How To Achieve That Extreme Handling In Your Ordinary Car – Part 2

By far in the part 1 of our article, we already gave you a fair idea that you actually don’t need to own a luxury car/sports car in order to get a good deal out of your car. Just with few handy tricks, will make your car better than the rest of its siblings and obviously will stretch a smile upon your face.

But before we can go any further let us first see take a quick recap of what we have covered in our part 1 article.

  1. If one wants a real dude deal out of his car, then my opinion would be to invest in the best tyres because that is the final link between a car and its tarmac. You won’t believe the difference it will make. Use the best possible widest rubber tyres in the car. Purchase a VFM sports tyres which is available in almost the 60 percent of the cost of those ultra high performance tyres.
  2. Opting for the upsizing of the tyres is easy but keep in mind that the lower the profile of the car, more sensitive the tyre will become. I might just repeat the words of experts. The ultra profile tyres are more sensitive to the camber changes and the suspension tuning. The obvious way to tackle this disadvantage caused by the increased wheel diameter and its width is to incorporate the light weight wheel. These light wheels make it much easier to apply brake and accelerate and this whole process helps to grain structure and provide superior strength for the weight.
  3. The super fine suspension set up can be achieved by lowering down the excess body motion. The experts say “roll under the hard cornering, dive under braking and squat under acceleration-they all create problem for the driver”. The vehicles when rolled, the front suspension, the bottoms, sometimes even the rear suspension is the worst treat to the tyres especially at the time of cornering hard. This increases the amount of load on the tyres resulting in an instant loss of traction at the bottom of the car. So the first thing to be done is to control the excessive body motion as already stated. One can use stiffer springs, as they will help in bottoming out under roll, resisting roll and combination of dive squat and roll and to counter the more rebound energy, one need to install the shocks with more damping.

So now here is the forth and the most important trick for you, as we promised:

Balance on wheels:

After covering the important points like tyres, unsprung weight and body motion we can now redirect our attention towards the balance of the chassis. But why balance of chassis? The reason is to achieve the neutral handling. Now, the fastest way around the corner is when the all four tyres slide the same amount because then the car uses the grip of each tyre to its maximum. Many experienced drifters (and we really mean experienced) prefer a neutral car, as it allows the driver to have many control options for getting sideways. Most of the car’s from factory comes fitted in with an under steer. They (manufacturers) do it because this way the car automatically becomes the easiest handling mode, even for a noob driver.  But if you want the maximum acceleration of the car then understeer won’t be able to give you that, as the understeer uses the front tyres and the traction of the rear tyres go waste which makes understeer the boring and the slowest process way around the corner. If we don’t want to opt for the understeer then we’ll might probably end up on oversteer. It generally occurs at the time of high acceleration or the limit where the rear tyres slide before the front. Experts drifter excessively i.e. continuously uses oversteer to control the tyres raising it to an art form.

Slip angle is defined by the difference between the direction the car is moving and the direction the contact patch of tyre is pointing. So by manipulating the tyre’s slip angle, one can alter a car’s handling balance. At the extreme slip angles, the contact patch actually slides across tarmac. The load placed on the each individual wheel while cornering is called the primary dynamic contribution to slip angle. When subjected to cornering, the more the pressure is there on the tyre, the greater it is supposed to have a slip angle. People wonder why the nose heavy front wheel drive car can run a large slip angle than the rear tyre. It is possible because these cars have more weight which at the time of cornering puts the load on the front tyres. At this point of time the front tyres of the car slide first, causing it to understeer. Whereas the cars with the rear engine have the large proportion of weight on the rear tyres. As the consequences, the rear tyres run a large slip angle giving a natural tendency to oversteer. Now the third type, the mid engine cars are supposed to have an evenly distributed weight equal at the front and rear tyres. This generally produces equal slip angle at the time of cornering giving it a more neutral handling. So, what we get here is that by properly manipulating the slip angle and the tyre load by controlling the weight transfer, and that’s what the key to balance the chassis is.

Now how does the tuner manipulate the tyre load and the slip angle? That is by tweaking the anti roll bars, spring rates, tyre pressure, the shock dampening and most importantly the tyre size. Now the first thing to be done is changing the anti roll bar and spring. A stiffer spring on one end means more weight transferred on the outside tyre at the time of roll in at the corner. The best thing what you can do to your understeering, front wheel drive car is to run a bigger anti roll bar to tune out understeer. Second come the tyre pressure and tyres size. Though people wonder how can a tyres size affect the balance of chassis but it’s been proven by many experts that the tyres size really affects the chassis balance. Generally we see that the Porsches have a wider rear tyre. This is because this enables them to have traction at the rear. Many front wheel drive auto racers and road racers have wider front tyres in order to achieve more grip at the front. Now here come the shocks, though not literally. Shocks might not be that important when we are talking about the balance of chassis but yes they can definitely improve the balance right after the initiation of turn. Soft shocks can get the car to steady point of weight transfer faster. When there are stiff shocks installed, they can delay weight transfer. This makes it clear that the shocks become really necessary to know how a car feels after the mid turn and also at the time of turn.

Now the ideal car is the one which slides on all four wheels without the application of brakes or throttle but that obviously doesn’t exist whereas being able to provoke slight oversteer by lifting the throttle and a more aggressive oversteer with the slight braking while at the time of cornering. Rear wheel drive cars can possibly invoke oversteer with a large application of throttle. This kind of balance gives a skilled driver the most options.

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