Suspension in cars

dr_dodge Wednesday, 10/18/2023

Good evening all,

It's pretty obvious many are playing with suspensions

do they make you faster, slower, drive you crazy?

What does a suspension do?  How do engine powered cars laws transfer to gravity powered?

do they, or are we under a new set of rules? (physics wise)

first off as a racer of many years, I know that no one wants to share their speed secrets, thats racin'

but it we all get faster and more consistant, the better racing there is to watch.

Especially for non-competetors that just like watching racing.

Every car I have built is reactive in one way or another.

offset weights, weights on springs, or even a 10g carbide ball in tube of fluid, all react differently

all 3 roll centers, and centers of inertia will change a cars cornering approach/exit performance,

based upon where those lines intersect (in theory)

I would like this thread to be about "theory" and equally what didn't work, thus protecting "speed secrets", too  lol

I think the "fast physics" we chase, are, at times as elisive as and 11 second (1:1) pass in the 80's

maybe its because 1:1 rules are a bit more cut in paste? mean nothing?

I don't know

lets talk about it


we are here:


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dr_dodge 10/18/23

whiskers will get different springs for hairy man

Depends to the race, Road Race just like in real racing the stifer the suspention the better, when the road gets bumpy you need alittle give, the problem with most miniature suspention is there is no dampening, Springy - bad , squishy - Good

  • you could dampen with floating sprung weight — dr_dodge
  • That's an idea. I have wondered if something like a soft silicone would do the job or plastic springs with less rebound. I think the key to any suspension in racing is having good clearance in your wheel wells so your wheels don't rub scrubbing speed — Milestone_Racing

The "spring fingers" method is maybe the right path but music wire is way too stiff to be useful in that application... something softer, like maybe a plastic wire tie of the proper width would be way better and provide less rebound and a little damping.


  • it you use SAE sized piano wire there is a wide variety of sizes. I have wire down to ~.018" and it's almost too soft. The wires system allows easy change of springs for tuning — dr_dodge
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redlinederby 10/19/23
Site manager

G4 shared a zip tie suspension method in the past but it was mostly a how-to and didn't really go into if it worked in practice.

Would be interesting to hear someone's follow-up on whether the suspension seemed to help.

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LobotomyScam 10/19/23

Thanks for adding the sweet video, it reminds me of the days of being a kid and watching racing with my dad. Of course I always had my case of favorite HOT WHEELS in front of me.

Multiple suspension types and testing

  • interesting way to do it — dr_dodge
  • This is my "go to" guy for modifications of this sort. I found it very interesting his use of fish tank tubing for suspension; I will be attempting to use this on my car for the "Braggin' Wagon's" race at GTR! — G_ForceRacing
  • After reviewing, I'll have to make some adjustments to keep the tube from slowing the axle from spinning (loose axles)..... we'll see what happens.... — G_ForceRacing
  • this guy is great... love his vids! One of the few I subbed... He uses a variety of techniques and approaches and that is what makes it interesting! — Stoopid_Fish_Racing
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dr_dodge 10/20/23

snapshots from stoned road

cars with suspensions

lily's pivoting assy
(I like the single rod that will align both axles and keep them straight)


weed eater drive cable?  or speedo cable?

interesting styles of different builds
(nice to hear from the builders)


  • These look good... — Stoopid_Fish_Racing
  • Schotty's looks like guitar string — johnson9195
  • Very interesting! Seems like there are as many types of mini-suspensions as there are racers! — G_ForceRacing
  • Yeah, nothing special about mine. Tried in vain twice to put in a measuring tape suspension like Marco Polo, I believe, at Gravity Throttle racing. Failed both times, had three days to get it shipped out and just threw a piano wire in it and called it a day. Thing was awful but a great example on what NOT to do, lol. — Lily_the_Dog
  • I failed at the measuring tape suspension too.... — G_ForceRacing
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Chaos_Canyon 10/20/23

I know that on my hand made tracks, any vehicle with suspension is usually slower and it is down to body roll. On a straight track they stay pretty even but as soon as the inertia takes hold into the corner a car without suspnsion always pulls away. 

  • That would be my thought as well... thanks for that input! But on a few of these courses, that rolling, bumbling suspension may just be the ticket! lol — Stoopid_Fish_Racing
  • cheers! — dr_dodge
  • It can definitely help on the final portion of GTR's track, but in the 3rd season simple loose axles got me to third place, and barring my crash on the final lap, may have taken first... ah the fun of racing eh?! Makes me think, maybe think too hard!? — G_ForceRacing
  • sway bars — dr_dodge
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G_ForceRacing 10/31/23

Great subject Dr. Dodge... you are getting scary! ;)

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