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soft or stiff setting in low traction track

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soft or stiff setting in low traction track

Old 03-28-2018, 09:09 AM
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Default soft or stiff setting in low traction track

I feel soft setting (spring, sway bar, chassis...)works better at low traction track. it provide better grip all around. Faster corner without cutting off the speed. Also rear end is more stable means easier to drive.
But I talked to a top driver, he said low traction use stiff setting and high traction use soft setting. I have no idea why he was saying that. it is something I missed?
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:19 AM
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I agree with you, I always soften the suspension with lower traction. It seems to grip better. I also tend to run softer than most even on high traction tracks. The only reason I can see to stiffen the suspension is if you want a fast reacting car and at my age I don't need that!
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:31 AM
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I think it depends on the car and the driver to some degree. With Pan style 2 wheel drive F-1 cars--I know the softer settings will give you more bite up to a point. It's still a balance for proper steering and rotation through the corners--but general, a softer car will be easier to drive and feel more planted. As long as you aren't so soft as to have "grounding" issues with the suspension or chassis.
This may not be true for the 4 wheel drive touring cars. I don't race them so can't speak to that.
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:48 AM
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Every car I have ever run at any low-traction track was always improved with a soft setup. The only reason to stiffen things up is to reduce body roll, and there isn't much roll when traction is low.

It's always better to let the suspension do the job it's intended to do: keep the tires on the ground as much and as evenly as possible.
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by glennhl View Post
The only reason I can see to stiffen the suspension is if you want a fast reacting car and at my age I don't need that!
That's the way I look at it. I could never drive a setup like the national-level guys use. I employ the "old man" setup, and I go faster that way.
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:10 AM
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One thing I can see, some people probably soften the suspension on super high traction carpet or asphalt because the car is reacting too quickly.
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:32 AM
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I feel that it depends on your driving style. If you drive really smoothe then a stiffer suspension would be beneficial as you would be able to take advantage of a more reactive chassis. However, if you're more like me and like to "grip it and rip it" then a softer suspension setup would work better. I find that on higher traction carpet if I go too stiff then I tend to traction roll.
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Old 03-28-2018, 02:00 PM
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For F1 I like to run stiff to the point where traction roll becomes an issue. Then dial it back just a bit
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Old 03-28-2018, 02:38 PM
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In my experience you want to run the car as stiff as you can, while turning the fastest laps. Too stiff can be edgy and can traction roll on high traction track. Too stiff on low traction you lose traction cause the car doesn't roll enough. But remember, a rolling car takes longer to flatten back out (settle) so you can get back on power.
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:45 PM
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Lot's of good stuff here.

The way that top driver told you makes sense. You want to put heat into the tires in low grip, hence stiffly sprung and vice versa in high grip where you want to keep the tires from overheating.

Going softly sprung on low grip surfaces mean you can tread on the grip threshold easier but will generate less grip than a setup that puts the correct amount of heat into the tires. Also having the disadvantage of making the car softer means you will pay dearly for a mistake because it takes longer to settle.

So, softer or stiffer doesn't mean anything if the tires aren't on their operating temperature range and load.
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by 30Tooth View Post
Lot's of good stuff here.

The way that top driver told you makes sense. You want to put heat into the tires in low grip, hence stiffly sprung and vice versa in high grip where you want to keep the tires from overheating.

Going softly sprung on low grip surfaces mean you can tread on the grip threshold easier but will generate less grip than a setup that puts the correct amount of heat into the tires. Also having the disadvantage of making the car softer means you will pay dearly for a mistake because it takes longer to settle.

So, softer or stiffer doesn't mean anything if the tires aren't on their operating temperature range and load.
Thank you all for the inputs. it seems most people agree with soft setting (more chassis roll) at low traction track.

30Tooth, I think the tire selection goes first before working on the right setting. High temp use high temp tire, low temp use low temp tire. I agree with you if you use high temp tire on low temp condition, you will need to use stiffer setting on running the tire more in order to heat up the tire for the tire operating temp.
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Old 03-29-2018, 03:16 AM
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It depends why the grip is low. If it's low because its dusty or just a crap surface, then softer will generate more grip. Sometimes it's low because the track is too hot and the tyres aren't working. Softer will also help then, by reducing tyre temps as well as creating more grip.

If the grip is low because it's cold (a situation we get in the UK a lot) then going stiffer or raising the RCs can improve grip by getting the tyres into their operating window.
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Old 03-29-2018, 03:36 AM
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Yes the tire is chosen to cater the track surface conditions then the suspension stuff to cater the tires characteristics. Problem is most if not all races have spec tires and we don't have any tire data before or after applying nasty chemicals to alter tire grip. The old tires I got from drivers tire bin have common traits,overheating marks,ripples from too high wheel frequency and the death ring,statistically speaking this happens to most drivers out there. That's why I've been running softer sprung cars.
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Old 03-29-2018, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by daleburr View Post
It depends why the grip is low. If it's low because its dusty or just a crap surface, then softer will generate more grip. Sometimes it's low because the track is too hot and the tyres aren't working. Softer will also help then, by reducing tyre temps as well as creating more grip.

If the grip is low because it's cold (a situation we get in the UK a lot) then going stiffer or raising the RCs can improve grip by getting the tyres into their operating window.
Golden info, thank you.
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Old 03-29-2018, 04:48 PM
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And let's not forget damping,same deal as springs.
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