I grinned! I laughed! I cried! A beautifully intentional stream of consciousness - I'm most grateful. Nigh a decade ago, I decided it was high time to put some starch back into the rusty '89 E30 BMW I'd recently purchased (as apparently every part of its suspension was still original). In went stiffer springs, thicker (and adjustable) sway bars, firmer dampers, a few polyurethane bushings - you know, the works. After dealing with the prior festival of body motions, I was practically quivering with anticipation for the first post-overhaul road test. Spoiler alert: the car was undrivable. Stiffening the suspension ended up magnifying other weaknesses that were previously masked by the car's overall gooiness. When I turned the wheel even slightly to the right, the back end of the car would do a scary lean to the left as the suspension loaded up before the car began to move. On the highway, this was functionally like having more than a full quarter lock of steering dead zone. It was frightening. What happened was that the rear subframe bushings, which I'd not touched as part of the suspension work, immediately became the softest point of the entire setup, and did all of the compressing (and steering, it so happened) before anything else came into play. Replacing those helped, but that ended up making the 65 series tires the weak point. Swapping *those* with bigger wheels and shorter sidewalls helped too, but the target just kept shifting. This is a long aside. I guess my point is that experience sure is a good teacher, and there sure is an awful lot to think about in terms of suspension setup and design. Thanks for turning this ethereal concept into a corker of an epic poem, Sam! PS: These articles (and finding Baruth! Sherman! Robinson! here too at Hagerty) have been the high point of the pandemic. Such a tonic after watching the old rags deteriorate into cut-rate clickbait sources written by 'influencers.' Truly, thank you.
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