[QUOTE=Mike Bresnahan;151364]If you have the option to choose, then you would certainly want to choose the Straight Rail car.
A good rule of thumb for a pavement car is as little weight as possible in front of the ball joints, behind the rear axle, or right of center. One of the most common mistakes beginners make is moving weight to the rear to increase traction. Picture a weight on the end of a rope and how that would react if you were to swing to around your head?
Also don’t fall into the trap of buying fancy lightweight chassis components because you’re just going to replace them with lead… A very well known racer was showing off a car he had just built to me, he was very proud of his Billet Aluminum Super Light Weight lead brackets… Think about that.
Then he showed off his new state of the art seat. This was one of the Kirkey ones with huge holes in it to save weight… This guy was easily 65-70lbs overweight…
In this sport perception often times seems like reality… I left his shop thinking “man, I’m way behind the curve”. Then I realized I can use a much cheaper steel lead bracket with a slightly lighter piece of lead and if I need to save a few ounces in the seat I’ll push back from the dinner table a bit sooner than normal. So don’t fall into the trap of buying every fancy new part just because the guy that’s winning has it. Often times what you have will work just fine.[/QUOTE]
I agree completely with everything said here… Funny thing about lead placement… A lot of people are scared to put weight on the nose of the car. I have noticed, at least with the street stocks and the late models I work on, that if you can put lead right behind your left front wheel, the more you add, the better the car gets. One night, on the Late Model we moved 150lbs(est) of lead forward from the left rear frame rail just in front of the rear axle, to directly behind the left front tire in a new lead box AT THE TRACK, and gained 2 tenths without scaling. Prior to that, the nose was sliding and then when it would finally grip, the rear would snap out. After the change, the nose gripped and was using both front tires almost equally when it came to temps and the rear end didn’t snap around.
Once we got around to scaling the car and getting everything squared away with numbers again, the car picked up another 1/2 tenth. If not for having a rookie crew cheif (me) and a 5 season old 603 crate, I think we might have been able to get a win before the season ended this past weekend.
I personally have a perimeter chassis for my FL car. If I find a straight rail any time soon, I would love to have it, but that’s unlikely here. I plan to just throw the Perimeter together to bring down and learn the tracks and eventually build something new. I still have a hard time understanding how exactly a Straight Rail can perform better than a Perimeter chassis, because in my head, 57% left, is 57% left, the only difference in handling between the two I can think of would be top weight, which can create more roll on the perimeter than the straight rail. I would need to sit with someone and actually have them give me a hands on explanation. I am definitely still learning when it comes to these cars, I am not afraid to admit that. But if you aren’t learning something new on a daily basis, in my eyes, you are wasting days.