Who's this ackerman guy and what does he have to do with the way my car steers? I saw a this mentioned shortly in one of my Rod & Custom mags. Now that I know this is something to look out for I'll do a little research on it. I'll be scratch building a lot of my chassis & suspension. If I had not stumbled across this ackerman thing; I'm sure I would have made this mistake. What other rules of geometry & stuff do I need to be looking for?
11-26-2002 10:18 AM
Get you a Chevy High Performance manual. That will discuss alot of chassis theory in detail, at least the old one did as I haven't seen the newer one. The put ackerman angle in very basic terms picture this. when you turn a corner your wheels follow an arc. These arcs aren't the same radius. The inside wheel turns in much further onmost applications than the outside wheel.
In racing applications(drag) this wouldn't be of much concern to have as you are trying to reduce drag as much as possible. In oval racing(nascar) they try to reduce it as well on big tracks to reduce the drag but on places like Bristol they we put more into the car to reduce the amount of wheel input needed to turn the car. Oval racing too much wheel input will unload the left rear and around you go. It is just one of the many small adjustments they make to dial the car. Decreasing this angle slows the transfer of weight as well. On a street car you just won't notice much change and I would stick with a standard set up that comes with many of the kits on the market. What type of front end are you thinking of going with?
11-26-2002 10:47 AM
I'll be using a straight axle with transverse spring hung suicide style in front of grill shell.
11-26-2002 12:16 PM
Sounds cool to me. Hard to get too hig tech with stering of that age of course. What I tell guys that are doing projects such as yours is if they really want to do something to helps the handle of the car is lower the VCG( vertical center of gravity). So is a good way to improve the handle of the car without changing the entire look of the car. good start in doing this issimply lowering bolt on weight. Engine and trans. lowered as much as 1/2" will be very noticeable in older cars. Also another thing is bring weight in the the center of the car. Think of a lever and what that does to weight on the very end and the right next to the pivot point. Instead of trying to change the existing geometry of your set-up you will find these things will add to the handle of the car and be far less headache. Good luck to you, Ryan