Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More fun with the F104 front end

I got back to the track tonight and had a chance to play around a little with the 104 front end. I had retained the camber plate dropped down onto the lower arms, no spacer. The upper arm was spaced up 2mm at the camber plate, and the largest spacer was on top of the arm at the king pin. The track was a bit green, low to medium traction. Turn in was good with this setup but the car did wash out a bit mid corner, a symptom of the low grip.

For the second qualifier, I removed the spacer under the upper arm at the camber plate, and moved the large spacer under the upper arm at the king pin. I also doped more of the front tire to try to add a bit more steering as well. This was overkill, as the car now was great in the 180* type corners, but was too twitchy off center, and would roll the chassis too hard in the sweeper unless very little steering travel was used. This made the car look as if it was about to hike a wheel in the air, and killed corner speed.

I went back to the original dope strategy, a little less than 1/2 the front and moved the middle spacer to the top of the kingpin. I would up again with a mid corner push, but the twitchy-ness and chassis roll was much improved.

To dial into this type of track, I would have changed a few things if I had some more time. First off, I would have tried the B foam. That may have saved me from having to change anything. If that was not effective, I think that the original front end settings with more dope on the front tire would have worked a bit better. The lowered camber plate is nice due to the multiple options for setting up the upper arm. I think the most effective use is to lower the front arm and keep it relatively flat by positioning the kingpin spacers properly. That seems to produce a fairly calm and linear steering feel. Too much angle gets the car nervous and has too much mid corner bite at high speed (read:sweepers). The only other way to work with this may have been a stiffer t plate, but it may reduce the rotation too much.

So far, the lowered plate has given me a better steering feel compared to the plate with the spacers underneath. I think it is more nervous with the upper arm/camber plate raised, while not producing as much front end grip.

Overall it was not a bad night, as I was able to stay withing .3 seconds of an F103 on hot lap and average. Anytime you are within .5 of a good F103, you're close to the right pace.

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