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URGE Designs Ohlins Lower Cup Review

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URGE Designs Ohlins Lower Cup Review

Old 04-17-2017, 10:58 PM
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Default URGE Designs Ohlins Lower Cup Review

INTRO
I purchased my AP2 approximately 2 years ago with the express intention of autocrossing it. During the 2016 season, I ran the car mostly stock in SCCA B-Street and NTAXS S2000 (local club) classes, but decided to build the car into STR spec for the 2017 season. With that said, I decided on a set of Ohlins DFV coilovers given the simple single adjustment and their reputation for high build quality and ability to handle a range of spring rates. I purchased a set from Patrick at URGE Designs for his great reputation in the S2000 community, competitive pricing, and exceptional customer service. He followed up after I had completed the installation and inquired if I had any interest in testing out a set of their upcoming lower cups (should be available for purchase in about 1 week). FULL DISCLOSURE: Patrick at URGE has supplied me with a prototype set of the lower cups at a discounted price with the purpose of test fitting and initial review.

Photo credit: Robert Kirby at Lightspeed Images

CURRENT SETUP
  • 2004 AP2
  • AP2v1 OEM Wheels
    • Used for this review as the tires had remaining life
  • 245/40/17 Bridgestone RE71R
    • Considerable bulge when mounted on the OEM front wheels
    • Mounted mid season 2016 (approximately 60 runs completed at time of testing)
  • Ohlins DFV Coilovers
  • URGE Designs Lower Cups
  • Comptech Adjustable Front Sway Bar (Setting 3)
  • NC Miata Front Sway Bar w/ Polyurethane Bushings as Rear Sway
  • Hardrace Offset Front Ball Joints #6621
  • CT Engineering Intake
  • Winmax W4 Brake Pads F+R
  • SOS Braided Brake Lines
  • Recaro Pole Position Seat
  • Buddy Club Sliders
PROBLEM
As well documented, the Ohlins DFV setup on the S2000 suffers from limited rear shock travel, often making contact with the bump stops when set to the Ohlins recommended 2mm of preload. I do not claim to be an expert on vehicle setup or dynamics, but I'll do my best to express my findings from behind the wheel on an autocross course. I initially set my Ohlins to match all recommended settings (2mm preload, 10 clicks from full soft, etc.). Running an event with this setup, I noticed that the rear felt noticeably delayed in response, especially during fast transitions such as in slaloms. Accelerating the car up to the limit of grip during slaloms, I was able to 'dance' the car around the cones in its stock configuration, feeling the back end rotating progressively. However, with the Ohlins, the rears would slip suddenly and I would have to limit my inputs to allow the rear to regain grip. Through the day, I gradually increased the stiffness of the rear, and while grip and response increased, the overall feel remained.
My fastest run of the day:


SOLUTION
In order to prevent contact with the bump stops, it is recommended to increase the rear preload. However, increasing the preload also increases ride height and, given the design of the Ohlins OEM lower mounts, the vehicle will no longer be at optimal ride height. To combat this, a redesigned lower cup mount allows for a wider range of ride height adjustment to accommodate for the increased preload. Enter the URGE Designs Lower Cups.


PRODUCT DETAILS
The URGE Designs Lower Cups are constructed from 7075 grade aluminum and reduce minimum ride height by reducing the overall length of the lower mount by 30mm and the internal body being completely threaded and open ended for maximum adjustment.

Shorter overall length:


Threads and open ended design as compared to OEM Ohlins unit:



In addition, the URGE units provide an additional 130g of weight savings per side:



This resulted in a potential ride height lower than allowed by OEM Ohlins units and additional flexibility to increase spring preload (both images shown with the units set at the lowest possible height):



VEHICLE SETUP
With my current driving style, I preferred the car to be softer and more forgiving when approaching the limits of grip. I set the preload to 25mm, opted not to upgrade from the OEM Ohlins springs to higher spring rates, and returned the car to approximately the same ride height as Ohlins recommended to minimize the variables in this comparison. Once again, I started off the day with the rear dampers set at 10 clicks from full stiff.


INITIAL RESULTS
The vehicle felt much more responsive and willing to rotate. Breakaway characteristics became much more progressive and predictable, allowing me to push the car closer to the limits of grip during slaloms more consistently and confidently. In higher speed sweepers, I was able to induce additional rotation with trail braking and was able to open the throttle earlier while exiting the corner. I reduced the damper to 11 clicks from full stiff for the second half of the day and felt some additional stability on corner entry. Overall my confidence was greatly improved, allowing me to more quickly reach the limits of grip and drive the car harder into the corners and open the throttle earlier as the I was able to finish rotating the car and unwind the wheel.
My fastest run of the day:


Overall, I am very happy with the results and will likely leave the car in this configuration for a few more events. In the future, I may experiment with a lower ride height and stiffer springs, but at this time the car feels rather well suited to my driving style, offering linear approach to the limits of grip and progressive breakaway when exceeded. I have a set of Kosei K8R 17x9 and brand new RE71Rs in the garage and will be interested in seeing how this setup feels with a fresh set of tires.

Patrick at URGE has been a great asset, providing recommendations and assistance throughout this process. During my installation of the lower cups, I had inadvertently broke one of the adjustment knobs, but Patrick quickly sourced a replacement for me. I look forward to doing additional business with him in the future as my setup continues to evolve.

I'll do my best to answer any questions you all may have and will continue to post updates as the car continues to get dialed in.

Last edited by Speed6; 04-18-2017 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:52 AM
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Nice review and a good looking product, I just hope they ad some anodizing on the production version.
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:38 AM
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Wowza. 25mm of preload. Still not lifting a back tyre on hard turns?
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:21 AM
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No lifting as of yet but I've only tested the car on the TMS Bus Lot - notoriously slick. It might happen on a stickier surface.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by flanders View Post
Nice review and a good looking product, I just hope they ad some anodizing on the production version.
Not sure if that's in the works. I'll let Patrick answer that.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Speed6 View Post
No lifting as of yet but I've only tested the car on the TMS Bus Lot - notoriously slick. It might happen on a stickier surface.
Nice.

With Ohlins' 2mm recommendation, I had 0.59" (15mm) travel before bumpstop contact - full tank, no driver.

Now I am using 13mm preload with cups I sourced myself (and paint matched myself).

I was aiming for 1" (25mm) of free travel. So I figured that adding 10-11mm of preload to the original 2mm would get me there.

I was in a rush to put the car back together...so I'll have yet to actually re-measure my new travel length. The car does ride noticeably better.

I was worried about lifting a wheel and/or having too much available rear compression. I haven't got it on a track yet with the new preload. So we'll see.
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by B serious View Post
Nice.

With Ohlins' 2mm recommendation, I had 0.59" (15mm) travel before bumpstop contact - full tank, no driver.

Now I am using 13mm preload with cups I sourced myself (and paint matched myself).

I was aiming for 1" (25mm) of free travel. So I figured that adding 10-11mm of preload to the original 2mm would get me there.

I was in a rush to put the car back together...so I'll have yet to actually re-measure my new travel length. The car does ride noticeably better.

I was worried about lifting a wheel and/or having too much available rear compression. I haven't got it on a track yet with the new preload. So we'll see.
Where'd you get your cups from if you dont mind me asking?
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by B serious View Post
Nice.

With Ohlins' 2mm recommendation, I had 0.59" (15mm) travel before bumpstop contact - full tank, no driver.

Now I am using 13mm preload with cups I sourced myself (and paint matched myself).

I was aiming for 1" (25mm) of free travel. So I figured that adding 10-11mm of preload to the original 2mm would get me there.

I was in a rush to put the car back together...so I'll have yet to actually re-measure my new travel length. The car does ride noticeably better.

I was worried about lifting a wheel and/or having too much available rear compression. I haven't got it on a track yet with the new preload. So we'll see.
Someone else can probably explain this better than I can, but we need to take into account spring rate when targeting free travel. With a higher preload setting, the weight of the car will cause less compression of the spring. So mm of preload do not directly translate to mm of travel, but with your settings, you probably achieved more than the targeted 25mm of travel.
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Speed6 View Post
Someone else can probably explain this better than I can, but we need to take into account spring rate when targeting free travel. With a higher preload setting, the weight of the car will cause less compression of the spring. So mm of preload do not directly translate to mm of travel, but with your settings, you probably achieved more than the targeted 25mm of travel.

The spring rate stays the same. And I didn't preload more than the corner *force*.

Still a 447LB spring. Car still weighs the same....and hence the corner force being put on the spring by the car stays the same. BUT...the spring has an added initial force from preload.

The spring will, however, still compress at a rate of 1" per every 447LB of force.

I compressed it about 1/2" (13mm) by adding 224LB of force into the spring via preload.

So the car's added static weight will compress it ~1/2" less than it would have.

My spring compressed to 159mm when I set the car on the ground with 2mm of preload.

I am predicting it compressed to 159mm with my 13mm of preload as well.

Except that my initial spring length was 11mm less to begin with.

with 2mm of preload...198mm - 159mm = 39mm of shock travel used up.

but if my preload is 13mm....187 - 159 = 28mm of compression used up.

Total free travel is ~54mm to start with (fully extended).

54mm - 28mm= 26mm

I'll crawl under the car to check in the next few days.
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:08 PM
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Speed6 has the prototype and thus anodized.
The final product will be anodized for sure.

As you can see our manufacture really made a clean looking well designed product.
We opted to go with a ~2X stronger and ~2X higher fatigue life 7075 vs 6160 as the original part had steel mounts. We feel that is important for a part the has so much stress on it.

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