How does MCA choose their spring and valving setups?
Firstly we start off with a relatively standard car and weigh it on all four corners. The amount of travel we want is decided on, this includes bump and droop travel. Then the shocks are valved according to what we think is correct. Once valved the shocks are dyno tested to make sure we are happy with the graphs and to check adjustments. At this stage we also decide where the adjuster should be set. The shocks are then assembled but without bumpstops and springs then fit them to the car.
By adjusting the position of the base (bottom mount) we work out the closed length by jacking up the suspension assembly with and without tyre to make sure everything is clearing everything, but using as much travel as possible. After that we drop the shock down from full bump the amount required to achieve our desired amount of bump travel from ride height. We take measurements of the shock at it’s full bump length, its ride height lengths and full droop length. The shocks are removed and reassembled with springs and bumpstops ready for final fitment.
Using some maths we are able to move the spring seat into the correct position to achieve our desired ride height so there’s less fiddling once the shocks are on the car. Once they are fitted to the car, we drop the car down onto the ground and check the heights to make sure they are as they should be. After that we need to check arm angles and roll axis to make sure that we are happy with this area, or to fine tune the ride heights to achieve the a good setup.
The vehicle is then driven on a bumpy road to make sure the track setup isn’t too unlivable as a daily setup. If it is, steps are taken to try and fix this, but in doing so we make sure to never reduce the outright performance. Then it’s time to take it to the track and test our setup properly. Generally all that’s needed is small adjustments to the roll axis and adjusters are made to find the ideal setup.
The car is then taken back to the workshop and final measurements are taken from the car so that it can be duplicated easily on the next set of suspension we put together for that model vehicle. Then we are ready to offer this suspension set at our suggested setup to the public.
Words by Josh Coote of MCA.