Called some 3rd gen Camaro CPer's. Spring rates way off.

Southwest Montana SCCA discussions for the 2006 season.
User avatar
RayAR
Lord
Posts: 1514
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 9:12 pm
Location: Bozeman Mt
Contact:

Called some 3rd gen Camaro CPer's. Spring rates way off.

Postby RayAR » Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:38 pm

After posting about my slow car(and driver) problem on the C Prepared E-mail list I was able to call and talk to a couple of guys that autocross 3rd gen Camaros today. Even though the torque arm rear suspension works very well it tranfers weight in a strange way under acceleration. I didn't fully understand what they where talking about but both said that in a turn it takes weight off of the inside rear and transfers it to the inside front when under power :?: They said it is allmost opposite of what most cars do . They also said to make a torque arm suspension work you need spring rates that are over 1000lbs front and 400lbs rear or very stiff sway bars front and rear. Looks like my 725 lb front and 200lb rear springs just aren't going to cut it. I also was told that because of the way these cars transfer weight, you need to brake hard before corner entry(absoulutly no trail braking) and power through the turns because if you don't the car will push badly. One of them said that because of the strange weight tranfer charecteristics torque arm cars tend to be very hard to drive fast.

I am not sure if this info will make me any faster but I am planning on putting in much stiffer springs and front struts this Winter. Sounds like this car needs to be driven hard to make the suspension work properly so I just might need to grow a new set of balls to get some decent times out of it. Even though this all makes me feel a little better I still know that the biggest problem with my car this year has been my driveing. Just seems like I never really got comfortable with the capabilities of the car. It also didn't help that I was just haveing way to much fun with all of the power the car has. I need to quit useing the throttle as an on off switch and work on being smooth while at the same time attacking the course.
1990 Mazda Miata. Most fun you can have with only 116 HP!!!!!!

User avatar
WD40
Lord
Posts: 866
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2004 5:01 pm
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Contact:

Postby WD40 » Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:01 am

and work on being smooth
^^^That does seem to be my #1 nemesis when my times start going the wrong direction.
I have to consciously switch on the "Mr Smooth" button in my brain,
before the times start coming back down again.

BTW,
Have you talked to Larry Akers (#66 Camaro) at all?
I'm sure he'd have a few suspension tips for ya.
I have his contact info, but I'd rather provide it via PM.
Last edited by WD40 on Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
WD40 Reverend GripShift
'04 SVT Focus 3-Door
My SuperMotors Site

User avatar
RayAR
Lord
Posts: 1514
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 9:12 pm
Location: Bozeman Mt
Contact:

Postby RayAR » Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:21 pm

After talking to even more CPer's I am even more confused. the general opinion is I am low on the spring rate. In the front we have people useing between 900-1300lbs and the rear between 200-450lbs. Everyone agreed that a good set of front struts would help a bunch. Good thing I may have found a set of good used Koni yellows for this car.

It seem like everyone has a different opinions on car set up, personally I prefer softer springs but the faster people in this group are up at the high end of what I typed above. If I am getting stiffer spring I might as well go towards the upper end of the scale also.
1990 Mazda Miata. Most fun you can have with only 116 HP!!!!!!

User avatar
DaveMk1
Lord
Posts: 3491
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2003 9:05 am
Location: Bozeman
Contact:

Postby DaveMk1 » Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:15 pm

What handling issues are you wanting to address with a spring change?

Dave
Dave K
2014 Westfield Mega S2000
Now on a diet and working on adding just a bit of muscle.

User avatar
RayAR
Lord
Posts: 1514
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 9:12 pm
Location: Bozeman Mt
Contact:

Postby RayAR » Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:57 pm

DaveMk1 wrote:What handling issues are you wanting to address with a spring change?

Dave



Well Dave, at the level I am driveing, it handles great but I have a feeling I am only at 90% and a Bus probably handles very good at 90%. I am thinking that it probably dosen't handle as good as I think it does.

The car is actually a touch loose. Since I have never driven a loose car I don't have the confidence in it to push harder then I do. I have a feeling the car will get looser closer to it's limits. I have heard the term "loose is fast" and that might be true for a driver with more talent then me but being used to how the Stealth handled, loose kinda scares me. My Stealth allways had a slight push that could be turn into oversteer by lifting the throttle.

I guess the handleing issue I am trying to change is to have a more confidence inspiring handleing car. Like I said earlier I am not sure that I can drive this car any harder without spinning it so I guess I am looking to get the car more stable when closer to it's limits. Sounds like my setup is so far off that maybe I should just get it closer to what the fast CPer's have instead of trying to bandaid what just might be a bad setup. If the car is closer to being setup right then I will have a better idea if it's the driver that has the problem. I don't consider myself a great driver but I sure think I am better then my performance this year.
1990 Mazda Miata. Most fun you can have with only 116 HP!!!!!!

User avatar
DaveMk1
Lord
Posts: 3491
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2003 9:05 am
Location: Bozeman
Contact:

Postby DaveMk1 » Tue Oct 31, 2006 7:56 am

That all makes sense to me. I wonder if there might be a better way. I wonder if driving it harder and learning more about what happens at it's current limits would be good? One could see if it pushes, or comes around....is it transitional or is it steady state turns that give issues. Is it unstable during braking or does it feel right. Will it put power down well in a straight line...on turn exit..etc?

I think if you know these things you'll be able to tell what really needs to happen for your car, with your tires, on your surfaces and make better decisions as to what changes need to be made.

Does that make sense or am I off base?

Dave
Dave K
2014 Westfield Mega S2000
Now on a diet and working on adding just a bit of muscle.

User avatar
RayAR
Lord
Posts: 1514
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 9:12 pm
Location: Bozeman Mt
Contact:

Postby RayAR » Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:54 pm

Dave, according to the people I have talked to I will need at least 1000lb springs in the front just so I don't bottom out the suspension when driven harder then I am driving now. Seems pretty clear that I need to up my spring rates. Another possable issue I need to check is to make sure my rear suspension isen't binding. It seems like poly bushings like I am useing don't let the suspension move freely enough. It is easy enough to build some heim joint rear lower control arms that would solve that problem so that is also on my winter project list.

What you said makes complete sense and if my spring rates where even in the ball park, like 900lbs frt and 300 lbs rear then I would probably spend another year working on my driving but the difference in the spring rates I have now and where I need to be is more then 30% and that is a huge amount to be off. I am looking at 1100 fronts and 375 rears right now.
1990 Mazda Miata. Most fun you can have with only 116 HP!!!!!!


Return to “Autocross 2006”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest