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Discussion Starter #1
Was just wondering if when it comes to road racing/ or even daily driven streets if too high of a spring rate actually causes worse traction and handling keeping hte tire from actually staying firmly planted, and is there any general consensus on what spring rates this may happen at?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, based on the ride frequency it's as if a 500 front and 246 rear lb rate would be best, yet, there's so many articles out their about making the rear stiffer than the front, ahh well, i'm going to be buying don alexander's suspension book soon to read more up on it, i guess i'm not getting this stuff around my head yet.
 

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Keep in mind, that article is basing those facts as if you were running with out a shock absorber.

Yes, you always can go to high. But it is very dependant on the track itself. Generally, the higher the spring rate you have, the worse traction you are going to get on uneven surfaces. Instead of the tire going into bumps, it bounces over them and you lose traction.

However, for this to become a major issue on the condition of most tracks, you would have to be running some extremely high springrates.

I beleive the RT RSX-R was running over 1,000ft/lb springs.
 

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SilvaTeg on Feb/05/04 said:
Well, based on the ride frequency it's as if a 500 front and 246 rear lb rate would be best, yet, there's so many articles out their about making the rear stiffer than the front.....
making the rear stiffer will help promote more oversteer. thats why alot of FF cars run higher spring rates in the rear, along w/ higher tire pressure. all to try and get alittle more oversteer from their car. it really depends on YOUR driving style.
 

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my buddy kiwi's race teg has a stiff rear setup.. drives aggressive on the track late brakes and guns it out of the corners.. i've got another buddy who prefers a front stiff setup drives pretty darn good using a stock gsr w/suspension & a032r's he keeps up with civic type r race cars & passes stock ITRs at the track.. i've been fortunate to be passenger in quite a few excellent driver's cars..

so yea... its pretty much a driver's preference.. i'd say test it out and see what u like..

one person may like the rear stiff setup.. but that doesnt mean u don't forget completely about the stuff in the front.. i know its confusing now.. but once u drive it u actually start understanding it a lot more.. and its true about the 80% driver 20% car thing.. well ok so it's more complicated than that.. its because the more u drive the car.. the more it becomes you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yea, but the reason I ask is because I don't have the money to test different setups, that's why I wanted to diagnose or figure out how to apply my type of driving to the kind of spring setup i would need/want.
 

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one thing you could do is get custom springs at rates you wouldnt mind swapping between front and rear... because it really is just a matter of preference. you really have to drive it.

on a side note: I notice that alot of aggressive drivers (and less skilled drivers like myself) prefer to have the rear stiffer, which doesnt seem to pass my common sense test since i break late into turns, so wouldnt that mean i want the front stiffer?
 

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one of the ITR guys from chicago i've been racing with has 1000LB front and 1200 rears. -4 degree camber as well on slicks.. realy fast car
 

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The stiffer your springs, the less mechanical grip you have. So, theoretically, the softer spring has more potential for grip. Now that presents a problem, because real world experience shows us that stiffening the spring rate helps carry more speed through a turn. So what's the deal?

A stiffer spring makes weight transfer happen faster. This makes the car more responsive to driver inputs, and allows the car to transition faster between braking, turn-in, apex, and acceleration. Especially useful through S-turns. So, the stiffer the spring the more responsive the car.

Now we have to opposing ideas that demand opposite things from the spring. Then you throw swaybars into the mix, which allow you to run a softer spring in a straightline, maximizing grip, and increase the SR while turning, maximizing suspension response, and you have a world of equations, graphs, and compromises ahead of you.

Then you throw real world variables, like pavement type, temperature, humidity, etc, etc, etc, and you learn why race teams carry many, many springs with them on a given day. They swap them out based on the track.

To boil it down, you want the softest spring you can that still keeps the car from rolling all over everywhere. This will keep the tire in contact with the ground, and keep the chassis from shifting all over the place.

As for a gap in my own learning, does anyone know where I could find information on rally suspension setups? I think they have a very interesting problem to overcome with the fact that their racing surface is completely unpredictable.
 

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To elaborate more on the subject, the reason people increase spring rates even though it sounds like softer is better, is to eliminate body roll.

When looking for maximum cornering force, you want the suspension to spread the load and effort of making a turn equally between all four tires. (this would result in a perfectly neutral handling, which is where you can technically get the most cornering force). In this case all for tires use the maximum amount of grip, and evenly distribute the load, allowing you to use all the available traction to navigate through a turn at the fastest speeds.

Any time one tire or one end has to do more than its fair share of work, it will operate on a wider slip angle and your speed will suffer. Which tire beings to slip, will determin of the result is understeer or oversteer.

Now when there is body roll in a car, the weight is transfered from the center to the outside tires. This means a car that is perfectly balanced at rest, can be completely unbalanced in a turn. Higher spring rates prevent excessive weight transfer causing a loss in CF on the tires that are overloaded.

However, on the other end of the spectrum. If the front suspension was solid (no spring, just a solid bar), the load would be transferred completely to the front outer tire which would then lose CF and operate at a much wider slip angle. The result is understeer.
 
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