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Old 08-12-2004, 10:49 AM   #1
Need Speed
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Default Is it OK to track car after suspension install, sans alignment?

Getting my Tanabe GF210's installed on my STi, and wanted to wait a week for the springs to settle before getting an alignment. But in the meantime a track-day opportunity has come up that I'd love to take.

Am I crazy to track the new suspension without an alignment, and should I just bit e the bullet on getting an alignment now and then again after a week or two?
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Old 08-12-2004, 11:17 AM   #2
subieworx
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It wouldn't hurt anything but your performance. I would recomend maxing out neg camber yourself on the front at least, then you should be fine till the following week.
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Old 08-12-2004, 11:57 AM   #3
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Well track days are hard enough on tires as it is and if you have weird alignment settings (mostly lots of toe) you could kill your tires much faster than normal.
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Old 08-12-2004, 12:45 PM   #4
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If it's not a coilover kit (springs + struts) you can track them as soon as you
put them on.

New struts need to be broken in to rid the airbubbles from shipping by setting
the dampness to soft ~ med-soft range and driving gently for about
100-200miles.
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Old 08-12-2004, 12:49 PM   #5
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you could potentially ruin a set of tires from one track day. that said, i did it (ran a lapping day after installing coilovers and before an alignment) and my tires did ok. I had over a degree of toe also, plus my camber was extremely uneven from left to right. also, running full negative camber (if you have adjustable camber plates) might give you a lot more camber than you need or what would be good for you.. just a thought
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Old 08-12-2004, 12:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougM
you could potentially ruin a set of tires from one track day. that said, i did it (ran a lapping day after installing coilovers and before an alignment) and my tires did ok. I had over a degree of toe also, plus my camber was extremely uneven from left to right. also, running full negative camber (if you have adjustable camber plates) might give you a lot more camber than you need or what would be good for you.. just a thought
But he is only installing springs so the max camber he can possibly get is 1.5-1.8.
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Old 08-12-2004, 01:03 PM   #7
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You could also have some "at the limit" surprises due to an odd alignment. Something like having toe-out on one side (could have throttle-off snap oversteer while turning right, but not left) or your rear wheels don't follow the front (tracking funny, makes high speed stability fun) or a variety of other interesting things.
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Old 08-12-2004, 01:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subieworx
But he is only installing springs so the max camber he can possibly get is 1.5-1.8.
nevermind what I just said, just installing springs would only add some toe-out up front and just destroy a set of tires.
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Old 08-12-2004, 01:46 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice.

Actually, I'm installing the GF210's on my stock STi struts, and also putting Cusco Camber plates up front and Group N top mounts in the rear.

R compounds are expensive, so based on everything I've heard here I think I'm better off biting the bullet and getting an interim alignment before tracking the car. Darn it....
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Old 08-12-2004, 08:14 PM   #10
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Just drive you car for a day, then get it aligned. For the street, you'd be ok for awhile, but you're going to be pushing the limits. You don't want to mess around with 'at the limit' handling.
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:23 PM   #11
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if you get them installed on say Saturday, take it Thursday or Friday to get an alligned. Otherwise plan on buying tires too.
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Old 08-13-2004, 11:09 AM   #12
Need Speed
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That's bad news.....

I'm getting them installed on Saturday morning, and the track-day is Sunday afternoon.

Hope the interim alignment Saturday afternoon will at least prevent crazy tire-wear and wild 'at the limit' behaviour.
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Old 08-13-2004, 01:00 PM   #13
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For what it's worth, I recently replaced my STI RA springs with STI pinks (about 3/4" drop all around).

When I did the swap, I adjusted the camber bolts to max neg camber in the front. My pre-alignment settings when I went in three weeks later were:

Front: Left Right
Camber: -1.1 -1.3
Toe:-0.04" -0.06"

Rear:
Camber: -1.6 -1.5
Toe: 0.04" 0.01"

The only negative I noticed (at two autox's) was more push due to the excessive rear camber.
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Old 08-13-2004, 05:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need Speed
That's bad news.....

I'm getting them installed on Saturday morning, and the track-day is Sunday afternoon.

Hope the interim alignment Saturday afternoon will at least prevent crazy tire-wear and wild 'at the limit' behaviour.
Well, when we build race cars, and do all the suspension work on them, we can't take it out and put a couple hundred miles on it. We set them where they need to be, and just check them with a tape measure. Granted our race cars have WAY more adjustability than a street car, but still. I would say if you HAVE to have them installed on Saturday, get a alignment done. Then have it checked if you notice excessive tire wear (after the track day).
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Old 08-13-2004, 11:50 PM   #15
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OK, I will. Yes, I have to get them installed on Sat. I can't wait to see how they work. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks for all the good advice.....
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Old 08-13-2004, 11:58 PM   #16
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Have fun
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Old 08-14-2004, 06:03 PM   #17
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you're probably getting them installed today but i second what "fliz" said. if you keep an eye on where your camber bolts are set before taking them out to do the installation, you should be able to get it pretty close to your previous alignment. the springs shouldn't throw anything off too much so if you want your stock alignment settings back, note the angle that the camber bolts were installed at before. i've been able to get pretty close (within .2 degrees) to accurate camber settings by installing the bolts at equal positions on both sides.
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Old 08-14-2004, 11:03 PM   #18
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Well, didn't end up doing the springs and camber plates install today....

The Cusco plates were 2nd hand, and turned out to be bent. Damn! Well, I might be able to get a new set, or I'm consideing the PDE's, but that's big coin.

Are the PDE camber plates the best out there, bar none, money being no object?
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