Uneven wheelbase Renaults??
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Thread: Uneven wheelbase Renaults??

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    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Uneven wheelbase Renaults??

    These excerpts from TNF might be of interest;


    The Renault 6TL had the right rear wheeel 2.5 inches further back than the one on the left.

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    My '73 R5 was similar, however the designers were not completely stupid: they calculated that the average Gaul was about five feet tall and four feet around the middle (they did not have a metric tape-measure) so they designed-in which torsion bar should be at the front and which behind and the handling was therefore perfect (although the roll-angles could be lurid at times). Where it all went wrong was on the RHD versions, Mr average Rosbif customer being 6ft tall with a 32" waist; I was the bravest driver alive on right-handers but on left-handers circumcision was the name of the game.


    QUOTE (kayemod @ Jun 17 2012, 14:02)
    Wasn't that a conseeequence of a slightly odd reeear suspeeension layout?


    Yeeees.


    In the words of Autocar ... "Torsion bars are used throughout the Renault range, those at the front being longitudinal and those at the rear lateral. As you cannot run one torsion bar through another, Renault have adopted an eminently sensible solution - make one wheelbase longer than the other." ...


    QUOTE (Geoff E @ Jun 17 2012, 13:58)
    The Renault 6TL had the right rear wheeel 2.5 inches further back than the one on the left.


    Amongst others the Renault 4 had wheelbase different on one side to the other, which caused some head scratching when we had one to repair the accident damage.
    Regarding car bodies being different side to side, as a youngster I recall being told by one far more experienced, that the man wasn't born yet who could see both sides of a car at once! I can remember panels & doors being too large for the apartures they were meant to fit, Tr's Healeys Jaguars etc while Italian panels were another experience with excess metal or wings even arriving in 2 halves.
    One aspect of restoring old cars to todays standards is that they lose that original look, panel fit & paint is often far too good.

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    Didn't the 14 also have different L/R wheelbases?

    The 6 (TL) was the one car I bought and sold without losing any money!

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    It would be fair to say that the designers of Renaults would not have referred to inches at all when designing bodies or talking about the stature of the drivers.
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    The 16 also had the uneven wheelbase, but I couldn't say I could tell the difference around corners. I do remember it causing some headaches in motorkhana circles as it was a C class on one side and a D on the other. By averaging the two lengths it just snuck into D class.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash Car 76 View Post
    I was the bravest driver alive on right-handers but on left-handers circumcision was the name of the game.
    Please God you really mean circumspection!

    Otherwise anyone in the car with you (of the male persuasion) when you took a left hander must have winced a bit! (Needed a steady hand too I'll be bound!)

    Cheers, Pottsy
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    So the current list is R4, 5, 6 & 16 - any more?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pottsy View Post
    Please God you really mean circumspection!

    Otherwise anyone in the car with you (of the male persuasion) when you took a left hander must have winced a bit! (Needed a steady hand too I'll be bound!)

    Cheers, Pottsy
    Oy vey?!
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    I am pretty sure a version of the R21 also had the uneven wheelbase.
    Cheers - Luke

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    In the words of Autocar ... "Torsion bars are used throughout the Renault range, those at the front being longitudinal and those at the rear lateral. As you cannot run one torsion bar through another, Renault have adopted an eminently sensible solution - make one wheelbase longer than the other." ...

    except that, as I recall, Renault managed something like that with the later R19
    cheers! Peter

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    I would imagine you could "stack" the torsion bars vertically to avoid the wheelbase issue?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Europa View Post
    I would imagine you could "stack" the torsion bars vertically to avoid the wheelbase issue?
    The advantage of the "one behind the other" arrangement was that it kept the entire suspension low and compact, maximising interior space. Efficient packaging was a strong point of car design of that period.

    Somewhere in the internet is a guy having a rant about Renault build quality when he noticed the wheelbase disparity of a number of R4s and blamed poor factory jigging !
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    Quote Originally Posted by Europa View Post
    I would imagine you could "stack" the torsion bars vertically to avoid the wheelbase issue?
    What issue?

    All the rears do is keep the pretty rear bumper bar from dragging along the ground...
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    Default No Draggin

    Plus 16 to that, Mikeee

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    Default Unequal wheelbase

    4,5,6,16.
    All share a design with the gearbox in front of the engine, although that is irrelevant to the rear torsion bars. It is linked, however, to the packaging concept mentioned.

    I've had a 16 in the past. Great car. I'm not buying another one just to complete the set! I don't have the space and a move is on the cards.

    Besides, the 4,5,6 overcome the biggest problem of the R16. There is no column change gearshift.

    The consequences of the uneven length are only found at speed. The R5 in particular will swap ends rapidly without leaving the 2 lanes of the road. Mk 2 models ran negative camber to overcome the issue. I suspect as well, that it was because the wheelbase was so short ( on both sides ) that the rear so willingly follows the front. At less than ridiculous speed or without massive steering angle this is called "nimbleness". The R5 was arguably the most dynamic of the four cars and probably encouraged greater exploration of its limits than say an R4. That is a completely different version of fun altogether.


    David
    Last edited by David M; 20th June 2012 at 12:03 AM.

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    It is not a Renault invention. The H van has the rear torsion bars one behind the other and so the wheelbase is different - a 1940's design.
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    if I remember right, the Simca 1100 had equal length wheelbase, the torsion bars crossed in the middle, forming a shallow "X"

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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    The consequences of the uneven length are only found at speed...
    Another consequence is that the R16 is the fastest car I've ever known over corrugations, and will happily shame much more typical kit, as the back wheels hit the bumps at different times, so it's quite happy to hold high speed in this terrain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Europa View Post
    I would imagine you could "stack" the torsion bars vertically to avoid the wheelbase issue?
    I think VW Bugs front suspensions had stacked torsion bars as you suggest.

    http://www.vw-resource.com/front_sus...n.html#torsion

    You will notice the vertical space required to fit them under the front of the car....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Uneven wheelbase Renaults??-frontsuspensionsmall.jpg  
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    I think VW Bugs front suspensions had stacked torsion bars as you suggest.

    http://www.vw-resource.com/front_sus...n.html#torsion

    You will notice the vertical space required to fit them under the front of the car....
    the vw front end is quite different to what is being suggested.
    firstly, note for the record that the description provided in that link is incorrect. it is using the term "torsion arm" to describe the tube in which the torsion bars are located (which is incorrect) and the four arms which move up and down, and which locate the hubs (which is correct).

    IIRC, each of the upper and lower tubes holds a full width torsion bar. each of those bars is, as the text notes, a stack of spring steel flat bar, which forms a square cross section. in the middle of each tube, there is a fixed collar, also with a square shape, through which the torsion bar passes. so the middle point of each torsion bar cannot move, and effectively makes it into two half width torsion bars.

    so the vw front end is actually 4 torsion bars: two upper and two lower. the reason there is so much vertical space is that there are 4 torsion arms, and the vertical distance bewteen them is the vertical size of the hub, between the ball joints. i would imagine the renault rear end simply has a single trailing arm attached to the torsion bar at the front, and the hub at the rear? anyway, i believe the suggestion is that the rear bars could be stacked, but one immediately above the other?

    my question is this: why not just have one torsion bar, with a rigidly fixed midpoint, like (i believe) the vw had? then there is not need for short/long wheel base, OR vertical stacking of the torsion bars? i presume this is how the rear beam of the 205GTI peugeot works?

    possibly i am not correct in my memory of the vw arrangement, so stand corrected if otherwise.

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    The shorter you make a spring, (even a torsion bar) the less flex you can put in it. Long springs = comfort, and that goes for leaf, coil or torsion springs.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    The Panhard engine uses concentric torsion bars in its valvegear to replace the coil springs and give a desmodromic effect. The concentric design doubles the effective length but even then they could not fit it in the width of the rocker cover.
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    Default R16 handling

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    4,5,6,16.


    The consequences of the uneven length are only found at speed.

    David
    Not in 16! The package is good enough to do a "mile a minute' (that's a 100k/h average for you youngsters)around the Great Ocean Road in Victoria between Lorne and Wye River. This feat I only ever repeated in Mini Cooper S on sticky rubber.

    As Mikee said the 16 is one the fastest cars on corrugations because the rear wheels stay in contact with the road and the car does not slew sideways like everything else.

    Love 16's, still drive one.

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    the 14 not only had the offset wheelbase but the tracks front/back were different. there was definitely contemporary renault publicity in the uk that pointed this fact out, being illustrated with a graphic plan of the wheel layout.

    (reno1151: i once managed skenes creek to lorne in 24 minutes driving a taxi. the remoulds were a bit lumpy afterwards though !)

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    Part of the reason for the suspension design in the R16 was to keep the rear wheels parallel to the bodywork. As the car rolled in a bend the rear traction was reduced and this helped counteract the understeer.

    On dirt a 16TS was hard to beat, especially on a poor surface.

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    Default 16ts

    here we are, 8 years later, and a good thread never dies...I used to hill-climb my 16TS at Echo Valley (Toowoomba, dirt track) and the way it went up the hill was awesome - fastest time was 52.62 and I usually won my class.

    a mate of mine had an RX3 coupe and we used to play on the mountain roads around Toowoomba - he was constantly amazed by how far the inside back wheel would come off the road, especially on tight downhill corners.

    I used to enjoy slowly sneaking it up to 160kmh and then asking the passengers "how fast do you think we're going?" - they'd look out the window and say something like "around 120, 140 max". In those bucket seats and with the legendary suspension, the 16TS really is a GT...managed to find a nice one a few years ago and will get around to getting it back on the road - this year!

    cheers

    BP
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