Suspension tuning for ET

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Suspension tuning for ET

Post  Hardy on June 20th 2016, 11:56 am

Would like to see a little discussion on ET gains available in suspension tuning. I hear people say things about certain cars losing a ton on the front half all the time, but never hear specific examples of cars making adjustments and seeing these gains. So, I'm curious to hear any experiences some of you have had with this. Don't have to share secrets, just general info on improvements you've seen from adjustments to front or rear suspension

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Re: Suspension tuning for ET

Post  maverick on June 20th 2016, 5:36 pm

These guys are gonna want some details regarding the car you want to tune. The "secrets" will be different ....stock suspension cars, chassis cars, (4-links, ladder bars, etc.), power adders, big tires, little tires, radials....every one is a different animal. Basics are similar but HOW, WHERE, and WHEN you apply them will vary a great deal. Kinda like....tuning a street machine for occasional trips to the track is nothing like tuning a twin turbo car on radials.

Whatcha got?
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Re: Suspension tuning for ET

Post  dr's wife racing on June 20th 2016, 6:22 pm

Or a big fat pig on little bitty slicks.  In all seriousness put some specs out on what you have. There are some sharp guys on here that can help ya out.
It can help it a bunch on the big end as well.
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Re: Suspension tuning for ET

Post  Hardy on June 20th 2016, 7:37 pm

Well honestly, I was more just curious in seeing what others have seen or he success with, not necessarily lookin for any specific help. But, what got me thinking about it was the 1/8 vs 1/4 splits for my brothers car. Best to date 1/8 has been 5.06 (can't remember mph), same pass to the 1/4 was 7.87 @ 175. I believe 60' was 1.13 or 1.14. Typically 60's 1.16. Playing around with the Wallace calculator the 7.87 should be a 4.9x (not that means anything). So here's the rundown on the car. 88 thunderbird, mild steel chassis (2650# with driver). 4.6 bore/4.6 stroke, Profiler heads from TRE (sheet says 528 cfm @ .900 i think), fabbed tunnel ram from TRE with 2 pro systems 1150's, right around 15:1, dry sump, iirc cam is ~.890 in/.850 ex, 288/306 @ .050. Hasn't been dynoed, but seems to like timing at 32. Trans is a 1.80 first powerglide, 4.56 gears. 33x16 Hoosiers out back. Ran it last year the way he bought the roller with his motor and trans and rear gear and got it running decent, but had some trouble with bottoming out and losing ET in one lane at our crappy local track. So over the winter he put new 125 ln springs on the rear and raised the ride height a tad. Came out this year and car was really bad down track. A local fabricator helped him with a top bar adjustment that seemed to straighten it out down track this last weekend. What he is looking for is a way to pick up enough to consistently run 7.99 or better so he can qualify for a local TS race once in a while. I told him I think a little suspension tuning may be the difference to make the car front half better and run quicker consistently, but I really have no experience in the matter lol so curious what others have had success with. I have a video of a run I can post later if that helps

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Re: Suspension tuning for ET

Post  BigDave65 on June 20th 2016, 8:11 pm

Torque convertor plays a huge role in 60 ft. times and 330's, just something else to consider. I've been 1.11 running high 5 teens with an A-head 588.
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Re: Suspension tuning for ET

Post  cool40 on June 20th 2016, 9:22 pm

BigDave65 wrote:Torque convertor plays a huge role in 60 ft. times and 330's, just something else to consider. I've been 1.11 running high 5 teens with an A-head 588.
x2 ! 60' is a big deal for 1/8 et. I had my best 60' to date a few weeks ago at us60 ford race,1.09 but generally see 1.11-1.12. I'd have to look at my notes to see where my 4 link is at now but I think it's in the 56"out and 6"up area. Wheelie bars,wheel speed and keeping the frontend down are major players in 60' IMO. My car will basically dead hook but it works for me and I'm a big fan of MT tires. I had trouble getting down the far end and found the car needed a rear wing and a front spoiler to deal with air at 140mph. I didn't think it was fast enough to need them but body types differ in how air acts.
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Re: Suspension tuning for ET

Post  Hardy on June 21st 2016, 10:24 am

Thanks for the input guys. It looks like my brother and dad both have something to gain in the 60' based on what you guys are doing. Unfortunately my brothers car doesn't even adjustable shocks on the rear. I'm interested in trying a tighter compression setting on my dads to if it helps or hurts

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Re: Suspension tuning for ET

Post  maverick on June 21st 2016, 10:41 am

By all means....get good shocks. Guys without them get used to losing. Wink
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Re: Suspension tuning for ET

Post  Hardy on June 21st 2016, 11:04 am

For sure!  He is going to upgrade shocks this winter.  He got a REALLY good deal on the roller and has chipping away at making necessary improvenents, but he's a got a long list of "necessities" lol.  I think he's crazy for running the motor he has without dyno tuning to dial it in, and it really could benefit from a data logger.  The car does work surprisingly consistent for what it lacks imo though.  The driver is only in his second year with a delay box, so right reaction times are the most inconsistent part of the equation lol

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Re: Suspension tuning for ET

Post  cool40 on June 21st 2016, 1:39 pm

Good video is priceless in this process also. You can't see what's going on without slowing it down.... Cool
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Re: Suspension tuning for ET

Post  514Fox87 on June 21st 2016, 9:30 pm

For what its worth. At the Ford race I struggled to keep the front end down. If I wasn't hitting the 60' timers with rear wheels the car was 1.28 in 60' Friday night it went 1.31 on back bumper. ( I was the exhibition car that night) but didn't know it before hand. I lowered the top control arm 1/2 inch on the rear. Tightened up front end and comp. on rear and started over. Foot brake on first pass with 1.31 same on transbrake. Took 2 clicks out of rebound in rear and next pass it went 1.229 in 60' Car felt like it was shot out of a cannon. This is a stock location rear suspension. I have added adjustable brackets on rear upper and lower. Rear coilovers and double adjustable shocks on rear with singles on front. 28x10.5 tire and car weighs 2945 with me.
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Re: Suspension tuning for ET

Post  rmcomprandy on June 21st 2016, 11:02 pm

Chassis vehicles stressed to near their limit will usually require several different settings depending upon track conditions.

Shock rebound settings or actual rise limiters in the front have a whole bunch to do with starting line activity.

Keep a log book where you write down EVERYTHING about every run and that track condition so, there are recorded instances you can look through to help with what you need to do NOW.
Memories have a way of distorting the actual facts after time.

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Re: Suspension tuning for ET

Post  David Willingham on June 22nd 2016, 9:51 pm

I only have 5 runs on my truck, but it is almost identical in weight and power. It weighs 2650 and has ran 5.09@135, 1.09 60ft. That was leaving soft at 5100 rpm. I had a new converter build that stalls 6000, but it broke the output shaft when I tried it the first time. It has been dead hooking and picking the front up too high. It also seems to get loose on the big end. It may need a wing also.
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Re: Suspension tuning for ET

Post  Hardy on June 23rd 2016, 9:37 am

514Fox87 wrote:For what its worth.  At the Ford race I struggled to keep the front end down.  If I wasn't hitting the 60' timers with rear wheels the car was 1.28 in 60'  Friday night it went 1.31 on back bumper.  ( I was the exhibition car that night) but didn't know it before hand.  I lowered the top control arm 1/2 inch on the rear.  Tightened up front end and comp. on rear and started over.  Foot brake on first pass with 1.31 same on transbrake.  Took 2 clicks out of rebound in rear and next pass it went 1.229 in 60'  Car felt like it was shot out of a cannon.  This is a stock location rear suspension.  I have added adjustable brackets on rear upper and lower.  Rear coilovers and double adjustable shocks on rear with singles on front.  28x10.5 tire and car weighs 2945 with me.  

Wow! that's a big difference for a relatively subtle change. Small tires and stock suspension is pretty finicky, I would imagine

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Re: Suspension tuning for ET

Post  Hardy on June 23rd 2016, 9:43 am

rmcomprandy wrote:Chassis vehicles stressed to near their limit will usually require several different settings depending upon track conditions.

Shock rebound settings or actual rise limiters in the front have a whole bunch to do with starting line activity.

Keep a log book where you write down EVERYTHING about every run and that track condition so, there are recorded instances you can look through to help with what you need to do NOW.
Memories have a way of distorting the actual facts after time.

I really appreciate this post. Sometimes with the Internet and all these forums we get in the habit of just googling answers, but with proper documentation and track time/trial and error, we should be able to answer most of these questions ourselves

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Re: Suspension tuning for ET

Post  Hardy on June 23rd 2016, 9:45 am

David Willingham wrote:I only have 5 runs on my truck, but it is almost identical in weight and power. It weighs 2650 and has ran 5.09@135, 1.09 60ft. That was leaving soft at 5100 rpm. I had a new converter build that stalls 6000, but it broke the output shaft when I tried it the first time. It has been dead hooking and picking the front up too high. It also seems to get loose on the big end. It may need a wing also.

Nice running truck! A wing can make a big difference. Both my dad and brother have added taller wicker bills on their wings to help with top end stability

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