Bristol Cars - Owners and Enthusiasts Forum  

Go Back   Bristol Cars - Owners and Enthusiasts Forum > Non Bristol Forums > Other topics of interest

Other topics of interest Discussions about anything else, i.e motoring, trends, politics, even the EU!

LJK Setright

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 17-09-09, 04:27 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 27
Default LJK Setright

This being a Bristol forum, I imagine many members are familiar with the late LJK Setright. Here are a number of articles that he authored which I have found on the Internet. If there is enough interest, I have more to share.

Lotus Europa
setrighteuropa

Honda CBX1000
The new Cafe (racer) Society: LJK Setright, Browning, and the 1980 CBX

Chrysler Crossfire (LJKS offered a refreshingly different opinion, when every other 'expert' pundit did nothing but slate this car);
LJK Setright: American styling - but a Merc by any other name - Comment, Motoring - The Independent
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 17-09-09, 04:33 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 27
Default

Four wheel steering;
LJK Setright: What happened to four-wheel active steering? - Features, Motoring - The Independent

I would be grateful if anyone has more to share on Setright and the Honda Prelude w/four wheel steering.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 17-09-09, 08:30 PM
Requiescat in pace
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Nr Oxford, UK
Posts: 63
Default LJK Setright

Haven't read the article, though LJK owned a Prelude with 4WS and
loved it. By then he couldn't afford more exotic machinery like
another Bristol.

He had a regular column in CAR for about 20 plus years (I think) and
I enjoyed reading his column before others. It was his love of
Bristol cars that got me going in the first place.

Clyde (406 Alpine Special - still underway - slowly)
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 17-09-09, 09:42 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 116
Default LJK Setright

I had a Lotus Europa in the 1970's - same colour in fact.
Stuck like glue to the road but if you parked next to a curb (even as a 20
something year old) you just couldn't climb out of it!
All GRP and God forbid what could happen when re-fueling when the exhaust
was still hot!
Not for me I'm afraid.
In general I prefer coupés to open cars, but not that one!
I'm afraid I didn't even bother to open the Honda and Chrysler links. Sorry
about that if I offend anyone.
Andrew.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 17-09-09, 09:42 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 116
Default LJK Setright

I happen to have a 1966 Werklust (8.5 MT) wheel loader with 4 wheel drive
and 4 wheel steering. Worth more for scrap iron than as a vehicle.
Sometimes the wheels work in pairs, but not always!
Great if it works, but if the hydraulic pressure is not up to par, you end
up pushing cow sheds down sideways.
If 4 wheel steering were a good idea, wouldn't they use this in Formula 1,
instead of just on 60 foot trucks?
I do remember way back a 6-wheeled Formula 1 car (and even a Range Rover I
think?). But just a fad I think.
Andrew.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-09, 08:07 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 27
Default

I am very cynical of the link between road car and racer. Admittedly, modern ice-racers use 4WS, like those in the Andros Trophy. But I don't think F1 is a good barometer. A lot of good ideas have been scuppered because of F1's legislators, such as the Chaparral 2J ground effect car.

Would the public take 4WS more seriously if F1 cars used it? Likely, but for all the wrong reasons; because an F1 car is generally perceived as superior to anything else on four wheels - despite the fact that it is a 'car' in only the loosest sense - the public would simply accept it as a good idea without analysing the benefits.

I think Honda should have been braver and fitted 4WS to more of their cars, not just top-of-the-range Preludes. I imagine the accountants got in the way. Manufacturers don't need to ask customers if they would like a more reliable car, it is simply make it more reliable, because that is expected. And they should not have to ask customers whether they would like a more agile, superior handling car; it should simply go without saying.

Why was/is 4WS not commonplace in every road car? Extra cost is likely the bottom line. Honda have a lot of patents on 4WS, so other manufacturers would have to develop their own system or pay royalties to a Honda and use their 4WS. The public’s imagination was captured by four wheel drive because they could see the benefits with their eyes, whether it was Land Rover off-roading, or an Audi Quattro winning rallies; consequently, four wheel drive systems of varying quality were offered in all kinds of cars in the 1980s, to dubious advantage.

Despite the extra engineering costs, manufacturers pushed 4WD to the fore in road cars because they knew it was a selling point; why have a front wheel drive Cavalier, when sir can have a 4WD Cavalier from Vauxhall? That's two more wheels driven than the Jones' Ford Sierra next door! Never mind that the Cavalier's traction will only ever be tested by standing water, which the wider, sportier tyres of the 4WD model will be sorely tested by. And maybe Sir will notice that his clutch does not have the lifespan of Jones' two wheel drive Sierra.

Four wheel steering did not undergo this unpleasant phase, but then neither does it enjoy the notoriety that four wheel drive enjoys to this day.

Four wheel steering is easier to feel in action than see in action. On that basis, it’s a wonder anti-lock brakes ever got off the ground - which is ironic, given its avaition heritage - because once behind the wheel, the driver can only feel them in action, not see.

I think the Prelude w/4WS, is a massively under appreciated car. Try one for yourself and experience the benefits!

Last edited by Blenheim Boy; 19-09-09 at 08:41 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-09, 08:50 AM
Requiescat in pace
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Nr Oxford, UK
Posts: 63
Default LJK Setright

Take a look at the wiki on 4WS. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steering

Although not comprehensive I can also tell you about Porsche 928 with
its Weissach rear axle with passive rear steer. http://
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steering

Having owned a 928 for more than a decade I can vouch for the balance
and security a passive rear steer provides.

Clyde
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-09, 09:10 AM
ex member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Nr. Stroud, Glos
Posts: 141
Default LJK Setright

I think 4WS was present on lots of cars including Citroen a few
years ago, but like all these ideas, I'd guess it was dropped
because cars cornered better without it. My son had a couple of
Preludes, the later and uglier one with 230 BHP and needing the most
expensive petrol. It was extremely fast with a Brutal ride, so easy
to why Setright saws connections with his 2 Litre Bristols.

Ashley
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 20-09-09, 11:41 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 78
Default

Hi
I don't know how LGV 4WS compares to the Prelude but I understand that the Honda system actually had 2 phases of steering.
Slight input such as used when changing lanes to overtake resulted in front and rear wheels twisting in the same direction which kept the vehicle pointing straight down the road, whereas greater steering input changed the rear wheel lock to the opposite of the front wheels.

I recently saw a video of a heavy lift artic climbing Berridale, carrying a long girder, and using a remote rear dolly with RWS; it was barely able to get round the tight hairpin and looked as if it would have been better with one of the banksman steered dollies.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 20-09-09, 03:44 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 27
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by penman View Post
Hi
I don't know how LGV 4WS compares to the Prelude but I understand that the Honda system actually had 2 phases of steering.
Slight input such as used when changing lanes to overtake resulted in front and rear wheels twisting in the same direction which kept the vehicle pointing straight down the road, whereas greater steering input changed the rear wheel lock to the opposite of the front wheels.

I recently saw a video of a heavy lift artic climbing Berridale, carrying a long girder, and using a remote rear dolly with RWS; it was barely able to get round the tight hairpin and looked as if it would have been better with one of the banksman steered dollies.
That pretty much sums up it up. The Prelude reacts entirely to the amount of steering lock applied.
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 20-09-09, 03:50 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 27
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 406Special View Post
Take a look at the wiki on 4WS. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steering

Although not comprehensive I can also tell you about Porsche 928 with
its Weissach rear axle with passive rear steer. http://
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steering

Having owned a 928 for more than a decade I can vouch for the balance
and security a passive rear steer provides.

Clyde
Thank you for sharing your experiences of the 928. I'm a great admirer of them.

Passive rear steer is built into all modern cars. Semi-trailing arms and live axles, characteristically, generate passive rear steer. Other suspension systems achieve passive rear steer via their suspension geometry.
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 20-09-09, 04:02 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 27
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley James View Post
I think 4WS was present on lots of cars including Citroen a few
years ago, but like all these ideas, I'd guess it was dropped
because cars cornered better without it. My son had a couple of
Preludes, the later and uglier one with 230 BHP and needing the most
expensive petrol. It was extremely fast with a Brutal ride, so easy
to why Setright saws connections with his 2 Litre Bristols.

Ashley
Citroen's brilliant Activa prototype used four wheel steering; Citroën Activa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. To my knowledge, they did not utilise 4WS in a production car.

May I ask, what do you mean by 'cars cornered better without it'? This comment crosses me as a tad ignorant.

I respect that you have personal experience of Preludes, though you have not stated whether they were 4WS models. Perhaps your son's final Prelude (the 'ugly' as you referred to it) had the optional 17in wheels? Mine has 16in wheels and the ride is quite acceptable. The car runs on regular unleaded; if your son's car was a 'grey import' car, intended specifically for the Japanese market, then it would likely use super unleaded.
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 20-09-09, 05:16 PM
ex member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Nr. Stroud, Glos
Posts: 141
Default LJK Setright

My son's second Prelude was a Jap import.
Some years ago a number of cars were sold with four wheel steering and
none claim it now, presumably because manufacturers have found they
can do better without.
I have owned quite a few Citroens over the years and have found that
although some were a bit noisy, they were much more relaxing for long
trips than bumpier German cars. I have a friend who has a 420 BHP Audi
Estate for instance and he prefers his wife's 2 Litre Diesel because
the ride on his is so harsh.
I don't think I'm being ignorant but do consider that you're more
tolerant of harsh rides than I am.
Ash
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 20-09-09, 08:56 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 27
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley James View Post
My son's second Prelude was a Jap import.
Some years ago a number of cars were sold with four wheel steering and
none claim it now, presumably because manufacturers have found they
can do better without.
I have owned quite a few Citroens over the years and have found that
although some were a bit noisy, they were much more relaxing for long
trips than bumpier German cars. I have a friend who has a 420 BHP Audi
Estate for instance and he prefers his wife's 2 Litre Diesel because
the ride on his is so harsh.
I don't think I'm being ignorant but do consider that you're more
tolerant of harsh rides than I am.
Ash
Ash, I see you live near Stroud. Do I too, so come and take a drive in my Preludes and experience the beauty and brilliance of 4WS!

What I took exception to was;
"I'd guess it was dropped because cars cornered better without it."

I think this is a rather vague assumption that I would kindly ask you to reconsider! On what grounds is 2WS superior to 4WS? I recommend Setright's article on 4WS to understand its superiority.

I do not question your tolerances on ride quality; what I may consider an acceptable level of comfort might be unacceptable to you. Ride quality is a matter of preference. Indeed, some Bristol cars have been considered to have a rather firm ride for a ‘luxury’ car; though that is only relevant if you consider the Bristol to be a mere ‘luxury’ car.

I believe manufacturers rarely bother with 4WS now because they know they can get away without it, saving resources/finances for other things. If The Celebrated Man In The Street was more aware of the benefits of 4WS he may well have come to demand it, just as he now expects his car to have power steering, anti-lock brakes, alloy wheels and air conditioning.

4WS is still in use in passenger cars. BMW’s interest in 4WS has resurfaced and can be found in certain versions of the 7 Series. Nissan offer it on a number of their American-market cars, under the Infiniti brand. And courtesy of Nissan, Renault can provide the Laguna with 4WS; but they repeat Honda’s mistake and only fit it to the top-of-the-range model. And despite their authority on 4WS in a passenger car, Honda no longer markets a single 4WS car.

Last edited by Blenheim Boy; 20-09-09 at 09:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 21-09-09, 07:50 AM
ex member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Nr. Stroud, Glos
Posts: 141
Default LJK Setright

Blenheim Boy

I think you're taking this all rather seriously, cars are cars are
cars and even Formula One, which has to be the dullest and most self
important sport on the planet, shows that they are sabotaged by
traffic jams. If you want fun get a motorbike and if you want proper
motorsport watch Moto GP, where you'll see real skill.

Cars keep improving and each new model is usually better than its
predecessor. Porsche, Ferrari and the Honda S2000 don't have 4WS now,
so I think it's reasonable to conclude that, apart from the odd Limo
or Renault, most companies (American Fire Engines excluded!) have
found they do better without.

LJKS was a brilliant writer and a friend of Dr Adam Kimberley who
writes for my websites and nursed him towards the end. The styles are
similar but Adam is more amusing IMO. He wasn't very technical and he
was often inaccurate, so I think it's better to assume that he liked
revvy motorcars that he could throw around, though where he did that
I'm not sure, round here we're lucky to get over the statutory 37 mph
dictated by today's sanctimonious motorist who is at the front of most
queues.

Yours without 4WS and preferring a softer ride.

Ash
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 21-09-09, 08:42 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 87
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley James View Post
I think 4WS was present on lots of cars including Citroen a few
years ago, but like all these ideas, I'd guess it was dropped
because cars cornered better without it. My son had a couple of
Preludes, the later and uglier one with 230 BHP and needing the most
expensive petrol. It was extremely fast with a Brutal ride, so easy
to why Setright saws connections with his 2 Litre Bristols.

Ashley
Citroen did have a form of 4WS on the ZX. It wasn't a complex hydraulic system but a pretty clever nonetheless independent compliant system which allowed the wheels to pivot slightly when going round corners. I think it worked quite well. Not sure if they use a form of it on their new cars.

I don't think cars have it nowadays because conventional handling and suspension systems have just become sophisticated enough to negate the need for it. Also the complexity makes it very expensive to repair when it goes wrong.
It would be interesting to see what percentage of people actually tick the hydractive option for the new C5 these days.
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 22-09-09, 07:26 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 27
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimfoz View Post
Citroen did have a form of 4WS on the ZX. It wasn't a complex hydraulic system but a pretty clever nonetheless independent compliant system which allowed the wheels to pivot slightly when going round corners. I think it worked quite well. Not sure if they use a form of it on their new cars.

I don't think cars have it nowadays because conventional handling and suspension systems have just become sophisticated enough to negate the need for it. Also the complexity makes it very expensive to repair when it goes wrong.
It would be interesting to see what percentage of people actually tick the hydractive option for the new C5 these days.
What you are describing is passive rear wheel steering. The rear suspension reacts to the cornering forces being placed upon it. This is a reaction, a 'secondary action'. 4WS is also known as active steering and for good reason because, being 'active', it acts rather than reacts. The rear does not fall into line with the front, instead the 4WS car steers as one; a primary action, working all of its own accord, rather than on second hand information.

All modern cars use some system of passive rear wheel steering. Some even use CV joints in the rear suspension, even if there is no drive to the rear wheels. And yes, it seems that the majority of manufacturers are satisfied enough with passive rear wheel steering to forego 4WS.

Last edited by Blenheim Boy; 22-09-09 at 08:41 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 22-09-09, 08:13 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 27
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley James View Post
Blenheim Boy

I think you're taking this all rather seriously, cars are cars are
cars and even Formula One, which has to be the dullest and most self
important sport on the planet, shows that they are sabotaged by
traffic jams. If you want fun get a motorbike and if you want proper
motorsport watch Moto GP, where you'll see real skill.

Cars keep improving and each new model is usually better than its
predecessor. Porsche, Ferrari and the Honda S2000 don't have 4WS now,
so I think it's reasonable to conclude that, apart from the odd Limo
or Renault, most companies (American Fire Engines excluded!) have
found they do better without.

LJKS was a brilliant writer and a friend of Dr Adam Kimberley who
writes for my websites and nursed him towards the end. The styles are
similar but Adam is more amusing IMO. He wasn't very technical and he
was often inaccurate, so I think it's better to assume that he liked
revvy motorcars that he could throw around, though where he did that
I'm not sure, round here we're lucky to get over the statutory 37 mph
dictated by today's sanctimonious motorist who is at the front of most
queues.

Yours without 4WS and preferring a softer ride.

Ash
Ash,

Well, if you think I'm taking it all too seriously, then I will concede that 4WS was not a commercial success... but that does not diminish its brilliance.

By and large, manufacturers are satisfied with passive rear wheel steering and, most significantly, so are their customers.

I posted a link to an LJKS article on 4WS and in your initial and subsequent replies, you have questioned its integrity. I am compelled to reply, in good faith, with the wish of raising awareness of the qualities of 4WS.

If you don't care for 4WS, OK. Personally, I don't care for motorbikes. Now, you are welcome to write a reply telling me how I'm missing out, how I'm ignorant to the joys of bikes, etc. And I will read your message, take your comments on board and perhaps reconsider my views.

However, imagine I was to write a message saying; "Hey, how about those motorbikes? Bit impractical, eh? Rather dangerous, bikers must be mad! They never caught on like cars did they? Where does the shopping go?". It's likely you would be tempted to reply and point out that all of those comments are very, very ill-considered!

So when an individual makes vague, inaccurate comments like 'cars corner better without 4WS', without presenting any kind of evidence, let alone a single reason as to why and how, then I am compelled to reply with my objection.

I'm assuming that you own, or have owned, a Bristol. And perhaps, in your time as an owner, you have had to take issue with some ignorant - probably a young motoring journalist - who has questioned the integrity of a Bristol, simply because it employs a live axle or a separate chassis and because their beloved bloody Ferrari uses neither, the Bristol must be nonsense.

Please take my replies in good faith. My hope is that if anyone else actually cares, they may learn something new about 4WS and cars in general.

Thank you for bringing Dr Adam Kimberly to my attention.

I find the 'sanctimonious motorist who is at the front of most
queues'
is usually employing a Vauxhall Corsa and they continue to do 37mph when they traverse a '30' zone. Lane discipline, use of mirrors and indicators is also beyond their abilities. Their obliviousness is infuriating.

BB
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 22-09-09, 08:23 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 27
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimfoz View Post
Citroen did have a form of 4WS on the ZX. It wasn't a complex hydraulic system but a pretty clever nonetheless independent compliant system which allowed the wheels to pivot slightly when going round corners. I think it worked quite well. Not sure if they use a form of it on their new cars.

I don't think cars have it nowadays because conventional handling and suspension systems have just become sophisticated enough to negate the need for it. Also the complexity makes it very expensive to repair when it goes wrong.
It would be interesting to see what percentage of people actually tick the hydractive option for the new C5 these days.
Complexity? '87/'91 Preludes steer their tails with a second steering rack. The later models did it via a black box. Double wishbone suspension and disc brakes all 'round too.

If only Honda had put active 4WS to use in the ever-popular Civic...
Reply With Quote
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 22-09-09, 09:06 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 27
Default

OK, back to LJKS...
This is well worth taking a look at, lots of Setright's writing is quoted here;
RobiNZ Personal Blog: LJK Setright - Goodbye to a Genius

Some Setright titles. I strongly recommend Drive On!;
http://www.librarything.com/author/setrightljk
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
leonard setright, ljk setright

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:21 PM.


This is the live site

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2