Carlisle and event related pictures are to be placed in the relevant section under 'Events'.
The 238 code swap is great - if you have the horsepower. The gearing is the tallest that i know of in a 5 spd but i find myself having to shift back to 1st gear on tight courses. I had the input shaft machined to the 4cyl trans length and end diameter. Installation was just as easy as any other t5.
Why? Corner entry bite. This car has always been a challenge to get any type of corner entry without understeer. Roll bar bind is a huge issue with these cars, and what the idea is, is that is something contributing to my corner entry understeer. While i've been able to work around this with throttle induced slip angle to get the car "right" again, the sledgehammer technique isn't always the fastest (while it may be the most fun.) Talking with Joe (heat), and Anglin and Grayson, i'm going to try this out and let ya'll know how it works.
Cost of entry for this is fairly inexpensive. Burton Power out of the UK has them for the Sierra. At the time of this post, the conversion rates and shipping had them to my door in under 10 days for a little over $250 USD.
Couple of notes:
1. The mounting bracket to the chassis, if you have converted to studs, is the hardest part. I had to tweak how the studs come out to get this to line up.
2. You need to have the strut at full minimum length, since it's adjustable, and have the TCA in the highest position to get it to fit. Place the TCA mount first, then line up the heim joint, then lower the TCA to get the bolt to line up.
3. This is by far easier to install than reinstalling the sway bar. There is no fighting anything, no cussing, etc.
My car is in off season mode until april, so i wont be able to post results for a few months. And since pictures talk, i snapped a few.
Chassis mount with heim joint
Another view, showing no interference with stud mounts
TCA mounting point (solid) - this will make some noise, i'm sure.
I'm going to copy / paste this in a new thread, as well as i know a lot of people are interested in this.
Notes: The car, even in the wet, has better turn in. The dreaded merkur lack of corner entry bite is gone. There was no noticeable "sway" with the lack of the bar, but i'm running fairly aggressive suspension, so i'm not sure how this would work for a more streetable setup. Overall, i'm very pleased. I was able to put 2 seconds on the 2015 CP champion, who is very quick, however he was on A6's and it was raining. I'm running R888's this season which i imagine has a lot to do with it.
I am able to carry a fairly decent slip angle with no real threat of spinning. Before, it was not nearly as easy - the car would suffer from (i think) ARB bind.
Overall, i'm happy, but i only have a single event, and it was raining. I'll keep you all posted when i get some dry runs in.
There would be more, but obviously our photographer didn't want to move around too much.
Damping is bilstein inverted monotube, custom valved with hypercoil 600lb/in springs, top is QA-1 (steeda) mustang camber / caster plate on custom strut top mounts.
The car clicks and clacks - most of the suspension is heim joint, rigid mount, etc but she's controllable.
Thoughts: The new setup is a win. I am not going back to a sway bar.
Corner entry was drastically improved. There is little discernible corner entry understeer, which plagued me since I started running this car back in 2005. Sweepers / steady cornering at the limit has a tendency to oversteer, which I prefer. The car just does it. I had no less than a dozen people comment on how fast the car was compared to before - and remember, I'm in a fire breathing CP class against built v8's on massive race tires. I'm running R888's this season which are an R compound street tire, and I was able to hold first in class for a little while. Ended up second by a little more than 4 tenths to a really, really well prepared mustang who has an amazing driver.
The car is controllable, there is no noticeable snap oversteer any more. The other thing that helped this was converting the rear to racing shocks and coilovers, which I did back in... 08?
You wear the car now, controlling slip angle is just natural. My fastest run I had the tail out ever so slightly on a very long left handed sweeper. One of my favorite comments was "you just had that car dancing out there, didn't you?"
I'll post a few pics when they become available. I'm very happy with the new setup.
Bonus points, I did spin once.
Hard right hander, decreasing radius to a tight left
rapid transition to the left
And because it's me, spin it!
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With softer spring rates, i'd bet it'd be a win. I wouldn't really want to recommend the struts with no bar for a lightly sprung car (450 or less, probably, and yes i know that's not light for a daily driver).
edit: thinking about it, for years i've always had the issue of lifting a tire off the ground, front or rear - depending on how i was attacking a corner. Looks good in pictures but reduces your contact patch by 25%, now, my suspension is finally able to work as designed. Truly independently.
Current suspension setup with alignment specifications:
Spring Rate - hypercoil 600lb/in, 2.5" ID, 9" tall (I think i have to check my notes) with helper springs
Damping - Bilstein inverted 40mm monotube, custom valved for car weight / spring rate
Bushings - Powerflex "black" series inner TCA, outer TCA solid to compression strut
Strut Top - custom strut top mount with mustang QA1 camber / caster plates, heim joint top bushing.
MC2hardware, strut top, and spring perch.
Antiroll bar- none. Compression struts used from Burton Power (Mc2Racing might start fabricating these, stay tuned)
1/8" total toe out, static
2.8 degrees negative camber, static (this might change once i analyze tire wear)
6 (questionable, i need to measure) positive caster
Spring Rate - hypercoil 325lb/in, 2.5" ID, 12" springs, coilover location
Damping - QA1 Carrera 4/4 aluminum threaded body racing dampers
Bushings - Mc2Racing nylon STA inner / outer, solid mount beam, mc2racing rear diff mount, TIG welded to be solid mounted
Antiroll Bar - none
1.8 degrees negative camber, static (shimmed)