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Helper Spring Questions


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5 replies to this topic

#1
Randy R

Randy R

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Hello, when using a helper spring, does the lighter(25 lb)spring give you more weight transfer than the heavier(50 lb)? This has confused me ever since reading about it in the midget book. Since the combo of both springs gives you a light rate in rebound, does the really light rate give you more. Any info would be appreciated.
Thanks
Randy
randyr41@yahoo.com

#2
larryo

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Dear Randy,

This is my most favorite subject. I'm not going to answer the question the way "you are setting up your springs".
I'm going to answer the question on how you should use the helper spring. I hope "Baue" or any of the other experts/ the guys that really know what they are talking about will "chime in" and answer your question the way you want it answered.

1) If you use the helper spring the way it was designed, "of course a 50lb spring" will give more wt transfer than a 25 lb spring. Most people do not know how to set up the helper spring for wt transfer. Most people ignore the instructions in the kit and basically put one spring on top of the other and squish the helper spring into full compression/ bind. They don't use all the other pieces in the kit that allow you do dial in the helper spring rebound rate. The helper spring is only suppose to be used in rebound. Theoretically you could remove the helper spring and the main spring would act normally as if the helper spring was not there. As you want more rebound you twist in a little compression in the helper spring and on rebound the helper spring will give you little extra lift, promoting rebound. Like I say, most people don't use all the pieces in the kit and jury rig the setup.

Yes, a helper spring in full bind in stationary/original setup of the chassis will give you load transfer, and the 50 lbs spring in full "bind" will give more load transfer than a 25 lbs spring in "full bind", but that is not how the kit is designed to work or be setup. As I have said most people are not using all the little intricate parts that come with the kit and are not following the instructions and don't understand the helper spring setup. They basically don't understand the instructions.

Find someone that can show you how to setup a helper spring and physically show you what is happening in the spring
setup with real hardware.

Jimmy Sill midget setup video gives you a good hint on its operation and theory.

If you don't compress the helper spring into full "bind" the over rate of the two springs will be less than the highest valued spring. Some people mistaking setup the helper spring in this configuration. They are leaving out a few parts in the kit. They are important. You must use all the pieces in the kit and follow the written instructions that come with kit.


a) my point, most people do not know how to set up the helper spring. The few people who I have seen set up helper springs do not know what they are doing or talking about. They do not understand the principle/physics of spring theory or the correct/mfg/setup of the helper spring kit. They usualy put the springs in series, one on top of the other and two springs in series will have less spring rate than the highest rated spring.


B) But that is not how the "kit"/...i.e...all the parts and collars that come in the helper spring kit are designed to work. That is not how the instructions in the helper spring kit tell you how to setup the helper spring for wt transfer.

B) I think most people brains are interfering with the instructions that come with the helper spring package/kit.


I wasn't going to do this but I will try to explaing the helper spring setup.


1) The kit comes with a collar that sits on top the main spring. There is a paper thin cylintrical nut that is very small in diameter and locks the main spring in place. Set up the main spring rate as you desire. You can run your spring in this configuration. This is how the kit is desgned.

2) Ok, your main spring is setup and you are ready to go racing.

3) Now the helper spring is placed on top of the collar for the main spring. It is a special collar designed just for this purpose. The locking nut for the main spring is inside of helper spring and is designed to move up and down inside the inner coils of the helper spring.

4) The next collar goes on top of the helper spring with the final/second collar nut. As you twist the the top nut down it loads up the helper spring. If you dial in a little bit of rebound with the helper spring, as the car lifts up you hit a point where the main spring is fully relaxed, but the helper spring has a few turns twisted into it. This little bit of extra spring action propel the front end up a little higher and promote load transfer the opposite diagonal rear wheel.


Good luck! I did my best at trying to expain this subject. It is complicated and confusing, but really simple when you finally figure it out.

Sincerely,

Larry Otani


P.S. My best wishes for you always. Racing is a lot of fun. I would like to buy a sprint car...lol!

#3
Randy R

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Thanks Larry, I definately have it set up correctly, just wondering how many springs to have, and trying to figure out what will work best.
Randy

#4
larryo

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Dear Randy,

I'm definitely not the expert on this, lol. I have just seen 2-3 people using these helper springs. The thing that really gets my attention is when people use a lot of springs and have these extra long spring/shock assemblies on the RF of their cars.

I would think the main thing is that you don't want to get to the point where the RF spring assembly is hanging in the air and the RF springs are not pushing on the axel/RF wheel/tire on the road surface/track.

So, that being said, the question becomes not so much the spring rate, but the amount of travel the helper spring has.

So, my guess is if you had a "helper" spring that was rated at 40lbs and had 2" of travel and it ran out of travel..ie..was hanging in the air when you jumped on the throttle and were coming out of the turns, you would put two 20lb helper springs with 2" of travel each, to get you a total spring rate of 40lbs (initial spring rated wanted), but now you have 4" of travel and hopefully the RF tires stay planted to the road/track, during load transfer.

I know I have over simplified this, but I think the general idea is correct. Hopefully one of the experts on this board will "chime" in and correct me and add information to help you. I just like the question...lol!

Sincerely and thanks for letting me talk. I love bench racing.


Larry Otani


P.S. Here's an idea that came up at the track last week. What wheel do you lead the front axel with...ie. RF or LF?

Which rear wheel gets the final loading from the shift in front axel position?

And finally why does the Rear Wheel you have guessed get more load transfer? ....ie...what is the physics, what is the mechanical leverage and how is it generated on the chassis, axel assemblies and torsion bars/wheel and tires?

What's happening and explain it to somebody...lol!


2) Coming home and explaining my experience to my buddy, he asked "did it work". Answer "I don't know, I wasn't driving the car", but the guy driving the car said if you can scale the car you will see a change in wts on the scales.


It also has a lot to do with how much the car rolls over in the turns, I was told.



Larry "O" and god bless. "bench racing is what I live for. I love to talk..lol" and good luck to you. Racing is fun!

#5
jslotten

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Randy,

To add to this or simplify it a bit...

The overall spring rate only reduces when the springs are paired together. i.e. nothing between the bottom and top spring. If you think about it, it has to take the rate of the softer of the two and bind it before the stiffer of the two works fully. But because the main spring and helper are separated by a nut, the overall rate does not decrease.

In answer to your question. The helper spring, when set up properly, only helps rebound. When weight is transferred to the front of the car, the springs start to compress and the ride height that is set in the car comes into play. The helper spring at this point is doing nothing and the main spring has all the load. When weight is transferred away from the front, the helper spring comes into play and transfers more weight further and quicker to the rear of the car. If you are looking for setup help, I would put the 50lb helper on the RF the 25lb helper on the left front, and compress them around 5 turns each. This will allow more weight to transfer to the left rear of the car and help forward bite coming off the corners. Adjust as needed. From being in cars with and without helper springs, it is a subtle difference, but every bit helps.

Jake

#6
leftrear

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^^wish you were still running midgets, you were entertaining !!!




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