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Old 02-16-2021, 07:32 PM   #1
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SPB and PSS9s

Quick question - looking through the SPB rules I was surprised that the suspension options are limited exclusively to bilsteins PSS9s. Why is this? Purely for equalization of the field? Or am I just reading a dated copy of the rules? It just seemed kinda odd with so many options out there.

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Old 02-16-2021, 10:37 PM   #2
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... It just seemed kinda odd with so many options out there.
Well, that may be exactly the point -- when there are infinite options, that means those with $$$ to burn can outspend others to find the best, most exotic, pricey thing, and spend still more on test days and test them into perfection. One goal of spec classes, SPB in particular, is to define a cost-effective well-understood platform that is easy for everyday folks to obtain and build a competitive car upon. The PSS9's were extremely common and well-understood and easy to deal with during the formative SPB years, keeping in mind that SPB was defined at least a dozen years ago when the cars were still only about 10 years old.

Now, there is a monkey wrench thrown into this as of about 2 years ago: PSS9's were becoming scarce to the point of unobtainability, thanks to Bilstein no longer making them. Fortunately PCA worked with MCS to define a legal replacement shock that is close enough in performance to not require existing cars to switch over to remain competitive (though surely many have done so in the expectation that the MCS shocks are better); priced ... eh, roughly similarly; spares available individually; serviceable by the manufacturer; and with some contingency money possible (I forget the details on that). Better in every logistical way, but with the same performance so as not to obsolete the fleet of existing SPB cars.

So: if you're building now, definitely install the MCS shocks! (Check the latest rules -- you must have found a sheet that's not up to date if it says PSS9 is the only option. Current rules describe this in SPB section 4.E. https://pcaclubracing.org/rules/)

(On my SPB I still have the PSS9s that I bought used in 2005, and had rebuilt in 2017.)

https://motioncontrolsuspension.com/specboxster/
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Old 02-17-2021, 03:30 AM   #3
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Well, that may be exactly the point -- when there are infinite options, that means those with $$$ to burn can outspend others to find the best, most exotic, pricey thing, and spend still more on test days and test them into perfection. One goal of spec classes, SPB in particular, is to define a cost-effective well-understood platform that is easy for everyday folks to obtain and build a competitive car upon. The PSS9's were extremely common and well-understood and easy to deal with during the formative SPB years, keeping in mind that SPB was defined at least a dozen years ago when the cars were still only about 10 years old.



Now, there is a monkey wrench thrown into this as of about 2 years ago: PSS9's were becoming scarce to the point of unobtainability, thanks to Bilstein no longer making them. Fortunately PCA worked with MCS to define a legal replacement shock that is close enough in performance to not require existing cars to switch over to remain competitive (though surely many have done so in the expectation that the MCS shocks are better); priced ... eh, roughly similarly; spares available individually; serviceable by the manufacturer; and with some contingency money possible (I forget the details on that). Better in every logistical way, but with the same performance so as not to obsolete the fleet of existing SPB cars.



So: if you're building now, definitely install the MCS shocks! (Check the latest rules -- you must have found a sheet that's not up to date if it says PSS9 is the only option. Current rules describe this in SPB section 4.E. https://pcaclubracing.org/rules/)



(On my SPB I still have the PSS9s that I bought used in 2005, and had rebuilt in 2017.)



https://motioncontrolsuspension.com/specboxster/
Gotcha. I had not heard of the MCS shocks, I'll have to check those out. I guess I was surprised in the opposite way - bilsteins seem expensive to me (these mcs are over $3k, whoa) considering the overall price of these cars and with so many cheaper options it seemed off to say that the only choice was such an expensive one

Anyway, thanks for the reply!

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Old 02-17-2021, 07:16 AM   #4
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(On my SPB I still have the PSS9s that I bought used in 2005, and had rebuilt in 2017.)



https://motioncontrolsuspension.com/specboxster/[/QUOTE]

Out of curiosity, who rebuilt your struts for you? Do you mind if I ask how much it cost?

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Old 02-17-2021, 07:59 AM   #5
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Out of curiosity, who rebuilt your struts for you? Do you mind if I ask how much it cost?
I had them rebuilt by Performance Shock Inc. (PSI) who are located at Sonoma Raceway. PSI - Bilstein. I think it was something like $1100 for all 4. No shipping cost for me since I'm local.
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Old 02-17-2021, 09:29 AM   #6
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I had them rebuilt by Performance Shock Inc. (PSI) who are located at Sonoma Raceway. PSI - Bilstein. I think it was something like $1100 for all 4. No shipping cost for me since I'm local.
Thanks for the info! I'm jealous of the west coasters who have access to all this type of stuff. There ain't too many porsche / racing specialists in my neck of the woods lol.

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Old 02-17-2021, 12:35 PM   #7
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The entire point of a Spec class is to keep the cars even and make it about the driver and their skills
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Old 02-17-2021, 04:03 PM   #8
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The entire point of a Spec class is to keep the cars even and make it about the driver and their skills
Oh I understand that, I think it's neat that the idea evolved and was executed.

Are there suspensions out there that would offer an advantage over the bilsteins? I have seen advanced suspensions that adjust stiffness while running, and even can adjust the camber camber and toe coming into and out of turns (I think audi did this in one of the formula 1 cars if I'm not mistaken, although maybe it was ferrari?) But I have never seen any kind of adaptive system for our cars that would give an advantage. I could definitely see how changing spring rates based on the specific track would give advantages, as well as altering corner balance and other alignment specs, but does one coilover really offer an advantage over another? (in terms of racing, that is)

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