Targa Miata
May 16, 2010 - Road trip!
The big Miatas in Moab event took place this weekend, and I headed down to say hi. It's only about 75 minutes from my house to the lodge where the event was based on Saturday. The crowd at this event is almost the exact opposite of the folks that were at Laguna Seca a month ago, and the race-scarred Targa car did stand out. Most of the attendees didn't have roll bars, and nobody else had brake dust on their wheels, well-scuffed race tires and a cage! Still, there were a lot of fans of the car and it did get a lot of attention and I spent a fair bit of time talking for various Miata enthusiasts from all over the US. I also took a couple of people out for test rides in the newest V8 car - yowza, that's a fast, fast car. As you can see in the picture, the Targa car got the prime spot for the big group photo.
One excuse for this little excursion was to test the dual-spring suspension a bit more. It had acquitted itself fairly well at Laguna, although with a lot of roll. On the highway, it felt a bit odd. The change in spring rates definitely make it difficult to get the damping right - it's either heavily over-damped on small movements or under-damped on big ones. I have it set up for the former.
I did find out where it works best, though. There's one way to get to Moab from Grand Junction that runs across a few miles of abandoned road near a ghost town. It's paved, but fairly rough. And at "targa speeds", the suspension ate it up. I can see this setup working well on Leading Tickles, for example. The car just went supple and absorbed almost everything.
It's not perfect. A really big hit would bottom out the rear hard. Granted, I'm running a track ride height and not a Targa height, so there's at least an inch of travel missing there - but I think the problem is that the secondary spring rate is too close to the primary. The effect is that the secondary spring never really closes up, so the rear spring rate is too low for too long. I'm planning to pick up some new secondaries that are around 150 lbs as opposed to my current 300, and I think that will address all of my concerns with this setup.
It never stops. I'm always trying to make this car better!
entry 757 - tags: Moab, suspension