jray3
Posts: 1692
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Norwegian I-Miev "Black Edition"

Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:44 pm

Okay, you'd think I'd be good at this by now. Took the struts off again today and added a 3/8" spacer between the strut nut and the upper spring perch, pushing the spring down. Theory was to tighten up the spring, preventing it from rattling around on the strut at full extension. Somehow, we made it worse. :oops: Struts rattle like crazy now. I put a 1" rubber dogbone coil spacer in the rear springs to address the driveline angle issue, but haven't measured the angle or highway tested it yet.

Of additional note, the auto shop teacher was 'driving' while the car was up on the lift, trying to feel the rear driveline vibration. Turns out that the pulsation I felt at full suspension droop was just the stability control getting freaked out above 10 mph without any rev signals from the front wheels. Spin the front wheels a bit by hand, and the rear brakes stopped pulsing. Then, he stomped on the accelerator for just the briefest moment, and the drivetrain shot up to an indicated 88mph before he could react and let off. :shock: That woke up all the idiot lights and the car shut down, but thankfully the lights reset after (but not during) a short test drive. That's right, the error messages reset on the second restart.
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 110,300 miles
2016 KIA SOUL EV, 90 kW, 27 kWh, 34k miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh

jray3
Posts: 1692
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Norwegian I-Miev "Black Edition"

Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:23 pm

This weekend I made and installed test spacers above the rear springs- plywood donuts 3/4" thick. The 3/4"rear drop would now only be noticeable to a connoisseur, but I greatly prefer the feel of the progressive springs. Driveline angle measures only about 1.5 degrees now (angled up to the wheel), so that should be well within cv joint specs. Driveline rumble is almost gone, though I still perceive a faint vibration- so slight that I wonder if it's a ghost, and nothing that would be noticeable in a gasser with the engine on! Gotta measure the angle with a full house, then I'll leave the rear alone 'till the front end fix is determined. For a permanent rear end fix, I'm thinking to cut donuts either from heavy rubber sheet and glue em to the desired thickness, or a block of high density polyethylene I have on hand. The HDPE wouldn't spread over time like some mystery rubber might.

I'd appreciate it if anyone can post their stock axle angle (I used an iPhone app that's been checked against my dial inclinometer.), though I should be able to measure a virgin i at Tuesday night's Seattle EVA meeting.
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 110,300 miles
2016 KIA SOUL EV, 90 kW, 27 kWh, 34k miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh

JoeS
Site Moderator
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Silicon Valley, California

H&R Spring Suspension Modification

Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:51 pm

After first discussing this with jray3, this evening I moved the H&R spring posts from the Norwegian I-Miev "Black Edition" topic into this dedicated thread.
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: 1692
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Front suspension solved!

Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:21 am

Thanks Joe. So as suspected, there's nothing wrong with applying the H&R springs up front, just a loose nut behind the wrench. :oops: What made my miev into a rattletrap were the front swaybar linkage nuts. The ball-joint studs that secure these nuts have an allen key socket, so you can steady the stud while torquing the nut, but that prevents the use of a normal torque wrench. Turns out, the ball joint starts spinning in it's socket right about the time the torque wrench wants to click, so a shadetree mechanic may have no clue that his nuts aren't torqued right. That explains why the rattle was bad with any tiny bump, yet the swaybar seemed firm to hand pressure. The studs then loosen up quickly if insufficiently torqued, and only about 30 miles after a visual re-inspection and firm hand pressure on the swaybar, one nut had vibrated loose and completely fallen off! Luckily, the stud's threads weren't buggered up, and a scrap Toyota Corolla swaybar linkage had the same nut...

In short, my struts now seem fine with the lowering springs, the front end is 1 1/2" lower, and anything from broken pavement up through speed bumps feels much more civilized than stock. Cornering feels much more confident. I wasn't able to measure any camber change with eyeball or iphone inclinometer, but intend to put the car on an alignment rack once I 'finalize' the rear end setup. (Though there is no front camber adjustment mechanism- would have to go custom.) Bottom line- if you have an annoying rattle in the front end- check the swaybar studs! The two nuts mounting each strut top to the fender never worked loose, and same with the bottom two strut nuts and the top nut on the strut's piston.

Rear suspension still has 3/4" plywood spacers, will revisit that later. I haven't decided whether to make permanent spacers out of something solid or elastic, and may add a bit more thickness to prevent CV joint rumble at full load. The rear springs sure smooth out bumps better than stock, so I wanna keep 'em even if it means stock ride height.
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 110,300 miles
2016 KIA SOUL EV, 90 kW, 27 kWh, 34k miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh

Don
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Posts: 2957
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: H&R Spring Suspension Modification

Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:48 am

I would be getting back with H & R and rattle their cage for a replacement set - Springs made specifically for a certain vehicle should not require plywood spacers to make them function correctly. Get them to wind you a correct pair. I would think they would appreciate your input, since what they're selling isn't something they would be proud of

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, Raspberry Metallic
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon

jray3
Posts: 1692
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: H&R Spring Suspension Modification

Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:10 pm

Thanks Don, I'll take a crack at talking to H&R, at least to deliver the message. Fitment was not guaranteed on the North American version of our car, as they were wound for the Euro version. But, you'd think that the wider rear track would reduce the driveline angle change brought about by lowering. However, the springs are supposed to provide 30-35mm of lowering on an Euro version, while I measured a 38mm drop on my heavier car. I haven't been able to re-establish contact with jafo or another user of these springs to compare notes...
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 110,300 miles
2016 KIA SOUL EV, 90 kW, 27 kWh, 34k miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh

Hornstudio
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 12:33 pm

Re: H&R Spring Suspension Modification

Thu May 15, 2014 12:43 pm

I have lowered my nearly new European i-MiEV with the same H&R springs through my i-MiEV experienced mitsubishi dealer and have it adjusted through him and I have exactly the same annoying vibrations from the back. The car is NOT driveable in this way. I fear I may damage the transmission by driving it like this.

However I noticed the same slight vibrations also on my 2x C-Zeros I had before (which is the same car) but on higher mileage and only very short on heavy acceleration.

I am really glad I found this thread. I thought I have to balance my rear wheels.

Tomorrow I will contact H&R to find out the problem. I am wondering why there or tons of ebay auctions for these springs and I only know 5 people on the planet who lowered their car: you, me, the Norwegian guy and 2x Rinspeed i-MiEVs.

jray3
Posts: 1692
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: H&R Spring Suspension Modification

Fri May 16, 2014 10:43 am

Thank you Hornstudio- I hope that you can get a response from H&R, being in their home market. My vibrations are greatly reduced by adding spacers to raise the car back up, but my next task is to re-mount the original springs in the rear to see if the vibes go away, or if there's been some permanent damage to the CV joints. Interestingly, with the suspension at full droop up on the lift there were no vibrations, and that down angle seems more extreme than the up angle caused by these lowering springs. Oh well, now to eliminate that variable and continue the experiment. I'm loving the improved ride and handling on the front axle.
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 110,300 miles
2016 KIA SOUL EV, 90 kW, 27 kWh, 34k miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh

Hornstudio
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 12:33 pm

Re: H&R Spring Suspension Modification

Fri May 16, 2014 11:10 am

Update: H&R has never heard of a complaint and said they sold enough springs to know that there is no design fault. H&R said I should call Rinspeed who lowered the first two i-MiEVs in Europe.

So I called Rinspeed in Switzerland and they said they lowered them for shows and did not drive them at all. Then they said they gave these two i-MiEVs back to Mitsubishi Switzerland and that they still drive them in their car pool. The interesting thing is that I called Rinspeed two years ago and that these i-MiEVs were for sale (at a too high price).

So one of them does not say the truth.

H&R gave me the hint I should measure the center of the wheel cap up to the fender on my lowered and on my stock i-MiEV and get back to them that they could compare and tell me if the car is not TOO low.

So I asked how it can be too low when they make identical springs in series? He did not have an answer.

But when I picked up my car from the shop we were two adults in the front and nobody in the back and no vibrations. But now in my driving situation is mostly one child plus one adult in the back and I notice severe vibrations while acceleration and while regenerative braking. So that would explain exactly why it could be too low in the back and why vibration is gone when you put a spacer on the back and "lift it towards stock".

I will now measure and get back to H&R and listen what they say!

Another question: how does Mitsubishi itself lower their Pikes Peak i-MiEV? I may then return the H&R springs.

jray3
Posts: 1692
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: H&R Spring Suspension Modification

Fri May 16, 2014 12:28 pm

Excellent work. Your vibrations match mine. The more load on the rear axle and the more you accelerate, the more it vibrates. H&R did not respond to my email inquiries. I guess if they never read the message, they never got the complaint....

I'm hoping that a high-angle cv joint could be identified to use in a lowered i-MiEV. In my other world of aircooled VWs, it is common to substitute a Porsche 930 cv joint for lowered or off-road applications.
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 110,300 miles
2016 KIA SOUL EV, 90 kW, 27 kWh, 34k miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh

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