The Dynamics of Speed (and it’s sequels)

Retracer1

Member
I have the three books by Todd Godwin (the dynamics of speed, start fast, and chemical attraction). While I’ve read all three books from cover to cover there is a lot of information to intake. What are some sections or points of information that you all have benefitted from or recommend me focusing on? I know some of the information in these books is out dated but a lot of it still plays a factor. I am generally looking to understand what changes to the chassis and tires benefit in what situations or any information that you all have found to help your program the most. While oval karting is very complex I feel some things can be dumbed down to be easier understood.
 

95 shaw

Site Supporter
My reply to dumbing down relates to how the information is related to perception.

When I started karting, dual purpose chassis were the norm. And, basically all there was. Chassis setup for oval racing was related by how it was used for lefty/ righty racing.
This has carried into the manuals you have related to.

Lto racing has evolved past most of that. Not because the chassis have changed, but because the theory of operation has moved on.
If you note both in troubleshooting guides in the manual, and on other sites, there are some adjustments that don't make sense. Not because something mysterious is happening, but because the way we are taught to think about these things is misguided, by the past relationship to lefty/ righty racing, and the need to unload the inside tire in a turn.

Here's my tip.
Disregard any information that talks about unloading the left rear.
Think instead about how these adjustments affect loading and unloading the right rear and the use of stagger to maximize lateral traction in the corners. Think of the left rear as always having traction.
Adding or subtracting weight from the right rear is the major effect for handling on modern lto chassis. Most easily seen in high cross setups.

Look at the troubleshooting guides with load and traction on the right rear in mind, and it will make more sense.

Use Occam's razor as your guide.

Yes, I have those manuals, as well as McCarty's hard to read tome.
 
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Surveyor

Member
So I have not ventured into understanding setup theory yet, but if we are keeping traction on the left rear tire and unloading the right then why not a wider tire on the left and narrower on the right. Would that not give the biggest contact patch at the point of traction? Or does the right rear need much more of a contact patch when it is working? What is a good book on kart setup theory for modern dirt tack racing?
 

"J'-remy

Member
this thread is already starting to worry me. Setting up a chassis is not complicated. problem is a lot of people chase this and that and what that guy did and he won on that and it all goes completely off the rails with a ton of miss information and unsupported theories . Go by the manufactures numbers and get your info from the horses mouth (chassis manufacturer, prep supplier, tire person etc. etc.). more and more often than not keeping it simple is the best advice to follow.
 
So I have not ventured into understanding setup theory yet, but if we are keeping traction on the left rear tire and unloading the right then why not a wider tire on the left and narrower on the right. Would that not give the biggest contact patch at the point of traction? Or does the right rear need much more of a contact patch when it is working? What is a good book on kart setup theory for modern dirt tack racing?
Because you need rotation from the left rear just as much as grip. A wider left rear doesn't automatically mean it grips more. If both are brand new out the box, yes a wider one grips more but we prep tires and we can get the left rear to be as grippy as we need and still keep it smaller.

Also think about it like this, narrower things change direction more easily. With a RR tire on the left rear it would want to track straight, and not pivot like they're supposed to

What we are doing is putting alot of weight on the left rear and using it as a pivot point so when we are going straight it's giving us plenty of grip for acceleration, and when we land in the turns the kart can pivot properly
 

Retracer1

Member
this thread is already starting to worry me. Setting up a chassis is not complicated. problem is a lot of people chase this and that and what that guy did and he won on that and it all goes completely off the rails with a ton of miss information and unsupported theories . Go by the manufactures numbers and get your info from the horses mouth (chassis manufacturer, prep supplier, tire person etc. etc.). more and more often than not keeping it simple is the best advice to follow.
I’m not really trying to chase set up and of course manufactures baseline is great but adjusting the baseline to fit what suits you best wether it be track or driving style is what I want to learn. I want to learn what reasons I’m making these adjustments and how they benefit me. Wether on the scales or at the track.
 

"J'-remy

Member
i always hear this "set up to suit your driving style????" if your kart doesn't handle you cant drive it with anybody's style.
1 adjust your camber so the dirt wipes evenly across your tire.
2 adjust your stagger based on turning radius of the track.
3 if your tall/heavy you need more left because you will transfer more weight.
4 Weight (lead) does not equal downforce/cornering traction as downforce does not deal with changing the direction of mass.
5 if your front end pushes (understeer) remove cross
6 if your rear end is loose (oversteer) add cross.
7 gear accordingly
8 prep accordingly
9 air pressure accordingly
seat time will teach you what to do and when.
you will never know unless you try
if your goal is to learn and have fun you will get more out of it than chasing whatever you think it takes to win
 

wrecit

Member
J what you listed will work and obviously does for you. What Todd points out is there is more than one way to skin a cat.

It's been a decade since I have delved into Todd's work but I made up a 4 page if/then cheat sheet based on what I read and based on set up discussions from prior to the crash. Those sheets were passed around and corrected and modified by the brightest minds on bobs 14 years ago (I am not bright but just a scribe)

If I remember correctly there were about 9 different changes you could make to address say a loose on entry. They were ranked by severity of the condition as well as other criteria. Guys from kid kart up to UAS and RWYB used those sheets with great success.

Again your items listed are good but they are a cliff notes version of kart set up. Todds rantings are more like a PhD text on the subject.
 

"J'-remy

Member
in my opinion the cliffs notes version is is what works. setting up a kart is not as hard as people make it out to be. chassis adjustment won't fix a bad track with no grip. sometimes you can flat foot the track sometimes you can't. I'm not running asphalt its dirt and its different from race to race. when I get the kart where I want it I rarely touch anything other than tires, air and gearing. most of the top drivers have this same attitude. moving washers and playing with your caster is chasing your tail. the tracks I run are all left turns
 

"J'-remy

Member
J what you listed will work and obviously does for you. What Todd points out is there is more than one way to skin a cat.

It's been a decade since I have delved into Todd's work but I made up a 4 page if/then cheat sheet based on what I read and based on set up discussions from prior to the crash. Those sheets were passed around and corrected and modified by the brightest minds on bobs 14 years ago (I am not bright but just a scribe)

If I remember correctly there were about 9 different changes you could make to address say a loose on entry. They were ranked by severity of the condition as well as other criteria. Guys from kid kart up to UAS and RWYB used those sheets with great success.

Again your items listed are good but they are a cliff notes version of kart set up. Todds rantings are more like a PhD text on the subject.
are you referring to no goats?
 

ABR #69

Member
in my opinion the cliffs notes version is is what works. setting up a kart is not as hard as people make it out to be. chassis adjustment won't fix a bad track with no grip. sometimes you can flat foot the track sometimes you can't. I'm not running asphalt its dirt and its different from race to race. when I get the kart where I want it I rarely touch anything other than tires, air and gearing. most of the top drivers have this same attitude. moving washers and playing with your caster is chasing your tail. the tracks I run are all left turns
Most of the top drivers have this mindset. But, most of the top setup guys don't always look at it that way. But, they are well versed in when a tire change is probably the best option vs changing the chassis. Another thing is that someone that travels, not knowing a track like the "locals" means you'll likely benefit some from chassis tuning if it's a location you haven't been to in years, or ever. And, generally most on track issues are tires if you've been given good info and followed it to setup your kart. Traveling is probably the biggest reason to change chassis setups, we run AL, MS, GA, SC, KY, TN. So while 9/10 times we don't change the chassis, there are times it has benefited to make a chassis adjustment. But, yes most that run 1-2 tracks a year rarely should change much unless weather conditions completely alter the track.

And, I'd never discount someone wanting to know the science behind why things work, and what changes actually do what on the track. Generally people want to know more about something they're passionate about once they've gotten past the point of just having a good baseline.
 

"J'-remy

Member
i am all for the science behind the way things work. but if you don't understand them or you blindly follow advice from everywhere you will be constantly fiddling with the chassis instead of fixing tires or gearing or understanding track conditions. All the top drivers i know are don't have separate set up people they are a complete package.
what are you doing differently chassis wise from one track to another? are you changing your percentages? i know some top Burris guys that travel they have told me maybe adjust the ride height in the left rear to give a cross adjustment but they are not moving their seat or fiddling with caster for sure. stagger, gearing, tires and air pressure what else will make it or break it? please tell me a time a someone moved a washer and won the race. and why that worked.
 

Ratistiss

Member
This thread is great for beginners. I am always thinking how do I add speed on both Asphalt in our Champ kart and on dirt in our flat kart(both are restricted, for 11yr old). Often I am thinking maybe tighten this or take that up 1/2 in rf camber. But I see that I am most likely overthinking a bit if the kart is running well.
 

paulkish

old fart
Lto racing has evolved past most of that. Not because the chassis have changed, but because the theory of operation has moved on.
And it's totally because of Bob's 4cycle.com and IMHO it's FACT car oval racing has benefited as much or more from this cite.
I can go into oval dirt pits at places like The dirt track at Charlotte and hear conversation and words which echo this site over the years.(especially if I ask the right questions)
I've been told by more then one there is LTO stuff originating from this site being taught as part of curriculum at at least one University.

Most likely even "LTO" is from this site.
 

ABR #69

Member
It's not always about adjusting one washer and winning a race. It's about taking a kart that is mid pack and adjusting it and getting in the hunt. That isn't always tires. Top three are generally differences in tires.

Just as an example, we went to Carnesville and the track wasn't typical for the conditions. We were in the top 10 in qualifying. We had made two or three adjustments already before qualifying that day. Made another for our heat race, and got into the Dash. "UAS GN FORMAT yes they qualify then run heats." Made another adjustment and had a top 3 kart in the dash. We didn't have much for Evan but we ran consistently with 2nd. I did adjust tires most of the day as well but after all the changes the driver said the kart responded well to the changes and if nothing else it made him more comfortable and confident. We were 5 hours from home.

Now you'll say, "oh well you weren't close when you left." And I assure you we wouldn't have traveled that far if we didn't know what we were doing. We travel for most of our races and we're consistently running against some of the best in the South in the UAS and winning or top 3. So it's not like we run against some podunk back yard racers every weekend. We have been unfortunate enough most of the tracks we've ran have been exceptionally bad compared to their normal conditions. So experimenting on sat night shows is how you learn. If they don't try they never learn. Just keep following what the best in the country say. At some point they had to learn what made them the best in the country.

These books and getting the basics down is how they do it. Most of the time these books will teach them that broad strokes vs small adjustments and that they should be focusing on tires once they are the ball park. If not, then it's on them and you can't fix everything for everyone.
 

paulkish

old fart
Only the best go 3 abreast
 

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Retracer1

Member
J what you listed will work and obviously does for you. What Todd points out is there is more than one way to skin a cat.

It's been a decade since I have delved into Todd's work but I made up a 4 page if/then cheat sheet based on what I read and based on set up discussions from prior to the crash. Those sheets were passed around and corrected and modified by the brightest minds on bobs 14 years ago (I am not bright but just a scribe)

If I remember correctly there were about 9 different changes you could make to address say a loose on entry. They were ranked by severity of the condition as well as other criteria. Guys from kid kart up to UAS and RWYB used those sheets with great success.

Again your items listed are good but they are a cliff notes version of kart set up. Todds rantings are more like a PhD text on the subject.
Do you still have this information?
 
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