Friday, October 13, 2017

Bisimoto teams with Progress for SEMA 2017.

Bisimoto Engineering has created another amazing Hyundai vehicle.
It’s been dubbed the ‘Hyper Econiq’ Ioniq hybrid. Many systematic engine, drivetrain, aero and suspension modifications has placed this vehicle into the ‘Over 80 mpg’ eco-stratosphere category of specialty development vehicles. This innovative concept integrates the best hyper-miling, economy and friction technologies to amplify the outstanding Ioniq platform beyond the OEM limitations for outstanding efficiency and drivability.

Bisi has requested from The Progress Group suitable suspension modifications for the project, and we responded with a lower ride height, additional damping and increased roll stiffness. The suspension upgrades will help boost the incredible mpg figures by reducing frontal area and allowing less turbulent air under the car, therefore reducing aerodynamic drag. Also, notable improvements in overall handling potential will be readily noticable during aggressive driving. Progress engineers have provided a complete suspension system for the Econiq build, including a race-inspired CS Coil-over system, Race springs, and an upgraded Rear Sway bar, all scratch-built for debut at the SEMA Show 2017.

Bisi states "The HyperEconiq Ioniq takes the Ioniq where we always knew it could go, without sacrificing drivability," said Bisi Ezerioha, president, Bisimoto Engineering. "Leveraging the outstanding Ioniq electrified platform and powertrain, we’ve focused on a variety of technical elements to bring efficiency, aero and design to the highest level."

·   Bisimoto pulse-chamber exhaust system for enhanced volumetric efficiency
·   Racepak OBD-monitoring electronics with interactive OBD cluster
·   Bespoke eco low-friction PurOl Elite Synthetic Oil (0W20)
·   Low-rolling resistance, high-silica tires
·   ARP wheel studs
·   Buddy Club aluminum brake calipers
·   Recaro Pole Position racing seats
·   Carbon Revolution 19" x 5.0" CR-9 one-piece carbon-fiber wheels
o First one-piece OEM application
·   Bisimoto Dream Aero kit (front splitter, TA wing, side splitters, rear wheel covers)
·   Progress Performance coilover suspension
o Minimized ground clearance
o Optimized alignment settings
·   Progress Rear Sway Bar
o Minimized ‘body roll’
o Improved handling characteristics
·   Enhanced e-generators
·   NGK spark plugs
·   Optimized inertial supercharging during valvetrain overlap
·   Combined fuel economy well over 80 mpg (83 mpg in current Bisimoto-testing) 
·   Concept initial render by Matko Graphics

Progress contributes their skills to the Bisimoto Econiq project.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

8/9th Gen Accords are going tubular!

New 25mm Tubular Rear Sway bar for 8/9th Gen Honda Accord!

Progress Tech has developed a new tubular Rear Sway bar kit for 8/9th Gen Accords. Now 2008-2017 Accord owners have a choice. Our 'standard' 22.2mm upgrade sway bar or a more aggressive tubular 25.4mm option.

Progress Sway bar #62.0107
Tubular bars provide the necessary rate with less mass than a equivalent solid bar. The new bar is a two-hole adjustable design with lateral stop rings for instant bar response. The larger diameter bar works well with wider wheels & UHP tires, as more grip requires more roll control. This larger option will suit more aggressive drivers looking for flat and balanced and 'closer to neutral' cornering.
Includes our beefy reinforced bushing brackets.

  • Progress 25.4mm diameter precision-bent tubular alloy sway bar.
  • Low-deflection poly bushings and lateral location rings for instant roll response.
  • New bushing brackets with TIG-welded gussets for maximum durability.
  • Powder-coated sway bar and brackets for superior appearance.
  • Complete hardware kit includes bushings, brackets and synthetic chassis lube.
  • Designed for use with OEM end links.
  • Developed specifically for the Accord platform.
  • NOT a Acura cross-over design.
  • Made in the USA.
Sway bar comparision:

OEM               16.0mm solid              Rate = 41 lbs/inch                           

62.0105           22.2mm solid             Rate = 138/153 lbs/inch

62.0107           25.4 tubular                Rate = 200/220 lbs./inch

25mm, 22mm and 16mm (OEM) sways shown above

So which sway bar should I choose? 
The 22m solid or the 25mm tubular sway for my Accord?

If your Accord has original or a mild wheel/tire upgrade, you are a moderate-driving commuter or you drive in a lot of bad weather, the 22.2mm sway bar is a best option for you. If you are an aggressive sporty driver running sticky tires and looking for max cornering power, the 25.4mm bar should be on your shopping list.

Available now!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Tenth Gen Civic Rear Sway Bar goes to Thunderhill

We recently had the opportunity to put some miles on a Tenth Gen Civic sedan. It’s a really nice car. First I noticed the good ergonomics, quiet cabin and excellent ride quality; very refined and Honda-like in stock trim. Then I took note of the good dampers, not under-damped like so many compact cars that we often experience.

Then we pressed it a little harder, driving it more like we prefer to drive. More aggressive entry speeds, and holding a better line. The front tires complain and understeer some, then the body roll starts to creep in. And faster turn-in results in more body roll. With today’s FWD strut front suspension, any body roll means less front camber, and front grip is lost that cannot be recovered. So, one simple way to increase grip and make sport driving more comfortable is to limit body roll and improve the chassis balance. Less body roll & better balance is always more fun. It’s just that simple. But how do we limit body roll and help the balance without a complete new suspension?

If we replace the rear sway bar with a larger diameter version, the sway bar will develop more resistance to the dynamic forces that induce the body roll, so less body roll is the result. How do we help the chassis balance? If we increase the rear roll stiffness (larger diameter sway bar) and leave the front sway as is, the vehicle will have less understeer. So we did it, and it works well on this platform. It’s rare to make a chassis modification for better handling, and not have an obvious down-side show up somewhere. This mod just works! It’s not too much of a good thing, it’s just enough to polish the gem that Honda has crafted.

Although the sway bars look very similar, they perform very differently. The PROGRESS bar is 3.6mm larger in diameter, but increases the sway bar spring rate 96%. This big bump in sway bar rate is very noticeable, even within a few minutes of driving. You will feel it right away, even on moderate lane changes and highway sweepers during commuting. Of course it shines when you hammer it a bit harder on a good stretch of road. As you continue to ‘press’ the chassis harder, the body roll will initiate at first, then the chassis will ‘load up’ the sway bar, and you can feel the sway bar working to limit the roll. Cornering will be much flatter and steering inputs will be less as there is less overall understeer.

This rear sway bar installs quick and easy, just six fasteners hold it all in place. It may take longer to safely jack up the car and position the jack stands! You will need a torque wrench to tighten the fasteners and end links properly. Watch the install video here:

Product link:

We were pleased with the rate and stress calculations and ride evaluation results, so we found a production slot here and built a first run of parts. Before we finished the installation instructions and got the new kits packaged up, we got an email from one of our contacts at Honda Research West looking for an upgraded rear sway for a two-car motorsports project. 

We discussed rates and bar diameters, and the feedback was ‘that’s just what we are looking for. How soon can you ship us two units?’ Why? It turns out that HRW was race-prepping two Tenth Gen race cars for the '25 Hours of Thunderhill', an epic NASA endurance race, and PROGRESS was able to support their suspension requirement in a very  timely manner. 

So enjoy the same sway bar that Honda Research chose for their race cars, and we can say: 

“Team Honda Research West uses Progress product for 25 hour endurance racing.”

If you've been involved in any club or pro level endurance racing, you understand what it takes to race hard for 25 hours. The race cars require a high level of preparation and as many development miles as time and the budget will allow for. The crew needs to be sharp and to stay in the groove for hours on end. Problems come up on the track in seconds, and the crew needs to be ready for whatever comes their way. Drivers need stamina, patience and excellent concentration to stay on the edge and alert for the long stints through the event. Racing all night with limited vision and tired drivers is another challenge. It's rewarding and draining at the same time. Any racer that completes one of these all-night enduros has some stories to tell!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Progress-equipped Ioniq sets Bonneville Record for Hybrids

My phone rang and it was Bisi calling...
“Greetings Jeff. How are you today? One of my associates at Hyundai has contacted me, and he has a project that I believe you would be interested in”. So I asked “Can you give me some details?” He replied “No, the information needs to come from Hyundai, as I am not permitted to discuss the project”. I was interested of course, and Bisi had the engineer contact me via email with some general info. We called back and agreed to a non-disclosure, and then learned about a Hyundai factory effort to set a top speed record for hybrid production vehicles. I guessed “World Finals?” which I knew were in October, when the weather and salt conditions were always questionableNo, they were planning to run at Mike Cook’s Landspeed Shootout, an annual FIA-record setting opportunity during September. This way the Bonneville hybrid could be debuted at the SEMA show and announce their new Bonneville speed record… if it all went down according to the game plan. More details followed and a discussion about goals & records, aero & horsepower, as well as vehicle stability, chassis tuning, and super-close timelines. Of course, Bisi was correct. Our production-based Bonneville experience and love of the salt was huge for us. Remember our five-year effort with our 200 mph Civic?

Matt knew about the Progress Civic, and he had some previous experience on the salt with Gale Banks. Sometime during our conversation I knew we were ‘all in’ for this project. Just scratch out a 100mm drop-full-coil-over suspension-system & sway bar, hit the tuning & spring rates sweet spot right out-of-the-gate, nail the timeline, and make our contribution to Hyundia’s hybrid Ioniq top speed effort. Easy right? No, not exactly. So we worked on a plan. Matt would get us a mule car for development right away, because the Bonneville chassis was incomplete, and a work-in-progress. We started work on the Ioniq mule car immediately. Our own salty Ed Flores went-for-it on this project, spec'ing out the configuration on the mule chassis, cycling the suspension and developing a pair of super-short competition struts and a prototype rear sway bar assembly. 
We crunched the numbers & searched up the appropriate race springs and the mule car hit the ground looking very… low. We mounted up the top speed tires and rolled it out of the shop, as we were not permitted to drive it any further. We were immediately struck by it's very mean look, clean and purposeful. It certainly had a Bonneville-ready look. We were so stoked about it all that we texted Matt some pics.

There are plenty of ways a brand-new race car can go wrong, and anyone that has built a new race car knows this all too well. But Matt had more plans, and if we were on time, he could access the very private and very secure Hyundai corporate test track for some controlled shake down passes at triple-digit speeds! Oh yeah, Matt was managing the vehicle preparation and doing the driving as well. Yes, he's a talented engineer and very convincing project manager.

We completed our Progress Competition suspension package on schedule, and Matt's crew completed the race car and the private tests without much communication. Then I heard back, that all went well and they were loading up for the long haul to Bonneville. The Hyundai engineers had completed a full regime of engine and hybrid control mods that were new and unique to the project. Two race-course days passed, and we were wondering how the team was doing. With all the complexities and details of land speed racing a lot can go wrong. I texted Matt during the late evening, hoping he would have some cell or wifi access. This was part of his reply: "Jeff - made great 'progress' (!) today - bumped the record up two more times, did an all-motor 142 average, then did a moderate spray for an 149 average with a 157 exit. Going to hit it harder tomorrow."

Matt and his crew pressed harder the next day and hammered out their outstanding record runs. From the ‘corporate’ press release: “Wendover, Utah, Sept 17, 2016
A race-prepared Hyundai Ioniq hybride prototype, developed by Hyundai Motor America’s Engineering and Quality team, set an FIA-approved production-based hybrid vehicle land speed record of 157.825 mph, with a peak exit speed of 160.7 mph at Utah’s renowned Bonneville Salt Flats. The eco-focused Ioniq is Hyundai’s newest hybrid model, with hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains to be available. Ioniq hybrid and electric models go on sale in the US in late 2016.”
Success... the FIA record was in Hyundai's hands, and the crew had hit their project goals on their first attempt! The Bonneville Ioniq debut in the Hyundai booth at the 2016 SEMA show had a huge attendance, and the project was unveiled with this video to many clapping hands and cheers all around:
We were fortunate to participate in this timely and relevant OEM project. Our special thanks to Bisimoto and Hyundai for giving us the opportunity to provide our engineering expertise and top speed craft to this exceptional effort. And congratulations to Hyundai Motor America on their first Bonneville record!

You will never forget visiting the vast Bonneville Salt Flats, located in Wendover, Utah.

Record-setting Progress Competition Series Coil-over system for the Ioniq.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Aaron's EG project build, Part 1

At SEMA last year, we were at dinner with Brian & Aaron from and we got around to discussing that ‘long overdue’ list of car projects that we (all) have that need more attention. Aaron Gaghagen mentioned his long-term-but-recently-untouched project EG. “Man I love that thing. We go way back, it was my daily until I started to get paranoid about it getting ripped off. So I added a fuel cutoff, and I found it in the middle of the parking lot when some crook tried to rip me off. Every time I parked it I worried about it…”

Aaron’s EG has a nice B18C (JDM spec) engine with cams, a header & a nice tune. We needed an EG for a development project we were working on at the shop, so Aaron offered up his ride. “It’s been in storage in Chino for over a year” so I offered to pick it up. Hmmm. Aaron forgot to mention the suspension. What suspension? Basically OEM with some waaaay too low springs and some tired Tokico Blues. It’s a CX model, so it has zero factory sway bars.

So how low was it Jeff? Too low to steer without major tire rub, and no air in the tires. So I aired up the tires at the gas station and bounced back to the shop. The engine was plenty willing; VTEC was pulling well. I enjoyed spinning up the VTEC and listening for the ‘grunt’ come on, but the chassis was another story. And the little red ‘brake’ light on the dash was lit up, so I guess I got the bonus package. I drove Aaron’s injured racer back to the shop with a little more caution than usual.

We spoke on the phone about his car and what is project goals were, and Aaron emailed me this:
‘My car will be an all-around fun car that I want to take to the track, mountain back roads and local autocrosses. I want to build a driver’s car that I can drive to the track and have fun pushing the limits, and drive home.’ This sounds awesome, like so many enthusiasts we have corresponded with over our many years in the ‘import’ suspension business. I might even call it a ‘typical’ wish list.

Aaron wants a ‘driver’ that will get him through some track events, and he can practice his driving ‘on the cheap’ at local autocross events. His San Diego area has plenty of autocrossing going on at Qualcomm, etc. If we do our job setting up his suspension, this car will (help) teach him to drive better as well. Our goals are not ‘race stiff and darty’, but rather compliant & fun, forgiving in the corners with some gentle ‘neutral to push’ depending on line, smoothness  and entry speed. We got this one covered! So we selected our CS2 coilover kit with 450#/inch (8.0 kg/mm) springs all the way around. The ‘square’ spring rates (all four the same) help reduce understeer and feel more neutral without worries about ‘a big step’ of oversteer biting your backside. Let’s install the coilovers, set the ride heights, and do a basic wheel alignment.

The front install is super straightforward. We trimmed the new factory-type bump stops per the instructions. The new brake line tab can be seen in the pic, it's the zinc plated tab bolted to the lower clevis, usually called the 'fork'. This keeps the brake line in place so it moves with the damper, and holds it away from all the moving parts.

The install when smoothly, as the EG suspension was in pretty good condition, it even had newish trailing arm bushings. We reused the OEM top hats and reloaded them with the new hardware, assembled the CS2s and hung 'em in place. Note the lower mounting bolt is in the bottom hole in the clevis. Ed touched up the control arms and subframe with a little flat black spray paint for the 'just detailed' look. It's quick and easy, and looks clean.

Aaron aired up the tires to 32# and Ed set the ride heights to 12.0" at all four corners. Setting the ride heights will take a few tries to get it spot-on, so be patient and roll the car out when it comes off the floor jack, and settle it back in before re-measuring as shown. We checked all the camber settings and they were fine. Ed & Aaron adjusted the toe-in at all four corners. Notice the toe plates and two tape measures... simple!

When the car was back on the shop floor, we double checked the alignment settings and torqued the wheels. The 'brake' dash light was on, so we popped off the reservoir cap and the fluid was low. We added some fluid to the reservoir, and the light went out. That was an easy fix... done deal.

Time for a test drive! Having some wheel travel is magic for ride-quality, and the CX had zero tendency to bottom out with this spring and ride height combination. It's fun to drive & plenty sporty for a daily/track car. While we had the CX on the hoist, we noticed the (vintage) aftermarket muffler was right in the way of the rear sway bar location, so Aaron is hunting up another exhaust so we can install the sway bars and set up the corner weights. This will button up Aaron's 'track pack' suspension installation.

Ride heights set to 12.0" front & rear per the instructions.
Aaron emailed me this after his return trip home: ‘Although I was extremely limited by my old tires and traffic, I could already feel more responsiveness from the CS2s. The ride is firm but not too harsh. I can’t wait to have a decent tire and some open road.’Next time, UHP tires, sway bars and a some San Diego back roads...

Follow Aaron's blog:

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Easy Spring Rate Conversion

We frequently convert spring rates from US to metric units, or metric to US. Here is a quick conversion chart and some easy math to do the job for you.
  • To convert lbs/in to kg/mm, divide by 56.
  • To convert kg/mm to lbs/inch, multiply by 56.
  • It’s quick and easy to remember!

Lbs/ inch              Kg/mm
200                         3.6
250                         4.5
300                         5.4
350                         6.3
400                         7.2
450                         8.1
500                         9.0
550                         9.8
600                         10.7
650                         11.6
700                         12.5
750                         13.4
800                         14.3
850                         15.2
900                         16.1
950                         17.0
1000                       17.9
1050                       18.8
1100                       19.7
1150                       20.6
1200                       21.5

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

DA9 buildup for 'track days'

Brian Gillespie from Hasport called me, and told me that he and his son, Carter, wanted to run his swapped (of course) DA9 Integra at some track events this winter. Carter wants to work on his closed-course driving skills for track days and ‘time attack’ type events. This is a very positive step for newer drivers, as track time builds driving skills that will help out during the ‘daily grind’ on the street as well. Having good car control skills during accident avoidance situations can save a lot of property damage and possible injuries; there is no arguing those facts. And of course, tracking your swapped Integra can be a crazy-good fun too...

The Gillespie crew has ‘swapped in’ a K24 donor engine from a CRV, and added a JR supercharger that was a ‘spare’ in the Hasport parts bin. They fabbed up a new intake, and installed a larger radiator to help with track day abuse and those Phoenix afternoons in traffic. The power goal is a reliable 280-300 whp. Yeah, it’s good to be Brian’s kid! The five-speed gearbox has an LSD, and required a cable-to-hydro conversion as well. Thanks Hasport!

Carter has been working on his 1993 Integra three door (DA9), fixing the numerous worn and abused items that need attention on a twenty-some year old Acura. He has been driving it daily on a Progress CS2 coilover system with a softer ‘DD’ springs (350#/350#). They have also added a homegrown ‘splitter’ to help ‘pin’ the front end and add some stability at speed. For a track setup with an inexperienced driver, we suggested a stiffer 550/550 ‘square’ setup. These ‘square’ setups are predictable and forgiving for the newcomer, and are plenty fast when set up properly.

So we aired up the tires, a proceeded with a spring swap, bumping up to the 550/550 rates. While the front wheels were off, Brian demo’d his new ‘fender roller’ that bolts to the wheel hub and has a radius arm with a plastic roller that presses behind the fender lip. Very cool. So my tired ol’ Stickball bat may be retired soon.

We unhooked the rear sway bar, and got the car back on the floor, set the ride heights and started chasing the alignment settings. We measured camber and adjusted the front & rear toe, and checked the rear for symmetry using some 1” square aluminum tubing. We sighted down the tubing and checked for 'like' toe settings on the left & right. Well, we needed to do a little dialing-in to get the L&R sides matched up, but the result is worth the effort.

After dialing in camber and toe settings, we pushed the Teggy up on the chassis scales for some corner weighting. This is why we unhooked the rear swaybar end link, so it would not impact the corner-weighting process. 

We set the cross-weights at 50%, as this is the best starting point for a track car. With the 50%/50% corner weights, have a best shot at ‘like’ handling for left and right corners. Predictability is our handling goal for a newer driver, as this builds confidence and lap times with minimal surprises. Carter & Brian can dial in a more neutral setup as Carter’s skills grow.

Alignment settings as follows:
Ride height, 12.25-12.50" range
Front camber, -3.0*/-2.7* (L/R)
Front toe-in, .00" (total)
Rear camber, -2.0*/-2.2* (L/R)
Rear toe, -.06" (total)
Total weight, 2492# (w/o driver) 

We opted to leave the Progress rear sway bar disconnected, until Carter was comfortable with the basic racing line at the course. Having no effective rear sway, Carter had predictable understeer, and zero surprises in the handling department, just what's needed for new drivers learning a new course. It's a quick fix to stop in the paddock and reattach the rear end link, and the sway bar is back in service. The rear sway will reduce body roll and move the chassis balance closer to 'neutral' for quicker turn-in and some faster laps.

Carter's first track event was busy, wrestling with mechanical gremlins including low boost & tuning issues, as well as swap-related details. Carter & Brian did get some of the 'new-build' issues sorted during the day, and had some good clean laps later in the event. Carter commented that the car was more stable than it had ever been before, and it was easier and waaay fun to drive. Just what you want to hear about a new suspension setup on a fresh project. To be continued...

Fastrax camber gauge: