The Car Handling Like $hit! We did this and now it handling like it's on rails!
So you finally fitted that coilover you have always been dreaming of. Takes it out to your local track-day to find out the car handling TERRIBLE! You went online and made a big fuss about how crappy the product. As you are reading through the comments of negativity, a guy name Mr. Handling asks if you have your car cornered balanced. You have no idea what that means and what it does. A visit to Mr. Handling's shop revealed why my car was handling so terrible after my install. I did not have my car corner balanced.
So what is corner balancing?
Corner balancing is the shifting the weight of the car that's loaded on each wheel to achieve the optimal value for optimal handling. The goal is to optimum front-rear weight distribution for a car will have 50/50 of the weight spread across front and rear axle as well as left and right. This method was developed over time based on testing and trial and error to refine the ideal tuning parameters that create a balance between handling and stability while cornering.
It is is critical to have the car corner balanced in order to achieve a smooth and predictable handling. When vehicle weight distribution is not balanced on the diagonal wheels, excessive weight may be carried by one pair of wheels resulting in a teeter-totter affect. If this imbalance is extreme and neither suspension can properly accommodate it, the ride quality and handling degrades significantly.
Street cars have no provision for adjusting their spring height. They typically have a relatively low spring rate, perhaps 100 lbs/in. With such low spring rates it would take a huge imbalance in spring height to effect corner balance.
Corner balance becomes much more important on track and race cars due to the high spring rates – small changes in height greatly impact weight carried. Since optimizing the handling performance is the key point in chassis and suspension setup, corner balance becomes very important.
To start, we need to define some terms first.
Cross Weight is the total of your right front plus your left rear.
Cross Weight = Right Front + Left Rear
Cross Weight Percentage equates to the total weight of the right front plus the left rear divided by the total weight of left front and right rear.
Cross Weight % = (Right Front + Left Rear) / (Left Front + Right Rear)
In the most ideal situation, we want the Cross Weight % be "50%"
When balanced the Cross Weight % will = 50%
Once you know your weight at each corner, it is important to know the term "Bite"
Bite = Left Rear - Right Rear
Bite is an indication of which rear tire favors the car. A positive value means the left rear is carrying more weight while a negative value means the right rear is carrying more weight. The side that it carries more weight will get more traction and bite.
Wedge Delta will tell us how much extra weight is on the left rear and right front tires to yield more traction or bite on left turns. This value is calculated by adding the right front and right rear together then subtracting the total weight of the left front and right rear.
Wedge Delta = (Right Front + Left Rear) - (Left Front + Right Rear)
When Wedge is balanced at 50% then Wedge Delta will be 0.
Understanding these terms will help you to adjust the car accordingly through science to work best for a certain track and conditions.
You can find a corner weight balancing calculator by clicking on the download link below.
If you would like us to balance your car for you, please don't hesitate and give us a call at 888-890-7257 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can book you in for an appointment to have your car setup right!