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mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
3/10/19 2:31 p.m.

I'm at the airport getting ready  to head to Thermal California for SAE CO414 Applied Vehicle Dynamics. I'm not 100% sure what to expect, but it's a combination of classroom and driving over the course of three days at the BMW Performance Center. I expect to be a bit out of my league as this course is typically taken by people in the automotive industry and I'm just a guy who play with cars. I'll update this thread over the next few days to share my thoughts on the experience. 

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
3/10/19 3:10 p.m.

I am super-jealous, and also super-excited to read your write-up.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/10/19 3:12 p.m.

I've been trying to come up with a way to sell this one to the boss.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Reader
3/10/19 5:19 p.m.

You might be over your head on the current automotive theory section, but you will probably be able to drive rings around 75% of them do to prior experience on track.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/10/19 5:26 p.m.

Don’t make that assumption. Think about who’s going to be taking this sort of course. 

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
3/10/19 10:55 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

I hope you have something planned for Monday, because the class is Tuesday thru Thursday...

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
3/10/19 11:24 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

Well, I screwed that up. Going to see if I can fix things. Thanks for the heads up. 

Edit: I think I can fix things, I've got all day to do it apparently. sad Not 100% sure how I messed that up. I did all the scheduling with Mrs. Deuce looking over my shoulder and we even planned the end of our spring break around the dates. I'm not a smart man. 

In other news, I've rented a Kia Rio S and in doing so I have discovered where the NVH guy who did the work on my push power got his next job. Good for him moving directly from yard equipment to Korean cars. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
3/10/19 11:57 p.m.

Annnnnd I figured it out. SAE sent me a confirmation email when I signed up in October with March 11-13. That's Monday-Wednesday. At some point, after that email, after plane tickets were purchased, something changed because when they send me another confirmation on Feb 27 the dates were 12-14 which is what the course is now. I can make it work, but I'm going to miss spending time in New Orleans with the family. I should read my emails more closely. 

bluej
bluej UberDork
3/11/19 7:18 a.m.

That's kind of an unfortunate move to not give any heads up that the dates changed. frown

Hopefully the experience is good enough to move past the snafu.

Actually, if you're going to find yourself with an unexpected day away from home with nothing planned, there are a lot worse ways than being at/near the BMW Performance Center!

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
3/11/19 7:53 a.m.

In reply to bluej :

At this point it is what it is. Joshua Tree National park is half an hour away and I'm almost surrounded by desert parks both national and state. I'm going to go for a drive today. 

sleepyhead
sleepyhead Mod Squad
3/11/19 7:59 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

Good luck with that, maybe take a trash bag too... I saw reporting that those parks got trashed pretty hard earlier this year.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/11/19 8:01 a.m.

Joshua Tree has been cleaned up after the idiot invasion. The rangers got back to work with a vengeance. It’s a cool park to check out. 

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
3/11/19 10:09 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

Joshua Tree is an outstanding place to spend time.  You will dig it.

EDIT:  also, I’m sorry I didn’t Contact you sooner to confirm the date change. I don’t remember when it was, probably eight weeks ago maybe longer.

klodkrawler05
klodkrawler05 Reader
3/11/19 1:56 p.m.

Looking forward to see what you learn/can share! No luck selling this one to my bosses yet but hopefully someday.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
3/11/19 7:15 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

Hopefully I'm the only one who somehow slipped through the cracks. I know previous courses filled up early so I can't be the only one who registered on the old dates. 

Since I'm here...... I drove around. A lot. There has been a bunch of rain and the roads I wanted to drive through the San Bernadino National Forest were closed. I wandered farther west and south and found some neat places. If you stay off the freeways it seems like you always stumble into something neat. Then on to Joshaua Tree National Park. First off I see this dude in an Iveco super camper thing. It was awesome. 

That rain that washed out roads? It also meant that the whole desert was in bloom. So many flowers. 

The main roads through the park are paved, but they do have some reserved for rental cars. 

That one was a little soft, but there were more car appropriate ones too. 

And bunches of rocks to walk around on. The kids would have liked this. 

And then I dropped by the air park on my way back just to ogle the planes. 

Bit of a delay getting started, but tomorrow I should have actual class stuff to talk about. 

 

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS HalfDork
3/12/19 12:00 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

Have fun but honestly I think you’ll be bored by a lot of it.  I know I would.  

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
3/12/19 7:59 a.m.

I had a conversation with an Electrical Engineering teacher last fall while we were waiting for our daughters to get off the bus back from college. He said the biggest difference in school right now is information availability.  Everything you need to become an engineer is publicly available. Why do we even need college then? Even among those 18 year olds who want to become an EE a significant portion don't finish the program. Having information available isn't the same as learning and processing it for use. 

I have no doubt that everything I'm about to learn is publicly available and a lot of if I've already seen,  but (I hope) that doesn't mean that I can't learn a substantial amount. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/12/19 8:07 a.m.

I would say that all the information you need to know to function as an engineer is publicly available - and has been for some time, if you're willing to accept that libraries are not a new concept. But information is not knowledge.

sleepyhead
sleepyhead Mod Squad
3/12/19 8:12 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

there's also that being an engineer can be a mindset... or a process.  For some people, it comes naturally... and/or they can pick it up through reading the information.  Other people need the repetition of doing the process over and over and over again, until their professors tell them to leave wink

GTXVette
GTXVette SuperDork
3/12/19 10:42 a.m.

  Knowledge is knowing how to use the Informantion that is Available.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
3/12/19 10:07 p.m.

Day 1 is in the books. 15 students from a variety of backgrounds with quite a number of them from forensic accident reconstruction. I've never met a single person who does that and now I've met about 6. 

Classroom stuff has varied from very basic to things I hadn't ever thought about. For instance, there is a chain of events where you crank the wheel and induce slip angle in the front tires, the tires take time to react and yaw the car. It's only after the car yaws that you induce slip angle in the rear and then it starts generate lateral force. This whole process takes a surprising amount of time, so long that you can feel the individual elements if you do the exercise right and are sitting in the back seat where you can feel it. 

This brings us to the exercises. On day 1 they're basic almost to the point of being lame if you've spent a lot of time in a car making it be all sloppy on purpose. I think I'd be happier if I got to do each exercise 30 times instead of 3, but we're limited by car count and the number of bodies we need to get through things. 

Lastly, AngryCorvair is a cool dude. He knows quite a lot about making cars go slow. He'd probably say it's actually about slowing down, but whatever, he barely squeaked out a flier to beat me on his last autocross run during the fun autocross after class, so I'm going to make jokes him to get him back for that. 

More tomorrow, I'll take pictures too. 

spacecadet
spacecadet Reader
3/12/19 10:59 p.m.

Wow... sounds like a interesting day. Looking forward to photos. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
3/12/19 11:17 p.m.

In reply to spacecadet :

Almost forgot, there are two drivers/engineers from a major tire manufacturer. We were discussing tires (because fundamentally all vehicle dynamics is about tires) and a bit about contact patch shape and lateral vs. longitudinal grip. They said that the manufacturers can and do change contact patch shape with the carcass construction. That means that they will test two tires the same size with the same rubber compound that will give different responses laterally and longitudinally and often times the OE version of a tire is different than the consumer version in the same size because of this. That information mostly made me to be a billionaire so I could have bespoke tires made that perform just the way I want them to. laugh

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
3/13/19 1:21 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

... manufacturers can and do change contact patch shape with the carcass construction. That means that they will test two tires the same size with the same rubber compound that will give different responses laterally and longitudinally and often times the OE version of a tire is different than the consumer version in the same size because of this.

At the risk of being pedantic - I'm assuming you mean tread compounds here. This is true, but we also use many different compounds in the other areas on the tire that can also change the performance. It's a big balancing act to develop a tire that achieves the program goals.

The bit about OE vs aftermarket tires being different is very true. The OEM has specific design goals for their vehicle that the average consumer may or may not care about. This is why I usually suggest buying the OE tire when people ask me the "what tire" question - some poor guy like me spent a lot of time developing it as a match to the car... another tire will usually degrade performance in at least one area.

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
3/13/19 2:43 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

Classroom stuff has varied from very basic to things I hadn't ever thought about. For instance, there is a chain of events where you crank the wheel and induce slip angle in the front tires, the tires take time to react and yaw the car. It's only after the car yaws that you induce slip angle in the rear and then it starts generate lateral force. This whole process takes a surprising amount of time, so long that you can feel the individual elements if you do the exercise right and are sitting in the back seat where you can feel it. 

My understanding is that this is why (or part of why?) the rear roll center is usually higher than the front; while springs don't add normal force until roll displacement happens and dampers don't generate force until there is roll motion occurring, the geometry of the suspension can generate normal forces on the outside tires to help get that set at the rear contact patch happening sooner. Or at least that's the ballpark of what I think I know; I'm really curious about whether you'll find out anything that confirms, expands, or crushes that notion in class...

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