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Old 08-26-2012, 07:06 PM   #26
Synner


 
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The interstate will kill your tires with a real aggressive alignment, better off picking a middle ground alignment.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:47 PM   #27
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The interstate will kill your tires with a real aggressive alignment, better off picking a middle ground alignment.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:37 AM   #28
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With mostly highway driving but without autocross, "performance street" settings would be entirely appropriate as long as there's at least a little "enthusiasm" in your cornering.

With autocross included, it becomes a bit different of a balance between wearing the inner shoulders a little more rapidly in your normal driving and beating up the outer ones running through the cones. Depending on how much autocrossing is envisioned, performance street to maybe -1.3° front camber should be good for starters.

It is entirely possible to DIY alignments without a commercial rack - at least as long as the car's chassis itself is straight and square. Understanding how to get the angular measurements, having the patience to do so carefully and methodically, and understanding some of the things that could cause inaccuracy are the keys. The rest is just wrench-work. Been doing all mine in my nice, flat driveway for about 30 years now.


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Last edited by Norm Peterson; 08-27-2012 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:09 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Norm Peterson View Post
With mostly highway driving but without autocross, "performance street" settings would be entirely appropriate as long as there's at least a little "enthusiasm" in your cornering.

With autocross included, it becomes a bit different of a balance between wearing the inner shoulders a little more rapidly in your normal driving and beating up the outer ones running through the cones. Depending on how much autocrossing is envisioned, performance street to maybe -1.3° front camber should be good for starters.

It is entirely possible to DIY alignments without a commercial rack - at least as long as the car's chassis itself is straight and square. Understanding how to get the angular measurements, having the patience to do so carefully and methodically, and understanding some of the things that could cause inaccuracy are the keys. The rest is just wrench-work. Been doing all mine in my nice, flat driveway for about 30 years now.

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Looks like I should just do a performance/street alignment then as I dont know the first thing about performing my own alingment let alone a "driveway" alignment. I have only set the toe on my big mud racing trucks before. Those only saw about 500 miles of street use per year so we just made sure the tires were pointing roughly the same direction. Plus those tires started with 2inchs of tread and usualy got holes punched in them and lugs torn off wheeling before any road wear was noticable.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:54 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Norm Peterson View Post
With mostly highway driving but without autocross, "performance street" settings would be entirely appropriate as long as there's at least a little "enthusiasm" in your cornering.

With autocross included, it becomes a bit different of a balance between wearing the inner shoulders a little more rapidly in your normal driving and beating up the outer ones running through the cones. Depending on how much autocrossing is envisioned, performance street to maybe -1.3° front camber should be good for starters.

It is entirely possible to DIY alignments without a commercial rack - at least as long as the car's chassis itself is straight and square. Understanding how to get the angular measurements, having the patience to do so carefully and methodically, and understanding some of the things that could cause inaccuracy are the keys. The rest is just wrench-work. Been doing all mine in my nice, flat driveway for about 30 years now.


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There have been mythic stories about guys that could do track-side alignments as accurately as a state of the art rack in the hands of an expert technician. Very few of them are true. I have only one in my Dealer Group, Rich Johnson from Back Street Performance in Ohio. He has been doing this longer than most 5th Gen owners have been alive. If there is one there must be more, but they will always be the exception. A track-side alignment is good for the track where no one expects tires to last longer than x number of laps. The Sebring winning car in 2012 covered 101 laps or 373.7 miles. The longest LeMans winning car covered 3,360 miles and used I believe 8 sets of tires. 400 miles per set of tires. There are very few people that are capable of doing track-side alignments that will deliver even tire wear over 10 or 20 thousand miles of daily driver use. You may be one of those exceptional people that can, but for most the cost of an alignment at a quality shop will be offset by tire life on the street.

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Looks like I should just do a performance/street alignment then as I dont know the first thing about performing my own alingment let alone a "driveway" alignment. I have only set the toe on my big mud racing trucks before. Those only saw about 500 miles of street use per year so we just made sure the tires were pointing roughly the same direction. Plus those tires started with 2inchs of tread and usualy got holes punched in them and lugs torn off wheeling before any road wear was noticable.
You know all you need to know about doing your own alignment. In fact, I would say you are an expert.



Here are your specs for improved daily driver and AC use.

Front
Camber -1.1
Toe 0.00
Caster Not Adjustable from the Factory

Rear
Camber 0.00 to -0.50
Toe IN 0.10
Total Toe 0.20

When you are ready to accept dramatically reduced daily driver tire wear in exchange for dramatically improved handling I'll be happy to provide those specs too.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:05 AM   #31
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There are very few people that are capable of doing track-side alignments that will deliver even tire wear over 10 or 20 thousand miles of daily driver use. You may be one of those exceptional people that can, but for most the cost of an alignment at a quality shop will be offset by tire life on the street.
Well . . . historically I've managed to get about 12,000 miles per 100 treadwear, on tires in the 200 - 240 treadwear range. I could get more if I wasn't so hard-wired to dial the enthusiasm up most every time the road bends. I've been tracking tire wear a bit more closely on the Mustang due to its somewhat extreme all-purpose camber setting (rather more than -1.5° against -0.75° factory-preferred), and it's still even to within no more than 0.02" across the tread on any tire. I have about 12.000 miles on the max-performance summer tires and aboutr 15,000 miles on the OE UHP all-seasons. I've been a stay-in-the-home-office structural engineer/stress analyst for most of my career, and it just doesn't come off as being all that difficult if you've got the patience and a little mechanical aptitude.

I won't try to claim I can hit the numbers to ±0.01°. But considering the variety of driving that makes up the daily stuff this level of precision isn't warranted as long as you're close to numbers appropriate to your own driving.

Determining what those numbers should be does take some thought and experience if you aren't working directly off the basis of somebody else's experience (and for that alone your sets of numbers should be much appreciated by everyone who doesn't just pump gas into the tank, turn the key, and go).

I'm skeptical that the average shop is ±0.01° good like the printouts suggest, or even ±0.03°, considering all of the possible sources of error that exist.

But say you're given a target camber number from whatever source (Chevy's own, yours, mine, other). You can get within about 0.1° of that with a consumer-level digital angle finder, which I'd consider fine given the variable makeup of daily driving.

If I get out my DIY-fabbed camber gauge that uses a dial indicator, as crude and as ugly as that thing is to look at I can get a little closer.


Early on, mostly meaning early 1970's and before, I never could find a shop that would either listen to what I was asking them to do or could get the job done right without screwing something else up in the process. That's where the the incentive for me to jump in with both feet and do a lot of things myself comes from. Alignment is just one of those things.


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Old 08-28-2012, 12:38 PM   #32
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Well . . . historically I've managed to get about 12,000 miles per 100 treadwear, on tires in the 200 - 240 treadwear range. I could get more if I wasn't so hard-wired to dial the enthusiasm up most every time the road bends. I've been tracking tire wear a bit more closely on the Mustang due to its somewhat extreme all-purpose camber setting (rather more than -1.5° against -0.75° factory-preferred), and it's still even to within no more than 0.02" across the tread on any tire. I have about 12.000 miles on the max-performance summer tires and aboutr 15,000 miles on the OE UHP all-seasons. I've been a stay-in-the-home-office structural engineer/stress analyst for most of my career, and it just doesn't come off as being all that difficult if you've got the patience and a little mechanical aptitude.

I won't try to claim I can hit the numbers to ±0.01°. But considering the variety of driving that makes up the daily stuff this level of precision isn't warranted as long as you're close to numbers appropriate to your own driving.

Determining what those numbers should be does take some thought and experience if you aren't working directly off the basis of somebody else's experience (and for that alone your sets of numbers should be much appreciated by everyone who doesn't just pump gas into the tank, turn the key, and go).

I'm skeptical that the average shop is ±0.01° good like the printouts suggest, or even ±0.03°, considering all of the possible sources of error that exist.

But say you're given a target camber number from whatever source (Chevy's own, yours, mine, other). You can get within about 0.1° of that with a consumer-level digital angle finder, which I'd consider fine given the variable makeup of daily driving.

If I get out my DIY-fabbed camber gauge that uses a dial indicator, as crude and as ugly as that thing is to look at I can get a little closer.


Early on, mostly meaning early 1970's and before, I never could find a shop that would either listen to what I was asking them to do or could get the job done right without screwing something else up in the process. That's where the the incentive for me to jump in with both feet and do a lot of things myself comes from. Alignment is just one of those things.


Norm
Norm, I do understand what is possible or sometime a necessity. I set the toe on what was supposed to be a magazine ready test car from a highly respected builder with a 25' extension cord. I used a straight edge and level for camber. The alignment equipment was not selected by choice. It was the only stuff I had available in the shop so we made do.

My road course specs for a Mustang are -2.5 camber, 0.50 Toe OUT per wheel and a caster increase of 1 degree. In the rear the best we can do is equalize toe.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:43 PM   #33
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I go to 4-5 events per year and spend the money to do a track alignment before the event and then put it back to street specs after. the cost is about 60 bucks each time and my shop will do the return to street specs for free since they have my profile saved in the computer.

Plus I can run track and track rotation specific setups (CW vs CCW)
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:57 PM   #34
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I go to 4-5 events per year and spend the money to do a track alignment before the event and then put it back to street specs after. the cost is about 60 bucks each time and my shop will do the return to street specs for free since they have my profile saved in the computer.

Plus I can run track and track rotation specific setups (CW vs CCW)
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:46 AM   #35
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Norm, I do understand what is possible or sometime a necessity. I set the toe on what was supposed to be a magazine ready test car from a highly respected builder with a 25' extension cord. I used a straight edge and level for camber. The alignment equipment was not selected by choice. It was the only stuff I had available in the shop so we made do.
Been there, too, back in the earlier days/versions.

Mostly what I'm trying to get across here is a little de-mystifying of the alignment process. Sure, it's beyond the average car owner and probably even the average car enthusiast forum member. But there should be a few here in the Suspension/Brakes/Chassis section who could do it, and who might only need a little encouragement (gentle prodding?) to try.


It would have really been nice if I could have trusted some place to do what jeremywes has his shop do. Although that repeated expense would have been harder to justify at the 12+ autocross per season level as it would have nearly tripled the cost of playing.




Quote:
My road course specs for a Mustang are -2.5 camber, 0.50 Toe OUT per wheel and a caster increase of 1 degree. In the rear the best we can do is equalize toe.
Thanks, Pete. I was thinking along similar lines and having independent confirmation is much appreciated. (FWIW, it has crossed my mind more than once to decamber that car's stick axle by about half a degree per side like my '79 Malibu's was )


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Old 08-29-2012, 11:33 PM   #36
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Been there, too, back in the earlier days/versions.

Mostly what I'm trying to get across here is a little de-mystifying of the alignment process. Sure, it's beyond the average car owner and probably even the average car enthusiast forum member. But there should be a few here in the Suspension/Brakes/Chassis section who could do it, and who might only need a little encouragement (gentle prodding?) to try.


It would have really been nice if I could have trusted some place to do what jeremywes has his shop do. Although that repeated expense would have been harder to justify at the 12+ autocross per season level as it would have nearly tripled the cost of playing.





Thanks, Pete. I was thinking along similar lines and having independent confirmation is much appreciated. (FWIW, it has crossed my mind more than once to decamber that car's stick axle by about half a degree per side like my '79 Malibu's was )


Norm
I like that idea
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:54 PM   #37
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A great way to upgrade your suspension and gaining a better understanding of how each piece affects the handling of your car is to do it in stages. To get the most out of your car I would look at going with this route:

1) Start with a good set of Performance Coil Springs. These will lower the center of gravity of the vehicle, help to minimize body roll, and make your ride look a bit more aggressive. But spring rate is a major factor to think about. Hotchkis spends a lot of time choosing just the right spring rate that is frim enough to keep the suspension from bottoming out yet is compliant enough to still absorb small bumps in the road surface and not rattle your teeth out on a daily basis.
2) The next step would be a good set of adjustable sway bar(s). These will really help to control understeer/oversteer and allow you to dial in the response of the car to suit your driving style and tire selection. Typically you will see the adjustment only on the rear bar.
3) After you have done those your next step is to look at chassis rigidity. The two main parts of the 5th gen Camaro that really help with rigidity is the front strut tower brace and a under-car chassis brace. The strut tower bar "completes the box" of the front suspension by eliminating the flex at the top of the strut towers. The under-car chassis brace triangulates the frame rails to reduce chassis twist and flex, improving traction during hard launches and high-speed cornering.
4) The final product to look at to round out your Camaro's suspension would be a set of upgraded front and rear end links. These pieces are going to be stronger than stock and stand up the abuse of track days and other spirited driving much better than the stock pieces. On top of that they allow you to corner balance the suspension (a much overlooked final step in dialing the handling of a car for the track).

Eventually you would have built up to our complete TVS (Total Vehicle System) Stage3 Race Package for the Camaro. The benefit of doing it this way is that each piece you install is designed to compliment the previous one and you will be able to watch as the handling improves each time. It will also allow you to progressively dial in the suspension to give you the exact handling dynamics you want.

Here is a picture of all of the parts I have just talked about:


Check out what Autoblog and Road and Track have to say about how the handling of a Hotchkis-equipped Camaro compares to stock:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/03/12/h...r-than-before/

http://www.hotchkis.net/_uploaded_fi...5thgen_zz1.pdf
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:38 PM   #38
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First off I am hooked. I have been itching to start racing the car and today I did. The only complaint I have as I got faster and started pushing harder I have officialy found under steer especialy if I was still braking when entering the corner.

I have been thinking the bmr 1" drop springs and sways but is there a better starting point if my only complaint is the under steer. I know I haven't found the other limits of the car so in my mind I say "STEP ONE FIX UNDERSTEER" then race more and find my next milestone.

Only other complaint was strugling through the slalom they had set up mostly driver but they had the cones tight. Once again car felt like it didn't want to turn in.

I have a v-6 manual if that changes people's thoughts. I had also run with traction control off and stabilitrack on. On my last pass I did turn off stabilitrack. Under steer almost felt better but possibly only due to allowing the rear to drift around a bit more.

FYI New auto-x junky in the making here.

Thanks guys.
I had, as all stock C5 have that dreaded under steer. Not really a problem unless you do AutoX or Road Courses. I do Road course now and then because as you have found out its fun I have install Eibach front and rear sway bars Front set on first outer hole and the rear on the second this have eliminated the under steer. I also lowered it for better overall cornering. It is great now on Road courses. As far alignment changes goes unless your doing it every week or you want to become a road course professional Its not required Just get the new sways and maybe springs and you will be very happen with how it handles. I sure was
Enjoy Your Car and keep it SIMPLE
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:03 AM   #39
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PFADT makes a camber plate that would allow you to make quick camber changes. I have also seen some guys clock the plate to gain some additional caster when they set the camber for the track. Food for thought but I have no personal experience using it. Iceman has a good point Keep it simple. Ha Ha I wish I would have done that! ;-)
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:26 AM   #40
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You absolutely need to turn all of the nannies OFF. They aren't there to make you better at driving hard, only to help protect the street-driving morons against their own incompetence, and they do this by insisting on understeer (the average driver tends to either "freeze" or worse, do exactly the wrong thing, when faced with oversteer).
well said! Actually, you covered most, if not all, of it. The only thing I'd add is a good street/track alignment (see above), and next time try to keep your inputs (steering, gas, brake) as smooth as possible. It's the old 'slow down to speed up' mantra. You want to be at the limit of your cars capabilities, but not your own. What I mean is that if you're doing everything too fast, you're pushing too hard. Work on being smooth but at the limit, and you'll see your times drop.
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