109 New Axle Update

The new axles seem to be working well, with no worring noises or issues.  The steering is much more precise than before, with very little wander or down-camber pull, and it is a little lighter at low speed, though not quite as much as I’d hoped.  The turning circle is vastly improved, and braking is so, so easy – the pedal effort is half what it used to be and there is not the slightest sign of pull, unevenness or grabbing; just an easily controlled but very powerful retardation with minimal effort. The suspension is also working well with the rear unaltered but the front having the extra leafs and slightly relocated dampers (the bottom ends are nearer to the axle).  The car is much more level when cornering, but the suspension is not too stiff when going over speed bumps or other uneven surface conditions.  The vehicle sits at much the same height as before the swap, the extra leafs providing enough camber to offset the deeper spring saddles as hoped.

The gearing is a small issue.  I’m not convinced the 3.54 diffs are ideal for this vehicle.  I still use the overdrive in fourth gear for cruising, but the car can’t accelerate much in that gear and is unable to maintain 60mph+ up the big hills without disengaging the overdrive.  Accelerating in third and fourth with the overdrive disengaged is more of an effort, too, not unlike a standard SIII.  It may just take a little getting used to, but 3.9:1 crown and pinion gears would be a better compromise – it’s a shame they’re so expensive.

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