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Discussion Starter #1
When you guys lowered your kappas with springs or coilovers, did your steering feel improve? I am considering lowering my ride in hopes of getting more steering feel and a sharper handling ride. Thanks in advance..
 

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I used the kappasphere springs and they feel a lot better in the twisties, it does however introduce bump steer which can be scary in the rain or on the freeway at high speeds but you get use to it and it tolerable, I don't know how to get rid of bump steer I was thinking maybe sway bars but I don't really know maybe some one else can answer that :thumbs:
 

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Theoretically, lower your car can improve handling, not necessarily feel by lowering the CG. 'Feel' is a function of a lot more variables, including steering rack and ratios, tires (size, composition, air pressure), wheel size and weight, etc. Simply lowering the car probably would do little to nothing to impact 'feel.'

Also, if you are looking for better handling, you have to look at the entire steering/suspension system as just that: a system. When you lower the car you are changing quite a bit of the geometry between the various components, and often can wind up actually making things worse without thinking through how all the components will work together.

Fortunately the Sol has a strong aftermarket and no doubt there are sources for info on how to assemble various components to improve feel, handling and have all the bits work together properly.

One of the sleeper/under credited 'handling' cars of the last few years was the Chrysler Crossfire. It's figures in slalom speed, lateral accelleration, etc. were truly remarkable. Better than contemporary 350Z, RX8 and close to being as good as S2000. Most magazines praised it's handling, and said the car felt like it was carved out of a single block of aluminum.

BUT the steering feel sucked. Very little feedback to the driver. When I got my Sol one of the disappointing things about it was the lack of steering feel and communication to the driver. It reminded my of my Crossfire. Stuck like glue in turns, just didn't feel too good doing it. Obviously, when I moved to the Lotus that kind of spoiled me for anything else in terms of 'feel' and overall handling.

I suppose there are some things you can do to tighten things up somewhat, but simply lowering the car likely won't do it.

Again, the car may handle better (or may be worse), but won't feel much different.
 

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Ah yes, I should mention that I did get a streetable/semi-aggressive alignment done after I lowered it, and that is what you need to take full advantage of lowering it, get it corner balanced/aligned well
 

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Did it feel sharper, yes, was it really? Dunno, because my driving style didn't really change and it falls into that perception vs reality realm. The DDM Probeam & crossbrace "seemed" to make the chassis "feel" more solid (planted) than just the BC coilovers.

Far as I'm concerned the only way to verify any handling claim is before vs after data and measuring equipment. Because the butt-o-meter always falls into the subjective category for me. Plus, after you've spent money seems like you always inherently want to feel it handles better just so you don't think you throw money out the window.

Absolutely looks better to me (see my name), handle, dunno.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Theoretically, lower your car can improve handling, not necessarily feel by lowering the CG. 'Feel' is a function of a lot more variables, including steering rack and ratios, tires (size, composition, air pressure), wheel size and weight, etc. Simply lowering the car probably would do little to nothing to impact 'feel.'

Also, if you are looking for better handling, you have to look at the entire steering/suspension system as just that: a system. When you lower the car you are changing quite a bit of the geometry between the various components, and often can wind up actually making things worse without thinking through how all the components will work together.

Fortunately the Sol has a strong aftermarket and no doubt there are sources for info on how to assemble various components to improve feel, handling and have all the bits work together properly.

One of the sleeper/under credited 'handling' cars of the last few years was the Chrysler Crossfire. It's figures in slalom speed, lateral accelleration, etc. were truly remarkable. Better than contemporary 350Z, RX8 and close to being as good as S2000. Most magazines praised it's handling, and said the car felt like it was carved out of a single block of aluminum.

BUT the steering feel sucked. Very little feedback to the driver. When I got my Sol one of the disappointing things about it was the lack of steering feel and communication to the driver. It reminded my of my Crossfire. Stuck like glue in turns, just didn't feel too good doing it. Obviously, when I moved to the Lotus that kind of spoiled me for anything else in terms of 'feel' and overall handling.

I suppose there are some things you can do to tighten things up somewhat, but simply lowering the car likely won't do it.

Again, the car may handle better (or may be worse), but won't feel much different.
wow, thanks for all the info. Yeah, I made the mistake of test driving Lotus' :willy:. I love the handling and feel of the Elise/Exige and how low you sit to the ground. I think I might get the rebar and leave it at that. I really dont want the headache that comes along with springs.
 

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Did it feel sharper, yes, did it really? Dunno, because my driving style didn't really change and it falls into that perception vs reality realm. The DDM Probeam & crossbrace "seemed" to make the chassis "feel" more solid (planted) than just the BC coilovers.

Far as I'm concerned the only way to verify any handling claim is before vs after data and measuring equipment. Because the butt-o-meter always falls into the subjective category for me. Plus, after you've spent money seems like you always inherently want to feel it handles better just so you don't think you throw money out the window.

Absolutely looks better to me (see my name), handle, dunno.
It may indeed handle better. It can handle better, ie hold the road better, hit the numbers better, as you suggest, but not 'feel' better. It depends what the OP is looking for in terms of 'feel.'

Input is what it is. The steering rack, the sensitivity of the power steering, steering ratios. Even the size of the steering wheel. That's where handling 'feel' starts. Lowering the car, stiffening the car, won't change anything in the steering feel. Can change the handling, and can change the feel of the ride, but not the feel of the steering. Dead steering is dead steering now matter what else has been done to the car.
 

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"Actually stiffening the front leads to understeer and stiffening the back leads to oversteer, but balance is the key!"

Posted by Dave from DDM over in the LVbrace thread, if you plan on doing the rebar, you may want to look in to a front end brace as well
 

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My personal opinion is lowering it didn't make the steering feel better.

the backbone, kappa front brace and the probeam combination made the whole car feel better though along with steering feel. I would start with these 3 parts and I think you will be happy.
 

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I swithed out my CUT FE3 SPRINGS WITH EIBACH SPORTLINE's and the ride is smoother then the cut springs.
 

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Lighter wheels did more for 'feel' than lowering but I wouldn't pass up either. An alignment and the backbone brace got the rear end more mobile but the alignment even at stock ride height was essential.

We have large, heavy wheels and somewhat soft drive-by-wire; two factors that definitely impact 'feel.'
 

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I'm low, but smooth ride with a great stiffness "feel", thou I think I need a better alignment.
 

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I am lowered with B&G coil overs, previously had ZOK springs on Bilsteins, in neither instance or the stock setup did I have bump steer. That is an indication of a bad alignment.
 

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This old Miata vs Solstice video is what I'm basing this perception vs reality position on.
At the 4:15 point the racer is informed the Solstice is faster, he seems to react with surprise because he thinks the Miata feels more like a sports car and is surprised to find out the Solstice performed better. Good example of perception vs reality. Plus brings up the question; Is it better to believe a car "feels" faster, or is it better to "know" a car is faster? The obvious answer would be both; however the answer doesn't always reflect the reality due to the human condition known as inherent bias.

Have no interest in a Miata vs Solstice debate (to me it's no different than Chevy vs Ford vs Chrysler fans) my point is the perception vs reality fact. And that some folks will never accept something regardless of what the numbers prove. :leaving:
 

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I am lowered with B&G coil overs, previously had ZOK springs on Bilsteins, in neither instance or the stock setup did I have bump steer. That is an indication of a bad alignment.
If you mean that your alignment man goofed, no.

If you mean that the geometry of the car's suspension may mandate bump steer when you lower it, then yes, that is true, but I wouldn't have phrased it that way.

Bump steer is excessive toe change as a result of being outside the 'sweet spot' (the range of suspension travel where you have least toe change per inch of travel) because you lowered a car.

The only way to get rid of bump steer is to resort to raising or lowering steering rack mounts, or changing tie rod lengths or tie rod to steering arm attachment points etc.

I haven't seen a graph of toe change for a Kappa, but I'd expect some of the Solo competitors have been through all this and could tell us how much a slight ride height change affects bump steer - a lot on some cars and not too much on others.

You can have better handling by NOT lowering ride height on some cars, depending on the suspension.
 

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I don't have bump steer, drifting or uneven tire wear, so no one goofed in my instance.
I stand by my statement. An alignment is a variety of things to make the geometry of the suspension optimized.

A lot of people lower their cars and don't get an alignment.

I've probably run a wider range of Shocks and springs than most people on the kappa platform and only once did I have bump steer and it was the only time I did not have the car aligned after changing the suspension.
I am also an AutoX-er.
About the only height I have not gone with my car is the really low slammed look because I don't like body damage but I did get pretty darn low with the Eibach Sportlines.

I also have a jeep that came with 31" tires that is now on 37" tires and it has ZERO bump steer as well. I do the alignment for that with a Tape measure. I bet it would not be perfect it is was put on an alignment rack, but the tires wear even and when I take my hand off the steering wheel at 65mph, it does not drift or bump steer. If the Toe is off, it will follow all sorts of road inconsistencies.
 

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This old Miata vs Solstice video is what I'm basing this perception vs reality position on.
SOLSTICE/SKY VERSES THE MIATA PT2 - YouTube
At the 4:15 point the racer is informed the Solstice is faster, he seems to react with surprise because he thinks the Miata feels more like a sports car and is surprised to find out the Solstice performed better. Good example of perception vs reality. Plus brings up the question; Is it better to believe a car "feels" faster, or is it better to "know" a car is faster? The obvious answer would be both; however the answer doesn't always reflect the reality due to the human condition known as inherent bias.

Have no interest in a Miata vs Solstice debate (to me it's no different than Chevy vs Ford vs Chrysler fans) my point is the perception vs reality fact. And that some folks will never accept something regardless of what the numbers prove. :leaving:
Not really following your point as it pertains to the OP's question. He is looking for a better, sharper 'feel' in the steering. There are many examples of street and race cars that handle very well in terms of performance, but whose steering feel is less than entertaining, less than communicative.

If you want to race a car and win, it's better to have the faster car. If you want to enjoy driving the car for the sake of driving, the overall handling experience, including the steering feel, is preferrable.

Your numbers don't prove any superiority of the Solstice over any car when it comes to steering 'feel.' That's been a knock on the Kappas from day one from owners and magazine tests, that for all of it chassis' prowess, the steering feel is anything but sporty.
 

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If you want better steering response and input, bypass the power steering.
Panther did that in his 2JZ setup.
It will require more effort, but it will be more precise.
 
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