My Stewart Development Shock/Damper Review - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members
 


Suspension, Brakes, Drivetrain discuss the wondrous effects of boost and your miata...

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-29-2011, 06:27 PM   #1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Eastern US
Posts: 62
Total Cats: -5
Default My Stewart Development Shock/Damper Review

First of all, I wanted to thank Bernie and especially John Mueller for making this come together for me.

Second of all, I do not feel like posting my shock dyno plots (I want to see how I do at autocross and track days) and if you want to see dyno plots, get your own custom valved dampers.

So here we go:
After 3 long hours I installed them today using the long-bolt method. The 3 hours included set-up time, labor and 45 minute test drive.

Installation:
No problems, hardware came off easy due to anti-seize I used when installing the FCM top Hat kit. Everything went smooth. I removed the front splash shield and the RB Anti-Sway blocks so I could slide the bolts forward. I have AC and PS so I needed room to slide the bolts forward. I think I only used 12, 14, 17, 19 and 21mm sockets and wrenches, all 6 point. A snap-on 3/4 inch flex head ratchet combined with an open end 21 dispatched the nuts and long bolts. Everything else was easy but time consuming. Torque speq checks from the Mazda manual are included in this total task time. Cleaning and other steps are also included. 9:30-12:30 with only a 15 minute break for cigarette and coffee after finishing the rears.

Setup:
Spec Miata suspension: 700# front springs and 325# rear springs. Spec Miata front and rear bars. For Autocross I have tried the rear bar off, disconnected or replaced with stock and it works in tuning out oversteer on certain courses.

Test Drive-Typical Crappy Roads:
The handling is unreal! Yes, unreal! Awesome! Not daily driver awesome, but handling awesome! Any ripples on the road less than 1" are dispatched with ease. The rebound damping is unreal. The car just comes back down and there is no drama. Certain high speed turns (50-70 mph) with broken pavement mid-turn are now very confidence inspiring. The car refuses to jack down. The car refuses to skitter. During a concrete section of overpass some 3 miles long where I get strong wash-boarding on my moto, this car is just composed. When the pavement is rough and I put my foot in it she just goes forward with confidence and no drama and no loss of grip. If I jump on the brakes on rough pavement, the tires just stick and the dampers handle the imperfections with ease. During large high speed transitions, the car is balanced left to right and quick to turn in and quick to roll out. Much quicker than before. This is with 205-50 Bridgestone RE-11s on 15x7 Team Dynamics with 30 offset.

2nd Test Drive-Mountain Roads:
Same conclusions as before: when stepping on it, the car just goes no matter how rough the pavement is even in a turn. Mountain roads, with smooth pavement and the car just rolls a bit and grips like crazy. The transitions from left to right are smooth, well controlled and very fast. Mountain roads with snakes and ripples do not unsettle the dampers even at speeds 10-15 mph faster than before.

Broken up roads:
Do not get this suspension set-up if you are looking for comfort on crap roads as this is not a Rally set-up. I was not. My DGF found the SM package comfy while I thought it was somewhat punishing at times. This is much better because these re-valved dampers do a better job of eliminating the small stuff. I found myself taking the outer lane in high-speed turns and purposely driving through the drain covers yet the dampers handled it without any issues unlike before where I would avoid the dips. Manhole covers whether raised or dipped could not unsettle the car either at similar speeds.

What's Next?
I want to test these in the wet and at an autocross as well as a track day or two. I will post the results. I just wish I had the money to get 3-5 set-ups from Bernie for various conditions. I also wish I had a garage where I could do suspension swaps whenever I felt like it.

Summary:
For a non-adjustable suspension (except for ride-height) this is awesome. Bang for the buck, it is impossible to beat. I keep futzing around with my Moto settings (high and low speed compression and rebound adjustments) to no avail. They never match my driving. I bet that for track work, backed up by a data-logger one could optimize settings on multi-adjustable dampers but in my experience, those feature just do not work well on the street unless you find a compromise and then set and forget. That being said, I was looking for a re-valve that matched most of my needs and I think I found it.

Thank you Bernie for a great job, and thank you John for cleaning up the backlog and the comm issues. You guys are tops. My money went to the right place. Cheers!

PS. This is NA Miata used for DD, Autocross, Track Days on bumpy tracks, ... Not yet Turbo, but in next 1-3 years if my skills improve sufficiently handling-wise.

danny2747 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2011, 07:23 PM   #2
Senior Member
iTrader: (8)
 
paNX2K&SE-R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mocksville, NC
Posts: 676
Total Cats: 11
Default

How much did it run for the rebuild?
paNX2K&SE-R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2011, 08:59 PM   #3
Elite Member
iTrader: (9)
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Concord, North Carolina
Posts: 4,172
Total Cats: 5
Default

I'm confused as to why you aren't posting the shock dynos? Are you a nationally competitive autocrosser?
miatamania is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2011, 09:30 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Fairfield, California
Posts: 418
Total Cats: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by miatamania View Post
I'm confused as to why you aren't posting the shock dynos? Are you a nationally competitive autocrosser?
Yeah, what he said. And for consistency's sake, a pox upon you, sir.
Thucydides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2011, 10:01 PM   #5
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Eastern US
Posts: 62
Total Cats: -5
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by paNX2K&SE-R View Post
How much did it run for the rebuild?
Weekend-Racer has the current prices. I paid something less, but that is another story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miatamania View Post
I'm confused as to why you aren't posting the shock dynos? Are you a nationally competitive autocrosser?
No, not nationally competitive. Not even regionally competitive yet. Soon.
My goals are different than most. Let me sort things out with Bernie and John and see if I can post something. Their work is awesome, but me set-up may not work at all for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thucydides View Post
Yeah, what he said. And for consistency's sake, a pox upon you, sir.
What does this mean, sir? I am sorry, but do not understand "... a pox upon you..."?
danny2747 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2011, 11:34 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Fairfield, California
Posts: 418
Total Cats: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by danny2747 View Post
What does this mean, sir? I am sorry, but do not understand "... a pox upon you..."?
All in fun, Danny.

It's a medieval insult essentially hoping you catch a case of the clap. In Romeo and Juliette, Juliette's cousin Tybalt get's fatally stabbed by Romeo in a quarrel, and because he's pissed at the whole situation says, "A plague on both your houses", meaning, essentially, "**** you all, ********". "A pox on you" isn't nearly as serious as that, and is only mild insult of the sort you would expect from a buddy because you refused to buy him a beer, or for withholding high performance shock information.
Thucydides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2011, 11:45 PM   #7
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Eastern US
Posts: 62
Total Cats: -5
Default

Just for that:
Attached Thumbnails
My Stewart Development Shock/Damper Review-dannysdshocks.gif  
danny2747 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2011, 12:07 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Fairfield, California
Posts: 418
Total Cats: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by danny2747 View Post
Just for that:
Thucydides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2011, 12:08 AM   #9
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Eastern US
Posts: 62
Total Cats: -5
Default

danny2747 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2011, 12:17 PM   #10
Senior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 951
Total Cats: -252
Default

mine
Attached Thumbnails
My Stewart Development Shock/Damper Review-sdmiatadyno.jpg  
wannafbody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2011, 01:57 PM   #11
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Eastern US
Posts: 62
Total Cats: -5
Default

Thanks wannafbody.
danny2747 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2011, 08:28 PM   #12
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Eastern US
Posts: 62
Total Cats: -5
Default More Driving

No wet weather, so I just did more Daily Driving:
The set up is outstanding! All the small stuff bumps and drops 1-2 inches do not unsettle the car at legal speeds. At all! This is good enough that I would recommend as a Daily Driver set-up. Remember that I run 700# springs up front so a lot of energy gets stored and released. These shocks are doing a great job of dealing with the bumps and they do not shock the tires which is exactly what I was looking for.
At low speeds, they are on par and sometimes better, albeit sometimes worse than my stock Mazda2 OEM set-up. If the potholes or bumps are severe, the Mazda2 absorbs them better but the chassis gets unsettled as it bucks over the terrible roads.

Today I did a 2 hour road-test in mixed conditions (traffic-wise and road condition-wise) and my opinion did not change. The car is very composed, easy to control and I continue to love high speed turns over less than perfect pavement. The suspension is composed, compliant and yet very communicative. The quarter I ran over is tails-up!

My DGF drove the car Saturday over 100 miles and came back with these comments: Much better than before, smoother, more comfortable, car felt faster, easier to slice through traffic, more confidence inspiring braking over broken asphalt, less busy, easier to drive. She'll be driving the car to work over the next 2-3 weeks every day, so we should be collecting some 1,000 miles on this set-up.

I have a track day at the end of the month and hopefully will get some wet weather wheel time before then.

Hope you like this kind of feedback and post questions if you have any.
danny2747 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2011, 12:08 AM   #13
Senior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 951
Total Cats: -252
Default

I drove mine over the weekend too. I aimed the car toward some broken pavement and fairly large dips with drainage grates, I gritted my teeth waiting for the impact-they ending up being non events.
wannafbody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2011, 05:47 PM   #14
Senior Member
iTrader: (9)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lexington SC
Posts: 1,003
Total Cats: 14
Default

These shocks are great for handling and are not harsh at all compared to other shocks. I have one complaint though. For some reason, even though bumps are not harsh, the chassis accelerates up and down just enough that it makes me feel queazy on longer rides on less than perfect roads. I experience this especially on mt 45 mile drive to/from work every day. I have never expereinced this before. I have read some reports that this could be related to the rebound settings used. Have you guys experienced anything like this?
Rallas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2011, 06:04 PM   #15
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Eastern US
Posts: 62
Total Cats: -5
Default

I can't say that I experienced this, but now that you mentioned, I will pay attention to this. I wonder if a frequency calculation may not yield some sort of coupling between front and rear. Anyway, can you duplicate the symptom and post more details? Try the same section of road at varying speeds and see if the symptom subsides.
danny2747 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2011, 07:10 PM   #16
Senior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 951
Total Cats: -252
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by relte View Post
These shocks are great for handling and are not harsh at all compared to other shocks. I have one complaint though. For some reason, even though bumps are not harsh, the chassis accelerates up and down just enough that it makes me feel queazy on longer rides on less than perfect roads. I experience this especially on mt 45 mile drive to/from work every day. I have never expereinced this before. I have read some reports that this could be related to the rebound settings used. Have you guys experienced anything like this?
I doubt that it's the shocks-I suspect that it has to do with ride frequencies. Try upping the rear spring rate and see if it goes away.
wannafbody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2011, 09:15 AM   #17
Senior Member
iTrader: (9)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lexington SC
Posts: 1,003
Total Cats: 14
Default

I have no problem duplicating the symptoms, all I have to do is find a less than perfect road. I have tried 2 different spring rate setups 550fr/250r and 400f/250r. I had a previous suspension setup with rates really close to the 400f/250r and did not experience the sensation I am feeling. I might see if I can borrow a set of 350's for the rear from a friend of mine. I really have a perfect f/r ratio for my handling preferences so I do not want to screw it up.
Can any of you guys post a copy of your "before" dyno plot? Bernie only sent me the "after" plot. Assuming that most of the shocks are pretty much the same out of the box, it will help me better understand what he actually changed on my set.
Rallas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2011, 09:30 AM   #18
Boost Czar
iTrader: (61)
 
Braineack's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Chantilly, VA
Posts: 72,823
Total Cats: 1,781
Default

If you up the rear rate and then put the front sway at full stiff

I went from 400/250 to 400/333 and love it.
Braineack is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2011, 06:10 PM   #19
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Eastern US
Posts: 62
Total Cats: -5
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by relte View Post
I have no problem duplicating the symptoms, all I have to do is find a less than perfect road. I have tried 2 different spring rate setups 550fr/250r and 400f/250r. I had a previous suspension setup with rates really close to the 400f/250r and did not experience the sensation I am feeling. I might see if I can borrow a set of 350's for the rear from a friend of mine. I really have a perfect f/r ratio for my handling preferences so I do not want to screw it up.
Can any of you guys post a copy of your "before" dyno plot? Bernie only sent me the "after" plot. Assuming that most of the shocks are pretty much the same out of the box, it will help me better understand what he actually changed on my set.
I do not have a before as I was not really interested in the before. I am sure that if you ask Bernie he will provide you with one. I've been harassing him quite a bit with technical Q's lately and I want to keep a bit of goodwill for my next re-valve.
danny2747 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2011, 09:51 PM   #20
Senior Member
iTrader: (9)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lexington SC
Posts: 1,003
Total Cats: 14
Default

Brain, do you still run a rear swaybar with 330 rear rates? I already have the front bar full stiff. Increasing to 330lb/in in the rear will make it oversteer more correct? I really like the neutral setup I have with my Jackson F/R bars and 400/250 springs.
Rallas is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Koni 1150 Coilover Kit drumman83 Suspension, Brakes, Drivetrain 2 09-25-2015 08:03 PM
Prepping for the cars first track day MechE Race Prep 70 09-12-2015 04:20 PM
Looking for website developers / designers UrbanSoot Insert BS here 14 05-13-2008 01:47 AM
MS won't power on sometimes? elesjuan MEGAsquirt 2 02-09-2008 03:13 PM
Link Engine Management LEM G3 - product reviewer required Link Engine Management General Miata Chat 19 04-05-2007 04:35 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:16 PM.