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There are of course downsides to a live axle car. If you set up the backend so it's too hard is bounces around on our lovely roads. So you go soft, which aids traction too, but means that the axle and the prop moves a lot. Westfield in their wisdom saw fit to fit the handbrake assembly directly above the prop, unlike Caterham who place it under the dash on their LA cars. With a softer set up the prop can hit the assembly on big bumps/potholes. The other problem is the limited amount of travel on offer.
Despite having nylon spacers as well as bump stops on the rear Spax shocks, they were still slamming shut on bumps when two up and slamming open when in on my own and going over crests. I finally decided to sort this out once and for all by sending the rear shockers over to Nigel at AVO to find out what was going on. He diagnosed the problem as the springs. They were long 100lb springs with 50lb of pre-load. Meaning they were closing fully on compression and slamming open very easily. So along with some shiny new shocks, Nigel has sent me some nice shorter 150lb springs. The shocks are also fitted with double bump stops to protect the handbrake. We shall see how we get on with these.
Update: I gave it a setup and run today two up with a full tank of gas. No problems at all. No fully closing or opening. Indeed the old shocks must have been shot also as these are just perfectly damped. It's a huge difference to the old shocks to the point that I'll most definately be doing the fronts over next winter.
Update 2: After the awesomeness of the rear shocks I couldn't wait. Fronts are now swapped also. This thing now deals with our crappy roads in a very Elise-like manner, just soaking up the bumps and potholes. A top, top buy. That coupled with the new track rod end (bit of play in one of them) means that the Bathtub is as ready as it'll ever be for the ring.
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