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Thoughts on AP2/AP1 Setup

 
Old 05-29-2018, 11:14 PM
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Default Thoughts on AP2/AP1 Setup

Hey guys long time lurker. So Iv had my 04 AP2 for a few years now; Mostly commuting and when I can aggressive back roads, no autox or track yet but hoping to start this year. Any spirited driving is always 70 % at best and generally just out of VTEC so please keep that in mind. Iv been trying to get the same feel of my 00 AP1.

I finally got PSS OEM size tires and a custom alignment done (Camber FL ~ -0.5 degrees FR ~ -.9 degrees. Rear was about -1.8/-1.9 both sides. Front Toe 0 and rear toe in about 0.24 degrees. Caster in the 5.X range. Front camber bolts were seized so this wasn't adjusted). The car has improved but still isn't where I'm wanting it.

I think my griping point is something along the lines of turn in understeer. No throttle or just enough to keep the car close to level going in. My 00 felt way more point and shoot so to speak and kind of hopped around turns. It felt like it was on rails for the boring cars I was used to. The snap oversteer was never a problem because I never pushed it that hard. The front of the AP2 seems to resist initial turn in and the back doesn't seem to follow as well. Currently I'm playing with tire pressures to see how it feels. Is this difference in AP1/AP2 the added understeer Honda implemented? Or maybe the slight change in steering ratio making me feel some delay?

I'm debating going further down the suspension hole with my AP2 or switching back to an AP1; I'm afraid of looking back with rose tinted glasses though. Iv been reading through tons of threads on these cars over the years but short of buying both cars and directly comparing I'm looking for opinions. I know others have had this feeling before who were lucky enough to own both. Sorry I tried to keep it relatively short
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:58 AM
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Too many variables starting with the tires which is where I'd go with Extreme Performance summer tires. Honda never added understeer to the car but they did reduce oversteer. A subtle distinction. No need to buy another car as all the suspension parts are routinely available on Ebay by guys who have aftermarket parts on their cars. You can mix and match dozens of combinations. Spring rates are listed (somewhere) here. You can probably eventually find your MY00 springs and bars on Ebay and change them in an afternoon.

Bumping your front tires up to 225 (vs OEM 215) will add some quicker turn in but I don't know how the Michelins will do as their sidewalls are less rigid than some others. 225s will fit in the wheelwells assuming OEM wheels.

Since Honda made suspension changes every two years like clockwork generalized "AP1" and "AP2" designations won't help you. 00-01 differs from 02-03 which differs from 04-05 -- you get the idea. My '06 suspension differs from your '04. The ultimate was the CR setup and that was setup for even less oversteer with 215F/255R tires 'cuz oversteer is relatively slow on the race track where tenths of a second count.

-- Chuck

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Old 05-30-2018, 06:46 AM
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Chuck,

Thanks for the help. I know my post count is low but iv done a good bit of reading over the years and feel comfortable with the basics. I know I can buy used parts but like you said there are too many variables going into it. So I’m somewhat avoiding trading out variable after variable because as far as my memory goes what I want handling wise was stock right out of the box with my 00.

I guess a more specific question is what causes the delayed/slow turn in or initial understeer with an 04?










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Old 05-30-2018, 07:06 AM
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Switch tires back to 00 size. I think they were 205 225?
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:25 AM
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Delayed/slow turn is a feature of soft sidewall tires. Michelins are more noted for comfortable ride than quick steering.

Butt-dynos/G-meters have notoriously poor data retention. It's said the only two good things about pain is (1) we know we're not dead and (2) we can't remember it no matter how extreme it was. #2 holds true for lesser physical feelings. Comparing cars side by side within a few minutes works better. Stop watches and real G-meters work even better.

Your MY00s suspension and tires were much different from your '04. I want to say especially the original tires. Your '04 came new with Extreme Performance summer tires when new. Unless and until you put Extreme Performance Summer tires on your car we're guessing just what needs to be tweaked regarding alignment and spring rates to restore that feeling that you really can't recall anyway. Even the lads of Mighty Car Mods ran side by side comparisons and determined that tires were #1 and suspension #2 in getting cars to handle.

Tire technology has changed since 2000 of course and, while I doubt it, your Michelins may be as good or better than the OE tires. I know for sure there are better tires (better handling) than the PSS tires.

If you just want the rear end loosey goosey there must be things you can do with tire pressure but that doesn't translate into better handling.

-- Chuck

Last edited by Chuck S; 05-30-2018 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:14 AM
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PM me for my suspension spring rate spreadsheet. It will show you front to rear bias of each model increment, and show what spring or swaybar combinations can get you the same bias your '00 had.

As many have mentioned, tires, their construction, their sidewall, has a lot to do with it. As does alignment. So many factors, and my spreadsheet only shows you one of these factors. But it could be what you're looking for.

Also, wider front tires actually slow turn in feel. More grip yes. But also slower turn in. Don't go wider if you are looking for feel more than for lap times.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:01 PM
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Car Analogy thanks I'll be shooting you a PM; that will probably help best for mix n matching what I'm looking for. I remember reading that about front tire size and turn in feel. That's why I went with OEM sizes instead of going up a size.

Chuck,

Neither my 00 nor 04 had anything close to extreme performance summer tires. My 00 had what I'd call middle of the road summer tires on the front (can't recall the brand) and Walmart crap all seasons at the rear. My 04 had Goodyear eagle sport and Goodyear eagle authority. I thought the extreme performance category is a bit ahead of my scope and my expectation at this point in time but I'll pay more attention to tire construction and sidewall flex. From my research I thought the PSS were a good choice but maybe I'll look into more performance when these wear out.

I'm not looking for a loose rear end. What I had with my 00 and how I drove it it wasn't loose at all. Im only playing with pressures to experiment with shifting grip bias to the front but I'm thinking that spreadsheet will be better
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Old 06-04-2018, 02:24 AM
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Original tires, the tires on the car out of the factory, were Extreme Performance Summer Bridgestone tires on both cars. That category is now probably filled by Max Performance Summer Bridgestone tires as technology has advanced in the past 20 years. The car's suspension was setup to take full advantage of these tires and running Goodyears or Walmart tires has never let you experience the car's handling.

Unless and until you put Extreme Performance Summer tires on your car we're guessing just what needs to be tweaked regarding alignment and spring rates to restore that feeling that you really can't recall anyway. Even the lads of Mighty Car Mods ran side by side comparisons and determined that tires were #1 and suspension #2 in getting cars to handle. (Or did I already say this.)

-- Chuck

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Old 06-04-2018, 07:04 AM
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i think what you're feeling is the difference in speed of the steering rack. the ap1 has a quicker steering rack than the ap2. with the CR they reused the ap1 steering rack with the updated ap2 rear suspension geometry.
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:14 AM
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The only S2000 that came with "extreme performance" tires was the CR.

The EP category is also relatively new. Probably started with tires like the BFG KD and Kumho MX.

All base models came with something we'd consider "max performance" summer tires today.

A Michelin PSS is a higher performer than what came on any new base model S2000. The sidewall construction is different, however.

OP....if its just steering feel you're after:
Use a tire with similar sidewall construction to the factory spec
Make sure the suspension is properly maintained.
Make sure the car is properly aligned.

That's as good as its going to get until you start modifying.

Beyond that:
Use an AP1 steering rack.
Use AP1 sway bars.

Beyond that:
Aftermarket stuffs
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