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Apex Engineered Track Attack - anyone actually running it yet?


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On 1/1/2021 at 11:55 AM, 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.

 

And yet the Porsche 911 is one of the most successful road car-based models in motorsport history. That's a "massive mistake" a lot of other manufacturers would be happy to have made.

 

Quite funny to see this posted on a thread discussing APEX Engineered 'Track Attack' package, which essentially throws away most of the stock Z's suspension and replaces it with something that will usually bump the car up into race categories where it will still be outclassed. Often by hot-rodded 911s...   

 

 

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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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On 1/2/2021 at 4:10 PM, AydinZ71 said:


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. 

 

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.  They are going to completely change the market for pro-level tools worldwide.

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7 hours ago, HS30-H said:

 

And yet the Porsche 911 is one of the most successful road car-based models in motorsport history. That's a "massive mistake" a lot of other manufacturers would be happy to have made.

 

In a strictly pointy-headed-theorist sort of way, I suppose the 911 is poorly designed....

 

The 911's racing success proves that in all of motorsport short of the absolute engineering pinnacle (F1),  weight distribution is of relatively low importance compared to a myriad of other factors.  Committed manufacturer support of a race program is one of them.

 

The most dominant 911 based car was no doubt the 935.  I used to watch them during the late '70s and early '80s.   Compared to the Dekon Monzas, Greenwood Corvettes, and BMW turbos, the 935 did handle poorly.  But while their competition had perhaps 650 HP, the 935s had more like 800 HP.  And, their rear engine arrangement enabled them to put the power to the ground very efficiently.  They would dawdle through the turns, then take off like rocket sleds in the straights.  Couple that with the fact that they were actually built by Porsche rather than some racer in their garage, in general they had a huge reliability advantage.

 

So the 935 won, pretty much everything in their era, weight distribution be damned.

Edited by Ironhead
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911s are weird mix of "it shouldn't be this effective" and "let's dump money at engineering to solve this problem" resulting in an amazing car that's better than just about anything out there despite that intuitively you'd think it shouldn't work with the weird weight distribution. 

My 2 cents, if you're building a Datsun to the extremes that you somehow need the Track attack or suspension that much different from stock, you're better off just racing a Miata or a Porsche. It'll be less money for a better car.

 

You'd have to REALLY love the body style of the S30 to commit to that much of a change. A lot of people here have built amazing custom suspension, so no disrespect to them, but most people I see going to extremes like this on facebook or elsewhere rarely ever drive or even finish their cars. I'd rather be out cruising and having fun in a "just okay" car that looks great, and didn't cost me as much as a 911.

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Posted (edited)

No offense fellas, but a 280z is in my garage, so that's what I intend to work with. If I were looking to second guess my ownership and/or consider a Miata or Porsche, I'd hit up the forums at Zcar.com.

 

Now - about the AE Track Attack suspension...    Resume.

Edited by Coelocanth81
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Wow, didn´t realize porsche is that holy...

 

Well what comes to this "ultimate" suspension, it has pros and cons for a same reason: It is bolt on.

First, front upper control arm is pretty short. This means that camber gain is massive. I would prefer lomger arm´s, upper and lower also. Coilover attach point maybe lower control arm.

 

Back, i´ll say that push-rod system is unneccessary. Just show off, i think and extra weight. Can´t say much of geometry cos poor angled pictures.

 

So, front is suffering badly bolt-on caracteristic and back is bit overkill. Back maybe performs better, but too much extra weight (push-rod system)

 

Allthought there is lots of adjusting possibilities, sadly they are just holes to choose and not stepless.

 

but $8700? I wouldn´t bother. That why I used S13-based suspensions in my car, front and rear.  Miata should be good donor for a great handling Z. Just need some cutting and welding.

 

Btw. Mc Strut system isn´t that bad, it´s just difficult because it need space so much horizontaly.

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7 hours ago, TUME said:

First, front upper control arm is pretty short. This means that camber gain is massive. I would prefer lomger arm´s, upper and lower also. Coilover attach point maybe lower control arm.

 

Thanks for bringing that up! I'd like to learn a bit more about this point. I was also thinking that those control arms were a bit short.

Admittedly, I was excited by the tire clearance made from the inward relocation of the strut - as I plan to try to keep the fender flares minimal.

 

7 hours ago, TUME said:

Back, i´ll say that push-rod system is unneccessary. Just show off, i think and extra weight. Can´t say much of geometry cos poor angled pictures.

 

Point taken. As for the weight, the mounting for the struts/springs doubles as a strut tower brace - which I would have installed anyway. As a 2+2 owner with factory A/C, I'm probably not as worried about the final weight as someone who's aiming for a pure race machine. I'm probably a bit of an oddball on this forum.

Edited by Coelocanth81
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22 hours ago, TUME said:

Wow, didn´t realize porsche is that holy...

 

Porsche. International Cup for GT Cars winners 1968, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76 (just for example...)

Porsche. International Championship for Make winners 1969, 70, 71, 76, 77, 78, 79 (just for example...)

 

That's *quite good* in my book.

 

 

This Apex Engineered Track Attack kit: To me it looks like something more befitting a space-framed track car, a full monocoque chassis or at least something with a lot more torsional rigidity than a baggy 50 year old street car which will probably end up acting like the fifth spring in the equation.

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It's not the camber gain that's necessarily the problem, it's more of a benefit if not a big one. What happens is the short upper arm creates more vertical roll center migration. This will affect with the handling balance of the car because the spring and bar contribution to roll stiffness will more dramatically change during suspension travel. This is not a great characteristic to have on your front axle unless you balance it with the rear which I'm not at all confident is being done nor thought of.

 

And to those saying weight distribution doesn't matter that much, you're being very silly. The amount of conjecture in this thread has my head spinning.

 

As to Porsche, the 911 descended from the VW Type 1, aka the Beetle, which was not really designed with sporting intentions. Have they been successful? Very. Does that mean that the layout they've chosen is somehow optimal or even good for vehicle dynamics. Not at all. Money has a way of covering up mistakes. Look at any serious sports car conceived in the last three decades and tell me how many are rear-engined. 

EDIT: I'd forgotten to say, Porsche themselves wanted to very much kill off the 911 in the '80s as they didn't see a technical benefit of continuing with the platform. The only reason it's still around is because it'd become the face of Porsche and they realized they can keep milking it for what it's worth.

Edited by Leon
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10 minutes ago, Leon said:

As to Porsche, the 911 descended from the VW Type 1, aka the Beetle, which was not really designed with sporting intentions. Have they been successful? Very. Does that mean that the layout they've chosen is somehow optimal or even good for vehicle dynamics. Not at all. Money has a way of covering up mistakes. Look at any serious sports car conceived in the last three decades and tell me how many are rear-engined.

 

The Porsche 911 is a roadgoing sports/GT car. I'd say it has been successful as such whilst also being successful when converted to a homologated race (and rally) car. You may have noticed that Porsche have made some pretty good (understatement) prototype/sports racing cars too. We know where they started, and that circumstances were quite different then, and that - given the choice, and access to a time machine - they'd probably not do it that way for so long, but nevertheless they dominated their chosen field. I don't understand the point of dissing all that, even with faint praise. 

 

To bring us back to the topic, here's a reality check:

 

15 hours ago, Coelocanth81 said:

As a 2+2 owner with factory A/C, I'm probably not as worried about the final weight as someone who's aiming for a pure race machine.

 

Seems to me that picking apart the design, engineering and dynamics of this "Track Attack" kit are something of a moot point given the intended recipient vehicle. I guess shaving a few tenths off your time in the weekly dash to Walmart is some kind of an 'attack', but still... 

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, HS30-H said:

Seems to me that picking apart the design, engineering and dynamics of this "Track Attack" kit are something of a moot point given the intended recipient vehicle. I guess shaving a few tenths off your time in the weekly dash to Walmart is some kind of an 'attack', but still... 

 

I'm just trying to learn some things, and create a relevant thread for the discussion of this suspension upgrade - preferably from people who have some experience with the kit. Got any contributions besides snide remarks about a fellow hobbyist's project goals?         Cheers.

 

This thread is NOT about Porsche. They have their own message boards. If you have no knowledge or interest pertaining to the Apex Engineered Track Attack suspension, please refrain from posting.

Edited by Coelocanth81
Disappointment.
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1 hour ago, Coelocanth81 said:

This thread is NOT about Porsche.

 

You're about a week late with that.

 

1 hour ago, Coelocanth81 said:

I'm just trying to learn some things, and create a relevant thread for the discussion of this suspension upgrade - preferably from people who have some experience with the kit. Got any contributions besides snide remarks about a fellow hobbyist's project goals?

 

I think the recipient vehicle and its intended use is a very relevant factor here. I'm not a fan of what I see from this Apex kit and I think you'd be wasting your time and money if you went with it.

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2 hours ago, HS30-H said:

 

You're about a week late with that.

 

I'm the OP, and it's more a measure of my patience than tardiness, I promise.

 

2 hours ago, HS30-H said:

I think the recipient vehicle and its intended use is a very relevant factor here. I'm not a fan of what I see from this Apex kit and I think you'd be wasting your time and money if you went with it.

.

Excellent.  Can you please expand on what you specifically don't like about it?      I'm genuinely picking your brain here.  

 

I completely subscribe to your point about the recipient vehicle.        

 

In my case, I'm building a car that will be 85% street and 15% track driven. It's a pure hobby project.  I'm estimating about 600 horsepower, and I want to get as much tire on the ground as possible under mildly flared steel fenders (no bolted or bonded-on kit fenders).  I liken my end goal to being something like a BMW M series - a street-friendly sleeper that's equal parts sport car, and muscle car. I intend to get as much performance as possible out of the vehicle without eliminating the factory interior, and rendering it unrecognizable as a Datsun 280Z. I realize these are opposed goals, but finding a happy balance between them is the challenge I'm most excited by.

Edited by Coelocanth81
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2 hours ago, Leon said:

It's not the camber gain that's necessarily the problem, it's more of a benefit if not a big one. What happens is the short upper arm creates more vertical roll center migration. This will affect with the handling balance of the car because the spring and bar contribution to roll stiffness will more dramatically change during suspension travel. This is not a great characteristic to have on your front axle unless you balance it with the rear which I'm not at all confident is being done nor thought of.

 

Yes, camber gain is good, but in this case i´ll say there is too much.  Good point with roll center also. Short upper arm moves roll center dramatic. 

 

Weight distribution was one of main reasons for my decisions with engine and other stuff. My goal is rear weighted FR car. I wanted ~55% weight on rear wheels. Now you´ll ask why not 50/50. Because in braking weight moves to front, and then balance stays better than 50/50 starting ratio.

 

What is my final thought of this kit, i´ll say it is too much trying to be "track attack- best for money can buy"  As i say, overkill. I think good designed McStrut would be better than this.

 

And finally, my car build is more like journey, not just car to be driven on track or so...  It´s my way to challenge myself and see what man can do.

 

 

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I can provide two lines of reasoning:


1) this kit is clearly designed by someone with more of a propensity for fabrication rather than engineering/vehicle dynamics. It's going to be a lot of money spent on something that doesn't look fully thought-out and will still take additional work to make it "right". IMSA GTU S30's wore fat race slicks and won races back in the day without going to a double A-arm suspension. Example of a chassis with IMSU GTU history: http://www.finecars.cc/en/detail/car/7313/index.html

 

2) the car was not originally designed to handle 600hp nor wide sticky tires, so you're going to incur R&D costs regardless. It comes down to how much of your own work/hiring out you want to do vs slapping in pre-made OTS bits and hope they're good enough (but expecting lots of tuning and rework).

 

Final thoughts: there sure are a lot of ways to make a from-scratch suspension worse than what you started with...

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That car in the video I posted still has Mac strut suspension, it has a mildly tuned LS engine and nothing particularly special otherwise. It would be faster around a circuit than 99% of the cars here, it's been tweaked over a number of years to get it just right. Let's keep in mind too that those marvellous wonderful god like P cars use Mac struts at the front and that there are proven improvements available for the Z car's suspension from several vendors.

 

I don't want to be negative about someone's product but the above should be kept in mind.

 

PS On the subject of P cars, they just go to show that if enough money is thrown at a project and the best pro drivers are involved you can win world titles.

Edited by 260DET
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I'm very seriously considering to buy the track attack rear kit myself. I have to admit that the main reason for choosing it over other offerings is the coolness factor of the cantilever setup in the trunk. My car will be probably 90% driven on the street but id still like to have the best quality components. If it wasn't for the trunk setup I think it would be an easy choice to go with the invincible extremes kit.

 

I am wondering if it is completely necessary to also run the track attack front kit in conjunction with the rear kit in order for the car to be properly balanced. Would be nice to save some money up front if possible but its tough to determine that outcome until its been tried. Would have been nice if the front kit came with 5 lug hubs.

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I'm not sure there's any reason you couldn't mix and match. They appear to be highly customizable for various configurations - although, I'm still trying to get some feedback from someone who's actually got it installed and running.  For a street car, my main concern is the abundant use of Heim joints. These are fantastic on a race car, but they're a bit firm on the street, and are subject to damage from contamination. I'm looking into the possibility of getting the kit, and substituting Ridetech R-joints in all the external locations to help mitigate that.

 

My primary interest in this kit is the potential for gaining inboard tire clearance beyond what is possible with a McPherson strut system with coil-overs installed. I'm trying to minimize the amount of fender flaring that will be required for tires in a 275 to 315 width range. 

Edited by Coelocanth81
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11 hours ago, ///M3 & Z said:

I'm very seriously considering to buy the track attack rear kit myself. I have to admit that the main reason for choosing it over other offerings is the I am wondering if it is completely necessary to also run the track attack front kit in conjunction with the rear kit in order for the car to be properly balanced. Would be nice to save some money up front if possible but its tough to determine that outcome until its been tried. Would have been nice if the front kit came with 5 lug hubs.

 

I was considering this as well. I've got nothing against the McPherson strut design - I'm just trying to maximize the inboard wheel clearance. It occurs to me that the inner front wheel clearance limitation on a stock system with coil-overs might actually be the inner fender (when the wheels are turned), and not the spring/strut assembly. In this case, I'd be happy to retain an improved version of the factory front suspension.

 

This is just me thinking out loud. Any takers?

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