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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dear Membership,

Much has been written about lowering and stiffening our cars, presumably in an attempt to bring our cars closer to the Ferrari paradigm than that of the Jaguar. It would appear that those of us without the Skyhook option have little choice other than to explore aftermarket components, though even those who are adjusting their Skyhook-equipped cars seem unsure as to the handling effects. I'm wondering if anybody has tried the K & W Suspension Coil Overs (variant 3). See:

http://www.kw-suspension.com/en/30_Products/60_Product_Finder/index.php?gruppe=all&level=3&hersteller_1=MASERATI&modell_1=4200 GT

I've been quoted a price of $2,550.00 for these. Perhaps our own Kevin at NAPerformance is familiar with this company and could coordinate a group buy if there is requisite interest. I have seen various Porsches for sale having been upgraded with K&W componentry, so I'm assuming this is a quality product.....afterall, they're made in Germany (ha ha).

Thoughts from the community are much appreciated, as I am hesitant to be the ubiquitous guinea pig.
 

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FrankieP

I do have a skyhook on my car, but I would consider exploring this ..

After raising the rear-height a bit, after it was adjusted way too low, the handling is again, ho-hum. I took out my MBZ c43 AMG on Saturday which I am running Aftermarket HR Springs with Bilstein Sport Shocks, and I was amazed how well the c43 handles, while keeping a comfortable ride. I can run over bumpy roads and the car seems to handle and absorb road vibrations much better than my Spyder.

Being on a long drive, I began to ask myself why? It appears that both my Spyder and the AMG have progressive rate springs. when a skyhook quipped vehicle is lowered, the progression rate/or position where the spring sits changes to an untested position,The rate has changed, but it is a crap shoot at whether it is better or worse. With a tuned, or tested package, the goal of lowered stiffer suspension should be acheived.

I am back to the drawing board with my Spyder, having had it massively lowered and unbearbably stiff, however the result being the ultimate in handling, I need to somehow reach my goal of how my Mercedes handles.

sorry for the blather, but i really want to get the Spyder dialed in...
 

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i feel sorry for you cos you paid money to the suspension expert / racer owner at porsche bauer or whatever, and you have to resort to non expert advices.

why didn't the guys who messed with your suspension at 1.75" drop sort it out for you? cos they want to charge you more time?
 

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M! said:
i feel sorry for you cos you paid money to the suspension expert / racer owner at porsche bauer or whatever, and you have to resort to non expert advices.

why didn't the guys who messed with your suspension at 1.75" drop sort it out for you? cos they want to charge you more time?
M,

the truth of the matter is that it wouldn't have made a difference if a Master Maserati/Ferrari mechanic lowered my car. There is no right answer in lowering a Skyhook equipped car. I realize many members here have lowered there vehicles and are happy with them, however I am using as a parameter my own personal experiences with lowered suspensions.I don't recall anyone who has lowered their skyhook vehicle to claim it now drives like a Ferrari. Quite a few reported a softer ride. I have used aftermarket suspensions on every car I have owned since I was 17yo. They all have been very satisfying to me.

I simply feel the suspension/handling of our cars are on the same level as the engines performance/capabilities.
 

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The problem is that even if you went to the Maserati stealer you would get the same level of lack of knowledge. Maseratis are low production cars with very little aftermarket support. We are basically the pioneers/experimental rats in this. Heck, some of the Maser. stealers I spoke with didn't even know you could lower the cars, and if so, they told me that I would be "nulling" the warranty.
I for one don't think it is worth it to throw on an aftermarket suspension on a Skyhook car, since I don't know how the computer will react. Now if someone could turn the Skyhook off on these cars....
 

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STARDOC said:
The problem is that even if you went to the Maserati stealer you would get the same level of lack of knowledge. Maseratis are low production cars with very little aftermarket support. We are basically the pioneers/experimental rats in this. Heck, some of the Maser. stealers I spoke with didn't even know you could lower the cars, and if so, they told me that I would be "nulling" the warranty.

Stardoc,

you hit it on the head, ...we are the tweakers here. This is why I love this board. I sometimes feel here, however that this is a place where many here just want to pat themselves on the back and only support/provide postive comments about the car. I beleive I can learn a lot more from addressing the negative aspects of the car, and seeing what we can do to make them better. I sometimes feel that many are worried about negative comments about the vehicle perhaps due to worry of hurting re-sale value?

I do disagree with you on the aftermarket suspension aspect....I would take a tested fixed system that was tested which provided a Set of Springs designed to provide a more spirtited/stiffer ride, while retaining some road manners.

I often frequent a website for Lotus elans, www.lotuselancentral.com, it is a place full of tweakers , some who have managed to actualy design an ECU chip that completely transformed the car.
 

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i m not asking you to take it to maserati dealers. i was pointing out that first you took it to a corner gas station shop, then to some porsche racing experts, then it is still not sorted out. something is very wrong with the way it is 'tweaked'.

kind of ridiculous on the part about hurting resale if they talked about it.
anyone PM'd you on the matter?
 

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M! said:
i m not asking you to take it to maserati dealers. i was pointing out that first you took it to a corner gas station shop, then to some porsche racing experts, then it is still not sorted out. something is very wrong with the way it is 'tweaked'.

kind of ridiculous on the part about hurting resale if they talked about it.
anyone PM'd you on the matter?
M,

from the tone of your post, I suspected you had issues with the people I took the car to. Yes I did first take it to a gas station. I did so, because I know them and they are all enthusiasts who work there. They do quite a few mods to their own vehicles which they track on weekends. I don't hold it against them becuase they work at a gas station....I figured they have prior experience in lowering vehicles.

there really is nothing wrong with the way it is tweaked. Again, I learned that the problem doesn't come from the fact that it is lowered, it comes from the fact that the system is simply not designed to suit my tastes. The Spyder is considered a daily driver, therefore needs to be have a softer more comfortable ride, it like the ECU programming is designed to suit as many people as possible. I guess the opposite would be the Lotus Elise, I test drove one of them and the suspension is the exact opposite of a stock Spyder set up. Clearly the Elise is a weekend vehicle, not a Monday -Friday Commuter car. It handles however like no other. I am just looking for the Middle point between the Elise and the Spyder. I believe no matter what we can do with the height adjustments, it will not be the same as a tested aftermarket system with the design parameters of improving the stock handling.
 

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M! said:
i feel sorry for you cos you paid money to the suspension expert / racer owner at porsche bauer or whatever, and you have to resort to non expert advices.

why didn't the guys who messed with your suspension at 1.75" drop sort it out for you? cos they want to charge you more time?
M,

I also believe you feel that I began the project with a specific lowering measurement in mind. I didn't. I simply told the Porsche guys that others had done so and the end results were between 1.25-1.75 inches...(i hadn;t realized Stardoc had his 2 inches)....I asked him to look at the system and do what he thought was best. He happened to come up with 1.75 inches. He looked at the Stock Spring and the way it was designed with the coil makeup, I figured he had more experience than I, with the interactions with utilizing the changed portions of the coil.

I suspect the most effective way to do this would be to learn how to do it yourself or be willing to pay someone for their time in doing very small incremental adjustsments and actually driving the car each time to gauge the results. To me that would be costly at $104 per hour and could easily exceed the cost of a proven Aftermarket spring/shock system.
 

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STARDOC said:
I for one don't think it is worth it to throw on an aftermarket suspension on a Skyhook car, since I don't know how the computer will react. Now if someone could turn the Skyhook off on these cars....
i have been toying with the idea of lowering my coupe, and like many i have been really puzzled by what to do.

i think that if you have a skyhook car the best way could be the leonardo aftermarket springs. and it would be really good if we could get the software on the skyhook changed to give more rebound compression. from what i have read, the skyhook is controlled by software. all we need is a updated code.

i think that the GS uses the same skyhook as the coupe it just has a better software...

now for a non skyhook car this coil-over kit looks like it is the way to go.

-willie
 

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I agree with you guys,
If there was a company which figured out how to reprogram the ECU, certainly they should be able to reprogram the Skyhook to be able to handle stiffer springs.
 

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demoe said:
the truth of the matter is that it wouldn't have made a difference if a Master Maserati/Ferrari mechanic lowered my car.
I dissagree with you. My coupe was lowered shortly after purchase by the local Maser dealer. They said they had done over a dozen of these cars with most of the owners intending to use them on the track. After a mild lowering and re-alignment, the car handles like a sports car, not a GT. Normal mode feels like sport mode did, and understeer is largely eliminated.

Succesful suspension setup is largely done through trail and error, and some guy used to Porsche's isn't going to have a clue as to how to correctly setup a Maser on the first go around.
 

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Zinhead said:
After a mild lowering and re-alignment, the car handles like a sports car, not a GT. Normal mode feels like sport mode did, and understeer is largely eliminated.
Some questions,

1) what Maserati dealer did you do this at?

2) what is the amount that they lowered 1.25" or more?

3) have you taken it to the track?

Thx,

-willie
 

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1.5

Good Day,

I lowerd my coupe 1.5 with 18's.... I was told by FMSF 1' was for improved handling 1.5 was for hardcore driving :) (me), and 2' was for track only and far to harsh for the street.

After lowering: understeer far less then before, normal is like sport, and sport very sharp and harsh at times whole car shakes over bumps. Also I have to watch out all the time for bumps drive ways and the like else scrape.

P
 

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I was last week on a track, perfect weather. My car is lowered by 1.5" with 19" wheels and PS2 tires. The handling is very good (I drive hard), very neutral, the front is precise.









More pictures here.

If I could improve something on the car I would reduce some weight. I dont need more power nor more handling / grip. Maybe an idea could be to replace the front seats by track buckets (only for the track day) ! What do you think ?
 

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O.K. Guys,

now i am really confused.

please help!!

so, by lowering the skyhook suspension the ride is stiffer and handling is better or is it the opposite?

i have read positive and negatives about this. i don't care about the ride quality, i just care about performance and handling. (if i wanted to get a comfortable ride , then i could have gotten a Lexus or something)

from your honest opinion, what has been the result of lowering cars with skyhook.


thanks

willie
 

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I think a big reason why there were some posts in the past (including mine) regarding softer handeling after lowering the car, had to do with incorrect lowering. My car handeled like a boat after the initial lowering because it was done at different levels at different corners. My guess is that this confuses the SKYHOOK causing inconsistent suspension dampening. Now after I had the corners recalibrated to equidistant heights, the car really hunkered down.
 

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i think Bundas hit it on the head...

bundas said:
is it good for a car designed for touring to be changed by guess to a poor track car?
I would really like to drive those cars whom have been lowered and feel things are great.....

anyone in the BayArea is certainly welcome to drive my Spyder, ...along with my Lotus and Mercedes which have kits which were designed for performance......they handle superb....the Lotus and MBZ are firm, tight, YET..feels firm/solid and don't sound like you are losing your wheels on bumpy roads...they ride over them, not into them like my Sypder..

I reallly feel that lowering our skyhooks are a band-aid cure....for cosmetics, a clear winner....but I do not feel lowering makes a lion out of a kitten.
 
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