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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 03:37 PM
Slightly Disjointed
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The compensators were a substitute for stiffer bushings. I would never recommend ditching the compensators if you're running the stock bushings, but if you use polys you can leave them out, and Jay's Delrins have filler material in place of the compensators so you couldn't use them even if you wanted to.

Joe Cesarz, Ford's specialty-car suspension guru for midsize cars, detailed the philosophy behind the car's neutral handling. "When I tune a car's suspension, I don't want any funnies," he explained with a smile. "Sure we could have tuned a bit more oversteer character into the car's handling, and I could take about two seconds off my times on the handling course. But that'd be the type of suspension that would get most drivers in trouble. Instead, we installed our special toe link."

This extra bit of hardware between the lower H-arm and the subframe and a soft bushing in the H-arm's front pivot point help steer the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels during braking or acceleration. This helps eliminate the rear suspension's natural propensity to toe out-which would cause the back of the car to swing out.

"Actually, you'll find that type of oversteer behavior that enthusiast drivers like in early IRS vehicles," said Cesarz. "But, really, that kind of handling was essentially a flaw in older IRS-equipped sedans. And I think if you have a chance to drive the latest BMWs, you'll find that they're much more neutral in their handling behavior."

But what if a Thunderbird customer wanted a s a more of that oversteer handling "flaw"?

"Well, right now we've got a slight bit of initial toe-in at the rear to control that, " explained Cesarz. "But the owner could always try changing the curb toe settings to either 0 degrees or even toe-out. That's if he wanted the car to oversteer-and was willing to accept more tire wear."

GT40 was a mid-engined car so it was prone to oversteer naturally, weight biases are literally double edged swords in car dynamics, so taming excess oversteer on that to make it competitive is to another team taming excess understeer on a front engine car to make theirs competitive.

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