MeisterR vs. Bilstein PSS9 Coilovers

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meisterr
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MeisterR vs. Bilstein PSS9 Coilovers

Post by meisterr » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:37 pm

A common question many owner ask: How does MeisterR coilovers compare to other brands?
As coilovers are only part of a car's suspensions, and there are many other variable involved; it is often a difficult questions to answer.

So I want to bring up a very interesting "test" that we will be doing.

Here in Houston USA, I meet a driver at a local SCCA Auto Solo event name Lucio D'lsep.
Lucio was an Italian racing driver back in the early 2000's, and have decided to get back into competitive motorsport after being absent for over 12 years.
Here is a picture of him in the former glory days racing with Osella in Rechberg (Austria) back in 2002.

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Lucio's current car is a Honda S2000 daily driver that runs in the SCCA Auto Solo STR (Street Touring Roadster) Class.
The good thing about the STR class is that the rules limit modification you can do as well as tyres you can use, thus creating a class that daily street driven cars can compete with each other.

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Suspension Issue

Speaking to Lucio, he have been having issue with his car.
He is using an off the shelf Bilstein PSS9 adjustable coilovers, and he just couldn't get the suspension to work with the car.
The tyres just couldn't find grip and the body motion does not feel controlled no matter how he adjust the coilovers, so he is struggling to keep speed through the corners as well as keeping the car on the racing line.
The result is lost traction as well as hitting cones, and this put a time penalty on his result.

MeisterR Suspensions Change

I thought this will make a great opportunity to test the MeisterR coilovers against Bilstein, and will keep things fair as we can get a qualitative (how the suspensions feel on the road) and a quantitative (Lap time) feedback on the same road car driven by the same driver in the same competitive event.

So we got a set of off the shelf MeisterR Zeta-R coilovers, and swap the Bilstein PSS9 coilovers out.

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Initial Feedback on MeisterR coilovers

The initial feedback by Lucio is positive after a few days of street use.
Here is what Lucio have to say:

Both the Bilstein and the MeisterR look like serious tools and not toys.
The MeisterR out of the box are ready for the installation, the light weight aluminium top mount included with the MeisterR is the main difference when compared to the Bilstein that need to reuse the top mount from the original Honda suspension.

After 12 years out of racing it’s the first time that I see a suspension with springs coil adjustments independent from ride height adjustments.
This is a great improvement and it mean no more compromise when adjusting the ride height.

Compare to the Bilstein, the MeisterR damping response and compliancy on the irregularity of the street gives you confidence.
You are able to feel the grip and trust the car/tyres, and know that when the grip finish there will be space for correction.
The accuracy of the steering is what impressed me the most with the MeisterR coilovers.
The front of the car is on track followed by the rear even with the non-linear power curve of the S2000 engine trying to mess up your approach to the apex.

It is also more comfortable on softer damping setting.
If your potential girlfriend has already experienced sport cars, she will not complain about comfort as softer damping setting is not so far from the original equipment.

SCCA Result with Bilstein

The last round of the SCCA Auto Solo, Lucio finished in 7th place with 13 competitors total.
While the lap time of 51.297 isn't slow, the additional penalties from hitting cones brought his result down to 7th place.

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The next round of the SCCA Auto Solo will be this Saturday 2nd of August, 2015.
We will get the S2000 to the track and hope we finish on the podium, because when you race you race to win. :)

We will report back in a few days time.
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Re: MeisterR vs. Bilstein PSS9 Coilovers

Post by meisterr » Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:30 am

Just to say I got the date wrong, the auto solo event is actually tomorrow.
So i should have some result once everything are updated with SCCA.

One thing I do want to mention is that DO NOT TAKE THE RESULT TOO SERIOUSLY… :)

It is meant to be a light hearted fun exercise, I am not out to prove MeisterR or Bilstein.
There are still a lot of variable, and it is still subjective one way or the other.

Some feel that I was out with an agenda, and really that wasn't the case.
I would of wait until the result are in before I post anything if it was to ensure MeisterR is better.

I post this up before the event, and will post the result whatever it is
MeisterR being faster or slower makes no difference to me.

That is it, I will report back once result are in. :)

Jerrick
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Re: MeisterR vs. Bilstein PSS9 Coilovers

Post by meisterr » Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:31 am

The result are in, and it was very close racing!

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Lucio finish the day 3rd in the SCCA STR class the fastest time of 53.244, only 0.012 second behind 2nd place!
The first 3 place in the class was separated by less than 0.2 seconds...

Lucio time also made him the fastest S2000 of the day, with a 13th overall in raw time.
Pretty respectable considering he is only 6.5 seconds behind the 1st place, and that was a fully prep Racing Go-Kart. :)

Another interesting thing was we had 2 driver that day using the same car.
Lucio was number 14 who finish 3rd, and Landon who was number 114 and finished 4th.
It was interesting to see as both driver have different preference, so both found the best suspension setting that suit their driving style.
They also tired out each other suspension setting to give a comparison but it was Lucio who was just a little faster in the end.
The next car down is almost 2 seconds behind, so the front runner are fast compare to the rest of the group.

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Objective Result

As Auto Solo track layout changes at every event, it is difficult to compare raw track time.
The best way to compare is to use average time between driver who attended both event, so that is what we will do.

In SCCA, each time you hit a cone you add 2 seconds penalty to your total time.
Lucio time in round 7 was 55.297 after a 4 second penalty, so his raw track time was 51.297 which would of place him in 3rd place in the STR class.
We will use the raw time for comparison.

Round 7 (raw time 51.297)
STR class average: 53.76 (beat average by 2.46 seconds).
Total average: 56.65 (beat average by 5.35 seconds).

Round 8 (raw time 53.244)
STR class average: 55.90 (beat average by 2.65 seconds).
Total average: 58.93 (beat average by 5.68 seconds).

Difference between round 7 and round 8
STR class average: 0.19 seconds improvement
Total Average: 0.33 seconds improvement

So all in all, an improvement but wasn’t catastrophic.
The biggest difference was getting 3 clean runs in round 8 vs no clean run in round 7.

The clean run make a huge difference to the final result.
Lucio was ranked 13th overall in round 8, but ranked 65th overall in round 7 just to show the difference.


Subjective Feedback

Getting feedback from Lucio after the end of the day, here is what he have to say:


The car was tested on the street and the 90% of the set up was clean, the remaining 10% set up are based on driver preference.
It was cool to see how Landon and I were able to select different set up to suit our driving preference on the same car, and really show how much difference a few clicks on the damper made to the overall dynamic.

My driving is pretty aggressive and I was able to maintain the car ON the track with just one penalty on the first run Vs the previous race where I was not able to obtain a clean run in the all day.

Adjusting the suspension to a softer setting for the 45 minute drive home was also impressive.
I was not used to have a comfortable feeling in this car and at one point I visually checked the tire's pressure to see if everything was fine.
The best proof was my 16 years old daughter in the passenger seat who does not have a lot of experience in sport car felt comfortable enough to take a nap during the driving home.

Overall, it has been a big improvement and I am please with the result.


Conclusion

So that is it, an improvement but not a huge amount as expected.
Auto-Solo only give about 60 seconds worth of track time and speed aren’t fast, so a lot of importance are place on the tyres and how much traction it can generate.

The S2000 never made it out of second gear on the day, and this type of tight track favour the lighter MX5 / Miata.
To be able to keep up with cars that is 500lbs lighter is quite an impressive achievement given the fact that there aren’t enough “straight” to allow the S2000 to use it’s upper power band.

I hope this was an interesting read, and we certainly enjoy the experience working with the driver.
3rd place finish aren’t back, but we will hope to see 1st place in the future. :)

Jerrick
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Re: MeisterR vs. Bilstein PSS9 Coilovers

Post by meisterr » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:15 am

Just an update on this as we just had Race 9.

I am happy to report that Lucio have taken 1st place in Class.

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There is 12 race in the season, so we will see how the end of the year go.
The last race will be on December 6th.
We hope for a podium finish in the championship, will see how it goes.

Jerrick
5% OFF MeisterR Coilovers for BabyBMW members.
Use Voucher Code BABYBMW when ordering on http://www.MeisterR.co.uk
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Re: MeisterR vs. Bilstein PSS9 Coilovers

Post by meisterr » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:44 pm

Just to post up the latest update on this.

Lucio have finish 1st place at Race 10 also.

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As you notice, there is only 3 competitors this round because they are the main challenger to the championship.
With this 1st place finish, Lucio will lead into Race 11 and Race 12 on December 5th/6th at the Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Houston.

However, it will be very tight as there is less then single place worth of points between the 3 competitors.
So who ever do the best in the next two rounds will take home the championship trophy as no one has a big lead at all.

We will report back with some news, hopefully it will be gold but there are no guarantee in racing.

Jerrick
5% OFF MeisterR Coilovers for BabyBMW members.
Use Voucher Code BABYBMW when ordering on http://www.MeisterR.co.uk
0% Interest Finance Available (No Deposit Requirement)

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