Tune up: Chassis

updated: 2018-11-21 a

Chassis

Beside engine and brakes, the possible driving fun, which one can have with the Barchetta, depends of course also to a large extent on the chassis. A “rocking load” obviously prevents you from taking a fast turn (and in our opinion this is exactly the Barchetta’s showpiece discipline …).

This does not mean that we want to impose the installation of a sports chassis on every customer.

But also for the “normal driver” a good handling is important. Since almost all Barchette have meanwhile achieved mileages of over 100,000 km, it is quite true that the first chassis elements are worn out.

Here are a few possibilities:

A) Replacing front and rear shock absorbers with springs: Replacing only single components would not be the best solution. The overall chassis geometry remains the same, the driving comfort corresponds to that of the standard chassis. In this case we recommend the installation of Bilstein elements: These provide very good feedback with regard to driving behaviour.

B) Installation of a sports suspension with thread for individual adjustment of the front depth (“thread chassis”): The ground clearance at the lowest point (at the bottom of the oil pan) is then still 7.5-8 cm – if the suspension has been turned all the way down …

Meanwhile we also install the threaded chassis in many customer vehicles, which should only be lowered discreetly. The plus in terms of damping and feedback when cornering compared to a rigid non-threaded suspension convinces (almost) everyone.

There are two brands here that we recommend with a clear conscience and that we mainly install:

1. The cheaper brand ST-X (produced by KW, see under 2.), which has the same tuning as the KW chassis itself.

From the outside you have to make some slight compromises compared to the KW chassis: The elements are galvanized, the adjusting thread is coarser. Otherwise the manufacturing leaves nothing to be desired.

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2 An increase is the original chassis of the premium brand KW. For the Barchetta a stainless steel version is available:

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Important note: With both threaded suspensions modified upper strut bearings must be mounted, an installation with the series bearings is not possible! Therefore we offer the suspensions with the necessary parts as a kit:

 

Fig.: Mounting kit for KW / STX

We are an official KW-/ST-X partner: So we don’t just offer these chassis for the Barchetta – for other vehicles we will be happy to make you an offer including installation on request.


Surveying of the vehicle

It goes without saying for us that the vehicle is surveyed and the camber and track values are checked after the installation of the chassis parts.

The Barchetta is adjusted to our special chassis values in order to achieve a plus in driving stability with regard to cornering behaviour without losses in the high-speed range.

We have all this carried out by our local partner, who has upgraded its plant with a state-of-the-art surveying bank.


Camber backfill screws

Normally the front suspension struts have two circular holes for the fixing screws on the wheel carrier (except for the KW / STX elements – where elongated holes allow the camber value to be changed). In order to adjust the chassis to our camber values, the camber offset screws shown below are fitted with an eccentric:

 


Stability – strut brace

Additional stability is provided by a front strut brace. This prevents the two wheel houses from twisting against each other. The installation of a strut brace is noticeable for every driver: the driving behaviour is improved even further. (Actually, this additional component is recommended for every front-wheel-drive car that is driven fast.)

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In addition, a strut brace is also available for the rear – but is not so often used:

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NEW:
Steel strut brace, suitable for all Barchette, specially designed also for mounting on models with plastic airbox (VIS, including M2 models) – made by DSM and with a high-quality look due to black satin plastic coating:

 


Wider …

Another chassis theme is widening the track. On the one hand the driving behaviour (again especially when cornering) is already improved (stabilised) by small changes in the track width, on the other hand wider track plates are often mounted because of the wider optical appearance.

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Technical tip: We often move the standard 5 mm track plates, which are mounted on the rear axle as standard, to the front axle and then add wider wheel plates at the rear. Their width must then also depend on the offset of the mounted rim.

Since all suspension components must fit together as a package, it is best to call us in advance!

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