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AST and Moton Product Update Information
|01-11-2012, 07:13 PM||#1|
BimmerPost Supporting Vendor
Drives: F80 M3
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Barbara, Brembo, GIAC, Koni, Ohlins, Performance Friction, Quaife, Stoptech, Vorshlag
AST and Moton Product Update Information
Quoted from Vorshlag.com Release.
"This post covers the state of Moton Suspension 8 months after the acquisition by AST and 4 months after resuming operations at the same Moton plant in The Netherlands. There have been too many (wildly inaccurate) internet stories, most based on hearsay and speculation, about "What will happen to Moton!" after they were purchased by AST in May of 2011. Some folks assumed there would be a downgrade in quality, an infusion of AST internal parts, and a general decline of the racing bred shocks that Moton built.
None of that happened; Moton is still Moton, with only a handful of small but necessary (and some optional) improvements made, which were started in 2011 and will continue on into 2012. There have been press releases from Moton USA detailing many of these updates, but I wanted to go over them again here, as the rumor mill keeps churning out misleading information.
Just to point out our motivations: Vorshlag (and Terry Fair) is not in any way owned by or have any ownership stake in AST, Moton, or any other competing shock company. Vorshlag's shop is located about 100 feet from the AST-USA/Moton-USA facility, we are a dealer for both shock brands, and we have purchased, sold, inventoried, repaired, and installed Moton and AST dampers at our facility (among others), so we know a little bit about these shocks. We also work with AST and Moton on some valving, fitment and engineering details on new models and products. We don't just reiterate third hand information about these two shock companies - we see it first hand, every day. So we are an unbiased source (without any ownership in this or another shock company), yet still well informed about Moton Suspension.
Let's talk about the facts and break down the various press releases and other tidbits. First, a piece of old news:
Moton Suspension Back Online - Oct 21, 2011
After the acquisition of Moton in May this year we are completely up and running. Behind the scenes we have been working hard and the results are exceptional ! The new website is online and we have added a complete product list on the website. We now have all the key parts back in stock which were not available at the time of the transition and are able to produce shocks. Therefore Moton is ready to receive new orders and can service existing suspension systems.
The new websites were both improvements over the old:
Moton-USA was up and working with race teams almost immediately, taking over service work at the AST-USA facility. Typical turn-around times for Moton shock work are measured in ones of days, instead of weeks or even months. They announced a Fall Rebuild Sale in November, to help let their customers try out the now combined AST-USA/Moton-USA rebuild facility in Plano, Texas - with staffing and equipment increases to match the new combined work load. They also started interfacing directly with the Moton factory in Holland, who began building new shocks for existing and new race team customers.
Yes, there have been a few small improvements to some Moton procedures and coatings, but generally they are being built with the same internals, shafts, bodies, and same high quality parts as before. The same Moton factory is still operating in Uden, Netherlands. AST and Moton are still separate companies with their own distinct product lines.
Moton 2012 Product Updates
Most of these details come word-for-word from the November Press Release from Moton-USA, but I will expand upon them based on the additional questions we have received and some details we have learned about here at Vorshlag. I have also linked to the video that Moton-USA made to better describe the updates to the Orifice Bleed Rebound system (new machining process to the existing rebound valving style).
Moton Suspension – USA is proud to announce updates to the existing Moton product line. After more than ten years of successful production, updates to the portfolio were needed to keep the product competitive in today’s marketplace.
We asked professional teams and consumers what they liked and didn’t like about Moton as a company and a product. Users applauded the adjustment range of the damper, the bulletproof design, and large compression adjustment range. The two areas of improvement were the high stiction caused by the 22mm shafts and the lack of piston choices.
After working the AST/Moton booth at the PRI show, and hearing from race teams and dealers first hand, I feel that asking race team customers what they liked and wanted to see improved with Motons was the right path to take. This led the engineers to work out some improvements early on, which made immediate performance improvements. Next some machining improvements were made, on processes that were dated and less efficient.
Low Drag Seals
For ClubSport, 3-Way Pro, and 4-Way Pro models, Moton Suspension is updating the main seal to a new low drag seal. This is the same Low Drag seal developed and used in GRAND AM racing in 2011 on the AST 5220, and will also make its way into the AST 4150/4250 in 2012. While the 22mm shaft used in all Moton products provides high fluid displacement for large compression control, it also creates a seal drag greater than smaller shaft dampers.
Lightweight, tube frame race cars are particularly sensitive to seal drag. The compromise found in this design has been corrected, based on feedback from professional endurance race teams, and all previous generation dampers can be upgraded to the new low drag seals. These low drag seals decrease hysteresis and stiction in the damper, allowing for a more precise tuning of shock damping.
Specialty Shaft Coatings
In addition to main seals, all models will have the option of Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coated shafts. DLC uses a carbon structure applied on the hard chrome surface to offer lower drag especially in high load MacPherson strut applications. Early testing shows a 44% reduction in seal drag.
There are additional friction coatings that can be applied to the reservoir and shock bodies, inside and out; this lowers friction on the internal pistons that ride against the casings. The optional Kashima coating (shown above) also offers a reduction in drag and stiction, allowing the piston to react quicker to shock forces.
Performance Damper Fluid
All Moton shocks will be available with our latest specially formulated damper fluid. This optional fluid has been proven in endurance racing for years and is being blended to meet our customer’s needs. Our new fluid has the highest Viscosity Index and performance parameters of any damper fluid on the market. We tested it against the former Moton fluid and found less hysteresis and stiction with the new fluid. Due to its cost, it will be provided as an option.
They have a lot of high end fluids at AST/Moton, acquired from all over the world, and they have tested some brands I'd never heard of. Red, yellow, purple - this isn't just "simple hydraulic fluid". They have a blend that was perfected in GRAND AM and we've used it in many of our own shocks. Tastes great, less filling. There's just not much more I can add here.
Double Digressive Pistion (DDP) Technology
Consumers and professional race teams have always appreciated Moton’s smooth operation attributed to the “zero preload” piston that has carried the product for more than ten years of dominance in racing. Our 44mm DDP Moton piston design, similar to the one developed for GRAND-AM racing, has been proven on a 7-post (shaker) rig to offer what race drivers and race engineers want – direct feel from the chassis at slow shaft velocities and soaking up the bumps and curbs at high speeds. Digressive pistons allow the damper engineer to preload the shim stack enough to give the driver control, but also to “blow off” over bumps and curbs. This same design (40mm piston) found in our AST brand won three GRAND-AM races in 2011 and nearly 50% of the podium spots after being introduced halfway through the season.
We began testing DDP for street cars and noticed a byproduct of the new design. When the rebound adjustment is soft, the damper curve looks similar to an OEM street shock profile. When the rebound adjustment is hard, the damper curve looks like a race shock. The digressive piston will be available as an option on all Moton product lines.
Here at Vorshlag, after testing with the new DDP pistons in mid-2011 in various AST shocks, we are now only ordering new Moton shocks with the DDP pistons, unless the customer specifies otherwise. If you want to stick with the old style pistons in your new Motons, I am sure they would be happy to ship them with the old inventory Moton pistons.
One small fact: the AST and Moton piston sizes are different, so even though they both have extremely digressive "DDP" piston options now, they are not interchangeable.
Orifice Bleed Rebound Adjuster Update
Moton’s orifice bleed design is a favorite among racers in regards to adjusting rebound damping. Since precision is key in a high performance damper, the current process for drilling the bleed holes was deemed unacceptable. The current design was susceptible to inconsistent force adjustment when small errors occurred during the drilling process. Watch the video below and you can see how these holes were drilled on past Moton designs, which dated back to 1980s-era Koni techniques.
click for video on orifice bleed changes
The guys at Moton-USA were trying to describe this orifice bleed issue to me verbally, and I wasn't getting it - then they showed the the old and new style shaft holes, and it all made sense. We asked if they could shoot a video of this and they did - it clears up a lot about how it was done before and how it is improved now, as well as how an orifice bleed system works in general. Big thanks to Brian at Moton-USA for taking the time to make this video.
The new rebound system builds on the success of the original orifice bleed design, but instead moves the orifice to a CNC machined orifice adjuster ring (OAR). Different profile rings can be used for different pistons and different adjustment range requirements of the damper. The CNC machined OAR adjusters will boast a higher quality precision adjustment mechanism than the older design. No more hand drilled holes between threads on a hardened steel shaft - with a less than ideal "yield rate" (you could spend all day drilling these tiny holes in shafts, but you will end up with a handful of junk shafts and broken bits). All existing Moton dampers can be upgraded to the new orifice adjuster ring, which is more precise and tunable.
So that's what's changed - some are now standard items and others are optional upgrades, but nothing that could be construed as a downgrade in quality or a decrease in the performance potential of Moton shocks. AST and Moton products are still distinctly different, and the companies are separate. The experiences learned from a hugely successful season in Continental GRAND AM (with 28 of 30 podiums in GS) has gone into some of these improvements, of course.
I hope this helps clear up some misconceptions out there. Of course there will always be fans of competing shock products, who will always stick with what or who they know, which is great. At least now we have the facts here plain for all to see - any changes to Moton products after May 2010 (when the old company went bankrupt) were minimal, necessary and obvious improvements.
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