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Thread: Chassis Set - Up

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Chassis Set - Up

    First time I drove Ron's car, a couple weeks ago, it was not very enjoyable to say the least. There is a great canyon road next to Ron's house, but pretty rough, with tar strips across it. I was having trouble just driving the car at normal speed, yet alone aggressively. The car was real twitchy, just going straight, & would almost jump off the pavement on the rough parts. After about 2 miles, I had enough & we turned around & went back to the shop.
    1st thing we did was check the front toe in. There is much debate on this pretty simple subject. I have personally driven 4 GTMs - 3 street versions, & the PDG race car. On 3 of them, we have changed the toe from 1/8" toe in to 1/16" toe out. My opinion is this is the best adjustment to make, especially if you are castor limited. There are opinions that this is a really bad idea, but personally it has worked 3 out of 3 for me, including the race car. The race car has run for the last 3 season with this setting. We spent 10 min. making the adjustment, & went right back out for a back to back. Ron couldn't believe the difference this simple adjustment made, you could actually drive the car, but it still was bad over the bumps. My first thought was the front end was over-sprung/under-damped.
    We installed the front sway bar kit & went back out. Directional stability & steering response was noticeably better, but the ride quality, especially on this particular road was still not acceptable.
    Decided we needed do do more work.

    Saturday Ron came over, & this is where we started:



    More to come.
    Last edited by LS MAN; 05-22-2011 at 04:29 PM.

  2. #2
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    This could become an epic thread if it delivers what I think it will. Can't wait to see this one unfold.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    So we make adjustments to balance the chassis out by using the spring adjusters to raise or lower each spring. The idea is if your ride heights are where you want them, you adjust up & down on each spring adjuster to balance the weight distribution, but not change the ride heights.
    A couple notes. - if the spring rate is higher don't adjust as much, whereas if the spring rate is lower, you have to adjust more.
    Example - front rate 450# - rear spring rate 550# - you would adjust the rear spring slightly less, & the front spring slightly more. The higher the difference in rate, the more the difference in adjustment.
    So -- we raise the LF, by adjusting down against the spring that puts more load on that corner, but also raises the ride height at that corner of the car. We balance that by lowering the RF & LR. That brings the ride height back down to compensate the rise in the LF. But we also need to raise the RR to replace the lost height in the LR, RF. That is the way you can balance out the chassis & keep your ride heights even.

    You CANNOT change weight distribution by this method! That is you can't make the front of the car heavier, or the rear lighter. to do that you have to physically move weight around, ie move the battery from the front to the rear etc. When you drive your car alone you are changing the weight distribution , especially to the left. On a race car we would set the car with the driver in the seat & move things like the fuel tank, dry sump tank or ballast to the passenger side to balance the car out.

    Also note that I refer to adjusting "down" or "up" on the adjusters. What I mean is "up" means tighten the spring perch adjuster against the spring to raise that corner of the suspension, In actuality that means screw down on the front & Up in the rear. The difference is that the shocks are upside down in the front & right side up in the rear.





    So we now have the chassis balanced out, the sway bar installed, & have adjusted the toe out.
    Next we wanted to take a pretty big swing at the chassis set-up.
    Richard & Jim lent us the shocks off of the PDG race car to try. Went from the #450 springs & yellow Konis to - putting the #350 front springs on the Bilstein race shocks. & rebalanced the chassis corner weights. We are using the Medium sway bar.



    Now a little fine adjustment



    You can see with the softer spring I should have made a bigger adjustment, Probably a turn & 1/2

    Now the fun begins!
    I drove it for a loop through the countryside & the changes made a pretty big improvement. The car really settled down & was more stable & way more fun to drive.
    Then Ron took it out -



    Ron got on the power a little too much & the rear end stepped out about 45 deg, & did 3 big tank slappers - but he did a great job of keeping it out of my neighbors yard.
    I have had Gtms this sideways including the race car & believe me you usually will lose the thing & go all the way around backwards, with potentially bad results.
    I think we are really going in the right direction, but there is more work to be done.
    Last edited by LS MAN; 05-23-2011 at 12:55 AM.

  5. #5
    I'm impressed. Where could the normal person go to get something like this done? Nice work LSman

  6. #6

  7. #7
    This is GREAT information. You're going to be a hero to a bunch finished GTM owners who are trying to get the twitch out of these cars. I couldn't tell if you have the bumps steer kit on your car but if you do can you give us a little insight on how you have that set as well? Oh and Ron nice recovery they are tough to bring back once they start to go.
    Keith

  8. #8
    Senior Member VD2021's Avatar
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    Ted,
    Outstanding! Very impressive. Keep the info coming. I also sent you an email.

    Ron,
    Beautiful! You have to post some pics or add them to you current slide show.
    .
    R/s
    Vidal
    CURRENT STATUS: Interior Rework and Bodywork.
    GenII GTM #331. Delivered (23/9/10)
    BUILD LOG AND WEBSITE:
    http://gtmbuild.weebly.com/ .

  9. #9
    Have you come accross or found a reason why a GTM might be overly sensitive at high speeds and on the brakes from high speed ? to the point where it feels scarry even just driving in a straight line ... think that is a toe setting ? What do you guys have your rear toe at ?? in or out ? when you toe out the front ?
    Thanks !

  10. #10
    Thanks Guys,

    First off, before you guys go out and have your chassis set up, lets wait until we dial it out first. There's a lot of factors involved in setting up your chassis.
    Originally I had my chassis set to ZO6 specs. I found that the car was very twitchy. Any little bump in the road would potentially send me off in another direction.

    All of the suspension settings we have done was in Ted's garage. No fancy 80,000 dollar alignment rack were used. Just old fashioned racing techniques. Ted and I will walk you guys through it step by step. First of all set your ride height. My car is at 4.5 front and 5.0 in the rear. If you have a lot of bad roads or speed bumps in you area set the car a little higher. The biggest factor was the toe setting. It made a big difference, I mean huge difference! More videos to come.

    Happy Building, Ron
    Last edited by Ron565; 05-23-2011 at 10:25 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Kempo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron565 View Post
    Thanks Guys,

    First off, before you guys go out and have your chassis set up, lets wait until we dial it out first. There's a lot of factors involved in setting up your chassis.
    Originally I had my chassis set to ZO6 specs. I found that the car was very twitchy. Any little bump in the road would potentially send me off in another direction.

    All of the suspension settings we have done was in Ted's garage. No fancy 80,000 dollar alignment rack were used. Just old fashioned racing techniques. Ted and I will walk you guys through it step by step. First of all set your ride height. My car is at 4.5 front and 5.0 in the rear. If you have a lot of bad roads or speed bumps in you area set the car a little higher. The biggest factor was the toe setting. It made a big difference, I mean huge difference! More videos to come.

    Happy Building, Ron
    a lot of good info in this thread. Thanks guys. Ron when you measure the 4.5 and 5 in. of ride height from what point are you measuring each?

  12. #12
    I used the same points that the build manual said to use. Behind the front wheels where the wheel well sheet metal makes a 90 degree turn look rearward you will see were the belly skins mate. The back I used the 2" square tubing just forward of the rear wheels.

    Ron
    Last edited by Ron565; 05-23-2011 at 11:04 AM.

  13. #13
    Hey GTMKris, there should be race shops around that have scales, & may be able to help you
    kbentzel, not sure if Ron has the bump steer kit, will check with him. A good subject to address for sure
    IRON MAN, We set our toe at 1/16 out front - 1/8 - 3/16 IN rear. Guys make sure you don't have toe out in the rear - that's evil!
    As far as stability under braking - the sway bar really helps, as will the shocks - but try the toe out in the front first, see if you like it. There is also the brake bias that we will talk about soon, as I suspect that most guys may not have adjusted it.
    Also, check your tire pressures - I forgot this---- Always check your pressures first! Try 24 front - 26 rear. Don't be afraid to try different pressures & feel the differences.


    Setting your toe - in is easy. We will demonstrate soon - Here is a link for toe adjustment plates:
    http://www.summitracing.com/parts/LNG-79500/
    Pretty cheap to buy, or you can make your own - or just use 2 straightedges.

    Here is a look at setting up the sway bar

    Last edited by LS MAN; 05-23-2011 at 01:44 PM.

  14. #14
    I do not have the bump steer kit. That's probably the only thing I didn't get.


    Having fun, Ron

  15. #15
    Senior Member VD2021's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron565 View Post
    I used the same points that the build manual said to use. Behind the front wheels where the wheel well sheet metal makes a 90 degree turn look rearward you will see were the belly skins mate. The back I used the 2" square tubing just forward of the rear wheels.

    Ron
    I'm still looking for the 4" tube. This is a cut and paste from the recently released e-manual.

    "Make sure that the car is at the correct ride height before the alignment procedure is done. Ride height should be 4 at the front and 4 at the back measured to the bottom of the 4 round tube with the normal number of people/weight in the car."
    R/s
    Vidal
    CURRENT STATUS: Interior Rework and Bodywork.
    GenII GTM #331. Delivered (23/9/10)
    BUILD LOG AND WEBSITE:
    http://gtmbuild.weebly.com/ .

  16. #16
    With you going a complete 180 on the toe settings it has really messed with my head trying to picture the difference in the driveability of the car ! It would seem that when you are going in a straight line you are always going to have some steering reaction from just having your hand on the steering wheel and correcting to keep it in a straight line. Each little pull on my car seems to create some extra pull from somewhere... now if the toe is in and Im correcting left... the car will lean on the right tire thats toed in making it turn left a little extra ... which seems like thats what Im feeling.

    By making the toe out, correcting left will make the car lean on the tire thats probably going in an almost straight line.... which would keep it from "pulling extra" ... so with that said.. whats the point of ever having toe in ??? Would it help a car that has too much play in the steering or something ?
    Last edited by IRON MAN; 05-23-2011 at 01:57 PM.

  17. #17
    Vidal - 4" round tube? - sounds like a Roadster, not a GTM, they must have made a mistake.

    IRON MAN - Everyone seems to think that the "ultimate" capabilities of this car is the most important thing - How much power does it have? - How fast will it go? - How big are the tires?
    Don't get me wrong, those are the reasons for building a "supercar" for sure. The problem is we spend 99% of the time just driving down the road. This is where the car come up short - it just needs a lot of development in driveability.

    I have felt the same feeling as you described on all the street versions I have driven.
    Toe settings have different effects when you are cornering under load, & when you are just going straight down the road. What we are focusing on is directional stability - just driving straight down the road, with no cornering load. This is where irregularities in the pavement wreck havoc on the GTM. When 1 front tire catches a ripple, crack, or a seam in the road, is where the toe out really helps keep the car from following that influence from the road. I know it sounds backwards, but try it, see if you like it. We have tried setting the toe straight up, but found it is better just slightly toed out in the front.
    Don't be afraid of trying different settings, that way you can feel the differences. Tire packages, wheel offsets can have a big influence also, just find what your car likes.
    I added info in the previous post on toe adjustment.
    Last edited by LS MAN; 05-23-2011 at 02:32 PM.

  18. #18
    I would have to agree with Ted that "the proof is in the pudding", and "don't be afraid to try something."

    That said, be VERY careful with suspension adjustments. Toe out, historically, generally speaking, usually equates to a "darty" car that turns in EXCELLENT(hence the reason for putting toe out into a race car) but can be a bit difficult to handle under power in a straight line.

    As I have said before, you MUST be looking at things dynamically as well as statically when it comes to suspension adjustments. If you don't have the equipment or computers to simulate the motion of your suspension and what certain settings will do for you, then the next best thing is to just adjust and try.

    My guess is that if Ron doesn't have the bump steer kit, and this hasn't been checked, then something interesting is happening when the nose lifts under accelleration.

    As Ted mentioned, there is really no special equipment involved with this. Matter of fact, I have seen people use old beam scales that they got from feed stores to do car scaling. As long as the capacity is high enough they will work.

    Scaling/alignment/ride height settings on a car is something I do before EVERY race event. Not sure you need to even get to the point of scaling your car, if it has the correct components and the adjustments are set correct, but it won't hurt either. Just don't think you HAVE to scale your car to make it work right...you don't. I believe that Ted's bar kit, along with some spring, and maybe shock adjustments are definitely some good additions to the equation.
    Last edited by crash; 05-23-2011 at 03:44 PM.
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  19. #19
    Here is a quick look at the yellow KONI shocks.



    I am curious, how many have the yellow shocks or the black ones?

  20. #20
    Senior Member The Stig's Avatar
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    So far, I still have the yellow Koni's. But I am quietly looking at different coil-over options that will work with the RamLift Pro lift kit.



    This is a great thread to get some Real info in terms of set ups that really work, and not speculation.

    Great Save Ron!
    Last edited by The Stig; 05-23-2011 at 09:38 PM.
    The Stig

    Some say, that I only know two facts about ducks, (both being wrong); and that if I could be bothered, I could solve the "da Vinci Code" in 47 seconds...
    All I know is that I'm called "The Stig".
    GTM #0081

  21. #21
    Hey CRASH,

    When I stab it she tracks really well. I don't feel the front end coming up at all. Ron

  22. #22
    Senior Member VD2021's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LS MAN View Post
    Here is a quick look at the yellow KONI shocks.

    I am curious, how many have the yellow shocks or the black ones?
    Ted,
    My Gen2 was shipped with the black pre-set ones. Are the black ones just as bad?
    R/s
    Vidal
    CURRENT STATUS: Interior Rework and Bodywork.
    GenII GTM #331. Delivered (23/9/10)
    BUILD LOG AND WEBSITE:
    http://gtmbuild.weebly.com/ .

  23. #23
    Ted & Ron,,,
    Great info, thank you. OK so a few questions to help me level set. What were the initial settings on the front and rear suspension? Stock Bushings or poly? 750 Lb springs in the rear? What is the rate for the ARB? If you can share it, is that Speedway Engineering bar?

    If it fair to say that if the yellow Koni is not enough for 350-450 Lb springs in the front it would be the same for the rear at 750lbs?

    In your opinion, would 7 degrees of front caster make a difference in moving to toe-out vs toe-in on the front.

    Thanks!!!!!
    Fred

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    GTM #22 - Worlds slowest build

  24. #24
    Senior Member The Stig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron565 View Post
    I do not have the bump steer kit. That's probably the only thing I didn't get.


    Having fun, Ron
    What additional benefit does the Bump steer kit give you in the front suspension set up? It looks as though you completely turned you're cars handling around and made it much more predictable, by the addition of the sway bar kit, and Shock & Alignment changes.
    The Stig

    Some say, that I only know two facts about ducks, (both being wrong); and that if I could be bothered, I could solve the "da Vinci Code" in 47 seconds...
    All I know is that I'm called "The Stig".
    GTM #0081

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by The Stig View Post
    What additional benefit does the Bump steer kit give you in the front suspension set up? It looks as though you completely turned you're cars handling around and made it much more predictable, by the addition of the sway bar kit, and Shock & Alignment changes.
    When the suspension travels, the length of all the arms, in the X axis, parallel to the ground, changes. Some change differently than others. Bump steer is simply that the tie rods for the steering change slightly differently than the upper and lower control arms with respect to the X axis. This causes the upright to "steer" slightly when the suspension goes through it's travel. The steering effects can either toe a car in or out, or sometimes both when the suspension goes through it's travel. The "bump steer kit" simply tries to put the mounting point of the outer tie rod end in a location that minimizes the bump steer throughout the suspensions travel. I have never seen a "perfect" suspension that did not experience at least small amounts of bump steer. You can minimize it, but there will always be some. This is due to the fact that the inner mounting point on the steering rack is neccessarily not a fixed point and therefore the tie rods will always make a slightly different arc than the suspension arms and their fixed mounting points.

    HTH
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  26. #26
    This thread will become the new "Prepare to Win" !!! Thanks to Ron and Ted "Carroll Smith"!!!!

    Cheers guys and keep it coming.
    Jeff
    GTM 422, LS6, cam, heads, Mendeola trans

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron565 View Post
    Hey CRASH,

    When I stab it she tracks really well. I don't feel the front end coming up at all. Ron
    Yeah, but that's with the Bilsteins, right?
    www.myraceshop.com

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  28. #28
    Hi Fred,

    The original GTM setup from the factory came with 350 in the front and 450 in the back. Some time later FFR decided to update the the springs combinations and asked the builders to move the rear springs to the front and install the new 750 to the rear. FFR did change their Koni shocks to the newer updated version. We have note seen or tested them.
    We at Quick Racing Products are in the processes of trying different shock and spring rate for the best ride possible. We intend to have a performance street and race suspension packages available soon. Regarding the anti sway bar setup, Ted has designed the sway bar system and they are made in house just for the GTM.
    On my car I have the OEM suspension bushings with the old Koni shocks. I have the 750 on the rear and it's very predictable and not much more I will do with it except new shocks. I have the custom Bilstein racing shocks with 350 springs in the front. What a difference it made. I'll let Ted talk about chassis setting.

    I'll be honest with you guys and gals. When I first drove the it I did not like it at all. It was twitchy almost to the point I was asking myself what the hell did I buy. I had the suspension setup with standard ZO6 specifications. With Ted's help It's bad to the bone. I love the car. I'm amazed on how much the car has improved. FFR you have a winer!

    Happy Building, Ron QuickRacingProducts.com

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by IRON MAN View Post
    Have you come accross or found a reason why a GTM might be overly sensitive at high speeds and on the brakes from high speed ? to the point where it feels scarry even just driving in a straight line ...
    Well, IRON MAN apply illustrates where we are at so far. When you can't even drive straight down the road, without hanging on for dear life, we need to focus on directional stability first, before we need to address developing the cornering performance.
    Castor defiantly helps here, no question, but what I have found on these cars so far is that the GTM responds to toe adjustments acutely. I don't think that bump steer is affecting direction stability much at all, & you really have to have large discrepancy in the pavement to have bump steer affect the car in a straight line. Now in hard cornering, bump steer plays a bigger role. Yes, defiantly be careful if you adjust your suspension, but as bad as these things can be, you probably won't make it much worse. Remember if you start jacking a bunch of castor in, your road feedback may diminish, & your steering effort will increase quite a bit in parking lot situations. 6-8 degs, & your will probably want power steering. I prefer the feel of the manual steering, so I use the least amount of castor I can get away with. The nice thing is, you can adjust these cars to find what you like best.

    Fred, I believe Ron's car has 750s on the rear, & you bring up a good point.

    If we look at the scale #s we come up with 41.1% front - 58.9% rear - weight bias.
    Now with 350# F & 750# R spring rates, how is the same shock suppose to control such different weight & spring loads - they cant.

    Another very important geometry that is key - is the motion ratio of the suspension - that is the ratio between the movement (displacement) of the wheel vs the movement of the shock/spring. because the shock mounts inboard of the spindle, & is mounted at an angle, when the wheel moves 1", the shock moves less, so does the sway bar.
    So when you see me working the shock on the bench, remember the car has a mechanical leverage so - as an example, the wheel moves 1" the shock/spring will only move .6" So that says you have a spring rate of 350, your wheel rate is only 210# - same goes for the shock. Jim measured the ratios, so will get them & share here.

    When I calculated the sway bar rates, I had to take this into consideration.

    As you can see we all have a long way to go, but with feedback from everyone here, I know we can make huge improvements, & make your cars way more enjoyable to drive.
    Last edited by LS MAN; 05-24-2011 at 11:22 AM.

  30. #30
    Has anyone measured the cg height of a finished car ?
    Ciao,

    Joel

    Working ever so slowly on GTM #269, Twin Turbo SBC, Ricardo, Kit arrived April 5, 2009

    http://photobucket.com/JCHRacer_GTM_Build

  31. #31
    It's probably mid line of the engine or slightly lower with tranny. The hoop is negligible.

    Ron

  32. #32
    I agree, that is probably where it's at but I was wondering if someone has actually verified that by taking a measurement.
    Ciao,

    Joel

    Working ever so slowly on GTM #269, Twin Turbo SBC, Ricardo, Kit arrived April 5, 2009

    http://photobucket.com/JCHRacer_GTM_Build

  33. #33
    Senior Member The Stig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LS MAN View Post
    Here is a quick look at the yellow KONI shocks.



    I am curious, how many have the yellow shocks or the black ones?
    Would the fact that most all of us have the Koni's mounted inverted have anything to do with how they perform?
    I've read here in forum(s) that it shouldn't. But...
    The Stig

    Some say, that I only know two facts about ducks, (both being wrong); and that if I could be bothered, I could solve the "da Vinci Code" in 47 seconds...
    All I know is that I'm called "The Stig".
    GTM #0081

  34. #34
    Hey Stig, that was the first thing we thought was that the shock was cavitating, because it is inverted in the front. But these are "gas" shocks that have gas pressure inside to make sure the shock fluid is always flowing through the piston & foot valves inside the shock. I tried my okie test with the shock in both directions, seemed the same. That doesn't mean that under load they don't have a problem. A good reason to invest in quality shocks tho.

  35. #35
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    Ted, when you were moving (by hand) the origional yellow Koni's thru the stroke did you notice any air moving through the piston. I could hear and feel air moving through my black Koni's (kit 233). I wonder if these Koni's have seperator pistons inside?
    Just an old man with a great hobby

  36. #36
    Hey Roger, actually I did notice some cavitation at first, but I cycled it a few times, & it seemed to work the air bubbles out of it. Could be that as they lay on their side they may trap some air that may have to cycle out? I don't know if these have a separator piston inside, as these are twin tube shocks. I think most mono tube shocks have separators.
    Last edited by LS MAN; 05-24-2011 at 02:57 PM.

  37. #37
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    If these Koni's are twin tube design, there is no seperator piston. Therefore the air (even if it is pressurized) will mix with the oil becoming an oil/air foam that goes through the piston shims. This can mess with damping curves and when they get hot, the damping will change (more so than a shock with a seperator piston). This analogy is for a track car. For street use a twin tube should be ok. The worst case scenerio is off road where the shocks get really hot.

    Clarify, I meant Nitrogen not air.
    Last edited by Roger Reid; 05-24-2011 at 03:29 PM. Reason: Clarify, I meant Nitrogen
    Just an old man with a great hobby

  38. #38
    Hey RCHRacer,

    It would be a lot of calculations. Weight X means = moments
    Last edited by Ron565; 05-24-2011 at 08:12 PM.

  39. #39
    Senior Member The Stig's Avatar
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    I've been thinking of buying a set of replacement coil-over shocks. I've looked at the QA1, Aldan, Heidts Billet, Bilstein Adjustable, and Penske Adjustable. These shocks cover the price spectrum from inexpensive to fairly pricey. From $200.00+ per shock for the Heidts to $2000.00+ per shock for the Penske's.

    I really don't have the expertise to know the true differences between the shocks to know whether the price differences make sense. Obviously, I don't really want to spend 2000 per corner, but I do want a quality set of adjustable (remote reservoir) shocks. I want adjustability to dial the handling in, for street and possibly a track day here and there.

    Like Ted said earlier in this thread, I'm more concerned about finding the right control and balance of the car, so I don't have to be worried about driving in a straight line...

    Can you guys offer some advice as to how to make the best choice in the available coil-over shocks?
    The Stig

    Some say, that I only know two facts about ducks, (both being wrong); and that if I could be bothered, I could solve the "da Vinci Code" in 47 seconds...
    All I know is that I'm called "The Stig".
    GTM #0081

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron565 View Post
    Hey RCHRacer,

    It would be a lot of calculations. Weight X means = moments
    Agreed....way too many calculations.

    What I am talking about is taking physical measurements on a completed car. If someone is scaling the car as shown in previous posts, all that needs to be done is to raise one end of the car a known amount (a foot or more) and record the change in weight at the other end. A simple calculation later and you have the cg height. Knowing the real cg height can make calculating a good baseline spring and rollbar combination more accurate.
    Ciao,

    Joel

    Working ever so slowly on GTM #269, Twin Turbo SBC, Ricardo, Kit arrived April 5, 2009

    http://photobucket.com/JCHRacer_GTM_Build

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