Down travel, or Droop

Today I went to Revelation Raceway for some testing. That track really is terrible in the day time. Sorry Dana. It’s dusty as hell, and loose, but then a high grip groove starts forming. So in one section, you can go from loose to high grip to loose again. In other words, very good for testing, and for improving driving, but definitely not the most fun. At night they water so then it’s a lot more fun too.

I wanted to see about testing different droop settings. I have actually written an article on the subject for VRC Magazine that you can read here. Now I would just like to clarify further, and give you the settings specifically used on the White Edition LV. I basically ran the setup I had a few days ago at Dialed in, which you can find here. The only change from that was that I raised the front and rear links back up on the hubs, which I preferred. I will write another story about that later.

Right now we always run the same shock positions in the arms, and either outer, or one in from outer on the towers, so measuring the shock length works well. People always think they can compare shock lengths to determine droop between different car brands. Forget about that, it doesn’t work. Watch the video below to see a way you can compare brands, or any shock position setup. Just do that with wheels on. I always check both ways, so I know where I am at, shock length and actual droop with wheels.

Basically, it’s always best to start off with max droop, and then reduce it, until the car starts getting worse. The reason is that reducing droop will always be faster, up to the point the car becomes erratic due to sudden loss of traction or twitchy handling. More droop will always be the safest and easiest place to start, so start there. Kind of how you tune an engine by starting off on the rich side.

IMG_1864

IMG_1865

 

Front Shock Length on LV: 99mm-102.5mm

Rear Shock Length on LV: 120mm-123mm

For the front, in order to achieve the right droop, you need to dremel the front arm as shown here. You also need to leave about 1.5mm of threads showing on the shock shaft.

What it Does

I mentioned less droop is faster, and here is why. Watching the video of a lap above, note the corners, coming onto the straight, and end of the straight somewhat, but specially the two long left handers at 20 seconds and 25 seconds. In sections like that the car will naturally carry more corner speed, and maintain a round arc with less effort by the driver. You can go from really focusing on maintaining speed in a corner to the car just doing it “by itself”. The tricky thing is, that if you reduce droop too much, it will again start being hard to maintain speed and flow.

With too much droop the car rolls a lot, and doesn’t stay as flat. You may have more on power steering, but it’s not as precise, and you need to correct your line choice. When the droop is correct, you just turn the wheel and gas it, and the car does a smooth arc. When you have too little droop, the car will feel erratic and stiff, and won’t hold it’s line either.

If you look at the left hander at 20 seconds, do you notice how I have to correct before the 2nd apex? In this video I had reduced the front droop too much, and it made the front end twitchy, and I just don’t have the talent to adapt my driving that quick, so I wasn’t able to do a smooth corner. Adding some more front droop would make the car easier to drive there with no change from the driver. But again, remember, having too much droop will make it hard to make a round corner in the same section, the difference is, that instead of being nervous, the car will feel unresponsive, and it will be hard to keep the arc correct.

If you look at 16 seconds, you can see it’s starting to get bumpy in that section. If you reduce the droop too much, the car won’t handle these bumps very well. Adding droop will make it just go through there like they aren’t there.

Reducing droop increases corner speed as I mentioned, but it doesn’t jump, and specially land as well. If you look at 8 seconds in the video, you can see that tricky double single jump. That’s the kind of section that will cause crashes and sketchy situations if you don’t have enough droop. Sometimes without changing anything in your driving, just adding droop, you will find that you stop crashing there. And basically every single jump on this track, if you have more droop, they will be easier.

And in case you are curious, after all that testing, going back and forth, I ended up running 100.5mm front, 123mm rear, still thinking on the way home that 122mm rear would have been faster. There is no right answer!

If you like these sorts of articles, breaking down one set up feature by using a lap of a track, let me know in the comments below, and share this story. Thank you. Otherwise I can’t be bothered to do these, and would rather have a beer or watch some Supercross, or actually both those.

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15 thoughts on “Down travel, or Droop

  1. Chris Reilly says:

    Interesting info which I can use and adapt for my on-road electric handling setup. I tend towards too little droop, and this is hopeless on our bumpy asphalt tracks. Thanks Joseph.

  2. Allen Doss says:

    love it, thank you. more please.

  3. Thanks for the article. please do keep them coming! As a beginner in the hobby, this article with the accompanying videos explains droop and it’s effects in a clear and concise way.

  4. Simon says:

    Nice work, Im really looking forward to the series. Your setup guide you did earlier has helped me learn a lot. It is printed out in the pitbox. There my have to be digital. šŸ‘

  5. Chad Millikan says:

    I love hearing how and why the car does what it does. I’m horible on reading my car on the track. Keep em coming

  6. john anderson says:

    Thanks Joseph..please keep doing these vids/set up info articles,exelent work mate.
    I will post them on my page (jonandoracing) Great explination of how to measure ,and compare droop settings .cheers.

  7. Justin Frazier says:

    Joseph, when you start adjusting your droop, do you normally make changes in 1mm increments?

  8. Plebeian says:

    Interesting post. If the springs are the same why does more droop equal more roll?

  9. jqproducts says:

    I change 1mm or sometimes 2mm. Then the 0.5mm comes into play when I can’t decide what’s better.

  10. jqproducts says:

    Imagine you limit droop to rideheight. Now imagine the car rolls, no wait, it can’t (or very little)….that’s why.

  11. Eric says:

    thank you

  12. Chris howard says:

    Very informative, thx, I look forward to next one

  13. Byron says:

    keep’em comming:).

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