Learn About ‘Roll Center’ Before You Lower or Lift Your Car


This week on Car Bibles, we ran one of my favorite blogs on the site so far: A nicely illustrated explainer of the concept of “roll center.” It runs through how your vehicle’s ride height involves more science than just the center of gravity, and I highly recommend reading it before making adjustments. 

For those of you who have come to appreciate our hot takes and nostalgic trips, don’t worry, that’s in the mix too. Does anybody remember ZipZaps? Either way, you’re in for a treat. We also had a couple of Review Rundowns including one about the amazing Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing. 

Car Bibles is generally focused on DIY-related content, practical advice, cultural commentary, and automotive entertainment celebrating low- to medium-budget motoring. We’ve stepped up our schedule to six posts a day each week—including a daily feature photo—so if you like what you see below, I would love to see you over on our site to check out the rest of it! Anyway, on to the roundup:

Roll center is basically the point in space that the car body rotates around. But this post elaborates further. From Chris Rosales:

“Automotive engineers, the smart boffins that they are, know exactly how much the body will roll in turns, how much suspension travel there is, the center of gravity along the spine of the car, and what the suspension will geometrically do over bumps and different ride heights. We can physically see the control arms, the bushings, the joints by which all of the suspension arms move easily. There is an extra dimension to the complexity of that because the four corners of the car don’t work independently. No, not sway bars, but roll centers, instant centers, and the roll axis are the invisible magic of suspension.”

Review Rundowns are some of my favorite Car Bibles stories. Whenever the media embargo lifts on a cool new car, we aggregate and contextualize the most interesting insights from test pilots around the internet. Plus, I like making the collages like the one you see above.

As for Cadillac’s new super sedan, it sounds like the old-school formula of a manual transmission and large horsepower figure is still a fun combination.

I personally have somewhat mixed feelings about dealer markups. Supply and demand is a thing, I guess, but at the same time it really feels like a kick in the pants to have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price right there for all to see and then “dealer greed” as a line item on the invoice.

Anyway, our writer Chris Rosales had some particularly bad dealership experiences with markups that you can read about here.

Here’s another hot take—this time we’re talking about “fake” engine noise. Most car nerds are bummed when speakers are used to augment a vehicle’s engine sounds, but is it still offensive if the exhaust or engine is designed specifically to make certain noises?

I had a ZipZap as a kid… actually I had at least two. My dad even found one of them and tweeted it to us after seeing this article, which I thought was pretty funny. Anyway, if you remember these things enjoy a quick nostalgia trip. If not, take a look back at something we elder millennials used to love.

If you liked any of those stories, I hope you’ll join us on the regular over at Car Bibles. Our comment section’s always open and we’ll be doing a lot of experimenting throughout the year as we look for new and fun ways to bring automotive entertainment to you.

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