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308 spring rate increase??

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by chrismorse, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. chrismorse

    chrismorse Formula 3

    Feb 16, 2004
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    Just finished rebuilding the front suspension with poly bearings and doing new shock bushings. After putting a few miles on the front rebuild, the front clunking is gone BUT the front shocks now appear to be leaking and the front end now seems "light or soft".

    So, the options now look like:
    Rebuild the konis
    Buy new konis
    Buy Ohlins, QA-1s, Bilsteins or Morisy, (sp?).

    Since many things still need to be done to get the car "right", I've opted for the adjustable QA-1s at $152.39 from Summitt. This also will allow "improved spring rates, even though it will require doing the rear - which is cool.

    I would very much appreciate advice on increased f/r spring rates. I have cruised some of the archives and found:
    300/300.
    325/275.
    400/350.
    450/400.

    A few general notes to narrow/guide the selection: 85% "quick" street driving, 15% track. 16-17 inch rims with 40-45 aspect ratio hp street tires, (not yet purchased). I am willing to trade a significant amount of comfort, (softness & compliance) for quick & precise handling.

    I am leaning toward 400-350, F/R. Is this likely to be excessive?

    Since I am doing a 1400 mile trip, (maiden voyage) on the fourth, I need to get things going quickly.

    All comments apreciated.

    thanks,
    chris

    p.s. now have 4 stock koni bushings, (new from Dennis McCann) $50./set.
     
  2. Sloan83qv

    Sloan83qv F1 Rookie
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    300 front
    250 rear


    Paul
     
  3. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Chris,

    While i have not tried higher, agree with Paul in 300 front, 250 rear seems to work VERY well for spirited street (and i mean VERY spirited street in these New England mountain roads with straights, LOTS of twisty bits and PLENTY of elevation changes).

    FYI: COMPLETELY redid the suspension here only weeks ago (graphite Energy Suspension bushings of course) and have been VERY busy tuning and testing her out. Also lowered the car. See this thread http://www.ferrariforum.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2742 .

    Used Fchat sponsor Nick's springs/shocks (see http://www.nicksforzaferrari.com/forzaferrariwebsite1005.htm ). They allow height and also compression AND ALSO rebound adjustment. i now have her dialed in for spirited street, yet within 10 minutes i can make her ride (more like "float") for a very comfy smooth ride... or for spirited street :)

    While it WOULD BE nice to have fully electronically controlled suspension so i can just electronically "dial in" the ride i want, the costs go up SIGNIFICANTLY versus manually making the adjustment... and it only takes me about 10 minutes to make the adjustment manually not that i KNOW what changes to make.

    So in the end... i HATE the stock Koni and with Nick's setup you can adjust not only ride height, but also to the flavor of ride you desire for the given "event." i have a feeling going with stiffer shocks would significantly lower the (relatively) "comfy" zone and make for a possibly TOO HARSH ride for the street (these things being subjective of course). Yes i can make the ride VERY stiff with the 300/250 and Nick's shocks.

    Feel free to ask me ANY questions my friend. And yes, i hate the stock seats and to properly do this i feel you also MUST add proper race-type seats and DOT legal 4/5-way harness (got my seats and Schroth street legal harness from Jim Huston at http://www.motorsportseats.com ) who was a joy to deal with. Jim is a GREAT guy i can HIGHLY recommend

    At the speed i make turns i found myself sliding within the stock seat A LOT and this IS NOT a good thing so my left knee/foot would also be used to TRY to keep me planted within the seat accordingly. With the new seats i am IN the car FIRMLY and this GREATLY allows me to spend my efforts where they are MUCH NEEDED (read: driving the car to the limits).

    NOTE: Nick's spring ARE NOT the progressive type. It is your decision if you want to go with those, yet so far have not felt the need for that type. Once you make the shock decision (dump Koni for better units) changing out springs is fairly straightforward.

    You might also want to see http://www.ferrarichat.com/discus/messages/256120/199158.html
     
  4. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

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    Ohhh, there is an awful lot of personal opinion involved in the "what is the right spring" question. I think most everyone agrees that the stock springs are too soft. I ran 300/250 set up and found it a big improvement, but really still too soft for my personal liking, I certainly would not go any lower than that. I now have 450/400 and would not go any higher on the street. I think I've been at both ends now...moderation is appearently not my middle name :) The last point is that the same springs will feel different on different shocks. Generally I've found that the more money you spend on shocks, the more spring you can tolerate before the ride gets harsh. Since spring are only $50 or $60 a pair it's not a big deal if you get a set and are not happy with them or just want to try something else. If the car is realy going to spend 15% of it's time on the track, I would probably try the 400/350. If being honest with yourself it will only spend 1 or 2% of it's time on the track, you may want to start with something a little lower, 350/300 or so. Good luck!
     
  5. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Mike,

    You make a very good point. i guess in the end it is indeed a personal thing (as i kinda danced around by saying it is all a personal preference). Hmm... maybe i'll try 450/400 one day and see how it goes :)
     
  6. Corsa

    Corsa Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
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    Whats 328 stock spring rates?
    Are you all really sure that the front springs should be stiffer than the rear springs?

    I have 375 front, 365 rear and Öhlins shocks on 328 88.5.

    Ciao
    Peter
     
  7. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Peter,

    In stock form on the 308QV, front and rear are nearly the same with the GTS. Going larger front, IMHO, greatly helps at reducing the front from severely dipping during hard braking. So far with 300/250 all seems very well balanced and by tuning the shocks (because the ones i use have BOTH compression and rebound adjustments), i feel zero oversteer nor understeer after spending quite a bit of time tuning her. It is VERY neutral at the limits. Of course this is with my lightened car, my new graphite Energy bushings suspension bushings, my setup, etc.

    Odds are i will flirt around with larger springs which will actually REDUCE the percentage of difference between front and rear (say, 450/400 verses the current 300/250 versus stock 175/186). As mentioned by Mike, the actual shocks you use also make a difference. If given unlimited funds, naturally an electronically controlled suspension would help greatly at trial and error to dial things in given different tracks/street driving/your preferences.

    Oh, and allow your wallet to open V-E-R-Y W-I-D-L-E-Y...


    And now to answer your question, not sure the 328 spring rates. Anyone, anyone, Bueller? Bueller?
     
  8. chrismorse

    chrismorse Formula 3

    Feb 16, 2004
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    Paul,
    Thanks for the #s - I have admired your silver Euro for some time. Did the 360 rims go on without spacers or relocating the rear spring mount? Are they all 8x18 and 10x18 on the 360's. Stock 360 wheel bolts? Sure looks good.

    Steve,
    Great write up on your tuning efforts. BTW how can you guys lower the front an inch or so WITH the euro front dam and not clean it off the car?? do the springs help that much?? I've already cleaned off the zerk fittings on my rear sway bar mounts within200 miles and the front fiberglass pan is a cosmetic disaster, - more on that later first got to get the chasis set up.

    I'd be interested to hear your assesment of of the understeer/oversteer balance and what adjustments you made to get there, e.g. shock settings, height adjustments, camber, caster and toe. I am assuming you have the stock bars, perhaps with urethane buchings? I would expect the transient response/weight transfer to be much quicker/predictable with the more effective shocks and stiffer springs. I can hardly wait to do this. The leaky front shocks and the ckunk in the back that i suspect is a shock and will not go away with the shock bushing replacement are a welcome "disaster".

    I digress, sorry, Your wheel and tire combination is probably very close to what I will end up with. As much as i admire the 360 wheels, i suspect that i will need a bit more compliance from the tires on our rough roads, and i really do not want to go to a taller tire on the 18 inch rim, (reduced fender clearance & braking, ground clearance-good, CG height, not so good.).

    So, how much were those nifty seats and belts? They look like they really do the job and the bolsters do not seem so high that getting in and out will be a world class gymnastic feet. BTW, how is getting in and out. When I got out of the modified racing seat in my P-car, it made a kind of sucking noise as I levered my way out - just kidding, but still curious. The 308 doors do not seem to open very far, is this normal??

    Boy, a couple of beers and my mouth really starts to drift a bit.

    So, how did you establish the initial height setting?? It looks like getting this right without scales could be a real PITA - but worth it. This could be a really good reason to go back and reread Carroll Smith's Tune to Win again!
    Alas, time is short, tomorrow, I will order the springs and shocks, be gone next week end and return to get the car ready for the trip to san diego for the forth, so any advice you could give would be REALLY appreciated, its got to be worth at least a beer. or white zinfandell or ripple or what ever you are drinking. (an early 04 Tokay perhaps)?

    humbly,
    chris
     
  9. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Chris,

    WOW, lots of questions. Lemme get a fresh cup of cappuccino and a cigar...

    Ahhhhhhhhh, much better. Ok, here we go:

    Lowering the car was done sanely so i have 3.75 inches clearance and (IMPORTANT HERE) i had KTR http://www.ktrmotorsports.com make all the alignment/adjustments with 170 lbs in the driver's seat. They did all the alignment too. And with HARD braking no, the front deep air dam DOES NOT scrape. Obviously i avoid high speed bumps, but so far so good (knocking on wood).

    YES, the beefier springs help GREATLY at keeping the front from diving hard to the ground during braking. i'll NEVER go back to stock again!!!!!!!!!! As for how to lower, both Paul and i use Fchat sponsor Nick's shocks (http://www.nicksforzaferrari.com/forzaferrariwebsite1_005.htm) that allow for lowering. As for bushings, as mentioned before they are the BLACK Graphite ones by Energy Suspension.

    Shock settings can be variable dependant on many things. Best bet is to start on the highish number side of the adjustments and drive and feel and drive and adjust and feel and drive (use a stop watch too of course). Odds are Paul's settings and mine differ as he has less tire side wall on his tires. Of course tire pressure and track/road conditions also may dictate a certain setting (and why i wished for a more electronically active system, but can you say BIG BIG BIG $,$$$ to $$,$$$).

    As for the seat belts and harness, contact Jim Huston at http://www.motorsportseats.com ). i called quite a few folks before deciding to use Jim. Some of the guys were, frankly, not at all helpful nor friendly. i AM NOT one to ask many questions as am web savvy, yet even 2 or 3 questions seemed to burden SOME folks. Use Jim, he is a GREAT guy. The seats msrp is $500 each or so and the seat belts i forget the price. Call Jim as Schroth is the ONLY folks who REALLY know their stuff AND ALSO make pure DOT legal solutions to the best of my knowledge. Sabelt and Sparco belts are a "popular choice", but i have NEVER been a follower in life. i prefer finding the BEST solutions WITHOUT short cuts or, how shall i say this, "overly creative solutions that are not really appropriate."

    Getting in and out of the car is not a big deal for me as the sides are not overly high like you find in a pure race bucket. This is one of the reasons i chose the Sparco Roadster. The other reasons are they are light weight, VERY supportive, and the total seat height is low enough to fit IN the car (VERY important here). Also, the OMP low rise side seat brackets mount right in to factory bottom bolt locations :)


    >>>Boy, a couple of beers and my mouth really starts to drift a bit.<<<

    Try being on your SECOND cup of cappuccino in the AM. Life moves FASTER and FASTER as the clock seems to slow to a crawl :)

    Initial ride height was done SANELY. Naturally she could have been further lowered BUT you MUST assess your roads and conditions. If i lived in flatland Florida (or a PURE and ONLY race track car) i probably could get away with a 2.5 inch front air dam clearance and adjust the rear height for proper aero accordingly. As i live in BUMPY, hilly, twisty, curvy New Hampshire a higher height of 3.75 inch clearance front air dam was more appropriate (REMEMBER/IMPORTANT: have ALL setting made with YOUR WEIGHT + a few lbs in the driver's seats and have 1/2 tank of gas in car).


    >>>It looks like getting this right without scales could be a real PITA - but worth it. This could be a really good reason to go back and reread Carroll Smith's Tune to Win again!<<<

    Yes, yes, and YES... and make sure you have some good funds and plenty of time on your hands. As for me, lost my driving license for 60 days so that gave me a two month envelope to get the work done :) Call it "turning a liability into an asset" :) So when the 60 days were up the car was better than before. And no, will not go into my driving habit/style at this time. Perhpa if i drove a Yugo... but this IS a Ferrari folks and built to be DRIVEN!!!

    MAKE SURE you redo ALL the bushings with the BLACK GRAPHITE Energy Suspension ones, the stock ones SUCK EGGS!!!! Also, the upper A Arm needs to be slightly modded (Nick will tell you what to do) to fit the larger springs as the top front A Arms travel. This ALSO now allows you to use nearly any standard spring easily WITHOUT needing a spring compression device during removal/installation :)


    Good luck and happy trails...
     
  10. Sloan83qv

    Sloan83qv F1 Rookie
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    Chris,

    The 360 wheels are 8's in front and 10's in rear, the adaptors were ordered through Nicks Forza Ferrari and came with all wheels bolts. Ther was no shock mount changes but I am using Nicks shocks which have the 2.5" springs rather than the 4" on the Konni's.

    Paul

    I gave Steve the wrong spring #'s and I am sure you can trust him when he tells you that 300 in rear is too much.
    Stick with the 300/250 as both Steve and I have.
     
  11. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Ummm, yes... and add to this job the the price of a few hours of FERRARI MECHANIC labor to redo the springs from 300 rear to 250 rear and re-setup the car for ride height/corner weighing accordingly :(

    FYI: With 300 rear it was hard to get the back end DOWN to proper height and not be too stiff (and still have usable movement) with Nick's shocks. There are MANY variables here and why if there is someone with a "known good", USE IT!!!!!!!!! Suspension tuning is not necessarily "cut and dry" and the best laid plans can go to h@ll faster than a rabbit gets... But i digress. Thanks for reminding me Paul, i was NOT amused at the 300 rear, but all IS forgiven my friend and no worries. The way she handles now is friggen amazing and i cancelled the order for the Yoko A032R tires until HRE comes out with their new ultra-light rims. Am debating going 17 or 18 inchers.
     
  12. pma1010

    pma1010 F1 Rookie

    Jul 21, 2002
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    Chris
    If you search on alignment, there is quite a bit of stuff on the current and the old site. Also, how you set the car up comes down to how you use your car (street, track) and what you are trying to achieve so, in processing advice, keep that in mind.

    With that as a reference, I use my 308 almost exclusively at the track and run 3 degrees negative camber up front, 2.5 at rear, stock caster, no toe at front, stock toe at rear on DOT comp rubber with 25% harder springs and 22mm (F), 18mm (R) ARBs. Aligned with tires at 32 psi so that the control arms are parallel to the ground. It is nicely balanced at Road America (faster corners) but has too much mid corner understeer at Gingerman (slower corners therefore more spring needed to correct the f-> r load transfer). We are going 350 F, 275 R next to see how this changes the car.

    Oh, and I've broken the air dam at least once under heavy braking.
    HTH
    Philip
     
  13. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    <Bows Humbly>

    Impressive. MOST impressive! Do you have the Brembo brake kit or ???
     
  14. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

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    You'll be up to 450 soon enough :)

    .....I do want to drop the rear to 375 or maybe 350 though, with the 400s it doesn't bite as well as I think it should leaving the turns.
     
  15. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    mk e.

    Speaking of biting when leaving the turns... Had a great FUN evening and DAMN she bites like a snake and especially true when getting on the throttle after the apex and leaving the turn. Am STILL trying to (carefully) find out where grip ends and slide begins. Frankly, am very surprised the Kumho tires are capable of this type of grip (very warm road and tires).

    i really need a good track day or large open parking lot to sort out at what point she will break free. For now it seems MUCH HIGHER than stock EVER was.
     
  16. pma1010

    pma1010 F1 Rookie

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    Mark
    My guess is you are right, but I am told the spring rates I quoted are the absolute limit of the Konis when set to full hard. I've already been warned this may not be the final set up. We'll see.

    FYI, the race 308s ran something like 800 F, 500 R.

    Steve
    Stock brakes for another month until the 355 brake kit goes on the car. We've just put a manual proportioning valve in and I'll get to play with it at Blackhawk later this week. (I was locking the rears into turn 12 at Road America. Bobileff recommended the fix). BTW, race pads with an aggressive initial bite will put the air dam on the tarmac unless you are careful.

    Anyone have a recommendation on a 16" "starter" slick tire?
    Philip
     
  17. chrismorse

    chrismorse Formula 3

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    I haven't seen a Ferrari on the road in my county, (Humboldt), in a year or two. So, I gotta tell ya, FerrariChat is like a lifeline here.
    Any way, here is what I ordered at 7:30 this morning, (Wish I would have waited for a few more posts).

    From Summit Racing:

    Double adjustable QA-1s
    350 lb front springs.
    300 lb rear springs.
    Shock wrench
    "Torrington" bearings for the bottom spring mounts.
    1 summit fender cover.

    These shocks sure look like the ones from Nick's. I haven't researched it.

    Im going out of town to see my ailing dad this weekend, but the following week end, I'll get this stuff set up. I've been calling up old auto cross buddies to see if anyone has a set of scales to do the corner weighting. Has anyone got a suggestion for the set up??

    It is not the thrill of work that levitates my 56 year old tuby carcas out of the sack at 6am, it is the curosity, the drive to maintain and "improve" the gtb.

    thanks again guys,
    chris
     
  18. blu328gts

    blu328gts Formula 3
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    Chris,

    Would you mind posting the Summit part numbers? Am considering this route as well.

    Thanks,
    ~Rick~
     
  19. chrismorse

    chrismorse Formula 3

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    The ordering info is in my office. will post soon. and follow up with a confirmationthat it really fits - or not.
    cm
     
  20. chrismorse

    chrismorse Formula 3

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    Phillip,

    Sorry no help on the tires. And as long as we are drifting a bit from the spring issue, Could you point me to a post or let me know about the 355 upgrade. I love brakes. How much bigger than the brembo front 308 kit, (disc size and caliper piston dia. & #). Will it bolt on the 308 front spindle? with what size wheel? Does this 355 upgrade do anythingfor the back rotors or calipers. I gotsta know.
    It's ok, I'm calming down a bit now, I'll be ok.

    thanks,
    chris
     
  21. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Philip,

    REALLY appreciate your sharing of information here. Am also using stock brakes but with EBC Green Stuff pads. They had ok initial bite but i DO like that i need to put good effort into them for hard braking. What i mean is, you really have a lot of variables in the braking as the harder you press the harder she stops but you have a GOOD amount of in-between pressure so it is not overly touchy/jerky. As an endurance runner/bicyclist my leg muscles are very well tuned for this added effort needed and i like the fact there is a good amount of variable versus a very hard and fast bite with the slightest braking. Still... i do want better braking so i am considering the Brembo solution. How much is the 355 kit and does it simply bolt on or ???

    Who makes the manual proportion valve? Have seen them in the JC Whitney catalog and have been considering finding one that works for the 308. Who makes the one you are using (and source/price)?

    As for 16" starter slicks, have heard good things about the Yoko 032R, but these are not "pure" slicks. They are DOT legals R compound. Wish i could be of better help to you here my friend. It seems hard to find good 16 inchers and is also why i am awaiting HRE to release their new ultra-light 17 and 18 inch rims.

    Speaking of which, have you (OR ANYONE HERE) played around with rim size and, if so, what seems to be best? ALL help is ALWAYS appreciated.
     
  22. pma1010

    pma1010 F1 Rookie

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    Steve, Chris et al,
    I don't want to hi-jack the thread on spring rates, but here's a quick sketch on the stock & 355 brake upgrade path I'm travelling down. There are other options too (and I'll mention one), so, YMMV etc

    I have found getting some ducting, a good quality race fluid and putting the appropriate brake pads on the stock caliper will buy you a lot of improvement. Cost is poor performance when cold, brake dust. Wear on rotors. Ducts et al are cheap and available from Pegasus or one of the race shops. I ducted from within the (outside extremities of the) grill, below the bumper to the center of the rotor. The only "trick" was mounting the silicon ducting (3 inch) on the hub carrier/steering arms. We made up some brackets from good quality stainless. I recall someone is making an insert which goes inside the rotor which ensures the cooling air passes through the rotor's internal blades which would be the hot ticket.

    New fluid every few track days with a bleed after each/sometimes after each session and carrying a spare set of pads is the way to go. Everyone has their favorite pad. I use Carbotech 1109 XPs. Everyone has their favorite fluid, I've used Motul and now use ATE Super Blue. Both work well.

    However, I had 2 issues at Road America this year. Into turn 1, I was braking at the 3 1/4 mark, and, to get the car slowed enough, my posterior was lifting off the seat as I used my upper leg muscles. I also bent the backing plates on the pads. No fade etc, just a LOT of effort. Second, I had the (inside) rear locking up into turn 12 (before corner entry).

    To address the second issue (cheaper), we've fitted a cockpit adjustable bias valve. This replaces the stock unit which is located above the under tray, beneath the steering rack. I don't have the receipt available, but as I recall it was about $80 from Pegasus. You then have to get custom brake lines made with metric ends and mount the piece. My guess is this takes 2 - 3 hours, so figure $250 to install. The benefit is to be able to tailor the bias to the available F, R grip. (A better option is to can the brake booster altogether and go with independent F, R master cylinders and adjustable proportioning valves, but this gets a bit pricey...). As I mentioned in the earlier post, this will be done for a track day on Thursday at BHF and I can report back to whomever is interested. Gary Bobileff reported great improvements for TRs so it ought to be noticeable.

    Addressing the first issue is more expensive. QV London makes a 355 front brake "conversion kit" which (I am told, only) requires some light machining of the hub/front brake carrier. Comes with all the mounting hardware, top hats, rotors, calipers. Price is attractive (about $1500 - beat that!). Requires 16 inch rims. It should ship this week and I hope to get them on the car later this month (along with the stiffer springs). I'll post more details when it is in hand and when we've mounted them.

    There are other options. One is a Wilwood (4 -pot or 6-pot, I don't recall) caliper, custom top hats and cheap rotors which would likely run the same purchase/install cost with the benefit of cheaper replacement rotors. As I recall "Atlantaman" has done something similar and reports good results.

    Last, and now completely sandbagging the springs thread, I run Yoko DOT competition rubber today (A032R). I am looking for slicks for another set of wheels. Hoosiers R3S04(?) is one candidate. But again, any advice appreciated.

    Hope this helps.
    Philip
     
  23. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    YES YES!!!!!!!!!! Pics and results PLEASE!!!!! If they work for you i'll get a set PRONTO!
     
  24. chrismorse

    chrismorse Formula 3

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    Phillip,

    Is that $1500 delivered to the us?? Do you have a few numbers as to how the 355 calipers and rotors compare to the brembo kit or to the stock 308??
    Anything for the rear?? I know the rear is not very important.

    Looking forward to hearing about it.

    thanks,
    chris
     
  25. pma1010

    pma1010 F1 Rookie

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    I'll post info when I have more and can talk with experience about the install challenges and the cost of acquisition/shipping et al.

    More to come
    Philip
     

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