Simulating linear acceleration of a vehicle

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Hi All,

I’m new here so please forgive me if this isn’t the right section to post in.

This is a bit of an epic idea/post so I’ll just start with a basic overview and see if anyone’s interested.

Summary:

I’m a very good software engineer and I know a reasonable amount about maths and physics but I’m looking for help in writing an application to accurately model the acceleration of a vehicle down a drag strip. This application needs to be as close to the real world as possible and would allow you to try out modifications to your vehicle virtually and see what effect they would have.

I’m not doing this for profit or as a business or anything like that, I’m doing it because I have a car that I drag race and I have a love of programming and physics.

This is entirely possible to do because after a lot of Googleing someone has already done the exact thing that I want to do. HOWEVER – it’s not in SI units, and the user interface is terrible. I also want to extend the simulation to realtime graphics and generally make it much more interesting. (but that’s to come later)

Here’s what I want to make -> http://performancesimulations.com/





Why/what/how:

Just for fun really, I’ve done some simple modelling in the past and enjoyed it, but it’s always been irrelevant things like projectiles. Recently I’ve been calculating things about my car, and its brought together 3 great interests of mine: cars, computers and physics. The thing that’s spurred me on to do this is that I have been trying to choose the best gear ratios for my car, so I sat down and worked out the RPM Vs Speed graphs for the different gearboxes available. Then out of interest I went out and measure my actual speeds with my current box. I was amazed to find that my calculations were pretty much identical to the real world. This graph shows real measurements in yellow, overlaid on the calculations in orange. -> http://www.randompower.com/gallery/pics/133.jpg

So I thought it’s entirely possible to model a car traveling down a dragstrip, if you know it’s torque curve, gear ratios, weight, tyre size, drag and grip.




So is anyone interested in undertaking this project with me? I’m looking for someone to provide the calculations that need to be done and use their experience to suggest what I should be modelling and how best to do it.
 

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jack action
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This is how I've done it on http://hpwizard.com/car-performance.html" [Broken].

The theory is at the bottom of the page.

It does not include transmission details as I was more interested in the potential performance of a vehicle with basic characteristics; assuming it is appropriately tuned. But it should be a good starting point for your project.
 
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