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Old 04-09-2008, 10:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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When I see situations like this, I basically figure "it's time for more research". I don't think the author of my book was wrong nor do I think the auto companies are lying. I think, rather, that there are conditions (unstated, of course) in which lowering ride height helps and there are conditions where it doesn't. I think it's entirely possible that the companies you mention have found things which in combination with reduced ride height, makes a difference. That is, if they had just reduced ride height without doing some of those other things, they wouldn't have seen an improvement. Our job is to figure out what those conditions are.

Given the contradictory information, it seems to me that slavishly following a "rule" with something as tricky as aerodynamics isn't likely to lead to good results, except by accident. That said, I don't wish to dissuade anyone from experimenting and reporting their results--I'm only suggesting that there is likely more here than meets the eye.

I hope I run across something in the dozens of SAE papers I'm wading through (slowly). Aerodynamic theory may have something to say about this as well. Thanks for the links, by the way--it gives me (us) some cars to go look at and see what they did.

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