K&C Testing Answers Key Questions
Here at Morse Measurements LLC, racers often ask questions such as the following:
• Why does our car feel heavy, sluggish, and unresponsive? -or- Why is our car so nervous and twitchy?
• Why does the rear feel like it is “hunting around” during corner entry?
• Why is it loose at corner exit no matter how gently the throttle is squeezed?
• Where are the real roll centers? Does knowing where the roll centers are even help us?
• Why do we have tire wear problems even though the tire temperatures seem fine?
• The car handles OK in high speed corners – why won’t it take a set in slower corners?
• How can we make sure that our new chassis and suspension design is OK? Can we trust the suspension geometry that our computer model says we will have?
• Is it worth the hassle to install chassis stiffeners? Do they make any real difference?
• We’ve always wondered how much axle steer we’re getting in various turns. Is there any way to actually know that?
• Why does a better downforce setting mess up our straight-line stability?
• We have two cars that we believe to be identical, but our driver likes one of them and finds the other almost undrivable. Can you identify what is really different between them?
Engineers in the production car world have their own set of questions and concerns, such as:
• Does the prototype vehicle match our design intent for suspension geometry and bushing stiffness characteristics?
• How can we modify our design to meet geometry and stiffness targets?
• How do our competitor’s vehicles compare to ours? What positive characteristics can we apply to our suspension design?
• We are building a CarSim model to evaluate vehicle stability and need accurate K&C characteristics for the model.
• We sell after-market suspension kits and would like hard numbers to represent what these components really do, both for our own engineering development and for marketing advantage.
Do any of these questions sound familiar? K&C testing can help you answer all these questions and many more. K&C testing shows you how the physical design and set-up of your suspension impacts your suspension geometry and stiffness. And by measuring your actual suspension geometry and stiffness, you know how much of your mechanical grip potential is being realized, and you know your vehicle trim condition in most straight-line, cornering, braking, and accelerating conditions.
In other words, K&C testing helps you maximize your handling and ride performance. In addition, suspension kinematics and compliance measurements can be used to improve ride, impact isolation, and steering system performance. That is why K&C testing is both an integral part of most production car design and development programs, and is a key part of most successful racing programs.