Latest Ultimate Guide to Suspension & Handling Articles

The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling Part X: Bump Steer/Toe Steer

by Mike Kojima

It's time to think about suspension.  Some of the most common handling problems that you are the most likely to see on modified street cars and race cars based on production chassis, especially in racing classes that do not allow relocation of suspension pick up points are bump steer and toe steer related handling issues.  Bump and toe steer can have significant negative effects on a car's handling which is manifested by steering pull, twitchiness, instability, steering inaccuracy and unpredictability.  All of these things are scary for drivers to deal with.


 

The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling Part IX: It’s All in the Geometry - The Roll Center

By Mike Kojima

In the first parts of our suspension series we have covered basic suspension stuff. Now it’s time to bury ourselves in tuning suspension geometry. Geometry tuning is a step above the usual bolt on street parts. Making changes on this fundamental level is what racecar and suspension engineers do for a living, but we’ve found that with the more popular cars in this market there are parts available to help with these mods.  Some of you are also advanced enough to experiment with this as well.


 

The Ultimate Handling Guide Part 8: Understanding Your Caster, King Pin Inclination and Scrub

The Ultimate Handling Guide Part VIII: Understanding Your Caster, King Pin Inclination and Scrub

By Mike Kojima

Understanding what caster does and how to use it is a powerful tool in the box of a suspension tuner.  Since caster is not adjustable on nearly all FWD cars and usually not adjustable for many late model cars as well, we saved its discussion until now.  Discussions of caster pertain to the front suspension only as caster comes into play as steering angle is induced.


 

The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling: Part Seven- Tuning your Toe

The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling: Part VII - Tuning your Toe

By Mike Kojima

Previously in our series we were talking about general tips for you to follow when tuning your suspension.  In our last installment we talked about adjusting your camber to gain more grip.  Today we will talk about an easier and more basic adjustment that has a great influence in handling, adjusting your toe settings.


 

The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling: Part VI, Adding Negative Camber

By Mike Kojima

In the first 5 parts of this series you learned some basic steps to improving your car’s handling. The first four steps involved the use of basic performance suspension parts available for most cars, the parts that most people with an interest in handling obtain.  Been there, done that?  Then it's time to head for more advanced suspension tuning, involving the alignment, chassis stiffness and suspension geometry.


 

Hella Dumb

The Ultimate Handling Guide Part V: The One Unforgivable Sin, Overlowering Your Car

By Mike Kojima

I am not Jesus so I don't have to forgive you if you mess things up when setting up your car. I am talking about sin, pure dumb unforgivable sin. No it's not the one that’s talked about in the New Testament that gives clergy fits to explain to lay people, its a big mistake, one that nearly all enthusiasts are unknowingly guilty of that is the most common mistake when modifying a car's suspension.  It’s a sin which so thoroughly screws up handling that it gives engineers fits when trying to explain why this is so to automotive enthusiasts.


 

Rahal Letterman ALMS BMW GT

The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling Part IV: Reduce weight transfer

By Mike Kojima

Now that you have reduced body motion and improved steering response, and tuned out under or oversteer to improve the chassis balance, our next step is to reduce weight transfer. Weight transfer is the movement of weight from the inside to the outside wheels of a car under cornering.


 

Suspension tuning

The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling Part III: Balance the chassis

By Mike Kojima

Now that you have reduced body motion and improved steering response, we can work on the next major area of improvement, improving chassis balance. The goal for most of us is to have a car with neutral balance. Neutral balance, where all four tires slide the same amount, is the fastest way around a corner most of the time. 


 

The Dog Car

The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling: Part II - Controlling Body Motion

by Mike Kojima

Previously, we addressed the most important aspect of handling, the tires. The next important suspension trick to increase grip is to reduce body motion such as roll under hard cornering, dive under braking and squat under acceleration.  In later editions of this series we will get into the technical aspects of chassis dynamics but for now we are covering the basics and will gradually get into the harder to understand parts of the subject.


 

Annie Sam 3 wheeling

The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling Part I: Wheels and Tires

by Mike Kojima

Here is a Flashback Friday article to the beginning of our Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling. This long running (10 parts and counting) series has everything you need to make your car handle.

Horsepower is sexy and chicks dig it, at least a lot of meatheads think that way. Making horsepower is relatively easy. A lot of competent people know how to make power, lots of it. Until drifting became the rage in this country, handling and cornering prowess was for geeks, the road racing elite and autocrossers. Handling was for dweebs that raced around cones in parking lots, or loners prowling canyon roads at night, not for cool people in the scene.


 

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