Good to hear you're starting to get some enjoyment out of it! That is the entire point after all, haha.
I would not be overly concerned with your speed between the pad and the wheel, most proficient pad users are much slower when they first try a wheel. As evidence, I can't get within .5 of a second of my Assetto Corsa time trail gamepad times with my wheel (despite my experience with it), as it's only been re-set up for a couple of days. Annoyingly lost all my FFB and configuration settings on my sims. Forgot how much of a royal pain getting everything set properly is! Plug and Play, I think not.
Regarding your point about feeling the understeer, that's an area where I've always thought rFactor was bit weak. The best way I got my head around it is to practice on a track with very long sweepers, like jerez or suzuka, and just play with the steering angle in the middle of the long corners. You'll gradually develop a feeling for the changing weight of the wheel. Also, reducing the engine sound 5% or so might help you hear the tyre squeal as the understeer kicks in.
One thing I used was the realfeel plugin. Within the file is a numerical setting that controls the 'magnitude' of the weight loss in the wheel due to slip angle in the front tyres. It definitely helped me feel the front axle better, particularly coming from GTR2, which models understeer much more noticeably. If your comfortable installing mods then installing realfeel should be no problem. I would probably try and get used to the stock FFB first however, to see which you prefer.
There isn't such a thing as 'correct' FFB settings, it's just whatever feel best to you and your expectation of what it should feel like, A few key points in rfactor though:
Make sure you have the FFB Effects settings (the low - med - high selection, not the percentage slider) on 'low'. This is the only setting that is purely simulating what the road surface and physics engine are sending to the wheel. The other two settings use pre-defined artificial effects (rattling,shuddering) for things like bumps or going off track.
Also, consider having that slider set to something less than 100% to avoid 'clipping' where the wheel motors are at maximum torque and start bouncing off their limiter, resulting is some nasty juddering and shaking and loss of feel. Naturally though, this ties in to whatever settings you've selected in the profiling software, in terms of force feedback strength and damping. I realise this is a lot to suddenly get your head around, but if your still following so far then bravo! No doubt you'll have questions, ask away.
In Game Stock Car Extreme (worst title for a game, of all time), which is exactly the same engine and control system as rFactor, I use -95% on the (in-game) slider, with 'low' selected. That, together with 100% FFB strength in the logitech profiler (I use a G27) and 0% everything else in the profiler, gives me a pretty decent starting point in most cars.
Thats enough about FFB for the moment I think!
Regarding the steering and 'directness', it comes down to how much 'x' degress of rotation on your steering wheel gives the front wheels of the vehicle in game. Think of the amount of steering lock your road car has (probably 900 degrees). This is absolutely useless for racing cars, as you have to have the work the wheel like a hamster on crack to turn corners. Now look at an F1 car. They use 270 degrees, making the steering much more 'direct', if you take my meaning - the driver turns the wheel a great deal less for the same rotation of the front wheels.
The vast majority of modern racecars will use 270 degrees on the steering wheel, coupled with 10-14 degrees mechanical steering lock on the front axle. If they use 540 degrees of steering wheel rotation, they will use 22-25 degrees of steering lock on mechanical set-up. This might be a source of the issue of you were talking about above about the Montreal hairpin - you might not have enough steering lock to make the turn properly. 400 is a bit of an funny number to use, but any number is possible really.
RFactor doesn't auto-detect how much wheel rotation you have set in the profiler or by hardware default, so you have to use something like 270 or 540 (whatever works for you really), in the profiler, then use the correct amount of mechanical steering lock in the car set-up to get a steering ratio suitable for a racecar. If you use 900, none of the cars can have enough lock put on them (I'd imagine), so you'll be working the wheel an awful lot to get around corners. You also have to tell Rfactor in the controls menu the degrees of rotation you've set, otherwise the rotation of the in game wheel won't match the real wheel you're turning.
I hope that isn't too much or stuff you already knew. Please feel free to fire away with questions, that was just me trying to get key points down. Dont worry about getting frustrated - there's quite a steep learning curve with this stuff and you always think it could be a bit better. F1 1965 style is also pretty demanding from a driver perspective as well. I had a chuckle when I read about how worn out you got, I just did 50 laps in the DRM mod Capri and I am absolutely broken .
Edit : Good Lord, I appear to have accidentally written war and peace. Apologies for my lack of conciseness
Edited by ApexMouse, 13 June 2014 - 20:22.