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Author Topic: Another alignment "how to" question
Frank Todaro
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I have now purchased the Iron Canyon set up. The set up on my car from before is pretty close. What I want to do before my next race is Max out the camber on the left front, and re-set the toe after I do this. Just trying to figure out the adjustments I need to make. Lets assume just the left front.

1) In looking at the Manual it says 1) do your caster first, (move front and rear cam counter clockwise to increase caster) am I wanting Positve caster? it explains the rear Cam is the one that changes Caster the most.

2) Next question. for negative camber you move the front cam clockwise and the rear cam counter clockwise to get negative camber. How do you know when you have the cams set to max out the camber, I assume you will get max caster and camber at the same time.

3) So trying to figure out where I am. I should have 2.5 negative camber to start. if you look at the moon shaped cam adjuster, on the front cam, the fattest part of the crescent is facing inboard to the motor.

The rear cam the fattest part of the crescent is facing up to the hood.

Is the max camber position of the front cam when the fattest part of the crescent is facing toward the motor away from the tire?

Where should the back cam be for max camber and caster?

Sorry, without being able to watch some one do this once I am struggling with it, I am assuming that if you keep turning the front cam adjuster clockwise to get max camber, you have to stop at the fattest part of the crescent.

--------------------
Frank
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Eric Barbaric Verified Driver
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Right or wrong, I haven't thought about caster at all. I simply go for max-camber on both bolts and then do my toe adjustments.

I hope someone pops in and says, "Caster is vital!"

It may be.

The main thing I learned the hard way is to upgrade all eight bolts to the meatier competition bolts.

The old ones just won't hold a setting and I've had the thin cams deflect out of the A-arm.

The Iron Canyon Toe Stick is a time-saver too.

Charlie Williams Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Caster is not too critical, but it should be close to equal on both sides. Caster causes the steering to get more or less stable. The more you have, the more the steering wants to return to center, and that tends to be more stable, but some say slower because of scrub in the turns. But in reality, you try to get all the camber you can and then check caster. If you have some cam rotation left you can try to adjust caster to get close on both sides. If your car is straight, it will all fall into place reasonably.

You will be much better off to take your car to an experienced and race savy alignment guy (with an alignment rack) and have him do it the first time. Get the car set to your specs and then just keep it in alignment with your bars and camber gauge after that.

I aligned my cars for years and it took several hours. Each adjustment changes something else. The alignment rack takes about a half hour or so. (You sit in the car while he does the work underneath. Good deal.) (By the way, I'ms sure you know that you need the car loaded with your weight in the driver seat or the numbers and the alignment are out the window.)

--------------------
CW
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Where in the catalog do you find the "competition" bolts? I don't see it in the section for 90-97 suspension.

--------------------
Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

Zauskycop Verified Driver
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Are they even legal??

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Tracy Ramsey
Team Blenderblaster

Glenn Verified Driver
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How many alignment shops will corner weight the car?

--------------------
Glenn
Crew chief Meathead Racing, NE Region Sales Division Race Engineering, The GOLD standard in SM engines, Occasional race slave for OPM Autosports

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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There are no competition bolts, just cam bolts that are sold by Mazda Competition.

Caster does matter as it does add camber when you add steering input. We used to max out on caster because we couldn't get enough static camber, but in some cases that might not be valid now that we have more available static camber, i.e. you've set too much static camber. That is one of those things you need to spend lots of track time test and tuning, as nobody will tell you their secret here, other than what's in JD's setup guide.

Search and you shall be rewarded.

-bw

--------------------
Bruce Wilson
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quote:
Originally posted by Glenn:
How many alignment shops will corner weight the car?

None that I know of. But there's always someone near you willing to corner balance and align yours for a fee. Ask around.

-bw

--------------------
Bruce Wilson
2010 Oregon Region Champ
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davew Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Typically on an NA car, you max out camber and caster because you could not get enough of either.

With the Fat Cat bump stops you can lower the car more and get enough caster. But you are still restricted on caster.

99+ cars do not have this problem. You can get like 9* of caster in a 99+. Why? Because of the chnage in geometry from the updated subframe. But, that is an arguement for another day.

Dave

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Glenn Verified Driver
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Bruce the question was posed so that those seeking alignments understand the need to coodinate their alignment with the ability to corner balance the car.

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Glenn
Crew chief Meathead Racing, NE Region Sales Division Race Engineering, The GOLD standard in SM engines, Occasional race slave for OPM Autosports

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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ER, um sorry, didn't see which Glenn I was answering [Big Grin] I'm guessing a lot of folks call you.

-bw

--------------------
Bruce Wilson
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Frank Todaro
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Update, since first post I have been reading everything, including Jim's alignment guide and other articles on line about set ups.
I did take my car to an alignment shop to confirm my settings. I did start out the season with a professional set up, but after 3/4 of the season, I had toe and camber changes, some significant,today I got the toe and camber back in line.

I ended up with only getting -2.5 left front camber. I could have maxed out the caster but if you max out the caster as you know it makes it harder to turn the car. My caster both sides was. +5 I decided to stagger it a 1/2 degree more positive caster on the left side(makes the car turn better on right hand turns to mid corner until you start unwinding the wheel), then the effects of caster are lost.
My car is corner weighted, to me but I am running 51.1% wedge I would like to take some of the wedge out eventually, get it close to 50% as Jim suggests.
My set up is as follows ride height 4.5 camber front 2.5 Camber rear 2.7 toe 0 front and rear and wedge is 51.1

What I found and why i think I was losing 2 seconds at the track is my toe slipped out to positive toe front and the left rear, It was way out so I am hope the reduction in resistance will get my speed back.

If not I will try something else.

--------------------
Frank
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I see several issues here;

Allignment + corner weight = setup. If not done at the same time, you do not have an accurate setup. caster effects ride height, ride height effects camber, ride height effects cross weight. All must be done TOGETHER

4.5 ride height is too low, 4.75 is better, more prdictable over bumps and curbs

2.5 front camber is not enough. Especially at 4.5 ride height. You should be able to get 3.5 at that height. Sounds like something is bent. I would guess lower ball joint and/or lower control arms. Possible subframe.

I know that JDs setup guide recomends 0 toe front and rear. I also know what most of the fast guys run. And it ain't zero toe. I also know that zero toe will slow a mid pack driver down, because his corner speed will decrease, thus his straightline speed decreases.

Set 1/8 total toe out the front. This will make the car turn in better. The guys who go fast with zero toe, turn in VERY HARD. Most of us do not.

Set 1/16 total toe in in the rear. Rear toe in will stabilize the car under braking. It will also control mid corner oversteer.

Zero toe will be faster only if you can get through the corners without loosing speed. JD has the talent to get through the corners, most of us do not.

Your picture shows a 99 car, assuming that is the same car we are talking about, you should not max out camber. That is what I said a few posts ago. 99+ can get TOOOOO much caster.

Just my opinion
dave

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Tom Kirkham
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Noob question:

In the Spec Miata world, over what distance (toe span) does 1/16 inch toe in refer?
rim bead (15.7 in)?
tire face (22 in)?
toe plate distance (varies by manf),
Hunter alignment machine (28.6 in)?
other?

springfielddyno Verified Driver
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typically we talk in toe plates or rim diameter depending on string or plates (most often plates). We're not smart enough to use angles like we should... and I thought the hunter standards were all based on a 24" diameter when it reads in inches...?

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Sam H.
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quote:
Originally posted by Tom Kirkham:
Noob question:

In the Spec Miata world, over what distance (toe span) does 1/16 inch toe in refer?
rim bead (15.7 in)?
tire face (22 in)?
toe plate distance (varies by manf),
Hunter alignment machine (28.6 in)?
other?

I agree with Sam, but excellent question!

--------------------
Jim Drago
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EAST STREET RACING

springfielddyno Verified Driver
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i run 0 toe, so it doesn't really matter...

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Sam H.
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Tom Kirkham
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quote:
Originally posted by springfielddyno:
typically we talk in toe plates or rim diameter depending on string or plates (most often plates). We're not smart enough to use angles like we should... and I thought the hunter standards were all based on a 24" diameter when it reads in inches...?

Sam,

I would be very appreciative if you could point me to the 24 inch number. All I have been able to find is 2 in = 1 degree.

Obviously the further apart the toe measurement is taken for a given toe angle the larger the toe measurement becomes. Surprisingly the toe span measurement is a hard to find. Actually I have never found it.

So, then what is the toe span Hunter is using?

If we draw an isosceles triangle with two equal sides, and the angle formed by the two equal sides is 2 degrees, and the base of the triangle is 1 inch, we can calculate the height of the triangle or the toe span. If we bisect the 2 degree angle we get a right triangle with one side being Ĺ inch forming an angle of 1 degree with the other side.

So then,
tan 1 degree = Ĺ in / toe span
Toe span = Ĺ in/ (tan 1 degree)
= 28.64 inches

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I know that Hunter uses 24" as the basis for their toe readings when done in inches. An equivalence formula for mm. Degrees are what the machine actually reads, then converts to inches using the standard 24" diameter tire for ALL applications.

Just imagine the complications with the same car with different size tires!!!!

Toe plates are generally 24 inches long. With the notches cut for the tape measure to hook into they become a 22-23 inch basis.

Most people who use strings measure to the wheels. Thus creating a 15" measurement.

The old school method of scribing a line in the tire, then measuring from scribed line to scribed line would be variable depending on where on the tire you actually measured.

Which way is right. They will all work. They can all be repeatable if done the same way every time.

The issue comes when you use strings (15") at home, then toe plates at the track (23"). Your reading will change by approximately 50%, simply by changing the tools you use. Or when comparing notes with another driver who uses a different method.

I have found tape measures that read different. Measure toe once, then put the front tape on the back and the back tape on the front. Are the readings the same??? Same phylosophy as having multiple tire gauges and checking regularly that they all read the same.

Dave

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springfielddyno Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Tom Kirkham:
quote:
Originally posted by springfielddyno:
typically we talk in toe plates or rim diameter depending on string or plates (most often plates). We're not smart enough to use angles like we should... and I thought the hunter standards were all based on a 24" diameter when it reads in inches...?

Sam,

I would be very appreciative if you could point me to the 24 inch number.
So, then what is the toe span Hunter is using?

If we draw an isosceles triangle with two equal sides, and the angle formed by the two equal sides is 2 degrees, and the base of the triangle is 1 inch, we can calculate the height of the triangle or the toe span. If we bisect the 2 degree angle we get a right triangle with one side being Ĺ inch forming an angle of 1 degree with the other side.

So then,
tan 1 degree = Ĺ in / toe span
Toe span = Ĺ in/ (tan 1 degree)
= 28.64 inches

oh.... you're one of those types [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

in order:
1. I believe the 24" number was in my hunter manual or on the screen where you select your toe units. BUt honestly it's a number i put in my head years ago. But I can't say for sure.

2. I'm 98.7 % sure 24 inches is the right number. If I would have learned it monday, the confidence level would be much lower. But, years ago makes it good...

3. who said that the angle and the inches had to match? think about it... the only reason for inches is for the old school types and odd people like us. Not many of us have 28" diameter tires, so 24" was probably picked so we would see numbers that makes sense to us... After all, it's a number someone wants to align too. I suspect, and might prove next time i turn my machine on, that 1 degree per side will not be 2 inches total toe because the machine is using 24" and not 28"... Perhaps something around .838 unless I dorked up the math [thumbsup] The 1 deg = 2 inches is new to me...

--------------------
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Sam H.
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Opinions vary on the subject on toe. Some run sum, some run a lot and some run none. Everyone has their own driving style. What works for one may not work well for another.

The best advice I can give you is try it. donít rely on what people in the paddock and on this forum say. Experience it yourself. Set your car up with 0 Toe. Then go to the track and run it. Next session change your toe. On the front you donít even need to measure anything, Just count how far you wind the tie rod. Use a paint maker to keep track of what you have done and make sure you take good notes.

Same goes for ride height and cross.

Also remember all tracks are different. Hell the same track will change with the day. You need to know how to make what adjustments to get the most out of each track. If you set up your car once a year and leave it, you are more than likely leaving performance on the table.

GO OUT AND TRY IT YOURSELF. It will make you that much smarter and probably faster.

--------------------
Ralph Provitz
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Frank Todaro
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quote:
Originally posted by 38BFAST:
Opinions vary on the subject on toe. Some run sum, some run a lot and some run none. Everyone has their own driving style. What works for one may not work well for another.

The best advice I can give you is try it. donít rely on what people in the paddock and on this forum say. Experience it yourself. Set your car up with 0 Toe. Then go to the track and run it. Next session change your toe. On the front you donít even need to measure anything, Just count how far you wind the tie rod. Use a paint maker to keep track of what you have done and make sure you take good notes.

Same goes for ride height and cross.

Also remember all tracks are different. Hell the same track will change with the day. You need to know how to make what adjustments to get the most out of each track. If you set up your car once a year and leave it, you are more than likely leaving performance on the table.

GO OUT AND TRY IT YOURSELF. It will make you that much smarter and probably faster.

Ralph I agree with you, Not to say that the opinions of others are not helpful or important, as its collective knowledge is helpful, but yes at the end of the day the set up has to fit, my car, my driving style and the track I am on and the only way to figure it out is to go drive and test. So that is what I am prepared to do. I will try this and see if I improve. then I will try some toe out up front see how that feels, then some toe in on the rear, Maybe reduce the camber in the rear a degree or two the time after that. That is what is fun about it for me is the experimentation to figure it out. I just hope I keep going in the right direction.

I Do Have a 1999, and it has not taken any big hits, I would like to hear if any other 1999's can get more that -2.5 degrees camber up front if so, then I better look into that also.

--------------------
Frank
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Tom Kirkham
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quote:
Originally posted by springfielddyno:
...The 1 deg = 2 inches is new to me...[/QB]

It is to me also. Sorry, I should have written 2 degrees = 1 inch. The math in my earlier post should should now make more sense.

Also from:
"Wheel Alignment Specifications 1960 - 1986 For Domestic Cars, Import Cars, and Light Trucks" by Hunter Engineering Company. Lists front toe for a Alfa Spider as .25 degrees and 1/8 inch.

.125 inches/tan(.25 deg)= 28.6 inches

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[/QUOTE]
I Do Have a 1999, and it has not taken any big hits, I would like to hear if any other 1999's can get more that -2.5 degrees camber up front if so, then I better look into that also. [/QB][/QUOTE]

That is where most 99 fall in. I do know that the faster cars run more than 3.0+. You might have to do will less Caster to get there.

--------------------
Ralph Provitz
#38
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Frank Todaro
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I went back to Mid Ohio this weekend and got my two seconds back. I did stagger the front caster the 1/2 degree and liked the results. car handled well, but I think it could do better. I will keep experimenting.

--------------------
Frank
Member: No Pain Racing

   

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