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Old 06-22-2010, 08:00 AM   #1
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Adjusting camber pre & post AX?

I have another AX coming up this weekend & I was wondering if anyone does a camber adjustment specifically for AX events, then changes back for the street.
I don't have time to get this to a alignment shop before Sat, nor do I want to pay for 2 alignments to participate in a $55 autox session.

Background, Tires & Constraints
I'm running General Exclaim UHP 225/45-17 fronts & 255/40-17 rears @ 380 treadwear tires at the moment and plan to replace them at the beginning of next summer with some 180-ish treadwear tires & run square. I can't justify buying stickier tires at the moment, as these still have plenty of life left in them. I may grab some r-comp scrubs & just have fun, but I won't be competitive in the R class at my current skill.

The car had a 'basic' alignment in 2008 and has about 5000 miles on it since

For now, this is what I have to work with, so I am looking for ways to help the tires work better for little added cost.

Proposed self-adjustment procedure
My thinking on the procedure is this:
Pre-autox
  1. Mark the current front strut/bolt locations with a paint pen for stock reference points that I will return to later
  2. Raise the car on on jack stands and level it.
  3. Loosen front strut bolts
  4. Adjust struts inward to obtain more negative camber
  5. Use an angle finder (inaccurate, but better than eyeballing) to target an appropriate level of camber (or should I just max it out???)
  6. Torque strut bolts to 27ftlbs

Post-autox
  1. Raise the car on on jack stands and level it.
  2. Loosen front strut bolts
  3. Adjust struts so that markings from step 1 above are lined up
  4. Torque strut bolts to 27ftlbs

Thoughts?
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Old 06-23-2010, 06:27 AM   #2
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On my 2000 - S max Camber with your method was about 1 degree neg. so you should be fine. ( maxing out )
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:57 AM   #3
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can you do a DIY on this when you get it all worked out? I also AX and would like to be able to do this on my own. and currently its a little bit of a mystery how this works.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:40 PM   #4
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Personally I just have my car aligned to my specs and leave it there all the time. We don't get much neg. camber at stock ride height so street tires wear very well.

My target settings:
Front -0.7 camber, zero toe, max castor
Rear -1.2 camber, 1/16 toe in

If I notice unusual tire wear from dropping a wheel in a hole I get it re-aligned. Otherwise I set it and forget it.

If you want to tinker with camber settings you can use the sboxin method:
http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?/topic/24570-diy-camber-adjustments/
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:14 AM   #5
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Thanks, Topless!
I'm going to do the self-adjustment tomorrow night & take it in for an 'aggressive street' alignment later this summer.

One guy said he did it with the wheels on the ground. Is that recommended???
-Brent
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:51 AM   #6
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so I suppose the real question is how do you adjust toe? same way as camber?
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:39 PM   #7
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Well that was easy...
Followed these steps and got it done in minutes
  1. Set the steering wheel straight
  2. Remove the plastic strut covers using a torx driver (I forget if it was t-15, t-20, or t-25)
  3. Mark the current front strut/bolt locations with a marker for stock reference points that I will return to later
  4. Loosen front strut bolts using a 1/2" socket (I loosened each 6 turns)
  5. Gently pop off plastic discs covering the strut tower opening using a small flathead
  6. Line the strut tower opening with a doubled-up towel for protection
  7. Use a large screwdriver or small prybar to push the strut inward (I used a 4' prybar - They call me Commander Overtorque)
  8. Torque strut bolts to 27ftlbs
  9. Replace the plastic strut cover discs

AX tomorrow.
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:54 PM   #8
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now does this affect toe? and if so how do you fix that.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:56 AM   #9
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I didn't address the toe settings, as I am planning on getting an 'aggressive street' alignment at a local independent soon.

As for the change - wow, what a difference! MUCH less understeer.

It appears that my original settings were almost at the outside of the adjustment holes, so this was a big change for my setup.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:29 AM   #10
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When you change camber, you change toe. That is just how these cars are set up. If you look at it before you do anything, you will see why.

If you move anything, you should do it with the cars weight on the tires, BUT the tires need to be on some kind of plate or roller so it can move. otherwise any changes you do will be harder and you then have to factor in the elasticity of the rubber tire you are dragging on the ground, the tire will flex a little before the wheel moves if it is not allowed to roll freely.

Have you ever seen it done on an alingment rack?

There are reference marks on the tow setting bolts and you can buy new camber plates that have refrence marks on them as well. but the aftermarket camber plates should not be used if you have the stock struts.

I took my car to the dealer ( i know, i know they are robbers, but they have the setting numbers i needed) and had them set the car up with the track settings. this eats tires a little more than stock, but the track time is better.

A stock setting helps save tires, but less track grip. It costs too much to change back and forth, and the only way to DIY it yourself is trial and error if you dont have the measuring lasers.

A bad setting may result in a crash when you need grip. You wont know until it is too late. IMHO too risky (costly) to mess around with without the proper tools.
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Last edited by jhandy; 06-28-2010 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:59 AM   #11
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Your toe will be significantly affected by your camber change. In fact, that probably accounted for more handling difference than the camber change.

When I went from the stock to maximum front camber, I ended up with 3/4 inches of toe out!! Makes the car turn in pretty good at autox, but not great for freeway driving or for tire wear.

You will want to get your toe reset ASAP.
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