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general racecar questions

Old 08-30-04, 11:42 PM
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general racecar questions

Is there a method or rule of thumb for choosing spring rates, ride height and suspension travel. I know you have to tailor these aspects according to the track and engine placement, ie. midship, or front engine. Also if the car is FWD or RWD. Im just wondering b/c I started to think after watching other types of racing like star mazda, F1 and touring

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Old 08-31-04, 12:38 AM
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The method is to either learn a lot of physics or try a lot of stuff. How in-depth do you want to go? Do you want to design a suspension system, or simply adjust & tune the one that's on your Mazda?

For a very brief introduction to suspensions, read the user's manual from the Gran Turismo videogames, they're actually pretty decent at explaining basic concepts. I'm sure there are a few good websites out there, but I don't know of any off-hand.

If you want to talk details and formulas, check out these two books:


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Old 08-31-04, 08:31 AM
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Milliken's book is the most comprehensive reference book on suspension tuning. Even the best calculations by the most experienced suspension engineers will only get you close to the right rates, and then you must try it out on the race track and fine tune the rates.

Suspension travel is getting shorter and shorter these days. Prototype & Formula cars seem to be only using about an inch of suspension travel (to keep their ride height almost constant.) I am only using about 3 inches of travel max in my GTU RX-7.

For modern race cars, ride height is critical for areodynamic down force....But ride height is a mostly determined by the rule book of your racing organization.

Last edited by speedturn; 08-31-04 at 08:46 AM.
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