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What are the steps in setting up your car for the track?

Discussion in 'rFactor' started by Milan Simic, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. I've learned quite a bit theory on car setup and I know much about what component does what to a car. I learned it by reading and using it on netKar Pro. I want to try out rFactor now, since I can only play Netkar Pro demo because my country is not supported by PayPal and it seems to be only way to buy the game.
    Now, about my questions.
    1. Is there any way to get some baseline setup for the car on the track that can be altered by going out and testing it and tweaking as needed? I mean by comparing some numbers, number of corners, speeds or something like that. Or is it totaly random, like I will go out with 20 degrees of wings, then 45, then 70 and see with which I'm fastest?
    2. NetKar pro had some relative numbers that showed relative balance of the cars (frequency of front and rear body oscilations of cars in HZ, so if they are equal car is balanced or if not the car is expected to be over or understeery, % of critical damping for easy baseline bump and rebound settings, percentage of front/rear bodyroll for Antiroll bar etc.). Are there similar numbers somewhere in setup screen of rFactor, and if not, is there any way to calculate what the car is going to do (like convert spring stiffness and other components from N/m to frequency of body oscilations in Hz i. e. is it gonna be more prone to over or understeer)?
    3. What is the easiest way to set up a car in steps? Is it like go out and set up wings, then next go out and setup gear ratios, then suspension, then camber, toe etc.? If anyone has suggestions what steps should I use in setting up a car properly, please write, or give a link to some guide. Again, I don't need basics, I know what components do in general, I just need advice what steps to use to set up car the most time efficiently.

    I hope that I am making some sense with my questions and that the people will understand what I actually ask :) English is not my native language so I am sorry if my post is confusing :)
  2. I always start with the base setup that mod gives you.

    If you want to create a setup for race, follow this steps (I use excel and MoTeC for this maths and retrieve data):

    1.- Load your car with enough fuel to drive 10 flying laps.
    2.- Calculate the load and pressure average of every tyre.
    3.- The ideal pressure of every tyre will be determined by this formula: CONST1 + CONST2 *TyreLoad (N). You could found CONST1 and CONST2 in the mod's .tbc file.
    4.- The pressure for the optimum setup (not ideal) in every tyre will be:

    Ideal Pressure * Default Presure/Average Stint Pressure.

    Nex steps will be change gears ratio, aerodynamics and suspensions.
  3. First make the car driveable, that is, when it does what you expect from him and its easy to drive. Focus on brakes, diffs, arb, springs and wings. You´re not looking for ultimate pace, just driveability.

    Once the car is stable you can set some laptimes to find the ideal line and see what it is capable of, set a benchmark time, measure sector times, turns that must be optmised over others and so on. Try to extract the maximum of this baseline setup, thats were you get the information if future changes are giving the right results, and not because you just driving better.

    After that you will have a pretty good idea of what you need to change or optmise in the car.
  4. Get a fine setup is not an art, to do a real good setup you need to analyse telemetry. MoTeC is mandatory.
  5. Motec isn´t mandatory.

    I rarely use it, and most of the people that i race and share setups with dont use it too. And funny enough, most people that i know to be "setup experts" are actually slow, with a few exceptions.

    Deep mechanichal knowlegde isn´t related to speed on the track. You just need to know the basics of vehicle dinamics, and more importantly, what you want from the car, its more useful to be able to understand the car´s behaviour in practice than in theory. Setup can become a neurosis, while you will get better results if you just focus in your driving technique.

    I think that the real problem about setups is that most people who have "problems" with it, just cant correlate the theory with what the car is doing. I´m not an engineer, but i have "tools" (settings that i know why and how to change) that enabled me to change the car in the way i want, those tools are limited, but i always try to optimise their results, while in the other hand there´s some things that i just cant grasp how they work in a practical way (shocks to be precise :D).

    i understand that you can have a technically perfect setup, using motec or any other technology available, but you don´t need it to be competitive.

    Motec can only show you the data, it cannot show you the solution. The driver is responsible to know what is wrong with the car.
  6. No fancy Motec for me....

    1. Tune the overall balance (over/understeer), brake bias and other user friendly stuff... Including gearings in some cars. If you know the average F/R camber settings the car should have, put it.

    2. Tyre pressures, do 4-5 laps and escape when you cross the finish line on the straight (when it is stabilised) The inside should be around 10-15C hotter than the outside, the middle in between (if lower than the outside, put more air... Can be about the same as the inside as some tracks are difficult to fine tune on) At that point you can play with the camber a bit to find the correct heat projection throughout the tyres.

    3. Fine tune it to find a bit more time. Most of the speed is attained with the balance, but you can play around softer/harder whilst keeping the same ratio so it can suit the track better, stuff like elevation changes, kerbs and bumps (dampers)... Springs can also help.

    4. Qualy trim vs Race trim.
    In Q trim, you want more camber and higher tyre pressures, possibly a more agressive rear end if you have good car control.
    In R trim, the car has to be comfortable to drive, and if tyre wear is big factor (longer races, high wearing tyres, etc...), less camber is important... Also keep in mind that tyre lock up, wheel spin and over-turning the steering wheel will all kill your rubber. Factor this in your fine tuning.

    Steering ratio is important. Most of the time people use too much steering lock and too little wheel rotation, leading too extremely twichy steering and over-turning in corners (tyre scrubbing)

    Rotation (540) / Lock (20) / 2 = Steering ratio (13.5:1)

    Touring Cars: 450 to 540deg, 17 to 22 lock (Steering ratio, 12.5:1 to 15:1)
    Open Wheelers: 360 to 540, 17 to 24 lock (Steering ratio, 10:1 to 15:1)
    Road Cars: Highly dependable, 720 to 900+, 22 to 40 lock (Steering ratio, 11:1 to 20:1)
  7. Very interesting tip about the steering ratio William! thnx!
    I adjusted this a month ago and two weeks ago I drove a race
    where I ended up on the podium thnx to saving my tires.
    I was already wondering if this could have been the reason...
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