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Old 06-29-2006, 04:49 PM   #1
rkkwan
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Join Date: Apr 2001
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Default Specific Qs about camber plates for track w/Espelir GT, '04 STi

Got some specific questions about suspension for track use. I've read a lot of information on this and the suspension board, but would like to state my specific needs and see what you guys think.

Car: '04 STi

Current mods:
- engine: stock
- brakes: SS lines, Cusco MS brace, ATE or Castrol Synthetic, Carbotech Panther + or XP8
- suspension: Cusco RSB + Kartboy endlinks; camber maxed out, and toe zero'ed F&R.
- tires: Toyo RA-1 235/40 on SSR 17x8.5

Home track: MSR-Houston. It's 2.37 miles, 17 turns. I've been there for track days 4 times and last weekend, the organizer & Grand Am racer Andres van der Dys trailed me around the track for 4-5 laps to check my line and speed.

Problems (at least how I feel it):

One of the signatures of this new track is a very long right-handed "Carosel" (Turn 2). It turns for 208 degree with a 401' radius that goes on forever, and then lead to a long straight. My speed has gone up after the RSB and especially the RA-1s to about 80mph around that turn. But still, I got eaten up by Spec Miatas and Elises all-day.

I am also slow at a more gentle 90mph "Sweeper" and a tighter 60mph "Keyhole" that's 160-degrees.

Even though I've already maxed out camber, the front RA-1s are still wearing out a lot faster on the outside. [Hot pressure: 44/40; the front left was rolling over at 40 when I first tried that.]

Plan:

This is my only vehicle, so I have to keep in streetable for my short commute and occassionally longer roadtrips. I also don't want to put too much money into it for just doing weekend track days. I am also not going to do engine mods.

After reading a lot of posts here and asking some questions, I have ordered a set of Espelir GT springs. I believe the higher spring rates will help stability at those relatively high-speed corners.

Questions:

Since I have limited tools and equipment, I need arrange time to have those installed. I also have other hobbies so I don't want to be working on my car every weekend.

- Now, do you think I should have camber plates installed at this time? If so, which type and which brand, and why? [I just want to set a camber, and leave it for street and track. Probably -2 to -2.5.]

- And what about strut mounts? Should I, and can I, go with something like the Cusco pillowballs w/camber adjustments using the Espelir & stock struts

- And what do you guys think about the rear? [I feel the camber is probably adequate and tire wear is pretty even back there.]

I am quite a suspension newbie, so hopefully I can get some more directions here as to what I should do.
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Old 06-29-2006, 05:06 PM   #2
jamesohoh7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkkwan
Got some specific questions about suspension for track use. I've read a lot of information on this and the suspension board, but would like to state my specific needs and see what you guys think.

Car: '04 STi

Current mods:
- engine: stock
- brakes: SS lines, Cusco MS brace, ATE or Castrol Synthetic, Carbotech Panther + or XP8
- suspension: Cusco RSB + Kartboy endlinks; camber maxed out, and toe zero'ed F&R.
- tires: Toyo RA-1 235/40 on SSR 17x8.5

Home track: MSR-Houston. It's 2.37 miles, 17 turns. I've been there for track days 4 times and last weekend, the organizer & Grand Am racer Andres van der Dys trailed me around the track for 4-5 laps to check my line and speed.

Problems (at least how I feel it):

One of the signatures of this new track is a very long right-handed "Carosel" (Turn 2). It turns for 208 degree with a 401' radius that goes on forever, and then lead to a long straight. My speed has gone up after the RSB and especially the RA-1s to about 80mph around that turn. But still, I got eaten up by Spec Miatas and Elises all-day.

I am also slow at a more gentle 90mph "Sweeper" and a tighter 60mph "Keyhole" that's 160-degrees.

Even though I've already maxed out camber, the front RA-1s are still wearing out a lot faster on the outside. [Hot pressure: 44/40; the front left was rolling over at 40 when I first tried that.]

Plan:

This is my only vehicle, so I have to keep in streetable for my short commute and occassionally longer roadtrips. I also don't want to put too much money into it for just doing weekend track days. I am also not going to do engine mods.

After reading a lot of posts here and asking some questions, I have ordered a set of Espelir GT springs. I believe the higher spring rates will help stability at those relatively high-speed corners.

Questions:

Since I have limited tools and equipment, I need arrange time to have those installed. I also have other hobbies so I don't want to be working on my car every weekend.

- Now, do you think I should have camber plates installed at this time? If so, which type and which brand, and why? [I just want to set a camber, and leave it for street and track. Probably -2 to -2.5.]

- And what about strut mounts? Should I, and can I, go with something like the Cusco pillowballs w/camber adjustments using the Espelir & stock struts

- And what do you guys think about the rear? [I feel the camber is probably adequate and tire wear is pretty even back there.]

I am quite a suspension newbie, so hopefully I can get some more directions here as to what I should do.
I'm going to figure you may not be clear on what the Cusco camber-plate replaces. It is the thing you're also calling a 'strut mount'. No worries, easy mistake On a stock setup, the strut-top/mount is the round, rubber thing that you see sticking up through the holes in the upper strut-towers under the hood. You will be replacing those with flat, metal plates that are composed of two main parts. The outter plate (containing the three mounting studs) and a spherical bearing housed in a metal 'sub-mount'. The strut's top is inserted through this inner sub-mount and fastened with one large nut (17mm, IIRC). This nut is often referred to as the 'top-nut' here on NASIOC and elsewhere. This sub-mount is then fixed in position to the outter plate by a set of four cap-screws. These are what allow adjustment b/c the holes they register into are slotted (as is the area where the bearing + strut-top protrudes). I'm sure you've seen the pics of such a system.


Anyway! I had a very similar setup on my 04 WRX. Espelir GT springs + Cusco camber plates (front only... rear was stock top-hats.. i.e., strut-mounts you're thinking of). I had some STi struts (version 8, same as USDM ones from '04 STis) with this combo.

This proved to be a good autox combo. MSR-Houston didn't exist when I had this setup, however. I'm not a 'track-day' guy... can't afford to wad up my car. So, I can't comment on their capabilities in that regard. However, this combo made for a livable daily driver that didn't beat me to a pulp. Friends would notice the ride was a bit firmer w/less total body movement, but that's about it.

You can get about -2.6 or -2.7 deg. camber easy with the Cusco camber plates, so if you're set on them, or already have some, or can get some used ones cheap, then they'll do what you want. There are a lot of different camber-plate designs and brands out there.. some are very pricey, but offer more adjustment or better 'stack-height' and so on. But, in general, the Cuscos work well enough, IMHO.

In the rear, you are looking at basically the same thing.. those new springs, camber plates, and then you're able to set camber at whatever you want. For an autox setup, folks seem to run less camber in the rear OR only run what they need to to fit some uber-wide tires under the fender. They may, as well, run extra toe out front and rear. For a road-course setup?.. no idea... I'm sure a bunch of extra toe out would be kind of spooky though.

The rear suspension is adjustable for toe only while stock. Adding the plates gets you both toe and camber. Again, I can't comment on specific settings you'd want for 'big-track' handling... not my bag.. but there are a lot of good threads about it here.

Have fun, post or PM me back if you want any more impressions of how I liked the Espelirs. I'm actually about to put them on my STi with my Cusco camber plates, so "we'll see if I still like them" I guess
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Old 06-29-2006, 07:17 PM   #3
WRX 2002
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You could also go 1 size larger on the RA1's. i.e. 255 / 40 / 17's just need to roll the rear fender slightly. That will get you more grip. The ywill fit perfectly on the SSR's.

2.5 camber at the front is good, and with a little modificatin on the Cusco camber plates you should be able to get a lot more caster out of it to help during cornering.

Nigel.
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