How to Hook & Launch: Traction Mods for Street & Strip

Overview

While building big horsepower has become easier, putting that power down to the pavement is still quite a challenge. Getting great "bite" involves a lot more than sticky tires and a smoky burnout. The suspension system is being put to work in a way it was never designed to operate. A better understanding of exactly what is happening to the suspension when the car launches from a standing start will assist you in maximizing your car's effectiveness on the street or at the track. ...
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Overview

While building big horsepower has become easier, putting that power down to the pavement is still quite a challenge. Getting great "bite" involves a lot more than sticky tires and a smoky burnout. The suspension system is being put to work in a way it was never designed to operate. A better understanding of exactly what is happening to the suspension when the car launches from a standing start will assist you in maximizing your car's effectiveness on the street or at the track.

In How to Hook and Launch: Traction Mods for the Street & Strip, author Dick Miller explains the physics behind what gets a car moving from a standing start, and how to best harness the various powers at work. Getting the rear tires to really bite and gain maximum traction is divided into several small steps, and Miller walks you through each phase of the launch.

Today's enthusiasts face a wide range of potential traction improvements, from softer tires and basic bolt-ons to complete or partial chassis replacements. Most opt for something in-between, where some well-engineered components are chosen to replace the factory equipment and offer a greater capability and range of adjustment. It is this range of upgrades where Miller spends most of his time, explaining what the parts and pieces do, and how to use them to their highest potential.

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Editorial Reviews

Auto Enthusiast - Alan Mayes
ran news release with cover image on p 46 of Feb 2013 issue
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934709351
  • Publisher: CarTech, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/15/2012
  • Series: S-A Design
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 586,543
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Author Dick Miller of Hernando, Mississippi, has been drag racing competitively for 40 years. The overwhelming majority of his experience has been with modified street cars (versus purpose-built racing cars). This wealth of experience has served to educate him on the needs facing others who choose to drag race their own street machines. He is also a manufacturer of custom-crafted suspension and traction aids for a wide range of domestic rear wheel-driven cars.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 4
About the Author 5
Introduction 7
Chapter 1: Suspension Basics and Drag Racing Dynamics 8
For Every Action There is a Reaction 8
Shock Absorbers 11
Chapter 2: Rear Suspension: Leaf Springs 14
Pinion Angle 14
Preload and Spring Wrap 15
Rise or Squat 17
The Neutral Line 18
Ladder Bars 19
Subframe Connectors 19
Calvert Leaves 20
Chapter 3: Rear Suspension: Coil Springs and Three-Link 25
The Neutral Line 25
Preload 26
Pinion Angle 28
Bushings 29
Lower Control Arms 31
Scale Procedure 33
Chapter 4: Rear Suspension: Coil Springs and Four-Link 34
Basic Design 34
Bushing Replacement 36
Control Arm Upgrades 36
No-Hop Bars 36
Track Locators 39
Control Arm Adjustments 40

Setting Preload 40
Adjusting Preload 41
Chapter 5: Front Suspension: Straight Axles 42
The Basics 42
Gasser Era 45

Steering Styles 47
Bump Steer 47
Front Tires 47
Chapter 6: Front Suspension: Double A-Arm 50
Alignment 51
Sway bars 54
Sway Bars versus Anti-Roll Bars 54
Shocks 56
Spring Selection 58
Chapter 7: Front Suspension: Single A-Arm 60
Alignment 61
Sway Bars 62
Aftermarket Struts 62
Bracing 63
Coil-Overs, Struts, Springs, K-Members 64
Chapter 8: Front Suspension: Torsion Bars 67
Basic Design 68
Performance Upgrades 69
Drag Tuning 70
Shock Absorbers 72
Weight Loss 73
Subframe Connectors 74
Bars and Cages 74
Bushings 75
Tubular Arms 75
Chapter 9: Tires 76
Offset Axle Housings 76
Rubber Compounds 77
Wheel Screws 77
Tire Care 77
Mounting Advice 80
Street Tire Comparison 81
Drag Radial Advice 82
Tire Storage 87
Pressure and Wear 87
Sample Applications 89
Chapter 10: Fine-Tuning Suspension for Maximum Traction 91
Shooting Video 91
Having the Right Torque Converter 91
Adjusting Pinion Angle 93
Adjusting Chassis Preload with Rear Coil Springs 96
Adjusting Chassis Preload with Rear Leaf Springs 98
Adjusting Rear Rise or Squat 99
Adjusting Anti-Roll Bars 100
Adjusting Front and Rear Tire Pressure and Diameter 101
Scaling a Car 101
Chapter 11: Making a Pass 104
The Burnout 104
Street Tires 106
Reaction Time 106
Mechanical Snafus 108
The First 60 Feet 109
Starting-Line Ratio 110
Dissecting The Run 111
Comparing Runs 112
Chapter 12: Suggestions for a More Consistent and Winning Car 114
Tall Tires 115

Power Saving 115
Shifter Style 117
Transmission Brake 117
Weather Stations 117
2-Speed vs. 3-Speed 121
Data Records 123
Ignition System and RPM Limiters 125
Source Guide 128

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