Weight distribution can affect the way a car steers, it’s cornering, how it transitions left and right and the amount of grip it can generate. For example, you can gain more steering by placing weight near or around the rear axel. Like caster and camber a bit of experimentation is the key here, but a great starting point is to ensure the left/right balance (lateral C of G) of the car is equal along with the longitudinal weight transfer (front to rear). One method is to place the car on four miniature digital scales, one under each wheel. Then move components or add stick-on lead ballast to the chassis until all four measurements are recording the same. This will ensure the car is balanced both left/right and front/back.
The C of G (centre of gravity) of any car will affect its handling. Simply put, the lower the C of G of the car, the faster in theory you can take corners without the chance of rolling over. The weight and height of the body shell, placement of components, and overall ride height are all factors that affect the C of G and in turn the car’s overall handling. The C of G of your car is basically where the centre mass of the car is, front to the rear (the car’s longitudinal axis), side to side (the car’s lateral axis) and its height above the ground (the car’s vertical axis). All these factors converge at one point to determine where the car’s centre of Gravity lies. For best handling we would want a low vertical C of G (e.g. low ride height) with the car’s longitudinal C of G in the middle of the front and rear axles giving a neutral feel. What’s commonly known as a 50/50 weight distribution.
Depending on the type of car and track you’re running and you’ll have to compromise vertical C of G with ground clearance and the amount of suspension movement available. Again it’s down to trail and error to find the best set up for you.
Terry Crew – Reality Racing