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Car suspension systems

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by Ljiljan, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. If mod's feel this is more appropriate in off topic than feel free to move it.

    I'm wondering if anyone has any rather useful links when it comes to car suspension, particularly springs and dampers and their interactions and set up's. I'm looking for something with a bit of detail, I do understand the bare basics and the purposes of the spring/damper setup.

    Things such as spring stiffness vs damping rate, how this effects the loading on the car's tyres and even how a car's chassis interacts with the suspension.

    I'm trying to focus on how the suspension setup helps the dynamics of a car in corners rather than just over bumps and holes in the ground.


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  3. It's a bit like macro economics. You will get a different answer from as many as you ask.
    There is so much more to worry about than on a bike.
    I do a lot of track days in my car. And use it to sweep the track when I am teaching bikes.
    Trying to get an FG falcon to handle is a nightmare.
    I have put at least ten grand into my coilovers, bars and brakes. Control arm mounts, bushes and sway bar mounts.And yup it takes at least three degrees neg in the front to get a falcon to turn in, and power out
    I understand how all these things work. But then you get into alignment values and it does my head in. 3 degrees neg front +1mm toe. Castor .58. 2 Deg neg rear -1 toe ???
    One of the goodies at it is not too far form you. Pat @ wholesale suspension. The man knows his stuff.
    For a car it's all about finding the neutral roll center (ride hight) and balance.(spring weight) then aligning the wheels to stay flat on the ground under load.
  4. Ahhh the world of suspension compromise!

    Unless you go adjustable, Tiens coilovers or similar. Even then, setup for the road won't work for track and vice versa. I notice you don't mention the type of car or the type of setup you are after?

    I'm far from the suspension expert. I relied heavily on my house mate of 3-4 years Laurie Smith the 'SuspensionSmith' to setup my bikes and he continues to support my racing efforts nowadays. Put simply he is an amazing engineering genius. Just take a look at the list of his project bikes/racing etc and I'm confident in his abilities. In talking with him over the years, he always asks a template bunch of questions, gets weight etc etc.

    When doing some track days, some stunting and commuting on the one bike, I've had my bike setup for 80% track, 20% road. Ie: I'm happier to compromise on the road where I go much slower than compromising at the track when I want the best setup possible.
    So I guess finding someone familiar with your car, your driving style etc can have alot more input into a correct setup.

    This was especially true of my last race bike - a PTR modd'd GSXR1000. Had the FGK Ohlins fork kit as well as remote adjustable rear amongst a whole raft of mods. Bought it of a 95KG A Grader (I'm 60kg and a D grader doing 1:04s WP and 1:40s at EC) and it was UNRIDEABLE. SuspensionSmith did his work and at the track, was awesome.

    I made the mistake of in the off season, putting some rego on it, road fairings etc and TRIED to do some road riding. Damned thing nearly bucked me off several times. Lesson learnt? Suspension setup for slicks and track riding do not work on road rubber/road speeds.

    Sorry I know I've ranted a bit. . . and it is a car related question but I guess some of the lessons are fairly similar.

    I'd be asking:
    What type of car? Curb Weight?
    What will the car is going to be used for the majority of time?

    What I have noticed since purchasing a SSV Holden ute and having sway bars, strut tower brace and other spring/suspension work is that prices work like this:

    Dirt bike mods - cheapest.
    Road bike mods - expensive
    Car mods - hideously expensive.....!

    Would be keen on hearing a bit more about what you're doing Lilley....
  5. I think the OP is more looking for some study material to expand his understanding rather than look for specific setup tips.
    • Like Like x 1