Raising the rear ballast (which...
Raising the rear ballast (which also includes the battery, which is also visible in this photo) can tighten a car that is too loose because it helps the car roll over on the right rear tire, helping it bite into the track more.
For starters, the Belleville Motorsports chassis, has had all of the previously mentioned front end geometry work completed by the manufacturer. On BMS' website it even states that, "We complete the 'homework' for our customers with a geometrically correct front suspension." What this means is that BMS has already worked out the geometry issues in the front so you can hit the ground running.
Beyond the front end, Loomis said that the customer service made a real impression on him. "A gentleman by the name of Joel Smith is the BMS representative at Close Racing Supply, and it has been his knowledge and willingness to work with me that has been invaluable.
"Joel has so many cars out there that are racing on so many tracks, he's able to gather more information in a single weekend than a team can in several years' worth of racing. So even if you are the first one racing one of those chassis at a track, he probably has somebody racing on a similar track somewhere and can give a baseline setup that will get you going in the right direction right away. I'm not saying everybody has to go and call my guy, but when you are getting into a class and buying a car, the level of customer service he offers after the purchase is definitely something that you should consider."
In this shot you can see where...
In this shot you can see where the J-bar mounts just to the left of the pinion on the rearend. Raising the mounting point here can help loosen up your race car on turn entry.
Loomis races a class that requires sealed crate motors for competition. The motor is the popular Chevy 602, which is the iron-headed 350hp V-8. It means he may be a little bit down on power compared to those racing with a built motor, but the setup adjustments still work the same way.
"The thing that racing a lower horsepower motor forces on us is we're always working to free the car up," he adds. "If the chassis gets bound up in the turns, it tends to bog the engine down and that just kills your momentum. There's not enough horsepower where if you get tight you can use the throttle to help loosen the car up by spinning the tires. So even though we may be different in that regard, I think lots of racers in these cars are keeping their cars free so they can drive them through the corners nice and smooth."
You probably are like Loomis and unable to use fancy adjustable shocks, but they can still be a valuable tuning tool-even if you have to spend the loot for two sets. Loomis says he's found that if the track goes dry/slick, one good way to help this without compromising a lot of other things is a swap of the shocks. On the right front try a shock with more rebound and on the left rear, switch to one with more compression.
Where the upper bar on a four-link...
Where the upper bar on a four-link suspension connects to the chassis can affect forward bite. Raising the bar at the chassis should help the car dig in and accelerate in most situations.
The idea here is to use the added compression on the left rear to hold that corner up and the rebound on the right front to force that right-front tire down and help increase traction on the front of the car. This, in most situations, should help steering.
Watch Your Tires
If your track doesn't require a specific brand of tire or you travel to tracks that force you to use a specific brand you may find yourself switching back and forth between Hoosiers and Goodyears-the two most popular brands among Mod racers. But even though they may be rated as the same size, when pumped up they can have quite different characteristics. If you have baselined your setup with a specific tire and bolt on a different brand, you probably will find things are a bit different. Loomis recommends going back and rechecking at least your stagger and chassis heights. The changes won't be big, but they can definitely be enough to change the way your car handles.
Adjustments For Turn Entry
If you are working to perfect your setup, a good rule of thumb is to always start at the beginning of the turn and work your way through. Even if the handling problem on turn exit feels worse than any problem you have on turn entry, never work backwards. This is important because handling problems compound themselves. You often will find that fixing your handling problem on turn entry will reduce the severity of the problems you are experiencing on turn exit.
The following are just a few of the handling adjustments Loomis recommends for specific situations and has noticed other racers using the most. There are definitely others, and some may work better for you. Still, these tuning changes are great to keep in your mental toolbox. Also, we're talking about fixing tight situations, but doing the opposite will help if your car is too loose.