Targa Miata
April 14, 2008 - Here's a little more thinking on the traction problem.
I was sharing the track with two other Miatas of similar speeds. One was running the RA1 in a larger 225 size, the other was running the Falken Azenis RT615 - not quite as sticky as the RA1. Both are making considerably more horsepower than my car. And neither was having the same traction problems. Here are some of the theories that have come up.
  • My differential was the later 2003+ style, which doesn't work as well as the earlier Torsen Type 2s. Well, so was the diff in the 2004 Mazdaspeed that was sharing the track with me. I'm not 100% sure which kind of diff I have although I do know it's an LSD.

  • It was a cornerweighting problem. There's some validity to that, as I haven't cornerweighted the car well for a while and the passenger's side was certainly more of a problem than the driver's. But I'm pretty sure that one of the cars out there hasn't been cornerweighted either...seeing as I'd probably be the one that had to do it.

  • The inside wheel is lifting up due to the extra roll afforded by the suspension. I'm having trouble with this one, mostly because I can't imagine I'm lifting a wheel with the amount of droop available. One of the other cars was fitted with the FM upper shock mounts which allow a similar amount of upwards travel, but not as much droop.

  • I didn't have the right damping and I was getting wheel hop. Okay, now I think we might be getting closer. At the autocross the week before, I'd been playing with rear damping to control hop off the line. But I think I backed it off a couple of clicks afterward. So this might be worth investigating.

  • I have a bushing problem. A late arrival to the though process after the discovery over the weekend. Going back through my memory banks, I can think of one other car that had this sort of behavior - and it also had polyurethane bushings. Hmm. Neither of the other two cars on the track did. So this is definitely worth pursuing. I'll try ensuring they work smoothly first, then bung in a set of stock control arms (and bushings) later if that doesn't help. Now I just need to come up with a testing regimen that doesn't involve the track!

tags: suspension