Suspension Dampers - Nissan 350Z Forum, Nissan 370Z Tech Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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I've heard and know what an engine damper does. But I've only recently heard about a suspension damper. What are these and what do they do?

Google has failed me.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 07:53 AM
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http://z1auto.com/prodmore.asp?model=350z&...amp;prodid=2902

IIRC, there was a kit for the underbody which basically made the chassis and certain major parts of the drivetrain more rigid or bolted down even more. I've seen a damper for the rear axle just recently.

Stillen makes dampers or at least sells different brands of engine and suspension kits.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-14-2009, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Smooth.

That's the exact link that made me ask the question about them. In your opinion are these necessary at all?

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-14-2009, 09:52 PM
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Sorry about that link. If you're seriously hardcore and into some kind of racing where milliseconds count, then I suppose they're necessary. Otherwise, I think it's just another mod that looks good on a list of accomplishments for the Z.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 10:12 AM
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QUOTE (Aust350z @ Jul 9 2009, 09:31 PM)
Quote:
I've heard and know what an engine damper does. But I've only recently heard about a suspension damper. What are these and what do they do?

Google has failed me.
The basic concept of a damper is to limit the speed and distance at which the parts the damper is attached to move relative to each other. Most are set up so that at low speeds, the damper provides a little bit of stiffness but still allows the parts to move relative to each other. At high speeds, the fluid inside the damper "stiffens" due to its viscous properties. This severely limits the travel the parts have relative to each other making the structure the damper is attached to [act] more rigid.

For those who [read this and] aren't familiar with the principle of a damper, think of it like this: Take a paddle or flipper in a body of water and move it through the water very slowly. It's very easy to push the paddle/flipper through the water. Using the same paddle/flipper, try moving the paddle through the water very quickly and you will notice that the force required to do so greatly increases. The principle of how a damper works is the same. Low speeds and the damper moves smoothly and travels a good bit of distance. High speeds and the damper barely moves at all [or requires a large force to make it move].

With this in mind, I would assume that the damper acts to stiffen your suspension under hard acceleration/decceleration/cornering/etc., so you can get that nth degree of performance out of your suspension setup. A side benefit might be a little bit better ride on the streets as the dampers take out some of the bumps that travel through the suspension to your seat. That's my $.02 anyways

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 12:12 PM
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Subaru was the first company I am aware of to use dampers in their chassis bracing, in the limited edition S204.

http://www.subaru-sti.co.jp/s204/tec...te/damper.html

With a translation:

"The Performance Damper is added to the trunk as a strut-tower bar and to the front underpinnings as a lower arm bar. This damper, developed jointly by STI and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd, is designed to operate much like a strut bar inasmuch as it reduces expansion and contraction of the body where it is mounted. As for the damping feature, it begins attenuating expansion and contraction as soon as they begin. Because of this, oscillation of the body is greatly reduced and handling is improved during the moments following initial turn-in as well as during lane-change maneuvers. This causes the car to feel much more composed and adds to the quality handling feel of the car."

Its actually more of a "streetable" item than a hardcore track nut option

When you stiffen the chassis, you increase response since there's less flex absorbing energy that would otherwise be used to have the car change direction. However, that flex also adds a "fudge point" between when things happen. This means that the stiffer car will be less progressive in its behaviour. An ultra-stiff car will be very "snappy" at the limit, and there's not much in it between just below the limit of grip and just above.

What is true for your suspension is also true for chassis bracing.

What these dampers do is add a bit of fudge factor into the chassis, while not leaving it as weak as if no bracing was present at all. Consider it as the difference between ultra-stiff track coilovers, and softer street coilvers.

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Understeer is when you hit the tree with the front wheel.
Oversteer is when you hit it with the back.
Horsepower is how hard you hit the tree...
Torque is how far you drag it...
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 10:42 PM
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ding ding ding ^

I posted my impressions of the NISMO one on the "other" site - was worth every penny, as it made the car far more compliant over rougher surfaces
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 09:57 AM
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hi all .... sorry to bring up n old thread! but can anyone tell me if these nisno suspension dampers fit a Z with the HKS supercharger kit? i think not .. coz the intercooler gets in the way?

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