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New Shock Absorbers For Rally Car


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#1 Lenhamracer

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 09:17 AM

I am looking for replacement shock absorbers for my car. Currently very old adjustable avos I think are fitted and the car behaves a bit bumpy on bad roads when driven fast.
Any recommendations?
Thank you very much

Thomas

#2 nicklouse

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 09:19 AM

Soften the AVOs a bit then.

 

good shocks and a Mini is bumpy.



#3 Cooperman

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 01:33 PM

I have used SPAX for fairly serious rallying up to and including Historic International events. However, I shall be needing a new set of dampers for my re-acquired Rover Cooper and I shall fit GAZ adjustable.

 

The problem with a classic Mini is the short available suspension travel. Even with it raised up a bit from standard it is still difficult to get a good compromise for rallying. For gravel the dampers need to be set quite soft, but for tarmac it can be a bit stiffer. Don't set it too stiff or the car will be 'jittery' on bumpy tarmac.

 

The suspension is the real limiting factor when using a Mini for rallying. Whatever you do don't lower it. If you do, it will go onto the bump stops and you will lose steering capability leading to body damage as you go off the road.



#4 nicklouse

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 01:49 PM

I would not touch GAZ because if the issues seen on other vehicles.



#5 Cooperman

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 04:41 PM

I have to admit I have not tried GAZ on a Mini yet.

 

However, when I had my Rover 214Si rally car I had a lot of suspension issues. I had a set of SPAX struts which lasted about 45 miles on the first event before the seals split on the fronts. They made a new set up with modified seals, but the stub axles both bent on the next event (although I did get 1st overall).

 

Mini Spares gave me a contact at GAZ and they made up a set to suit the Rover with new high-rate coil springs and since then most of the people rallying the 214, 25 & MG-ZR now use GAZ and they win everything. GAZ were most helpful and my friends at the Rover Centre have used them for all comp applications since then.

 

I shall try a set on the 1990 Rover Cooper rally car I have just bought, well bought-back actually as I originally built it for rallying in 2004. If I do have any problems I know GAZ will address them for me.



#6 minisi35

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 07:36 PM

What’s everyone’s views on bilsteins?

#7 GraemeC

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 08:50 PM

I always found AVOs unpredictable on my rally car and not very sure footed. Changed to Spax and it was a great transformation.
I’d be tempted to try steel bodied Protechs, bought direct and specced to the car.

Edited by GraemeC, 04 March 2019 - 08:51 PM.


#8 Cooperman

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 09:53 AM

I do think that SPAX are still pretty good. They have an excellent range of adjustment and in many years I have not had any seal failures on the ones on my Minis. The price is right and you can they are easy to change even during an event if the need arises. Even the rears are easy to change behind the petrol tank(s) if the access hole(s) is cut in the rear seat vertical panel and a cover plate screwed on.



#9 KRM_Simon

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 09:19 PM

Cooperman, is there any chance of a picture to show how you have done this? It sounds like a good idea!



#10 Cooperman

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:47 PM

Cooperman, is there any chance of a picture to show how you have done this? It sounds like a good idea!

PM me your personal email and I'll send a photo showing where to cut the hole and fit the cover plate.



#11 minifreek1

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 06:30 AM

Hope you don't mind if I could also pm my email to you for the position of where to cut the hole. Dunno if it'll be different on a 94 SPi though?

#12 Adam Johnson

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 06:50 AM

And me please. Not sure if I am emotionally prepared to cut a hole in the car but it would make the job much easier in the future.

#13 Cooperman

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 03:32 PM

Feel free to PM me with your personal email and I will be happy to send a photo showing where to cut the access hole.
All Minis are the same in this respect and the access hole makes a LH rear damper change a 15 minute job.

Edited by Cooperman, 25 April 2019 - 03:33 PM.


#14 rally1380

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 10:11 AM

What’s everyone’s views on bilsteins?

 

Billies certainly seem to be used by a few of the HRCR Minisport Cup guys.....I know Clive King uses them and he does alright on those events ;D .

 

Obviously they are the "go to" strut for road rally cars and I use them on my Ibiza, but they do seem pricey compared to a fully adjustable Spax, Gaz or Avo. 

 

 

I'm sure a few years back one of the magazines did a test on which damper was the best on a mini (before the likes of Protech arrived on the scene and also before the Bilsteins were available) and the AVO's came out on top.  This was obviously some time back and things may have changed since then.

 

I have used Spax and always felt them to be rock hard whichever way you adjusted them - may have been because they were trashed though as they were bought second hand.

 

I have GAZ on my rally car and apart from them bottoming out (they are the standard length ones) when the car sat a wee bit lower they have been fine and certainly survived the hammering I gave them.

 

What would I buy if I was buying new?  Certainly consider the Bilsteins, and maybe look at the AVO's, but I think there are probably more available now and certainly very clever dampers available for track stuff, so that might be transferable to tarmac rallying too???



#15 Gaz66

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 01:12 PM

My last competition mini (30 years ago) ran on Bilsteins and was very good. A big improvement on the Spax which I had on previous to those.






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