We spend a lot of time writing about suspension and different tips and tricks to achieving a great set up to make you and your car as fast as possible around the track. However, a suspension set up can often only be as good as the tyres used. This is because the aim of a perfect set up is to deliver excellent dynamic feedback to the driver as well as getting the most out of the tyre in order to generate the highest amount of grip as possible.
Monitoring your tyres when out on a track day or when racing is one of the most effective things you can do to make your car as grippy and as fast as possible with minimal effort. Your tyres are the final point of contact between your car and the ground. Therefore, they transmit a lot of information from your suspension set up and also store a lot of useful information that can be measured to help fine tune your geometry to make the tyre work more efficiently with the ground to make your car go faster with ease.
How to Measure The first stage of adjusting and tuning your caster angle is to first measure and understand what your vehicle currently has. There are two main ways to measure your caster angle: Turning plates and a digital or bubble camber/caster gauge Measuring the location of the upper and
What Is Suspension Geometry? Suspension geometry is the positioning and angular movement of the suspension arms and the effect that they have upon the movement of the wheel and tyre. It is caused by the different components of the suspension system all moving in their designed paths, which together generate
What Is Suspension? Suspension in the automotive industry is a system of shocks, springs, uprights and arms that together keep a vehicle suspended above ground on its wheels. A suspension system is usually made up of the following components: Spring – This can come in many forms Damper – There
This section covers toe on a racing car. It describes and explains how to measure, adjust and alter toe to suit the driver and the style of circuit. The section covering the different effects of toe is separated into 3 categories; front wheel drive, rear wheel drive and four wheel
What is a Leaf Spring? A leaf spring is one of the earliest and most simple forms of spring within the automobile and motorsport world. It is simply a length of an iron or steel blade, attached to the chassis and each end and tied to the axle in the
Coil springs and leaf springs are the two most common type of spring within the automotive and motorsport industries. However, other types of spring have been tried and tested to try and get the edge over competitors. Some of the following springs are still used within motorsport today. Torsion Bars
What is a coil spring? A coil springs is a piece of bar that has been twisted to form the shape of a helix (spiral). It works in an up and down motion as a spring by using the vertical displacement to twist the bar making the spring. Therefore, it
What is an Anti-roll bar? An anti-roll bar is a tube of metal that works as a spring between left and right wheels. An anti-roll bar connects the vertical motions of the left and right wheels and works in parallel with the coil springs. During cornering, the outside wheel (be
What is a Damper? A damper is an oil filled tube with a piston inside. The piston moves through the oil, passing the oil through small precise holes and past a sprung shim, at a certain designed speed. Damper Construction A damper consists of: A main body A piston with
What Is Toe? Toe is the angle between each wheel with relation to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle. It is usually measured when the car is static and is measured either in degrees or in millimetres. If it is measured by distance then it is usually the difference in
What Is Scrub Radius? When viewing a wheel from front view, the scrub radius is the distance between where the extrapolated line of kingpin axis touches the road and the tyre contact patch centre point. If the extrapolated KPI is outboard of the contact patch then the scrub radius is
On current suspension systems, the kingpin is set at an angle to the vertical plane when viewed from the front or rear of the vehicle. This angle is known as the king pin inclination. The purpose of the KPI is to produce vertical displacement of the vehicle in during steering in an upward direction. The larger the KPI, the larger the effect. This lifting effect produces a self centering torque similar to that of caster. The KPI also generates scrub radius.
What Is An Instant Centre? The word “instant” means at that particular position of the linkage. “Centre” refers to a projected imaginary point that is effectively the pivot point of the linkage at that instant. The instant centre is a point in space, governed by the position, angle and length
What Is Grip? Grip, put basically, is the force generated between the tyre and the surface. The amount of grip generated and maintained is influenced heavily by the mass of the vehicle; the acceleration of the vehicle, the compound of the tyre, the compound of the road surface and by
What is Front View Swing Arm (FVSA)? The front view swing arm (FVSA) instant centre location controls the roll centre height, the camber change rate and the tyre lateral scrub. The instant centre can be located inboard of the wheel or outboard of the wheel. It can be above ground