|November 1, 2007 - The reworked shocks are here.|
These shocks are the ones I expect to use for the Targa. They're made by AFCO, a US company that has experience in both road and dirt track racing. They're pretty exotic and have a number of features designed for maximum durability and traction. I've been hugely impressed in dealing with AFCO so far, having a number of long discussions with the engineers about the damping, stroke and bumpstop design. These shocks will become part of the Flyin' Miata lineup, and they are definitely a custom item built to the Miata's needs.
The new shocks are quite a bit different than in their original configuration. For example, the fronts have a 2" longer body. After installing the original set, I made a number of measurements and sent them off to AFCO. From this, just about every component of the shocks was changed - the upper hats were shortened, the bodies changed in length and the shafts altered. Now I have the exact travel range I requested. I can also run the car a bit higher than I did before - not something that other Miatas will necessarily want, but it'll give me the ability to absorb all sorts of rough surfaces. Eric wants me to jack the car up to Paris-Dakar levels, but that might be a bit extreme.
One nice side effect is that they're also easier to install. Not that this is a critical aspect of shock design, but I sure appreciated it when it came time to put them in.
Today I'll cornerweight the car, then get it aligned. I'm experimenting with alignment settings that are closer to those used in Spec Miata, unlike the street-biased ones I've used in the past. The testing on Saturday will be used to determine how it works.