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QA1 Front shocks with NO A-arm modification!

Discussion in '308/328' started by Birdman, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. 308tr6

    308tr6 Formula Junior

    Dec 23, 2003
    466
    SDakota
    Full Name:
    Rico
    I don't have any pics, but for what it is worth on mine I simply took some nylon ratchet straps around the outside and ratcheted up some compression, installed it, and unratched it. Simple, cheap, easy.
     
  2. Spitfire

    Spitfire Formula 3

    Nov 16, 2006
    1,546
    I did the same as 308tr6. It worked a treat. Sadly, no pictures from me either!
     
  3. luckydynes

    luckydynes F1 Rookie

    Jan 25, 2004
    3,872
    CA and OR
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    pit bull
    Installed end of November 2007 with 375/325 springs front/rear . .. front shocks set on 9 and rears on 5 and was almost as firm as a totally stock 2005 Boxster . .. right rear and front left are now mush . . . be interesting to see if they repair them . .. I'd actually like to take them apart and see what failed to see if it's a poor design or manufacturing flaw. In the early 90's I worked for a machine shop that was making shock bodies . . . the surface finsih on the bore was supposed be "8" and we were boring it . .. I think the cost to hone them properly was how much we'd bid the whole shock body for :( . .. what a nightmare . .. don't miss that enviroment.

    Anyway I'll probably just buy a couple replacements for now 'cause they're so inexpensive while I research better alternatives . .. is there anything in between these and the all out Konis for $1k a piece?

    What about AFCO . . .website didn't seem geared to road racing.

    Haven't looked at the QA1 site but it would be cool if they sold seals and re valve kits 'cause I'd just fix them myself . .. think I asked this before buying them and answer was no.

    Thanks,

    Sean

    edit: checked out QA1 site and they have a higher grade shock that can be revalved
     
  4. luckydynes

    luckydynes F1 Rookie

    Jan 25, 2004
    3,872
    CA and OR
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    pit bull
    FWIW both drive axles have been contacting the frame at compression . . . the left side has contacted harder than the right even though it's not mush.
     
  5. TURBOQV

    TURBOQV Formula Junior

    Mar 6, 2003
    838
    NV and Socal

    Sorry to hear this!!! Especially since you know I am putting together my suspension with QA1. I am sure i do not drive the car to the limits you do, this being said, they should not be failing!

    I hope they make good on it!

    Paul
     
  6. luckydynes

    luckydynes F1 Rookie

    Jan 25, 2004
    3,872
    CA and OR
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    pit bull
    I won't be heart broken if they don't . . heck the co. that did my cams and is respected by some of the "race engine builders" won't grind as much lift for others as they did for me but told me to my face that they've seen no problems with the lift I'm running . .. on one hand I don't even want to use them but on the other my lap times on street tires and stock suspension were identical with those cams to what I ran with race tires, modified suspension and stock cams so I know there's some serious power potential with the right cam . .. whatever . . 'tis all part of R&D . . . just another reason I like doing my own thing . .. my engine would have never run if I woud have asked for advice from all the experts and consultants ;) . .. that's why I try and make and do EVERYTHING myself (which you know) so there's only one guy to blame. .. I'm expecting some kind of abuse disclaimer unless someone can tell me what kind of mini van these shocks bolt on . .. plus you get what you pay for and there's a huge range in price when it comes to shocks :). The way my car handles/handled and the way I drive the extra $$$ is worth it to me now I know the potential she has . . . the way it drove up and down the moutain this morning is pretty scarey . . . tons of turn in going left with just a little push . .. however going right she starts to push and the immediately goes to oversteer . . . makes sense with what I know about suspension tuning. Initially I didn't want to spend the big $$$ on shocks 'cause I was a little concerned about engine oil starvation but extra quart with the baffle has stopped that for the most part.

    http://www.afabcorp.com/AFCO_Dynatech_USbrake/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=A&Category_Code=ct_M2_double

    These AFCO's are sick . . the only thing I wish is both adjustments were on the remote resovoir . .. look like about $500/pc . .
     
  7. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,683
    North shore, MA
    Full Name:
    THE Birdman
    Sean,
    Man, you just seem to go very hard on suspension components! Between A arms cracking and shocks blowing up....what the heck are you doing to the poor car??? ;)

    Birdman

    P.S. No problems with my QA1s so far.
     
  8. luckydynes

    luckydynes F1 Rookie

    Jan 25, 2004
    3,872
    CA and OR
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    pit bull

    Just driving it like I built it . .. I mean what I thought Enzo built it for ;) . . . my goal is to get TTOD at the local P car autocross . .. I'll need my secret weapon though :). The car to beat was on the cover of Excellence magazine and the kid that drives it is no slouch.

    The P club guys got me hooked on "performance driving" and I'm not doing anything to my 308 that the fast guys don't do with their P cars . .. .. although I must admit they are quite awe struck that I dare to push my 308 to the limit I do my P car . . I'm slowly teaching them about the red mist :).

    I started another thread about spring rates and it's my thinking now the 308 could use a lot more spring for track/competition than even 450# . . . we shall see.

    My "Alpha" 308 told me you shouldn't feel sorry for her . .. she feels blessed to be owned by a person who knows what these ladies really want ;).

    edit: After hearing my glorious engine note one of the die hards at the P club ran over and yelled to me "I want to have sex with your car". I can't stop now :).
     
  9. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Owner Consultant

    May 5, 2001
    6,984
    Groton, MA
    Full Name:
    Verell Boaen
    Don't see a minivan, but for the stocker star non-coil over version of the proma-star shock they do list:

    - the full size '58-'90 & ' 94-'96 full size Chev Impala incl the S/Sport. The Impala crowds 5,000 lbs IIRC, at least my Olds Custom Cruiser which is it's twin brother.
    - Also lists the '65-'78 full size Plymouth Fury, another Detroit heavy-weight, maybe 4,500 lbs.
    - Along with the C-10 & C-1500, & F-150 pickups.

    I don't see how your little red car could beat up shocks anywhere near as badly as one of those detroit battleships would on a Texas cordury gravel back road. ;)

    It will be real interesting what QA1 says about them. I suspect you may need them rebuilt with different valving for the way you're driving. QA1 does offer a revalving/rebuilding service for the Proma-Stars, see the last item on the Proma-Star features list:

    These shocks are revalveable and rebuildable by QA1 Authorized Service Centers[\b]

    BTW, how many hours of track time have you logged on those shocks?

    I'd say that you're probably pushing the 308 suspension closer to it's limits han anyone else on Fchat!!

    Hmm, does autocross falls within QA1's Drag Racing & Street Performance category?

    BTW, those AFCOs list for $650 & up PER shock! SummitRacing hase them for $639 tho.
     
  10. luckydynes

    luckydynes F1 Rookie

    Jan 25, 2004
    3,872
    CA and OR
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    pit bull


    I must of posted this in another thread . .. every call was positive yesterday as far as I'm concerned . .. no "mini van" app required :).

    1. I could send them back under warranty for them to look at . .. customer service reps didn't seems to care about occasional track usage or implied they should be fine.
    2. The rebuild center in No Cal fixes seals/rebuilds for $45/shock if no mechanical damage inside
    3. The rebuild center will sell parts for DIY'er.

    QA1 factory told me different internal valving wasn't available and I thought the rebuild guy concurred this . .. but I'm sure a disc/orifice or something can be altered.

    I don't have that many track/autocross days on these (maybe 5) . . . I don't corner as aggressive on the street but the mountian I frequent is a workout for any car . .. tons of braking and sharp corners with rolling curbs for apex's . .. now that you've mentioned it a truck (heavily loaded especially) would seem to cycle the crap out of these shocks vs. a road car . . good point.

    The P guys were trying to talk me into remote resovoir JRZ's for $4500/set . .. ouch . .. makes the AFCO's look cheap!

    So here's what I decided to do:

    Ordered one more of each shock from Summit yesterday for backup . .. will pull off the failed ones and disassemble them myself to see what failed . .. hopefully I don't see really bad surface finish on the inside of the bore 'cause at that point I may not have a warranty . . . the rebuild guy hadn't run into this so we shall see.

    I'll keep you posted . ..

    Sean
     
  11. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    11,492
    The twilight zone
    Full Name:
    The Butcher
    Sean,
    I don't like to say this because I never want it to be true and it sounds like having made shock bodies you already know it, but you do get what you pay for. Premium brand shocks work better and don't fail under hard use. QA1s are not premium shocks, they are a good set for average street performance, but they are not even close to premium shocks.

    There are the simple differences like straight oil shock vs gas shock to prevent oil foaming so the damping is consistent. Then there are things like the in the Ohlins shock I have they use alloys with mismatched thermal expansion rates in the shaft and adjuster rod so that the adjust automatically compensates for oil temperature to maintain consistant damping. There is almost nothing you could do to them to make the damping fade.

    The STJ ohlins shock I have use an oversize head to increase the gas reservoir volume to help maintain shock compliance at full compression without the cost of an external reservoir. The next step up would be an external reservoir, which is required to get external adjustability on both compression and rebound independently (I have rebound only, which is really about 90% rebound, 10% compression).

    Expensive shocks are just better then less expensive ones, there is no question there. The question is will you use them hard enough to notice the differences and the answer for most people is that they will not and they should buy the less expensive ones. But running at the autocross, and certainly out on a road course I promise you will notice the difference.

    The side benefit to better shocks is a better ride out on the street. My car is smoother and more compliant with the 450/400 springs and new shocks than it was with the OEM stuff. You get what you pay for.
     
  12. eulk328

    eulk328 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2005
    2,716
    Full Name:
    F683


    Was just thinking it would be nice if they offered a dust boot to cover the shaft and maybe with a bump stop. I suppose there is not really enough space between the spring and shock body for such a boot...
     
  13. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    11,492
    The twilight zone
    Full Name:
    The Butcher
    These shocks don't have bump stops on them?
     
  14. luckydynes

    luckydynes F1 Rookie

    Jan 25, 2004
    3,872
    CA and OR
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    pit bull
    No . . . I'm putting some on . . the repair guy told me bottoming or topping them can break internal pieces :(.

    Should get some time to get 'em off and apart today . . totally agree with getting what you pay for on shocks just don't want to commit the $$$ to that right now . .. if I go big I want the remote resovoirs that have both bump and rebound adjustments easily accesible on the resovoir . .. hopefully the JRZ's aren't the only ones like that . . . the AFCO's still have one of the adjustments on the body near where the front control arm might hit it.
     
  15. eulk328

    eulk328 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2005
    2,716
    Full Name:
    F683

    Well they do if you consider the 1mm thick o-ring on them at the top of the shaft to be a bump stop :)
     
  16. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Owner Consultant

    May 5, 2001
    6,984
    Groton, MA
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    Verell Boaen
    If you're installing mounting eyes on shocks, you MUST read Birdman's QA1 installation tips in post #205 of this thread!!!

    I just got eMAIL from someone who'd overlooked his tips & you don't want to repeat his experience:

     
  17. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

    Jan 3, 2009
    10,615
    Texass
    #267 Nurburgringer, Apr 7, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Good tip indeed Verell.

    I assembled my QA1's last Saturday at the local shop that is doing my 308's 30k engine service.

    One of the OEM 'eyes' was only finger tight. When I put on the longer eyes I made sure to crank the jam-nuts against the eye nice and tight.

    cheers to Reina Int. for letting me use their workshop and kick-azz spring compressor to do the job!

    Verell - one question - I didn't install all the shims that came with the bushings - one on either side of the bushing was all that would fit under the c-clip. Is this an issue? I was wondering why so many were supplied....

    cheers
    Kurt
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  18. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Owner Consultant

    May 5, 2001
    6,984
    Groton, MA
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    Verell Boaen
    I posted a response under the bushing kit thread as I got a couple of emails with essentially the same questions. Figured people would be more likely to look for it there:
    http://ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=87413
     
  19. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

    Jan 3, 2009
    10,615
    Texass
    Verell -

    I did see that thread, but it wasn't clear to me the reason for the extra washers/shims (enough for more than 1 on either side of the QA1 poly eye-bolt bushing) even after paging through every post.
    Apparently the extra washers in your kit are for for other shocks that have shorter eye-bolt bushings.

    The only way to get more than one washer between the c-clip and the poly bushing would be to 'load' one side with 2 washers, put a c-clip on that side, then compress the SS bushing through the poly bushing enough to slip on bushing(s) and c-clip on that side. I don't see the use in that; one shim per side is a snug fit for the QA1 poly bush.

    A brief note sent along with the bushing kit stating that all washers may not be used could be helpful for other QA1ers.

    cheers
    Kurt

    Originally Posted by Owens84QV
    you may want to include the two washers each side like he used.

    I'm ahead of you. I gave Chris extra washers 'just in case'. Am planning to include 4 washers with each bushing, at least until we learn more about how much the poly bushings vary from one shock to another. Apparently QA-1 just lets there be a bit of float, or else the bushings flow out somewhat over time.
     
  20. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Owner Consultant

    May 5, 2001
    6,984
    Groton, MA
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    Verell Boaen
    The bushing thickness varies about 1mm to 1.5mm side to side. Looks like QA1 may be sourcing the bushings from different molds and the bushing height above the metal eye varies some.

    Nurburgringer,
    I posted an update to that thread just before responding.

    I'll try to figure out how to get something included with the bushing kit.
     
  21. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

    Jan 3, 2009
    10,615
    Texass
    Hi Verell - I should have noticed that the shims were two different thicknesses!

    And I also should have mentioned the excellent machining on your 'paperweights' and bushings. Very nice parts.

    cheers
    Kurt

     
  22. BillyD

    BillyD Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 28, 2004
    1,571
    Pacific Northwest
    Full Name:
    Bill
    Ok, I read this & many other threads on the 308 suspension rebuild but I still have 3 questions:
    1) Looks like the rear shock & maybe the front have the adjustment knob facing the center of the car?
    2) How many threads showing is the default spring starting point til I get to some scales?
    3) How the hell do the rear brakes work when the pucks are located by the 2 allen adjustment screws? I'm baffled!
    Thanks
    PS thanks to everyone especially for the paperweights, bushings, shock & spring rates info, on & on
     

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