Posts Tagged ‘books’

Moving the Battery to the Back

June 4th, 2009 No comments

A lot of folks move the battery to the back of the car to help out the weight balance. This was done in the early GT-350s, until some time in ’66, when people started complaining about fumes in the passenger compartment, and then they moved it back. I thought about it, but while reading Race Car Engineering and Mechanics by Paul van Valkenburgh, I found the formula for calculating the difference it would make.

The formula is:

((component move distance in inches)(component weight))/(vehicle weight) = (CG distance moved in inches)

This comes out to (144×20)/2500 or so (could be up to 3000 lbs). So I’d only be moving the center of gravity back about 1″. Not worth it! Not to me anyway. That’s the sort of thing that would be a great part of a bigger plan. If you’re moving a lot of stuff and lightening the car a lot, it would be a part of a larger difference. For me, my car is not the sort where I’m getting every last HP and every last bit of handling. I’m not stripping out the interior or putting on fiberglass panels (except for the hood). I doubt I’d notice it at all, though I don’t doubt it makes a difference for someone.


May 24th, 2009 No comments

So I’ve read some great books along the way that have helped me out with my journey. I mentioned Carroll Smith already. Here are some, titles:

Carroll Smith:

  • Drive to Win
  • Engineer to Win
  • Prepare to Win
  • Tune to Win
  • Nuts, Bolts, Fasteners and Plumbing

These all work together as a great set. They’re old, but so is my car! And the basics are all still good. I learned a lot by reading this set (a couple times).

Paul Van Valkenburgh: Race Car Engineering and Mechanics – great, in-depth discussion of race car engineering. A dose of physics and math but nothing too out of control.

Paul Van Valkenburgh and Mark Donohugh: The Unfair Advantage – this is Mark Donohugh’s story of his racing career, mostly with Penske Racing. He was intensely involved in the development of their cars, and Penske Racing made a lot of breakthroughs during his time there. Reading it makes you feel like you’re there. Great stuff.

I just ordered Race Car Vehicle Dynamics by William F. Milliken. I think this one will be on the more hard-core side. I expect there will be a lot I don’t get, and I’ll have to go back and study my math. I can’t avoid it!

I’ve also learned a lot from the magazine “Race Car Engineering”. This is a great magazine that has some stuff I understand, and some stuff I don’t. In a lot of cases, the stuff they work on is about 35 levels above what I’ll be working on, (and 40 levels more expensive), but it’s still very interesting and very useful. I find that most magazines have very little substance and can be consumed in 20 minutes. Not so with RE. It keeps you thinking. Right now it’s one of my 2 favorite magazines (the other, for different reasons, is MotorSport).

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