Impression of SPC Adjustable ball joint and Falken Azenis at local autocross - Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum
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Old 07-30-2007, 11:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Here's my impression of the SPC Adjustable ball joint and the Falken Azenis RT-615's 245/45-17. I also switched out my higher KSport rear springs with the rear Megan springs. So now I got a higher spring rater up front and lower spring rate in the rear.

Here is my alignment spec:
F Camber: -2.0
F Toe: 0 ~ 0.1

R Camber: -1.8
R Toe: 0 ~ 0.1

In previous autocrosses, i've been consistently 2 to 3 seconds slower than the slowest WRX's and about 5 to 6 seconds slower than the fastest WRX's in STX. Well this past Sunday at the Boeing autocross, I was about 2 seconds slower than the fastest WRX and about 1 second faster than the slowest WRX. I've cut my time down a lot and feel more confident now.

Because I've installed both at the same time, it's hard for me to seperate which product gave me which results so I'll just give my full impression. With the fresh new and better tires, that helped immensely. The Kumho MX's were down to 2/32 and getting rock hard. The steering responses has increased as well as stability for the slalom. Previously, my car felt unsteady when going left and right in the slalom. Now it feels more level and poise as I plant my foot. This tire just want to stick! Turn in sharper and feels more precise. But all this was in the dry. It rained during my first run and the tires felt squirrely but I'm sure it felt better than those on R-compound that day. Was a complete downpour right before our second run but started to dry up by our fourth run.

The only concern I have right now is the understeer I felt when trying to perform a 180 turn or a sweeper with decreasing radius. For the 180 turn, it could be I was going a bit too fast but when I tried to turn hard, the wheels turned but the car didn't. Just pushed. For subsequent runs I slowed down a bit and made the turn ok but really think I should be able make it at my previous faster speed. The other situation was entering a sweeper with decreasing radius. Entering the sweeper, I was able to keep half throttle and power my way through, all the way until I needed to turn more towards the end. The car started to push. Again, it could be the speed (going too fast)but it felt differently than when I was on the Kumho MX's. I played around with the tire pressure but still the same results. It's almost the kind of the same situation Mazda6sMtx described in his thread.

However, overall the combination of both the adjustable ball joint and Azenis is a great combination! A+ for both product!
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Old 07-30-2007, 02:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How did you manage to get 245s to fit with no rubbing? Thanks for the review on both new pieces.
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Old 07-30-2007, 03:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I was also curious about the 245s. I would love to run a tire that wide but am afraid of buying them and then having some serious rubbing issues. What wheels are you usings?
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had to roll the rear fenders. Once they are rolled, everything was fine. But of course, you have to make sure your offset isn't too low. I'm running SSR Comps at +48mm.
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I had to roll the rear fenders. Once they are rolled, everything was fine. But of course, you have to make sure your offset isn't too low. I'm running SSR Comps at +48mm.[/b]

Hmm. . . nice. Didn't know you could get a 245 wheel onto an 8" rim. I bought an 8.5" rim but the offset is only +45 and it sounds like I can't get even 225 on it lowered without some serious rolling. Might be time to put them on the market.
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm curious why you opted for a much lower spring rate for the rear when you have such a high spring rate upfront..? Just testing it out? Although with all honesty, I don't feel the spring rates of D2/Ksports to be actually true - especially their rear rates. They seem a LOT less firm than the listed 9kg/mm...

In any case, you're saying it feels like how Mazda6sMtx is described his situation? I've driven his car, and I'm feeling that initial turn-in is actually quite firm, then mid-turn all of a sudden loosens up, then exit, it fights back and firm again... It's weird.. It's gotta be something with the alignment...
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Old 07-30-2007, 05:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Here's my impression of the SPC Adjustable ball joint and the Falken Azenis RT-615's 245/45-17. I also switched out my higher KSport rear springs with the rear Megan springs. So now I got a higher spring rater up front and lower spring rate in the rear.

Here is my alignment spec:
F Camber: -2.0
F Toe: 0 ~ 0.1

R Camber: -1.8
R Toe: 0 ~ 0.1

In previous autocrosses, i've been consistently 2 to 3 seconds slower than the slowest WRX's and about 5 to 6 seconds slower than the fastest WRX's in STX. Well this past Sunday at the Boeing autocross, I was about 2 seconds slower than the fastest WRX and about 1 second faster than the slowest WRX. I've cut my time down a lot and feel more confident now.

Because I've installed both at the same time, it's hard for me to seperate which product gave me which results so I'll just give my full impression. With the fresh new and better tires, that helped immensely. The Kumho MX's were down to 2/32 and getting rock hard. The steering responses has increased as well as stability for the slalom. Previously, my car felt unsteady when going left and right in the slalom. Now it feels more level and poise as I plant my foot. This tire just want to stick! Turn in sharper and feels more precise. But all this was in the dry. It rained during my first run and the tires felt squirrely but I'm sure it felt better than those on R-compound that day. Was a complete downpour right before our second run but started to dry up by our fourth run.

The only concern I have right now is the understeer I felt when trying to perform a 180 turn or a sweeper with decreasing radius. For the 180 turn, it could be I was going a bit too fast but when I tried to turn hard, the wheels turned but the car didn't. Just pushed. For subsequent runs I slowed down a bit and made the turn ok but really think I should be able make it at my previous faster speed. The other situation was entering a sweeper with decreasing radius. Entering the sweeper, I was able to keep half throttle and power my way through, all the way until I needed to turn more towards the end. The car started to push. Again, it could be the speed (going too fast)but it felt differently than when I was on the Kumho MX's. I played around with the tire pressure but still the same results. It's almost the kind of the same situation Mazda6sMtx described in his thread.

However, overall the combination of both the adjustable ball joint and Azenis is a great combination! A+ for both product![/b]

I've not run a competitive auto-x with my car but in playing around a bit on an Evolution school course during their lunch break I found one way to deal with the inherent tendency of the 6 to understeer was taking later apexes than I was previously used to. Mind you I come from a background of a V8 rear wheel drive F-body car that can oversteer by just thinking about it so my first couple runs ever with a front drive ATX car thru the cones took some serious adjustment in my driving style. A couple runs and some serious plowing thru a 180 sweeper made me consider the much later apex route and it did help considerably.
My car is pretty stock: 2006 6s ATX with only a rear RB bar and Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R 225-45x17's. I didnt even set pressures, they were still at the 35lbs I run normally on the street. I was 2 seconds slower than a fairly well setup STS Subaru STI on Falkens, so I wasn't too disappointed considering the circumstances.
I've got a set of Bilsteins in the garage, waiting for the Racing Beat springs to arrive and I'll change 'em all out at once. Mind you I'm not building any kind of a serious auto-x car, I think I've sort of lost my interest in it for a while, but just improving the handling of the 6 for my own personal satisfaction.

Just one man's opinions and experiences, your mileage and times may vary.
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Old 07-30-2007, 08:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hmm. . . nice. Didn't know you could get a 245 wheel onto an 8" rim. I bought an 8.5" rim but the offset is only +45 and it sounds like I can't get even 225 on it lowered without some serious rolling. Might be time to put them on the market.[/b]
Yep, 245 is the widest you can/should go on a 8" diameter wheel. I should get a pics up...these tires are huge on the 6...

Quote:
I'm curious why you opted for a much lower spring rate for the rear when you have such a high spring rate upfront..? Just testing it out? Although with all honesty, I don't feel the spring rates of D2/Ksports to be actually true - especially their rear rates. They seem a LOT less firm than the listed 9kg/mm...

In any case, you're saying it feels like how Mazda6sMtx is described his situation? I've driven his car, and I'm feeling that initial turn-in is actually quite firm, then mid-turn all of a sudden loosens up, then exit, it fights back and firm again... It's weird.. It's gotta be something with the alignment...[/b]
Sorry, should've mentioned my fronts are Megans with Koni's. Previously I had the fronts with the Megan springs and the rear with the KSport spring plus Koni's all around. I had the setup since the beginning of the season. When going left and right in the slalom the car felt unsteady. It could've been I was too abrupt with the turning but this was happening much more often than last season when I was running the Ksport all around. With the higher spring rates in the rear (whether it is 9 kg/mm or not, I can't verify but it was definitely stiffer than the megan's front), I was able to rotate my car more easily, a lot more easily.

Since I was getting an alignment, I decided to use the matching rear Megan springs and test it out. Now, the car feels more stable in the slalom and more predictable. Though I lost the ability to oversteer just as easily as I had before. But that might be a good thing for me. Even though before I can get the car to oversteer, I'm still far from able to control it once it breaks loose too quickly.

Yeah, the initial turn in is fine, but when turning more and more, it starts to just push. Again, it could be I was going too fast and the softer rear spring rate is causing it as well. This is only one autocross so I'll get a better feel next time out.

Quote:
I've not run a competitive auto-x with my car but in playing around a bit on an Evolution school course during their lunch break I found one way to deal with the inherent tendency of the 6 to understeer was taking later apexes than I was previously used to. Mind you I come from a background of a V8 rear wheel drive F-body car that can oversteer by just thinking about it so my first couple runs ever with a front drive ATX car thru the cones took some serious adjustment in my driving style. A couple runs and some serious plowing thru a 180 sweeper made me consider the much later apex route and it did help considerably.
My car is pretty stock: 2006 6s ATX with only a rear RB bar and Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R 225-45x17's. I didnt even set pressures, they were still at the 35lbs I run normally on the street. I was 2 seconds slower than a fairly well setup STS Subaru STI on Falkens, so I wasn't too disappointed considering the circumstances.
I've got a set of Bilsteins in the garage, waiting for the Racing Beat springs to arrive and I'll change 'em all out at once. Mind you I'm not building any kind of a serious auto-x car, I think I've sort of lost my interest in it for a while, but just improving the handling of the 6 for my own personal satisfaction.

Just one man's opinions and experiences, your mileage and times may vary.[/b]
Yea, I was told the same thing. Because of the understeer nature of the car, brake until the very last moment, turn in, try to get straight as fast as possible, then power out. Our car isn't made to power through the turns.... Thanks for the advice.
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Old 07-30-2007, 09:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, the initial turn in is fine, but when turning more and more, it starts to just push. Again, it could be I was going too fast and the softer rear spring rate is causing it as well. This is only one autocross so I'll get a better feel next time out.

Yea, I was told the same thing. Because of the understeer nature of the car, brake until the very last moment, turn in, try to get straight as fast as possible, then power out. Our car isn't made to power through the turns.... Thanks for the advice.[/b]
I'm still learning this front wheel drive thing as well, but that's what was suggested to me by other front wheel drive people. Powering thru turns just makes the turns into straights, even if that wasn't the original intent or the direction of the course
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Here's my impression of the SPC Adjustable ball joint and the Falken Azenis RT-615's 245/45-17. I also switched out my higher KSport rear springs with the rear Megan springs. So now I got a higher spring rater up front and lower spring rate in the rear.

Here is my alignment spec:
F Camber: -2.0
F Toe: 0 ~ 0.1

R Camber: -1.8
R Toe: 0 ~ 0.1

In previous autocrosses, i've been consistently 2 to 3 seconds slower than the slowest WRX's and about 5 to 6 seconds slower than the fastest WRX's in STX. Well this past Sunday at the Boeing autocross, I was about 2 seconds slower than the fastest WRX and about 1 second faster than the slowest WRX. I've cut my time down a lot and feel more confident now.

Because I've installed both at the same time, it's hard for me to seperate which product gave me which results so I'll just give my full impression. With the fresh new and better tires, that helped immensely. The Kumho MX's were down to 2/32 and getting rock hard. The steering responses has increased as well as stability for the slalom. Previously, my car felt unsteady when going left and right in the slalom. Now it feels more level and poise as I plant my foot. This tire just want to stick! Turn in sharper and feels more precise. But all this was in the dry. It rained during my first run and the tires felt squirrely but I'm sure it felt better than those on R-compound that day. Was a complete downpour right before our second run but started to dry up by our fourth run.

The only concern I have right now is the understeer I felt when trying to perform a 180 turn or a sweeper with decreasing radius. For the 180 turn, it could be I was going a bit too fast but when I tried to turn hard, the wheels turned but the car didn't. Just pushed. For subsequent runs I slowed down a bit and made the turn ok but really think I should be able make it at my previous faster speed. The other situation was entering a sweeper with decreasing radius. Entering the sweeper, I was able to keep half throttle and power my way through, all the way until I needed to turn more towards the end. The car started to push. Again, it could be the speed (going too fast)but it felt differently than when I was on the Kumho MX's. I played around with the tire pressure but still the same results. It's almost the kind of the same situation Mazda6sMtx described in his thread.

However, overall the combination of both the adjustable ball joint and Azenis is a great combination! A+ for both product![/b]
Where did you have your alignment done?
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