Springs: What we need to do is to understand what goes into making a spring and how changing the process effects the outcome of its performance, this is what we are racing on in today’s market. As I have said before springs are a marketing tool they are not performance driven, not on this level that we are on. In other forms of racing (Nascar) they put a ton of work into their spring program, tuning springs to shocks and lower control arms. We have made big steps to improving the springs that we race on, by improving the process and not taking short cuts in the manufacturing. Spring life, “that’s the feel you get when you put new springs in your car” that comes from the design of the spring and when you take short cuts in the manufacturing process you have to change the design and that reduces the life of the spring. Feel in the race car comes from just three things, tires, shocks and springs and as you can tell, we can’t fix either the tire or the spring. So it is very important that the spring design is done well by the manufactures and that the material matches the design, this will produce a very strong spring that will allow for feel in the car and life in the spring. Here are a few things we do to increase the life of the spring and to add performance to it too.
Higher grade spring wire, for better life of the spring
Maximize the spring design
Shot peen, to stress relief the spring
Temper, to hold molecules in place
Preset, to reduce height loss
Remember when it comes a to better springs we need to change the way we have looked at the spring and what we have learned about them. Spring rate is important but it is not the tool we need to check the quality of a spring, it simply tells us the rate. We put the quality in the hands of the manufactures so if you see your spring company handing out spring for free you can guarantee one thing, they don’t care about performance.
Having good springs allows me to make the right dissension with what the car needs allowing me to win more races. Dan Wheeler
Rates: Spring rates are over sold and the guarantee that they offer is to, if we have a spring go bad it is going to be from a mistake in the process and not from a poor design or the lack of process, and when that happens we will replace it for free. From what I can see everyone’s spring raters are different and read somewhat different too, and building a spring within a few pounds of the desired rate is also hard to do. The more advanced the design the harder the rate is to be spot on, not impossible just harder, so some times between design and spring raters the rate maybe off some, our guy for example has a million dollar rater that rates in rebound to where my $1800.00 rater works in compression. Even with that being know that is not where the problems is, unless you know how the spring is made you don’t know how to rate it. For example the old 1 inch x 1 inch thing that we have used for years is not how all springs are made and when used will give a false reading. The best thing to do is to rate the spring and set a bench mark for that spring and make sure that it does change over time. We rate and free height all of our spring and log it to a file which you can see on our web site. Each spring comes with a sn# on the end of it and it is important that you maintain that number so you can log that spring over its life.
Remember that when it comes to springs they aren’t going to last forever, they wear out just like a tire will and the springs needs to be replaced at least every year, but if your car has been off the ground due to an accident you need to inspect your springs real close and maybe even replace them for performance and safety reason.