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Old 04-09-2014, 01:24 PM   #1
Spoolsworth
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Default Still Dialing Out Understeer...

Hey guys,

Pretty much finished with my suspension build, and I'm on to trying to dial out the understeer with alignment settings now, and I have a question which will follow... My setup and alignment specs:

'06 WRX sedan, Epic eng. springs, koni inserts (set to about 1 on 0-3 firmness), Eibach solid 22mm sways F&R with endlinks (rear sway set to stiff setting). Group N strut mounts. Cam bolts in rear are not max positive, factory cam bolts in front are maxed.
Alignment:



Now, I've searched around and found some threads that were pertinent to my question but I wanted specific opinions about my two options to get the car to be just a little on the oversteer side. Do you guys think I should:

a) Install cam bolts in lower front strut hole for more negative up front
b) Adjust rear camber to more positive

Considerations that I'd like addressed as well:
1. Option b, in theory, will make the handling worse by simply letting the rear go sooner
2. Option a may increase tire wear (which is a consideration because 96.3% of the time, the car is just a DD)
3. I feel a little nervous about relying on not one, but two cam bolts to stay put in each front strut. How many of you guys have installed front cam bolts and had problems or success?
4. If 3 is something that should rightly make me nervous, I feel like Whiteline Com 'C' front strut mounts would be my way to go... although that's more expense. Worth it?
5. (MAIN CONSIDERATION) Do you think if I did option a and set the front camber to -2 that I could achieve my handling goals without too great of a sacrifice in tire wear?

Thanks in advance mates!
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Last edited by Spoolsworth; 04-09-2014 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:16 PM   #2
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Why not change your driving style? I don't blame the car 90% of the time.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:22 PM   #3
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I have the com-c's and my front camber is at 2 degrees. I've had it set for about a year and there's no noticeable tire wear. You can also play with tire pressure since its a free mod.
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mitch808 View Post
Why not change your driving style? I don't blame the car 90% of the time.
Because I'm in the overwhelming majority that finds oversteer (or at least neutrality) much more fitting to my driving style. Some things are inherently to blame on the car... For instance, you can't blame a driver for preferring rear wheel drive to front wheel drive. They shortcomings of front wheel drive simply cannot be overcome in most cases.
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:21 PM   #5
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Go with Com C strut mounts. Do not use 2 camber bolts up front.
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitch808 View Post
Why not change your driving style? I don't blame the car 90% of the time.
This.

I'm not saying the OP does not know how to drive, but changing driving technique can make the biggest difference.
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Spoolsworth View Post
Because I'm in the overwhelming majority that finds oversteer (or at least neutrality) much more fitting to my driving style. Some things are inherently to blame on the car... For instance, you can't blame a driver for preferring rear wheel drive to front wheel drive. They shortcomings of front wheel drive simply cannot be overcome in most cases.
Weight transfer, and AWD is a wonderful thing if you know how to use it.
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:50 PM   #8
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I have had two camber bolts installed following williaty's guide on here for about 9 months now without any issues. I have approximately -1.6 degree camber up front.

And if nearly everyone in autocross with front Macpherson struts maxes out negative camber, it's probably done for a good reason. Like, increasing front grip despite the inferior suspension geometry.
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by iNeedMoreBoost View Post
I have the com-c's and my front camber is at 2 degrees. I've had it set for about a year and there's no noticeable tire wear. You can also play with tire pressure since its a free mod.
I'm warming up to the idea. Maybe I could trade my Group N's... Or at least sell them to recoup a little bit.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:09 PM   #10
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Weight transfer, and AWD is a wonderful thing if you know how to use it.
I can assure you this is more of a preference of how I'd like to behave. Currently, left foot braking manages to get the car from Toyota corolla-style understeer to acting more neutral. The thing is, I'd like it to be neutral in the first place so that weight transfer techniques can be used to induce oversteer. That's just how I want my car to behave.

I know there are a lot of experienced auto cross guys out there that have the same goals as I do with these cars, so I don't think I'm crazy by wanting to change the inherent chracteristics.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by A-man07 View Post
Go with Com C strut mounts. Do not use 2 camber bolts up front.
I appreciate the input, and I'm swaying that direction already, but can you give a reason?
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:10 PM   #12
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For a DD your frt camber settings are good, but if you want to help the understeer, adding another -0.5 to -0.8 degrees would help get rid of the some of the push.
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:15 PM   #13
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You can run secondary camber bolts so long as they're installed correctly without much alignment slip. I had to run them on my wagon with STi struts on them to compensate for the track width difference. I ran them for over two seasons of rallyX that way. There was some alignment slip, but with the beating I put on them in the gravel I think there would have been even if I was running only the stock bolts. Even at that, it was pretty marginal. With normal paved conditions, I think they would have been fine. One nice benefit of increasing static camber at the upright is not increasing your SAI.

You can run around -1.5*-2.0*ish range without worrying about camber wear too much. It's really toe that eats up the inside of tires faster then anything. Make sure your toe alignment is good, and you should be fine.

I would go with the Com-c's if you want rubber tops, or camber plates if you don't mind going with spherical bearing. With either, you should be looking to gain some caster as well as camber. You can set the Com-C's on their max camber/caster orientation or get camber plates and you can cant them to increase caster, some (MSI plates) have multiple mounting holes so you can change orientation when mounting to gain some caster that way as well. The car's are really caster starved, increasing caster will help with getting some dynamic camber.

Drop me a line on here, I can help with getting something picked out if you like.

-Anthony
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:54 PM   #14
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You can run secondary camber bolts so long as they're installed correctly without much alignment slip. I had to run them on my wagon with STi struts on them to compensate for the track width difference. I ran them for over two seasons of rallyX that way. There was some alignment slip, but with the beating I put on them in the gravel I think there would have been even if I was running only the stock bolts. Even at that, it was pretty marginal. With normal paved conditions, I think they would have been fine. One nice benefit of increasing static camber at the upright is not increasing your SAI. You can run around -1.5*-2.0*ish range without worrying about camber wear too much. It's really toe that eats up the inside of tires faster then anything. Make sure your toe alignment is good, and you should be fine. I would go with the Com-c's if you want rubber tops, or camber plates if you don't mind going with spherical bearing. With either, you should be looking to gain some caster as well as camber. You can set the Com-C's on their max camber/caster orientation or get camber plates and you can cant them to increase caster, some (MSI plates) have multiple mounting holes so you can change orientation when mounting to gain some caster that way as well. The car's are really caster starved, increasing caster will help with getting some dynamic camber. Drop me a line on here, I can help with getting something picked out if you like. -Anthony
This is exactly the kind of input I was hoping to get, thank you! I'll be sure to get in touch with you for the parts.

On a side note, I've seen relatively little said about the caster, (though I have wondered how much it would benefit)... what settings would you recommend there? As much as I can get?
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Spoolsworth View Post
This is exactly the kind of input I was hoping to get, thank you! I'll be sure to get in touch with you for the parts.

On a side note, I've seen relatively little said about the caster, (though I have wondered how much it would benefit)... what settings would you recommend there? As much as I can get?
No problem! Happy to help!

Pretty much, as much as you can get. With the Com-C's in their max setting (without ALK) end up in the 4*ish range. The plates will depend on the type of plates, and the orientation, but for the most part you'll run out of adjustment before anything. I've never tried, or personally ran anything beyond 7*, which others that have have experimented in that range say is about the limit before you get some weirdness because of the jacking effect. I think you would only get beyond there with plates and a ALK anyway.

At any rate, it will help with dynamic camber, and not have to run heaps of static camber.

-Anthony

Last edited by Vaughn Performance; 04-09-2014 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:49 PM   #16
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You can gain a bit more caster with aluminum a-arms, caster adding ones, then flip the bracket and/or add spacers to said bracket. That's how you get close to 7.
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:51 PM   #17
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If you read williaty's write up on camber bolts he recommends against aftermarket camber bolts in the front lower position because they will slip over time. This is dangerous on a street car if they slip suddenly. You run them at your own risk.

Without camber plates you'll need the Com C's for the extra camber. Yes, you want to add caster and the Com C's will help with a bit less than a degree as I remember. An anti-lift kit will add more as does the "free caster mod" which you can find on this forum. If you really want to be cool buy some 04-06 STi aluminum lower control arms to add a whole degree more.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:41 PM   #18
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You can gain a bit more caster with aluminum a-arms, caster adding ones, then flip the bracket and/or add spacers to said bracket. That's how you get close to 7.
Quote:
Originally Posted by A-man07 View Post
If you really want to be cool buy some 04-06 STi aluminum lower control arms to add a whole degree more.
I thought the '06 WRX has the same LCA's, as they're also aluminum?
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:46 PM   #19
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I thought the '06 WRX has the same LCA's, as they're also aluminum?
No, the 06-07 WRX, and '07 STi are the non-caster-adding variety. There are multiple variations of aluminum LCA.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:50 PM   #20
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No, the 06-07 WRX, and '07 STi are the non-caster-adding variety. There are multiple variations of aluminum LCA.
Oh! Good to know, thanks. The '07 WRX has steel control arms, just as a side note.
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Old 04-10-2014, 03:59 AM   #21
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I can't say I've had any issue with lower camber bolts slipping. Then again, I crank down my strut bolts with a two foot breaker bar...tight. I've auto-xed and rally-xed for quite a few years with bolts installed both in the lower front and upper rear strut holes. I've used 3 pairs of Ingalls brand camber bolts in my two Subarus for oh...8 years on the first car and 3 on the second car, no slip, no breakage after repeated removal/adjustment and sport use. They do rust though, so that's one downside I guess. If I were to make an argument against, I wouldn't exactly trust them on a race track at 100mph around a corner, but I'll trust them enough for years of daily putzing around and slow speed sport use that auto-x and rally-x offers.

To Spoolsworth, as everyone said, front camber will be your friend here. I'd also advise running stiffer springs as your Epic springs are simply an oem rate, lowering, looks spring that isn't appropriate for sport use. With the Koni inserts, you get the freedom to run stiffer rates.

For a good mix of daily and sport, stock STI springs are a nice, mild step up that are not so stiff that the car no longer feels like a daily driver. After that, you can choose higher and higher rates until the car feels like a dedicated motorsports car. The choice is relative.

The high end would be something like Tanabe's GF210 springs and specifically the 5.8kg/mm front, 4.0kg/mm rate TGF107 springs as they offer the greatest rates and offset in rate front and rear. The balance is more even relative to the chassis weight, and you will get better front end feel and turn in and a looser back end that will be planted but tossable(my personal preference). Then simply tweak understeer/oversteer with the rear swaybar setting. RCE Yellow or Swift Spec-R would offer alternative routes that create a somewhat rear stiff setup which can make the rear end feel responsive and stable but can promote oversteer if the rear sway is too stiff. It's a good route if you like off-throttle oversteer, are more wild with steering inputs and need more sluggish front end, or have a 6-speed transmission as that drivetrain's diff package generates some understeer off throttle. I'll note that springs of this stiffness make the car MUCH less a daily driver, and the car follows the road variations a TON more. You do get used to it, but the change is massive.

I tend to suggest STI rates or something near for someone wanting to retain a car that still feels like a daily driver when not bombing around an auto-x course or something. Anything higher moves towards dedicated sport use and a moderate compromise to daily comfort.

I also HIGHLY suggest upgrading the stock seats once you step above STi spring rates. The oem seats get real bouncy once you move to much stiffer springs. There are other oem seats that run significantly firmer foam that will generate very little seat bounce with the stiff setups, and there's always aftermarket manufacturers.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:30 PM   #22
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I can't say I've had any issue with lower camber bolts slipping. Then again, I crank down my strut bolts with a two foot breaker bar...tight. I've auto-xed and rally-xed for quite a few years with bolts installed both in the lower front and upper rear strut holes. I've used 3 pairs of Ingalls brand camber bolts in my two Subarus for oh...8 years on the first car and 3 on the second car, no slip, no breakage after repeated removal/adjustment and sport use. They do rust though, so that's one downside I guess. If I were to make an argument against, I wouldn't exactly trust them on a race track at 100mph around a corner, but I'll trust them enough for years of daily putzing around and slow speed sport use that auto-x and rally-x offers.

To Spoolsworth, as everyone said, front camber will be your friend here. I'd also advise running stiffer springs as your Epic springs are simply an oem rate, lowering, looks spring that isn't appropriate for sport use. With the Koni inserts, you get the freedom to run stiffer rates.

For a good mix of daily and sport, stock STI springs are a nice, mild step up that are not so stiff that the car no longer feels like a daily driver. After that, you can choose higher and higher rates until the car feels like a dedicated motorsports car. The choice is relative.

The high end would be something like Tanabe's GF210 springs and specifically the 5.8kg/mm front, 4.0kg/mm rate TGF107 springs as they offer the greatest rates and offset in rate front and rear. The balance is more even relative to the chassis weight, and you will get better front end feel and turn in and a looser back end that will be planted but tossable(my personal preference). Then simply tweak understeer/oversteer with the rear swaybar setting. RCE Yellow or Swift Spec-R would offer alternative routes that create a somewhat rear stiff setup which can make the rear end feel responsive and stable but can promote oversteer if the rear sway is too stiff. It's a good route if you like off-throttle oversteer, are more wild with steering inputs and need more sluggish front end, or have a 6-speed transmission as that drivetrain's diff package generates some understeer off throttle. I'll note that springs of this stiffness make the car MUCH less a daily driver, and the car follows the road variations a TON more. You do get used to it, but the change is massive.

I tend to suggest STI rates or something near for someone wanting to retain a car that still feels like a daily driver when not bombing around an auto-x course or something. Anything higher moves towards dedicated sport use and a moderate compromise to daily comfort.

I also HIGHLY suggest upgrading the stock seats once you step above STi spring rates. The oem seats get real bouncy once you move to much stiffer springs. There are other oem seats that run significantly firmer foam that will generate very little seat bounce with the stiff setups, and there's always aftermarket manufacturers.
Very informative post, man, and I really appreciate it. A lot of this stuff I didn't know, but I'm skeptical about the Epic springs being OEM rates. They feel identical to my buddy's WRX equipped with Eibach springs; definitely stiffer than oem. Overall the car rides like a stock form STI at this point, but will out-handle one all day.

Also, I've turned the thought of getting upgraded seats about in my mind and have decided not to as I would REALLY hate myself for removing the side impact air bag in the unlikely event that I get in a crash like that. Has anyone ever simply gotten the bolstering and cushion worked on to make the OEM ones a better fit?

Also UPDATE: I went with the Whiteline top mounts. Adam at Morgana Motorsports (vendor on here) gave me an very good deal on them (along with free overnight shipping from New Jersey to Utah ). Great guy. I'll make sure to update again with the results.
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:22 AM   #23
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UPDATE II: so I didn't waste any time installing them. Marked the camber bolts so I could take it for a drive.

Those did the trick. Car goes round corners like the Wild Mouse ride at my local theme park. Very neutral as the tires are making a soft squeal, but progressively trends just ever so slightly towards oversteer towards the end of my tires' grip. It's a little as if the fronts tires find a comfortable spot and the rears determine the angle of the turn.

It's funny; my tires are definitely the weak point now... It used to be that I would have to be working hard to get the suckers to squeal, and now it's effortless to find their maximum point of traction. Maybe it's more of a confidence thing. Probably is... Lot easier to throw it at a corner knowing you'll actually go around it rather than plowing the front tires as if they're skis instead.
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:48 AM   #24
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Oh! Good to know, thanks. The mid to late '07 WRX has steel control arms, just as a side note.
the early production ones had the aluminum arms as left overs from the 06 production

i know of at least 2 07's that had the alumimum arms...they were early production
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Old 04-12-2014, 01:50 AM   #25
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the early production ones had the aluminum arms as left overs from the 06 production i know of at least 2 07's that had the alumimum arms...they were early production
I have aluminum on my 06 wrx from factory.
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