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Suspension set-up for drifting

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Joined: 10 May 2007
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:49 pm    Post subject: Suspension set-up for drifting Reply with quote

well as the subject says, where do you start? and what i mean about that is lets say you have coilovers and the rest of the arms and links and all the good stuff. where do you go from there? what do you do first? why can corner balacing be so vital to a car? well i guess you get the point by now Very Happy I am sure myself along with many others have thought about this before but not have asked about it. so i figured what the hell lets all talk about and figure this out together Wink what i am basically looking for is information that somebody other than an engineer can understand so that we can all step-it up suspension wise.
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Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 131
Location: Philly

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have a car with coilovers, fully adjustable suspension, etc, the best thing to do first is to get a good alignment. Go to a place where you can set your specs, you might end up paying a little more, but it will be worth it in the long run. Before you go and get an alignment get the coilovers set at the height that you want. A good alignment place will check ride height for you and you should be able to get them to adjust the coilovers for you, but it will save time and possibly money if you do it before hand by yourself. Just make sure you are on as flat and level ground as you can find.

Corner weighting the car is something that could be beneficial, but may not be worth it just yet. If you have the money or someone who can do it for you, then I would definitely suggest it. Ideally, this should be done before you get the car aligned and then checked again after. But if that isn't possible, then just get it done before, because changing the heights at each corner will change alignment settings.

So after you get the car aligned the next real step is to test it to make sure the alignment settings are something that will work well for the car. I am a believer in optimizing the car to perform the best rather than setting the car to work with the driver. Of course there are some compromises in terms of driving style. But having a car that is setup for a driver that doesn't know what they're doing will inhibit the cars ability as well as the driver's ability to improve. So a faster car, may be a little harder to drive at first, but once the driver learns the car, it will be worth it.

As for alignment and corner weight settings, they really depend on the car and the racing that will be done. For the weight balance, it's a comrpomise between ride height and front to rear weight balance usually. You need to find the best middle ground where the ride height is where you want it as well as the balance, sometimes it's not perfect. And it's hard to get most street cars turned track cars to be consistent on the scales. There are a lot of things added at the factory that will add friction to the suspension joints and will cause the scales to read slightly differently when make changes and then put the car back on the ground. The best way to do this is to just jounce the car the same way everytime, so even if the readings are 100% accurate, they will still be consistent. And make sure you soften the dampers and unbolt the sway bars before you try and corner weigh the car.

But the goal for corner weighting is to get your car as even as possible. Sometimes this involves an unequal front to rear balance because of the compromises needed. But if you get the left and right to be close and the diagonals to be close, the car should be fine. Sometimes you just have to accept a heavier front to get the car to sit the way you want.

For alignment settings, it's really dependent on the suspension geometry and how the car is sitting. For an S13, I like to run at least -3* camber in the front, somewhere around 7-8* caster and a little toe out. In the rear, about 2* of camber, and a little bit of toe in. But that's just a general setup, sometimes you need a little more of some things, sometimes a little less. For other cars, it could be completely different. Not so much the toe settings, but caster and camber could vary greatly on other suspension geometry.

And then of course, after all of this, it's time to test the car. Check tire pressures, tire temps, see how the car likes the settings, etc. Then you might have to make some changes depending on how the car handles. But you also have to know if making alignment changes are the changes that need to be made. Sometimes it's a spring or damper issue that might need to be addressed that could actually be causing the problem. You just need to isolate the problems as best you can and use your best judgement and then learn from your mistakes. It's a very iterative process that can take a while to learn.

TIP Engineering
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R&D, damper development and fabrication.

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Joined: 10 May 2007
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

amazing info Tim, thanks alot i will be testing this stuff out on a car very soon
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