FF2017 – End of Summer 2016
Last week I did the final outdoor test for this year with the FF2017. Luckily September was quite good considering our climate, so since the start of testing the new parts in August, right up until the end of September, I could test a lot. I probably tested more and better with this car than any FF before.
I have tested so many new components, so many different setup options, that I really feel I got the most out of this years testing. The rewarding bit is that most of the new components tested really worked well and just as expected.
In total I did around 2000 laps of FF testing, and I really managed to improve the best laptime from the start of testing. My goal was to get under 18s, and towards the end I actually managed to do a 17.9. At the start of testing, with last years car, a normal laptime was 18.7-18.8s. The second goal was to get under 17 laps 5:10, but I never got below 5:11.
The results from the best testing session can be seen here if anyone want to check:
Session 12 was to remain the best run for this year. In session 11 there is a fake best lap.
Here below a look at what the car looks like straight after the completion of the testing season (excuse the dirt).
The TRF SSBB (super-short-big-bore) dampers from the TRF419X worked really well on the FF as well. After a mid-season rebuild of the gearbox making the shimming just right, replacing the gears and fitting a new diff with the alu outdrives, the performance of the car jumped to a lightly higher level. On track comparing with the FF-04 and FF-03, the traction is noticeably better with the 4 gear setup. It is not quite as free as a well setup FF-04 gearbox, but not very far off.
Everything is much lower at the front end now with the gearbox/motor lowered from last year and then the lower tower for the SSBB dampers, making the car noticeably more stable.
The lower rear tower for the SSBB dampers. The TRF419 split suspension mounts at the rear were new for this year as well, allowing more flex at the rear, also achieved with a narrower chassis towards the rear. Run a shorty (Muchmore 5000) and about 90g in weights behind it. I tested a full size battery as well, but prefered this setup.
TRF419X rear arms and uprights went onto the car as well, with the damper mounting position a bit further out compare dto the 418 arms used previously. You can see some material removed to clear the spring holders.
The new front roll-bar setup worked well. The holders are from VBC, and use small 3x6mm bearings to support the bar. Mounted to the upper deck because of the limited mounting options available at the busy front end of an FF car. The roll-bar I settled for in the end was a 1.4mm bar from the FF-03 set.
The TRF419 steering really is a big improvement making the steering much more precise. The Yokomo direct mount servo worked well throughout testing. Used just because of the clean looks and allowing no extra servo mount parts needed.
A look at what the underside of the FF2017 and the front bumper looks like after all those laps. Those of you who know your FF stuff knows that the front part of the chassis usually wears out quite quckly. Not so with this setup!
The big challenge for next year will be to find further steps to improve, considering the big gains made this year. But I’m sure some ideas will pop up over the winter…