EF­FECTS OF AD­JUST­ING COILOVER SUS­PEN­SION

NZ Performance Car - - Weekend Workshop -

Af­ter fit­ting coilover sus­pen­sion it’s com­mon to try and get the gap be­tween the tyres and guards the same all around, so that they all look even. While this might look bet­ter, there’s a chance that the ve­hi­cle won’t han­dle as well as it should be­cause the cor­ner weights may not be bal­anced, and this will have an ad­verse af­fect on han­dling.

The ad­van­tage of plat­form-ad­justable coilover sus­pen­sion is that it not only al­lows you to set your ride height, but that at the same time it also al­lows you to play with mov­ing the weight to where you want it to sit. Lift­ing or drop­ping each cor­ner of the car by ad­just­ing the height re­sults in al­tered cor­ner weight­ing. Cross-weight per­cent­ages over 50 per cent pro­duce un­der­steer into a left-hand turn. This gives the ad­van­tage of the left-hand rear wheel car­ry­ing more of the load and there­fore the car drives bet­ter out of the turn, how­ever the com­pro­mise is re­duced per­for­mance into right-hand turns. In al­most all in­stances, this loss of per­for­mance in one cor­ner­ing di­rec­tion is greater than the gains in the other.

Changes to th­ese per­cent­ages will take into ac­count the car’s han­dling char­ac­ter­is­tics, and how they will af­fect — and change — cor­ner­ing and brak­ing.

For road rac­ing and au­tocross­ing, the ideal left-weight per­cent­age is 50 per cent. This makes the cor­ner­ing force bal­anced from left to right and of­fers the best per­for­mance over­all. How­ever, many cars can­not make the 50 per cent left-side weight per­cent­age due to driver off­set.

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