Auto Tuning Part 2: Suspension Elements
Normally, spring change is unwanted for a tuning operation. The regular process is to start with bush mounts, anti-roll bars and dampers before moving to a spring change. From a handling point of view, the springs and anti-roll bars affect mostly steady-state behaviour, for example in the middle of a corner.
Tuning For The Track – Suspension Tuning – Tech
So you’ve completed the basics: a set of dedicated track wheels and tires, along with some track-capable brake pads and high-temp brake fluid. You’ve been lapping, honing your craft and have probably completed a track day with coaching or even a racing school. What’s next? How do you get the most from your car and continue to lower your lap times, aside from more seat time and coaching?
Shocks control unwanted spring oscillations and reduce vibrations caused by the wheels and chassis. When you hit a bump, the suspension’s springs compress and decompress, absorb vibrations and transfer energy to the shocks through their upper mounts, into their pistons. As a result, the shocks dampen the vibrations, making that bump virtually unnoticeable. The degree to which all of this happens depends on the shock’s internals: stiffer shocks slow spring movement while softer shocks do the opposite.
No two tracks or racing experiences are identical. Continual changes in conditions and driving styles make it challenging to keep the same adjustment settings in place over a race weekend. Not to worry. For more than two decades, we’ve worked with top teams and drivers at a variety of tracks, including oval, road, and autocross to provide on-site vehicle setup and suspension tuning.
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During our cornering transition example, we have two dampers moving in opposite directions, on opposite corners of the car. Why do we care about this? Here is why: The horizontal forces produced by all four tires determine the cornering balance of the car, and dampers that are moving change the vertical loads on the tires. So, damping forces affect the car’s cornering balance during transitions.
Some of our suspension brands are but not limited to:
Automotive engineers design passenger vehicles to appeal to a wide spectrum of drivers and perform competently under a variety of conditions. The suspension systems in the Honda Accord, Ford Taurus and Toyota Camry, for instance — like the other components in those cars — are intentionally designed to be as inoffensive as possible. They aim for the middle ground.
Car Tuning – Road Course Setups
At the minimum level, the information in this story applies to production-based sports cars with narrow tires and a relatively large amount of suspension travel. At the maximum level, any NASCAR-style Stock Car racers might find some of the information useful, too. Cars with very little suspension travel, big, 13-inch-wide tires, and significant aerodynamic downforce (like a modern BFGoodrich Trans Am Series racer) will typically follow more unique setup guidelines.
Styles of modification
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