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Old 06-29-2011, 06:35 PM   #1
Avalnch

 
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Ride Height vs Weight Balance + Handling

I recently had my car professionally corner balanced. The shop ended up having to raise the car's rear height to get close to a 50/50 front/rear balance.

This brings to mind my past experiences (cue dream sequence music).

Stock Car.
I had one auto-x event in which my (very accomplished) friend/co-driver and I beat on the car with stock suspension and tires. Although the weak point was the lack of tire traction, we were both amazed at how well the Camaro was balanced. It did not over or under steer to extremes and the rear end was very easy to handle.

Full suspension - take one.
After the full suspension and R888s were installed, I had the ride height set so that there was very little rake to the car (less than 1/4"). Although the car looked awesome, the handling wasn't even close to the stock car. The first auto-x event was not good because of excessive understeer. I did notice that the car launched very well. In hind-sight, I think that having the car near level likely shifted the weight onto the rear tires.

Full suspension - take two.
I discussed the situation over with my friend and we agreed that we should put the car back to stock rake. I raised the rear end a bit to get more rake (but to stock rake). Back on the track, we noticed an improvement right away, but understeer was still our enemy. The rear end felt more lively.

Full suspension + corner balance.
I've got (2) back-to-back events this weekend and we shall see how the corner balance has affected the handling. I'm optimistic that the car will get back to feeling how it did bone stock.

Has anyone else running coilovers played with their height front-to-rear and noticed what differences there are?

I think that maybe the straight-line guys might consider leveling their car to maximize traction, while us auto-x guys need to have the car raked for handling?
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:02 PM   #2
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Can you post your alignment specs please?
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:37 AM   #3
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yes post your alignment specs. Also was the car corner weight with you in it?
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:47 PM   #4
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Alignment specs as requested. It was just my luck that the shop owner is about the same weight as me, so he took my place.

The Toyo website recommends starting with -2.5° camber up front, so that's what I put it to.

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Old 06-30-2011, 04:15 PM   #5
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Please measure your ride height as shown in this picture. Your 5th gen should be on a level surface, empty as it was new with a 1/4 tank of fuel. Use a metric tape measure if possible.



Measuring this way eliminates tire inflation, size and profile. It is based on the rim size. There are other more intricate ways to measure ride height, but this is straight forward and repeatable. Please post the ride heights at all four wheels at the current setting. Maybe you can estimate the previous heights?
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:31 PM   #6
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Hey Avalnch! That alignment looks pretty great for an aggressive Autox setup. The Toe Out in the rear may contribute to some pretty hairy oversteer conditions at high autox speeds, so if you're chasing oversteer issues that cant be tuned around via tire pressures you might want to look at dialing back your Rear Toe.

The Rake of the car does absolutely have an effect on the chassis, and with coilovers is one more useful fine tuning tool at your disposal. The biggest effect you had when raising the rear of the car probably wasn't the rake it's self, but the change in roll center by adjusting the rear only. There is a direct relation between roll center and how effectively the sway bars are able to work, it acts similarly to changing the hole on an adjustable sway bar, although has a much more subtle effect.

Now that the car is corner balanced, I wouldn't adjust the ride height much more. Instead I would focus on getting the car balanced using the tools at your disposal, sway bars, dampers, alignment and tires.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JusticePete View Post
Please measure your ride height as shown in this picture. Your 5th gen should be on a level surface, empty as it was new with a 1/4 tank of fuel. Use a metric tape measure if possible.
My ride height is as follows:

FL:653 mm | FR:665mm
...................|...................
...................|...................
...................|...................
...................|...................
RL:668 mm | RR:677mm

The surface I'm on is fairly square, but might have a very slight right-to-left incline.
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Old 07-30-2011, 01:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalnch View Post
My ride height is as follows:

FL:653 mm | FR:665mm
...................|...................
...................|...................
...................|...................
...................|...................
RL:668 mm | RR:677mm

The surface I'm on is fairly square, but might have a very slight right-to-left incline.
Are the differences in side to side ride height the result of corner weighting?
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JusticePete View Post
Are the differences in side to side ride height the result of corner weighting?
+1 seems like a significant difference enough so that you can probably stand off and notice the car is leaning. Also seems strange that it is on one side up front and the other in the back. I would have guessed one or two mm side to side.
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Old 07-31-2011, 01:20 AM   #10
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Yes, I assume that the height difference is from corner weighting. I should get a set of measurements done with me in it. Keep you posted.
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:37 AM   #11
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Standing by.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:09 AM   #12
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If you are not going to get it corner balanced then should you set up the passengar side a bit lower so when the driver gets in it will square it self?

My settings are:

FL- 649mm FR- 649mm

LR- 655mm RR- 663mm

Sorry, dont mean to hijack this thread but Im just wondering if im going to go thru the same situation as I autox quite often.

Last edited by toilets; 08-05-2011 at 09:12 AM. Reason: mistake
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:10 AM   #13
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and should my rake be set higher or do you feel this maybe good?
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:33 AM   #14
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Let’s get her rear even at 660mm

Alignment Per Wheel
Caster is Fixed from the factory
Camber -2
Toe OUT.50

Rear Per Wheel
Camber -.75
Toe IN .05

Set your fronts to 27 or three off full hard
Set your rears to 20

Front bar full soft
Rear Bar full hard

Running my square wheel and tire setup, I like the rear lower, but the vast majority of Camaro5 members are running staggereds making it harder to get the rear low without rubbing issues.
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