Finally experienced the "swerving" feel everyone talked about...... - Page 7 - Alfa Romeo 4C Forums
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post #61 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
Well, here's the deal. Don't push it on public roads -- it's not the place.


On track, my suggestion would be to enter faster. You need to control oversteer/understeer with weight transfer, not with steering angle. Perfect turn for the 4C is to enter with some trail brake to rotate and then pick up maintenance throttle through the turn (gently -- turbo lag). On faster turns, skip the trail brake. Just being off throttle is enough to move the weight forward. At rest, our car is ~ 40% front/60% rear. Without some weight transfer onto the front tires, you don't have a chance.


This is actually one of the benefits of getting good instruction on track. It takes a lot of coaching to get people to enter turns at the correct speed. Going faster (but not TOO fast) opens up a lot of car behavior options that you don't have when going at "normal" speeds. It's a liberating surprise for intermediate to advanced students (and a real reward to an instructor the first few times a student "gets" it). And remember, trail braking is LIGHT braking. A car can't aggressively brake and turn at the same time.


In good hands, the 4C rotates incredibly well. Even on the stock ARs.
Well said!
How did you modify your 4C (if at all) to make it become, what seems, a joy to drive on track?

I really donít want to start messing around with anything if I donít have to.......

2017 Rosso Alfa 4C
2018 Rosso Competizione Giulia Quadrifoglio
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post #62 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 12:02 PM
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My experience is, like @4Canada , is on well run roads. Previous cars would effortlessly take the corners and turns like it was magnetically held to the road. The 4c tends to slide the front especially as the speed increases (obviously). But the same conditions as my other cars that never budged. This is in no way a complaint- different cars are just that- different. But I’m totally brand new to this car. It takes a bit of trial and error, plus getting to know what works and doesn’t work by forums like this. By others that have gone before.
One obvious difference is my rubber. I had super grippy tires before. And much wider front tires. But it does understeer. No question
Also, most of our other cars have likely been heavier, and usually featured a honking big block of iron ahead of the front wheels. Unless your last ride was a Lotus, what one has driven in the past is really not a relevant frame of reference for the 4C. I’m certain that this has more to do with the difference in feel/reaction/impressions of the 4C than minor changes in alignment.

No question, production cars are designed with mild understeer for safety. But not with the ditch-seeking behaviour that some of us experience.

Still, the takeaway here is that there are valid ways to improve the handling. Driver education is one, but far from the only. Alignment changes, tire inflation, size or compound are others. In the end, anyone can do with their cars what they want. But it’s good to know the options.

I think that the experience is hilighted by Chris Harris’ bipolar reviews of the 4C. He loved one in Italy on track and absolutely hated it in the UK on regular roads. It could be the nature of the roads, possibly he was prompted to offer a more negative report for whatever reason, or it might have quite simply been alignment differences between the two examples of this hand-built car. We’ll never know for certain, but alignment is as good an explanation as any.

We’ve certainly had a wide variety of experiences reported here. And many have done alignments on new-out-of-box cars only to find that the initial settings were way out of even Alfa’s spec. Let’s just say that Mario had more than his share of bad days while setting up the cars in Modena.
As a frame of reference, This was my last car. Wicked through the turns.
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post #63 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 12:05 PM
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Well, here's the deal. Don't push it on public roads -- it's not the place.


On track, my suggestion would be to enter faster. You need to control oversteer/understeer with weight transfer, not with steering angle. Perfect turn for the 4C is to enter with some trail brake to rotate and then pick up maintenance throttle through the turn (gently -- turbo lag). On faster turns, skip the trail brake. Just being off throttle is enough to move the weight forward. At rest, our car is ~ 40% front/60% rear. Without some weight transfer onto the front tires, you don't have a chance.


This is actually one of the benefits of getting good instruction on track. It takes a lot of coaching to get people to enter turns at the correct speed. Going faster (but not TOO fast) opens up a lot of car behavior options that you don't have when going at "normal" speeds. It's a liberating surprise for intermediate to advanced students (and a real reward to an instructor the first few times a student "gets" it). And remember, trail braking is LIGHT braking. A car can't aggressively brake and turn at the same time.


In good hands, the 4C rotates incredibly well. Even on the stock ARs.
Well said!
How did you modify your 4C (if at all) to make it become, what seems, a joy to drive on track?

I really don’t want to start messing around with anything if I don’t have to.......
Me either
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post #64 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 06:23 PM
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How did you modify your 4C (if at all) to make it become, what seems, a joy to drive on track?

Only thing I've done is brake pads, track wheels/tires (RE-71Rs), and harnesses. A harness bar does take up valuable space though (some make a cut in the rear panel and secure in the engine bay).


If I were more motivated, I'd invest in better seats (stockers are lousy) and fix the rear steering with Delrin or uniballs. With better tires, the rear steering from the stock rubber bushings unsettles the car. Not as much of an issue on the AR tires.
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post #65 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Only thing I've done is brake pads, track wheels/tires (RE-71Rs), and harnesses. A harness bar does take up valuable space though (some make a cut in the rear panel and secure in the engine bay).


If I were more motivated, I'd invest in better seats (stockers are lousy) and fix the rear steering with Delrin or uniballs. With better tires, the rear steering from the stock rubber bushings unsettles the car. Not as much of an issue on the AR tires.
No suspension changes or new alignment I take?
Which pads if you donít mind?

Thanks!

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post #66 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 04:48 AM
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Only thing I've done is brake pads, track wheels/tires (RE-71Rs), and harnesses. A harness bar does take up valuable space though (some make a cut in the rear panel and secure in the engine bay).


If I were more motivated, I'd invest in better seats (stockers are lousy) and fix the rear steering with Delrin or uniballs. With better tires, the rear steering from the stock rubber bushings unsettles the car. Not as much of an issue on the AR tires.
Which goes to show that one with some driving skill can drive the shit out of her without a ton of undercarriage upgrades
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post #67 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 07:53 AM
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Which pads if you don’t mind?

I got a set of PFCs from Alfa9:


http://www.alfa9supply.com/braking/a...ke-pads-pfc-11


I run PFC on all my track cars. Really like their consistency and modulation. Plus, you can drive them on the street and they brake well cold (a bit noisy). I think the set I bought were 11 compound, but the site describes 13 compound. ??


I only track the car occasionally. It is my wife's regular track car. She's an intermediate student who is starting to show her inner competitiveness. It's fun to hear her talk about the Porsches and Corvettes who are dragging her down in the turns.


This is a short video I took when giving another member here a ride in my car. It is in "The Driver's Edge" advanced run group (open passing -- instructors can go in any group). In this configuration, you can see the rotation the 4C can deliver on entry to "Rattlesnake" and "Horseshoe" (for example, 3:10 and 3:50). See https://www.motorsportranch.com/1-7-mile-road-course/ for a track map. No understeer here, thank you very much.



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Last edited by hornetball; 11-26-2018 at 08:09 AM.
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post #68 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
Well, here's the deal. Don't push it on public roads -- it's not the place.


On track, my suggestion would be to enter faster. You need to control oversteer/understeer with weight transfer, not with steering angle. Perfect turn for the 4C is to enter with some trail brake to rotate and then pick up maintenance throttle through the turn (gently -- turbo lag). On faster turns, skip the trail brake. Just being off throttle is enough to move the weight forward. At rest, our car is ~ 40% front/60% rear. Without some weight transfer onto the front tires, you don't have a chance.


This is actually one of the benefits of getting good instruction on track. It takes a lot of coaching to get people to enter turns at the correct speed. Going faster (but not TOO fast) opens up a lot of car behavior options that you don't have when going at "normal" speeds. It's a liberating surprise for intermediate to advanced students (and a real reward to an instructor the first few times a student "gets" it). And remember, trail braking is LIGHT braking. A car can't aggressively brake and turn at the same time.


In good hands, the 4C rotates incredibly well. Even on the stock ARs.
I know you say not to push it on public roads, but I have the luxury of being near a two-lane highway off-ramp sweeper turn (max speed 80-85mph in my Giulia depending on conditions) that is often empty during low-traffic times. While I have no experience on a race track, roads like this give me a relatively safe opportunity to experiment and experience weight transfer in a car. Hitting the second half of the sweeper (the off-ramp is actually two turns connected by a short straight) and playing with slight throttle movements really shows me the effect of weight transfer. Throttle-on (10-15%, not much) widens my turning circle and pushes the front of the car outward a bit-- good if I'm turning in too quickly. throttle-off (This turn is too fast to trail brake, throttle-off is enough for the weight shift as you mentioned) introduces a tiny bit of oversteer and helps rotate the front of the car around the turn-- great if I'm not turning in enough. Exhilarating for me, probably a bit scary for my passengers I've found to get it perfect on this sweeper, I enter at 85mph, then throttle off as I'm turning in, and the car rotates very nicely around the turn, and once I hit the 'apex' (really just the second half, I don't apex and cross lanes on public roads), I go back on throttle as the road straightens out.
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post #69 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 08:34 AM
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@hornetball suggestions are right on target. In stock form the 4C is very capable on track. A few minor tweaks make it much more enjoyable to really push hard. I personally recommend pads, Rudi's uniballs, and harness. As suggested, the stock seats are horrible given that you can pull 1G on braking and corners, and a harness (even 4 point) on the stock seats greatly improves the enjoyment. The Uniballs make it easier to trust the back end balance and to know when you are on the limit of traction. Roll the tires as you see fit, I personally prefer 17/18 stagger to get a wider selection tires. It isn't necessary as the AR tires are not "bad" on track, if you are only going to do a few days a year.

@Treetopflyer - The 4C will put that car to shame in the corners. The trick is to get the rotation, and then slingshot out of the corners. The midengine design is a BLAST on track.

@BostonDMD - The stock suspension is fine. The main reason for aftermarket suspension is to hop curbs without upsetting the car too much. One of my local tracks needed LOTS of serious maintenance and the bumps were sooo horrible kiss decent braking goodbye in several corners. So it made sense for me to upgrade, but not strictly "required". I still take a modified line into one corner from most cars to stay out of the rough area. I can take this line into the corner because of the lightweight nature of the car. IMHO, Alignment is mainly needed to control tirewear on track. On the road, the alignment is "nice" to control tramlining on bad roads.

As always, KEEP THE HOONING ON TRACK!!!
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post #70 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
I got a set of PFCs from Alfa9
I'll second the PFC-11 recommendation..... definitely my favorite pad that i have tried so far. Easier to modulate and handles heat quite well. I am lazy and leave them in for the occasional street use. Yes the squeak till warm, but I don't care... Seems that Matt @ Alfa9 has now moved from PFC11 to PFC13. I have some of his old PFC-7 stock as it was impossible to pass up $100 PFC pads on the front so I got a few extra pair. For me, the PFC11 pads last about 1 year of tracking (14+ track days and still have about 50% wear life).

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