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Old 09-30-2013, 12:21 AM   #1
takkun_2000
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2000 SL1
Default suspension

hey guys i was wondering im looking for a nice suspension set up after market because i am looking at taking my saturn sl1 to a track day i was wondering if you had any suggestions on things that have worked for you... i would like something that i can lower my car and is a bit stiffer... my 100% dream would be for a fully adjustable to where i can change toe and camber as well as ride hight and stiffness... however this is just a dream because i am just a poor college kid so cost is a bit of a problem

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Old 09-30-2013, 01:17 AM   #2
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1993 SW2
Default Re: suspension

First, an SL2's suspension is setup stiffer. You could find the rollbars off of an S(L,C,W)2 and install them on your SL1.

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Old 09-30-2013, 05:45 AM   #3
fetchitfido
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2001 SC2
Default Re: suspension

Quite a few "auto-x"er's like the SL1 front sway bar while adding a rear sway bar idea.
H&R Sport Springs = ~$210
GR-2 Struts = ~$200 for all 4
Front strut mounts = ~$100
Reuse the rear strut mounts and all bellows & bump stops.
4 wheel Alignment = ~$80, preference seems to be between -1.5 and -2 camber on the front, -1 camber on the rear and zero toe in/out. Factory specs will work fine as well, these will just enhance cornering ability a bit...as well as adding a bit of inside tire wear to the front.

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Old 10-01-2013, 12:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: suspension

thank you very much for the help... my setup that i want is -2 camber and -.125 toe for the fronts

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Old 10-01-2013, 02:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: suspension

Fetchitfido, is that preferred so the car rotates more easily? I'm wanting to get in the autocross scene (among others) once I can get a second Saturn

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Old 10-01-2013, 04:08 PM   #6
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2001 SC2
Default Re: suspension

I'm not sure exactly why but I assume it allows a bit more weight transfer to the front or helps keep all 4 wheels on the ground during hard cornering. Been mentioned quite a few times in the past.

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Old 10-01-2013, 05:57 PM   #7
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2001 SC2
Default Re: suspension

Is this your first event? If so don't mod anything. Many mods make a car worse. Either worse in class or truly worse from a like of understanding the princibles involved.

If you are determined to mod though, I'd ask how old the car is. I ask that because a bunch of mods on old rubber bushings will end up with a harder to manage car, not necessarily better. A friend of mine modded an 92 back in 2004 and we had all kinds of weird things go on until he swapped all of the bushings. All of these cars are getting old, so realize you may have to do some basic work on the car to get performance out of your chassis.

But if all is in good shape. I'd do no toe. Toe will bring tire wear issues into play.

If you are certain you want to modify they car and don't mind cutting into it slot your front upper mount holes (For-to-Aft) to allow for some extra Caster. You going to want the alignment shop to do max equal caster on the front.

You probably want less than -2 camber in the rear as well. you want the car to get throttle off oversteer and your car will push (understeer) with camber the same front and rear. Being that is is an SL1 it will really push.

The suspension on an SL1 is not a good as an SL2. The lack of a bar in the rear really hurts. If you can add one you'll be in better shape, your best bet is to swap the rear suspension center box thingy from a DOHC car. During this would be a good time for a Polly bushing kit.

The SOHC bars are nice and help with the cars balance, but I'd only suggest them if you suspension is properly stiff. If you are running stock springs you'd do better with a DOHC front bar to keep out of nasty Mcstrut camber issues. Even sport springs may be questionable to run a SOHC bar on as the camber curves are more important than balance. The car sticking during a turn is more important than how the car slides out of a turn.

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Old 10-01-2013, 06:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: suspension

I agree on holding off on mods until you get into autox, if for no other reason than to understand what mods will put you in what class, and what kind of competition you'll be up against.

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Old 10-01-2013, 06:05 PM   #9
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2001 SC2
Default Re: suspension

To clear up some bar discussion. The rule of thumb is stiffen the end you want to slip, soften the end you want to stick.

Really it is a differential game.

If you want the rear to step out you can dial in more positive camber, run more toe out, uprate the rear springs, go with a stiffer rear bar or increase the rear tire pressures...

Or you can do the exact opposite to the opposite end.

So by running a softer front bar you are basicly doing the same thing as running a bigger rear bar.

But you have to be careful with just jumping into this setup as On a suspension that is too soft you will be generating too little wheel rate, positive camber will dial in, and the whole car will roll too much and the car won't hold a corner; Depending on your tires being able to generate enough force to compress the suspension.

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Old 11-06-2013, 09:26 PM   #10
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2000 SL1
Default Re: suspension

the reason i want my camber and toe that way are camber: the bes way i can explain it is... normally my tires are like this || which is great for straight aways and i mean not terrible for handling but the way i want it will make it \ / so when i turn it will handle better however when accelerating it will return to || and when turning it will for the left \\ and the right it will go // that is how it was explained to me by my racing friends who have been racing for decades... (mostly miatas and various audis) as for the toe that is something i chose on my own due to the way my tires have been wearing...

and this car is going to be my track car so i am planning on moding it as much as possible

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Old 11-07-2013, 03:38 AM   #11
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Default Re: suspension

Quote:
Originally Posted by takkun_2000 View Post
... the way i want it will make it \ / so when i turn it will handle better however when accelerating it will return to || ...
When the suspension bushings deflect when accelerating, do the S-series front wheels deflect towards toe in or toe out?
When hard on the brakes?

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Old 11-07-2013, 10:16 AM   #12
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Default Re: suspension

Quote:
Originally Posted by takkun_2000 View Post
thank you very much for the help... my setup that i want is -2 camber and -.125 toe for the fronts
Out of the box the saturn has limited camber adjustment. -2 camber will involve either a new strut mounting bracket or drilling of the strut/knuckle joint.

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Old 11-07-2013, 11:33 AM   #13
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2001 SC2
Default Re: suspension

Quote:
Originally Posted by takkun_2000 View Post
the reason i want my camber and toe that way are camber: the bes way i can explain it is... normally my tires are like this || which is great for straight aways and i mean not terrible for handling but the way i want it will make it \ / so when i turn it will handle better however when accelerating it will return to || and when turning it will for the left \\ and the right it will go // that is how it was explained to me by my racing friends who have been racing for decades... (mostly miatas and various audis) as for the toe that is something i chose on my own due to the way my tires have been wearing...

and this car is going to be my track car so i am planning on moding it as much as possible
You probably need to spend a little more time learning the terminology to be able to have more discussion on this topic. Learn What "Camber, Caster, Toe and Ackermann steering is; The later being less important to this discussion, but a really good thing to understand.

I'd also suggest finding a local Autocross group and running with them. You will gain knowledge very quickly by doing that. Also running Autocross before modding your car is a big deal. Your car will be classed reasonably, and you may have more fun because of it.

If you drive this car on the street I'd avoid toe out. To save tires you want 0 or a slight, nearing immeasurable about of toe-out. The front end shifts a little to toe-in when on the throttle. Toe will kill tires.

As for camber changing by how you are turning, that involves Caster and only effects the front wheels, although some rear suspensions can do some such movements during rear suspension compression.

Understand whatever Camber your car has it is useless unless you can load it up. -2.5 degrees on all seasons is not going to make a handling car. You need to match tire and suspension in the mix. That doesn't mean you have to change tires or suspension to play with camber, just that they work together and going extreme on one is not going to always make things better. I will make it worse if the other bits don't work well with that setting.

So the first place to start is tires. Before you worry about camber make sure your tires are squared away.





Modding as much as possible? Can I talk you out of that? If I could I'd gladly do so. While these are great little cars, don't go all out on it just because it is the car you have. There are much better platforms out there. I have a relatively heavily modded SC2 and I'd wave you off of building something similar. If I could go back in time I'd tell myself to think about it more; And I made mine while there were still quite a few places making parts. With that market gone, I'd say the time to build a barnstormer Saturn S-series has also lapsed. Many of the hot parts are gone or will pop up only occasionally and for increased prices. There is also nothing special about the S-series when it comes to performance. No good engine swaps, no good power makers. Overall it is a pretty poor platform to invest in.


I'd move onto something with a bit more support and better return; There are many out there. Sure make this one fun to drive, but I'd set limits on how far to take it.

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Old 11-07-2013, 11:52 AM   #14
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Default Re: suspension

+ 5 for leaving it stock until you run it some.

Every car has different handling characteristics, so what works well on car A or B might not work well on car C to begin with. Beyond that, driving style and preference plays a big role.

For years I hated understeer... on anything. Cars, bicycles, motorcycles, off roaders... all of them. But as front wheel drive became more common I learned that with many FWD cars it's easier to manage than a FWD car that is tail happy. It was a matter of adapting what I liked and was used to.

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Old 11-07-2013, 05:10 PM   #15
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Default Re: suspension

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+ 5 for leaving it stock until you run it some.

Every car has different handling characteristics, so what works well on car A or B might not work well on car C to begin with. Beyond that, driving style and preference plays a big role.

For years I hated understeer... on anything. Cars, bicycles, motorcycles, off roaders... all of them. But as front wheel drive became more common I learned that with many FWD cars it's easier to manage than a FWD car that is tail happy. It was a matter of adapting what I liked and was used to.

FWDs that oversteer is having your cake and eating it too. An oversteerring FWD is a beautiful thing and it can make you look like a superhero. The power input and steering with the gas works in a way that is just more controllable. Throttle off, Rear slides. Throttle on, Rear grips.

Oversteering RWDs get spooky. They are more fun, but no faster (with comparable cars) and more of a balancing act. More power can settle the rear down, or make it slide more depending on any number of factors.

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Old 11-11-2013, 03:18 PM   #16
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Default Re: suspension

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud819 View Post
Is this your first event? If so don't mod anything. Many mods make a car worse.
this is the best advice in this entire thread. don't mod anything until you learn how to properly drive the car in its stock form...


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