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24/04/2005 18:48:45   Max   Hi guys.

Can you share some of your experience concerning the use of adjustable dampers in a V4 with me please, as I don't know what make to take and where to get them from.

I heard of brands called AVO and Spax.

Or would it be better to take some harder non-adjustable ones (like Bilstein)?

25/04/2005 22:51:21   Max   Isn't there someone wanting to share his experience with me?! I thought this forum would be a place where above all rally enthusiasts meet... but, chears boys!  
26/04/2005 15:02:26   Alec   I have used both AVO and SPAX for normal (fast) road use and have found them to be good. don't know about rally use though.  
27/04/2005 07:36:10   bill rawles   Hi Max. I have adjustable AVO's on my car and I reckon they are very good. The range of adjustment is huge, far greater than you will realistically need. I bought them from Demon Tweeks about 2 years ago, you will have to check if they are still available. Can't comment on Spax as I've never used them but thay are a very reputable brand. For fast road use shorten the standard springs by half a coil, add a front anti-roll bar, set up the camber and castor meticulously and you will have a very well handling car.  
27/04/2005 11:17:54   Max   Bill, is it possible to simply cut away just half a coil with the sliding machine? (I suppose that one has to do it on the downside of the spring, right?) I never thought about doing this...  
27/04/2005 12:52:30   Alistair   Stick with SPax or AVO for road use, Billes will be far too stiff, especially on standard springs.  
28/04/2005 07:40:19   bill rawles   Max. Whats a sliding machine? Sorry mate, not with you. I cut mine with an angle grinder but if you have the patience then a hack saw would do it!  
28/04/2005 07:52:51   Richard   You can buy AVO dampers from chassis dynamics, they are find for the road and will do a season of rallying. I have had good service from AVO with a couple of damper rebuilds sorted in a week with dyno test sheet(these dampers were for rallying). You should have no problem with roads use.
Spax- dont bother, totally useless. I have had 5 different cars with spax and all of them had a variety of problems with the dampers, gas filled std dampers would be better than these.
Billies - too stiff on the front for road use, but the rears are not too hard if you are going for a sporting ride. They are the best dampers on the rough and stay totally consistant under all conditions. I find my fronts a bit too stiff for rallying (they are the 99 rally dampers), so I will see if we can get them specially valved a bit softer.  
28/04/2005 18:23:15   Alistair   I've used Spax adj & they were OK, but it just goes to show how experiences can vary. Monroe gas were also good.  
30/04/2005 11:00:25   Max   Bill. I think what I meant was an angle grinder indeed ;-)Sorry, I didn't know the term angle grinder as I live in Germany... In my language the angle grinder is called "Winkelschleifer" - you see it's the direct translation.

@Richard: Is there some "chassis dynamics" page on the web? How do I order and what will be the price of these dampers?  
30/04/2005 12:26:58   Jon   Hi Bill & Richard,
1. What's the best way of setting up camber and caster without going to the expense of a Demon Tweeks visit?
2. Richard, why do you run your cars with lots of castor? Surely castor only influences straight line stability and centering - too much would add excessive effort to the steering?
3. Where can I get my hands on a set of new post 1975 springs or equivalent?
Cheers, Jon.  
01/05/2005 09:33:51   bill rawles   In theory camber and castor is a DIYable with one of the DIY versions of the tool for the job. Its fairly easy to adjust with lots of trial and error on the shims underneath the top wishbone mounts inside the inner wings. In practise the stumbling block is getting the car onto a completely level surface. You are measuring to 1/4 degree accuracy so if your drive is not flat you are wasting your time.

If you can get access to a garage lift (which should be levelled) then have a go and just get an alignment place to check it afterwards. If you want to have a go and are anywhere near Cheshire I'll lend you the tool.

If you are not far from Demon Tweeks then I'd recommend ABP Motorsport in Shavington (In between Nantwich and Crewe) as an alternative. I had mine checked and adjusted there for about 65 (2 hours). The shop itself is a Sad Saxo haven but the main mechanic is a nice bloke, interested in classic cars, and knows how to do Saabs now 'cos he has done mine!!

Castor does increase the stability and self centering which on high speed V4's is a good thing because they get a bit scarey otherwise!! Too much will increase the steering input but there is always a trade off with tweeks. I set mine to 2 3/4 degrees which is only about half a degree more than standard but even that does make a noticeable difference to stability (and steering weight).

MAX. No need to apologise for direct translations - your English is far better than all our German! My adjustable AVO's were 200 from Demon Tweeks for the set of 4 in 2002. I don't know if they still do them but the part numbers are AVUTC397 and AVUTC391.

Demon Tweeks are or 01978 664468.
01/05/2005 18:51:16   Max   Thanks.
By the way: is anyone of you going to join the International Saab meeting in Germany this year?  
02/05/2005 07:58:06   Richard   I run more castor as Bill says for straight line stability, it is better on fast corners like this it gives more grip through the corner, less castor gives more initial turn then the front brakes away. The cars I run the increased castor are competition cars at the end of the day so I put up with the steering. At the end off the day the LSD can pull a bit on the wheel, so a bit more steering weight is nothing, it keeps you fit.  
02/05/2005 15:00:37   bill rawles   Didn't know there was one in Germany Max but I'm going to Trollhatton in June.  
21/04/2006 07:56:11   Richard   Now the three dot man has answered all your problems!

Just a quick note more castor gives dynamic camber change ie as you turn the wheel it puts more neg camber on. This means your wheels can have less camber in a straight line and gain on traction, but still benifit from more camber in the corner. Its all about keeping the tyre contact area square to the road.
You can set castor by using turn tables. Turn the wheels a set angle left and right and measure the camber, minus one from the other and that difference is the castor.  
24/08/2006 18:08:06   Adam   Back to shocks, I have heard of people modifying their 96s to accpet Koni shocks. Is this worthwhile? If so, which ones are appropriate as Koni don't make a Saab 96 shock.  
01/09/2006 01:36:05   Alistair   Koni used to make shocks for V4s, we used a pair on the front of a 95 years back. Do they still make them for 99 front and C900 rear...?? That might help ;o)  

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