My automotive interests:
One of my biggest interests is Suspension and Chassis design. After all, when you like older american cars, you have to put up with the constant reminding from the Jap/Import/Tuner-crowd that american cars can only go straight! Because of this, I wanted to find out and understand why, and also be able to find ways to help or correct these cars shortcomings. Now, after having read all related info I came across, it's nice to actually see for myself that I have gotten some steps closer in understanding some of this.
Anyway, this has resulted in me buying some books, and then some more books, and then some... I thought I'd put a list of them here, and give you some opinions, and what I like or not about them.
Herb Adams - Chassis Engineering
A good entry-level book for the novice
Fred Puhn - How to make your car handle
A good entry-level book for the novice #2
Steve Smith - Building the PRO STOCK late model sportsman
A lot of "what you should do", but few "why's"
Steve Smith - Paved Track Stock Car Technology
Getting there, better than the book above, but...
Paul Van Valkenburgh - Race Car Engineering & Mechanics
Starting to go deeper, more detailed and technical
Allan Staniforth - Competition Car Suspension: Design, construction, tuning
Good reading, and much good info
Carroll Smith - Tune To Win
Good tech mixed with a nice portion of humor, has an own chapter for sedan racing
Carroll Smith - Engineer To Win
Not directly aimed at suspension, more materials/fasteners/chassis
Dave Morgan - Door Slammers: The chassis book
Interesting read for those who like dragracing
William and Douglas Milliken - Race Car Vehicle Dynamics
This book is great. It's all I expected it to be. Lots of hard tech
The Dave Morgan book is aimed at dragracing, but I like that as well. The same technical terms apply to a drag car, it's just set up completely different than a car set up for taking corners. The same thing applies to the Steve Smith books, which are directed towards circle track racing. These CT books also show how to set up a car quite strange (only taking left turns), but again - the tech inside is still good, and it might make you see and understand some things better when you see them from another perspective.
I considered buying some suspension analysis software for a long time, and finally it happened. Most of the popular american cars are pretty well sorted out, and strengths and weaknesses found. I want to be able to examine some less popular cars, and european models more common over here. I was looking at two:
Performance Trends Inc's "Suspension Analyzer"
($399 for the full-vehicle
Bill Mitchell Software's "WinGeo3"
($495 for the advanced version)
I went for the latter, which is more advanced than the cheaper first one. I decided to write about suspension engineering/geometry as my project-exam at the school I was attending in the years 2004-2006, and I got an A! I considered buying some software as a part of that project, but it didn't happen before now. I'll write more about this later...