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Beetle 1300cc (Historic Touring Car Racing)
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hrsr
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is how the car sits. Not your usual ground hugging race car stance

Be just as happy in the Baja 1000!!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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VW&MGman
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you running any caster shims up front? If so how many sets?

How do you keep your front wheels planted when going through the corners? Are you running a rear sway bar?
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hrsr
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One set of shims. Front beam is not lowered, just dropped spindles.

I have an adjustable front sway bar from an old Formula Vee single seater race car and a custom made adjustable (and thicker) Z-bar on the rear.

The best improvement to the handling came from fitting double adjustable motorsport dampers all round, which were custom built to suit the car.
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Alstrup
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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hrsr wrote:

I believe there is only one set because the front is barely 1 inch lower than stock. the rear is probably only 2 to 2.5 inches lower than stock.

Lowering your swing axle Beetle to the floor won't make it handle any better...It's a 1550lb car with a fairly low centre of gravity, so you can get away with plenty of suspension travel and quite a soft setup. As an example my front suspension moves by 4 or 5 inches (watch the front end when I brake hard)


Well, thats not entirely true. You can easily level the chassis out and keep or even improove the stability at WOT. The trick is (among other things that you seem to have control over already) to adjust the caster and camber angle accordingly. A beetle that hits 110 mph should have a least 4 degrees caster angle, preferably 5.
When you lower the car in the rear you actually improve the chassis caster angle. Addittion of drop spindles in the front (I assume regular 2") plus a set of shims in, you are most likely around 3,5 degrees if the chassis is straight.
But one thing affects the other. If you level the car out you can start playing with the sway bar(s) again. Because a lower car can take a stiffer bar. Your tyres will basically set the limit for how stiff you can set it up. There might be and most likely is a slight advantage in having a relatively soft suspension when the tyretrack/grip is limited, due to the fact that the suspension has an "easier" job moving the weight around, also when you brake. You may have to change the division front/rear too to get most braking traction.
A lower gravity centre WILL pay off in improoved curve speeds if the suspension is set up for it

That said, it definitely looks good already. Im talking fine tuning of the set up if you decide to play with that part again.

Have fun.
T
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hrsr
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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi...All the suspension setup was done by Formula Vee manufacturer GAC and although the suspension design is the same on both cars the chassis dynamics on a Beetle and Formula Vee are totally different, on top of tha these Historic tyres need a soft setup and very little camber to work at their best (Dunlops words).

GAC stuck with what they knew and ended up with a setup that was the complete opposite of the BeetleCup and BeetleChallenge cars over here which worried me at first.

Went testing and the car was unbelievable!...I was actually catching race prepared Lotus Elan's through the twisty stuff.

Even after 3 years, i've never felt the need to touch the damper and roll bar settings...So the car handles well (through a little bit of knowledge...AND a huge lump of blind luck!)
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Alstrup
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it mandatory to drive on these tyres ? Or do you do it for keeping the era look.

- Thats what Im talking about. Limited grip calls for a softer suspension. The better the grip the harder you can set it up.
It seems that the compamy may have hit the sweet spot for the tyre/weight combination. but the only way to know if it is the best possible is to experiment a little. Softer, harder, more, less.
I dont crew much anymore. Im getting old and there are other issues in life that needs attention. But when I did it was not uncommon to change the setting 3,4 5 times at the test races to pick the best setting for the track.

T

PS. Im trying to be constructive here. Not bashing anyone by any means.
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hrsr
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alstrup wrote:
Is it mandatory to drive on these tyres ? Or do you do it for keeping the era look.


Yep!... We all have to run on Dunlop L or M tyres so that the cars handling resembles that of the original 1960's Touring Cars (lots of sliding)

All comments are welcome...If we all share our experiences and knowledge, then surely we'll ALL be able to go faster and we won't waste our money on things that don't work (serpentine pulleys..ahem!)

Suspension and handling is a nightmare subject because what works on my car won't necessarily work on someone else's. You only need to change the weight distribution, weight, tyres, driving style etc and the whole set-up will need to be altered...Even Formula 1 teams can't get it right, so what chance have we got??

As i've been fortunate to have a car that handles beautifully right out of the box, i've resisted touching the damper and roll bar settings and only tinkered with tyre pressures.

I'm still improving as a driver and I'm gaining 4 or 5 seconds per lap (purely from driving) each time I revisit a track, so i've decided to take the car to its limits (and my limits) first and when I reach those limits....then I'll start doing some testing to get the last few 10th's out of it.

If it aint broken don't fix it I guess

ian
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hrsr
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My comment "lowering a swing axle Beetle to the floor won't make it handle any better"Think...I'll try and explain.

I get people coming up to me all the time..."you want to lower that mate, it'll handle better" "your suspensions too soft, you want to stiffen it up"

The lower the centre of gravity the better...very true. And indeed your mates Honda Civic probably will handle better if it was lowered to the floor, but a swing axle Beetle with a torsion bar front has some design quirks which mean that you have to strike up a kind of compromise between lowering the car as much as possible without messing up the geometry.

Its better to lower the rear first until you reach the optimum camber for the cars intended use (you wouldn't want too much camber at the rear for example if you were competing in hillclimbs and sprints where traction off the line is essential)...once you've got the rear ride height sorted, then lower the front to match...or like mine set the front an inch or so higher.
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ian macdowall
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love it! Thanks for sharing Cool
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grueni
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i remember that car and the cooling system...very impressiv car and racer. well done!
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Slow 1200
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

running a Quaife? have you considered using a ZF instead? 911 guys love the ZF lock-up on deceleration for late braking
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hrsr
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slow 1200 wrote:
running a Quaife? have you considered using a ZF instead? 911 guys love the ZF lock-up on deceleration for late braking


The gearbox company recommended the Quaife ATB diff and when I spoke to the other drivers they all said the same thing...The Hillman Imps and the Lotus Cortinas mostly use the same type of diff...Maybe it suits the tyres, I don't know.

When I raced without it the inside wheel would spin up and smoke out of every corner...The car is much more controllable and consistant now!!
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Alstrup
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hrsr wrote:
Slow 1200 wrote:
running a Quaife? have you considered using a ZF instead? 911 guys love the ZF lock-up on deceleration for late braking


The gearbox company recommended the Quaife ATB diff and when I spoke to the other drivers they all said the same thing...The Hillman Imps and the Lotus Cortinas mostly use the same type of diff...Maybe it suits the tyres, I don't know.

When I raced without it the inside wheel would spin up and smoke out of every corner...The car is much more controllable and consistant now!!


The Quaife is fine. Actually better than the ZF, in VW transmissions anyway.

WRT the suspension. When you have to run those tyres I see the point in having a relatively soft suspension.

T
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hrsr
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's my latest race....Short and sweet.

Got balked by the Triumph 2500cc which allowed the pack to get away, then my Beetle threw it's alternator belt one lap into the race which wiped out the dipstick, spraying oil on the track...fun while it lasted.


Link
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henry roberts
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was hoping it would be a new one. I found this clip a few days ago... I love this car.

a few questions about your suspension.
what sort of dropped spindles are you running? I'm asking as you said it's only an inch lower than stock.
any particular reason you went with dropped spindles over adjusters (or cut ant turned if you can't run adjusters)? I'm asking as (from my zero experience) I would have thought the extra weight would have been a bad thing, does the increase in track width out weigh the negatives?

do you run long axles or short?

any chance we could get a photo walk around of the car?

thanks
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hrsr
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Henry....2 or 3 NEW onboards should be up in a week or so.

I have EMPI 2.5" dropped spindles which would normally lower the front by (obviously) 2.5" but as my car has been extensively lightened the actual lowering effect is no more than 1".

The dropped spindles are very heavy and combined with disc brakes they widen the track a lot, but this is a good thing as a wider track reduces the lateral load transfer (so all four tyres share the load in a corner more evenly)

We originally had dropped spindles AND axle adjusters but found that we had to wind the adjusters up to the standard ride height, so when I damaged a beam in a crash we just put a stock one back on. The reason we used dropped spindles was that it retains the cars original suspension geometry. If you lower a torsion bar Beetle too much the front suspension arms end up pointing upwards so the suspension doesn't behave as it was designed to do.

Next year the car is taking a year off and being stripped down then rebuilt with lighter components (as it's still 50kg heavier than the Minis) and as the front ride height is now almost stock anyway, we may well bin the dropped spindles in favour of adjusters again.

At the rear the car has long axles with 8mm wheel spacers to widen the rear track as much as possible.

I'll take some pictures of the car soon and post them up.

Cheers! Ian
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henry roberts
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

can i pick your brains for a moment?

front sway bar suggestion... 58 beetle daily driver, currently totally mechanically rebuilt (except the gearbox) to stock, bar, nanking 165's, empi white shocks and red bushes in the beam (as it came). a little further down the track (after a g'box rebuild) I intend to add a camber compensator, koni's and some light tweaking to the 36hp. eventually possibly mild lowering too.

I already have stock, 17 and 19mm sway bars, any suggestion as to which will be best suited to the skinny high profile tyres?
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djway3474
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a beautiful track. Looks like a BLAST! Very Happy
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hrsr
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

henry roberts wrote:
I already have stock, 17 and 19mm sway bars, any suggestion as to which will be best suited to the skinny high profile tyres?


Oooh...It's an impossible one to answer as every car and driver is different. The choice of sway bars and also shocks, depends on so many variables such as the weight of the car, the tires, the intended use (street or street with occasional track use) and then the driving style of the owner.

I fitted a camber compensator onto my stock (apart from a 2110cc motor) Splitscreen van and it completely transformed it. The van went instantly from being very nervous around corners to being totally planted, so I would recommend adding one of those ASAP.

If you want it to handle on the street, lower it (but not too much), fit a camber compensator on the rear then experiment with different sway bars until you find one you like (or even better, make an adjustable one)

Sorry I can't be more help.

Just come back from a race weekend, so new onboard movies are just days away.

Cheers!
Ian
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hrsr
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just come back from a double-header at Croft.

Race 1 (wet and long)

Link


Race 2 (dry and short)

Link
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