Hello ladies and gents….
Today I have for you a little review of PSM’s very fine 5mm carbon fiber front shock tower for the B4 series car. Before I start, I want to applaud PSM for reaching out and contacting me and wanting to do a review of their product. For me, it shows that PSM is dedicated in providing upgrades and are confident in their products enough to willingly undergo a bench test of their goods. If anything, it’s a positive sign from a savvy company that is constantly growing. I like their approach and I will be more than happy to give my honest feedback and opinion.
First and foremost, the packaging is very professional and flawless. PSM goes the extra mile and uses small zip lock bags allowing you to reseal and reuse the bags for storage and what not. Instructions, stickers, and hardware are all standard issue and I commend any company that goes that extra mile and makes life easier for the consumer (for example JConcepts use reusable zip lock bags for their tires and this is simply genius). It’s the little things that add up in the end.
Next, opening the package for quality inspection I noticed that the quality delivered by PSM is outstanding! The front carbon fiber shock tower is a beast. It’s the biggest thing I’ve seen on a 1/10 scale car in terms of front tower thickness. The CNC machine work is impeccable. I guess I’ve gotten accustomed to Chinese or Taiwanese mass produced carbon fiber parts, as PSM parts are all made in Germany. Yes, in the very land where they make Porsches, BMW’s, and Mercs. German made parts very, very nice, but of course there is a reflection in the cost. The front tower is about $35 USD after the money conversion and you can order directly from PSM’s website.
Let it be known that this is just a front shock tower so if you’re thinking, “How many tenths is this worth,” you’re going to be quite disappointed. If changing a front shock tower gave you a huge chunk of time then there’s either something wrong with your existing front tower or the car manufacturer really did some poor R&D and in this competitive day and age…… I don’t think so. With that said….. I’d be surprised it a front shock tower gave a tenth of a second even if all things were identical.
Let’s quickly analyze what a front shock tower does for your RC car.
1.) Hold the shocks in place.
2.) Holds the front camber link in place (on this car it does).
3.) Takes a brutal beating.
Literally, front towers really can’t give any kind of speed. However, what it can do for you is allow you to tune the suspension and roll centers of the car and ultimately this is what gives speed. The trick up PSM’s sleeve here is that there are more option holes over the standard plastic AE tower. PSM’s carbon fiber tower adds an extra set of holes on the outside that is designed to give you more usable steering in ultra high bite tracks like carpet or astroturf! There are 4 mounting hole options as opposed to 3 holes and PSM decided to make the hole spacing closer together than the original AE part. This results in finer suspension tuning, but also benefiting from a wider range of front shock angles. Clever….taking the original and making it more tunable and better!
The camber link holes are also slightly different than stock camber link holes with 2mm ballstud washers and ballstud mounted on the inside of the AE tower. I noticed when I installed the front tower, I also had to make 2 turns to my turnbuckle to reset the negative camber to -1.5 degrees. It could be that the turnbuckle is at more of an angle and needs to be stretched just a bit to cover the same length. For the track that I tested on, I chose to run the inside upper hole and that seemed to give the car the best feeling camber link with the PSM tower. The car was smooth and surprisingly predictable for a no flex tower. It did not change the way the car jumped which was a concern that I had because of the different aero and drag it has over the stock unit.
So PSM has designed a shock tower that mimics the stock shock holes which is widely ran by almost everyone, but also included more options for higher bite tracks. Of course it will work on low bite tracks as well, but to really see where this part shines is when the grip comes up or running on carpet and/or astroturf because it allows you to fine tune the car for the appropriate track conditions.
As we’ve seen in recent big races in the US, the tracks are getting more and more high bite and this is where you would want to use this shock tower. Race organizers have even gone the extra mile to sugar the tracks to increase grip faster which was never before. As a result we’ve seen an all time high in mid motor cars racing in the U.S. A year ago, no one ran mid motor. Bottom line is that if PSM just went out and copied the stock shock tower to a “T”, but just made it in carbon fiber, then I wouldn’t have any interest in purchasing this option part. HOWERVER, PSM didn’t do that. They went much further in developing a tower that is more refined, stronger than the stock, and more tunable than the stock. So in many ways, it’s much better than the stock tower. About the only thing I didn’t like about the tower is the fact you have to take the tower off to change the ballstud location for the camber link. On the plus side, with this kind of camber link setup (horizontal as opposed to vertical mount)…you probably won’t be making too many changes.
Also for those who think they MUST run PSM’s proprietary camber link ballstuds, you can use a normal ballstud (new broached Jconcepts ones will do the trick) space it out a mil or two to clear the tower and it will work just the same. Please visit PSM’s website for more product info. For a quick link to their B4 products….follow this link!
Also, with these little bad boys here, imagine the tuning you could do with their brass weight system! Check the brass out here!