Race Car Vehicle Dynamics Hardcover – Aug 1995
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We offer no apologies for making this important... book our choice for the second time around. Widely welcomed, its content is already beingput to good use by many race car engineers... Today, anyone who wishes to make a career by understanding the automobile and its vagaries should start here. And anyone who wishes to appear to understand it should have this book on his or her desk--in the same way that Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time is essential!" --Race Car Engineering "...even if you're not historically inclined, the book's theoretical and technical sections (its vast majority) make for a definitive work on chassis dynamics, meaning that if you are an armchair John Barnhard (or are John Barnhard), you might want to box a dozen or so of your Porsche or Bugatti books and make some room on the bookshelf for Race Car Vehicle Dynamics." --Kim Reynolds, Road & Track "No other source provides such complete answers to why racing cars behave as they do. Very highly recommended." - Vintage Motorsport "An impressive... blend of analytical understanding and hard won practical experience from both passenger and race car design." --Automotive Engineer (published by IMechE) "On the macro level RCVD deals with general principles of vehicle dynamics but on the micro level was specifically geared towards racing; it synthesizes fundamental theory and practical application. Any race team that doesn't have a copy of this well written book is not winning as much as they could!" --Sabu Advani, SpeedReaders.info
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What I liked most is the chapter on dampers (shock absorbers). It gave me the answers to lots of questions that I had before reading this published work, for example how to choose "ride/handling compromise" when adjusting damping ratio? Why stiffer dampers are more comfortable on large-amplitude bumps, while softer dampers provide smoother ride on small-amplitude bumps? "In an automobile, a suspension is used to reduce the discomfort induced by unevenness in the highway. As measure of discomfort is the vertical acceleration that the passenger is subjected while sitting in the vehicle". The book demonstrates the model where the passenger is linked to the road via three springs in a sequence: tire, coil and the seat, and one damper (shock absorber). There is a graph showing passenger vertical acceleration depending on the amplitude (frequency) of road irregularities, for distinct shock absorbers with various damping ratios. For a stiff shock absorber this diagram shows relatively flat curve, where the vertical acceleration is almost independent of frequency of bumps. For the soft shock absorber, there is a very high peak (several times higher comparing to a stiff damper) of vertical acceleration for the low-frequency bumps, and this acceleration curve quickly decays as the frequency increases. There is another graph, "transient load transfer analysis", which shows that with soft dampers, the suspension load in a turn fluctuates. This is another answer to the question why stiffer dampers (to a certain extent) provide better handling.
The order of the chapters is somewhat sporadic. The books is a mixture of sections of engineering information (formulas), historical background, sketches (e.g. torque arm rear axle suspension), recipes (KONI's published instructions for damper adjustment), and sample data (e.g. Goodyear tire data). Nevertheless, the work is so deep that in a couple of years after it's publication, it had been started being used as a university textbook. Based on comments from faculty, SAE have requested the authors to prepare a supplementary book of problems, to help the universities to examine the students.
I also recommend "Theory of Ground Vehicles", by J. Y. Wong, in addition to this book.
I would highly recommend the book to anyone who would want to master vehicle dynamics, as well as engineers seeking to have topics such as aerodynamics and mechanics explained better, and in a more specified field. As well as topics such as vehicle design and race engineering from a management point of view.
The book was written by the best in the business and you do get what you pay for.