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Last Post 11 Apr 2013 03:09 PM by  MattLuckow
FWD to RWD driving 'feel'
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Austincrx
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Posts:7


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09 Apr 2013 11:35 AM
    How much oversteer is good on a medium corner (your best estimate of a medium corner will do)?
    Ken Block has lots of fun spinning in circles, so that's what I do! (0)
     0%
    Lots of oversteer, I use throttle to rotate the car more than the wheel. (0)
     0%
    Medium amount of oversteer is good, but Understeer is bad. (3)
     27%
    Light oversteer, more likely to understeer if I'm not on the throttle while cornering. (8)
     73%
    My vehicle doubles as a snow plow. (0)
     0%

    In an FWD car, you generally want a pretty loose setup because FWD cars understeer in 99% of cases.  In FWD you get sideways and you can mash the gas to get you out of the slide/spin.  In general, it's pretty easy to control (or at least I've never had any issues controlling my STS crx over the years, no matter how loose it is).

    I have now moved on to an S2000.  I'm going to run in BS/RTR and have autocrossed it two times now (only owned for a few months).  I have read a lot about the car and how it drives, yes, it's loose in stock form!  I did my first autocross with the car completely stock, just to get a 'baseline' feel for the car.  I since put some better tires for RTR class and a larger front swaybar (think Gendron Monster bar style).  I left the alignment setup alone for my second autocross, and had the swaybar set to be basically in the middle of the adjustment range.  I noticed the car would not oversteer as easily, but I am still up in the air about just how much oversteer you want in a RWD vehicle, and this one particularly.  The car isn’t a CR, just a 2002 S2000 with stock OEM shocks, Kumho Ecsta XS tires (square setup), a 1-5/16” NASCAR style front swaybar, and stock brake pads.

    I changed the setup of the bar to make it stiffer (I have 8 possible end link locations on the bar, 0=full soft, 7=full stiff), but I don’t know how little oversteer is ‘good’ in this type of vehicle.  I would think that applying a large amount of throttle should make the car oversteer in a medium corner, but that partial throttle should NOT cause oversteer.  But I also would think that it is bad for the car to understeer when on partial throttle through a tight corner. 

    Just a guy looking for guidance from the RWD regulars.  Thanks


    hklvette
    Basic Member
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    Posts:184


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    09 Apr 2013 12:32 PM
    I won't speak for anyone else, but I prefer a mildly understeering setup to maximize grip at both ends in long sweepers, and use the throttle to steer in tight corners or slaloms.

    my $.02
    MattLuckow
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    Posts:51


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    09 Apr 2013 12:41 PM

    I was told by a much wiser than me little birdie once that most important is setting up a car to slalom well.  It's the featured element of autocross.  Once you have a car that you can attack a slalom with confidence, you're 90% of the way there.

    I'm sure things differ to driving preference, but I learned to autocross with FWD.  I have a lot of habits from that ingrained in my driving style, all of which induce oversteer.  Therefore, I prefer a car that's both transitionally tight and has a slight amount of steady state push, but I can provoke oversteer with weight transfer, power, or trail braking tricks.  That way I feel I can really go after a course instead of living in fear of the spin-or-win.

    Austincrx
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    Posts:7


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    09 Apr 2013 02:50 PM
    That's a good thought, and I think both of you are about on the same plane. Both events I have done have only short slaloms, but I certainly noticed that I needed to be very light on the throttle the entire time. I will have to see if the tighter setup works properly or if I need to go even tighter than 'one notch.' Good information, thank you!
    ratt_finkel
    Veteran Member
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    Posts:1650


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    09 Apr 2013 07:01 PM
    Posted By MattLuckow on 09 Apr 2013 12:41 PM

    I was told by a much wiser than me little birdie once that most important is setting up a car to slalom well.  It's the featured element of autocross.  Once you have a car that you can attack a slalom with confidence, you're 90% of the way there.

    I'm sure things differ to driving preference, but I learned to autocross with FWD.  I have a lot of habits from that ingrained in my driving style, all of which induce oversteer.  Therefore, I prefer a car that's both transitionally tight and has a slight amount of steady state push, but I can provoke oversteer with weight transfer, power, or trail braking tricks.  That way I feel I can really go after a course instead of living in fear of the spin-or-win.

    I can't agree with that philosophy.  A car that slaloms exceptionally well my not always do anything else well.  Or may in fact be horrible in other elements.

    Honestly, over steer or really what we are talking about here is the balance of the car.  It really is purely a subjective thing.  Once the car has been setup to achieve it's maximum grip level, then all you can do is change the balance to your style.

    Personally, I like a car that is predictable and neutral in all elements.  Nothing worse than have a snow plow or drift machine.  The car should do what I want when I want.  Whether that is trail braking, lift-off oversteer, power on oversteer or nice and tight through a high speed offset.


    MattLuckow
    New Member
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    Posts:51


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    11 Apr 2013 03:09 PM
    Posted By ratt_finkel on 09 Apr 2013 07:01 PM

    I can't agree with that philosophy.  A car that slaloms exceptionally well my not always do anything else well.  Or may in fact be horrible in other elements.

     


    Hmm, maybe I wasn't clear - You can change the balance of a car several ways. Spring rate, bar, alignment, tire pressures, shock settings, etc. While they all affect the balance of a car, they all affect the car differently in different types of maneuvers, even different phases of the same maneuver. The challenge is to get everything working in harmony to adjust the car to driver's preference and skill level in all situations

    .
    That said, I still agree with the advice I was given. For a car to slalom well it must have excellent turn in, take a set quickly and precisely, transfer load in a predictable manner, provide balanced grip, and, depending on driver skill, have the correct amount of forgiveness to both throttle and steering corrections. No easy task, but any adjustments required beyond that are small potatoes.  

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