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The key to any successful racing program is vehicle setup. No matter if its drag racing, circle track competition, or road racing action. Proper vehicle setup is the difference between winning and losing. The most accurate way to set up your race car is by using vehicle scales. Automotive scales allow you to set up your race car before you get to the track, thereby freeing up more time for dialing in other aspects of the car once on track. We carry many race car scale systems here at Speedway Motors, and just like said vehicle scales for your race car, we’re here to help you make the best of your race car program to put you in the winner’s circle.

What Does It Mean to Scale Car?

What it means to scale a car is to have the car’s suspension set up for competition even before arriving at the track. What that means is to have the car ready for optimum handling, weight distribution, and maximum grip either at the launch or coming out of a corner before even putting a tire on the racing surface. Car scales allow you to dial vehicle weight and balance at home or in the shop so you’re not chasing suspension setup at the track. You can adjust weight balance, shift weight from front to rear and side to side using these race scales.

How Do You Weigh a Car?

Vehicle scales are four individual plates placed under each tire to measure the weight at each corner. Auto scales allow you see the weight of each corner. Some people use a lift to raise the whole car, then slide the scales under each tire, and lower the car back down on the race scales. If you don’t have access to a lift you can jack up each side or the front or back and then lower the car onto the auto scales. When doing so make sure to bounce the car up and down to settle the springs before going through the weight process.

Another way is to use ramps or slim pieces of wood the same height as the auto scales. In this manner you don’t have to make sure the springs have settled since you didn’t unload the suspension. The ramps, especially if at the track, make it easier to get the car on the scales with minimal effort. Using ramps also easily allows you to roll the car on and off the scales to check accuracy, as well. With that, the race car scales do the rest.

The most important part of using race car scales is that the vehicle must be in race-ready trim. This means the car must be full of fuel, radiator topped off, oil in the engine or oil tank, etc., and the driver in the car or the driver weight simulated, as well. The vehicle must have the stagger set, all ballast firmly bolted in and the rear end properly square. Having the car race ready gives you a baseline, and then you can make your adjustments from there.

How Do Race Car Scales Level?

Many shops we know work hard and spend the money to make sure their floors are perfectly level. However, we know that won’t always be the case. In that case, steps must be taken to provide a level surface for each individual vehicle weight scale. Each corner weight scale must be level to get an accurate and repeatable measurement. First, before you put each corner weight machine in place, make sure it is free of debris on the bottom because even the smallest piece of tape or pebble will throw off any measurements and repeatability. Then, using a construction-type bubble level or laser guided leveling system, make sure each vehicle weight scale is level. Many car scales feature adjustment screws, but you can also use floor tiles, or anything at your disposal to arrive at a level vehicle scale.

How Do Vehicle Scales Help Determine Coil Spring Rate?

Car scales will show the corner weight balance of the vehicle. Many racing setups call for preloading the suspension, and when you preload a suspension, you’re playing with spring rates. If you need more weight on the right rear, you will either have to adjust the left front coilover to get more weight on the right rear, or change that front left spring rate to make it happen. If adjusting a coilover, doing so could affect ride height, so changing the spring rate might be needed to arrive at the optimum corner weight balance.

How Do You Measure the Corner Weight of a Vehicle?

Vehicle scales have an individual scale for each wheel. Each corner weight scale then either connects to the main display via wires or a wireless connection. A corner balance scale percentage is an important measurement used by every race car discipline. On most vehicle scales, the readout will have each corner weight displayed, along with the corner weight percentage. There are several ways race teams adjust corner weight. This measurement can be manipulated by changing spring rates, coilover adjustment, Four-Link changes, and/or track bar adjustments. Corner weight measurements impact traction, corner grip, turn-in capabilities, and so much more, when it comes to getting every ounce out of your race vehicle.