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How to Make Your Car Handle: Better Handling, Safety and Performance

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Few things are as rewarding as throwing a car into a tight turn and have it hold the line, especially if you have played a role in redesigning its suspension system.

But how do you get there?

With the help of How to Make Your Car Handle, by Fred Puhn, you will learn from the basics of chassis geometry and construction to automotive suspension theory. Important subjects such as roll center and axis, camber changes, bump steer, anti-dive, ride rate and balance and more, are thoroughly covered by this guide.

But theory will only get you so far. The book also goes in detail into things such as how to install suspension systems, how to modify your car's suspension, handling hardware such as sway bars, shock absorbers, bushings, tires wheels and more.

But how about aerodynamics? you ask... Well, How to Make Your Car Handle also delves into body mods for reduced drag and high-speed stability. Spoilers, air dams, ground effects and more are discussed in detail. Plus, brake system modification and set up for max stopping power and handling is also part of this great book.

The Motor Bookstore is proud to offer this book, which is one of the best and most complete sources of automotive handling information available, explained in plain, understandable language, so you can become an expert.

Book Excerpt: How to Make Your Car Handle:


The fun of driving is not all due to power or top speed. A major part is the fun of driving a good-handling car. The phrase "man and machine have become one" best describes good handling. It is the confidence-arousing condition where every command of the driver is obeyed precisely by the car.

An evil-handling car will ruin all the fun of driving, as well as cause danger to its occupants and other drivers sharing the highway. For the various types of racing, good handling is essential - even on the drag strip.

It is my purpose in this book to show what makes good handling, and give you methods of achieving this goal with your own car.

Handling involves all conditions found in driving - acceleration, straight-line driving, braking and cornering on good surfaces and bad. The good-handling car will be controllable and predictable in all these conditions, and it will provide some degree of riding comfort.

Naturally these are compromises, and the use of the car will determine how to make them.

Ideal handling for all types of driving is impossible to obtain, so a multi-purpose vehicle is not the best for any specialized use. A good street car may have a great combination of ride and cornering on street tires, but will not corner as fast as an all-out racing car on racing rubber.

A racing machine may wear you out on a 500 mile trip, and would scrape on every driveway you enter. A car set up for oval-track racing will corner poorly on right-hand corners, but a racing sports car will not lap a high-banked track as fast as the car set up for left turns only.



How tires affect handling | The dynamics of cornering | Understeer, oversteer, neutral steer | Factors affecting tire grip | Transient handling characteristics | Fore-and-aft weight transfer | Suspension systems | Roll centers | Centrifugal force and maximum cornering speed | Lateral weight transfer | Weight transfer in chassis tuning | The effect of body roll | Frame structure | Aerodynamics


Ride height | How to adjust ride height | Cars with coil springs | Cars with leaf springs | Cars with torsion bars | Other designs | Weight distribution | Caster | Toe | Squaring the chassis | Camber | Bump steer | Roll steer | Preparing for testing | Troubleshooting handling at the test track | Aerodynamic testing | Tuft testing | Brake testing


Tires | Tire size selection | Wheels | Wheel types | Springs | Shock absorbers | Anti-roll bars | Locating devices | Stiffening the frame | Changing the CG location | Changing the polar moment of inertia | Brake system modifications | Aerodynamic devices | Making things adjustable | Steering modifications


Oval track racing | Drag racing | Off-road racing | Speed record vehicles | Ground effects

Future trends | Suppliers list | Index

Subject: A book for DIY mechanics who want to improve their car's handling capabilities. ISBN-10: 0912656468 | ISBN-13: 9780912656465 | HPBooks 46

  • Publisher: HPBooks
  • Author: Fred Puhn
  • Pages: 202 - Over 200 b&w photos and illustrations
  • Binding: Paperback - 8.5 x 11 inches
  • ISBN: 978-0-912656-46-5