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Author Topic: Crank Trigger System (A.K.A. Traction Control)???  (Read 7255 times)
afraptor1
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« on: September 09, 2008, 08:48:00 PM »

Is the Crank Trigger System used on some of the USAC Sprint Cars just another form of traction control?  It seems to me that it can be used as such by limiting the rpm of the motor.  Simply moving the transducer to adjust ignition timing while the engine is running can be interpreted as a form of traction control, causing the programmable ignition box to go into default mode and restrict engine speed to a desired rpm. 

I have seen crank trigger switches mounted in the cockpit of some Sprint Cars a I believe if the driver just activates the switch he just controled the rpm of the engine and if it revs up (due to tire spin) to the rpm limit set be the Crank Trigger System the engine retards down and ...presto.....traction control through the engine.  Reducing power output would give the basic effect of traction control.

Am I right or wrong on this thought?
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Justin
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2008, 10:51:37 PM »

sounds right to me! very interesting though!
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Honest-Sam
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2008, 01:05:30 AM »

I can't believe that anyone can keep control of the car with one hand, while the other is on a switch.
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Sam Brooks
Justin
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2008, 01:14:37 AM »

i know what you mean
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afraptor1
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2008, 05:11:17 PM »

Have you seen all the controls inside the cockpit a driver has lately?  They can drive and flip a switch real easy if they have to. 
I just want to know the real story behind this crank trigger switch.  To me it seems like a form of traction control. And traction control is not allowed.  Does a sprint car REALLY need this device and what for and why? 
Can anyone tell me?
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Honest-Sam
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2008, 11:43:05 PM »

Switching from one to the other does make a small difference in engine timing only.  It doesn't limit RPM.

If it could be interpreted as traction control, then so is advancing or retarding the timing the "old fashioned" way by turning the magneto a few degrees to detune the motor.  Also, wouldn't the same be true for removing the lower nozzles and plugging the fuel lines?  This is sometimes done to reduce the power of the motor and help gain traction.  In addition, it's fairly routine to change the gear to keep from lighting up the tires.  Wouldn't that be traction control as well?  Isn't the driver's throttle control a form of traction control?  Where is the line?

It is difficult to define the "illegal" variety of traction control though.  You do bring up a good point.  Maybe it could be defined as "a real time, instant, self adjusting ignition system that senses jumps in RPM and varies the timing or firing pattern to limit wheel spin, regardless of throttle position."

Any thoughts?
« Last Edit: September 21, 2008, 02:41:07 AM by Honest-Sam » Logged

Sam Brooks
Justin
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2008, 01:27:23 AM »

wow never thought of it that way before!
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afraptor1
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« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2008, 08:25:26 PM »

Honest-Sam:
You do bring up some very interesting thoughts on the various ways to "control" traction.  I like your defined term of traction control and think maybe USAC should take a good hard look at it and make a clear ruling.  One that spells out what is legal and illegal and good for all racers. 

I have gone to some of the manufacturers website and most all admit it is "some form" of traction control.  So if they think it is then why not USAC? 

I just want everyone to play nice and play by the rules. 
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Honest-Sam
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2008, 10:19:20 PM »

I've never been exposed to any form of traction control(tire treatments or self adjusting ignition), so I still don't really understand how they work.  I have no plans to play with either, so I guess I don't care.  But, is does seem difficult to draw a line somewhere dividing what is okay and what is not.  I can't see telling the teams that they can't advance or retard the timing on their magnetos.  It's simple basic mechanics.  I guess we'll have to leave it to the powers that be.  However, I have not seen anyone take a strong stand against any of the illegal stuff, but then again, I haven't been looking.
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Sam Brooks
afraptor1
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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2008, 08:54:23 PM »

HS:  I am a USAC Official and during our season out here (West) we found some regional sprint cars with them on.  We had never seen them before as our local racers do not have them fitted.  It just so happend that night the regional guys whipped our local guys in the feature and when we teched them afterwards we found this switch in the cockpit.  So we asked the regional teams what it was and they said it was basicaly a backup ignigtion system.  We were somewhat skeptical and decided to have them remove them from their cars so we could send them in to USAC (Indy) to have a look at.  (You see at our track we want everyone to play nice and by the rules)  But after a few phone calls to our regional office and then to the Indy office we were told to give them back and USAC will look at them later. Undecided

So we did some research on this crank trigger system and what we found sure sounded like it is a form of traction control.  Below is just one thing we found:

"Managing Wheel Spin Just because a crank trigger assembly is mounted to the front of the engine doesn't mean the distributor can't also be used. Smart racers can actually use the cam-driven distributor as a backup timing device and switch between the two as a kind of poor man's traction controlShocked  For this setup, setting up the crank trigger at the optimum timing and retarding the distributor timing approximately 4 degrees from that mark.

The result is that the crank trigger is the primary timing mechanism set for peak power. If racing on a dirt track, the driver has the option of switching over to the distributor timing, if the surface loses traction and wheelspin becomes a problem. Retarding the timing 4 degrees typically cuts the engine's power approximately 5 percent. It's not too much to make the car uncompetitive, but enough to help the driver control wheelspin when exiting the turns."

Like I said earlier, I would like USAC to look at it and then make a clear statement/ruling on it. 

I love Sprint Car racing and love being a USAC Official.  There's nothing like the smell of methonal and burnt rubber in the air!  I take pride in my duties as an Official and want the drivers to be safe (use all the required safety equipment) and for everyone to obey the rules. 

To me this crank trigger system seems to "break" the rules but I guess to some racers and USAC (Indy) it is only "bending" the rules!
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Justin
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2008, 11:41:35 AM »

but its still not right even if they are bending the rules!
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afraptor1
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2008, 07:34:04 PM »

I agree Justin! 

How many "ignigtions" does a Sprint Car need?  Maybe a ruling on just having 1 ignigtion might solve this. 

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Justin
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« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2008, 12:21:34 AM »

agreed!
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