I thought this thread was worthy of an update on what happened next. Well,I had a chat with
Simon at Meteor Motorsport. Being my hobby car I always want the best & a compromise is not good enough so I treated myself to a full set of Penske 3 way adjustables. They are custom made in America, shipped over & Meteor Motorsport apply their own magic to valve them especially for a high powered Caterham,backed up with a dyno to prove the product worthy. Yes it can be tricky taking the front shocks off without damaging the surrounding body work & wishbones,plus where to place the remote reservoir assemblies, however many thanks to Boss Racing in Kent who did a brilliant install job. The car was being detailed at KOS Keltec at the same time so the new shocks &springs had a coating of Gtechniq Crystal Serum applied for long lasting protection and shine as well.
So after being delivered back in South France,with a fresh service,suspension install & total wheel alignment corner weighting I was eager to go for a drive.
First things first I had an hour on the phone with Simon providing a fascinating physics lesson on how they are made, work, on how to read all the dyno curves and the correct settings for low speed compression, fast speed compression and rebound. The whole package dampers and shocks Included the correct valving & baseline settings for all the adjustments available.
I’m lucky to have some twisty hill roads not too far from where I live including the Course de cote de Biot which is a great testing ground for any Caterham. This Youtube vid gives you a good idea:
Anyway, after my first drive Iwas grinning ear to ear! To be honest I was a little nervous, as its been a while since driving the car, plus knowing that it would take longer to get the tires & brakes up to temperature as Its been very cold down here lately also. So my findings:
Definitely transfers more power from the tires to the road surface – very noticeable.
More stable under heavy braking & acceleration (the front does not lift up as much when flooring it drag car style!)
You can feel the fast speed compression providing a smoother ride especially at normal speeds on uneven surfaces I pot holes, drain covers etc .
On high speed long open bends you can feel the dampers & springs preventing the role. My freestyle anti roll bars are slackened off to nearly the softest settings now as recommended in the new set up.
I have more confidence to keep on the power into open bends or high speed twisty sections rather then lifting off. Or at least holding onto the power longer & braking later.
It is more stable under heavy braking into the apex and very predictable & balanced while powering hard out of a bend. This gave me a grinfactor of 11/1O 🙂
Only comment is may be,still more testing to do, is a lot more noticeable twitch of weight distribution I sudden understeer or oversteer I have to correct, etc,only if I do something stupid like change gear or lift off at the wrong point in a bend,& of course only at silly I naughty speeds. Time wilItell & Iwlll report back if this is correct & Iexperience this more, however so many factors could outweigh this conclusion at this stage as testing has only been on winter cold hill roads.
One downside is that it will probably require a full service off the car more often. I’m predicting every 2 years assuming my 900 to 1,400 hlll road miles per year, however lt’s nice to know that Meteor motorsports are there to advise & supervise this when required.
All in all a great upgrade & definately recommend.
Its so good I will be looking at the possibility for a similar upgrade for my Ultima GTR in the future