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Apex Engineered Track Attack - anyone actually running it yet?


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As jhm said, a lot of the track attack stuff is very much not final versions and has run into some hangups for some people. Ohm is great to work with in my experience but he straightforward about the

It´s just because it´s a Porsche. They did massive mistake with putting an engine in back of the car. Since then they are sruggling with it. Suspension and car dynamics are everything with weight

I used to say exactly the same about Harbor Freight...   Then they came out with their "Icon" line.  "Snap On" quality for 1/4 the price.  I have tried them.  I hate to say it, but it's true

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@Coelocanth81 

Checkout the Drivetrain sub forum for a thread called “Thoughts on Apex Engineered Subframe” or something close to that. It was originally about the standard rear subframe they make, but it has info about both as well as some questions answered by the creator, @ohmster101.

There is also a YouTube video of some guys who used the Track Attack subframe on a Hellcat swap Z you should check out. I haven’t seen any updates on the car since then though.

 

I’ve decided to use their standard rear subframe to run a Ford 8.8 and there are a number of people here who have ordered and started installing them but there is a lack of final reviews and videos going over the kits in depth. When I do mine I will definitely do a detailed write up for my build thread.

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22 hours ago, Sanchez said:

@Coelocanth81 

Checkout the Drivetrain sub forum for a thread called “Thoughts on Apex Engineered Subframe” or something close to that. It was originally about the standard rear subframe they make, but it has info about both as well as some questions answered by the creator, @ohmster101.

There is also a YouTube video of some guys who used the Track Attack subframe on a Hellcat swap Z you should check out. I haven’t seen any updates on the car since then though.

 

I’ve decided to use their standard rear subframe to run a Ford 8.8 and there are a number of people here who have ordered and started installing them but there is a lack of final reviews and videos going over the kits in depth. When I do mine I will definitely do a detailed write up for my build thread.

 

Thanks Sanchez,

 

I'd gotten to the end of those threads too, and wondered "everybody's at a stopping point before completion - is there some kind of hangup that was roadblocking things"?  I wish Ohm would publish an FAQ that established expectations of what is required to complete the upgrade - i.e. cutting/welding front spindles, frame reinforcements, necessity for different brake systems and hubs. A general guidance document would encourage me to pull the trigger instead of waiting on other people to finish.  I'm looking forward to seeing your write-up. I'm just down the road from you in Memphis.

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If you're on FB, I've seen a few people that have installed Apex's track pack or are in the process of doing so.  Check out "S30 Life" and "Swapped S30 Owners" pages.  I haven't seen any on-track reviews yet, as most people seem to be mid-installation. 

 

If you decide to go down this road, be mindful of the long lead time that Ohm cautions about on his website.

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On 12/23/2020 at 9:08 AM, jhm said:

If you're on FB, I've seen a few people that have installed Apex's track pack or are in the process of doing so.  Check out "S30 Life" and "Swapped S30 Owners" pages.  I haven't seen any on-track reviews yet, as most people seem to be mid-installation. 

 

If you decide to go down this road, be mindful of the long lead time that Ohm cautions about on his website.

 

As jhm said, a lot of the track attack stuff is very much not final versions and has run into some hangups for some people. Ohm is great to work with in my experience but he straightforward about the fact that the included axles for the rear kit have been the biggest pain and setback as a company and the biggest reason some of these kits have long lead times. Hard to find truly reliable machine shops to outsource the work to. 

 

Don't bother looking into the Hell Z. It's been a whole year since any update. If you're very sincerely trying to go all out and have that sort of budget, it's the best kit you'll find at near "bolt in" status.

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Just some thoughts...

 

I would only be interested in purchasing after I did my own research on race car chassis, suspension, and axle design. Anyone have any suggestions for books? I'm not sure if T3 or Apex has performed finite element analysis on their designs. I would want to be sure their solution would outperform anything else a custom shop experienced in racecar chassis etc. would do for the same price. By no means am I putting down their product. 

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9 hours ago, AydinZ71 said:

Just some thoughts...

 

I would only be interested in purchasing after I did my own research on race car chassis, suspension, and axle design. Anyone have any suggestions for books? I'm not sure if T3 or Apex has performed finite element analysis on their designs. I would want to be sure their solution would outperform anything else a custom shop experienced in racecar chassis etc. would do for the same price. By no means am I putting down their product. 

 

Books:-

 

Anything relevant to chassis or suspension design by Allan Staniforth or Carroll Smith should give you a pretty good insight 

 

If you feel the need to go further then consider Race Car Vehicle Dynamics by Milliken and Milliken 

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7 hours ago, zbloke said:

 

Books:-

 

Anything relevant to chassis or suspension design by Allan Staniforth or Carroll Smith should give you a pretty good insight 

 

If you feel the need to go further then consider Race Car Vehicle Dynamics by Milliken and Milliken 


thanks! Going to order the Staniforth and smith books. Having trouble finding the Milliken book for a reasonable price, but il keep looking! 

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On 12/28/2020 at 8:09 PM, AydinZ71 said:

Just some thoughts...

 

I would only be interested in purchasing after I did my own research on race car chassis, suspension, and axle design. Anyone have any suggestions for books? I'm not sure if T3 or Apex has performed finite element analysis on their designs. I would want to be sure their solution would outperform anything else a custom shop experienced in racecar chassis etc. would do for the same price. By no means am I putting down their product. 

 

Anyone can get their hands on some software and make pretty FEA pictures. The question to ask would be, what sort of validation work has been done? It doesn't matter whether they ran their stuff through FEA if it doesn't work in reality. CAE tools help the designer iterate quickly which reduces costs and development time but the end customers only care about results. What does it weigh, how stiff is it, how strong is it, and what have you done to prove that?

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12 hours ago, Leon said:

 

Anyone can get their hands on some software and make pretty FEA pictures. The question to ask would be, what sort of validation work has been done? It doesn't matter whether they ran their stuff through FEA if it doesn't work in reality. CAE tools help the designer iterate quickly which reduces costs and development time but the end customers only care about results. What does it weigh, how stiff is it, how strong is it, and what have you done to prove that?


I don’t disagree, results matter. FEA is just a tool, and helps reduce the need for destructive testing since you can identify strain points. I used to use it when I did component design, but we still did performance tests. It just saved us money by reducing wasted materials/labor. 
 

As you mentioned, they would earn more of my attention if they demonstrated some of the engineering/testing behind the product, but as a business I support them. No value judgement on them. its my opinion that its the consumers job to research/validate the product. in relative terms, the products are inexpensive for such a small volume. I know first hand how hard it can be to make everyone happy as a small business.
 

My long term goal is to build an AL tube frame with an S30 skin using my “lightweight structures” coursework and text book. Just a hobby and learning exercise. I don’t think it will be allowed on a track as I believe steel is required for racing. I used to perform solidworks modeling at work, but that was 10 years ago. I still need a day job and I don’t see myself wanting/needing to be a professional in that regard. It’s still fascinating though, and I really appreciate the breath of knowledge on this forum.

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On 12/30/2020 at 4:17 PM, Leon said:

 

Anyone can get their hands on some software and make pretty FEA pictures. The question to ask would be, what sort of validation work has been done? It doesn't matter whether they ran their stuff through FEA if it doesn't work in reality. CAE tools help the designer iterate quickly which reduces costs and development time but the end customers only care about results. What does it weigh, how stiff is it, how strong is it, and what have you done to prove that?

 

Yes, suspension design is a bit of a black art, just because someone with the best of intentions puts out a product it does not necessarily follow that it will perform well in practice. Design is everything, there are suspension programs around which will show you exactly what certain alignment dynamics will give you but they don't tell you how they will work in practice. You have to know what you want in detail eg roll centre, before any such programs can be used. I've done a bit of it, fascinating stuff.

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If anyone really wants to see a highly developed rear suspension in action check this video out. It seems to me that in cornering the inside wheel is designed to lose grip (look at the wheel angle) while the outside has full grip and drives the car around the corner at an angle.

 

 

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It´s just because it´s a Porsche. They did massive mistake with putting an engine in back of the car. Since then they are sruggling with it.

Suspension and car dynamics are everything with weight. In that 911 they have so much weight in rear tires that suspension must be stiff, still weight is in corners by 90% outer wheel.

 

What is fastest way to drive through corner? Yes, it is all weight equally in all tires. Nobody designs car wich is cornering just 3 wheels, unless you have to (because weight)

 

WEIGHT IS EVERYTHING, that is where to start.

 

And these Apex, Arizona, 3T system suspension things are basically just the same, because they don´t change dynamics.  Adding static camber, etc. is helping but dynamics are still the same.  To chance it you had to study you´r cars wheel movement in action. Put the car in poles, take the spring out of strut, and move tyre up and down. You want for 1deg camber gain per inch of a wheel travel. And that is just dynamic camber gain. Things you  have to study, there is dozens.

 

So buy these books, read them, think of what you just read and read again. Try to understand what causes what. I you don´t want use your head, buy some bolt-on parts and go driving...

 

One thing last, there is no suspension that is best for everything, they are all compromice with something.

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1 hour ago, TUME said:

It´s just because it´s a Porsche. They did massive mistake with putting an engine in back of the car. Since then they are sruggling with it.

Suspension and car dynamics are everything with weight. In that 911 tehy have so much weight in rear tires that suspension must be stiff, still weight is in corners by 90% outer wheel.

 

What is fastest way to drive through corner? Yes, it is all weight equally in all tires. Nobody designs car wich is cornering just 3 wheels, unless you have to (because weight)

 

WEIGHT IS EVERYTHING, that is where to start.

 

And these Apex, Arizona, 3T system suspension things are basically just the same, because they don´t change dynamics.  Adding static camber, etc. is helping but dynamics are still the same.  To chance it you had to study you´r cars wheel movement in action. Put the car in poles, take the spring out of strut, and move tyre up and down. You want for 1deg camber gain per inch of a wheel travel. And that is just dynamic camber gain. Things you  have to study, there is dozens.

 

So buy these books, read them, think of what you just read and read again. Try to understand what causes what. I you don´t want use your head, buy some bolt-on parts and go driving...

 

One thing last, there is no suspension that is best for everything, they are all compromice with something.

 

 

Well said.

 

I remember reading an arcane discussion many years ago about the suspension work done on a Porsche running in the IMSA GTO series (I realize that dates me horribly).  The team felt they knew better than the engineers at Porsche who designed the suspension, and were making a case that the car would be more successful with their modifications.

 

Were they correct?  I have no idea, largely because the series was won by a car running a live rear axle.....lol.

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On 12/28/2020 at 6:46 PM, Zetsaz said:

 

As jhm said, a lot of the track attack stuff is very much not final versions and has run into some hangups for some people. Ohm is great to work with in my experience but he straightforward about the fact that the included axles for the rear kit have been the biggest pain and setback as a company and the biggest reason some of these kits have long lead times. Hard to find truly reliable machine shops to outsource the work to. 

 

Don't bother looking into the Hell Z. It's been a whole year since any update. If you're very sincerely trying to go all out and have that sort of budget, it's the best kit you'll find at near "bolt in" status.

 

The do make great products and I am upgrading one of my 240's to their upgraded  front/rear A-arms, tubular crossmember, inner/outer tie rods, and steering knuckles.

 

One of the shops Dando's Automotive in Fremont, I use is in early stages of installing the Track Attack package.  They are waiting on parts from Apex to finish the install. I did look at where they are on the install and it looks cool.  What I have heard is that the kit so far is well made and installs with no issues other than Apex really should provide a good written installation instructions, thankfully Dando's is very skilled at fabrication and Z's so they figured out the install but probably wasted 2-3 hours due to the lack of instructions not provided.  You do have to mod the rear spare tire well so I do not believe you will be able to put a spare tire in there unless it is 100% flat with no air? but who cares :) I too am eager to see how it works and right now I do plan on using the Track Attack kit for my Primadonna Z in the future when I have time/energy to get back to that build.

  

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6 hours ago, Leon said:

 

Did I just read that? Boy would I want you as my customer. :lol:


Lots of junk out there. They made a whole store called “harbor freight” that’s full of it. They do serve a place in the market though. Maybe not for you or I, but someone is happy. 
 

If the products (fill-in the blank) produces turn out to be junk, junk may just be “good enough” or they will eventually lose enough customers to go out of business. 
 

I suppose what I’m saying is, I don’t blame the business. That’s how free enterprise works. Quality has a way of proving itself in the markets regardless of whatever claims the seller may make.

 

This is of course only my opinion so no offense intended to anyone. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for all the replies, everybody.      Yeah - it's looking a bit like the Wild West right now.

 

To make things even shadier, I was going to install this suspension in a 2+2. I asked Ohm if he foresaw any problems in doing that, and he said that it should be possible. At a glance, it looks like the rear seat might even still be able to function with the springs loaded between the shock towers. No doubt, there will be some fabrication required. 

 

Other than potentially modifying the spare tire well, it looks like the front spindles get removed from the strut tubes, and welded into a ball-joint assembly as part of the front  control arm setup. That's the only major chopping that I can see so far.

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On 1/1/2021 at 9:55 PM, TUME said:

It´s just because it´s a Porsche. They did massive mistake with putting an engine in back of the car. Since then they are sruggling with it.

Suspension and car dynamics are everything with weight. In that 911 they have so much weight in rear tires that suspension must be stiff, still weight is in corners by 90% outer wheel.

 

What is fastest way to drive through corner? Yes, it is all weight equally in all tires. Nobody designs car wich is cornering just 3 wheels, unless you have to (because weight)

 

WEIGHT IS EVERYTHING, that is where to start.

 

..........................

 

The reason for the Porsche video is to show how a reduction of inside rear grip can be used to help the car rotate in a corner, it's incidental that it's a Porsche. Rotating a car in a corner can be the fastest way, enter a corner quickly, turn in so that the car rotates and then exit quickly. If that is the fastest way then it does not matter which tyres have what weight, the intention is to go fastest not to be fixated on equal weight on all tyres which will never be constant in a dynamic situation like cornering anyway. For some cars the fastest way involves lifting a inside front, no weight on that tyre at all.

 

Vid of a deceptively fast Z, note the great corner rotation. 

 

 

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