errorgti
errorgti New Reader
4/30/12 3:57 p.m.

I recently installed koni shocks on my car, sure it feels faster but I need to understand why.

Do quality shocks absorb energy that normally would be directed to the tires and eventually overload them?

Why do fast cars have stiff spring rates? Do stiffer springs absorb even more energy and result in the car sticking to the road for longer?

Carts don't have suspensions and they turn like ..well carts. Assuming a perfect road surface, are springs and struts even necessary?

mazdeuce
mazdeuce Reader
4/30/12 4:09 p.m.

Let's see if I can do this right. It's about rate of weight transfer. In a kart, with no springs and nothing to move, this happens basically instantaneously when you change directions. In a 93 Buick, you move a lot of weight a long distance from one side to another when you change direction and it takes time. How controlled the big squishy mass settles is important too. Your new shocks aren't changing weight transfer, that happens no matter what, what they are doing is making sure that it happens in a more controlled manner. Your car flops ove more predictably and that motion is controlled better.
In the case of stiffer springs, a higher rate has you moving less distance to take up the same amount of weight transfer, less distance, less movement, things happen faster. The Buick had a low rate, the kart has an infinite rate, your car is somewhere in between and you can move it one way or another with rate changes. Of course when you change springs you're also often changing ride heights which is changing center of gravity and roll centers and such. You also get into stiffer springs controlling movement which is reducing negative camber changes with certain suspensions. There's a lot going on when you start mucking about.

iceracer
iceracer UltraDork
4/30/12 5:37 p.m.

shocks are more correctly, as the english say, dampeners. They dampen the oscillations of the springs. mazdeuce pretty well explained it without getting into an overload of information.

iceracer
iceracer UltraDork
4/30/12 5:38 p.m.
iceracer wrote: shocks are more correctly, as the english say, dampeners. They dampen the oscillations of the springs. mazdeuce pretty well explained it without getting into an overload of information.
44Dwarf
44Dwarf SuperDork
4/30/12 5:40 p.m.

Karts do have suspension! Many have a torsion bar in the back, chassis flex is a form of suspension so are the tires.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce Reader
4/30/12 5:48 p.m.
44Dwarf wrote: Karts do have suspension! Many have a torsion bar in the back, chassis flex is a form of suspension so are the tires.

Well yea, everything has some degree of frame flex and tire deflection, even cars with real suspension. If thats all you have, it's what you use. I think for this discussion, karts can be considered to have no suspension.

Bowenaero
Bowenaero New Reader
5/1/12 11:36 a.m.

Cars with stiffer springs have less body roll. When you roll less, you don't move along the camber curve as much, keeping more contact patch on the ground. Also, you don't encounter as much roll steer. I believe your slip angle does not change as much either, which is beneficial.

Also, it's "dampers, damping, damp, damped", not "dampeners, dampening, dampen, dampened". Nothing's getting wet lol

Matt B
Matt B Dork
5/1/12 11:48 a.m.

It's already been alluded to, but I'd just like to add that the name shock absorbers is pretty misleading. The dampers/struts/shocks/whatever aren't absorbing energy from the road directly, but instead controlling the energy of the spring (that is absorbing the energy from the road). Without them, the springs would do what any uncontrolled spring would do - oscillate. Ever see those hoopties bouncing down the highway?

Probably one of the best analogies about dampers that you hear from time to time compares them to electrical capacitors. Instead of controlling the flow of electrons, it's controlling the speed of weight transfer.

HStockSolo
HStockSolo Reader
5/1/12 12:18 p.m.
Matt B wrote: Probably one of the best analogies about dampers that you hear from time to time compares them to electrical capacitors.

No, dampers are equivalent to electrical resistors not capacitors. Springs are equivalent to capacitors.

foxtrapper
foxtrapper UberDork
5/1/12 1:30 p.m.
errorgti wrote: Do quality shocks absorb energy that normally would be directed to the tires and eventually overload them?

More like they keep the tires from flapping up into the air off of bumps, and keep the car from bobbling and dancing and feeling unsteady.

It's not the tire falling into the pothole, it's the tire bouncing up coming out of the pot hole.

Why do fast cars have stiff spring rates?

Because they are on smooth tracks. Fast offroad trucks have soft suspensions, and lots of travel. Different settings for different conditions.

Carts don't have suspensions and they turn like ..well carts. Assuming a perfect road surface, are springs and struts even necessary?

On a smooth track, no suspension works wonderfully. Add bumps, and you're airborn and skittering around.

Matt B
Matt B Dork
5/3/12 10:20 a.m.
HStockSolo wrote:
Matt B wrote: Probably one of the best analogies about dampers that you hear from time to time compares them to electrical capacitors.
No, dampers are equivalent to electrical resistors not capacitors. Springs are equivalent to capacitors.

Doh! My bad. I haz remembered incorrectly.

<--- Not the most electrically inclined here

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