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Old 02-07-2011, 01:36 PM   #1
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Switching to non-staggered setup improves cornering?

I finally ditched my P-zeros after 25k+ miles. I pulled off the stock 20x8" front wheels and put stock 20"x9" wheels all the way around with 275/40R20 Hankook Ventus ST RHO6 tires.

I've only put about 75 miles on this setup so far but almost immediately noticed a change in how my Camaro handles corners now.

There are a few freeway interchanges that I travel on daily at the posted speed (60mph) instead of the curve warning speed (35mph). With the staggered (20x8/20x9 stock) setup I always felt like I was fighting with the steering wheel through constant corrections to keep things pointed in the right direction. With the 20x9 all around configuration, the car feels very well planted with no steering input correction needed.

Even for typical street road turns, the car feels very well situated and lighter on its feet when compared to stock.

I know there are valid reasons for having a staggered setup, better traction to the drive wheels for one, but I didn't expect such a noticeable handling change just by ditching the stock staggered setup.

Anyone else switched to a non-staggered setup seeing this with your Camaro?
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:42 PM   #2
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It has nothing to do with you going non-staggered. The improved handling was due to the wider front tires alone. Wider tires help decrease understeer, or push. They also stiffen up the steering a bit more than narrow front tires.

Best handling combo is going with max width tires front and rear. More tire width, more traction, pure and simple.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nine Ball View Post
It has nothing to do with you going non-staggered. The improved handling was due to the wider front tires alone. Wider tires help decrease understeer, or push. They also stiffen up the steering a bit more than narrow front tires.

Best handling combo is going with max width tires front and rear. More tire width, more traction, pure and simple.
So why do most exotic sports cars have super wide rear tires and much smaller front tires? We are always told they handle far better than our american cars. Do they know something we don't?
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nine Ball View Post
It has nothing to do with you going non-staggered. The improved handling was due to the wider front tires alone. Wider tires help decrease understeer, or push. They also stiffen up the steering a bit more than narrow front tires.

Best handling combo is going with max width tires front and rear. More tire width, more traction, pure and simple.
So you're saying if I keep the 275's up front and throw 315's on the back (widened stock wheels), that my handling would only get better and the understeer wouldn't increase?
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nine Ball View Post
Best handling combo is going with max width tires front and rear. More tire width, more traction, pure and simple.
It's interesting you say that...because you made me remember something an old teacher told me that I never quite bought into...

He claimed that in some cases, you'd want a skinnier-than-max width tire because the psi resulting from the tire-patch and the weight of the vehicle may no longer be high enough to optimally stick...basically he was saying there is such thing as "too wide" and it'd be like sticking clown shoes on the car...you loose traction because the friction forces between the tire and the ground become less thanks to a larger patch.

Like I said...I never really bought into it. But the physics behind it made for an interesting conversation.

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Originally Posted by rolnslo View Post
So you're saying if I keep the 275's up front and throw 315's on the back (widened stock wheels), that my handling would only get better and the understeer wouldn't increase?
Understeer has many causes...In the Camaro's case, it's actually built-into the car on purpose (they didn't mess up) for the safety of untrained drivers who may think a fast car suddenly makes them invincible.

To best eliminate it, you should take a comprehensive approach including the tires/wheels and suspension. What changing the fronts did was give you more grip and so they slipped less as you turned, resulting in a reduction of understeer. If you stick wide tires out back, the rear end of the car will stick even MORE than the fronts...and its likely the understeer will return (if reduced) because of the suspension setup.

BUT...because you're wider than stock both front and rear...you'll have to put more stress on the tires (turn harder) to reach that breaking point.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:06 PM   #6
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Yes, it is a complex series of track tests to find the perfect combo for each vehicle. Some cars are designed with too much oversteer, so the narrower front tires tone it back down. Some cars are weight balanced front to rear a little better, or have different damping on the shocks, etc... to induce the handling aspects of the car. There are a lot of variables. Changing tire width is just a simple fix.

If you go with wider rear tires, you give up a little ability to use throttle oversteer, unless you add more power to overcome the added rear traction. Some guys prefer using the narrower rear tire to be able to throttle steer a RWD car when they get into trouble. Nothing like having extra hp on tap to re-direct the vehicle (aka slide the ass out) to fix any understeer. haha

Even more important than tire width, is tire compound. Softer tires will stick on a track better, it will make it feel like a different car. But, softer tires also wear out faster if you aren't good at following an efficient line through the curves. It is better to master road course work on a street radial, to learn the fast lines. Once you can master the speed through the turns, then step up to a race compound to push it even harder.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:11 PM   #7
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Ok. So here's another related question then....

If I put different width tires/wheels front and rear, is it better for handling to have the inner edge or the outer edge of the same side tires line up?

I'd assume it's the outside edge but I've been known to be wrong a few times in my life.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:20 PM   #8
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You added grip to the front and took away grip from the rear. This decreases the understeer built in from the factory and has made the care feel more neutral. There are other ways to do this with alignment/suspension/air pressure while maintaing the stagger that will maximize handling. Its usually best to maximize tire width and change other items to decrease understeer.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:21 PM   #9
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Nothing to do with front to rear edges lining up. If you visit a lot of racetracks, you'll find that they just prefer to use the widest tires that fit the car, without any rubbing or steering clearance issues. The wider track does help though, front and rear. Also, most cars have a wider front track than rear, just by design.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nine Ball View Post
Nothing to do with front to rear edges lining up. If you visit a lot of racetracks, you'll find that they just prefer to use the widest tires that fit the car, without any rubbing or steering clearance issues. The wider track does help though, front and rear. Also, most cars have a wider front track than rear, just by design.
Interesting. Good to know. I guess the V6 Camaro doesn't fall into the "most cars" category since front track is 63.7" and rear is 64.1" unlike the V8 (63.7" for both).
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:21 PM   #11
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Interesting. Good to know. I guess the V6 Camaro doesn't fall into the "most cars" category since front track is 63.7" and rear is 64.1" unlike the V8 (63.7" for both).
im pretty sure thats just the rs model...the other v6's have the same track...someone please correct me if im wrong.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:26 PM   #12
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You may also notice with wider front tires that the car may wander a bit because of increased bumpsteer.
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:09 AM   #13
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So....I was thinking of putting a set of rears up front mostly to be able to rotate the tires.

I'm reading mixed messages in this thread. Sounds like some are saying...yes, go with the wider fronts....others saying you might have issues.

I'm not looking for better steering at a road course. I'm mostly looking to be able to rotate and extend the life of my tires. Plus, I would imagine it looks pretty damn good that way as well.

Do you not recommend going with wider fronts? Is keeping the staggered wheels a better option?


OP: Any chance you could post up some pics of what your fronts look like now. I"m curious on how much more they stick out than the OEM fronts.
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:45 AM   #14
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So....I was thinking of putting a set of rears up front mostly to be able to rotate the tires.

I'm reading mixed messages in this thread. Sounds like some are saying...yes, go with the wider fronts....others saying you might have issues.

I'm not looking for better steering at a road course. I'm mostly looking to be able to rotate and extend the life of my tires. Plus, I would imagine it looks pretty damn good that way as well.

Do you not recommend going with wider fronts? Is keeping the staggered wheels a better option?



OP: Any chance you could post up some pics of what your fronts look like now. I"m curious on how much more they stick out than the OEM fronts.
I've got the same size (275/40/20) on all 4 corners with all season non-directional tires for this exact reason. I haven't experienced any issues with this set up. Haven't had them rotated yet though, only 1500 miles on mine.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:02 AM   #15
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:56 AM   #16
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You may also notice with wider front tires that the car may wander a bit because of increased bumpsteer.
Haven't noticed this happening with my setup.


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So.......
OP: Any chance you could post up some pics of what your fronts look like now. I"m curious on how much more they stick out than the OEM fronts.
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Yeah, I knew better than to start this thread without pictures. Will see what I can do when I get home this evening.
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:22 PM   #17
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Been running the factory 20x9 rear wheels and Pirelli P Zero 275/40/20 on all 4 corners of my car for some time. It does decrease under steer, makes the steering effort ever so slightly heavier and IMHO does look better. With a proper alignment ( not off the line factory ) the car should not exhibit any wandering it didn't already have with the 20x8 and 245/45/20 OEM front setup. The only real downside is the SS 20x9 wheels with 275/40/20 tires are heavier than the OEM 20x8 with 245/45/20 tires so you end up increasing the rotational mass on the front of the car.
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:35 PM   #18
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It's interesting you say that...because you made me remember something an old teacher told me that I never quite bought into...

He claimed that in some cases, you'd want a skinnier-than-max width tire because the psi resulting from the tire-patch and the weight of the vehicle may no longer be high enough to optimally stick...basically he was saying there is such thing as "too wide" and it'd be like sticking clown shoes on the car...you loose traction because the friction forces between the tire and the ground become less thanks to a larger patch.

He might have a point.

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Old 02-14-2011, 09:58 PM   #19
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Yeah, I knew better than to start this thread without pictures. Will see what I can do when I get home this evening.
Finally remembered to upload some pictures I took last week of this setup. WOW! I so need to install some lowering springs on my Camaro.







For comparison, here's a shot with the stock 20x8 fronts...

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Old 02-14-2011, 11:23 PM   #20
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Nice!

I think I'm going to go down the same route.


Now you just need to lower yours with some drop springs.
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:28 PM   #21
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BTW: did you have yours aligned again with the wider tires?
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:59 AM   #22
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I'm running the same size wheels all the way around and the performance is great. I have 3-piece forged rims in 19" with a tire size of 275/40-19. They're 1.5" wider than the stock fronts and .5" wider than the stock rears. They're 5 lbs lighter than the stock fronts and 10 lbs lighter than the stock rears. Well worth it.

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45165
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:33 AM   #23
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BTW: did you have yours aligned again with the wider tires?
Not yet. The car still tracks straight as can be but I should probably have it checked anyhow.
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:36 AM   #24
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For those thinking about 9"/275's all the way around..... I Have that setup on mine, an it feels great!

FYI... Be sure to keep one of your 8"/245's and use it as a spare. it will make a great emergency wheel/tire and spare!
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:39 PM   #25
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So why do most exotic sports cars have super wide rear tires and much smaller front tires? We are always told they handle far better than our american cars. Do they know something we don't?
Exotic cars have better suspension parts than the Camaro. Also, they are most likely lighter, and have a lower center of gravity. And the weight is mostly in the center. All of these factors give those exotic cars an edge. In any case, if you just want less understeer, wider front tires can help control that.
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