Sunday, July 21, 2013

BC Racing ER Series Coilover Dampers

When I blogged about the different model BC Racing coilover shocks available for the Nissan Sentra N16/B15 I left out their top range ER Series as that was initially not available for the Slowtra. However thanks to the efforts of 2J Racing in the US in collaboration with BC Racing North America (NA), the ER Series is now available for Slowtras. 2J Racing race a Sentra in the US so they know what they are doing. Here's a pix of their famed race car. If it looks a tad ghetto and worn that's because it's a real Race Car that gets whipped hard rather than sitting unused and constantly lovingly cleaned and polished for car shows.

Anyway back to topic. The ERs are not available off the shelf for the Sentra so had to be ordered from 2J Racing in the US. I also tried Daniel and BC Racing Bolehland previously but no luck :( Build time quoted by Joe from 2J Racing was bout 4 weeks but I ordered before that and yet the shocks arrived just the day before my flight home. Talk about "Just In Time" service. Pictures below of the shipping packaging. Total weight as stated in the shipping label including shocks, packaging, tools, everything is 53 lbs (24.1 kg).

A set of ERs cost bout 70% more than the BR in RH (top pillowball mount) configuration. This also means every damper gets its own box and there are 4 boxes inside the main shipping packaging.

The package contains:
  • 4 fully assembled ER Series coilover dampers with Swift linear rate metric springs
  • 2 adjustment wrenches and allen key for the bracket holding the remote reservoir
  • BC glamour plaque/badge
  • User manual written in not perfect Engrish but can still be understood (by me at least)
  • BC North America brochure

Opening up one of the damper boxes reveals the ER Series coilover damper.

I specified Swift springs which are bronze coloured rather than the standard black coloured BC Racing springs. Swift springs is actually the brand name for Tohatsu springs Japan founded way back in 1924. Swift springs are manufactured from a proprietary material designated "HS5. TW" rather than silicone chrome material used by majority of automotive suspension spring manufacturers. This advance alloy is stronger than silicone chrome which means Swift can make the spring wire thinner, wind the spring with fewer coils which decrease weight while increasing available stroke. In summary Swift claims to offer superior durability, stroke and most importantly to me weight savings and a more compliant ride. The Swift springs added another thousand or so ringgits to the cost which means my ERs now cost about double my BRs. I specified a 8 kg/mm front spring rate and 6 kg/mm for the rear. The spring diameter is also slightly larger at 65mm vs 62mm for stock BC Racing springs. Swift also make 60mm springs which should fit but I prefer bronze colour to blue :)

Picture of my ERs resting after the long flight home ;) Those springs sure look a bit short. More of that later.

The ER Series in BC Racing speak means "External Reservoir". This means every ER coilover damper features an external tube or reservoir for increased suspension fluid/oil capacity. The additional oil capacity reduces peak oil temperatures which decreases variations in damping rates due to oil viscosity  changes. In plain English this means the damper is able to operate consistently for a much longer period of time when compared to the BR Series. The external reservoir also house a secondary piston, which allows for compression and rebound damping adjustment to be independent or separated with compression damping adjustment via the remote reservoir and rebound damping adjustment via the main damper body. The separate adjustment of compression and rebound damping gives you more capability to fine tune the ride and handling of your car. ERs are monotube shocks btw. Do not confuse twin piston with twin tube.

Picture below of the front strut. Have not weight my ERs yet so can't comment how much heavier they are compared to the BR. Don't expect a lot of difference.

This knob adjusts the rebound damping. There is a 30-click adjustment range per BC but there are typically ~32 clicks. The knob is aluminium and centre stem steel. The upper top mount uses a Japan made pillowball (spherical) bearing.

The compression damping adjustment knob on the external reservoir. Same 30-click adjustment range. Interestingly this adjustment knob appears to be completely made of steel.

The rear damper. Like the BR series, the entire lower body/mount is aluminium.

LHS rear damper remote reservoir. Upper section of the reservoir (black colour) seems to be steel while lower part (gold coloured) is aluminium.

Shocks manufactured just this July. JIT remember?

The bump stop. Length of the bump stop is ~ 3.8cm or 1.5"

I specifically requested 200mm (8") spring length when I ordered my ERs but upon measuring, the front springs are only 152mm (6") in height while rears are 178mm (7"). WTF! Not sure if I will be able to achieve the ride height I want with with the shorter spring length/height. Sorry, "slammed" and "hellaflush" are not in my vocabulary. For daily driving duty Sharkie is only about 2 cm lower than stock and I wouldn't go more than 3cm. Will need to sort this out before I install the shocks. Patience Bro Wallance...


Jack said...

Dammit Bro!!! You're Getting more advance

Andrew Saw said...

LOL Bro. I'm sure these shocks are within your budget :P