Project Autocross BRZ - Dialing in the KW Clubsports

by Bart Hockerman

It's always funny how things work out when you look back. Dialing in ride heights, alignments and suspension settings is really no different. It seems to be a long road where it involves a lot of time tuning everything in to maximize what you can get out of your suspension. Adding more knobs to turn does not make it any easier but it does allow you to fine tune the way your suspension works. Then, when you finally hit that point when it all comes together, it’s amazing. You become one with the car, as it feels like it is an extension of you performing feats that some people can’t comprehend. When you look back at what it took to get there you have to laugh at how you sometimes really need to take the long way there. Chalk it up to character building or the gaining of wisdom.

Since May the BRZ has been back to Lake Country Alignment a couple times to tweak alignment settings. Some things that worked well before didn’t quite work out the same with the new coilovers. The BRZ’s ride height has been lowered significantly since the initial install of the KW Clubsport 3 way suspension. Much of this was not discussed in the initial install of the KW Clubsport 3 ways as I did not want to provide a starting point for folks without actually having really had seat time to shake out the settings.

The initial settings for the the alignment began with the ride height which we set by measuring from the flat surface of the rack on the centerline of the axle to the wheel well cut in the body. Our initial settings for ride height and corner weight (driver included) were:

LF 632 mm, 873 lb
RF 632 mm, 767 lb
LR 633 mm, 728 lb
RR 634 mm, 657 lb

The original corner weights with me inside. (Yeah, I am a big dude.)
Here was the initial split cross, left and rear.
The actual alignment settings from this visit.
Ride height is always fun and games. With the initial setup the KW equipped BRZ was sitting taller than most of the other cars in class.

This alignment did offer a pretty good balance and numbers for the car. The car felt really good but the ride height was significantly higher than most of my other competitors. The physical body roll of the car seemed to be much greater than others also. While my times were close when I was at events I really was not connected with the car. Something was off and things just weren’t quite right.

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Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Thursday, September 01, 2016 12:07 AM
Now I know why I can't do Autocross right, I can't even see the course, just random cones.
Thursday, September 01, 2016 11:49 AM
@Mike - If you ever want to give it a go I can arrange some for some good instructors even on your side of the country.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Thursday, September 01, 2016 12:11 PM
can you get people to chase cones for me too?
Thursday, September 01, 2016 12:48 PM
@Mike - Isn't that what your personal assistant is for?
Friday, September 02, 2016 7:40 PM
Solid driving and way to represent MIQ! Your courses are certainly a bit bumpy... So it looks like you are running relatively less high speed compression damping to handle the bumps?

Monday, September 12, 2016 11:46 AM
Yes, actually it seems as if we run a lot softer setup than most other track day users due to a lots aren't quite smooth surfaces that you would find on a race track.

Sorry for the delay in the response as I was in Lincoln NE for the SCCA Solo National Championships.
Thursday, July 06, 2017 1:49 PM
This is a great post. I was a little surprised how low you guys set the ride height though. Has that introduced any issues with the suspension geometry? Are the front LCA's still parallel? I know we're not allowed to run any roll center correction in STX, so I'm curious how that's working out.
Thursday, July 06, 2017 2:17 PM
I have since raised the car slightly.

LF 626mm RF 626mm
LR 623mm RR 625mm

The car has continued to work very well. The geometry has not been an issue.
It would be nice if we could make those changes but we have worked with what we are allowed to.
Friday, July 07, 2017 11:24 AM
Thanks for the update! That's pretty close to where I'm sitting on RCE T2's.
Friday, July 07, 2017 12:08 PM
@smg1138 never a problem feel free to hit me up anytime if you have questions.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 7:08 AM
@2superblus I was wondering, did you do your ride height measurements with the spare tire and tools taken out of the trunk? I've noticed that can make a significant difference in rear ride height. Also, about how much fuel did you have in the tank? I've got my first AutoX event of the season this weekend and am trying to get my coils dialed in.
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