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Race Car Vehicle Dynamics Hardcover – Aug 1995

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Hardcover, Aug 1995
CDN$ 126.12 CDN$ 126.10

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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,

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 30 reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Gives a complete statement of race car dynamics April 26 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is a necessity for anyone who is seriously interested in understanding what happens concerning all aspects of the car. Whether mechanic, engineer, or general fan this book says it all. If you really want to understand the book completely, I would recommend at least a brush up in Calculus, and some trig.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
The mother of all books about race cars April 3 2005
By Maxim Masiutin - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the mother of all books about race cars. If you were missing deep theoretical background on tuning your sports car or street car, this volume is for you. It is impossible to describe in detail what this textbook is about, in a single review.

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.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
the best book out there for race car design topics Feb. 25 2006
By Adam Dalesandro - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I am a mechanical engineer. I am very into my hobby of race cars. I have a stack of books on chassis, suspnsion and overall race car design. This book is by far the best and most comprehensive of them all. I have benefited more from this book than any of the others. I will def be purchasing the work book to go along with this.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Epic June 14 2001
By David Vaughan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
If Puhn's "How to make your car handle" is practical and straightforward then RCVD is marvellously comprehensive and thorough. Casually flipping through it you might be deterred by the intensity of some of the mathematical passages in this book but this is just the "textbook" side of things. The Millikens also give very clear explanations, diagrams and concise well-structured advice. My one gripe was that the index, while long enough, tends to hide information under unexpected headings, with successive indents snaking from page to page until you quite lose the thread of where you are in the suspension alphabet. Still, it is probably the best currently published work on suspension theory, leavened by some very funny quotations in the chapter headings.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Source of Vehicle Dynamic Information March 13 2006
By Vito DiIenna - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Milliken lays down the fundamentals and advanced topic of vehicle dynamics as applied to racecars. The text is not for beginning or nontechnical readers in the slightest manner. Milliken points out many subtle and difficult areas to understand, which take hours of studying to fully grasp. For those seriously considering a career in this field or to the extremely interested reader, this text is the source of information.