this is.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 6:14 AM
Mike, when you say preload do you mean literally preloading the spring (running the spring collar up until the spring touches the upper spring mount at full damper extension, and then a little more)? I meant that a lot of the ghetto coilovers suggest that raising/lowering the spring collar would somehow add/remove preload instead of simply raising/lowering rideheight given a fixed cornerweight. Admittedly, these skunk2 coilovers are an order of magnitude more expensive and (hopefully) better than the ricelands and such; I wouldn't expect that same line to be thrown out by them.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 7:22 AM
Actually, spring preload is something that's worth thinking about because coil springs aren't the same rate all the way through. Most off the shelf linear rate springs (e.g. Eibach race springs) are significantly higher rate through their first inch of travel than they are through their designed working range. By playing with the spring preload, you can control when the car uses that first inch of spring travel and help improve adhesion on that corner.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 7:29 AM
In regards to a "cross-talk is bad" comment that I see further up there. I would much rather have a simple two way bypass type combined compression-rebound adjuster than separate adjusters that don't always work or cause other issues when you play with the internals.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 7:56 AM
DFL, yes 20% of the total fluid flow is a large amount in a shock. Damping adjustment on this shock is achieved mostly though fluid bypass in the rebound direction by a spring loaded needle type valve. Like I said on some shocks, shaft diameter is a tunable option and it makes a big difference. I have made the mistake of going to big for an application. Some shocks are designed with bigger shafts to exploit their affect and some are designed to eliminate it.
You are looking for things to argue about by picking things apart in a super annoying way in a subject you know enough about to argue about. I was talking about and I assumed you were arguing about the affect of shaft diameter between shocks and struts on damping which was the subject of your first argument.
Since we don't have an in house shock dyno, nor does any other magazine for that matter, we don't have damping curves and if we provided them, how would anyone interpret them without quite a lot of text explaining how to do it? This isn't an article about damper design, it is about a set of skunk 2 dampers for a street/track Civic.
Annie is a racer, not a damper engineer but she does know more about automotive subjects than 99% of the population (and can out wrench and out drive most as well) which is why she was picked for our staff many years ago. What she wrote and I edited is a brief explanation of the internal workings of how these shocks work pointing out some design features that stand out. I think this is better than anything else you find in magazines intended for a general audience of enthusiasts (not professional). Basically you could nit pick all of what we write here and frankly we don't write for people like you, no one does.
Basically I think you are one of those people who argues without logic just to argue on the net and always has to have the last word. I predict you will continue to argue on this thread.
Your quest for knowledge would be better served by asking questions in this thread in rather than trying to argue. If you ask questions either Annie or myself will attempt to answer them. If you continue to argue elliptically. I will ignore you.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 8:12 AM
JDM, Skunk does a lot of track testing. If you want I will find out the spring rates for you.
ASX- Preload is not affected by adjusting the lower mounts, that just affects ride height. Preload is adjusted on the spring perch. Preload affects mostly the amount o initial force it takes to move the suspension with little affect on the overall rate like what Boxed Fox said.
This is why it is better to use lower rate preloaded tender springs, at least in my opinion or lightly preload the main spring to keep the wheel rate more linear in the first more active part of the wheel travel. This helps the tire stay in contact on the inside in a turn in sedan type cars that run a decent amount of droop travel. This is particularly observable on corner exit.
Boxed Fox, you would really rather have a two way bypass over mostly rebound? Can you elaborate on this?
Thursday, August 18, 2011 8:41 AM
If it's a decent damper with reliable internals, I'd definitely have separate adjusters. It's more the less expensive stuff like the Koni yellow based Double Adjustables (cross talk when hot) and the Hotbits-like double adjustables (don't seem to work right with certain valving setups) that I would pass on in favor of a more predictable combined adjuster.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 9:09 AM
JDM, Spring rates are 10 kg front 8kg rear, decent for mixed use and mixed driving abilty on an FF car.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 9:12 AM
Boxed fox, Do you think that the Koni feeling you are describing is more due to cavitation and fluid fade rather than cross talk?
Thursday, August 18, 2011 10:42 AM
Mike, it was actually on a dyno that I saw the behavior on the DA Konis (dampers were off of someone else's car, so I haven't actually felt it). It was a little while ago, so I forget what the solution was. But the one way valve on the rebound adjuster definitely wasn't working right and the adjustable foot valve they put in was doing all sorts of weird things.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 10:55 AM
I'm thinking of getting Konis for my car. I definitely will if Annie got over 100,000 miles out of them!
Thursday, August 18, 2011 11:20 AM
I just wanted to say that a positive review shouldn't be discounted as non-factual because it's positive. That's illogical. Additionally, anyone should realize that being unduly combative typically isn't a great way to make any point.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 12:09 PM
Actually, Skunk is not an advertiser and doesn't contribute a dime towards our utility bill. Furthermore, whether you think the install article is fluffy "advertorial" or not, this stuff WILL be track tested with our data agg equipment soon so you will get our technical analysis of its performance as well (I'm personally charged with that task). I think--or at least hope--we make it pretty clear around here that we would never support a product or suggest it's something it's not just to make a buck.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 12:30 PM
Skunk2 bushings are shot... how do the other suspension bushings look? Will you guys be replacing them? I'm guessing new lower control arms would do the trick for some but there's still a couple that would need attention... want to know how you guys go about doing this. Labor would be amazingly expensive but doing it yourself would be amazingly painful (or so I hear). Also, I imagine a full brake upgrade (GSR brakes? stoptech??) is in the mix "while you're in there" taking the LCAs out (I also hear it's a bear to take the rear drums off the LCAs). =)
Looking forward to more mods. ASR brace & Integra Type-R rear sway in the mix too?
Thursday, August 18, 2011 1:01 PM
It is actualy another brand of camber link we are removing. We are replacing it with a Skunk2 part. We will have a whole bunch of parts coming soon.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 1:28 PM
Um, how do you talk about reasoning for selecting a product if you don’t describe the product? Would you rather have the article be, “hey, look at these shiney coilovers with red springs. We got them so we could drop the car super low. The end.”
Personally, I’m interested in knowing that it is a monotube design and some of the benefits associated with monotubes. The triple lower seal is cool, I didn’t even know about the sealing issue related to monotubes. Upper mounts from forgings? Great! They will be more durable than if cut from regular stock. The urethane bushings in the mounts are nice for a street driven car on shitty LA roads as opposed to a pillowball design. Oh, the suspension comes with dust boots and MCU bumpstops? Those are great features for a street driven car too! You know, the easy to access and adjust knobs with 12 defined positions for damping are a nice desirable feature too in order to go from a street to more track oriented setting. My old Konis did not have defined steps making them more difficult to set. My KWs require an allen wrench and it’s a pain in the butt on one corner to reach. So all those features are great for a street driven car. This Civic is a street driven car that sees track time? Wow, it makes sense why Annie chose them!
For comparison, let’s look at a TEIN Mono Flex.
• Mono Tube internal construction
• Inverted design for strut type front and rear
• Ride Height adjustable via threaded body and spring seats
• 16 way adjustable dampers, compression and rebound combined
• M.S.V. Technology for improved damping force adjustability
• Pillow ball upper mounts for increased steering feel
• Anodized brackets with Teflon coated shock body for heavy duty rust prevention
I learned from the article that the Skunk2 has forged aluminum bodies which should be lighter than the TEIN steel body. Plus they won’t rust. The TEIN uses pillowball mounts which will make for a rougher street ride. Also, we don’t know if their plate is made from forged aluminum or not. Looking at pictures, the TEINs also require an allen key for adjustment. Does TEIN use a triple seal on the separating piston? I don’t know as I can’t find it on their website. So at the minimum, there are two features of the Skunk2 setup that I would prefer for a street/track setup over TEIN. We don’t know if the upper mount of the TEIN is made from a forging nor the sealing design of the separator piston. So that sways me in two more directions over the TEINs.
Lastly, this is a ‘series’. If you’ll go back to the second installment, you will see that Annie track tested the vehicle to establish a baseline. Logic dictates that the car will be tested again; otherwise there was no point in establishing a baseline.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 1:29 PM
Agree with Tim 100%, if you have a point to make, make it. There is no reason to be insulting, or directly combative. Starting a conversation by basically saying "I'm right, and you're wrong" serves no one. One person always looks like an asshole, and one looks like an idiot. Often, the same person gets both roles.
@ TeamDFL: In regards to Annie's article, there were things in it that I didn't know, so it was valuable to me. Did it go into the level of depth that some of our articles do? Nope. Should it? Absolutely not. Why would we disassemble a perfectly good set of shocks to analyze every last part when it's going on a daily driver occasionally driven on the track? Annie's primary goals these shocks will need to achieve are: provide a reasonable and comfortable ride on the street; last a long time; give the car that "sporty" feel that's often more important than lap times on a street car; and perform well on the track. If we were doing a shock shootout for one of our racecars, then I could see tearing apart each one, and comparing the innards. If this was just a tech article just about Skunk2's shocks, and not an addition to a project car, then I could understand tearing it down to show you how the mechanism works.
However, in the context of this article, and the scope of this project, I don't think it necessary to show you how it works, just show that it met the goals stated above for the project. This article showed why we chose these shocks, and the next will show if we chose correctly or not.
If you're requesting more data on these, there's better ways of doing it that insulting someone's work.
Lastly, 20% is a significant percentage of anything.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 1:32 PM
Another point is we pick a part because we like it's feature before we evaluate it. I mean seriously are we supposed to pick something we don't like that is not likely to work well?
What exactly is stuff sounding like an ad other than we used some exploded and cut away views of the shocks from Skunk2. Most of the tech we wrote about is from our own experiance with suspension.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 1:47 PM
One extra plus for the Tein is EDFC (electronic damper adjustment control), if you are up to the extra costs and wiring associated with it. AFAIK, only Tein has this kind of support/feature. But then again, with Tein, nobody knows how to properly pronouce the company name....
I'd be interested in comparing the pros/cons of rebuilding/revalving the koni's, getting stiffer springs to match the revalving/driver preference, and extended GC top hats. The Koni's could even be shortened if the target ride height is too low. How would this compare?
Thursday, August 18, 2011 2:24 PM
Going rate for revalved and shortened Konis with springs is about $2k, and that's for standard Yellows (twin-tube). Granted, you can pick your own valving, etc, but that's still a 50% increase in cost.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:34 PM
Let's say that this is an advertorial. If you don't like it, don't read it. Its simple as that. If you think "More Signal, Less Noise" is a lie. Who cares what you think. Bitch about it on your forum because we generally don't care to hear it. Remember that MotoIQ is largely a bunch of people donating their time for your entertainment. It doesn't owe you anything.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 5:07 PM
Wow wow. I leave my desk for 12 hours (dead tired of working)....and come back to Star Wars...lol
Anyway, Thanks Mike for the spring rate answer.
I asked you in the first place because I purchased some Buddy Club N1 coilovers for my daily driver 93' Civic a while back (very similar to what Annie got for her Civic).
The spring rate on those Buddy Club shocks were 12K in the front and 6K in the rear (don't ask me to do the conversion in ft/lbs per square inch, cause I don't know).
Anyway, I eventually gutted the car (completely stripped). I think the EG6 chassis (base VX Model) weighted around 2100 lbs. from the factory.
I would assume now my Civic is in the 19XX lbs mark. (I haven't put it on the scale yet).
Anywho, The spring rate were fine for the street, but then, like Annie, I started taking the Civic to the track, so I changed the spring rate to a set of Swift springs. 16K in the front (+4K) and 12K in the rear (also +4K).
I still drive this Civic on a regular basis (yes, all gutted).
Now I am playing around with rebound/ compression, more than I used to.
Those Buddy Club N1 are entry-level coilovers for enthusiast, nothing more. They work good for the street, and they provide decent grip for the occasional track.
To get to the point: I have heard that by softening the rebound/ compression the car actually tends to "bounce" instead of sucking up the bump on the road. I haven't tried that yet with those Swift springs installed.
A friend of mine told me I should stiffen up the rebound/ compression if I want the shock to adhere to the road with those stiffer springs.
Any thoughts on that?
Sorry I am giving you such a vague explanation. I am not TeamDFL, and my understanding of these type of dampers are very limited.
Thanks for your time.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 5:58 PM
@JDM, you do need more rebound/compression with stiffer springs. So the job of the shock/damper is to control the motion of the spring. So take the situation of hitting a big bump at speed. The bump inputs energy into the spring compressing it. The more the spring is compressed, the more energy is put into it. Now the spring will want to uncompress and the only thing to absorb that energy is the damper. If there were no damper, the car would just bounce up and down and up and down, like an old caddy. So anyways, a stiffer spring will have more energy for the same displacement of compression. Therefore, you need more damping to absorb more energy.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 6:20 PM
Actually, from what Jeff said above it sounds like they aren't getting paid for this. Which is a shame. Skunk2 is getting a lot of good exposure from MotoIQ between these articles and the MPTCC Sentra.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 9:44 PM
To satisfy the whiners I put my editor hat on and wrote exactly how the valving in the piston works and exactly how the damping adjuster works into the story. Note these are purely my words and I feel they detract from how Annie wrote it herself.
I also went back to the Skunk2 website and low and behold, there are only a few points that came right out of their ad copy. I think some people look only at pictures and when they see the image provided to us by Skunk2 and some positive words, they immediately jump to the conclusion that this is all a free ad by Shunk2. Solution, read more than the captions on the pictures.
Technical challenges for "inaccuracies" anyone?
I also noticed that this article has at this time 81 likes on facebook. A lot of people like this for an article that is just "ad copy".
Friday, August 19, 2011 12:08 AM
ANYWAYYYYY !!!! Can't wait for hear what Annie has up her sleeves for the next upgrade.
Friday, August 19, 2011 7:34 AM
Team DFL seems to have a personal vendetta against our site. Hooray! We've gotten big enough to have an official hater! With fame comes infamy, we'll just have to let this slide like water off a duck's back.
Friday, August 19, 2011 8:11 AM
Ah man! Let's see if I could type it fast enough.
What's up with the haters this week? I had a good sparing match this week with 1984 over on Jeff's article from WTAC and now this. Are pollen levels or pheromones levels high across the country?
1) Mike and Annie, good article. Fun and well written, looking forward to more! Which coilovers were you guys deciding between before going with the Skunk2s? Was I the only regular reader who wanted to tease you guys about a project car not having KWs? :)
2) To the HATERS - Use your google machine and type in the word LIBEL and then tell me what auto magazine in their right mind is going tear apart a product? Name one please! Like Mike said, who also is going to not put the time and research into picking a part that isn't going to work, at least fairly well?
3) This site is full of smart people! Total props to Chuck for making me laugh through my sunburn last night!
Friday, August 19, 2011 8:52 AM
We were looking at Tein and KW but we picked Skunk2 because they have had good results in shootouts in other magazines and we are always looking for something good to test. We use a lot of KW because of the quality, performance and the wide range application but decided to try Skunk2 because they seemed like a quality part with good features from a company that actually tests their stuff in competition.
The coilover market has come polluted with tons of crappy coilovers and its pretty confusing what is good and what isn't now days. We will probably try to do a crappy vs good coilover comparison soon.
Friday, August 19, 2011 10:10 AM
Yeah but you'll probably have to title the comparison something like "Coilovers for YOUR project vs coilovers for someone else" for legal reasons. That way, rather than use the words bad or crap you can just tell us those coilovers can be used by "someone else".
I appreciate you guys letting me know which shocks you were comparing before stepping into the Skunk2s. I do remember a Modified Tuner shootout where the Skunk2 civic put down the best Skid pad Gs of the whole competition. You know I don't need anymore convincing of KWs quality. Does anyone else offer that same lifetime warranty? I also threw the KW comment out there because it's one of the first projects, it seems, in a while not to run KWs and THEN someone accuses you of an Advertorial!
Now justt need
Friday, August 19, 2011 10:12 AM
Now I just need to convince you and Annie to fit in a track day cage that you can still throw kids in the back! I know, a pipe dream, I may eventually get over it :)
Friday, August 19, 2011 1:43 PM
Unless Junk2 has switched spring vendors to someone more capable nothing else about these is going to matter. Hoegner over @ Eibach used to offer spring testing and I would be much more interested to here these arent the same old overly stiff soon to settle and bounce junk they used to offer.
Friday, August 19, 2011 2:30 PM
Saturday, August 20, 2011 8:18 AM
Does skunk provide dyno graphs with these?
These are made in japan right?
Monday, August 22, 2011 6:00 PM
I can say that I've really learned alot from reading this article. I've heard so many things about twin tube designs and mono-tubes that it was bewildering for someone like me that tinkers under the shade tree but still wants to be informed all the while making good decision for his next project car.
Thanks guys for the information that you present.
I also have two cars that run the pillow ball mounts and camber plates on them but don't consider them to be harsh rides at all. I would've thought that the pillow balls would have the strut work it's job much better without the rubber from the stock strut mounts having an effect on the overall feel of the car. This seems to not be the case with Project Civic I see and I'm curious why this wasn't done.
Either way I'm learning more and more from MotoIQ and you're a God send. I look forward to more on this project and I'm taking notes as we go along.
Friday, August 26, 2011 12:25 PM
A EJ Civic is multi link so a PB mount is not as important as it does not locate the suspension.
Friday, May 03, 2013 3:27 PM
hi Mike Kojima, came across this site when I was looking for feedback on people that installed the pro c's; I use a 7th gen honda civic (ex coupe); I've had my pro c's installed for a month now. I don't track,just on the streets daily driving. here are my feedbacks and concerns: The handling & cornering are amazing! very little body roll or non noticed, these suspensions eat up curves and corners effortlessly (my biggest 1up)
my issues even at soft (I have the front 1 click from soft and the rears full soft) I feel every uneven road surface I drive over, smooth roads ok but shitty roads like the section of the I-5 to L.A,it was as though I drive along rail road tracks: at one point on the 101 free way in L.A,the road was so bad I almost lost contrl of the steering wheel. and bouncing arround like a bougy trying to come to rest.
What is a solution to this harsh ride, the spring rates on these coil overs are 12k front and back, can that be a major factor)
also every time I turn I here snapping sounds from the front springs as though they are repositioning with every major turn.
Would realy appreciate your feed back on this,