Thursday, 26 March 2015

That RWD front geometry

A common question asked when owning or building a RWD chassis is LOCK ... is it enough? or how can i how can i get enough? ... so what is enough lock? well to me getting enough lock depends on a few factors, track layout and design, track surface, tires, and most importantly style and skill ... the way you setup your chassis and how much lock you use should involve all these factors. If you follow re xtreme's blog and read it regularly, he states that sharing setups over the internet don't make it applicable at times since there are so many factors involved. People are particular about the way they setup front geometry for rwd based on experience and how they like the way something feels when they drive and not everyone is the same.

Now i'll be using my D-Like HYBRID for todays post since among the very many owners of this chassis, there are some that are running into issues. In the picture above was how much lock i was using since i bought the chassis and has proven to be more then enough for front to perform well, but since then i've been testing and playing around with a little but more lock, a few guys have been experiencing binding issues with the knuckle or the wheel hitting on the lower arm, thankfully i haven't had these issues, so once again my front setup has proven to be greatly rewarding.

When i was talking earlier about how particular some people are with settings, i'm one of them. There's a few particular things that i like to have on any RWD chassis that i build or own that i do religiously without fail and one of them is giving my machine a BULLDOG stance by widening the front track width .. WHY? ... because a wider front track width helps me with less low speed understeer and allows for more front stability, control and grip when your in a drift which makes the rear less likely to over shoot the front and spin out. Now this setting is a must for me, it helps with the way i drive and my style and to keep it consistent around my track.

Another setting that i'm am very very particular about is toe-out settings, i ALWAYS try to achieve a front setting of no more than 2 degrees out or even less ... i don't like the way the chassis looks when there's toe-out. I spend alot of time working on this and each one of my chassis have had different steering setup's, some were easy, and some took alot more time and effort to get it how i like it but in the end they all came out to my liking. On the dlike to achieve this it was all about placements via caster, KPI, camber, turnbuckle position on the knuckle and slide rack as it should be on any chassis provided you have the settings to achieve it.

my settings
*Caster: maximum
*Camber: 11-12 degrees
*KPI: bottom-middle hole
top-middle hole
*Slide rack: middle hole
*Knuckle: bottom most outer hole
+7mm off set wheels up front.
(my wide front track width is also a factor)




Now i am digging how the front is steering is feeling at the moment, from the above view the steering may look parallel and now to some parallel or close to parallel gives a crab kind of drift or slows down the drift, but to me and to my particular style of driving this works for me and again helps keep my drift consistent and smooth around my track. 

BUT is my steering really parallel ... ??

Looking at the steering at another angle at half lock, so as we initiate the angle you can clearly see that the trailing wheel doesn't even come close to rolling parallel with the lead wheel, using the lines on the cutting matt as a reference the lead wheel runs straight, as i begin to angle the drift and because the trailing wheel is still running with some positive ackerman the car is still pushing forward.

Now heres my wheels at full lock and you can see by the angle of the chassis that at this point i'd be well into my drift, once again using the lines as reference, the trailing wheel is still sightly not running as parallel to the lead wheel, close but there still some positive ackerman there .. but do i ever use this amount of lock? ... no not really if anything me and the boys are learning to drift without the extreme aggressive angles that this lock achieves, which means we are really relying on our throttling to control our angles at certain areas of the track, i only use this lock to help me get around certain tight areas of the track while i'm in tandem so i don't spin out, as i throw it around a corner i'll use the extreme angle catch it and power out, is that how you do it? .. i don't know but thats how i do it, thats my style.

So after all of this how much lock does a person really need in a rwd chassis to achieve good angles, smooth lines, good transitions, consistent speeds and laps .... well its over rated!! .. like i was saying in the beginning theres so many factors, so i say any amount of lock that you can get out of your chassis based on you skill is enough provided it gets you the angle that you need to initiate your drift and helps you slide around your track, use your throttle to help you initiate and hold those angles and not spin out even though you have less lock than the chassis that your drifting with or going solo, if he has an aggressive angle doesn't mean you need to, just drift .... ive seen chassis with less angle than me drift like a boss, i'd say get some good ackerman drive and have a feel it'll be a test to your ability to be a good tuner .. train and learn and happy drifting.

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