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Motorsports & Track Forum
From Auto-X to Trackday to Racing and Professional Motorsports this is the place to discuss making BMWs fast

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Old 06-19-2010, 07:34 AM   #1
badfast
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Tuning for autox

I have searched and have not been able to find a good discussion on autox setups. For me, I am trying to come out with a good baseline alignment/setup for my car. Scribbling down numbers I have come up with the following:

FRONT:
toe: 0
camber: -1.5 or -2.0
caster: as much + as I can get
sway: Full stiff (or would the medium setting be good?)
tp: 40

REAR:
toe: 1/16 or 1/8 toe-in
camber: -1.5
sway: soft
tp: 38

I am unsure how this will perform; I guess I will just have to try it out. Does anyone care to share their own autox setups? Setup tips & tricks? Recommendations or even just share general autox knowledge?
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:28 AM   #2
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What are your current modifications? I like 0 toe front and rear. I would definetly max out the front negative camber 2.0-2.1(on stock, but camber plates highly recommended) on front, 1.5-2.0 negative camber on rear works good. I have Turner Sway bars(H&R) I always leave it on the hardest setting on the front, rear I switch from medium to hard(depending on understeer and oversteer needs). I set my tire pressure 43 psi front cold and 41 psi rear cold( 245/40/17 street tires).
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:05 AM   #3
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What are your current modifications? I like 0 toe front and rear. I would definetly max out the front negative camber 2.0-2.1(on stock, but camber plates highly recommended) on front, 1.5-2.0 negative camber on rear works good. I have Turner Sway bars(H&R) I always leave it on the hardest setting on the front, rear I switch from medium to hard(depending on understeer and oversteer needs). I set my tire pressure 43 psi front cold and 41 psi rear cold( 245/40/17 street tires).

I have H&R springs w/ H&R shocks, it is actually the Turner TrackSport package in which I think the shocks are actually Bilstein. I have the turner sways, camber plates, adjustable sway links. It appears similar to the modifications that you havel listed on your cardomain site.

Thanks for the input, it gives me some things to consider. Do you happen to know what your TPs are when they get hot?
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:45 AM   #4
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For autocross my tire pressure only rises about 2 psi in front and 1 psi in rear, which I usually don't mess with. We only get about 3-5 runs at the events I go to.
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:34 PM   #5
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What class are you running? DSP or STX? E46's push, push, and then push some more. If you really want it to turn well for autocrossing, you'll need to add more camber to the front, and toe it out. I'd go at least -2.5 degrees, and 1/16th out maybe even an 1/8th. Less camber in the rear, -1.2 or so, and 0 toe or 1/16th out.

As far as sway bars, I'd go exactly opposite of what you have. Stiffen the rear, soften the front. The open diffs make it extremely hard to get the car to rotate stock unless you really get it off balance.

What kind of tires are you running? Higher pressures in the rear for sure. Again, just trying to free the back end up a little without turning the car into a Formula-D machine.

Also, I ran an e85 for 4 years, so I know how that chassis autocrosses extremely well. Switched to a Mini this year so I could actually win some national stuff
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:33 AM   #6
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I don't think I will be running any particular class. As far as I know this event I will attend will be just an open class.

Thanks for the advice! I wish the motorsport forum had some more info or stickies devoted to motorsports, like autox tips and setups and even track tips and setups.
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Old 06-26-2010, 03:21 PM   #7
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shoot me a PM any time you have questions!
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by trippinbillies4 View Post
What class are you running? DSP or STX? E46's push, push, and then push some more. If you really want it to turn well for autocrossing, you'll need to add more camber to the front, and toe it out. I'd go at least -2.5 degrees, and 1/16th out maybe even an 1/8th. Less camber in the rear, -1.2 or so, and 0 toe or 1/16th out.

As far as sway bars, I'd go exactly opposite of what you have. Stiffen the rear, soften the front. The open diffs make it extremely hard to get the car to rotate stock unless you really get it off balance.

What kind of tires are you running? Higher pressures in the rear for sure. Again, just trying to free the back end up a little without turning the car into a Formula-D machine.

Also, I ran an e85 for 4 years, so I know how that chassis autocrosses extremely well. Switched to a Mini this year so I could actually win some national stuff
Yikes, sounds like a recipe for a drift machine to me!

Adding lots of rear bar and little rear camber will definitely make the back end move well, but it won't put power down well at all. The only advantage the E46 has is power, so you want to maintain that as much as you can. You can accomplish the same thing with stiffer rear springs and stock or no rear bar. The bonus is that the rear springs are easier to change than the rear bar! (IMO)

Also, depending on the tires you're using, you likely want a lot more than -2.5 deg of front camber. -3.5 to -4.0 is probably ideal IMO.
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:46 PM   #9
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I can recommend some reading for you: "Secrets of Solo Racing" by Henry Watts is an oldie, but a goodie; "Autocross Performance Handbook" by Richard Newton is fairly recent (and full of neat pics). Both are aimed right at you (and the rest of us autocrossers). "Grassroots Motorsports" magazine is fantastic, as well. (For the record, I don't autocross the 325xi, but have 10+ years of SCCA solo experience in 944s and Neons (don't laugh - great parking lot cars!))
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Old 07-15-2010, 06:51 AM   #10
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Yikes, sounds like a recipe for a drift machine to me!

Adding lots of rear bar and little rear camber will definitely make the back end move well, but it won't put power down well at all. The only advantage the E46 has is power, so you want to maintain that as much as you can. You can accomplish the same thing with stiffer rear springs and stock or no rear bar. The bonus is that the rear springs are easier to change than the rear bar! (IMO)

Also, depending on the tires you're using, you likely want a lot more than -2.5 deg of front camber. -3.5 to -4.0 is probably ideal IMO.
Recipe for a drift machine in an open diff car? pardon me being blunt, but you're insane. What the hell difference does camber make in the rear if the inside wheel that has no weight on it is the one getting power? Springs and crazy front camber can make a difference, but I worked under the assumption of no mods for a stock class. You'll have to have crazy camber plates to get -4 out of the front, as those cars can barely get -2 stock.
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Old 07-15-2010, 04:39 PM   #11
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I just have a quick question. Can anyone do autox? My car isnt the fastest and it's my daily driver, but are there classes someone like me can race in? I wouldn't be in it to win it, but just doing it to have some fun.
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Old 07-15-2010, 05:57 PM   #12
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I just have a quick question. Can anyone do autox? My car isnt the fastest and it's my daily driver, but are there classes someone like me can race in? I wouldn't be in it to win it, but just doing it to have some fun.
Anyone can participate in autocrosses. You don't need a high performance car to do it. Many people attend with their stock cars. The variety of cars ranges from stock Honda Fits all the way to purpose built non-street legal monsters. Either way, you'll be classed based on your car and what mods you have.

Autocrosses, IMO, are very safe. You rarely exceed 60MPH. There is always a lot of runoff room in case you do mess up. This is my 1st year attend autocrosses, and I've been to 3 events so far. I highly recommend you to join the BMWCCA (if you have not already), and sign up for an event with your local chapter. Usually after the 1st event, you'll be hooked.
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:06 PM   #13
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Anyone can participate in autocrosses. You don't need a high performance car to do it. Many people attend with their stock cars. The variety of cars ranges from stock Honda Fits all the way to purpose built non-street legal monsters. Either way, you'll be classed based on your car and what mods you have.

Autocrosses, IMO, are very safe. You rarely exceed 60MPH. There is always a lot of runoff room in case you do mess up. This is my 1st year attend autocrosses, and I've been to 3 events so far. I highly recommend you to join the BMWCCA (if you have not already), and sign up for an event with your local chapter. Usually after the 1st event, you'll be hooked.
Thanks a lot for the response! That sounds awesome and ill definately think about doing some events. I havent joined the BMWCCA yet, but i have always wanted too. Maybe ill join this week some time. Is it expensive to participate in the races? Again thanks for the response!
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:18 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone for the replies! Hopefully the Motorsports section can get some information rolling in about autoX (driving, tuning, and setting up). I think it would beneficial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie[Team Envy] View Post
Thanks a lot for the response! That sounds awesome and ill definately think about doing some events. I havent joined the BMWCCA yet, but i have always wanted too. Maybe ill join this week some time. Is it expensive to participate in the races? Again thanks for the response!
AutoX is very affordable. In the states I remember prices being around $25-$30 USD. Here in Germany I did a 2 day event and it cost me 35 EURO (maybe $45) and I got more runs than I can count. Autox is very fun, affordable, practical for a motor enthusiast with their daily driver, and a valuable learning tool. Plus you meet some great people!
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:28 PM   #15
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Different clubs have different cost structures (the SCCA now requires a weekend membership to participate) and classing setups, but usually you can just show up and have fun. Expect to work, most clubs require that every participant work corners, tech, timing/scoring, etc. You'll need a helmet, but most clubs have loaners. Car will have to pass a basic tech inspection. It's not expensive, at first, but if you get hooked all bets are off. Be sure to get a ride with an experienced driver in a truly fast car, like a Z-06 for instance, on R compound tires, to get a real feel for it. Big fun!
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:27 PM   #16
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Thanks everyone for the replies! Hopefully the Motorsports section can get some information rolling in about autoX (driving, tuning, and setting up). I think it would beneficial.



AutoX is very affordable. In the states I remember prices being around $25-$30 USD. Here in Germany I did a 2 day event and it cost me 35 EURO (maybe $45) and I got more runs than I can count. Autox is very fun, affordable, practical for a motor enthusiast with their daily driver, and a valuable learning tool. Plus you meet some great people!
wow thats actually really cheap. i was thinking it would be around $100-$150 haha. thanks a lot for the response! where in germany are you from? i was an exchange student there last summer for a month. ever heard of pfullingen or reutlingen?!
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:17 AM   #17
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wow thats actually really cheap. i was thinking it would be around $100-$150 haha. thanks a lot for the response! where in germany are you from? i was an exchange student there last summer for a month. ever heard of pfullingen or reutlingen?!
Autocross is cheap and fun! Hope you get the time to try an event out. I am sure you will enjoy it very much!

I am currently stationed in Eiffel area near the city of Trier. Close to Luxembourg and about 35 minutes from the Nurburgring .
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Old 07-16-2010, 03:11 AM   #18
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Autocross is cheap and fun! Hope you get the time to try an event out. I am sure you will enjoy it very much!

I am currently stationed in Eiffel area near the city of Trier. Close to Luxembourg and about 35 minutes from the Nurburgring .
Haha I think im definately going to get into it. I keep thinking about it haha. I never heard of that city but thats cool that your close to the Nurburgring! Im planning on going back to Germany next summer again. Cant wait haha. Have you ever been to BMW Welt?!
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:05 PM   #19
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Recipe for a drift machine in an open diff car? pardon me being blunt, but you're insane. What the hell difference does camber make in the rear if the inside wheel that has no weight on it is the one getting power? Springs and crazy front camber can make a difference, but I worked under the assumption of no mods for a stock class. You'll have to have crazy camber plates to get -4 out of the front, as those cars can barely get -2 stock.
I guess we're both making assumptions, OP can you tell us what mods you have?

I assumed coilovers, since no one can get -2 up front stock. At Nationals in 2008 they recorded front camber for DS, and I was one of the highest BMWs at -1.2

Even in stock class I'd recommend keeping camber over -2, but zero toe or even a bit of toe out will definitely help it rotate. When I ran in stock class, I used zero toe all around, max front camber, -2 rear camber.
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