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 Post subject: SM Shock upgrade
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:46 am
Posts: 209
I have a 92 NA SM Miata that has been upgraded to STL performance levels. I have retained the SM suspension. I am happy with the spring rates and the sway bars but would like to upgrade the shocks. The new Penske SM shocks sound like really good shocks but from what I have read do not offer any performance improvements. If I am going to spend $1500 (installed) I want to go faster... any suggestions.

Jim Stinehelfer


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 Post subject: Re: SM Shock upgrade
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:01 am
Posts: 2621
Location: Belmont, CA
You might want to check on some of the SM forums. Remember, that speed = $$$

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Tim Linerud
#95 GTL VW Rabbit GTI
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 Post subject: Re: SM Shock upgrade
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2002 10:34 am
Posts: 2874
Location: Wauwatosa, WI
Jim, yes indeed there are gains versus the Bilstein for performance check with a Jim Drago, Danny Steyn, Todd Lamb or other pointy end guy. $1,044.86 for shocks and mounting hardware if you do the install. :mrgreen: Danny Steyn also runs a pointy end STL Miata, likely not the same Penske SM shock.

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David Dewhurst
CenDiv Milwaukee Region
F Prod #14


Last edited by David Dewhurst on Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SM Shock upgrade
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:40 am
Posts: 347
Location: Huntsville, AL
Depending on your driving skills and experience, the Penske's aren't that great of an upgrade for an STL car. While better than the original Bilsteins, they aren't what you would build into a setup for an experienced driver with sticker tires and possibly a different sway bar setup. You also wouldn't pick the SM shock setup new or old with spherical bearings in all suspension joints either.

I would take the Bilsteins and revalve them for race use. Cost is probably about the same though, maybe a bit less. At least the seals won't start leaking on the Bilsteins ever. HAHA

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Brett W
Huntsville, AL


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 Post subject: Re: SM Shock upgrade
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:46 am
Posts: 209
I am a very experienced racer having raced with the SCCA for 30 years. I I have several runoff medals on the wall mostly running a CSR. I am now "old" and I am losing about 1% a year in driving performance. Mostly I think just because I am not as brave. I never spin or put a tire off the track anymore which to me means I just don't push as hard as I did when I was younger. Anything I can do to make the car feel better I think might help. Thanks for the advice

jim


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 Post subject: Re: SM Shock upgrade
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:11 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:21 am
Posts: 1162
Jim - while the new SM shocks are in fact better (over the course of a race) than the old bilsteins, there are still orders of magnitude better shocks available out there.

As someone else said, it's based entirely on your appetite to spend money.

MCS double remotes are a great choice, and they are what I run, along with many fast folks: (about $4K)
https://vorshlag-store.com/products/mcs ... a-nb-miata

Favorite shock I've ever worked with was my Moton Triples, but they cost more than my car initially (double that)
http://www.motonsuspensionusa.com/moton/

Matt Reynolds (I think) still runs Jesse's double adjustable afco. They are a lot more reasonable and obviously very fast. I'm sure Jesse will sell them or you can get them direct from Mazdaspeed now.

I wish there were cheaper options - if those are all too much, then the new SM is a good deal.

I will warn you, mainly the triple adjustables are not for us mere mortals. It's very easy to twist a knob and make your car much worse and not be able to get it sorted again. Many folks start the triples with high speed compression just on the default/baseline setting and never mess with it.


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 Post subject: Re: SM Shock upgrade
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:40 am
Posts: 347
Location: Huntsville, AL
Without a proper engineer and data, I think most weekend racers shouldn't be messing with shock knobs. Get them valved properly for your car and run them. If they are right they are right.

If you would like as much whiz bang as you can get, Bilstein has the answer. Double adjustable, triple adjustable, etc, remote cans, blah, blah, blah. Or just take the original Bilsteins you had and have them built for your specific car and be done with it.

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Brett W
Huntsville, AL


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 Post subject: Re: SM Shock upgrade
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:13 pm
Posts: 22
I am sure Jim knows all about adjustable shocks having run CSR on a national level. The suspension on those cars make those of us that run tin top cars drool.


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 Post subject: Re: SM Shock upgrade
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:46 am
Posts: 209
Yes my CSR had triple adjustable Penski shocks but I also had two very smart engineers help me dial it in. The Miata SM suspension is reasonably good and I know Mazda did a lot of testing and tuning with the new shocks. I just remember when we went from SM shocks to Jesse's shocks on my sons FP Miata he gained 2 seconds a lap. This was 10 years ago. I was hoping that there might be a similar shock package for $1500 today. Maybe not. Thanks everyone for jumping in and helping
Jim


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 Post subject: Re: SM Shock upgrade
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:54 am
Posts: 1857
The blurb I read about the SM Penskes is that they're not much faster at beginning of a race, but they do much better on the long run due to the better valving and cooling so the shock doesn't fall off with time and heat buildup.
so over a 30 min race they're faster, but not necessarily as much over a qualifying flyer.

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