wow. i finally got to read this article. and yeah, ray, there are many misleading statements made in that article. rather than write a thesis, i will opt to ask some very fundamental questions, and provide, hopefully, concise answers. formulate any thoughts that you like from them, up to and including the thought that talented drivers aren't always trustworthy sources of information or that i am in left field.
q1) at any given time, can the sum of all the downward forces on each tire ever be more than the vehicle weight? (neglecting drag/downforce effects)
a) no. so if lower roll centers transfer more weight to the outside, what happens to the inside? uh huh. that's easy, but not mentioned at all. this also applies to pitching moments.
q2) if, as the article states, we transfer more weight to the outside wheel, does that end of the car stay more planted?
a2) no. if we wanted to have a great difference in forces between the inside and outside wheels, we wouldn't strive for a low cg car. the very idea behind a low cg is to maintain, as best we can, the smallest difference in vertical forces between the inner and outer tires durring lateral weight transfer. if putting a larger force on the outer yielded more grip at that end, we would all be stiffening our front springs to get rid of push. that's nonsense, and we pay to read it. gee, i wonder why we are all so confused?
q3) does roll center affect the amount or magnitude of weight transfer?
a3) no. if your roll center was at the same height of the center of gravity, would there be no weight transfer? of course there would. the amount of transfer is governed only by the distance of the cg to the ground, the amount accelleration (be it linear or angular) and the relative distance spanning the wheels in the direction of transfer. for all practical purposes, let us consider the latter to be fixed.
q4) does more roll or pitch mean that more weight is being transferred?
a4) no, no, no. again, the amount of weight transferred is a function of the cg and the ground plane. and given the amount of pitch or roll in our cars, i challenge anyone to find proof that the change in cg due to pitch or roll is anything more than insignificant. if anything, the cg drops durring these motions, further disproving the idea that lots of movement is indicative of lots of weight transfer. what it should be telling you, is that it is taking a long time for the spings to fight it, all the while the chassis continues its movement. hence large displacements.
q5) do large droop settings allow more weight to transfer?
a5) ah, you guessed it. NO. for example durring hard decelleration as the chassis pitches forward, the rear lifts, right? it should. as it rises there is obviously less downward force being exerted by the rear tires. if not, the rear springs would not extend. what happens when your car is not done pitching forward, and the rear droop screws catch the chassis? the chassis motion suddenly takes the force that the rear tires had on the ground and lifts them, inturn adding what force it took from the rear to the front. period. guess what? you just took a smooth transfer and caused the front tires to see a sudden spike in force.>>>now, to use an extreme case as an illustration to those who swear that it does. would a powerful monster truck fail to wheelie if you ran it with no droop in the front? no, but the wheels would lift faster than if you gave them some droop to maintain contact longer. get it?
if anyone who got to this point trusts my statements, you should come away with this: it is often not the amount of weight transfer that we are concerned with when we tune, but the time frame in which the transfer happens. this is not a minor technicality. it is huge. it is what dampening is all about. and i believe it to be the primary reason why advice is all over the place regardless of the caliber of the racer.
i don't claim to have all the answers. infact, it is obvious that i don't. and if you made it this far, you should be able to see that the above topics deal only in high school physics. that's pretty much mandatory to graduate these days, and it infuriates me to see publications with incorrect reasoning for a given phenomenon. i am not implying that what is seen on the track is not truly happening. just, please, come up with an explanation for it that doesn't condradict the works of newton and others more brilliant than most of us. that's your best bet if you intend to hold credibility among those on higher planes of thought. i guarantee those who get paid the big bucks in full scale have not done so by persuading people that newton hadn't a clue.
if you are in disagreement with my conclusions, please pick up a physics book, or choose to escalate it to a level that i have not arrived at so that i can learn from you as you disprove my statements.
i am not an antagonist. maybe an instigator,
but definately someone who gets great satisfaction with understanding. and it really does pain me to see others who have the drive to learn being mislead, and worse yet, being stiffled by those who haven't the energy or the time to care.
i'm telling ya. the more intelligent discussion that takes place, the better off we'll all be. the best teachers can simplify complex ideas in amazing ways so that people of all levels can participate. on a board with 12,000+ users, i would be embarrassed to think that our community doesn't harbor a handful able to help out.