The upper control arm mounts...
The upper control arm mounts are hole slotted to allow changes to the height as well as anti or pro-dive. These slots are overlapping holes that serve to locate the bolts so they won't slip.
At the conclusion of all of this testing and racing, we will have established just what each setup type will do and what makes sense to run and why. There is a lot of theory running amok out there and I'm well aware of the bulk of it. Most racers cannot justify the lengths they go to get softer and reduce roll in their cars.
We will do front end geometry measurements for moment center location and design, bumpsteer, caster and camber and Ackermann effect. The Lefthander cars have always had a very good design for MC, etc., but we will need to know the exact numbers for our car the way we assemble it. This could differ from team to team due to differing ideology about upper arm lengths, where to mount the control arms within the adjustable slots, and other factors including ride height and setup stiffness and roll tendencies. Even the manufacturer cannot predict the result of those combinations.
Our goals for setup are to provide a balanced car where the weight transfer is predictable and where the handling balance will be consistent. Along with the spring layout and roll center locations, we are going to design specific rear steer into this car and a weight distribution than promotes better balance and traction off the corners.
In effect, this will be a project that will showcase critical asphalt design parameters and be used to develop a plan of attack for developing and modifying setups for different tracks and conditions. The overriding goal is to use this car as a teaching aid for both the readers and the students. We will learn from the experience and we hope our readers will learn through our successes and failures as we go along.
The left steering arm on the...
The left steering arm on the spindle is adjustable for Ackermann. We will be checking on the degree of Ackermann and adjusting the length of the steering arm so we will have the correct amount of added toe to match the radius of the turns.
We have a new chassis from Lefthander and a lot of parts yet to arrive. The students are learning how to assemble the car in the initial stages. Once we have a rolling chassis, the team will mount the body, engine, fuel system, etc., to completion.
We won't get seriously involved with setup and design until we have a completed car. Then we will walk the team through the process of measuring for front geometry, rear alignment, rear steer, pinion to driveshaft to transmission tailshaft alignment, weight distribution, and setup balance selection.
Before each stage is started we will, together with Pete and the team, map out a plan of attack and proceed with this plan. As we go, if we see where we need to make modifications, we will do that. The nice thing about working with this team is that they have a facility that is perfect for the task at hand. They are willing and ready to create whatever tools, equipment, or processes that are necessary as we go along to get the job done.
As this project proceeds, we will be reporting on our plan of attack, the team's progress, and providing details on what we do to the car and why. We will give you the exact setup parameters as well as relay any decisions we make as to setup changes as our testing is carried out. This will not be a generalized reporting, but rather one that tells all. These setups and designs might not work for your car, but the processes we use will demonstrate how successful teams think and act.
The ends of the steering rack...
The ends of the steering rack have a slot built in for adjusting bumpsteer. This one is built strong and has a good deal of range to accommodate different spindle designs with raised and lowered pins. It is much more efficient to adjust the tie rod angle at the rack rather than at the spindle end.
We don't expect to always be right in our decisions or with testing different setups. We will tell you when we do something that is not in the right direction. A change that does not produce the desired result always teaches us something.
The fact is asphalt racing technology has moved along and changed at a very quick pace the past five or so years. Many new and innovative setup trends have displaced the old setups and racing has gotten better because of it. We are going to learn which setups work for what conditions. We are going to try to determine how far to go with radical setups, the termination point being the beginning of the reversal of improved performance.
We will experiment with different chassis components and spring combinations to try to compensate for differing goals associated with the designs of various tracks. We will develop a definitive plan of attack to meet the challenge of going from a flat and tight track to one that is higher banked and larger. We're going to tell you exactly what our plan is and why we are following it. Any changes we make to the plan will be documented and presented.
Along the way, we want your input, too. As we move through this project, please send any comments and/or suggestions to us here at Circle Track. By the next issue, we should have the car ready to measure and evaluate. Stay tuned.