jray3
Posts: 1454
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Norwegian I-Miev "Black Edition"

Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:05 pm

I just got a quote of $221.40 for the H&R springs from local dealer http://www.achtuning.com
That's real fair for a special order, but 8 week lead time. I'm pulling the trigger. Will report back on whether they fit the portly US model and what the effects are, around Christmas time :)
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 84,000 miles, 37 Ah
2012 i-ES traded at 21,648 miles
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

melloyello
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:44 pm
Location: Atlanta

Re: Norwegian I-Miev "Black Edition"

Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:49 pm

jray3 wrote:I just got a quote of $221.40 for the H&R springs from local dealer http://www.achtuning.com
That's real fair for a special order, but 8 week lead time. I'm pulling the trigger. Will report back on whether they fit the portly US model and what the effects are, around Christmas time :)


Any updates? Would love to hear how this turns out. :D

jray3
Posts: 1454
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Norwegian I-Miev "Black Edition"

Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:40 pm

melloyello wrote:
jray3 wrote:I just got a quote of $221.40 for the H&R springs from local dealer http://www.achtuning.com
That's real fair for a special order, but 8 week lead time. I'm pulling the trigger. Will report back on whether they fit the portly US model and what the effects are, around Christmas time :)


Any updates? Would love to hear how this turns out. :D



I got the springs, they look like they'll fit my car, but I haven't tackled the install yet. These come with a purple coating, so it's easy to keep track of OEM vs aftermarket!
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 84,000 miles, 37 Ah
2012 i-ES traded at 21,648 miles
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

MLucas
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:52 am
Location: Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

Re: Norwegian I-Miev "Black Edition"

Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:19 am

jray3 wrote:
I got the springs, they look like they'll fit my car, but I haven't tackled the install yet. These come with a purple coating, so it's easy to keep track of OEM vs aftermarket!


Can't wait to see how this turns out. I'll be the next to try it if it does.

Like Dylan...I went electric.

  • Purchased: June 29th, 2012
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2013 - 25,431 km / 15,802 miles
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2014 - 51,286 km / 32,616 miles

List of Oil Spills: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills

jray3
Posts: 1454
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Lowering Springs (was: Norwegian I-Miev "Black Edition")

Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:26 pm

I'm finally installing the H&R springs. Teamed up with the local High School Auto Shop, and stayed on hand to supervise.
Rear springs were a piece of cake, simply remove the shocks and hand-tighten the spring clamps while the suspension is compressed (a gorilla hanging off the trailer hitch helped too), and they practically fall out when the body is jacked up.
The rubber spring pads were a perfect match for the new springs, though the part # and F or R designation was printed upside down on the springs (yup, sure of that, they only go in one way!). Effective drop was 1 3/4" (though my rear is heavier than most, carrying the 40+ lb trailer hitch). Will see if it stays there during 'break in'. It looks good, and from the short test drive, my butt-o-meter swears that the ride is smoother rather than rougher, as feared. More testing to come to see if I should've shortened the bump stops or other measures. Photos to come, and the front end is on tomorrow's agenda (Yup, the car currently has reverse rake- so it looks REAL FAST). :lol:

Though my buttometer is finely tuned, I intend to use an iphone vibration app to quantify this claim of a smoother ride...
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 84,000 miles, 37 Ah
2012 i-ES traded at 21,648 miles
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

jray3
Posts: 1454
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Norwegian I-Miev "Black Edition"

Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:52 pm

So as expected, my experience with the high school auto shop was less than one would expect from a professional shop, but a learning experience for all. The rear springs were easy. Just remove the rear shocks, hand-tighten the spring clamps while the suspension is loaded (put folks in the back seat and a gorilla in the cargo hold for extra effort reduction). Then when you jack up the body, the restrained rear springs practically fall out on their own. The new ones went right in place, and the springs fit their pads and perches perfectly. The effective drop was about 1 3/4" and looks good. However, I noticed a vibration in the rear under heavy acceleration, mainly between 40-50 mph. The driveshaft angle was indeed changed, (shallower, practically flat), but I think that may just be exposing a problem with my CV joints. The inboard joints on the tranny have significant play in them.

The fronts are another story. The shop manual says to remove the headlights, and to do that you remove the bumper. That's nonsense. As long as you use small hands , it's easy to undo the two nuts holding the top of strut to the fender well. All the other bolts are accessible from below. The springs were so small as to be a challenge for the shop's wall-mounted strut compressor, and the spring retaining nut on top was quite difficult to remove (spark plug wrench with an Allen wrench thru the middle to keep the piston from spinning worked). Kids also forgot to reinstall the nut on the steering knuckle that was unnecessarily removed, which I luckily found upon final inspection. We then overtorqued and rounded off the nut upon re-installation.
The front springs apparently aren't compressed enough in the strut and are loose enough to rattle around on the rebound. I can recreate the sound by pulling down on the spring itself (not the wheel) with the front suspension at full droop. IT doesn't appear loose until one pulls straight down on the spring

So, it appears that a spacer will be needed to 'stretch out' these springs a bit, or add a washer over the top plate to push it down a bit more. The Auto shop teacher used bored-out hockey pucks as strut lift kits back in the day....

More to come,
Jay
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 84,000 miles, 37 Ah
2012 i-ES traded at 21,648 miles
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

melloyello
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:44 pm
Location: Atlanta

Re: Norwegian I-Miev "Black Edition"

Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:26 pm

Thx for update, eagerly awaiting to hear more! I hope those front springs turn out OK.. :)

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3432
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Norwegian I-Miev "Black Edition"

Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:18 pm

So, jray3, let me make sure I understand this: you're going to all this trouble to lower your i-MiEV, whereas Tesla recently did a software update to raise their car. What a great example of old-tech vs. new-tech! Hope you don't have any loose chunks of metal on your roads... :roll: Looking forward to your photos, and let us know how she handles.
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

jray3
Posts: 1454
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Norwegian I-Miev "Black Edition"

Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:14 am

Ha ha Joe, :) Here's some real numbers. The Tesla that got fired by a hitch on the highway was at 5.11", and their normal clearance is 6". MR BEAN now clears 6" under the bumper and 5" under the tow loop. Total drop after 50 miles of run-in is 1.5" exactly, both front and rear! with precisely 13" from center of wheel to top of the fender arches. There's still about an inch more air over the front tires than the rears. To remedy my rattles, I'm inclined to try shims under the front strut nuts in 1/8" increments to tighten up the spring, and wouldn't mind up to another 1/4" or so of drop up front. Tis funny, but with apologies to our metric members- the suspension seems to prefer inches!
With our super short nose, I have no problems with the tallest speed bump in my area (but haven't measured it yet). Standards say that some speed bumps may rise 6" within 3'.
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 84,000 miles, 37 Ah
2012 i-ES traded at 21,648 miles
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

jray3
Posts: 1454
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Norwegian I-Miev "Black Edition"

Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:29 pm

So, stepping forward and back. The rear axle vibration is perfectly described here:
http://www.vibratesoftware.com/html_hel ... Joints.htm
A third order vibration caused by excessive driveline angle. Three bumps for each revolution as the joint hits it's limits. Well, under acceleration the rear squats, increasing the angles. I measure the half shaft angle now as 4 degrees UP bubble at rest. That's right, tranny is now lower than the axle. With 5 degrees being the maximum working angle of a CV joint, that'd be rather likely to be exceeded under load.

I got some rubber "dog bone" style spacers to test the loose spring theory up front, and a quick insertion improved the knocking springs, but hurt the ride quality. Time to try shims between the upper spring perch and top nut. This'll lower the front a tad more but preserve the most travel.

Looks like I need to raise the rear to remedy the driveline angle. Will test with the rubber spacers, then decide whether to go all the way back to stock height or use a doughnut-style spacer to just add back 1/2 or 1". I won't mind raising the rear, as the rear fender gaps are an inch smaller than up front. The front, I still want low. Even with clicking springs, cornering is greatly improved. Rain finally returned to Seattle after a 3-day drought, and the understeer is definitely reduced. It wasn't just transient traction caused by dry pavement!

Lastly, I prefer the feel of progressive springs. Smaller bumps are smoother and the car no longer crashes off speed bumps or into potholes. Rebound is more energetic though, will study on shocks more once the spring situation is settled.
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 84,000 miles, 37 Ah
2012 i-ES traded at 21,648 miles
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

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