drag in terms of tire wear I was almost going to pull out of the race on the weekend but now that it's been sorted I'm excited about the race “For a 911, static rear toe-in is very important,” said Craig. Going with narrower rear tires is impractical. He is a multi-national champion racing driver and is also the author of the novel, Cadet Blues. Usual car suspension designs result in the outside wheel gaining positive “Not only because of the rear weight bias, but remember an important major premise: suspension is not infinitely rigid. When exiting corners, negative rear toe will tend to make the car oversteer Photo 6/8 | S2000 rear bumpsteer kit versus stock toe arms. Low to medium power street car: minimally positive toe, front and rear This way the camber thrust from both tires will help the race car turn left. The thrust angle is an imaginary line drawn perpendicular to the rear axle's centerline. at a point forward of the car. braking, especially when braking in curved paths. Insufficient rear camber will produce a car that has less rear The situation is reversed for front toe in, with outside front tire pointing may outweigh tire wear due to camber, which is why alignment shops We promise not to use your email address for anything but exclusive updates from the Power Automedia Network. 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Many cars do not have a way of adjusting the rear camber from the factory. They prefer 3.25-degrees of negative camber in the front, with 3.75-degrees of negative camber in the rear. the inside front wheel is unloaded and its contribution to the behavior of the but with more nuances. further into the corner and continuing to rotate the car. the tire contact patch size under all conditions, making the front camber With FWD and RWD drive covered, it was time to get an all-wheel-drive perspective. Those three little adjustments front and rear are all there is to an alignment. Cars with double A-arm rear suspensions like Miatas can adjust the rear toe Miq and others recommend either about 5.5 or “as much as you can get”. performance with ABS. much power the car has. The same eccentrics adjust camber and toe; within their ideal temperature envelope, it can be more aggressive with the We'll send you raw engine tech articles, news, features, and videos every week from TURNology. But, Dave has owned two Nissan GT-Rs and knows a lot about car setup. additional eccentric. In talking with Marcel, we learned he had two different concepts for front-wheel-drive road racing setups. toward the inside edges of the tires. car balance, power level and driving style; toe can easily be the most Excessive rear camber will produce a reduced rear contact patch size in Jim agreed with Marcel that alignment setups are sometimes track-dependent. or alternatively replace the ball joints themselves with control arms or On a car with positive toe, or toe in, lines drawn parallel to the wheels converge On road courses this is required for stability in high speed corner entries and for Front Caster: 5-degrees positive He mentioned cars like older generation Mustangs or Camaros with solid rear axles don’t have a toe adjustment. drive car, rear tires continue to be loaded unevenly through much of the initially turns in and when it is in the middle of a corner, the typical which allow the ball joint to slide in a slot in the control arm, Caster is normally adjusted the same way front camber would be - via optimal front camber also depends on how hard the driver accelerates and how Today, we will skip the alignment tutorial and get right down to the specifications you can dial into your car that can make you faster. Rear Toe: 1 millimeter on both sides (2 millimeters in total), Front Caster: 7 to 9-degrees positive According to Craig, the fact the car is rear-wheel drive completely changes the rear toe settings from a front-wheel-drive setup. Hence excessive negative camber normally first manifests in uneven tire wear, A positive rear toe which may be necessary if the car has a hard time getting enough heat into Adjusting camber (the tilt of the wheel) is a quick way to ensure you will have more contact patch on the ground during hard cornering. from the front. Dave’s recommendation for an all-wheel-drive car was similar to that prescribed by Craig Watkins for a rear-wheel-drive Porsche — using static toe-in to keep the rear wheels pointed straight under hard acceleration. the rear tires otherwise, such as due to being required by the rules to Rear Toe: 1/8-inch toe-in total. mid corner direction changes, while front toe in makes the car darty This is the basic reason that a circle track race car has positive camber on the left front wheel and negative camber on the right front wheel. You can see the extreme alignment settings on Jim Drago’s Spec Miata. aftermarket control arms Published: June 26, 2013; updated: October 3, 2017. Rear Camber: 3-degrees negative FWD track car: zero to substantially negative toe front and rear, depending on Getting it to rotate is a problem. FWD track cars may resort to extreme amounts of rear camber to balance the Cars with double A-arm front suspensions like Miatas can also adjust the front toe On a car with negative toe, or toe out, the lines pointing further into the corner than the car overall. Alignment comes down to setting up how your tires adhere to the road surface. If you set a static rear toe-out setting on a Porsche 911; under acceleration, the suspension moves, pointing those rear tires outward more than you would prefer, which makes the car extremely scary to drive. attachment points, not shock upper mounts. Front Camber: 1.5-degrees negative Learn how you can get your car's wheel alignment dialed in for maximum cornering grip for when you hit the track with our lesson on trackside wheel alignment. Of course, that first lap when the tires are cold you better hold on! The car may be prone to spinning when trailbraked. a car with front toe in. Other cars can have the front and rear Many cars do not have a way of adjusting the rear toe from the factory, will compromise all of its performance characteristics - acceleration, exist which help in separating toe from camber adjustment by adding an Marcel said setups are not only driver-dependent but also track-dependent. will want less front camber. a small movement of the steering wheel will be sufficient to get the car to rotate. Rear Camber: 2-degrees negative on how hard the driver corners vs how hard they brake. This understeering tendency however is very slight. C. Rear Alignment The direction, in relation to the chassis, that the rearend is pointed can totally dictate how a car will behave in the turns. Say the car already corners on 3 wheels, and has plenty of rear traction. diverge forward of the car. Rob Krider will race absolutely anything. Rear tire pressure on FWD racecars - posted in The Technical Forum Archive: I would like to know if there are established methods of setting optimal tire pressures in the rear tires of FWD racecars. Some might assume that positioning the wheels straight up and down and pointing them in the right direction does the job well enough, but this is rarely the case. in corners, making camber negative when the car is standing still have a bit of positive front toe aligned into them. tires, and will push the front tires forward in a straight line. eccentric bolts, camber/caster plates, etc. For that, we looked to a guy who has won more NASA National Championship than anyone else, Dave Schotz, who has spent some time playing with Nissan GT-Rs. with one that has either an eccentric bolt The idea is to replace a fixed length OEM link MacPherson strut cars would generally install © 2017 Power Automedia. front camber, which can be useful as FWD cars often need all of the front However, if the same FWD car manages to keep its front tires Indeed, some cars like rear wheel drive Porsches and BMWs camber settings be completely independent. “We run between 1/16- to 1/8-inch of toe-in on our ESR cars.” Jim likes 50-percent cross-weight on his cars and between 3/4- to 1-inch of shock travel. or an adjustable rod end. fortunately, tire wear would generally obviously indicate that But be careful finding the edge as you try a new setup, otherwise, you might find the wall before you find out you don’t like the new setup. Allow me to introduce you to Marcel DeKerpel. If you want anything more than that, you need to install aftermarket upper control arms.”. High power street car: minimally positive toe in on non-driven wheels, RWD cars. the car to exit corners going straight under throttle rather than going into a Dedicated track cars and race cars piloted by advanced-level drivers of the suspension (positive caster) or rearward (negative caster). Front Toe: 1/16-inch toe-out total on handling: front toe out produces understeer and a car that resists Caster only applies to the front (steered) axle. However, a rear-wheel-drive car with an independent rear suspension and more articulation points and suspension bushings — like a Porsche 911 — will have some flex under power, which can change the rear toe angle. The FWD race car is limited by the dynamic loading of the outside front tire. On the track, tire wear due to toe is generally Oval track racing Driving on an oval track is unlike any other NASCAR® track (or on the road in your private car). The above discussion assumes a car going straight, with equal weight on front control arms with High power RWD/AWD track car: zero to minimally positive front toe, under throttle (this would be power oversteer). Test and find out! aftermarket camber/caster plates In FWD and to a lesser extend AWD cars, Craig spent over a decade engineering Porsches in the American LeMans Series setting the cars up for tracks all over the country and beyond. which is turned less than the entire car, thus causing understeer. That said, road course cars try to minimize toe in to reduce drag and © 2020 Power Automedia. and mid-corner understeer/oversteer balance. or camber links. the front tires quicker under braking without ABS or have reduced braking “We run pretty much the same setup, a neutral setup for Spec Miata for cross-weights unless we are at Mid-Ohio,” said Jim. More rear toe-out for a loose feel? mid corner and may even cause oversteer under power in front wheel drive cars. I run 3-degrees of negative camber on all four corners and I run zero toe. A car with front toe out will initiate direction changes more easily than Less experienced drivers who do not corner as hard We use Smart Strings on the FordMuscle Fiesta ST project car to adjust toe settings so the car will be quicker around an autocross course. If I run any toe at all, I will add a millimeter of toe-out to the front.”, For Hondas, he just runs as much positive caster as possible. In cars where caster helps avoid positive camber gain in corners, it However, mid corner We will start things off with Front Wheel Drive. Camber plates are not applicable to Marcel discussed what other drivers like with front-wheel drive, “Some people I set cars up for like a more aggressive setup. With all of this performance-alignment advice for different types of cars, I will leave you with this caution: All of these baseline setups are absolute tire killers if you drive your car daily on the road. Jim Drago has won a lot of Spec Miata races, and is the only person ever to win two SCCA National Championships in Spec Miata. to adjust camber on the front axle. makes sense to run maximum caster possible. accelerate out of corners; an oversteering car will tend to enter a drift the size of contact patch when it is most needed. One of the things he mentioned was how a tire needs the slip angle. To cover performance alignment specs for a rear-wheel-drive car, we reached out to Craig Watkins who races Porsche 911s, was the engineer for Flying Lizard Motorsports, and owns Smart Racing Products. on the driven wheels would tend to spin them under throttle, frequently would say that toe is the most important parameter to be correctly substantially positive rear toe. It is easy to illustrate how camber thrust works on a typical circle track race car. The tire compound, in particular its optimal temperature range and Front Camber: 3.75-degrees negative Usually cars have positive caster, the question is only how much of it. sway bar), alignment can be used to make the car understeer more. on pavement. For a Spec Miata, which has independent suspension and rear-wheel drive, Jim agrees with Craig and runs toe-in in the rear. Racing a front-wheel drive car is a totally different discipline that takes time to understand. The three major alignment parameters on a car are toe, camber, and caster. Again, tire wear will probably provide the most clues as to what You are trying to put power down through the front wheels, but power transfers weight off the front wheels to the rear wheels - so the harder you accelerate, the more weight goes rearward, the less grip you have on the driven wheels. In this video we discuss the pros and cons of different weight distributions for front wheel drive cars. oversteer more, while making the rear camber more negative while keeping the and smallest when the car is cornering. 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