Roll center analysis

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Roll center analysis

We will use these measurements in a two-dimensional height and width geometry software program. We want to determine where the roll center is located in order to determine how that location influences the geometric and dynamic characteristics of our race car.

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Here are some helpful instructions on how to correctly measure the suspension points on your race car. The first consideration is to find a level floor on which to measure.

Professional teams use a surface plate made of thick machined steel. Not all of us are so fortunate.


So, instead, find a portion of your garage floor that is level. The measurements are much easier to determine if the engine is out of Roll center analysis car. Use the same distance to block up at each corner.

Remember to support the car safely and use jackstands as backups in case the car shifts while someone is under it.

Roll center - Wikipedia

A good distance to block up is 10 inches, because this is an easy number to subtract from your initial height measurements. We need to establish a centerline of the chassis.

To correctly analyze the roll center, which influences the camber change characteristics and dynamic properties of the chassis, we want to use a centerline which is halfway between the tire contact patches. This is the centerline which the car will feel as the forces react on it in the turns.

It is important for us to know where our roll center is in relation to this centerline. Ball-joint measurements will be easier to take if the wheel is removed. Here is a method that keeps the spindle in the correct position after the wheel is removed. Before you block the car up, measure and record the length of each front shock from bolt to bolt, with the car at ride height and the race weight in it including all fluids and the driver.

In place of the shocks, insert a piece of tubing or strap metal which has two holes drilled in the ends exactly the same diameter and distance apart as the shock lengths you measured. Mark the center on the bottom of each tire and measure between them.

Roll center analysis

Place a mark on the floor halfway between these two tire centers. Repeat this procedure for the rear tires. Then, snap a chalk line over these two centerline points, front to rear, to produce the centerline you will measure the width of each point to. Now you can remove the wheels, and the spindle will be at the exact same vertical position as it was when the car was at ride height.

Now that the car is positioned so that we can get to the chassis points, we need to determine the center of rotation for each point. This is easy for Heim joints or mono ball joints, but many race cars use the OEM-type ball joints. The center of rotation is not obvious for this type of ball joint.

Do not eyeball these points and guess at the location. Instead, use the information supplied by each manufacturer.Whether you have a strut-type system or an OEM-type lower control arm, you need to use the front chassis mounting point for a two-dimensional roll center analysis.

Roll Center Calculator v for Windows XP/Vista/Win 7, 8, 10 Computer Program to Simulate and Analyze Front Suspension (Double A Arm, McPherson Strut, Straight Axle) for Camber Gain, Roll Center, Wheel Rate and More.

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