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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have recently been starting to think that not all tuning is equal, and that the advice we give here is not always applicable to all types of driving. There is alot of crossover, but may tuning ideas only work for particuar applications. For example, alot of the US guys talk about big turbos, and big boost - which results in high BHP, high up the rev range. Now, this is great for drag racing (which is what most of them do, as the concept of track days isn't quite the same there), but not ideal for other applications. Others are obsessed with paper horsepower.... Others are obsessed with rolling road figures (LOL - these vary all the time, are different on different machines, depend on tyre grip, can be manipulated to give high results and so on) ...

Road tuning is different - I can't understand why anyone would use more than 340bhp on the road - realistically, all that happens is you use more fuel - you don't really get anywhere any quicker, not with our traffic.

Then there's my tuning, for track use, which can't be measured on a dyno or rollers. It matters when the boost kicks in, how the low down power and torque is, and so on. It also matters how the suspension and steering work together, and the gearchange and clutch. For this, there is only one way to measure - using your arse-o-meter. Seat of the pants is the only way to decide whether something works or not.

I suspect engine tuning for rallying is different again - and gearing. Very rapid acceleration, not much top-end speed, no lag (as you can almost get stationary- hence the need for anti-lag). Suspension as well - what works on the track, doesn't work in a forest, or on a road. Adjustability gets you so far. The only constant is brakes - well, provided you stick to calipers with dust seals! I guess my point is that newcomers see lots of advice, but even if the advice is good, it could be bad for them if it isn't stated in a particular context. i.e. Ultra stiff suspension is great for tracks, but will bounce you off a normal road!

I guess my other point is that BHP figures are pointless - it is the overall application of the car to it's purpose that defines whether it is fast or not. So, on a tight twisty circuit, BHP has little to do with it, handling is everything - on a long drag strip, power is everything - and so on...

Rant over - wait for the flames!
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
No flames, Blade. You make a good point. Everybody is too obsessed with power outputs rather than performance, or to be more presise, fitness for purpose. My car is a great road car, in fact, I get more impressed by the day. However, if I was on the track I would swap it for yours any day! I believe the debate should be about what is best for what reasons. When should you go for high BHP or high torque? What power is usable?

Take our 2 cars. If I remember the figures you gave correctly, they both put out about the same torque whilst your car has far mor BHP. I think that is what I would expect as a road car should be looking for usable torque whilst on the track there are slightly different requirements.

I would suggest that we look at probably 3 groups of cars - Road, road/track and track and debate what is best for each. I am looking forward to seeing the replies from some our learned contributers and hopefully this will lead to better advice for all.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Agree with everything that's been said so far. However, here's a slightly different viewpoint ... imagine you want to improve your average around a given track and you have £2000 to spend. If you could spend it on only one of the following, which should you pick to get the best return on investment?

1. Suspension
2. Engine/turbo
3. Brakes
4. Driver training

My money's on no. 4.

Could the same argument be applied on the public road? Probably but not to the same extent. How about rallying? ... most definitely (and probably to a greater extent than a nice smooth track.

Apologies if I've gone off-topic ... it's Sunday morning and I've just spent 3 hours looking after a very grouchy baby :)

Ian.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would go for no 1. Suspensions is the single most important thing on my TME (well, also the fact I need to get rid of the AYC).

I agree with blade that it is way more important to have good suspensions and brakes than anything else. However, I dont think 340 bhp is too much for the road at all. The more the better, preferably with the std low lag turbo. And I still agree that torque figures are much more important than a few more bhp. But that doesnt mean I dont want bhp. But if I get a choice between 340 bhp and 500Nm torque and 360 bhp and 400Nm torque I go for the first option. The torque is very important for the small twisty roads I use my car on. It all depends on application: what would I do with my Öhlins suspensions and 8 pot AP brakes on a US drag race? Nothing. Now what would a 1300 bhp Skyline do on the Tour de Corse? Not much except burn tires.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I must b naive , I always assume that when we talk power (torque 2 b precise , bhp |EQU| torque x revs ) that the objective of tuning is 2 increase power AND improve response, ie the area below the torque curve.
Turbo's shud |EQU| torque and torque |EQU| fun :)

C yer point tho Blade , wots the point of power if u can't put it on the road . Tuning needs 2 b an intergrated program if the results r 2 b a benefit and not just a spending excercise 2 prove who has the biggest d##k.
Claudius u say it right (4 once :)) , 340 bhp is not 2 much 4 the road , the more the better if it goes on the road :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
But if I get a choice between 340 bhp and 500Nm torque and 360 bhp and 400Nm torque I go for the first option

Engine torque is largely irrelevant until you get it to the road ... it's torque at the driven wheels that gives you acceleration. If you take option 2 and raise the final drive ratio by 25%, you'll get the same torque at the wheels (i.e. the same in-gear acceleration) as option 1 and the benefit of a higher maximum speed in each gear (due to the extra power).

The only real benefit of option 1 over option 2 is that, for the same in-gear acceleration, it would be at lower revs and you'd get a more 'relaxed' ride (if that's possible in a 340bhp Evo). You'd therefore be able to hear your £2000 stereo so much better, Claudius :)

Ian.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree with all the above but if you have 2k to spend I suggest some serious driving instruction!

At a track day at Oulton park the other week I was being passed by 2 blue evos all day, both had obviously had some mods, mine totally standard on road tyres, however at the end of the day Grahame the instructor drove my car and these 2 were left for dead!

Hence my opinion The standard car is well quick enough, bring on the driver training
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
And just to stick to Blade's original proposed categories:

I would suggest that we look at probably 3 groups of cars - Road, road/track and track and debate what is best for each

1. Road

Assuming that the basic requirements for the road are a mixture of comfort and performance, I'd get the power through gobs of mid-high range torque and relatively relaxed gearing. This allows for usable in-gear speed, in-gear acceleration, tolerable idle and good in-town flexibility.

2. Road/Track

Same formula as above but with some decent adjustable suspension mods (adjustable ride height and damping). Add a decent adjustable boost controller to give you another 50bhp when you need it and you're laughing. Short-shift gearchange maybe? Grooved disks with fast road pads (not too extreme otherwise you'll keep driving into the car across the road when you leave for work in the morning).

3. Track

No compromise. As much power as possible and don't worry too much about the torque as long as it peaks as high as possible ... you're going to be trying to stay as close to that max. power point as possible and that's exactly where you want the torque to be. Work out the best possible final drive ratio for a variety of tracks and install that ... don't worry about in-gear maximum speeds (unless you intend to drive on fast tracks all of the time), go for maximising in-gear torque (that's torque AT THE WHEELS not the flywheel). (Seriously) you could play around with the settings in Gran Tourismo 2/3 to great effect here, assuming you can find your car and an indicative UK-like track (Tahiti Road in GT2 maybe?). Uncompromising suspension and doesn't need to be adjustable (because that would be a compromise). As much weight-loss as possible. Wheels which are the best compromise between size (to get a nice stiff sidewall) and weight (too heavy a wheel equals too much unsprung weight ... BAD!). Fire extinguisher. Carbon disks that would be nearly unusable on the road etc. Roll cage. Balls the size of footballs.

Basically, looks at Blade's car's spec. and you're virtually there (apart from the Carbon brake disks?)

With regard to engine mods, the important difference between car 2 and car 3 is that, with car 3, torque doesn't really matter as long as there's tons of power and the gearing is suitably short. For cars 1 and 2, torque is important because more torque improves comfort and flexibility for the road (very sweeping generalisation I know but largely true in most cases).

Ian.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I agree with all the above but if you have 2k to spend I suggest some serious driving instruction!

Thanks for agreeing with me Woody. Easily the best way to spend 2k is on 20 trackdays, not suspension, brakes or engine. Best example is from Cadwell Park earlier this year. Me and my mate Colin were driving in Colin's Elise (stock, 118bhp). We'd done a few trackdays beforehand but noticed another Elise absolutely FLYING around the track. Spoke to the owner ... car was also completely stock but he'd done around 30 trackdays in it. QED.

Ian.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree with driver training - if a driver can't use the car then it ain't gonna be fast. At Croft I kept up with an Evo (driving an FTO - video on www.mivec.co.uk under DOWNLOADS) - he LOST me on the straights but it should have been the same on the corners. And when I drove that purple Evo...? WOW!

Doing Donington on November 5th so see you there!!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
which proves the point that you can only drive to your limit,not the cars
power and torque are different methods of measuring output
and Seat of the pants is no substitute for the stopwatch
how the same output is delivered can make two similar engines feel very different
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
power and torque are different methods of measuring output

Very true, but what many purists forget is that peak power tells you much more about how usefully the torque is delivered than peak torque .

Ian.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Droid,

not sure I agree with you here. IMO for road cars the peak torque and the engine speed that this occurs at is more important than top end power. For example compare the scoob Sti and evo. Peak power for both is virtually the same. Peak torque on Evo is higher and at lower rpm than scoob. Hence evo better car to drive.

After all unless you have a continuously variable gearing system you are only going to be at peak power for an instant. If that peak is very narrow i.e power falls off dramatically before and after peak you would be better off with a lower but more spread peak. of course it also depends on what you want to do. If you are racing or don't mind continually going through the gears then you could afford a higher thinner peak than for road use.

Being a bit of a lazy b'stard I prefer a good torque spread and so would not look at fitting a bigger turbo or hotter cams. Programmable ECU (boost upgrade), exhaust, induction kit would be about my limit on engine mods with a decent suspension setup.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oil goon,

No, you are actually agreeing with some points I made in earlier posts (about low-down torque being better for road cars). I was talking about peak torque making little or no difference for outright performance, for example, in a straight line run. For such an exercise you're likely to stay nearer to the point of peak power than you are the point of peak torque ... especially in a turbo-charged car where peak torque often occurs low down in the rev. range.

Ian.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Blade,

Not that provocative a post ,many have cars that out perform those with larger HP ,because there car is set up well and they have more experience driving around particular circuits.
Out of the list of which comes first I would put ,suspension ,set up /geometry/car braced in all major areas,bushes etc.
Then experience driver training whether being tought /or finding out where your own personal |PLS| car limits are .
Many have the biggest difference of the NO fear factor and go just beyond the limit of where some of us would feel a little uncertain.But then the one s that do this end up coming a cropper .
330-340 Hp with high torque would be my limit of thought with the car set up well for tarmac/road use.
On the road I feel that its all fairly equal between all models of Evo ,but a few minor not too expensive modds will give an edge .
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sorry - I have been advocating driver training since I got on this forum, and forget to mention it myself! I have spent about £1000 on driver training already.

Another thought is that it is actually impossible to drive to the limits of even the standard EVO6 on the open road - not talking speed limits, but grip and cornering limits.

It just isn't possible without killing yourself or worse, someone else. Sure, on a straight line you can - this was why I made the point about the power - on the road, a straight line is the only place you can use it, unless you are infact Mr Makinnen!

On the track - different story.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It's Mäkinen, not Makinnen. Or Makinen for you people without the ä . One day everyone will spell his name right on this board, one day... :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sorry, over zealous with the n key!

I should be more sensitive to this - the number of bastards who spell Rodriguez wrong (my surname) is amazing.

The worst spelling I ever saw was Radrageous !!!!
 
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