With the coilovers selected, it looked like the hard work was over. But that was just the start. Who was going to do the install and setup?
It took a brief search of the usual forums on the internet to come to the decision of who I wanted to do my chassis work. One phone call later and the choice was confirmed.
A word of advice: if you ever feel the need to call Chris Franklin at Centre Gravity in the Midlands (UK) make sure of the following:
- You have a good half-hour spare
- You have a comfortable seat
- You swallowed your big-brain pills that morning
- You are prepared for a very in-depth discussion about suspension
- You know what camber is; and most importantly...
- You know how you want your car to handle
Chris does suspension. Correction: Chris does suspension like no-one else in the country does suspension. All he does is suspension. Need an exhaust fitted? Tough. Need bigger brakes? Forget it. Need a service? You’re in the wrong place, buddy.
Centre Gravity has fast become the go-to place for fast road, track and race setup amongst the Porsche community
Chris has built Centre Gravity around one abiding principle: Stick to what you know. Chris knows setup like nobody else. He knows more about dampers than he does about his own wife Jayne and the kids. He knows more about compound camber than one would consider healthy. On top of that, he clearly suffers from some kind of OCD perfectionism. He measures the amount of pitch and tilt on his RAMP, for gods sake! Yes, if you want every component of your suspension set up to within the nearest minute - not just degree, but minute - then there is no person better suited to the job. His work isn’t cheap, but it’s the best. Period.
So I have Chris and I have the Bilsteins. Now I just need the right setup.
One thing that became clear is that the standard damper mounting points do not give enough leeway for the kind of negative camber settings that I was really looking for. Up front, it’s the negative camber that is crucial for front-end grip in the bends, and is the thing that is going to kill off all traces of understeer. The Cayman comes as standard with a bit of understeer built in, but the factory top-mounts for the front shocks do not allow enough adjustment for that to be completely dialled out. Ideally, for my purposes the car would need about -2 deg of camber, and with the standard setup you're lucky if you can get a quarter of that.
So, onto plan B! And a very tidy plan B it is too. Chris wants to use me as a guinea pig to test out a new set of top mounts. The K-Mac kits not only allow for serious amounts of negative camber to be added, but are also castor adjustable, which makes them rather unique! And as an added bonus, they are a full mono-ball construction, which is the same system used on the likes of a GT3 and RS. Basically, the top of the shock mounts into a solid metal ball in the camber plates, which in turn bolt directly to the body, giving zero filtering between the shock and body.
This is starting to look like a serious set-up...