CCI's new Dynamic Chassis...
CCI's new Dynamic Chassis Measuring System can help improve your race program.
There's a need in this industry for service centers that can measure and make changes to a race car for improved geometry-and now one has emerged. CCI Solutions is a company that designs and manufactures machinery that enhances manufacturer's processes. The company also races. So it was only natural that it would develop a process and the machinery that could be used to measure a race car's geometry.
Brother and sister, Sonny and Denise Ingram co-own CCI and were looking for a way to service the racing industry both in their local area of North Carolina as well as in other parts of the country. The company is located in Liberty, NC, which is central to many East Coast race teams. Together they came up with the concept and design of a system that would help the race teams improve their performance.
Denise Ingram of CCI Solutions...
Denise Ingram of CCI Solutions wrote the software that calculates all of the frontend geometry based on the data that the DCMS records. Special care is taken to make sure the data is both correct and accurate.
The Dynamic Chassis Measuring System was designed to be able to quickly measure various functions of the race car's geometry and then offer solutions to make the race car system better. CCI has had lots of success with the teams that have already been through the process. One recent "graduate" team went from running an average of fifth to winning the very first race after going through the DCMS process.
The DCMS will measure alignment front and rear, camber in both static and dynamic modes, toe (front and rear), bumpsteer, Ackermann, moment center location in both static and dynamic modes, and rear steer. Once the measurements are taken, the car can be changed to correct any problems and then be remeasured while still on the fixture.
Overall Concept The concept of being able to visit a service center like this one is very new. The attraction is, first of all, convenience. Most race teams don't want to dedicate the time and effort it takes to perform these tasks no matter how much importance they place on the settings. We continually preach to racers that they need to know the geometry settings for their car and we hope that they will put forth the effort to check their race cars, but in many cases they don't.
We arrived at the CCI facility...
We arrived at the CCI facility and set the car at ride heights to get a few measurements so that we could get the car on the DCMS. These measurements are crucial because our first data points recorded on the DCMS will be at ride height.
Granted, it's not easy to measure for the front moment center location. We need special tools to check bumpsteer, toe, and Ackermann. In some cases, a team might not feel up to understanding the technical complexities of the process, and that's OK. We aren't all engineers here; some of us do need help.
The DCMS process and fixture is a step in the right direction by providing a service racers can use to perfect their race cars. And, the system can be duplicated and service centers can be established around the country. This way, a team could travel a short distance to a service center and have its car analyzed for geometry issues. The process takes only a few hours and the results will last a long time.
What The DCMS Does The race car is placed inside a fixture that contains a series of electronic measuring devices that are used to record precise measurements of the data points needed. This data is then processed and the results are presented in figures and graphs to the race team. Once the data is known, the team can make changes as per the recommendations from the CCI team and then the car is remeasured to record the results of the changes.
The most important functions of the process are: A. Finding the moment center location, both while the car is stationary at ride height and while it is in the mid-turn configuration. This tells us where the MC starts out and where it ends up, which is the most important thing to know.
B. Measuring the bumpsteer characteristics. The BS can be measured at ride height and mid-turn attitude and any excess steer can be adjusted out or to the desired amount for each front wheel.
C. Measuring toe and Ackermann. The fixture measures toe at both the front and rear and also toe change due to chassis dive and roll. This is called Ackermann and can be a very negative effect.
The DCMS is mounted on wheels...
The DCMS is mounted on wheels so that we can raise the car on a lift and slide the machine underneath.
Once we got the DCMS underneath...
Once we got the DCMS underneath the car we learned we had a small problem and had to fabricate a new locator for the hub. CCI's main business is a machine shop so fabrication wasn't a problem.
With the new piece fabricated...
With the new piece fabricated we can get the car back onto the DCMS. They attach this point of reference so that they can put the hub at the exact shock travel you desire.