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Old 03-19-2017, 01:56 AM   #1
Chibo
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Cheap front camber

I've removed the alignment pins from my strut mounts and managed to get an even -1.7* camber up front. Unfortunately, this isn't enough as I've destroyed the outer edge of my front tires. Is there a cheap way to gain another degree or so?

Someone has suggested to me that E36 M3 strut mounts rotated would gain some camber, but I can't find anything on google to confirm this.

Seems like GC street plates max out at -2*, or is this -2* relative to strut mount alignment on the body and not absolute like I had assumed?
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:11 AM   #2
asianisafish
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I've got my alignment pins punched out and lowered on coilovers, I'm only at -2.2 .....might try getting camber plates to get to -3.0
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:58 AM   #3
Geo31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chibo View Post
I've removed the alignment pins from my strut mounts and managed to get an even -1.7* camber up front. Unfortunately, this isn't enough as I've destroyed the outer edge of my front tires. Is there a cheap way to gain another degree or so?

Someone has suggested to me that E36 M3 strut mounts rotated would gain some camber, but I can't find anything on google to confirm this.

Seems like GC street plates max out at -2*, or is this -2* relative to strut mount alignment on the body and not absolute like I had assumed?
What size wheels and tires are you running and what pressures?

It's entirely possible it's driving style. Given the camber you already have, there should be no good reason for wearing out the outer edges of your tires.

Did you get an alignment after lowering? If so, do you have the setting sheet from the shop?
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:36 AM   #4
Chibo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo31 View Post
What size wheels and tires are you running and what pressures?

It's entirely possible it's driving style. Given the camber you already have, there should be no good reason for wearing out the outer edges of your tires.

Did you get an alignment after lowering? If so, do you have the setting sheet from the shop?
Style 135 normal stagger, 225/40 / 255/35 Firehawk Indy 500s. I do have a recent alignment, I can post numbers if needed.

I should have mentioned this car sees two to four trackdays a month. I'd just like to reach the -2.5-3 range as I am currently looking to put together a set of 17x8.5 style 68s with 235/45 RA1s and don't want to murder them.
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Last edited by Chibo; 03-20-2017 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:01 PM   #5
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Yeah, I'm still wondering about this. Even track days shouldn't chew up the outside edges. You didn't mention pressures.

You mention track days. Do you drive solo, or do you have an instructor? Chewing up the outsides makes me really concerned about driving style. Going in too hot and the fronts having to scrub speed would certainly do it. Not saying you are or aren't, but I'd consider the possibility. Could also be the tires. While street tires are OK on the track (some even think beginners should start out on them), some do not stand up to the rigors of track driving as well as a tire designed with that in mind.

If you want more camber for other reasons, that's up to you, but I really think the camber you have should work out fine without killing tires. That said, the only time I've had either of my E46s on the track was to haul students around at about 8/10 (not particularly aggressive), so I could be out to lunch. I see you race bikes, so I imagine you know your way around just fine. If you solo, you may want to see if you can get an instructor to ride with you for a couple of sessions and see what they say.

If you want inexpensive camber (or even caster/camber) plates, there are a number on eBay. Rob (Rob43) has said good things about these before:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Camber-Plate...NT1ERL&vxp=mtr

I'm considering getting a set before installing my coilovers, even though I have new upper strut mounts. I want them to reduce the excessive static camber.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:22 PM   #6
Chibo
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I think you may have a point on the pressures. I haven't been watching actual pressure since they are street tires, just looking for sidewall rollover and adjusting based upon this -- which is probably the wrong way to go about it. I am sensitive to overheating of tires due to the penalty of doing it on a bike and I find myself backing down once every session or two due to feeling the greasy lack of feedback.

I am new to tracking cars, but I have noticed that the separation between pushing the front and acceptable slip is very obvious in terms of frontend feedback. I will say that I have been solo, as support at my local orgs is not on the right level (this is something I would like to branch out to other orgs to fix), and I come from a momentum end of things in terms of bikes -- a lot of trail braking and aiming to carry corner speed rather than squaring off corners so I do think you probably have a point in that I'm coming in hotter than I should be.

I have seen those camber plates, but I'm looking for something with more cushion for street driving. My E30 was downright punishing with solid FCABs and GC race plates and I feel like the E46 is much more civilized and should stay that way.
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Last edited by Chibo; 03-20-2017 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:23 PM   #7
Chibo
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edit: meant to edit my post
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:40 PM   #8
Geo31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chibo View Post
I think you may have a point on the pressures. I haven't been watching actual pressure since they are street tires, just looking for sidewall rollover and adjusting based upon this -- which is probably the wrong way to go about it. I am sensitive to overheating of tires due to the penalty of doing it on a bike and I find myself backing down once every session or two due to feeling the greasy lack of feedback.

I am new to tracking cars, but I have noticed that the separation between pushing the front and acceptable slip is very obvious in terms of frontend feedback. I will say that I have been solo, as support at my local orgs is not on the right level (this is something I would like to branch out to other orgs to fix), and I come from a momentum end of things in terms of bikes -- a lot of trail braking and aiming to carry corner speed rather than squaring off corners so I do think you probably have a point in that I'm coming in hotter than I should be.

I have seen those camber plates, but I'm looking for something with more cushion for street driving. My E30 was downright punishing with solid FCABs and GC race plates.
OK, this is useful information. No answers per se, but it's always a matter of looking for clues and piecing them together.

You shouldn't need much more pressure on a race track. It's not like solo where there is a lot of sidewall rollover (if done right). If you're getting any sidewall rollover, you either have too little pressure, are too aggressive, or both. On our race cars (FWD Sentra SE-Rs) we never had rollover and I don't think we ever saw 40psi in the tires. Upper 30s, yes, but we never needed more.

Whether two wheels or four, it's still about momentum. Just remember, if your front tires are scrubbing, you are NOT carrying momentum, but rather are losing it at a critical juncture. A lot of people, especially those new to track and racing, think you have to carry a lot of speed into a corner to carry a lot out. Often times it's the opposite (but not always). You want to hit the "Goldilocks" zone that is just right. I always try to err on going in too slow and adding pace a little at a time. It's a little tougher at a new track at a race meeting because there is such limited track time. But even then, if you start with too much entry speed it's much harder to find the correct entry speed. I find it's always easier to start conservative and add speed. I'd also recommend against trail-braking, at least until you get comfortable. You can add it later. This is a technique sport and getting the technique wrong will make you ALWAYS slower. However, if you get the technique right and just need to add a little speed, it's much easier to get faster.

One thing I learned 30 years ago when I started kart racing (talk about a momentum sport and NOT scrubbing your front tires!), was to slow down a bit and add. I was a pretty good and pretty fast rookie. Then one day I followed one of the track champions from the previous year around. I slowed things down (she, yes she, was breaking in an engine) and by just following her for several laps at a bit slower pace, by the end of the day I had considerable new-found pace. I improved my corner entry and tidied up my lines. It set the foundation for truly getting faster. Another thing to note, I had an instructional video 30 years ago from a racing school and commentary by Mario Andretti, and they said one mistake a lot of beginners make is to go too fast into slow corners and too slow into fast corners. It's very true. I still to this day try to remember that.

BTW, the one thing I have always done, from my first year in karts, was to try to limit front tire scrub as much as possible. If your front tires are scrubbing, they are slowing you down. When I raced cars, I raced a FWD car and that was more important than ever. You scrub with a FWD car and you're done. You not only can't turn well enough, you have no hope of putting power down either.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:47 PM   #9
Geo31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chibo View Post
Style 135 normal stagger, 225/40 / 255/35 Firehawk Indy 500s. I do have a recent alignment, I can post numbers if needed.

I should have mentioned this car sees two to four trackdays a month. I'd just like to reach the -2.5-3 range as I am currently looking to put together a set of 17x8.5 style 68s with 235/45 RA1s and don't want to murder them.
Oh, Rob just pointed out the tire size of the RA1s. Unless I'm reading wrong, the Toyos will be 235/40-17, a better size anyway.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:38 PM   #10
Chibo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo31 View Post
OK, this is useful information. No answers per se, but it's always a matter of looking for clues and piecing them together.

You shouldn't need much more pressure on a race track. It's not like solo where there is a lot of sidewall rollover (if done right). If you're getting any sidewall rollover, you either have too little pressure, are too aggressive, or both. On our race cars (FWD Sentra SE-Rs) we never had rollover and I don't think we ever saw 40psi in the tires. Upper 30s, yes, but we never needed more.

Whether two wheels or four, it's still about momentum. Just remember, if your front tires are scrubbing, you are NOT carrying momentum, but rather are losing it at a critical juncture. A lot of people, especially those new to track and racing, think you have to carry a lot of speed into a corner to carry a lot out. Often times it's the opposite (but not always). You want to hit the "Goldilocks" zone that is just right. I always try to err on going in too slow and adding pace a little at a time. It's a little tougher at a new track at a race meeting because there is such limited track time. But even then, if you start with too much entry speed it's much harder to find the correct entry speed. I find it's always easier to start conservative and add speed. I'd also recommend against trail-braking, at least until you get comfortable. You can add it later. This is a technique sport and getting the technique wrong will make you ALWAYS slower. However, if you get the technique right and just need to add a little speed, it's much easier to get faster.

One thing I learned 30 years ago when I started kart racing (talk about a momentum sport and NOT scrubbing your front tires!), was to slow down a bit and add. I was a pretty good and pretty fast rookie. Then one day I followed one of the track champions from the previous year around. I slowed things down (she, yes she, was breaking in an engine) and by just following her for several laps at a bit slower pace, by the end of the day I had considerable new-found pace. I improved my corner entry and tidied up my lines. It set the foundation for truly getting faster. Another thing to note, I had an instructional video 30 years ago from a racing school and commentary by Mario Andretti, and they said one mistake a lot of beginners make is to go too fast into slow corners and too slow into fast corners. It's very true. I still to this day try to remember that.

BTW, the one thing I have always done, from my first year in karts, was to try to limit front tire scrub as much as possible. If your front tires are scrubbing, they are slowing you down. When I raced cars, I raced a FWD car and that was more important than ever. You scrub with a FWD car and you're done. You not only can't turn well enough, you have no hope of putting power down either.
I think you might enjoy this. http://khcoaching.com/podcasts/
It's motorcycle targeted, but Ken specifically calls things out exactly the way you have here, including something very similar to the Andretti quote and determining if a corner is an entry or exit corner, it not being where you get on the brakes but where you get OFF the brakes, etc.

I need more seat time in a car at trackdays. Unfortunately, the local events have you running four twenty minute sessions in a day, versus open sessions or even 6-7 twenty minute sessions a day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo31 View Post
Oh, Rob just pointed out the tire size of the RA1s. Unless I'm reading wrong, the Toyos will be 235/40-17, a better size anyway.
You're probably right, I didn't bother to check.
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