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Old 07-26-2013, 04:04 PM   #1
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Cheap-ass alignment tricks

So, I' planning on lowering my '97 as part of a suspension overhaul and I'm looking for cheap-ass ways to control the impending alignment issues.

My ideal would be roughly -2 degrees camber up front, -1 at the rear and book numbers for toe.

That probably won't be achievable, but what are the cheap ways of getting as close as possible. Here are a few options:

1. Drill the front top mount holes to give a little extra front camber
2. Adjustable front track arm bushes (not 100% sure these are available for the 986, am checking).

My first question is this: assuming No 2. works for adding camber to the front, could you use them to reduce camber at the rear? Here's a picture of the bush is question, which replaces the bush that attaches the track arm / coffin arm to the chassis:



Are there any other cheap ways of addressing the alignment issues you get at the rear when lowering?

These toe arms aren't too horrific, price-wise, and if I was US-based I would consider them:

Porsche 986 987 Boxster Boxster s 97 10 Adjustable Rear Toe Control Arm Arms | eBay

But being based in the UK, the danger is customs adding a hideous charge, not to mention the shipping costs...
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:33 PM   #2
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wow! I've got to start exploring the internet- so much is available. I'm in an older mindset where one has to build solutions themselves.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
could you use them to reduce camber at the rear?
Sure! Why not? Just install it rotated to the direction you want!

I will tell you: Those plastic bushings end up sounding like SH_T very quickly with squeaking/creaking going on. Each time it makes a noise? That is the suspension sticking

I'd slot the top in the front and be done.

FYI: a good percentage of track guy's I know run a .5 split front to rear, so -2.0 up front becomes -1.5 in the rear.

Rarely will I run a full 1 degree split F-R
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:02 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback, Brad. Are you sure about the squeakines? I had my old BMW E36 track slag fully bushed up with that brand of poly bush and experienced zero squeaking or any other issues and they made a very tangible difference to how tight the car felt...

What tyres do the track guys run? My factory spec 17-inch tyres are stupidly staggered - 205 front, 255 rear. Imagine it will still understeer even with a degree more camber up front. As it happens I ran -2.5 front and -1.0 rear on my old BMW - nicely set up to oversteer everywhere, which is how I like it!
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:23 PM   #5
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I run the cars square (even the Caymans) 255 square under 986's.

The BMW with the engine weight up front likes the camber!!

I have cars on 255 square running upwards of -3.6 depending on what tire they are on.
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:24 PM   #6
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I tried a ton of different greases and ended up with boat trailer wheel bearing grease!! It won't wash away when running in the rain!!
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:29 PM   #7
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I like their claim:

Quote:
Unlike other Camber arms have noise under normal driving Conditions ***
English does not appear to be their first language..

This observation of theirs is completely unfounded. The noise of a monoball comes from the way the manufacturer captures it in the heim/mount!!

I have 40 year old street cars that have been on monoballs since the early 90's and they don't make noise!!
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:45 PM   #8
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I run the cars square (even the Caymans) 255 square under 986's.
Well, there you go then!

I won't be running square, hence my intention to run an arseload more front camber!
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:21 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Brad Roberts;354030]I run the cars square (even the Caymans) 255 square under 986's.

with a bigger fr bar to ease the rear's burden?
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:53 AM   #10
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Well, there you go then!

I won't be running square, hence my intention to run an arseload more front camber!
Everything is a tradeoff. Handling will improve at the expense of additional tire wear.

With -2/-1.5 camber F/R, street driving will wear the inside of the tires fairly quickly (especially the rears). If you track the car, there still isn't enough camber and you'll wear the outside of the tires very quickly.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:53 AM   #11
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Everything is a tradeoff. Handling will improve at the expense of additional tire wear.

With -2/-1.5 camber F/R, street driving will wear the inside of the tires fairly quickly (especially the rears). If you track the car, there still isn't enough camber and you'll wear the outside of the tires very quickly.
I had -2.5 on my old BMW. The wear rate wasn't that bad. It was also sufficient camber for track days. I was running -2.5 front, -1 rear. Zero understeer. But that was with 225 front and 235 rear tyres, so almost square.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:09 AM   #12
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Arse load?

I said I run upwards of -3.6 on the 255's depending on the driver!! That is pretty close to arse load!!

Choosing camber has many factors.

1. Tire construction
2. Tire size
3. Suspension design
4. Use of the car
5. Driver talent (or lack thereof)

I start with the above before moving into tire temps and setting camber per track, per corner of the car.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:11 AM   #13
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You cannot compare camber from the BMW to the Boxster. The BMW front suspension is BETTER than the Boxster!! The rear is certainly better!!
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:31 AM   #14
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You cannot compare camber from the BMW to the Boxster. The BMW front suspension is BETTER than the Boxster!! The rear is certainly better!!

Don't know what BMWs you've been working with, but the front suspension on the ones I am familiar with is most definitely not better than a Boxster. It's pretty similar strut affair but usually with cheapo pressed steel arms, unlike the nice aluminium Porsche arms.

The rear on BMW since the E36 (or Z1 if you prefer) has been multi-link, even then not sure how much "better" it really is.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:36 AM   #15
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Arse load?

I said I run upwards of -3.6 on the 255's depending on the driver!! That is pretty close to arse load!!

Choosing camber has many factors.

1. Tire construction
2. Tire size
3. Suspension design
4. Use of the car
5. Driver talent (or lack thereof)

I start with the above before moving into tire temps and setting camber per track, per corner of the car.

Brad, old thing, you have to appreciate people working at a different pay grade from your fine self regards car prep. There is ZERO chance of me changing geo settings to suit whatever tyres I happen to have fitted, for instance.

For me it's pretty simple. I'll be lowering the car and I want to dial out as much understeer for as little money as possible. I want to get as much camber on the front as I can and as little as possible on the rear. To a degree the fine details don't matter because I won't be able to achieve the ideal settings anyway, so like I said it's just a question of getting as far as I can in a certain direction.

I'll be lucky if a can get even as much as 2 degrees on the front, so there's no debate as to whether going for more makes sense. It won't be an option unless I spend a tonne of cash I don't have.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:50 AM   #16
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From a geometry standpoint (not component) The BMW front is pretty good, and yes I'm referring to E36 chassis'.

I have very little E30 experience
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:53 AM   #17
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Do all the UK cars ship MO30? I forget? Does it have the 19.8 rear bar?
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:54 AM   #18
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Um, there's very little adjustment as standard on an E36 front axle. No camber or caster adjustment at all as standard!

Box isn't great, but it's better than an E36 by that metric.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:05 AM   #19
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Agreed. We smack camber plates on them and modify the lower arms.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:37 PM   #20
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I had -2.5 on my old BMW. The wear rate wasn't that bad. It was also sufficient camber for track days. I was running -2.5 front, -1 rear. Zero understeer. But that was with 225 front and 235 rear tyres, so almost square.
In my experience running a street/track combo BSX Boxster (225F/255R tire widths) that I drove to work everyday and did over 30 track days with, I found that -2.75F/-2.0R camber still isn't nearly enough.

Sure, its better than -1.5 but ultimately the outside portion of the tire is still what wears out first. Ultimately, you need more than -3 to fully compensate for the camber curve of the Boxster strut suspension.

Other make/models will, of course, cause this to vary as will tire selection, driver skill/technique, etc, etc...
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