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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I'll be doing my first coilover/tire swap this weekend and I have a few questions about what I should expect in the future. I've done alot of searching but I'd like to ask some questions to finalize this process. Here's what's going to be going on the car:

Megan EZ streets (lowered to about an inch or so)
Kumho Ecsta tires on the stock 14" wheels (185/50/14 I believe)

I run the car in auto x events once a month...otherwise it's all DD. I guess my question is what are the numbers you guys are running for those of you who do this type of driving? I came across the "Icehawk" numbers but he said those are for more aggressive driving habits.

Or, should I just take the car into the shop and just say "I put on coilovers and I need an alignment now" and let them do what they may?

Thanks guys, and sorry for the noob question.
 

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Kony For President
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Toe: 0
Camber: 0
Caster: 0
Mileage: w00t
 

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Mufasa in Training
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31,836 Posts
To figure out what camber you might want, use this chart to estimate based on your ride height. Basically, figure out camber settings such that your camber number at max suspension compression is roughly equal.

For example, on my car with ride heights of roughly 12.5/13.0, I went with -1.8deg front/-1.5deg rear.

For toe settings, I prefer a little bit of toe-in up front as it makes the car a little less darty (handy if you're doing DD duty). I basically set the front toe-in to be half of the number used in the rear. In the rear, I like to have toe-in to cancel out the toe-out on braking. Keep in mind that large toe-in or out will kill your tires a lot faster than high camber numbers will.

As for caster, I personally prefer to have the camber set then set the max caster that will allow you to keep your front camber/toe settings.
 

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woah
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i still think numbers dont mean sh*t IMO.



i aligned this tonight. the guy wasnt too sure about what numbers to run so notice the chalk mark on the tires. I ran chalk marks on the corners of all the tires and went outside for some very very VERY hard turning (evos are amazing in that btw). i personally like putting camber up so that the car gets to use the whole tread patch and numbers usually vary depending on the wheel, tire, suspension, set-ups.

of course this job took me 4 hours to finish and i do not know how many techs out there are willing to invest that much time on setting up your car.

but i recommend the chalk... do the chalk, find out where u are running and then tell the tech if u want more, or less camber
 

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For toe settings, I prefer a little bit of toe-in up front as it makes the car a little less darty (handy if you're doing DD duty). I basically set the front toe-in to be half of the number used in the rear. In the rear, I like to have toe-in to cancel out the toe-out on braking. Keep in mind that large toe-in or out will kill your tires a lot faster than high camber numbers will.
How long do your tires last? I like 0 toe. You'd have to be accel/decelerating pretty hard with sticky tires to find those toe changes in real time. On the streets it won't matter. I don't find the car to be 'darty' either, are you on wide tires? Tramlining maybe?
i still think numbers dont mean sh*t IMO.

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/314338_10150451533380600_549615599_10843531_1585928758_n.jpg

i aligned this tonight. the guy wasnt too sure about what numbers to run so notice the chalk mark on the tires. I ran chalk marks on the corners of all the tires and went outside for some very very VERY hard turning (evos are amazing in that btw). i personally like putting camber up so that the car gets to use the whole tread patch and numbers usually vary depending on the wheel, tire, suspension, set-ups.

of course this job took me 4 hours to finish and i do not know how many techs out there are willing to invest that much time on setting up your car.

but i recommend the chalk... do the chalk, find out where u are running and then tell the tech if u want more, or less camber[/QUOTE]
Emmi, where do you work? That's not your typical alignment! That's above and beyond. Curious what camber it ended up liking. I've been using infrared thinking it'd be better than chalk-- not willing to invest in a probe-type thermo.
 

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Mufasa in Training
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but i recommend the chalk... do the chalk, find out where u are running and then tell the tech if u want more, or less camber
You're definitely right, Emmi. That said, if you're going to swap suspension, you probably ought to start somewhere, right?

How long do your tires last? I like 0 toe.
If you're setting as little as 1/16" total toe-in max, your tires should last well past 10k (I'm running 205/45/16 Yoko s.Drive). I'm not talking huge numbers. I ran 0 toe up front once, drove to work, and found that I really just didn't like the feel--the car was just a bit too eager to change direction for my tastes. I went right back to the shop and had them dial in some toe-in up front.
You'd have to be accel/decelerating pretty hard with sticky tires to find those toe changes in real time. On the streets it won't matter. I don't find the car to be 'darty' either, are you on wide tires? Tramlining maybe?
Admittedly, I do almost exclusively street driving, so my recommendations go for what I find works best there but still allows me to feel that the car is nimble but predictable. For heavy autocross use, I definitely wouldn't be recommending toe-in up front (though I'd prefer a little toe-in in the rear regardless). I am no expert by any means. I've just experimented over time and my alignment allows me to push the car (which is stock aside from an FM Stage 1 suspension, MSM front sway, and no rear sway) hard when I want to and still have it feel comfortable when I don't. As always, I offer alignment recommendations with this caveat:

No numbers are perfect for all uses; there is always a compromise on a dual-use car. For racing, there is no substitute for timed results. Experiment and find settings that work for you. If you're not sure where to start, JUST TRY SOMETHING (as long as the settings are the same side-to-side) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Alright guys, here's another question for you (didn't wanna start a new thread). I just got the Megan ez's installed, and there's an auto-x next week (20th). I originally was going to put on the new tires and get an alignment about two days before the auto-x. When's the best time to get these things aligned? I'm just worried about when they'll settle and I might need another alignment.
 

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Mufasa in Training
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31,836 Posts
Alright guys, here's another question for you (didn't wanna start a new thread). I just got the Megan ez's installed, and there's an auto-x next week (20th). I originally was going to put on the new tires and get an alignment about two days before the auto-x. When's the best time to get these things aligned? I'm just worried about when they'll settle and I might need another alignment.
Personally, I always installed the suspension and called the alignment shop the day after to schedule. If you can get in the day after the suspension is installed, you should be fine. If not, a couple days won't kill you.
 

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Official Armchair Racer
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Alright guys, here's another question for you (didn't wanna start a new thread). I just got the Megan ez's installed, and there's an auto-x next week (20th). I originally was going to put on the new tires and get an alignment about two days before the auto-x. When's the best time to get these things aligned? I'm just worried about when they'll settle and I might need another alignment.
Jump on the door sills a bit and drive around. Get it aligned whenever. I wouldn't over think it too much.
 

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Lanny and Icehawk are both pretty conservative IIRC.
This more-rear-camber way was the first alignment I tried and it really didn't work out. Wore out front tread edges way more quickly than the rear. I was at -1.0F, -1.4R on stock suspension as that was a much camber as I could get.

I'm now at -1.7 all around, at 12.5/13 height. Tire wear is much more even F/R but I can still use more front camber. Go with the 949 settings and put more in the front if you do any kinda of hard driving on a regular basis. I've tried both... more on the rear just didn't work.

To figure out what camber you might want, use this chart to estimate based on your ride height. Basically, figure out camber settings such that your camber number at max suspension compression is roughly equal.

For example, on my car with ride heights of roughly 12.5/13.0, I went with -1.8deg front/-1.5deg rear.
A word about camber... especially heroic camber numbers. People say... "camber doesn't wear tires." Well maybe not theirs. It did to 3 sets of mine.

The moment I went onto my first more-camber alignment (which had just -1 in the front and zero toe) I immediately got "heel-toe" wear of the the thread blocks on the inside. That was with Hankook RS2s, which were noisy by themselves but now even more noisy, vibrating, and humming loudly at certain speeds. Then it happened to my snow tires.

Now I've been on Yoko S. Drives since May with 12k miles since that time. Heel-toe wear on the inside edges on all 4 tires. Hums like crazy and puts a vibration in the steering. -1.7 and no toe up front.

IMO, if you don't need it, go easy on the camber.
 

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I counter by asking what your toe settings are.
0* front, 0.05* rear toe-in, and off a machine exactly like the one posted above too.

The amount of heel-toe wear I have right now I would say is about a 2mm difference in height between the leading and trailing edges of the tread block.
 

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Mufasa in Training
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A lotta highway.
That explains a lot. I do highway for most of my commute, but it's still broken up with several turns. Add in an autocross every once in awhile plus a couple trips to Deal's Gap...my tires haven't had excessive inner edge wear in awhile.
 

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That explains a lot. I do highway for most of my commute, but it's still broken up with several turns. Add in an autocross every once in awhile plus a couple trips to Deal's Gap...my tires haven't had excessive inner edge wear in awhile.
Nice.

Mine have been pretty even for -3.0 camber all around on all seasons.
 
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