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S14 Ride Height and Alignment

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  • S14 Ride Height and Alignment

    Hello folks!

    I've been thinking about my alignment issues for a while and I'm not sure what I should do about it yet, maybe some guys here can give me a bit of advice.

    The headache starts with my subframe bushings. I used the Energy Suspension kit for the subframe mounts. The problem seems to be that the bushings are much thicker than stock on the top side, where it meets the body of the car. Effectively this lowers the subframe mounting position and lowers the mounting points of the suspension arms. I currently have completely stock multilink and when I went to align the car the camber can only get as vertical as -3deg (it can go as far negative as 5 or 6) using the eccentric bolt. I thought at that moment that I should really be getting adjustable arms so I can account for the camber limitations of my stock arms. I am now starting to realize the problem here, due to the bushings, is that my ride height must be too low.

    My questions are:

    1. Anyone running ES Subframe bushings? Is this a problem for you too? or am I completely missing something.
    2. What ride height should I use as a starting point? and where should it measure from?
    3. Lastly I wonder if It would be a worth going back to pulling the subframe (ugh) and either modifying the bushings or using something else. The geometry problems here are pretty frustrating.

    I don't want to increase ride height too much for CG reasons, as well as I like the current aesthetic. I just want to figure out how far off I am from a consensus "normal" performance driving height.
    Last edited by theultimatehero; 08-21-2015, 02:34 PM.

  • #2
    Sounds like whatever you decide, you have some work and/or $$ ahead.

    I'd speculate that the best solution for several reasons is to again remove the subframe and cut the top of the bushings off to get the subframe as high as possible.


    • #3
      What I don't know for sure is what I should do with the top of the subframe. If I cut the bushings flat with the top of the subframe then there wouldn't be anything between the frame and the body. Is that acceptable? Or am I going to need to go to a different bushing like solid Aluminum style?

      Just thinking about this, I wonder if I could take out the poly bushings, cut off the tops, replace them and use an aluminum subframe collar (like these) between the subframe and the body. Thoughts?

      Edit: One second thought, for the price, I may as well just go this route instead.


      • #4
        I just realized how redundant it was that this was a current topic in the s-chassis tech forum. I think I will be pulling the subframe out and chopping the top of the bushings off. I don't feel comfortable putting the subframe directly against the body so I might have to make some spacers out of Delrin or Aluminum. I want to retain the poly portion of the mounts for NVH reasons.


        • #5
          I want to bump this to the front again and see if anyone has any suggestions.

          I went ahead and ordered some solid GKtech subframe bushes. The larger O.D. that will stick out the top of the subframe still seems pretty tall. I am planning to throw them in a lathe and chop them down. I can't find any information as to how much gap I should have between the subframe and body.

          If it benefits most from having the subframe as close as possible, is it ok to mount them directly touching? or should I make sure there is at least a layer of the bushing between them?
          Last edited by theultimatehero; 10-28-2015, 02:03 PM.


          • #6
            I cannot imaging the immense about of NVH a subframe that is directly bolted to the chassis will exhibit! I installed ES subframe bushings a few weeks ago and those have definitely increased NVH to a step or two below uncomfortable. They probably haven't properly broken in yet, but still..........

            Other than that, I do not see an issue. Isn't that what aluminum bushings and collars essentially do (in terms of metal to metal contact that is)?? Apart from making sure the subframe is truly bolted to the chassis and not able to "shimmy" (which would probably induce some pretty severe handling problems as the toe/camber curves would become inconsistent), I don't see a problem.....

            Maybe someone else of more expertise can chime in.


            • #7
              I have solids in my coupe; had ES in my hatch. Coupe is louder, but the whole car is spherical so meh.

              With full interior it's not that much louder.


              • #8
                Originally posted by e1_griego View Post
                I have solids in my coupe; had ES in my hatch. Coupe is louder, but the whole car is spherical so meh.

                With full interior it's not that much louder.
                Which solids did you use? Do you know roughly how much gap they had from subframe to body?