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Somehow, we’re all gear heads. We all know what does what, and what makes a car fast… right? The fact is that despite all the theory we can read in books, or find in the FAQ on, half the time we don’t even know our cars well enough to properly diagnose the problem. Not only that, the other half of the time theory proves itself to be just that, and then, if you are like me, you will begin to question the very nature of science and resort to various voodoo’s and nonsensical rituals.

My point is that, I have tried and failed many times. Name a book on suspension theory and vehicle dynamics and I’ve probably read it. (I’ve never been much of a drivetrain guy.) I have a degree in mathematics, and I’ve spent many hours trying to figure out what does what, and how. I think about this stuff a lot, and as a result I feel like I have made HUGE advances since I first bolted on springs and shocks and set my car to specs I found on club4ag. Not that this means you should wait on my every word. I made this section just because, such things have been a big part of my car life. I’m not intending for you to agree with me, and I haven’t created this as a reference for anyone.

The writings below are often based on, or a follow up of writings on my previous webpage.  If you are so keen, check them out.

[catlist name = "Technical" orderby=date order=dsc numberposts=-1]

Balancing Scales

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

idealcornerweightsSupposedly the ultimate step in suspension tuning and set up, it is my belief that corner weighting is often quite misunderstood and the actual act of doing it, very over rated.

Here is why… Corner weighting doesn’t change (or at least not in any meaningful way), front to back weight distribution, or improve left side versus right side balance. You probably already knew that. The only meaningful thing that corner weighting a car can do, is improve side to side …

You Already Know This

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

wingbracesolid188 Strength versus weight…. the common belief is that you can drill holes in practically anything to make it lighter, without compromising strength. We drill holes in everything, and seldom worry about the strength of what is left behind. A lot of the time it doesn’t matter.

Sometimes strength and stiffness is critical however. In that case, is it true that drilling holes is the best way to add lightness? I recently made some simple bolt together bracing for a car …

Worth Even A Stack of Dimes?

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

earlymigLast year, I had a brief love affair with aluminum. I bought a spool gun for my old Lincoln 180, a canister of argon, and went about learning how to weld and work with aluminum. It went so well in the beginning, that I imagined making everything out of aluminum. Nevermind intercooler piping and catch tanks, I was thinking struts, suspension arms, engine mounts… I wanted to make a whole car out of the stuff.

Aluminum was cheap, so easy …

No Humping. Straight Porking.

Monday, March 30th, 2015

KAAZPressureRingsDrivetrain mods are for max winning IMO. Nothing you can do to your car is more under rated in it’s impact on performance and drivability… particularly differential set up. AE86 was a very simple lesson in this. A stock [Canadian] AE86 with an open diff is basically no fun at all. Tall and soft, it teases you often by playing like it’s going to take a fun set, but when it comes to actually holding a line, the inside tire …

Regressive Revolution

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

penske-regressiveHaving first read about this two years ago… there is no breaking news here. At the time of first reading though, the concept of shock valving was only vaguely meaningful to me, and I didn’t fully understand what I was reading.

Car design is often about compromise. Want a great camber curve? Jack that roll center up. Want negative lift in the corners? Add some drag on the straight. Want 600hp out of 2.0L? Create a very narrow power band. …

Mother Nature is Boss

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

WoodAll the technology of the US military… and good old fashioned wood comes out on top. WTF eh?

The last splitter I constructed laid fiberglass over a balsa wood core. It was supposed to be far superior to the solid birch splitters I had used in the past. The FRP/Balsa splitter cost me about $200 and 8 hours of time to make… and came out a couple pounds heavier, and no stiffer than pure wood as far as I could …

Rocket Science

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

muchtolearnAero drives me nuts. Yes there is science behind it, but the methods are often well beyond the means of joe blow racer. It seems like a lot of the time all that we can do is bite what others have done… but when aero parts all work together, biting bits and pieces isn’t necessarily a good idea. Yes it actually is rocket science.

The best approach is probably just to throw the wildest looking shit you can imagine on …