Driving Impressions

Dean's Driving Impressions

of his Tangerine Pinto Dax Rush.

Words and pictures by Dean Heatley

The Rush has covered just over 5000 miles now and it teaches me something new every time I drive it. After the initial couple of thousand miles with all the suspension settings pretty much basic I thought it was time to start playing about.

My car is fitted with the Spax dampers, which have fourteen clicks of adjustment on them. I started by setting all four corners to three clicks and that’s how it’s been till just recently. The first changes were made to compensate for loading the car up with a couple of rucksacks, gear and two fifteen stoners for our trip to Le Mans. 200 miles down the A1 and the rear arches were shaping themselves and removing the letters from the tyres. Adjustment to the ride height was the cure but I also wound in a couple of clicks on the dampers to be sure. We had another 1500 miles to do…

So on our return I decided to check the car over with especial attention to the suspension. Going by the Dax information I re-checked the camber and toe settings, the right front needed two shims removing from the original five. Its camber is now the same as the left front, which sits with five shims. The cycle wings on my car just allow me to measure the camber against the tyre, although depending on the fit it might be necessary to slacken off the wing bolts even though it is bolted to the upright that moves with the camber adjustment. Depends how long your spirit level is! Of course if you have a camber gauge, then lucky you!

Once I was happy that the hardware was all in the right place I could go ahead and set the ride height. With the spring mounts at the limit of their travel the car is still about 15mm too high at the front. The rear sits slightly higher because of the wing to tyre clearance but it doesn’t seem to affect things much

For the finer settings I spoke to Gary at Dax, as I would advise anyone to do. His enthusiasm for the Rush is infectious and his knowledge unsurpassed.

The Spax dampers have a few quirks of their own. Some have easy to feel click settings, especially the first three, some don’t. On some dampers the adjuster screw stops turning at 14, on others it doesn’t. And it would seem that nearly all the dampers are slightly different with respect to how stiff they become for a given number of clicks.

Gary’s solution is to count the number of turns from the point where the screw is backed right off. So far he hasn’t found a unit where the screw keeps going when it’s wound back, if that’s yours then I’d suggest it’s goosed! But it would appear to be a far better way of getting a more even set-up all round

So that’s what I did. Starting with all four adjusters wound right back I put in three complete turns on the rears and one complete turn on the fronts.

Too hard at the rear, not enough front-end grip as it was still slipping into my favourite test roundabout. Going on quarter turns I took a quarter out of the front and at the same time a quarter out of the rear. At these settings on my dampers I could actually feel that a quarter turn equates to one click. However with three quarters of a turn in the fronts and two and three quarters in the rears it still wasn’t quite how I wanted it. So one more quarter turn came out at the fronts while I left the rear alone and now it was miles better with plenty of bite at the front and those lovely little throttle slides for the rear.

So the driving lessons continue to be loads of fun…

A favourite run for us is out towards the west coast along the side of Loch Lomond. The M8 bit through Glasgow isn’t too clever but it’s a small price to pay for the glorious run up the side of Lomond then the charge from Arrochar round the Rest and Be Thankful.

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Dax Rush hunts down Aston DB6

A short stretch to be careful on the long straight where our friends from the Strathclyde Force hang out and another set of perfect bends on the blast down to Inverary.

The roads are just right for a bit of Rushing About with long sweeping curves and plenty of safe overtaking opportunities, it’s also a favourite run out for the local biker fraternity and depending on your view you can either chase them or get out of their way. There’s an old jail in this little town so it gets a bit touristy during the summer but if you catch it early enough on a Sunday it’s perfect for an ice cream in the sunshine before sauntering back. Alternatively it’s possible to head on down to Lochgilphead where you have the choice of  driving to Campbeltown or up the west coast to Oban. Campbeltown is the end of the road and I wouldn’t recommend it for a drive out!

Oban on the other hand is great because you’ve got the same cracking roads and drive back towards Glasgow via Crianlarich. Arrochar, Inverary, Lochgilphead and Oban all have petrol stations which are open on Sundays so if you’re up that way you shouldn’t get stuck, unless there’s a national protest on. You might find a few little surprises on the way creeping up on you when you least expect it. If it happens to you, just drop it down a cog and nail it, these little buggers are not easily shaken off but it’s possible to keep them behind.

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Keep a keen eye on those mirrors

If you'd like to hear of more of Dean's trips, please let him or us know about it!