Suspension setup for radials - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 11-21-2018, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Suspension setup for radials

What suspension mods are guys doing to get a drag radial to hook up at the track? I'm blown away by how fast these guys are going.


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post #2 of 33 Old 11-21-2018, 02:56 PM
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My car is running
HPM mega bite uppers and lowers
lake wood 50/50s and 90/10s
Ford Eibach Drag Launch springs
14-15psi tire pressure
Launching at 4k rpm
Usually a high 1.5 or low 1.6 60'

My 60's aren't the best but my car hooks pretty good for a 5spd


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post #3 of 33 Old 11-21-2018, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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My car is running
HPM mega bite uppers and lowers
lake wood 50/50s and 90/10s
Ford Eibach Drag Launch springs
14-15psi tire pressure
Launching at 4k rpm
Usually a high 1.5 or low 1.6 60'

My 60's aren't the best but my car hooks pretty good for a 5spd
What tires and how's the track prep?

CHP/CPR (Coast High Performance) / (Custom Performance Racing Engines)347 lasted a whopping 500 miles due to poor machining, metal debris in main bearings, damaged cam bearing and a balance job that was off 64ozs!
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post #4 of 33 Old 11-21-2018, 03:10 PM
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I run Mickey Thompson 275/60/15s Et Street Radials
This has been at 2 different tracks.
Maryland International Raceway was very well prepped
Coastal Plains Drag way is usually decent for Test and tune days

90 LX Notch 5.0 5spd, bolt on drag car with some giggle gas.
11.71 @ 116mph
86 Gt T-top 5.0 5spd, That one day project.
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post #5 of 33 Old 11-21-2018, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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I run Mickey Thompson 275/60/15s Et Street Radials
This has been at 2 different tracks.
Maryland International Raceway was very well prepped
Coastal Plains Drag way is usually decent for Test and tune days
I'm a newbie at 55 and my first outing will be in a few weeks. The locals say that Wildhorse Pass track prep on test and tune nights is terrible. Supposedly; anything other than a slick won't be fun. I'm in need of new rears and I'd just as soon not have two sets of wheels and tires. With practice; I'd like to beat the odds.

CHP/CPR (Coast High Performance) / (Custom Performance Racing Engines)347 lasted a whopping 500 miles due to poor machining, metal debris in main bearings, damaged cam bearing and a balance job that was off 64ozs!
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post #6 of 33 Old 11-21-2018, 04:55 PM
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I have lots of fun, even been able to see a little light under the front tires a few times. I like not having to switch tires out at the track and be in full street form.

90 LX Notch 5.0 5spd, bolt on drag car with some giggle gas.
11.71 @ 116mph
86 Gt T-top 5.0 5spd, That one day project.
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post #7 of 33 Old 11-21-2018, 06:08 PM
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The suspension set up is pretty much the same between slicks and radials, outside of tire pressure differences. The major difference between hooking on a radial compared to a slick is track prep. The radial needs liberal doses of unicorn piss and pixie dust during track prep. The radial is more of a razors edge to hook, while a slick is much more forgiving. You start spinning a radial, it is not going to recover, while if you spin a slick, a quick pedal will get it to hook. It seems that a radial will either dead hook or not. Period, No in-between.

1989 Saleen 414 358cid SBF 2.8L Kenne Bell S/C
26 X 8.5 Hoosier
Best 1/4 mile time 8.623 @ 159.82 mph with a 1.34 60' (5.57 1/8th at 128)
Best 1/8 mile time 5.339 @ 133.46 mph with a 1.29 60'
08' Bullitt #4097 N/A 340ish RWHP <<<<<FOR SALE!

Last edited by Saleen414; 11-21-2018 at 06:09 PM.
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post #8 of 33 Old 11-21-2018, 06:30 PM
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The radial needs liberal doses of unicorn piss and pixie dust during track prep.
I have a solid supply of unicorn piss but unfortunately the global supply if pixie dust suddenly ran out without warning.

ks
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post #9 of 33 Old 11-21-2018, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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I'd say you guys are full of piss and vinegar.
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post #10 of 33 Old 11-22-2018, 01:21 AM
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I had neither, in my are. I also noticed like Saleen said, I made minimal adjustments going from radial to slick. Radial class always puts on a hell of a show, and I always thought from a newb point of view, the slick was more forgiving.

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post #11 of 33 Old 11-22-2018, 10:49 AM
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Radials are typically 1-2 + tenths quicker depending on power level. Instead of dragging a half flat slick down the track, the radial offers a whole bunch less rolling resistance.

1989 Saleen 414 358cid SBF 2.8L Kenne Bell S/C
26 X 8.5 Hoosier
Best 1/4 mile time 8.623 @ 159.82 mph with a 1.34 60' (5.57 1/8th at 128)
Best 1/8 mile time 5.339 @ 133.46 mph with a 1.29 60'
08' Bullitt #4097 N/A 340ish RWHP <<<<<FOR SALE!
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post #12 of 33 Old 11-22-2018, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Radials are typically 1-2 + tenths quicker depending on power level. Instead of dragging a half flat slick down the track, the radial offers a whole bunch less rolling resistance.
I hadn't thought about that. It makes sense.

CHP/CPR (Coast High Performance) / (Custom Performance Racing Engines)347 lasted a whopping 500 miles due to poor machining, metal debris in main bearings, damaged cam bearing and a balance job that was off 64ozs!
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post #13 of 33 Old 11-23-2018, 10:55 AM
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I do agree with the above statement of they hook or they don't. On slicks I have been able to save run if I had too much spin. With the radial once the go up in smoke of the line you gotta get all the way out and back in and I shut off my spray as a safety percussion. But I do like the challenge and makes my slow car more fun and interesting to drive.

90 LX Notch 5.0 5spd, bolt on drag car with some giggle gas.
11.71 @ 116mph
86 Gt T-top 5.0 5spd, That one day project.
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post #14 of 33 Old 11-23-2018, 12:21 PM
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Most manual trans drag racers try to hit their bias slicks hard enough to get some controlled wheelspin during launch. That wheelspin helps keep rpm up where the engine can make more power. Problem is that doesn't work with radials, as they basically need to dead hook. Since controlled wheelspin no longer works to your advantage, controlled clutch slip then becomes the key to keeping your engine up where it's happy.
That's not as hard to do as you might think

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post #15 of 33 Old 11-26-2018, 07:22 AM
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The suspension set up is pretty much the same between slicks and radials, outside of tire pressure differences. The major difference between hooking on a radial compared to a slick is track prep. The radial needs liberal doses of unicorn piss and pixie dust during track prep. The radial is more of a razors edge to hook, while a slick is much more forgiving. You start spinning a radial, it is not going to recover, while if you spin a slick, a quick pedal will get it to hook. It seems that a radial will either dead hook or not. Period, No in-between.
if we went back to a slick, 100% of the suspension would change. the set up is 100% different

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post #16 of 33 Old 11-26-2018, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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The suspension set up is pretty much the same between slicks and radials, outside of tire pressure differences. The major difference between hooking on a radial compared to a slick is track prep. The radial needs liberal doses of unicorn piss and pixie dust during track prep. The radial is more of a razors edge to hook, while a slick is much more forgiving. You start spinning a radial, it is not going to recover, while if you spin a slick, a quick pedal will get it to hook. It seems that a radial will either dead hook or not. Period, No in-between.
if we went back to a slick, 100% of the suspension would change. the set up is 100% different
Can you elaborate without giving up your secrets?

CHP/CPR (Coast High Performance) / (Custom Performance Racing Engines)347 lasted a whopping 500 miles due to poor machining, metal debris in main bearings, damaged cam bearing and a balance job that was off 64ozs!
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post #17 of 33 Old 11-26-2018, 04:50 PM
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Can you elaborate without giving up your secrets?
shock settings... bar angles.. springs... weight bias... all of it would change if we went back to slicks.

hell we would prob need to change converter related stuff also

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post #18 of 33 Old 11-26-2018, 06:01 PM
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shock settings... bar angles.. springs... weight bias... all of it would change if we went back to slicks.

hell we would prob need to change converter related stuff also
Yup, but that car is at a whole different level. Lower HP stuff does not require such drastic changes.

1989 Saleen 414 358cid SBF 2.8L Kenne Bell S/C
26 X 8.5 Hoosier
Best 1/4 mile time 8.623 @ 159.82 mph with a 1.34 60' (5.57 1/8th at 128)
Best 1/8 mile time 5.339 @ 133.46 mph with a 1.29 60'
08' Bullitt #4097 N/A 340ish RWHP <<<<<FOR SALE!
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post #19 of 33 Old 11-26-2018, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Can you elaborate without giving up your secrets?
shock settings... bar angles.. springs... weight bias... all of it would change if we went back to slicks.

hell we would prob need to change converter related stuff also
That's a lot of changes for sure. I'm hitting the track Dec. 7th for the first time in my life. It's just a fun guys night out where I can get a feel for it. I have a lot to learn but look forward to the challenge.
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post #20 of 33 Old 11-27-2018, 10:19 AM
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Lower HP stuff does not require such drastic changes.
kinda hard to say where the tipping point of not changing anything to having to make tons of changes is. i honestly don't deal with cars that make less than 1k hp anymore. but even that low, what it takes to make it go fast are different

radial needs dead hooked
slick needs wheel speed

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post #21 of 33 Old 11-27-2018, 10:33 AM
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kinda hard to say where the tipping point of not changing anything to having to make tons of changes is. i honestly don't deal with cars that make less than 1k hp anymore. but even that low, what it takes to make it go fast are different

radial needs dead hooked
slick needs wheel speed
There's a whole bunch of stick shifting Coyote Stock guys that are dead hooking their slicks
I think the class would end up on radials if the rules allowed both.

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post #22 of 33 Old 11-27-2018, 11:27 AM
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There's a whole bunch of stick shifting Coyote Stock guys that are dead hooking their slicks
I think the class would end up on radials if the rules allowed both.
they controlling the tire shake with the clutch then?

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post #23 of 33 Old 11-27-2018, 07:19 PM
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kinda hard to say where the tipping point of not changing anything to having to make tons of changes is. i honestly don't deal with cars that make less than 1k hp anymore. but even that low, what it takes to make it go fast are different

radial needs dead hooked
slick needs wheel speed
IDK. My buddy makes 1k+ power and picked up 2 tenths switching to Radials with no other changes. I will be going Radial next season and will report back. I make about 1,250 crank HP. I am also going from a 26x8.5 Hoosier to a 275 Radial, so there may well need to be other changes.

1989 Saleen 414 358cid SBF 2.8L Kenne Bell S/C
26 X 8.5 Hoosier
Best 1/4 mile time 8.623 @ 159.82 mph with a 1.34 60' (5.57 1/8th at 128)
Best 1/8 mile time 5.339 @ 133.46 mph with a 1.29 60'
08' Bullitt #4097 N/A 340ish RWHP <<<<<FOR SALE!
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post #24 of 33 Old 11-28-2018, 06:37 AM
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IDK. My buddy makes 1k+ power and picked up 2 tenths switching to Radials with no other changes. I will be going Radial next season and will report back. I make about 1,250 crank HP. I am also going from a 26x8.5 Hoosier to a 275 Radial, so there may well need to be other changes.
is he picking it up thru the middle or picking it up in the 60'?

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post #25 of 33 Old 11-28-2018, 11:28 AM
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they controlling the tire shake with the clutch then?
You might say that

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post #26 of 33 Old 11-28-2018, 12:32 PM
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is he picking it up thru the middle or picking it up in the 60'?
Everywhere. All of the incremental's were better, even mph went up. 60' picked up just .01 initially.

1989 Saleen 414 358cid SBF 2.8L Kenne Bell S/C
26 X 8.5 Hoosier
Best 1/4 mile time 8.623 @ 159.82 mph with a 1.34 60' (5.57 1/8th at 128)
Best 1/8 mile time 5.339 @ 133.46 mph with a 1.29 60'
08' Bullitt #4097 N/A 340ish RWHP <<<<<FOR SALE!
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post #27 of 33 Old 11-28-2018, 03:36 PM
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im going to have to look back at some notes and see at what point we had to start moving bars around back with the nitrous car.

i want to say it was some where in the 1.17- 1.18 60ft range.

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post #28 of 33 Old 11-28-2018, 04:24 PM
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Can you elaborate without giving up your secrets?
shock settings... bar angles.. springs... weight bias... all of it would change if we went back to slicks.

hell we would prob need to change converter related stuff also
100% correct
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post #29 of 33 Old 11-28-2018, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Are the majority of radial cars automatics?

CHP/CPR (Coast High Performance) / (Custom Performance Racing Engines)347 lasted a whopping 500 miles due to poor machining, metal debris in main bearings, damaged cam bearing and a balance job that was off 64ozs!
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post #30 of 33 Old 11-28-2018, 09:43 PM
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Are the majority of radial cars automatics?
I would say yes. Itís not easy to hook with a drag radial. Like mentioned already, once they spin you might as well abort the run. Iíve been 1.54 60ft on a manual 675hp rwd stock suspension car with a small 275/40-17 MT drag radial. Not a mustang, but the technique is basically use a slight clutch slip. The problem is the clutch needs to be able to take the slip which creates heat and last which is almost impossible to have both. Thatís where the clutch tammer comes into play or a pressure plate designed to slip and apply centrifugally.

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post #31 of 33 Old 11-29-2018, 10:35 AM
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I would say yes. Itís not easy to hook with a drag radial. Like mentioned already, once they spin you might as well abort the run. Iíve been 1.54 60ft on a manual 675hp rwd stock suspension car with a small 275/40-17 MT drag radial. Not a mustang, but the technique is basically use a slight clutch slip. The problem is the clutch needs to be able to take the slip which creates heat and last which is almost impossible to have both. Thatís where the clutch tammer comes into play or a pressure plate designed to slip and apply centrifugally.
If you want to be quick hitting a radial with a clutch, a pressure plate with centrifugal assist isn't the way to go. There are 2 basic issues-
...1- launch rpm is limited, as the higher you launch the harder that centrifugal component hits the tires.
...2- that centrifugal component bites you again by hitting too hard when it comes time for the 1/2 shift.

With the 'Tamer controlling a non-centrifugal PP, you can launch off the limiter if you want to as long as you have enough clutch. If you are shifting using the clutch pedal, the 'Tamer will soften the hit after the shift to keep the radials stuck. If you are shifting clutchless, the aggressiveness of the hit after the 1/2 shift is usually controlled by proper clutch base pressure, combined with a longer than normal 'Tamer delay.

Launch rpm is important to ET because it's basically stored energy, and the engine has to make the energy that it takes to spin up your rotating assy. It's better to spin it up prior to the start, which makes more power available to accelerate the car when the clocks are running. If you try that with a conventional centrifugal assist slipper clutch, that centrifugal assist ends up hitting too hard and that extra energy you packed into the launch just gets wasted when it blows the radials off.

A proper 'Tamer launch is softer than an automatic, but that softer launch lasts longer. It basically takes a clutch dump launch that's short duration but too aggressive, and consistently transforms that into a softer launch with more duration. In the end, you get a consistent dead hook launch without a bog, as well as softer shifts.

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post #32 of 33 Old 11-29-2018, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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If you want to be quick hitting a radial with a clutch, a pressure plate with centrifugal assist isn't the way to go. There are 2 basic issues-
...1- launch rpm is limited, as the higher you launch the harder that centrifugal component hits the tires.
...2- that centrifugal component bites you again by hitting too hard when it comes time for the 1/2 shift.

With the 'Tamer controlling a non-centrifugal PP, you can launch off the limiter if you want to as long as you have enough clutch. If you are shifting using the clutch pedal, the 'Tamer will soften the hit after the shift to keep the radials stuck. If you are shifting clutchless, the aggressiveness of the hit after the 1/2 shift is usually controlled by proper clutch base pressure, combined with a longer than normal 'Tamer delay.

Launch rpm is important to ET because it's basically stored energy, and the engine has to make the energy that it takes to spin up your rotating assy. It's better to spin it up prior to the start, which makes more power available to accelerate the car when the clocks are running. If you try that with a conventional centrifugal assist slipper clutch, that centrifugal assist ends up hitting too hard and that extra energy you packed into the launch just gets wasted when it blows the radials off.

A proper 'Tamer launch is softer than an automatic, but that softer launch lasts longer. It basically takes a clutch dump launch that's short duration but too aggressive, and consistently transforms that into a softer launch with more duration. In the end, you get a consistent dead hook launch without a bog, as well as softer shifts.
Thanks for taking the time to explain this. It definitely gives a clearer picture. I have spoken to several racers who use the Clutch Tamer and swear by it. Here's another question for you....Would a car running M/T ET Steet bias plys benefit from the Clutch Tamer as well?

CHP/CPR (Coast High Performance) / (Custom Performance Racing Engines)347 lasted a whopping 500 miles due to poor machining, metal debris in main bearings, damaged cam bearing and a balance job that was off 64ozs!
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post #33 of 33 Old 12-11-2018, 08:36 AM
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With poor track prep we found a dry burnout was best. stop at the first hint of a bog. This was only a 1.6 60' car.
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