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Post Info TOPIC: Caster angle


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Caster angle
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My car started life as a Blue Sky Aerocoupe which I have heavily modified. It's pretty much unrecognizable now I think.

I did keep the dual lever steering and the front spindle setup however. I have always thought the steering seemed heavy and requires a lot of effort.  I measured the angle of the spindle today and discovered that it is running a 30 degree caster angle which explains the high-effort steering. 

Is this standard for an Aerocoupe kit?

What kind of caster angles is everyone else using?

I'm looking at reworking it to 10 degrees or so.IMG_20170101_172625.jpg



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I've used 3 different angles. My #80 car which was my first I used 15 degrees of caster and for steering I used a rack and pinion. However this was really heavy for me so I changed it to 7 degrees. This made the steering feel as I could only describe as solid. And when I changed this it made it feel like the car handles better. When it was 15 it was to heavy to turn quickly.
One race I had my front axle snap in half so in the middle of the race we re-fabricated a brand new axle in the pits during the race, when we did this we did not have time to incorporate castor into it. So we ran 0 degrees and it was horrible, the car just never wanted to go straight. What I'm trying to say make sure you don't take to much away or your car won't want to go straight.
On my 2nd car I had dual levers and 15 degrees again. And it seemed to work ok, however I never raced/drove this car.
On my 3rd car #365 "The Duck" I AGAIN started with 15 degrees and again it was just to heavy with a pivot arm, but what I really noticed was that after a turn the steering would whip back to straight. So again I changed it back to 7 degrees, and I have been very happy with it.
Now my #80 and #365 car are both fairly heavy upfront and with castor you lift a part of the front of the car.

In summery 15 degrees has been to heavy and 7 degrees has been working great.

I know Rodney's car has 8 degrees (Maybe it was 7) . His car he bought from a guy who has been building and selling the cars for a while and all of his cars have 7/8 degrees, and currently there are 4-5 of these cars racing here and they seem to be handling great.

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Middleton High School, Tampa

"If you ain't first, you're last" -Reese Bobby



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At Willamette High I tell the students to plan for from 5 to 25 degrees.

My car is at 25 which I love. It is a bit 'heavy' or hard to turn but with the two lever steering it is easy to play with the levers to make it work well. My 115 lb wife drove it with longer steering levers and took first in her one and only race! The reaso I like this much angle is that both front wheels dig into a corner so it corners better or at least as well as any car in the NW.

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Ron


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I have driven Mike's #38 "wolverine car" (sweet car to drive!!! maneuverable and responsive!!!!) several times and do not find the steering "heavy"...
and bear in mind I am listed as "permanently disabled" in my right hand/arm by the state of Oregon after getting arm crushed by having 18,000lb of rebar dropped on it...

I ran 20 degree on My car #13 and it's twin #14 for my son or daughter (whomever could drive on weekend of race)
my daughter felt that in car #14 the steering was "too heavy" sod in car #14 I changed the amount of leverage in the dual lever system for lighter steering
(amount of lever above and below pivot on lever)
and my daughter liked driving car #14 better after that, she said it was like having "power steering"

I like car #13 because while steering effort is a little higher it takes less steering input to turn therefore being a little "quicker" to corner in my mind.

so while caster can cause heavy steering there are other ways to "lighten" steering effort other than just changing camber...

Of course this all being said I have been toying with the idea of "backing down" to 10 degree or so of camber to make my car have a little "quicker" in steering response..

(more camber=more stable in straight line @ speed less camber= "twitchier" in straight line but "quicker" to change direction )

that may be a little bit "oversimplified" but is a decent "rule of thumb"

Ron J

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