DIY: Suspension Adjustments for Handling

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DIY: Suspension Adjustments for Handling

Post by kyleabaker »

Original Source: ... tuning.htm

Suspension Adjustments for Handling
Near neutral handling characteristics are usually required to provide high performance cars with the ability to win in competition. While most event sanctioning organizations and clubs limit the degree of modification allowed to your suspension, it is still possible to adjust the basic handling characteristics of your vehicle and still be legal for your class of competition.

Usually the tire and road wheel's modifications offer the greatest improvement and are the easiest to perform. Your tires are the most important performance components on your car. The traction which they provide allow your engine's horsepower to be turned into acceleration, your suspension's springs, shock absorbers and anti-sway bars to be turned into cornering force, and your brake system's calipers, pads and rotors to be turned into stopping power. Therefore, any modifications that allow the vehicle to exceed the abilities of your tires will not necessarily provide the faster lap times you desire.

Any changes made to the vehicle's suspension and braking systems must be done with care and understanding. Some of the recommended adjustments will affect the vehicle's cornering capability, while others will primarily affect the vehicle as it transitions from straight-line acceleration to braking and cornering; and others, such as spoilers and ground-effects, will only affect its high speed handling.

Change only one component at a time. If more than one component is changed at a time, you won't be able to determine which change caused the resulting effect. Plan to follow a series of deliberate planned changes. Measure the test results as accurately as possible. Keep records of each modification's test results.

Take your time to test-drive the modifications made to your car and evaluate its new handling characteristics. Begin with test speeds well below your vehicle's known safety levels - work up to its new limits carefully!

Any time you make additional modifications you should retest your car.


There are quite a numbers of suspension elements which can be considered for change. These are listed in the order in which they effect handling.


Tires | Road Wheels | Wheel Alignment | Anti-Sway Bars | Spring Rates | Shock Rates
Suspension Bushings | Brake Proportion | Weight Distribution | Aerodynamics

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