CH6: New shocks for Betty
Hi, everyone. Tom Tang, here. I thought it would be fun to blog again (this time from first-person perspective) about my experiences to date with my JRZ-equipped 2016 F80 BMW M3 6MT, “Betty.” As you may have seen, I put “Betty” through quite a lot in my first year of ownership. We did a few track days together at Thunderhill, Buttonwillow, and Laguna Seca (unfortunately, it rained). We also logged a lot of regular driving miles because of my daily commute. As such, I have a good amount of feedback stored about how the JRZ RS Two dampers behave both on and off the track. So, you can imagine my delight when Erik Ras (co-owner of JRZ) messaged me a few weeks ago on Facebook to tell me that based on my feedback as well as other data gathered, a new and improved version of the JRZ RS Two shocks are now available and he wanted me to try them!
The new RS Two shocks shipped from JRZ’s global headquarters in the Netherlands with updated packaging that I personally think is a much better representation of the quality product(s) inside. They arrived at Trackspec Autosports in Fremont, CA. Trackspec are my partners this year, and they are now proud JRZ dealers and authorized installers.
I love being able to see who hand-built my new shocks. The signatures are a really nice touch!
We quickly disassembled my old shocks, and then swapped the Eibach springs over to the new ones. After ensuring that the ride height is exactly the same as before, installation was quick and straightforward.
While I was at it, I decided to also upgrade my brake lines from OEM BMW to stainless steel braided ones from Challenge USA. This is because I had experienced pretty bad line expansion characteristics (longer pedal travel and squishiness) at Laguna Seca back in December of last year; a track known for having a lot of hard downhill braking zones.
After a quick bleed to ensure a solid pedal, I also mounted brand new Nexen Nfera SUR4G tires on my Volk Racing TE37 wheels. Last year, I did all of my track driving on the SUR4. This year, the new G version of the tire was released and so my buddy, Paul Jho, over at Nexen sent some over for me to try out.
With everything buttoned back up, we did a quick alignment to ensure that everything was within spec.
Back on the road, I immediately noticed that the revised RS Two dampers are noticeably better over big bumps. The car “settles” much more quickly while still maintaining comfortable characteristics, and great everyday usability. I look forward to going back to Laguna Seca soon, in order to really put these dampers to the test on track. Check back soon for lap times, data, photos, and videos!