Tuning Terms - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 06-19-2004, 08:23 PM   #1
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Tuning Terms

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This thread is dedicated to showing people and discussing how to tune you truck or buggy to make it perfect. Here are the most common terms used in tunignt, and how to use and adjust them......

Ackerman-is the angle of the inside tire in relation to the outside tire when the wheels are turned completely to either right or left. Less Ackerman=more aggressive steering. Example-turning right, outside wheel turns at 50 degrees, and the inside wheel turns at 70 degrees.

Caster-describes the angle of the kingpin from vertical when looked at from the side of the truck or buggy. Positive caster means the kingpin leans rearward at the top, Negative caster should never be used. Increasing caster will give your car more steering entering corners, but less steering when exiting. It will also be more stable in bumpy conditions.

Kick up-is the angle at which the front suspension is mounted in relation to horizontal when looked from the side of the truck or buggy. Kick up is adjusted by changing the suspension arm mounts.

Toe in/out (front)-Toe in is when (looking from a birds eye view of you vehicle) the front of the tires are pointed in towards the vehicle. Toe out is the opposite when the front of the tires are pointed outwards. It is adjusted by turning the steering turnbuckles. Toe-in will make your vehicle easier to drive and be more stable, but decrease steering a bit. Toe-out will improve steering when entering corners, but will be slightly more difficult to drive.

Rear Anti-squat-describes the angle at which the rear suspension is mounted in relation to horizontal when looked from the side of the car. So if you look at your car from the side, and you can see that the block carrier is titled towards the rear of the car, that is anti-squat. More anti-squat will increase traction, while less will reduce traction.

Ride height-is the height of the chassis in relation to the surface it is sitting on. This adjustment must be made with the chassis in its ready to run state (with batteries/fuel in place) without the body. Lower right height for tracks with more traction, while higher for tracks with less traction, but don’t go insane with these. You don’t want to bottom out, or have mad body roll.

Camber Link Locations-this is pretty easy adjustment. If your vehicle has different mounting positions, try to use these few pointers to help with traction. The higher or longer the link, more traction and less stability. The shorter or lower the link, the less traction and greater stability.

Camber-this is really easy to understand, even for AYK. Camber is when either the top or bottom of the tire is tiled inward. If the top is, it is considered negative camber. When the bottom is, it is considered positive camber. Negative camber is almost always used and it allows the tires to be flat while cornering. More camber for high bite tracks, and less for loose/ low traction tracks.

Bump Steer-is undesirable steering while going through bumps. A good way to check if you have bump steer is to take a race ready car (batteries/fuel in place) and put it on a completely flat surface, and slowly press down on the front of the truck or buggy. If the angles of the toe in or out shift slightly when it is pushed down, then you have bump steer. A good way to fix this is by putting a single 0.30” bump steer spacer under the front ball stud on both steering knuckles.

Droop-is the amount of down travel a suspension arm has. Droop can be set independently (different for different models of R/C) for all 4 arms, and are suppose to be set the exact same on each side (front or rear) of the truck or buggy.

Shock Mounting Position-If your truck or buggy have different shock mounting positions (usually on the shock towers and on the arms) then your in luck. On the front, standing the shock up more will give you increased dampening, but will decrease steering. Laying the front shock down more will make the shock feel stiffer, but will increase steering, but decrease dampening.Angling the shocks allows you to play with the strength of the spring (since ride height is adjusted by shock collars ONLY, never shock position), but viscosity will remain constant (since it's applied to the shock's movement, which dimishes as it's laid down). The rear/front shocks should keep the weight of the vehicle off the ground at about the same distance (the front having a slight advantage).

Hope this helped some of you on understanding how to tune your truck or buggy. more to come........The more vertical the shock, the more noticable the spring tension gets, the more horizontal the shock gets, the less noticable the spring tension gets.
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