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Old 09-09-2009, 11:02 AM   #1
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Alignment questions

I did a search through the achrives for about a half hour but couldn't come up with the info I need so I'm hoping you guys can help. I am considering doing an alignment and it seems using a shop with a hunter machine is a good way to go. I want negative camber up front as it seems right now there is none. Also maybe maybe slight toe out up front. I basically want better handling, grip and response for autocross and track use. What is a good set up and what is the best I can do with the stock suspension?

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Old 09-09-2009, 11:35 AM   #2
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Adam,
My target settings were taken from some hot shoe drivers in the area who know Boxsters well. This is what I have done with stock suspension:

Front:
Toe= zero
Castor=maximum
Camber= .7 negatve (max negative)

Rear:
Toe= 1/16 total toe in.
Camber= 1.2 negative

This should get you in a pretty neutral grippy place and tires should still wear well. Good luck.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:20 PM   #3
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Topless, thank you for the guidelines. Ok so .7 is the max negative camber available up front. That's better than nothing. I always thought it was strange that Porsche dialed in some negative camber in the back from the factory, but not the front. What do you guys think about some slight toe out up front? Bad idea?
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam
What do you guys think about some slight toe out up front? Bad idea?
Not needed from the fact that as the car is under heavy acceleration, the front tires will toe-out normally a smidge, so keeping the toe at 0 is going to be the best for a rear drive car.

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Old 09-09-2009, 01:11 PM   #5
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Some high level (National SCCA champion) AX drivers will add a little front toe out to make quick transitions. They will tell you that it is only for tight quick 30 sec. AX courses and it does make the car twitchy. My typical courses are longer, faster, and I don't drive at their level. Zero toe is a better choice for me. I don't like "twitchy" at 120+.
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bladecutter
Not needed from the fact that as the car is under heavy acceleration, the front tires will toe-out normally a smidge, so keeping the toe at 0 is going to be the best for a rear drive car.

BC.
Ok, good to know. You guys have been great. I didn't want to go to a shop without some specs to shoot for. One more thing, I just had the tires changed and now the car seems to pull to the left slightly all the time. Before it seemed to track straight. What the heck could that be?
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:48 AM   #7
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Hey do you guys know what the stock alignment specs are for a Boxster S? I searched all over the net and found nadda. I don't know if the Bentley book has that info, but I'll check it when I get home.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:42 AM   #8
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Boxster S

I am getting my tie-rod replaced so I will get a new alignment too on a stock Boxster S.

From what I gathered for a mix of daily driving and DE use, these are the specs I am thinking of using:

Front Camber: -1.5 deg
Front Toe: 0 deg

Rear Camber: -2.0 deg
Rear Toe: .01 deg toe in

Anybody care to comment?

Thanks.

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Old 09-10-2009, 09:53 AM   #9
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From the Bentley manual:




Last edited by ekam; 09-10-2009 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekam
From the Bentley manual:



Thanks for posting this Ekam, but now I'm even more confused than before. It looks like to be it says front camber is +5 degrees and rear is -1? That can't be right. Sorry for being a PITA, but can someone decipher this chart for me and put it on laymans tems?
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam
Thanks for posting this Ekam, but now I'm even more confused than before. It looks like to be it says front camber is +5 degrees and rear is -1? That can't be right. Sorry for being a PITA, but can someone decipher this chart for me and put it in laymans tems?
Is everbody else as perplexed by this chart as I am? I can't tell what the range should be by this chart.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:16 AM   #12
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I am also confused???
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:22 AM   #13
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I just corner balanced and aligned my Box this last weekend. I do the work myself. Now I've got JRZ coilovers and my car is dropped quite a bit, which will increase the negative camber, but I could swear you can get -1.5 degrees of camber in the front stock. Here's how I've currently got mine setup:

Front Camber = -1.2 (I could have gone more)
Front Toe = zero

Rear Camber = -3.0
Rear Toe = about 4 mm in on each side

With the JRZ coilovers, wide and sticky Falken tires, lower stress bars, strut braces, and a front GT3 sway bar this car is absolutely amazing. It just corners scary, scary fast without any kind of tire squeal. I have yet to get the back end to brake loose on dry pavement.

If you want more negative camber up front for autocross and track work, camber plates are the cheap way to go. They'll give you another -1.0 degrees of camber over stock. I've got some used Schnell camber plates that retail for $450 which I'll let go for $100. The bearings are a bit worn though and make noise, so you might want to replace those if it bothers you. PM me if interested.

Kirk
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:44 AM   #14
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Kirk, you think -1.5 camber is possible up front on stock suspension? That's about double what toppless could get. I realize there are some variances from car to car, but that seems like a big difference. Is there a certain ratio or guidline to follow when adjusting camber? Seems like people run more camber in the rear than in the front, but how much more is optimum? I see you run twice as much camber in the rear as in the front, and some run less of a difference between front/rear. I want to make sure I'm educated on these things before I go in there and tell them to do a performance alignment and give them specs to shoot for. Thanks for all the help guys.
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:17 AM   #15
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Boy, topless sure has a great alignment machine. He can get rear castor - 4 wheel steering anyone?
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:29 PM   #16
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IF I recall correctly, yes I believe -1.5 degrees of camber is possible in the front with the stock suspension, but it's been years since I had a stock suspension - first lowering springs and then coilovers, so I could be remembering wrong. I was thinking of checking the Boxster Spec board to see what those guys run, but they're all using PSS9 coilovers....

Having so much negative camber in the rear is more a function of having the car lowered so much rather than a desire to actually run that much negative camber! When you drop the Box to an extreme level you're going to have high negative camber in the rear if you're also going to adjust the toe to slightly in. The two (camber and toe) are very much tied together. The only way to dial out some of that negative camber is with adjustable toe arms so that you can get BOTH good toe AND less negative camber. I don't have adjustable toe arms and don't really care to get them as the high negative camber in the rear does not concern me (as in, I don't care about the cost of higher tire wear).

The general consensus on how much negative camber you want is as much as possible. This is for track and autocross though. You have to be willing to throw away some money on tires to run this way. If I was going to seriously track my car I would slap the Schnell camber plates back on the front and run around -2.5 degrees of camber. Right now though I'm just autocrossing and not too serious about it, so I've got a more mild setup in the front. I have heard many times that slight toe out in the front will help with autocross, but again I've chosen to set my car up more for the road and secondarily for autocross, so I've made some compromises.

Hope that helps.

If you want to autocross and track your car - here's what you tell the alignment shop:

Max negative camber front and rear
Zero toe in the front
Slight toe in at the rear

IMHO....

Kirk
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:44 PM   #17
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Max camber I was able to get with a stock '04S suspension was -0.8deg. Doesn't seem that -1.5deg is in the realm of possibility unless the suspension is modified, or unless lowering the car adds neg camber (I'm not sure if it does or not).
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:48 PM   #18
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Thanks Kirk, yes that was helpful. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're saying Boxster owners generally run less front camber than rear because they simply can't get as much up front. It seems Porsche gave the car adequate negative camber in the rear, but failed to give it any up front from what I see. Why would they do that?
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam
Thanks for posting this Ekam, but now I'm even more confused than before. It looks like to be it says front camber is +5 degrees and rear is -1? That can't be right. Sorry for being a PITA, but can someone decipher this chart for me and put it on laymans tems?
It looks like a slight typ-o. Not +5 degrees, it's +5 minutes (+-30 minutes)
1 minutes = 1/60 degrees

So in degrees, front is +.08 degrees plus or minus .5 degrees for USA cars.

To approximate, it's pretty much zero camber nominally in front.
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demick
Max camber I was able to get with a stock '04S suspension was -0.8deg. Doesn't seem that -1.5deg is in the realm of possibility unless the suspension is modified, or unless lowering the car adds neg camber (I'm not sure if it does or not).
Demick, did they mention how much rear camber was possible? Thanks!

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