Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers? - Racing Forum

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Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Tuesday, June 03, 2008 6:49 PM
Whats your SETUP Dirt Track Racers? 1998 chevy cavalier Z24

I been fighten these cars for a couple of years now. I mainly run the 3/8
but tend too love the 1/2 miles.I just cant figure out a way too get these
cars through the corners and thats where there eating me up. Heres a
setup for a weekly show:

1. Toe inn a 1/4 inch
2. 2 coils cut off springs 4 corners
3. tire pressure RF 43 LF 35 RR 40 LR 35 psi
4. Right front cambered inn 2 degrees
5. front strut bar
6. stock sway bar
7. Adjust right side of rear end (Forward or Back 1")

Please share your setups if anybody has any luck getting these J boddies
too not push so much. thanks

Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Tuesday, June 03, 2008 6:50 PM
schmitzracing wrote:

Whats your SETUP Dirt Track Racers? 1998 chevy cavalier Z24

I been fighten these cars for a couple of years now. I mainly run the 3/8
but tend too love the 1/2 miles.I just cant figure out a way too get these
cars through the corners and thats where there eating me up. Heres a
setup for a weekly show:

1. Toe inn a 1/4 inch
2. 2 coils cut off springs 4 corners
3. tire pressure RF 43 LF 35 RR 40 LR 35 psi
4. Right front cambered inn 2 degrees
5. front strut bar
6. stock sway bar
7. Adjust right side of rear end (Forward or Back 1")

Please share your setups if anybody has any luck getting these J boddies
too not push so much. thanks


Tires
225/40R14 Toyo Proxys T1R
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Tuesday, June 03, 2008 9:33 PM
I'd say your problem lies in cut coils and the fact that these cars didn't come stock with a rear sway bar.






Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Wednesday, June 04, 2008 2:22 AM
KFLO wrote:

I'd say your problem lies in cut coils and the fact that these cars didn't come stock with a rear sway bar.


he didnt say he had a rear sway bar.


and cutting springs on these cars can only lead to problems.



Im a Xbox 360 fanboy...and damn proud of it!!
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Wednesday, June 04, 2008 7:36 AM
Also, I think the traditional logic is that you need 1/8-1/4 inch of toe out rather than toe in. My understanding is that with toe in, the two tires will be fighting against each other, each wanting to travel along its own line of direction toward the center of the car (ie, not turning).

With my 93 Cavy, the first time I drove it on a track I found out later it had 1/2 inch of toe in. Not surprisingly, it was pushing bad. I changed that to 1/4 inch toe out and it did much better after that.

Of course, maybe you've already tried toe out on your car and for some reason it didn't work. If not I would try changing that though.
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Wednesday, June 04, 2008 10:00 AM
KFLO wrote:

I'd say your problem lies in cut coils and the fact that these cars didn't come stock with a rear sway bar.




I been doing alot of search on this forum and Ive noticed people other than dirt racers
saying that cutting the coils and adding a rear sway bar will give you more oversteer
which will bring the rear end of the car around.? So I recently just ordered Eibach
front and rear sway bars, Vert strut bar, and Manapart rear strut bar. So keep on
posting every bit of knowledge from you guys is very helpfull. thanks
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Wednesday, June 04, 2008 2:10 PM
just look up what cutting your springs on these cars can do. its bad idea. MMM'kay?



Im a Xbox 360 fanboy...and damn proud of it!!
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Wednesday, June 04, 2008 3:31 PM
Well i been running cut springs for a year mow and its never hurt me?
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Wednesday, June 04, 2008 3:52 PM
It sounds like you're on the right path, and yeah, that will help to bring the rear around more which is what I assume you're wanting and what you're not having happen currently.

And from earlier up there, I was inferring that he didn't have a rear sway bar which definitely makes these cars have a tendency to push when you take it to the limit in cornering.






Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Wednesday, June 04, 2008 4:04 PM
KFLO


Im glad too see were on the same page. I just look at it like this ya gotta keep trying different setups till
something works and on dirt the track is different every night. Theres a guy right now at the track that
carrys the left rear off the ground through the corner and is flying. He's got front struts actually in the
rear of the car. so like you said KFLO I think im on the right track!!
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Thursday, June 05, 2008 10:29 AM
I've got some fun ideas for you if you want to get crazy... but a lot of it is speculation as far as dirt goes...

I've watched a lot of dirt races and know some people, but I don't know much about setting up for only left turns and taking the banking into consideration and such. What are your tracks rules for modifications to the suspension?







Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Thursday, June 05, 2008 4:19 PM
alot of thetracks are mainly flat but one track i run has a pretty good bank. they usually just check under the engine bay. throw those ideas on the forum or pm would love too here ur thoughts!!
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Thursday, June 05, 2008 11:12 PM
Well, taking an inch or so out of the strut body, or both sides can have some interesting effects on suspension travel. Especially if you only do one side. You could also run some rubber twist in coil spring inserts to give a more desirable weight transfer or super stiff lack of compression. Also, what are you allowed to run for tires, and what are the winning guys running for tires?
I see that you've got the T1-Rs so I'm just curious.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edited Thursday, June 05, 2008 11:14 PM





Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Friday, June 06, 2008 12:55 PM
What do you mean by taking a 1" out of the strut body? Alot of guys run the kumhos but im running the toyos because its the smallest i can find in a 14" 225/40r14! Its just a matter of finding the right tire for ur gearing. Like on the 1/2 mile i will run 225/50r15. and the smaller track the toyos. I guy thats winning with a cavalier ecotech hes running second gear with a taller tire pushing 8500 rpms!! I try too run 3rd gear at a hi rpm
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Tuesday, June 17, 2008 8:52 AM
I have been racing j-bodys for a year and a half now. This year I have run in 4 races. I won twice, took second once, and did not finish the last time due to my fuel pump going out. First off i run 1/4" toe out. Take the front sway bar off. Don't even put a rear one on its a waste of time and money. Take all ur cut spring out and put stock ones back it. Take a torch and soften the right front and left rear. Buy a new KYB gr-2 strut for the right front and right rear. Move the rearend back 1/2-3/4" on the right. I run on a 3/8 mile track and run 175/65/15 tires. Air pressure RF-33 LF-25 RR-40 LR-25. Out track rules state you can have no more than an inch on camber when they set a square up against the rim. Both my front tires are at exactly one inch. Hack off you exhaust at the manifold and run 2 inch into 2 1/4inch. make that transition to 2 1/4 about where the front of the cat would be.
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Tuesday, June 17, 2008 5:02 PM
Here's what I have been doing for over 2 seasons.

Don't touch the springs unless you replace them with good perf ones.
3/4" toe out
RF as much Pos camber ( leaning the bottom out ) as possible
LF same with neg camber.
Good traction tire in the front, and baldies in the rear.
Use Z24 suspension or equivilant.
Setup for the corner and hang the rear out, then hammer down. The high line always seems to be the best, keeps your revs up.

1st season: 2nd place over all an 9 main event trophies.
2nd season: 6th place over all and 2 main event trophies. Caught up in way to many crashes that year.
Current season: 6th place and charging hard. One 2nd place trophie so far. Can't seem to keep RF tires on the car. Having RF wheel fitted with beadlock as we speak.

Good Luck, Scott

Edited 1 time(s). Last edited Tuesday, June 17, 2008 5:04 PM
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Wednesday, September 02, 2009 9:05 PM
Hello I have a 20 plus feature winning 95 J car , we race on 3/8th clay 1/4 clay moderate banked and 1/4 dirt high banked tracks , I have several years experience racing late models and now playing with the J cars with my son. I will start with struts and springs , I HAVE USED CUT SPRINGS WITH NO PROBLEMS, I cut the springs to control ride height which affects body roll and weight transfer , LF spring 175 lbs [ cut for ride height] RF 200 lbs [ cut for ride height] LR & RR 125 lbs , if you want to experiment with struts I cut a 1/8th inch pipe coupling in half and weld it onto the back side of strut [ out of site ] just below the seal asm or about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch down from top , then drill through it into the strut , drain out the shock oil and replace it with a mixture of trans. fluid and heavy weight oil [ mixture depends on the desired stiffness of strut reaction] you can experiment with different mixtures, then install a plug into coupling to seal [ be sure to work all the air out before plugging] you may have to grind top off the plug for spring clearance depending on type of plug used ,Remove the front sway bar and run 1/4 to 3/8 toe OUT. Next is camber LF is 1.5 deg. pos. camber RF is 2.5 deg. neg. camber [ this is done by ob longing holes in strut , I haven't had any problems with slipping but you could tack weld if you do ] LR is 1.5 deg. pos. camber and 2.5 deg. neg. camber you can do this with shims, I cut the axle right behind the bearings because I wanted to toe the RR out and the LR in to free the car up in the corner and take the FWD push out [ helps hang the rear out in the corner] , keep in mind this is a very critical adjustment and needs to be done with persision you must maintain o toe in so the RR should be toed out the exact same the LR is toed in. OK now for tires and rims , I prefer 15 inch wheels because it seems like there is more variety of tires available at better prices, if you have to run stock rims I recommend alum. as they are stronger and some have a smaller back set or off set [ the measurement from the back of the wheel to the back of the mounting surface] a smaller off set will give you a wider wheelbase and as we know WIDER IS BETTER, even better if you are allowed after market wheels call Bill at Diamond Racing Wheels and have him make you a set of 4 inch offset wheels , tell him Lannie from Syracuse MO sent you , they are 89.00 each [ stock back set is just under 6 inches] I use 4 inch and 3 inch off sets depending on the track and conditions but if I could only have one set I would have the 4 inch . If you are racing at a track that only allows stock steel wheels go to the salvage yard and get a set of wheels off a Chrysler 300 they are much stronger than the cavalier wheels and have the same bolt pattern 5 x 100 , we have broke the center out of many Cavalier wheels. Next the dreaded RR wheel bearing , I watched many cars break the RR bearing and flip , I replaced mine every three to five races at $100 a pop until I machined a spindle that uses tapered bearings and is fully serviceable [ take apart and repack or replace bearings not the entire hub] it is a direct bolt on and uses all stock brake components , I have many cars running these now with no failures to date , not only is it safer but no more bearing replacements , saved me hundreds of dollars this year as well as years to come email if you want more details . Front tires vary from track to track but I don't run stagger in the front , straight up with a locked diff. I like bigger tires with a lower gear but to each his owen , most of the time I have 215 60 15 on the front nice 7 1/2 inch tire on 7 inch rim if you have to run 7 inch tire 195 65 15 has the same roll out , other times I run 195 60 15 and have run 195 50 15 as for the rear I always run the same 195 65 15 on the RR and 195 50 15 on the LR adds some LF weight. A few other notes if you scale you car lean towards 60% front weight and 100-200 lbs of bite which means LF 100-200 lbs heaver than the RF , bite varies with track conditions. Another thing I have been experimenting with lately with great results so far is LF steering ackerman I dont have the magic number figured out yet but I am making improvements just something for you to tinker with . I hope this helps and will answer questions if you email , Thanks Lannie















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Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Wednesday, September 02, 2009 9:20 PM
I forgot to add tire pressures , I run 24 -28 in the right front , you have to run a tube in it to run this pressure , 18 - 24 in the left front no tube , and 20- 30 in the rear depending on track , higher pressures in the rear will loosen the car up you may want to try higher rear pressures as I have some rear steer in my car , lower front pressures on dry slick track and more pressure on heavy track , if you have access to a pyrometer look for even temps across tire, hot on both inside and outside is too low tire pressure , hot in the middle of the tire is too high pressure . Hot on the inside only is too much neg camber , hot on the outside only is too much positive camber
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Friday, September 04, 2009 5:10 AM
I think you cut too much out of your springs. We usually run tubes in the front 195/70/14 up to 205/70/15 depending upon gearing. Usually run 32psi RF,30psi LF, 25-28 PSI in the back. We don't do much with suspension, have to run stock. These cars naturally don't push bad try driving a Neon there suspension sucks. I don't know why people run smaller than a 60 series tire you need some sidewall to help through the corners.
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Friday, September 04, 2009 5:12 AM
Can't edit previous post we mainly run 3/8 high banked dirt, but we occasionally runa 1/2 mile moderate banking track
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Friday, September 04, 2009 5:25 AM
While your on the subject, I need to find out how to adjust the camber on my 87 Cavalier. I'm running a 3/8 mile banked clay track and would like the tires to sit a little flater in the turns but the only thing I can come up with and still remain stock is to grind out the holes and move the top of the strut. Everything else looks to be unadjustable.

Kenny "Poppop" Brown


Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Saturday, September 05, 2009 11:39 AM
Kenny , First you are correct that you want the tires flat on the track but not because of the banking so much ,that is one reason but not the major reason , the major reason is tire roll, as the sidewall flexs your tire rolls the tread will be flat on the track if you camber it , you can notch the top holes some but you cant gain much there , your strut will hit the tower when you turn , the only other ways are to lengthen the lower control arm which I dont recommend [I tried all of that , you have to then lenthen the axle and it takes a lot of work to get it all working ] the way I do it now is slot the holes where the strut bolts to the spindle and lean the spindle in or out as needed watch for tire clearance while doing this , I have three cars the oldest is a 93 which would be closest to ours I can get up to 3 deg and still run a 195 65 15 , if you have clearance issues look at some of the stock alum wheels a couple off the styles have a smaller back set whit will help with clearances.

Andrew people run different size tires to get the gearing and weights they want , for example I run a 50 series tire on the left rear I do that to put more weight on the LF and RR { cross } put you car on a set of scales and experiment .When the weight transfers from the left to the right in the corner the extra weight you had added comes in handy , what you are talking about needing sidewall is somewhat true sidewall creates slip angle in the tire but you control that with tire pressure I can get the same slip angle in a 50 series tire that I can with a 65 by lowering the tire pressure , Tall tires are good because you can get a good slip angle with a higher pressure needed to keep the tires on the rim without tubes but if you run tubes you can get good slip angle out of a smaller series tire as well and correct your gearing issues.

To all keep in mind whatever tires or pressures you run you need to keep the tread on the track not roll the tire over and run on the side wall this is why we run negative camber on the right and positive camber on the left so when the tires roll in the corners the tread lays flat on the track , who knows what that magic number is I can tell you I run 2.5 neg on the right and 1.5 on the left but that may not work for you , you may not drive the same style , corners may be tighter , banking, air pressures are different, tire sizes, spring rates ect ect all of which affect tire roll, if you read my earlier post the true way of determining tire pressures and camber is a tire temp meter [pyrometer] do not use an infer-red unless thats all you can afford or borrow , use a probe type . Check the temps as soon as the car leaves the track pull off to the side as soon as you hit the pits and have someone check temps and record [dont wait till the drive to your trailer as the tires start cooling off and your readings will be off as well . When you check temps start at the inside of the tire and go across to the outside , you want the temp to be even across the tire if not here is whats wrong . Both sides - hot on the inside cooler in the middle and hot on the outside - too low tire pressure . hot in the center and cooler on the inside and outside - too high tire pressure. Right side - hot on the inside and gets cooler as you move to the outside - too much negative camber . hot on the outside and gets cooler towards the inside - not enough neg camber. Left side hot on the inside and gets cooler towards the outside - too low positive camber . hot on the outside and gets cooler towards the inside - too high positive camber . This works on all four corners .

Please everyone , I am not trying to say that your setups on here are not good or that the information you can get here cannot help but unless you are setting your car up for that person it may not fit your program , use these tips as some guidelines , use some tools and experiment some and set your car up for you.
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Monday, September 07, 2009 1:44 PM
I understand the shorter tire gives a better gear ratio but I would never run under a 60. Last night a guy with a z24 had the RR tire snap off and caused a nasty roll over. He said the bearings were brand new that day.
If I ever build another j-body I think I'm gonna do the Dodge Caravan swap in the rear. Some guy thats a Mechanic said the bearing failure could be the Abs system.I guess the sensor resideds really close to the bearing assembly. Has anyone swapped to an older non abs setup in the back?
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 12:23 PM
I have pressed both Abs and non Abs bearings apart and they are the same except for the sensor in the back , I have ran both types and get about the same out of each a rough track can snap even a brand new hub off if you catch a rut , the only real way to fix the problem is a spindle I have been running them on my 3 cars all year and several local cars lately and have done nothing but repac and adjust all year no failures to date
Re: Whats your SETUPS Dirt Track Racers?
Sunday, October 11, 2009 5:18 PM
I got to try out the new spindle today and it held up real well considering I got hit in the RR and jammed the tire up against the shock. I'll find out what got bent tomorrow but the spindle is probably the least of my worries. I was wondering how I was going to get some camber in that wheel.LOL
Poppop

Kenny "Poppop" Brown

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