Track racing is all about maximizing performance and speed, and having a properly set up suspension system can make a significant difference in achieving those goals. One of the most popular suspension setups for track racing is the coilover suspension system. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what a coilover suspension is, the benefits of using one for track racing, and how to properly set it up for optimal performance.
What is a coilover suspension?
A coilover suspension is a type of suspension system that combines a coil spring and a shock absorber into one unit. The term “coilover” is derived from the words “coil spring” and “over shock”. The spring sits on top of the shock absorber and is held in place by a threaded collar, which allows for adjustable ride height.
Benefits of using a coilover suspension for track racing
One of the main benefits of using a coilover suspension for track racing is its adjustability. The threaded collar on the shock absorber allows for fine-tuning of the suspension to suit the specific needs of the track and the driver. This adjustability allows for changes in ride height, compression and rebound damping, and spring rates.
Another benefit of using a coilover suspension is its weight savings. Coilovers are typically lighter than traditional shock and spring setups because they eliminate the need for separate springs and shocks. This weight savings can improve the car’s handling and reduce unsprung weight, which in turn improves acceleration, braking, and cornering.
Setting up a coilover suspension for track racing
Properly setting up a coilover suspension for track racing can be a complex process, but following these steps can help ensure optimal performance:
Determine your goals: Before making any adjustments to your coilover suspension, it’s important to determine your goals for track racing. Are you looking to improve lap times, reduce understeer or oversteer, or improve overall handling? Understanding your goals will help you make informed adjustments to the suspension.
Adjust ride height: Adjusting ride height is the first step in setting up a coilover suspension. Lowering the car’s center of gravity can improve handling, but it’s important not to lower the car too much, as it can result in ground clearance issues.
Adjust dampening: Compression and rebound dampening are two settings that can be adjusted on a coilover suspension. Compression damping controls the rate at which the suspension compresses, while rebound damping controls the rate at which the suspension rebounds. Adjusting these settings can help improve handling and reduce body roll.
Adjust spring rates: Spring rates determine how stiff the suspension is. Stiffer springs can improve handling and reduce body roll, but they can also result in a harsh ride. Softer springs can provide a more comfortable ride, but can also result in increased body roll.
Test and adjust: After making adjustments to your coilover suspension, it’s important to test the car on the track and make any necessary adjustments. It may take several iterations of adjusting and testing before you achieve the desired performance.
Coilover suspensions are a popular choice for track racers because of their adjustability and weight savings. Setting up a coilover suspension for track racing can be a complex process, but following the steps outlined in this blog post can help ensure optimal performance. Remember to take your time, test and adjust, and always prioritize safety on the track.
What are some of the best brands?
KW Suspension: KW Suspension is a well-respected suspension brand that offers a wide range of coilover kits for various makes and models. Their products are known for their high-quality construction and excellent adjustability.
Bilstein: Bilstein is another popular brand in the suspension world, known for their high-performance shock absorbers and coilover kits. They offer a range of kits for various applications, including track racing.
HKS: HKS is a Japanese company that has been producing high-performance automotive parts since the 1970s. They offer a range of coilover kits for various makes and models, including some specifically designed for track use.
Ohlins: Ohlins is a Swedish company that produces some of the highest quality suspension components in the world. They offer a range of coilover kits for track racing, with their products being used by some of the top race teams in various motorsports.
Tein: Tein is a Japanese company that produces high-performance suspension components for a range of applications, including track racing. Their coilover kits are known for their adjustability and durability.
It's important to note that the best coilover for track racing will vary depending on the specific make and model of your car, as well as your specific goals and needs. It's always best to do thorough research and consult with a professional to determine which coilover kit is best for your application.
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