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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:58 PM   #21
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Spoke with Swift and here is their comparison. Brand B= Hyperco, Brand R= Eibach

http://www.swiftsprings.com/advantage.html
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:10 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txzhp04 View Post
i think if folks really cared about performance, they wouldn't have gone with kw to begin with. Seems people choose kw because they go low, ride "ok", and are relatively inexpensive (but expsensive enough to feel like they've purchased something higher quality than say raceland).
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:42 AM   #23
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Spoke with Swift and here is their comparison. Brand B= Hyperco, Brand R= Eibach

http://www.swiftsprings.com/advantage.html
250 lb/in 14" springs tested at 7" stroke? That gave me a pretty good chuckle. My springs aren't even 7" long and my rates are double that. Were those springs from a 4x4?

That covers the "technical" differences but doesn't really give a subjective assessment as to whether you can notice a difference between the various springs tested. You will absolutely feel a difference as compared to a progressive rate spring but how much difference does a 5% variation in rate across the stroke really make? And what about the not-easily-measurable reaction rates that supposedly give Swift springs a superior ride (according to the Swift fan in one of the other threads)?
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:28 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by TxZHP04 View Post
250 lb/in 14" springs tested at 7" stroke? That gave me a pretty good chuckle. My springs aren't even 7" long and my rates are double that. Were those springs from a 4x4?

That covers the "technical" differences but doesn't really give a subjective assessment as to whether you can notice a difference between the various springs tested. You will absolutely feel a difference as compared to a progressive rate spring but how much difference does a 5% variation in rate across the stroke really make? And what about the not-easily-measurable reaction rates that supposedly give Swift springs a superior ride (according to the Swift fan in one of the other threads)?

I don't mean to be a lurker but I was just looking through and noticed this.


Those springs are for circle track used on the Swift website. That is the main market they are pitching this piece to. But this information is useful to you too because the longer the spring, it magnifies the consistencies of the stroke of the spring. Being tested at 7 inches of stroke on a 14 inch spring can give you a good idea of how their coilover spring would also react. Swifts biggest market is Nascar guys, and that is the spring rates and dimensions are the most popular set-up. Big bar soft spring setup in the front. In fact some cars run as low as 100lb 14 inch springs and runs through the corner fully coilbound or on the bumpstops. Swift works well for these guys because of the amount of stroke that is available in their spring.

I do not see the reason why you would chuckle at the test. For example:
You said your springs arent even 7 inches long. and double the spring rate. So lets say you have a 6inch 500lb spring in the front of your vehicle. The reason why we are putting it in the front is because the fronts of BMW's are macpherson which is pretty close to a 1/1 motion ratio. Now the curb weight for an E46 is 3300lbs. And the E46 is close to a 50/50 split. Lets just say the front is 1650 and so each corner weight of the front is 825 lbs. You are at 1.65" so already almost 2 inches into your compression of the spring in static form. In other words from driving you can, and will compress the spring 3 inches which is half the stoke of a 6inch spring, in other words you will feel the spike (just like the 7inch stroke on a 14 inch spring). Spring rate consistency is crucial for any form of racing, because that kind of spike will litterally get me lost in how I should setup a vehicle.

With real racing every little bit counts. I have tested countless number of times the science of the springs, and you also did not fully read my post that was reposted from another thread. Reaction rate is the mechanical lag time from the reaction of the shock to the spring. The Swift spring reacts instantaneously with the reaction of the shock. And the reason why it was not easily measureable was because we figured it out through a very expensive process. We had to put the vehicle on a shaker rig to finally figure it out. The reaction rate of a spring has to do with frequencies of the spring, and therefore the simplest test you can do is hit the spring with metal object like a spoon, and you can hear the differences in the spring. The Swift is a higher pitch ping then the other springs of the bunch. Now it has been said over and over that the Swift spring even with the same spring rate feel s much more compliant than the other linear coilover spring, and this is my theory in it being more compliant, as well as cooler tire temps around a circuit.
Most the testing I have done is compared to a Hiperco. The reason being it is better than the rest (Eibach, Volkland, H&R, Draco, Afco, and Integra). And yes the Shaker rig test was compared to a Hipercoil.

You apparently did not do the math for the 5% variation. 5% makes a good amount of difference in spring rate considering most domestic spring manufacturers go in 25-50 lb increments in their spring rates. If your running 800lb springs and their is a 5% difference then it ranges from about +/-40lbs. How can you label a spring that specific spring rate if it ranges all the way up or down from that spring rate. A spring rate should not be an average of numbers throughout its stroke. In this example it should be 800lbs every inch of compression. Hipercoil does a good job trying to be a accurate as possible with their spring, if you order a 150lb spring they will give you a spring with a label on top that says 153. Which is probably what they tested at. And sure enough when I tested it the first inch or so of stroke is 153 but then it hikes up from there.

And I am not a Swift fan. Like I said previously if I find a better spring out there I would use that. For the vehicles I setup I am constantly looking for something better. I revalve and setup shocks not only for Circle Track, but touring cars, drag cars, and formula cars.

I used to only use Hipercoil spring. I only started looking deep into other brands of springs because many of the circle track racers that I setup for would have to keep coming back race after race because the Hipercoils will lose rate and height, and when this happens the corner weights get really thrown off, and sometimes will even get disqualified because after the race the techs will check rideheight again, and if its below what's written on the rules, your done. So I started looking for something more durable and I stumbled upon Swift. They told me that their springs are much more durable and so I had one of my customers use it. And it was true it did not sag. From what I have seen through various events the springs last generally 4 times longer than Hipercoils. But some can get through a whole season without it ever sagging. As I started using Swift springs for most my suspension setups, the dirt oval racers and the touring car racers are the ones that say they feel an enormous difference in the spring, and that is what got me into researching the crap out of them. Now understand that circle track racing is extremely hard on the spring, Sagging is a very normal occurrence with this form of racing. We get the light weight 14 inch spring and preload it about 2-3 inches from coilbind, and then these guys drive the crap out of them. Sagging is definitely not an issue that you have to be worried about.

I couldn't even say Swift is the best manufacturer out there. There is a company that makes coilover springs called Renton, These springs are about 1500dollars a piece, and are still a magnetic steel. I do not own one nor will I ever pay that much for these springs. I have tested them though, and the characteristics of these were weird. The spring rates were digressive. So it got softer as you compressed the spring. Which is illegal by Nascar rules but somehow these springs are allowed and that is what everyone uses in Sprint Cup.

I will end this by saying that suspension tuning in general is all just a theory, It is a black art. Some people like the way I set up their suspension and will swear by every decision I make, others will not. And that is the way it has always been. One can have the exact same car as the other, but setup the suspensions completely different and clock the same times around the track. So if you like the setup then stick with it, if you have the money test it out, but there is no use in badmouthing a product if you have no experience with it.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:23 PM   #25
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I completely understand all of the theory. As an engineer, I'm also not willing to assume that the performance of a spring designed for one application is going to be representative of all springs from a given manufacturer. I'm also not implying that the Swift springs aren't great springs, just trying to get beyond the marketing pitch to determine how much practical difference they really make versus other "same rate" springs in a BMW application. Stating that you could really feel a difference between 2 sets of springs of different rates and brands is meaningless. If you changed the rates, of course you're going to feel a difference, doesn't matter the brand. When you guys state that you can really feel a difference, what exactly does that mean? How does that translate into grip over rough pavement, transient response, lap times, etc?

"Better" is always a good thing but would you really notice a difference if one brand of chocolate chip cookie contained one more chocolate chip than it's nearest competitor? Sure you could count the chips and see that it was better but would you actually taste a difference?
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:42 PM   #26
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None of it is marketing. All the information I provide is through my experiences and tests.

The whole reason why I did so much research on Swift springs in general is because they're springs even with the exact same spring rates as the Hipercoil the Springs felt softer. Even on a spring dyno they both tested the same rates. The feel to them though were completely different. In fact I can run a stiffer Swift springs and it would feel softer than a hiperco's.

That is why I came to the conclusion that the Swift springs reaction rate was the cause of this.
Now the reason why this is better. The spring reacts immediately to the uneven surfaces on the ground, so the contact patch on the tire is always grounded, while the same spring rate hiperco would skip around because of the mechanical lag between the shock and the spring. This can not only be felt through the chassis, but the tire temps on the swift with the same spring rate is consistently cooler, the hiperco's tire would skip around through uneven surfaces creating heat. And ultimately because the tire is more grounded their is constant traction through a road course. All this will ultimately result in quicker laptimes. And that is the case with the experiences I have had with them.

Well bottom line- same spring rate feelable difference.

And by softer please do not misunderstand me with more roll. hmmmmm... It is more like there is high speed bump control set into the spring. It is more comfortable and smooth (which is very different from what a lot of my customers are used to)
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:05 PM   #27
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Again, you're just stating "better" and "quicker" with no quantification. And I mean no offense but with only 5 posts, you haven't established enough credibility here for me to simply take you at your word - although your testimony is logical and compelling. If someone were buying a new suspension or upgrading from progressive rates I think going with Swift springs would be a great idea. For people already running pretty decent springs, the cost/benefit ratio is still unclear.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:44 PM   #28
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I don't know what else to tell you. LOL
I don't know how else you want me to explain what I am saying. If your questions were more clear and asked me directly what data you want I might have been able to help you fully understand. But how do you expect me to do that, how else do you expect me to explain its softer, do I have to tell you in numbers, it's just the feedback I have and obviously other users even on this board has with these springs. If you think they are expensive and you want to try them, sell the Hipercos and buy Swifts, if you dont like the Swifts sell them and buy brand new Hiperco's, if you dont want to go through the troubles then keep what you have. If your happy with them that's all that matters.

I'm not a Swift salesman. I'm not trying to pitch these springs to you. Nor do I even have to put up long threads like I did, which I am starting to realize why I shouldn't have in the first place. It's just a headache.

Look you don't have to use them if you don't want to. I didn't say one bad thing about Hiperco. This is all just unbiased information that I have come across with experience.


I don't post often because I lurk. When I see something in which I might be able to give my 2cents then I do, obviously I dont have much to say. My car isnt really a racecar anyway. I like looking at cool pictures of BMW's and see how I might be able to make mine a bit nicer.

Signing out.

Last edited by ninjlao; 07-23-2010 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:22 PM   #29
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Damn there is a lot of valuable information in this thread.

I miss threads like these on E46F! Way to go fellas,
-Chris
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:43 PM   #30
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So does anyone else have any more info on this setup. and also does that mean ninjalo is not going to post anymore?
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:51 PM   #31
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and also does that mean ninjalo is not going to post anymore?
Hopefully he will continue to post. Just because he doesn't have the specific data I am looking for doesn't mean his posts aren't valuable or appreciated.
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:58 PM   #32
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I'm not familiar with the KW dampers, I believe they're Koni's but wont the shocks/struts need to be revalved going up in spring rates?
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:25 PM   #33
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No, they will not need to be revalved unless you went up to say 600+ in the front. It wouldn't hurt to have them revalved more aggressively but it is not neccessary.

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Old 08-10-2010, 12:03 AM   #34
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The best way to increase the performance of your KWs is to sell them and buy a Koni, AST, or Moton based kit to replace it.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:21 AM   #35
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That's what we try to tell people but this is a cheap alternative for those looking to keep their setup. The dampners themselves aren't that bad, it is the springs that are horrible.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:15 AM   #36
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Get some linear action for your KW's
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:15 AM   #37
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Reduce body roll and upgrade to a true sports car spring.
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:23 AM   #38
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^ One day...

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Old 09-29-2010, 08:08 AM   #39
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my only question is... where do bilstein's fit into this? i assume pretty similar?
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Old 09-30-2010, 05:32 AM   #40
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Yes, pretty similar. I do believe they use 60 or 65 ID spring, so you seat does not have to be adjusted and you won't need new top hats.
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