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Tech Spam thread - because 1/4" BSP gets 5 hand spans to the jiggawatt


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Something that's been rattling around in my head for a while now is what is a good way to accurately measure suspension points on a car. I would really like to model the suspension of my AE86 and do some analysis of it in a program like Susprog3D (http://www.susprog.com/). Ideally I'd like the points accurate to within 1mm. The easiest way I have seen is putting your car on a hoist and leveling it over a big sheet of board and just using a plumb bob to project the points downwards. Anyone got any good ideas for how to do this easily and cheaply? 

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I have seen spikes being machined to fit into various holes which you can then measure.

That was a different kind of video I think.



Slightly related but I've been thinking it would be interesting to setup some potentiometers to datalog suspension travel etc.


Live axle makes things easy at the back, haha.

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Shock pots are definitely in the 'extra for experts' category when it comes to datalogging. At the level we are all at there are HEAPS of other better return for the money things to work on. Don't let me put you off if you just want to do it for fun though as I'd love to have shock pots on my car too.


I have a good mate who used to do data analysis in the IRL (now V8 Supercars) and when I asked him what the 5 most important sensors on the car are his reply was 100% those that quantify driver input. Like Rookie says even professional drivers can be pretty shit and you can learn a lot from some basic data. His top 5 were:

  • Throttle position
  • Steering position
  • Brake pressure 
  • Speed 
  • Gear

Roman I think you should buy one of these http://www.autosportlabs.com/racecapturepro-2/ Imagine all the awesome MS paint graphs you could make then? I'd enjoy this shit out of reading your project thread updates that's for sure.


It was interesting to see that not a single person in SS2000 uses any data analysis. There may be some drivers logging data but I saw only 1 laptop out at the track the other weekend and I'm pretty sure they were only looking at engine stuff.

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Roman I think you should buy one of these http://www.autosportlabs.com/racecapturepro-2/ .

Haha, stuff like that is firmly in the day dream category - as you say there are many other things which would help more.


Semi or full slicks would be best $ per time improvement at this stage.

And wont likely have any of those any time soon, need to ease up on car spending for a while.

And the car's at the point where it handles okay and getting more practice and having some fun is best $ spent.

The GPS datalogging and engine datalogging I've got at the moment is enough to keep me happy.

And these datalog using my laptop and tablet, which are both something I can justify owning for the 99.999% of the time that I'm not in a car on a race track.

Dedicated datalogging stuff is a bit too single use for my dutch blood.

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Not really, it just tells you that you are shit, it doesn't tell you what you are doing wrong like a real data logger does.


I think something like that for a competent driver would be worth in the order of 5 seconds, I know that there is at least 2 seconds at Hampton in my driving based of theoretical best lap vs actual best lap, and that is not knowing if I am even doing it right in the places where I am fastest.

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Before I had GPS, I used to go to a trackday.

Drive some random lines.

Someone would be pointing a camera at the start/finish line and rolling all day.

A few weeks later, someone would tell me "Oh hey, on the 3rd lap of 2nd stint you did XYZ time"

Which is cool, but effed if I know what I was actually doing then?


With datalogging GPS.

I can go do 5 different laps taking 5 different lines.

Come back into the pits, and it will show me the best way out of those to take each corner/set of corners.

Then 5 more laps running slight variations of that best combo. And so on.

The improvements you can make in just a day are amazing, if you're learning a new track or whatever.

Especially when you're trying to find that trade off between the 'racing line' and minimising the distance travelled to complete a lap.

Some of the biggest gains I've made with a GPS at Taupo have come about on the realisation that I was making the track about 20 meters longer than it needed to be... By taking what I would have thought were good lines that give good exit speed.

Highly useful! :D


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