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Old 11-18-2005, 11:27 AM   #1
rkkwan
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Question STi alignment - Track/Street. No Auto-X.

Hi guys. I know this has been discussed to death and I have read like 20 threads on this and the suspension boards, but there's often too much info and opinion.

I'm going to the track in a week (Barber in Birmingham, AL), first time in my '04 STi. [I have track experience with my '02 WRX, Pat Olsen's 97 Legacy w/DMS & my parents' '05 LGT.]

I know there are lots of opinion about this, but everybody's equipment and need is different. So, here's mine.

- '04 STi, stock engine.
- Stock suspension, wheels, tires. [Only mods: Panther+, ATE Gold, SS lines.]
- I'm only doing about 3-4 open-track events a year (Barber, Texas World etc). Just open track, no time-trial, no competition.
- I don't drive the car to work everyday, so not many city miles a year.
- No auto-x
- On the track, I don't push it that hard. Maybe 7/10th - 8/10th. Not trying to beat track records. Just want to learn the car and improve my technique.

Now, I think I'm going to keep toe at 0 for all corners. But what'd be a good camber for my use? I want good cornering performance, and I don't need maximum lives for my tires; but keep in mind that most of my miles won't be on the track. So, I'm looking for something that's kind of "moderate", a "compromise", or whatever you call it.

Right now, I'm thinking about -2 for the fronts, -1.5 for the rears. What do you guys think?
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Old 11-18-2005, 11:48 AM   #2
ratt_finkel
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Sounds good, if you're not driving too much on the street, you could dial about 1/8" of toe out in the front.
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Old 11-18-2005, 04:50 PM   #3
rkkwan
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Thanks, ratt. Anybody else?
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Old 11-18-2005, 05:10 PM   #4
yobtah
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If your suspension setup is stock, you'll probably have trouble getting -2 degrees camber in the front and -1.5 in the rear. You'll want cross-camber to be zero (camber equal side to side), so the most you'll probably get without camber plates is around -1.2 front and -.8 rear.

A bit of front toe-out helps turn-in and it tightens the steering... but it also makes the car wander and follow grooves in pavement. True zero toe in the front isn't much better for a daily driver... it reduces the steering's ability to "auto-center". With zero toe in front, your steering wheel will be slightly off center unless you're on perfectly flat pavement. I like aligning for zero toe but erring on the side of slight toe-in. It seems to help the steering remain centered and stable on imperfect pavement.

Edit: yep... AndrewSS beat me to it.
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Old 11-18-2005, 05:14 PM   #5
AndrewSS
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um you will need camber plates to get those kinds of numbers, factory you will get really lucky to get near -1.5 and I think thats for 05, 04's to my knowledge seem to have less ability to get near -1.5 so -2.0 is out of the question without plates. Hope that helped.
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Old 11-18-2005, 05:19 PM   #6
Weedy
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I recently had an alignment done on my car, and if you are interested in reducing the amount of understeer, look into a slight toe-out in the rear. It does not become unstable, just makes it easier to get the back end around in the twisties. Might help, although everyone's tastes and opinions are going to be different. Especially when it comes to handling. Either way, just have fun. that's what your car was made for wasn't it?!
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Old 11-18-2005, 05:20 PM   #7
rkkwan
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Thanks. In that case I'll just tell the tech to max it out, with both sides equal of course.

I believe the owner's manual say the alignment spec for the rear is -.9.
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Old 11-18-2005, 05:40 PM   #8
sciolist
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I was able to get about -1.3 camber in front with the OEM suspension. You can also probably pull some out in back, even though the OEM gear is "not adjustable".

You could consider camber bolts as a cheap/easy approach, but they aren't as secure as plates. Plates also potentially offer caster adjustment.

If you're not sure about what you want from the toe, 1/8" in front and zero rear is probably a good starting point. The rear is also pretty easy to adjust in situ.

In any case, equalizing the sides and maximizing the front camber are the basic objectives on the OEM suspension.
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Old 11-18-2005, 05:49 PM   #9
rkkwan
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Well, I'll keep suspension stock for now. The car, while a '04, has under 5,000 miles and I only have it for 2 months. If I were to do camber plates, I may also switch the springs to the pinks at the same time. Probably next spring.
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Old 11-19-2005, 01:39 PM   #10
xcdhridr
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Stock i believer already has 1.5 degress negative in the back and zero up front. I was able to get 1.2 negative up front and 0 in the rear (using camber bolts). I get very even tire wear at the track and the tire temps are even across every tire. I do auto-x and would like more for that (mostly in the front), but for the track this setup has been good (got 1st in the time trial nationals in STX).
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