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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 07-20-2008, 07:43 PM   #1
JohnBlaze
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finally got camber plates and need advice

My car is a daily driver that sees auto-x use. I'll be getting an alignment soon and I want an aggressive setup. I'm not one to want to have to switch settings up all the time. I'd like to set it and adjust months later after using the same settings for both street and auto-xing for some time.

I'm thinking something like 2.25 front and 1.5 rear and I'm not sure about toe settings.

If it matters I have Koni Double Adjustable shocks/struts with ride height adjusters, and 550 front/600 rear springs. No rear sway bar, solid RTAB's, stock rear lower control arms.

Any advice would be appreciated for what's to much or to little camber, and yes I've searched...

I know in the end it's my decision, but I wanted to see what other well versed tuners would recommend, thanks,
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:27 PM   #2
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I tried doing the "best of both worlds" setup but it just didn't work. I made a thread just like this and the common consensus was "if you have camber plates, use them!". Since you have stock rear lower control arms, your rear camber is pretty much set at whatever it has taken in with your drop...which may be in the neighborhood of -1.5 - -2.0...there is SOME play in there, but not much. I would set your rear camber as positive as possible (which probably won't me more positive than -1.4 or -1.5) and 1/16th toe-in. For the front, I would do 1/16th toe-out and run about -2.5 on the track and like -1.7 on the street. Have them mark the plates so that when you to the track you can do a very quick camber adjustment.

Personally, I run -1.8 up front with 1/16th out and full positive caster and the rear at -1.5 with 1/16th in. On track, up front I'm running at -2.8, no toe adjustment, no caster adjustment. The rear remains completely untouched because I actually get really good tire wear with -1.5. When I go to the track and change my front camber it only takes me an extra 5 minutes...jack the car up from the front center jack point so both wheels are off the ground, loosen the camber plate nuts, hit the tire with a mallet a few times to push it in, tighten nuts, repeat on other side.
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:43 PM   #3
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hmmm, you're warming me up to the idea of adjusting.

thanks for the insight...
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Vicious I6 View Post
hmmm, you're warming me up to the idea of adjusting.

thanks for the insight...
No problem...it really is the best way to go
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:15 PM   #5
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This is a little off topic but since you mentioned it...Why no rear swaybar?
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:24 PM   #6
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Since my rear springs are so stiff 600lb, a rear sway bar isn't as necessary.

In fact in cornering near the limit a rear sway can actually lift the inside tire off the ground giving me more one wheel peel out(I have no LSD).

Didn't make sense to me in the beginning, but Pete from TC Kline kept insisting I give this a try and I've definitely noticed that I get less inside wheel peel on thottle through turns without the rear sway. I kept it this way...
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:14 AM   #7
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I see...Thanks, never heard that before. Now that you've explained it, It makes perfect sense.
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Old 07-21-2008, 08:25 AM   #8
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There is one slight complication from adjusting your front camber; toe is effected.

Increasing negitive camber will also add more toe-out. The car will turn-in better, but lose some braking and straight line stability.

Personally, I would have the toe and camber set up for track use. Dialing in less camber for street use will cause the front tires to toe-in slightly, which is good for front end stability.

Pro teams will scale and align their cars after any suspension changes. Having a good alignment can be just as important as having correct spring and damper rates. Don't underestimate the importance of this...
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:45 AM   #9
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with more toe out the front of your car will become twitchy but more precise. balancing that with some toe in on the rear will help.
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:55 AM   #10
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Toe (not camber) will determine your tire wear. For a RWD car, toe-in (around 20') at the front will allow the tires to wear fine. For FWD cars, you look for zero toe at the front. The reason for this, is because a RWD car is always trying to toe the front out (give, in the stock bushings) and a FWD car is trying to toe-in under acceleration and toe-out under braking.

As for camber I can give you an interesting example. i have a 2003 VW Eurovan. It calls for -1.5 deg of camber in the front and -1 deg in the rear. I lowered it and it now sits at -2.3 deg (front) and -2 deg in the rear. I have the toe set at zero in the front and +20' in the rear. The tires wear straight across but they wear out pretty quick because the way I drive and it weighs 4800lbs.

I have aligned thousands of cars (mostly Porsches) and can tell you that toe is what determines tire wear. Give your car -2.5 in the front and -1.5 in the rear (camber). Go with about +15' (front) and +20' (rear) for toe. You'll not be wearing out the insides of your tires in 5000 miles and still be able to have a good time on the track. Trust me, you'll not be a happy camper to see your front tires have full tread on the outside and down to the cords on the inside.

As for no rear bar, I have a 40mm bar up front and a 12mm in the rear. The rear can really go without any bar as the rear roll center is so much higher than the front. It's simple geometry and not so dependent on spring rates.
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:33 PM   #11
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^^^Props to the pros
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:05 PM   #12
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I ain't no pro, just an average Joe.....
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:25 PM   #13
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Props to the average Joe then =)

thanks to all responders here!!!

Looks like I'm going to roll with my original intuition and set/forget at somewhere near what Shelley recommended...
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Old 07-21-2008, 08:34 PM   #14
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I ain't no pro, just an average Joe.....
An average Joe with a pro's experience, then
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:10 AM   #15
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Something else you should start playing with is front to rear ride hight. This can also be a very good way to balance the car, just don't over do it. Also getting it corner balanced would help to.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:33 AM   #16
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very true...
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:15 PM   #17
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I've got TCK plates to and I run about -2 in front on the streets with about 1/16 toe-in. When I go to the track I max out the neg camber. I'm told it maxes out at about -3.5 and sets toe-out to 1/8. My question is- How do you convert 1/16 toe-in into degrees. They only use degrees over here in Germany and the shop that did my alignment was lost when I showed them 1/16. I converted it into mm and then they kinda got the idea...

Oh, the rear is set to -1.5 camber and OEM toe...
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:37 PM   #18
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My question is- How do you convert 1/16 toe-in into degrees. They only use degrees over here in Germany and the shop that did my alignment was lost when I showed them 1/16. I converted it into mm and then they kinda got the idea...
Found this on BimmerForums - awesome info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GroovinPickle View Post
A measurement in inches (like 3/32") really only makes sense if everybody is talking about the same diameter tire, but if you know that (or want to approximate) you can:

q = arcsin (t/d) * (180/pi)

t: toe setting in inches, e.g. 0.125 for 1/8 inch
d: diameter of the tire, usually 24" - 26"
pi: roughly 3.14
q= measurement in degrees


Google will do it for you if you type in something like arcsin ((3/32)/24.7) * (180/pi)

...so 3/32" toe on a 24.7" tire is 0.217 degrees.

And if my algebra is right, you can convert inches to degrees similarly:

inches = d * sin(q*(pi/180))

So using Google to find the inches equivalent to .1 degree, we do 24.7 * sin(.1*(pi/180))
...giving us an inches value of .043, which is somewhere between 1/16" and 1/32" of toe-in for the front, which is a very reasonable setting.

Your rear toe is about 3/16" total toe-in, which is also about right. I wouldn't recommend 0 toe in the rear for the street or track. For autocross it may be okay, but anything less than about 1/8" total rear toe-in is too loose for my tastes, even on an autocross course where I'm "ready" for it.

By the way, if you hear someone talk about minutes in the context of angles, 60 minutes = 1 degree.
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