Using a whole car approach to setting up a suspension correctly will add consistency to any racing program. Starting at the front of the car and making sure you have the right front springs will make tuning the rest of the suspension easier. Tim Anderson from QA1 has provided us with some quick tips to get the right springs for your application.
Getting the best front spring for your racecar starts with the style of racing and the weight of the car. Just going out and buying front springs based on what others use won’t yield the best results and will make tuning your suspension difficult. Different types of racing, chassis, tires, level of power, and weight all need to be considered when selecting a set of front springs.
“The most important thing is to know the weight of the vehicle in both the front and rear. In a drag racing application, you want to narrow down the rate of the spring to the softest one you can run without having any coil bind. The softer the spring rate the more weight transfer you will see. The tires and chassis will also make a difference in the spring selection. A big tire car with a lot of power is going to transfer weight much different than a radial tire car, so you need to keep things like that in mind,” Anderson says.
There is no “magic bullet” when it comes to selecting the spring rate that will work best for your vehicle. You need to do some research and ask questions to make sure you know what direction to go when purchasing front springs.
“If it’s a stock-style front end, they will use a 300-350 pound spring depending on the weight of the vehicle. If the car has a longer shock in the front like on a tube chassis car, you can go with a softer spring rate because you have more usable travel in the spring. If you’re using a shorter shock you have to go with a heavier spring rate, so you don’t go into coil bind. For street/strip applications you’ll typically want to run about a rate heavier than you would with a track-only spring. So if you’re using a 350 for race only you’ll want to go up to a 400-pound spring,” Anderson explains.
Anderson and his team at QA1 are more than happy to help any customer get the most out of their suspension, but before you call in it’s important to arm yourself with information so they can assist you. Without key data, it will be difficult to get the right front springs the first time around.
“We get a lot of calls on spring rates for drag racing. The information we need to know is what kind of car is it, what’s the front and rear weight, is it a stock or tube-style chassis, and the length of the shock. There is no one-size-fits-all spring, you need to provide as much information as possible so we can get you the right spring. We can usually get a rough idea based on the car, but it’s best to have as much information so we can narrow it down,” Anderson says.
If you want to learn more about how to select front springs and other suspension components check out the QA1 website right here.