Eliminate most of your bumpsteer and Ackermann, and install the correct steering ratio for your track that would suit the driver. Ackermann is easily checked by using a laser system or strings. If all of these issues are evaluated and corrected, then you can move on.

4. Alignment It has been found that the misalignment of your tires/wheels presents serious drawbacks to a finely tuned chassis and setup. Alignment issues are defined as: A) rear-end alignment, B) contact-patch alignment, C) driveshaft-to-pinion/transmission alignment, and D) engine alignment.

The rear end needs to be aligned at 90 degrees to the centerline of the chassis and/or to a line through the center of the right-side tire contact patches. These patches will also need to be in line with the front tires pointed straight ahead.

The driveshaft alignment is critical from the standpoint of mechanical efficiency. Loss of efficiency can rob power from the driveline due to the generation of vibrations and harmonics that are also damaging to the bearings. The overall general rule is that the angles between the driveshaft and both the pinion shaft and the transmission output shaft need to be equal and in opposite directions. The less angle the better.

The driveshaft doesn't know which view these angles are resulting from, just that they're equal and opposite. If we have a top view difference in alignment between the transmission output shaft and the pinion shaft, and they're parallel, then the angle to the driveshaft created by that misalignment might be sufficient to provide needed angular differential needed for loading the U-joint bearings.

A 1 1/2-inch top-view misalignment with a 44-inch driveshaft results in nearly a 2-degree angle at both the tranny and pinion shafts. The engine should always be aligned perpendicular to the rear end and/or parallel to the centerline of the car. This would mean we could align the driveshaft from a side view in line with the tranny shaft and the pinion shaft with no angular deflection.

5. Setup Balance Balance is spoken of in all types of motorsports these days. It seems like it's the modern buzzword for describing the goals of chassis setup. Here is an explanation of balance related to the dynamics of the racecar.

The setup we choose for our car needs to be arranged so that the dynamics are balanced between the front and the rear suspensions. Each suspension system desires to do its own thing when lateral forces are introduced from the car going through the turns. These desires are directly influenced by the spring stiffness and spring split, the sprung weight the system has to support, and the moment center locations.

Each end has its own moment arm length and resistance to roll as well as other factors. The bottom line is that at mid-turn, each end will want to roll to its own degree of angle. That's the best description of the result of the dynamic forces influence on each system. If those desired angles are different, then we term the setup "unbalanced."

Unbalanced setups exhibit easily observed characteristics, such as unusually high degree of wear and temperature on one tire versus the other tires. The car may or may not be neutral in handling, but the handling won't be consistent. You must try to determine if your setup is balanced and then, if it's not, make the necessary changes to bring it into a balanced state.

6. Shocks Once you've evaluated all of the above and feel fairly confident the car is set up correctly, you should then work to tune the transitions into and off of the corners with the shocks. The overall work that a shock does is to resist the rebounding of the springs and control the speed of compression. Since the spring promotes rebound and resists compression as properties, then the shock rate of compression control must be less than the rate of rebound control.