Speed Lab – Suspension Mounts and Hexes

Posted on Posted in At the Track, New Products, tips & tricks

We can all agree that setup is important to fast lap times and car balance is one of the biggest keys to getting that dialed ride. This requires the optimal amount of steering and rear traction making the car do everything well, but still maintain the ‘easy to drive’ feel so you can consistently deliver the fast lap times. Like the old cliché goes, too much of one thing is usually not a good thing. Excess steering or rear grip can make you work harder and put you on the ragged edge of hero and zero. Having a lack of steering or no rear traction is also a quick recipe for turtle soup and no one likes turtle soup!

If you can look at the car being 2 halves, a front half and a rear half that drives as a single whole unit, meaning what you do to the front or rear end will usually affect the entire balance of the car (front affects the rear and vice versa). You can begin to dissect which end needs to be dialed-in in order to achieve the perfect balance. Do I need more steering or less rear grip? More often than not, a well-balanced car is usually going to be very fast in capable hands.

Most of the basic setup changes happen at the shock and ballstud washers. However, one of the biggest adjustments you can play with that doesn’t take a lot of time to adjust, but greatly impacts the car’s driving characteristics, is adjusting the width of the rear end. By changing the inner hinge pin width and pairing it with an alternative 12mm wheel hex (wide or narrow hex), you can drastically change the car’s feel. With the modern cars like the  B6, XB2, 22 4.0, YZ-2 etc, you have a wide range of adjustments to fine tune the car’s feel as the rear of the car effects, rotation, forward drive, side-bite, on power steering, jumping and landing etc.

If you haven’t played with the rear width, this is one of the bigger changes you can make to the car setup. For instance, if you run center-center hinge pin with the stock 7mm hexes, you’re already very close to ROAR legal width limits. When you have some time, try adjusting the rear by going 1 in and 1 in on the C and D suspension mount bushings (eg. on a B6), which narrows the rear end a tad, but changes the way the car drives out the corner.

But before you do all this, make sure you have the track layout down and that you can do consecutive laps without crashing out. This will give you a solid base to judge your changes so you know which way is faster on the clock. Also, after making the changes remember to reset your camber and check the ride height as moving the inner hinge pins will affect camber, camber gain, and shock angles etc. Take notes, what did you notice? How was it different from center-center?

After you’ve gotten used to the feel, now try the opposite with the hinge pins set to 1 out and 1 out paired with the narrower 5mm or 6mm hexes so you can see how the 2 different rear end setups feel going around the track. There are times the car is easier to drive with the wide hinge pin setup and sometimes feels faster with the narrow. Ultimately, this depends on the track’s grip level and layout. For general reference, the wide seems to be the setup trend for astro and carpet as the car rotates quicker and is more stable from traction rolling. Then there are certain times that narrowing up the car’s rear end can produce faster lap times and feels easier to drive as it seems to accelerate better and feels more locked in mid-corner. Again, this all comes back to car balance and personal preference.

With the release of the JConcepts B6 aluminum rear C and D suspension mounts and the 5mm, 6mm, and 7mm hex adapters, adjusting the B6’s rear end couldn’t be easier while adding aesthetic style and bling to your race ready vehicle. And of course, they come in the popular stealth black and awesome blue anodizing.

The high-quality aluminum suspension mounts are not only strong and sturdy, they are functional and easy to use. The nice CNC machined edging adds luster and appeal without going overboard. The truly neat feature about the JConcepts C suspension mount is the added feature of usability. If you look closely there is a small U-groove machined out on the top of the C mount that allows you to use a long narrow wrench to push out the insert. With the stock unit, the fit is sometimes too tight and there’s no real way to get the insert because you can’t push it from the back. So in order to make the suspension bushing change, you have to take the C mount completely off the chassis, but that means you have to loosen the transmission and slide the C mount out. With the JConcepts C mount, changing suspension inserts has never been easier. Now you can make all the hinge pin adjustments you want and it’s fast. This can save you valuable setup time so you can get back on the track faster than your competitors.

Also, the C and D mounts from JConcepts come in brass mounts as well to give you the extra lockdown feel and put the weight lower and straight onto the chassis. The brass adds 11 grams to the C and 12 grams to the D and is machined with JConcepts styling so you can complete your kit with JConcepts goodness.

Adding more options to the width tuning game, JConcepts also released the lightweight aluminum wheel hexes for the Team Associated B6 to complement the C and D suspension mounts. With the option to go 5mm, 6mm, and kit 7mm, you now have a huge range of adjustments to further enhance your B6’s performance. You can also leave the suspension mounts at middle – middle and play with just the hex width as there are a lot of team drivers using the 6mm at the center hinge pin position on dirt and clay to get that extra forward drive.

Also, the 5mm hex is the stock size for the popular B64|64D rear hex so you could do the same and go wider hex and play with the rear width of the B64 as well with the same set of hexes. JConcepts also has you covered with the T5M lightweight 8.5mm direct replacement hexes for the next level in performance and looks.

Like the JConcepts suspension mounts, the hexes are CNC machined from aluminum to add to the bling factor and are also lightened by taking excess material out of the hex and weigh 1/3rd of the stock AE pieces lowering the rotating mass for all the hardcore stock racers. Once again, JConcepts comes through with black and blue anodizing options to complete your ride in trick fashion.