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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-08-2002, 06:59 PM
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Relatively easy question for most anyone

I doubt I need to tell you that I'm new to racing the desert; I feel like it's going to be fairly evident. I use to a wet climate with sand being found in few places.

Now, how are front-engined 2wds able to be raced with as much success as they are? Yes, doing away with much of the weight will greatly help, but the bulk of the vehicle weight will still be above the front two wheels, right? It would appear that having very little weight over the rear wheels, which are the only two pushing, would lose traction to the point of near uselessness.

Or are they so light altogether that the need of 4wd is eliminated?

Could someone help me with this?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2002, 11:04 AM
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Re: Relatively easy question for most anyone

Speed and momentum - aka driving ability.
If they were always going slow, yes they might (and often do) get dug in. But knowing how to drive, using momenutm and going fast over terrain keeps the cars/trucks on top. As an example, slowly drive a regular 2wd truck over sand - you get stuck. Go fast, no problems.
Many of the trucks are not 'light'. Having driven a 4x4 Toyota over many of the same places as the race vehicles, and watched and learned this does work. One notorious section I could not do in 2wd, put it in 4wd and was able to get through. But all the 2wd race vehciles that went fast got right through. (Those that did not we pulled out). Later I ran the same section in 2wd but with speed / momentum - got right through.
Also - fill out your profile
post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 03:01 PM
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Re: Relatively easy question for most anyone

This relatively easy question eludes alot of designers and car builders. Most of these front engined cars actually still have more weight in the rear. A lot of them have aluminum engines and there are several components moved back to shift weight to the rear. The heaviest component on the vehicle is the full fuel cell. These often weigh more than the engine. It is common to house the fuel cell entirely behind the rear axle centerline. Batteries are at or near the back of the chassis. Radiator(s) are in the "back window" of the roll cage, dry sump tanks are moved back. Most Trophy Trucks carry 2 full size spares behind the fuel cell. There have been TT's with water pumps in the rear and steering boxes mounted behind the seats (Ragland's earlier TT).

To make a long story short there is considerably more weight in the rear. Most TT drivers will tell you their vehicle rides better with a load of fuel onboard. The latest trend is a backward facing "mid" engine location and a boat V-drive near the co-driver's feet (Ragland, RG). This makes things easier to balance but does not save any weight.

As far as the speed factor, most of it was answered above, but there is also the tremendous suspension available. The TTs arguably outpace all others in a straight line. Unfortunately they don't handle that well and are not as agile as most Class 1 "buggy" type cars. The supersoft, long travel suspension provides a lot of weight transfer. This greatly helps traction and also let's them have tremendous stopping power.

Lastly, these vehicles are not light by any means. Most TTs are over 5,000 pounds! When someone does build a light vehicle of the same design they usually don't work well. Unsprung weight of 500 pounds or more (rear axle with wheels, brakes, etc) is too much for a 3500 pound vehicle but just fine on one of 6500 pounds. So far, the disadvantages of 4WD or AWD outweigh (literally) the advantages. It works for rally cars but the best of them would never complete a lap at speed in the desert.

Hope this helps at least a little.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-19-2002, 07:25 PM
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Re: Relatively easy question for most anyone

I'm telling you to solve your weight problem is that you need an alien exhaust. This exhaust basically is the best thing that you could ever buy for you four wheeler.
It will work in all wet and dry conditions, it will make you go 100 time faster. I put one on and by golly
was it ever going nice. I was driving around and zoomin all about and it was fun. After that I would chrome up the insides
and that could solve alot of problems too. After that I would get paddle tires and wear them down to nothing and that would be awesome.

Hope I helped you
Email me for any other answers I know alot
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