Tuning for Tracks

Anyone have any general comments on how to tune for specific tracks? For example Sebring is an extremely flat track and doesn’t require the camber that other tracks do. You can also lower a car further since it’s so flat, but mind the curb bumpers… something like that, please correct me if I had that wrong some how.

That last corner at Sebring is buuuuuuumpy. Last time I raced there I left the car a little taller to not bottom out there. Plus, I though using more camber had to do with being more of a tight course with more turns. Sebring has some pretty long straights and is less turny than some of the other courses. Although it does have some tight turns. The long course at least. But then you’ve got the long long straight.

I don’t wan to lead you down the wrong “road”, but it may be worth considering - coefficient of friction? asphalt vs. concrete… they’re different! could be as much as 20-30% depending on ware (or where ;^). If implemented in the game, (- and we know the road friction varies and can even be dialed up/down in on-line races.) it should mean that you’d need better tires on one of track vs. the other - depending on type and condition - Sebring, your example, is old concrete, yes? …maybe 65-70% the traction you’d see at… someplace with “fresh” asphalt. If you were to delve (too) deep into it, you might want to build a car around the type of road surface as much as a track’s characteristics. just some food for thought.

GroovierWolf3, camber is typically used more on tight tracks, but from my experience comes into play more on tracks that have elevation changes, or much more specifically, tracks that have turns that have some bank on them. Sebring is a very flat track. While the last turn is old broken concrete, there is really only the one dip just before the broken concrete where you may bottom out if your suspension is either too soft or your your ride height too low. However, if your suspension is to stiff, you’ll bounce and skip all over the place. I haven’t taken the time to test “bunch of camber” vs “no camber”. While some camber will always be beneficial, except for drag racing, due to the flat curves, it’s my theory that less camber is needed at Sebring. A couple other things to consider, if you turn your CASTER higher when you turn a resultant camber adjustment will be imposed. More caster allows for less negative camber. Caster only effects a wheel that turns laterally (ie the front wheels). So the result is that the front wheel becomes more negative when turning while weight transfer throws weight towards the outside tire. An ideal setting would result in zero camber during the turn. Something to be mindful of is that the more severe the turn, the more negative camber that is imposed on the front wheels. So an ideal (zero camber) result can only be for a specific degree of turn, more or less than that can result in positive or negative camber. However, caster only comes into effect when the wheel is turned. So during a straight, the wheel would have less camber, during turns it would have more. Make sense?

In summary, I’ve talked myself into trying a low camber setting (-0.2 to -0.4) with a higher caster setting (6.5 to 7), while leaving the rear wheels at an extremely low caster (-0.1 to -0.2). Meanwhile, I’ll have the ride height at stock or slightly higher than stock to allow for more suspension travel. The sway bars will set a bit stronger than usual to keep the tires planted to the pavement. Spring rates will be set a bit softer to absorb the bouncing at the last turn, while allowing for more lateral grip due to more suspension travel. I’ll let you know how it works out.

DesigningLeek47, thank you for the pun! Having done some autocrossing, I know exactly what you’re talking about. Most of the course is concrete and this is broken concrete. I’m not entirely confident that T10 did not implement different frictional coefficients for different surfaces. After all they HAVE implemented a gargantuan level of physics, take a look at my store front for a closeup picture of a tire. You can actually see the tire rolling over and the tread being disfigured as my car went through a turn. What I can tell you is that there have been times when I have been watching the gravitational force telemetry page and compared to other tracks, there were no differences in the maximum g’s that were attained during the turns. Except that during the last turn the g’s are extremely erratic. However, you do have an excellent point and is something I’ll take much closer look at. I believe though that the frictional differences are most notable between road and non-road surfaces. While concrete may only have 65-70% of nice clean asphalt, it still allows for vastly more grip than dirt or grass. If there is a difference I think it’s negligible.

In general, I think Silverstone and Hockenheim have the same “character” as Sebring, except for the broken concrete that is. Being so flat should allow for lower ride height, stiffer suspension and less negative camber. However, you’ll want to especially watch out for the berms in the turns. With your suspension being tighter it’ll be easier to roll over. Bound and rebound have A LOT to do with that, but a stiff suspension will do it too.

'bout camber & castor - (disclaimer: not that I can really tell you if this is implimented in the game, as in real life, but…) camber & castor should work in concert the generally accepted rule of thumb IRL seems to be: caster ≈ 1.4 x camber change for +/-20° steer

I gleaned the following from the internets (somewhere):

Castor: Varies on-center feel and tracking. Also affects turn-in and responsiveness. 3* for snappy, 4* for balanced, 5* for solid on-center tendency, or 6* for strong on-center feel. As caster comes down to 3* or so, you will have an extremely light feel to the steering, more of a point-and-shoot feel.

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Very interesting! Thank you for that… And I was wrong about the camber setting. I ended up using -0.9 on the front and -1.1 rear, front toe is 0.0, rear is -0.2. Camber was 1 or all the way left. Sway bars were 11.3 front, 10.7 rear, I don’t remember the rest exactly, I’ll post the build later when I can look at it.

The car I was using was a '94 Mazda MX-5 Miata tuned for C425.

what tire size on your mx-5?

eh 195/50/15 front and 215/45/15. I’ll post up the rest of the settings when I get back on my Xbox… it might be a little bit though, getting ready to watch Louisville beat UK.

Wow, that’s a lot of camber on the rear. My goodness.

As Drows said, it’s not really a ton. Probably 99% of my cars have the camber between -.8 and -1.1. Depends on the width of the tire and the track I’m testing on. I’ve not gotten as extreme as -3 though. Maybe that’s what I’m needing on those cars I can’t get the tire heat right.

Not really. From what I heard, some players are running up to -3.0 at the front

About tuning for tracks - you would ideally have a car that fits one track…or style of tracks. If you make one car for every track it will do alright on some tracks and bad on others. You could group together tracks that share certain characteristics, or you can pick out a track and know what would work for it, what parts you’d put on a car and how you’d tune for it. It’s the same with different aspects of tuning, ie gears and aero. That will change on any given track so the best setups will be very track limited but they will perform brilliantly. But, it goes without saying that I’d take a toolbox with every kind of screwdriver and spanner than having like two that won’t fit everything.

Someone touched on the last corner at Sebring, you could try different lines to avoid the worst of the bumpy section. I always go wide on entry which gives me a better angle to accelerate earlier, but that is in higher class where the downforce helps keep the car glued more to the uneven bits.

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You’re, of course, exactly right. It’s the difference between a leaderboard car and a lobby car. Having a bunch of cars that car run an assortment of tracks will ultimately be more fun that having that ONE car for that ONE track. In the lobby, it’ll become monotonous and predictable. Sure you may wax everyone in the room, but it will become dry after a while. However, trying to figure out how to make an El Camino to perform well or tuning a Hummer H1 so that you can actually race it and not be a wrecker. I get that!

What I’m hoping for is a perspective on each track so that when/if time trails comes up some general where-with-all can be had. However, if someone were to provide a general grouping of which tracks can be considered as similar, I’ll do my homework and study those tracks and try to figure out my own understanding of the tracks.

As promised here is the tune in it’s entirety…

1994 Mazda Miata MX-5

and the equipment upgrades are as follows:
Mazda Miata MX-5 Upgrades

Oh and I realized the Lateral G’s on the sheet say 1.1, the correct value is actually 1.08. the 1.1 was from a previous build.

Feel free to ask any questions.

that’s some crazy graphing and charting, right there.

While I’d love to have such Excel-lent skills <lol, sad nerd humor>, that’s all courtesy of the calculator that I use. I’ve worked up my own transmission calculations, but for the moment my suspension work starts here. Granted as in all cases, it provides a starting point. A pretty darn good one, but a starting point none-the-less.

I have a coupla questions… 1) where do I get a hold of this calculator? 2) do you input the car info, and it comes out with the set-up numbers? 3) and do you use all of those graphs or are they just stating the numbers (on the set up) graphically? I’d like to have a class on setting up a car…the hows and whys…it’s fascinating to me. I wish Turn 10 would give more direction on what THEY did to determine these numbers, which would give us a clue as to where to look when setting up. I for one, don’t know how to do a replay and use/understand the telemetry page. I’ve only been doin this a year, and I’ve never been a gamer, and I was frustrated by not having a “manual” when I started…even how to maneuver between sections, and what was possible in them, etc… Luckily, there were cool people here that were willing to help a newbie…and I really appreciate(d) that!!

I’m with you. I like manuals. I did find some good info just googling on the net for a few things in the game. I printed out a page that showed what all the buttons do. LOL. But there is so much you can do in the game, the manual would be pretty big. So in their defense, it’s probably not feasible. Can you see us buying it at the store and them stocking a book that looks like the yellow pages along with every game. LOL.

there is a very long (30-50 page) and detailed .pdf for Forza 3 on-line… I don’t think it was written by T10 or MS …I’m sure you could find it.