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Experienced track upgrade advice

bostonaudi

Go Kart Champion
Location
Charleston, SC
Car(s)
1995 BMW M3
Did some more searching on ISC coilovers, reviews seem positive overall. They seem similar to KSport and BC, with the same adjustable shock body design. Seems this design was arrived at as a means for extreme lowering while keeping the shock travel. I would say in that case it should work well, but keep in mind it has no advantage over a "regular" coilover as long as you use it at it's specified ride height range. There are some comments that droop length is compromised with adjustable shock bodies but for most daily driving I doubt that's an issue.

Still would like to see a shock dyno chart, or see ISC include a copy of the test run they hopefully did before shipping and put it in the box for the customer to see. Seems you never do for the economy kits. Koni, Bilstein, Moton etc. charts are out there for the world to see.

Here's a reminder why (the list of "crap" may be a little dated now):

http://farnorthracing.com/autocross_secrets20.html
http://farnorthracing.com/autocross_secrets18.html

My all time favorite street/track coilovers are KW V2, but not in line with budget.
 

KerryChadderton

New member
Location
Easton, MD
Car(s)
08 MKV GTI
I liked those articles. I'm going to learn a lot going down this path.

For what it's worth I emailed ISC two days ago and haven't gotten a response. Man, I don't like that! If you provide a "contact us" then you have to monitor it! This is precisely why my company doesn't have a website. Because I don't have time to monitor one. Enough of my rant....
 

MKV Aaron

Form Follows Function
Location
Westerville, Ohio
Car(s)
Golf R
Did some more searching on ISC coilovers, reviews seem positive overall. They seem similar to KSport and BC, with the same adjustable shock body design. Seems this design was arrived at as a means for extreme lowering while keeping the shock travel. I would say in that case it should work well, but keep in mind it has no advantage over a "regular" coilover as long as you use it at it's specified ride height range. There are some comments that droop length is compromised with adjustable shock bodies but for most daily driving I doubt that's an issue.

Still would like to see a shock dyno chart, or see ISC include a copy of the test run they hopefully did before shipping and put it in the box for the customer to see. Seems you never do for the economy kits. Koni, Bilstein, Moton etc. charts are out there for the world to see.

Here's a reminder why (the list of "crap" may be a little dated now):

http://farnorthracing.com/autocross_secrets20.html
http://farnorthracing.com/autocross_secrets18.html

My all time favorite street/track coilovers are KW V2, but not in line with budget.
Did you do any driving on the V3 setup?
 

GGray

Ready to race!
Location
Virginia
I liked those articles. I'm going to learn a lot going down this path.

For what it's worth I emailed ISC two days ago and haven't gotten a response. Man, I don't like that! If you provide a "contact us" then you have to monitor it! This is precisely why my company doesn't have a website. Because I don't have time to monitor one. Enough of my rant....
That's because they like most on east coast were not open... Snow storm...
 

GGray

Ready to race!
Location
Virginia
Did some more searching on ISC coilovers, reviews seem positive overall. They seem similar to KSport and BC, with the same adjustable shock body design. Seems this design was arrived at as a means for extreme lowering while keeping the shock travel. I would say in that case it should work well, but keep in mind it has no advantage over a "regular" coilover as long as you use it at it's specified ride height range. There are some comments that droop length is compromised with adjustable shock bodies but for most daily driving I doubt that's an issue.

Still would like to see a shock dyno chart, or see ISC include a copy of the test run they hopefully did before shipping and put it in the box for the customer to see. Seems you never do for the economy kits. Koni, Bilstein, Moton etc. charts are out there for the world to see.

Here's a reminder why (the list of "crap" may be a little dated now):

http://farnorthracing.com/autocross_secrets20.html
http://farnorthracing.com/autocross_secrets18.html

My all time favorite street/track coilovers are KW V2, but not in line with budget.

Actually they copied the design from Ohlins... They are the ones who pioneered the threaded body/housing design...

You should try JRZ, Ohlin's, Penske, MCS dampers.... Opens your eyes to what a real quality damper is...
 

bostonaudi

Go Kart Champion
Location
Charleston, SC
Car(s)
1995 BMW M3
Did you do any driving on the V3 setup?

Not the V3, no. Most I know who go for high end KW kits skip the V3 and go to Clubsport. I'm sure the V3's are excellent and more street friendly since you can back low speed compression down.

I have driven several cars with AST's and Motons as well, they offer excellent vehicle control and do it with a smoothness cheaper shocks can't touch. As an aside I talked to a shop a while ago that rebuilds both AST and Ohlins (similar price range) and they said Ohlins internals are better quality and longer lasting - from direct experience of taking apart customer shocks. Another factor in high end race shocks is lifespan, they do need to get rebuilt every now and then. I think that was partly what drove AST to retire the 4100's and come out with an improved version.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

GGray

Ready to race!
Location
Virginia
I can tell you we stopped selling AST due to the HORRENDOUS quality control issues. I would never put them in anything I owned.. In comparison we have had almost Zero issues with the ISC dampers which is fairly amusing to me..

We would get a batch in NEW, leaking top seals (as in all the fluid), adjusters not working at all, adjusters with more clicks than suppose to a few just had infinite adjustment, tops of dampers literally blowing out on customers (think shock guts coming out the top from the top cap unscrewing), Probably 40-50% had issues, It was a nigh mare dealing with..

The reason they stopped making the 4100 was they incorporated MOTON technology into the dampers that they could never figure out.. And in the process killed the MOTON brand and name..

What makes a Ohlins, Penske, Sachs Motorsports, MCS, JRZ superior is the type of valve they use. They all use orifice valves not a needle valve like the rest including KW.. That is why they all feel so smooth and consistent...
 

bostonaudi

Go Kart Champion
Location
Charleston, SC
Car(s)
1995 BMW M3
I can tell you we stopped selling AST due to the HORRENDOUS quality control issues. I would never put them in anything I owned.. In comparison we have had almost Zero issues with the ISC dampers which is fairly amusing to me..

We would get a batch in NEW, leaking top seals (as in all the fluid), adjusters not working at all, adjusters with more clicks than suppose to a few just had infinite adjustment, tops of dampers literally blowing out on customers (think shock guts coming out the top from the top cap unscrewing), Probably 40-50% had issues, It was a nigh mare dealing with..

The reason they stopped making the 4100 was they incorporated MOTON technology into the dampers that they could never figure out.. And in the process killed the MOTON brand and name..

What makes a Ohlins, Penske, Sachs Motorsports, MCS, JRZ superior is the type of valve they use. They all use orifice valves not a needle valve like the rest including KW.. That is why they all feel so smooth and consistent...
Apparently there is a bit of a saga to AST, Vorshlag finally gave up on them:

http://www.vorshlag.com/forums/showthread.php?p=57827#post57827
 

KerryChadderton

New member
Location
Easton, MD
Car(s)
08 MKV GTI
Hi everyone,

It's been nearly 4 months since I started this thread and I wanted to provide a follow-up review. After talking it out with you guys here are the results. Remember that brakes and tires had already been upgraded:

Full tune up
Replace all fluids - Rotella T6 in engine, Mobil 1 in trans., Ate Gold for brakes
Replace pump follower
Replace DV with newest revision
The results of these items could actually be felt in the seat. The boost drop between shifts disappeared. The owner has commented on increased power more than once.

Suspension Bushings - Powerflex race compounds. EVERY bushing was replaced.
Engine/trans mounts - Powerflex dogbone bushings
Swaybars - Hotchkiss, front and rear. Thanks to miamirice!
Coilover/Shock/Strut setup - Full ISC N1 package, 10k front 8k rear

Add in a VAGCOM cable and half a tank of high-test. The total was $2493.00!

I don't want to leave anyone out in my thanks for helping me put this package together. Everyone who posted gave me something helpful.

In the end I took a chance on the ISC coilover package and could not be happier. At $900-$950 including camber plates, this is the deal of the century. Gary Gray at Bimmerworld put me in contact with ISC and brokered the deal. The communication was excelent. The product quality was well above my expectations. What ISC lacked in written instruction they more than made up with follow-up emails and at one point even had parts shipped straight from Tiawan in 4 days! And yes they rebuild, custom build and dyno, on request, in North America.

For intial setup I followed a combination of GGray and bostonaudi's suggestions. The results have been far better than I had imagined. This setup is so smooth and linear. Even at track settings the car could be driven daily without driver fatigue, loosened teeth or turning up the radio.
The owner did not need more power. He needed a safe, predictable platform so that he could spend less time wrestling the car and more time listening to his instructor. This is what he has now and he's happy. If you are new to tracking your MKV and are on a limited budget, do brakes and tires first, then see the recipe above. Forget all that wiz-bang, shiny object stuff in the begining. As Colin Chapman said, "If it doesn't make the car better, it doesn't go on." And if you're a racing enthusiast and don't know who Colin Chapman is that makes me sad. Google him:)

Before, After & with me following in my 944(for contrast). In the same turn:
 

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bostonaudi

Go Kart Champion
Location
Charleston, SC
Car(s)
1995 BMW M3
Good to hear the ISC setup worked out. Considering a set for my M3. As long as the dampers are dialed in for the springs 10k/8k should handle great. Did ISC have to re-valve for these rates or did they work out of the box?

You replaced every rear bushing as well? I've posted re-thinks on changing the rear blades to poly, with all these parts my car got really sensitive where a slight flick of the wheel could cause the rear end to come around. I tended to push the car at DE's too!
 

KerryChadderton

New member
Location
Easton, MD
Car(s)
08 MKV GTI
ISC did not revalve, per se. I specified 10/8 springs at the time of order and they sent a matched suspension. I was worried that 10/8 would not be stiff enough and was told that if I wanted to move up to 12/10 later the shocks would still work with a little adjustment. Which is normal.

GGray has run this setup on M3's, E30 & E36 chassis I believe. He could give you more first hand experience on the bimmers.

I inquired into an ISC setup for my 944. ISC does not has one yet and offered to work with me to develop one. That is how responsive and open they were. I wish I had the time but I've got to get a suspension under it in less than 60 days.

You know, I read your posts on the poly blade bushings after I had already installed everything. Then I saw the spherical bearing kits. Your theory is sound. Actually it's not a theory after reading more. However I haven't experienced anything other than great stability. There is no twitchiness to steering input and this car has a slight, comfortable push to it if anything. Keep in mind I don't have a lot of hours in the car yet, and essentially I'm only the mechanic on this car. I'm sure I'll get picky eventually and find things that could be done better.

This time out I used your alignment settings. I used the track time to dial in tire pressures and make sure everything stayed torqued. We are also pushing very hard out there. Summit Point allows a lot of freedom once safety is proven.
 

bostonaudi

Go Kart Champion
Location
Charleston, SC
Car(s)
1995 BMW M3
Sounds good. Poly on the rear should feel good with that spring rate. At anything near stock the rear has a lot more wheel travel and poly starts feeling like the rear is binding.
 

GGray

Ready to race!
Location
Virginia
I Just got back from Barber mentoring instructors first trip with the wagon and ISC's

I did quite a few two wheel off surprises and two four wheel off as the make believe student
Zero issues.

I typically do not recommend parts I would not or do not use myself the ISC kits have been really good to date.

I will be at VIR next month flogging them again.
 

Sideburns Steve

New member
Location
Ont CANADA
Hey guys, I'm bringing this one back to life. I'm wondering if anyone has more input on the ISC coilovers? I just bought a MKV GTI to use for track and I'm looking into track suspension options. Thanks!

I'm new here, first post :) Hi!
 
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