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How to Make your Car Handle HP46 [Paperback]

Fred Puhn
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 26.50
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Frequently Bought Together

How to Make your Car Handle HP46 + Chassis Engineering HP1055 + Advanced Race Car Chassis Technology HP1562: Winning Chassis Design and Setup for Circle Track and Road Race Cars
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Product Details

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The fun of driving is not all due to power or top speed. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Outdated and Shallow June 14 2003
I bought this book based mostly on its review score average. I'm very disappointed in my purchase.
The book has two major flaws.
First, it's horribly outdated. The copyright date is 1981, and the I have the 32nd printing; but it seems like the book was never revised since its publication. I began amusing myself by guessing which companies and suppliers mentioned in the book were no longer in business, and finding which products were no longer manufactured.
The book mentions some specific measurements and values, but discusses no car newer than 1979 or 1980. Some tables (such as the list of wheel bolt patterns) don't mention a car newer than 1975! While the hard statistics and tables which discuss specific models might be interesting to someone doing restorations or who is a vintage racer, they're of no use to anyone who's racing modern cars. Even if an older model of your car is listed, it's probably been redesigned enough to make dimensions (if not the advice itself) obsolete.
There are some innovations that the book doesn't even mention. For example, the section on tires doesn't discuss metric tire sizes (where the section width and aspect ratio are explicitly given, like 255-50R15) and instead includes tables that show the depricated tire size codes (where the section width is designated by a letter, as B50-15).
The book includes between zero and little advice on modern suspension tuning techniques. There's no mention of corner-balancing and cross-weighting in the book. The section on pyrometer use for diagnosing a car's handling is less than half a page long and includes a couple of flaws.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book! June 5 2002
I was recommended this book from a friend at the i-club. I love to drive and am looking to modify my car for better handling. This book is an excellent source for that! A major part of the fun in driving is a good handling car. This book covers all the basics in detail. It is easy to read, yet, has a Physics/Engineer depth to it as well. It is not just a matter of buying better suspension parts and installing them, this book goes into depth about understanding the nature of a good handling car and exactly what that entails from good tires, alignment, lowering the ride height, springs, anti-roll bars, shocks, brakes, etc. It emphasizes balance and that there is no magical part for better handling, but all the parts must work together in harmony and how making one change effects others parts in the car. Once you gain an understanding for the reasons of poor and good handling, you will then be able to truly understand what will work and what will not to achieve your goals. Changing one part of the design often has far reaching effects and it is rare that one part will do you any good. Just as I thought adding a stiffer anti-roll bar to the rear of my car alone would work! Tires are the source of contact and are vital to good handling, so an entire chapter is dedicated to tires and exactly what they do. This information is relevant to the everyday driver with no mechanical knowledge (like me) who simply wants to increase the fun factor in the driving experience, and also to rear gear heads with chapters on chassis modifications and designing your own parts as well! An excellent source for anyone who values good handling characteristics in their car as I do.
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I believe this book would be worth the price if it was just a pamphlet on how to do your own alignment. And on this point it does an excellent job of explaining the process to a shadetree mechanic. It explains in detail, step by step, how to measure and set up a four wheel alignment, as well as how to check your chassis for square. You will be able to set camber and toe at all four wheels using simple tools. I bought a camber guage from Racer Wholesale to confirm the settings but you will only need masons string or fishing line, a jack, a carpenters tape measurer and the patience to follow directions and measure with extreme exactness. The rest of the book is excellent reading too, especially for 70's hot rodding and sports car modifications. A very handy reference that comes off my shelf quite often.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good explanations and information July 11 2002
By A Customer
The book begins by explaining why your car handles the way that it does in the first couple of chapters. The author gets into a lot of physics formulas building up on everything as it goes. It feels a little dry after a while, but the explanations make a lot of sense.
Then he gets into explaining how to tweak your car and modify the chassis. It's best to read the "whys" in chapter two before attempting to read the "hows" in the later chapters. Otherwise, you won't have a good understanding of why he's recommending changes or if you *should* make the change.
The book is a little old, but is still applicable to any modern car.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Make a place on your bookshelf Nov. 16 2003
I happen to work with Fred Puhn and own a signed copy of this book.
It was one of the best works available at publication. It is still valuable for any serious student of automotive suspensions. If you do not know and understand that which preceded your time, you will repeat past mistakes.
Does the book cover innovations since 1980? No. Does it provide the careful reader insight into car handling and suspension dynamics? Yes.
If you are interested, take a look at what Fred was doing when most readers were still in diapers.
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