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Thread: Atom 2 suspension adjustment help please....

  1. #1
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    Atom 2 suspension adjustment help please....

    My Atom 2 has the Koni 3012 adjustable aluminum shocks. I just purchased it recently from another Chat member who really did her up right.

    The car is essentially for street use only. As such, my suspension is a wee bit stiffer then I like. I spoke with Koni and they suggested I adjust the Compression setting to it's softest setting (one of our members also suggested the same). I was told to leave the spring and rebound settings unchanged.

    Has anyone done this? My worry is that if I set the Compression to the softest setting, the car will bottom out on big bumps...

    Since I need to completely remove each shock to do this, I need to pay my mechanic to take them off and put them on. I don't want to have to do this more then once...

    I would REALLY appreciate any experience you guys have. I LOVE the car! But the ride is SO stiff. I feel every little contour change in the road...

    I am not looking for a Porsche or Mercedes ride. I just want to soften it up so it's more enjoyable on the road...

    thanks!!!

    -Matt

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    I softened mine (I can adjust mine while on the car) and it helps a lot.

    Removing and replacing shocks is a very simple procedure if you wanted to do it yourself. You need a jack, jack stands and a allen wrench and regular wrench for the bolts. You jack up the front or the rear (one side at a time). Put jack stands under the car. use the jack under the tire to hold it in place (or have someone lift it) and then unbolt either side of the shock. Its that easy. Goes back in the just as easy. The cost of a jack, stands and 2 wrenches most likely be less than your mechanic and you then have the ability to try out different configurations.
    the high profile toy thrower

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    Oh wait, I think I have the 3012's as well. Do you have the rebound adjuster on the top where you can adjust it with the shock on the car? If so, try setting your rebound all the way to soft and drive it around before removing the shocks. That's all I did and it feels a lot better to me

    edit: I doubt adjusting the compression or rebound to any setting would mess anything up. You may loose some fractions of a second on the track but that does not matter in this case. But I agree that you should not adjust the spring perches.

    Last edited by bolus; August 15, 2013 at 09:36 AM.
    the high profile toy thrower

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    Yes. I have the same shocks.

    I was told to adjust the compression, not the rebound. To adjust the compression, I need to take the shock completely off.

    But I will definitely adjust the rebound first since its so easy to do. I didn't think that would help tho.

    Does adjusting the rebound affect ride height, or is that entirely a variable based on spring length?

    i know very little about this, and don't want to mess anything up.... Thanks!!!

    i love this forum!

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    You cant mess anything up adjusting the compression or rebound. They do not effect ride height. The spring perches will effect ride height and geometry of the suspension so leave that alone. The spring perches wont move unless you actually turn them. So you can even take the whole shock off the car and they will stay in place.

    Try the rebound first. You wont mess anything up and its easy to set it back to where it was. I think the only thing to be careful with is not forcing the adjustment. If it stops, then you are at the limit and dont force it further.

    I noticed a big difference though it is still a stiff suspension. But noticeably more comfortable to me.

    What I would recommend is take one shock and turn the adjustment to increase the rebound (to the + side) and note how many clicks it goes until it stops. Then adjust all the way to the soft side (-) and count the clicks. Then you know where you started and how many clicks of range you have to work with. Then try starting it 2-3 clicks away from totally soft on all the shocks. Do that for all the shocks and then drive it.

    If you still dont like it then consider doing the compression

    What tire pressure are your running? that can play a part too in how comfortable the ride is.

    If you want me to video myself adjusting it on my car, I can do that tonight and post it up for you. Just let me know.
    the high profile toy thrower

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    Quote Originally Posted by bolus View Post
    If you want me to video myself adjusting it on my car, I can do that tonight and post it up for you. Just let me know.
    I just adjusted the Rebound, that was easy. Will drive it today.

    Can I adjust the compression without taking off the coil-over springs? Have you adjusted the compression?

    Edit - Here is an interesting link I just got from Koni: http://koniracing.com/rrtuningguide.cfm

    Based on this, it does look like I need to adjust my Compression. But I will drive her today and see if softening the rebound helped.
    Last edited by Mattnshilp; August 16, 2013 at 09:32 AM.

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    I've not adjusted compression before. Looking at the instructions the only problem I see trying to do the adjustment with the spring still on is reaching the button to push it. The spring rotates pretty freely so the top portion can still rotate with the spring on. But Im not sure if the spring is in the way of the button or not.

    the high profile toy thrower

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattnshilp View Post
    I just adjusted the Rebound, that was easy. Will drive it today.

    Can I adjust the compression without taking off the coil-over springs? Have you adjusted the compression?

    Edit - Here is an interesting link I just got from Koni: Koni Racing - ITT

    Based on this, it does look like I need to adjust my Compression. But I will drive her today and see if softening the rebound helped.

    Well, Its also a very unique light car and those recommendations are for cars at least 2-3 times heavier. The Atom sometimes takes a little experimentation to get what you want. Believe me, I have a medical condition that manifests like terrible car sickness when Im driving. The Atom is definitely hard on me but the rebound adjustment worked quite nicely.

    What are your tire pressures? The Atom does not need full pressure because it is so light. Makes it feel like you are driving on beach balls if you pump them up to 42.
    the high profile toy thrower

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    Adjusting compression dampening to a lower setting (less restrictive dampening) will "soften" the ride,as you are making it easier for the shock to compress when the suspension is deflecting. It won't really affect the handling at road speeds,but will hurt performance on a bumpy track surface,especially under hard braking.
    Be careful not to remove too much rebound dampening as this will cause the cars suspension to be a bit more bouncy,as rebound dampening absorbs the kinetic energy of the spring under impact,and spreads it out gradually(more dampening) rather than allowing it to rebound quickly(less dampening).

    Ride in a car with no rebound dampening is like riding a pogo stick...

    That is why shocks are called shock absorbers: they absorb the "shock" of the springs compressed kinetic energy.

    Dampers is a more appropriate term,which is what many refer to "shocks" as.
    Last edited by MadMaxAtom; August 16, 2013 at 10:15 AM.
    The power of an Atom is a terrible thing to waste! Atom owner/operator since 2007. The more you chase perfection,the faster it becomes. John Force for President! (I asked him once in person...he laughed)

  10. #10
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    It helped me and certainly does not hurt to try. Put me in an old Cadillac with massively soft suspension and I'd be throwing up in 5 minutes.
    the high profile toy thrower

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