Words: Gareth Court
People talk camber, caster, and toe all day long, but do you really know what they mean and how they affect the car? Certified wheel alignment tech Gareth Court brings us up to speed.
Recent changes in legislation have lead to a lot of talk about wheel alignments, and camber in particular. With the current trends around the world focusing on aggressive wheel fitment and stance, we have seen large amounts of negative camber on vehicles. New Zealand legislation was recently amended to control the amount of camber angle on any vehicle. To achieve low volume vehicle certification in New Zealand the camber angle on a vehicle must not exceed the manufacturer’s specification by more than one degree. This applies to both front and rear axles.
If you’ve read the previous post then you’ll know that it was a close battle for the championship heading into the Cody’s D1NZ final in association with NAC Insurance, with ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett trailing Gaz Whiter by the slimmest of margins. Whiter was on 442.5 points and Mad Mike on 412, with 2011 DK Curt Whittaker sitting in third on 359.
The 2013/2014 Cody’s D1NZ season comes to a nail-biting conclusion tomorrow night. All season it’s been a two-horse race: Gaz Whiter in the Tectaloy/Fenix Radiators S14 and Red Bull’s ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett. Heading into the final, Gaz Whiter sits on 442.5, Mike’s on 412, and 2011 DK Curt Whittaker sits in third with 359 points. Let’s take a quick look at what got the drivers to this point. Round 1 kicked off at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park with Gaz taking P1 and then the win over Mike who suffered no end of mechanicals in the MADBUL. V8 Supercar driver Shane Van Gisbergen came home in third place, his first D1NZ podium.
With Targa North Island kicking off in Auckland today, there will be one driver in the mix not searching for every last split second. Drifter Cam Vernon will be piloting his new V8-powered Nissan S15 running selected stages throughout the three days, doing what he does best — putting on a show for the crowd. We caught up with Cam at Hampton Downs for a shakedown test session before the event. The S15 runs a pretty serious driveline with fully built 400kW LT1 V8 and G-force dog box.
Some of you may remember this FD RX-7 from its previous life as a PPRE-built NA 20BPP-powered machine on a set of bright orange Rota Grids. Well, after going through a few hands and losing the 20B somewhere along the way, the rolling shell was listed on Trade Me for a price that current steward Luke Manson could not refuse. Having previously owned and built a few different street and track FD RX-7s, Luke wanted this build to be his idea of the ultimate street car, with drivability and at least 360kW at the rear wheels.
Pre WWII life was a much simpler time, and when it came to cars the three-speed sincro-mesh gearbox found in a Chevy was top of the line. Nowadays that very technology is used in manual transmissions most of us swap gears with on a daily basis, but do you really know how it works? Spinning Levers is a short educational film made by Chevrolet in 1936 explaining exactly how a manual transmission works. If you can ignore the simplistic nature of the vintage doco, it will actually explain everything you need to know.
In the third and final instalment of our ‘Back to School’ handling guide, found in issue 209, our resident expert Gareth Court takes a close look at shock absorbers: what’s good, what’s bad, how they work, and, most importantly, how to make them work for you. If you missed the first two instalments of this feature, make sure you pick up issues 207 and 208, which deal with alignment, to gain the ultimate understanding of your car’s handling systems.
If you’re home by 6pm tonight check out TV3 news to see the video footage of Alex Kelsey’s home-built rally car in action.
It’s taken two years of intense work, but Kelsey has now unveiled his one-of-a-kind, home-built rally car at his home workshop in Coromandel.
With a French-made, naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6 engine, the car has been dubbed the ‘Mad Creation 2’ (MC2).
Kelsey reckons all the hours and hours of effort put into building the ‘mental in nature’ vehicle has all been worth it.
“This car has been such a huge part of my life for so long, so to finally have it finished is just beyond words. All I was thinking when I first drove it was, ‘yahoo! It works!’ but I always knew it was going to work; it was just a matter of when it was going to happen really,” Kelsey says.