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Author Topic:   Traction Control on Modifieds
irace74
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 24
posted July 22, 2001 09:54 PM
Am I neurotic or stupid. It seams that a number of also rans have found majic in the last year and a half. During a race last friday night, the leader never slipped a tire and was able to drive around the track like it was on asphalt. Rear end directly in track with the front end. This guy has run good in the past but, this year he can start anywhere and end up in front. It is a little fishy when the car blubbers in the corner, and has the smoothest acceceration I have ever seen. I don't think tech guys know what to look for. How can we keep modified racing clean and keep this kind of technology from ruining our sport? I have heard of some traction control vendors, which tell you they will pay you your 3K back if someone finds it. I still think the game is in cam, gear and timing but, others who try to win, are tempeded to spend the 3k for instant traction and control. How do we find it, without fail, how do we police it and what should we do about it?

KEVIN8WADDELL
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 12
posted July 23, 2001 01:35 AM
I went to one race track where they checked for traction control or limited slip by, stopping the car putting to marks on the rear tires in approximately the same place and made the car turn. If the marks were still lined up, it had a locked rearend, but if they weren't lined up then it had some type of limited slip. Just a suggestion, maybe it will help.
Kevin Waddell #K8
Waddell Racing

wfoondirt
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 142
posted July 23, 2001 01:57 AM
Go with you first thought, the key is the motor and driver. I personally know people that tried to get t/c to work on dirt for years and have read several articles on traction control on dirt and a good driver was faster without t/c than with it. the problem with t/c on dirt is that there is a varing amount of slippage required unlike asphalt where tire slippage is avoided. Also the systems i have seen for the low-tech engines in most dirt cars are pretty limited in the fact that they can only control the ignition system and do a poor job at that because they cannot react fast enough. The t/c systems used in road racing and even some high end production cars are tied into the fuel/ignition/brake systems and they are effective. But to answer your question if someone thought they needed t/c it would be pretty easy to hide it to where it could not be found without taking the car completely apart. but i beleive the key is in the motor, i've been working with my engine builder for the past few seasons on the motor combination and am getting pretty close to what we're looking for, and by the way the motor i run now does exactly what you described but its a result of running a higher gear when its slick and a smooth torque curve. my 2 cents on t/c.

3x Racing
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 19
posted July 25, 2001 03:16 AM
You guys are talking about limited slip differenials. I think irace74 means traction devices like the ones found in today's computer controlled street cars. A device that sputters the motor kind of like a rev limiter dones when it scences the rear tires spinning. They would still be locked up, just the motor would 'miss' to keep from over powering the rear tires' traction. If you want to police it, check the drivers suits. Thats all I have to say about that.

Pit Bull
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 42
posted August 09, 2001 11:27 PM
There is a certain fellow at our local race track that seems to be consistently whipping everybody in the field. A friend of mine said he might be running a "Torque Sensitive" Differential. I heard once about these in one of my off road magazines, but never realized how good this would be on dirt. It supposedly directs all of the power (or most of it) to the wheel with the most of the grip. Now im not talking about a spool, limited slip, posi, or locker, its a different kind of deal. The magazine took a Jeep CJ5 equipped with a "Torque Sensitive" diff, and power braked it with one rear wheel on ice, and the other rear wheel on dry pavement, and it smoked the tire on the dry pavement, and barely spun the one on the ice. Yes, I know, hard to believe. It is made up of some sort of gear/clutch system, and even a worm gear is envoled somewhere I think. Is this what he might be running? Or am I totally off base? Id kinda like to nail this guy on it because im tired of him whippin me. Please help!!

wheels13
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 26
posted August 10, 2001 08:44 AM
Guys, I have seen traction control devices work in dirt applications and remarkedly well. If there were nothing to them why would IMCA have levied such a fine for the usage of these devices. They wont always make an also ran a great winner but they can make a fast guy that much faster and on all kinds of tracks with the right unit. They are hard to detect because not many truly know what to look for and the technology is always changing. I would like to see the skill behind the wheel and the preparation of the car be the deciding difference in winning. Tech men need to be schooled in the identification of these devices and kept up on the latest innovations. Just my nickels worth

Pickles
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 32
posted August 11, 2001 01:21 PM
Seems to me that a device like this would have to use the same technology as ABS. If that is true, there has to be magnets somewhere on the rotating parts and a pickup sensor to feed wheel speed to a computer that would ground the ignition. Trying to figure "3x racings" comment about checking the drivers suit. Is that where they hide the computer? Build up some static electricity and go shake their hand!

drtrcr36
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 6
posted August 11, 2001 06:06 PM
Guys just check this site and learn there are alot of guys doing it. www.moretraction.com

Pickles
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 32
posted August 12, 2001 05:16 PM
Okay...sanctioning body or the track outlaws MSD boxes or requires some type of factory sealed units.

tls88mod
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 24
posted August 13, 2001 10:19 PM
I think they should have a claim on MSD boxes.

irace74
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 24
posted August 14, 2001 12:12 PM
Is it to the point that we have to buy serial numbered sealed MSD boxes in order to race? Differential technology to control slip is one thing but a simple $3000 box that gives you 2-3 tenths on dirt track racing is killer. Especially add the McCreary donuts and the reason for the class was to minimize the available traction put it against a "stock" type motor with some inovative chassis design and see how fast we can make them go. Now many are running late model 430's, MSD boxes with brains and the tires are not slipping. Sounds funny to me. Modifieds should be as they were conceived. Maybe we are a vicim of our own arrogence because we won't claim a buddies motor because we dont want to start a war. If we all ran claimer stuff and got rif of the brain boxes maybe the car counts would increase and racing would improve.

narley-harley
unregistered Total posts: 24
posted August 14, 2001 08:51 PM
I went to www.moretraction and they say that their units uses no wheel sensors. Can someone explain how that works?

brownstone
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 45
posted August 14, 2001 10:56 PM
I am not sure I have the answer but here it goes I may catch some flack but ........

Most airbag systems on cars and trucks today use NO external sensors, the airbag control module has a sensor inside of it that works on inerita.

Its like this once you hit something hard enough the force of the crash creates enough g force that the sensor generates a powerfull enough signal to tell the Airbag controller to set off the bags and we all know how fast this happens.

From the Moretraction webpage it would appear that all of the tricks are in the MSD and I believe this could be done if you knew and undestood the workings, schematics and control logic of the MSD ignition control box.

Once you know this info its then a matter of determing what type of sensor could be used and mounted inside the MSD box to detect the loss of traction.

This is the tricky part, because without doing extensive testing and duplication its tough to know what type of sensor would detect the loss of traction, there are sensors available today that detect the following vibration, g-force, and many more.

This is where my limited pea brain knowledge losses traction lol

Here is something to consider......

When a car losses traction versus hooking up there would be a slight difference in G-force
created, can this small amount be detected ? If it can be then it would be a matter of testing a car enough times in wheel spinning and hooking up conditions and creating a parameter to work from. Once you have a parameter to work from you could then wire up the sensor internally to the circuit board of the MSD box and have its signal sent to the logic portion of the MSD controller.

Now you need to know this, what info does the MSD box need to retard timing and how does the MSD go about retard the timing ?

Now its a matter of using your G-force parameter voltage for slippage, sent to the logic portion of the MSD so that it starts to retard timing everytime it recieves or detects the slippage voltage within a certain parameter.


I believe traction control be done without external sensors, I am not an expert by any stretch and the G-force sensor may not be the one used, but I am trying put forth an idea to show that it could be done.

I hope I dont take too bad of a beating on this, my 2 cents and then some lol

irace74
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 24
posted August 15, 2001 10:54 AM
Well I think the control is much simpler then we all give it credit for. At the MSD box we know the RPM of the engine, Tachometer output. As long as we know this we can adjust teh engine performance based on a ramp of RPM/sec/sec. By understanding an appropriate acceleration factor we can adjust engine performance based on a reference "optimum" acceleration. If the acceleration is too quick, retard the timing and lower the engine performance. If the acceleration is not up to optimum levels, increase the engine timing and maximize the engine performance. Within the MSD all of these inputs exist and are readily available. For a control geek these are very simple parameters to work with. A little microprocessor or comparative circuit would achieve this type of result easily. Look at the rev limiter in a MSD box. This is a simple resistor that based on the resistance the box cannot exceed the revs. What if this becomes adjustable based on acceleration of engine performance. Easy to accomplish and undetectable, except for the stutter when the rev limiter kicks in. Anyone out there heard this? I sure have. I think the best idea presented in this forum is to mandate the a track MSD box or what if I simply claim your MSD with a new in package unit? Don't want to trade your $3000 MSD for my new $200 unit your out of here!!! Simple and Effective. what does everyone think?

Pickles
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 32
posted August 15, 2001 02:06 PM
I think the claim/exchange idea is a good one! And I do belive you are one the right track with the rev limiter circut being the key. By knowing when there is an increase in rpm in a very short time, slippage would be detected and the rev limiter would kick in. Another way to control the situation is if everyone knew how to build their own with cheap parts from Radio Shack. I would think the engineers at MSD probably know how it is done. If that information was made available to all, problem solved. Also, wouldn't a car with traction control be a safer car? And safer for the other cars?

Deek
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 19
posted August 15, 2001 04:39 PM
Brownstone's on the right track, I'm sure. They've got to be using some kind of inertia device as a sensor to tell the control circuitry of the box when to cut back. Consider that an airplane's inertial navigation system has no external reference, uses accelerometers and converts the precessed output of gyros. I'm no engineer, but that would seem more plausible than some set program of a plotted rpm curve on a prom. I'm guessing that there would be too many variables for that to work.

irace74
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 24
posted August 15, 2001 05:58 PM
Traction COntrol is not the answer for any class of racing. The challenge of racing is understanding how to hook up a car. THe guy who understands that hooked up little motors are alot more effective than a big hog that spins the rear wheels. This is the essence of modified racing, the reason for the little tires and claimer motors. Traction control eliminates the essence of what we enjoy, legalizing it would kill the sport. I still think a simple exchange rule for the MSD box would put an end to alot of it. In addition we all should honor the simplicity of the original IMCA concept and leave the big hogs to the late model guys. Maybe someday, we will understand that allowing the high dollar motors and electronic gadgets to persist is ruining our sport.

Pickles
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 32
posted August 16, 2001 04:37 PM
Okay...I've heard of V-6's doing well. (small) But, is there anything to the logic that says smaller has to turn more rpm's to equal a given torque? And if that is true, then...more rpm's means more expensive parts to hold together right? Conversely, more cubes would equal less rpm and less expensive parts. Now, if I can just figure out how to get that 454 to turn at the end of the straight.

HEAVY DUTY
Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 4
posted August 16, 2001 10:10 PM
OUTLAW MSD AND GO BACK TO HEI OR SIMILAR.MSD STUFF IS NOT ANY BETTER THAN GOOD HEI STUFF,WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE CHIP.IF WE CONTINUE TO RUN MSD BOXES THEY WILL HAVE TO BE SEALED LIKE THE NASCAR BOXES.EXTRA COST TO BE LEGAL.

modified37
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 29
posted August 23, 2001 05:01 PM
I know guys that run Traction Controll.I am not going to mentio any names though.One of the track promoters at a track that I go to had a MSD box and he told everone in the drivers meeting that if he wanted your MSD box and you did not trade him you would lose all track points for the year.The guy that is running traction controll did not drive his car.He drove a house car for someone.

Pickles
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 32
posted August 28, 2001 01:36 PM
The techs at MSD will not give out any info at all, other than to say they do not make it.

However, I have been able to find out the following: The unit is looking at acceleration of RPM and then retarding timing to cut power based on that calculation. It performs 100 calculations per second.

I agree that either the ignition box should be outlawed or there should be a claim/exchange rule. The tecnology is so well hidden that there is just no other way to control it.

Dustejr73
Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 3
posted September 10, 2001 07:49 PM
we seem to have a similar problem here in the northwest with accusations of someone running a "traction control" device. i think the tech guys need to investigate this more so they will know what to look for. the main problem at the track i race at is that you will get dizzy from all the tire softener!!!! ha ha ha

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