Custom alignment specs, anyone tried something other than stock? - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-05-2003, 06:30 PM
Goldmember
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For the 91-96 Bbody, has anyone tried different alignment settings other than stock? I'm thinking about going with 1/4 degree negative camber while keeping the caster closer to the negative side of the stock setting. I'll also keep zero toe since you lose straight line stablity if you dial in some toe-in. Not sure what the stock setting is but if I had to guess, it would be zero toe, zero camber with maybe a few degrees of positive caster.

If you've tried something other than stock alignment, what specs did you dial-in your suspension alignment and how did your car behave?
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 09:43 AM
kevm14
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Toe-in will give you increased straight line stability. So dial some in. Also, something to note about how caster and camber affect tracking - the more negative camber you have, and the less caster you have, the more the car will tramline in the dual ruts often found on truck-traversed highways. Toe-in will also help reduce tramline.

Dial in only as much negative camber as you think you need from a handling perspective (put another way, excessive inside tire wear is NOT the only downside to negative camber). Caster will use the weight of the car to center the wheels while rolling forward, and impart a feeling of solidity to the steering. You can also dial in some cross-caster to get rid of a steering pull.

So my recommendation for alignment specs comes only with an answer to "What do you do with the car, and how much do you value tire life?"
post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 09:52 AM
Erik
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A lot of people have used these specs .
 
post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 06:20 PM
SSSSnyder
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I am running about 4.00 left caster; 4.25 right caster; and 3/32" toe in. I was just surprised last week to find that going from 1/16" toe to 3/32" had a pretty noticeable influence on my car, since 3/32" is a little more than ordinarily recommended. But if it costs me a little extra wear, I don't care at this point. Also, I am thinking about biasing the caster to the right (lowering the right number or raising the left, which will cause the car to pull more towards the right) because it turns out that the freeways in the Los Angeles area are actually crowned in toward the center. Most normal alignment specs call for a higher caster number on the right, which causes the car to pull left, to make up for the "crown" designed into roads that allows water to drain off to the side. But for some reason they are now making the freeways lower in the center here in L.A., and I find the car tending to head naturally towards the center rail. So I'm thinking about adjusting a little to compensate.
post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-12-2003, 04:49 PM
kevm14
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Quote:
Originally posted by SSSSnyder:
I am running about 4.00 left caster; 4.25 right caster; and 3/32" toe in. ... Also, I am thinking about biasing the caster to the right (lowering the right number or raising the left, which will cause the car to pull more towards the right) ...
Alignment shops love to raise that right caster value but my car needs some pretty noticable compensation in the passing lane as a result. And I drive in the passing lane a lot of the time (due to my....passing other cars). I think the biggest thing to remember is, give the car what it wants - try out an alignment setup, then go back and make adjustments to how the car is setup (not to how it was supposed to be setup). On my car, that will probably end up being more caster on the left, but so what, if it tracks how I want. And I agree on the toe thing - it helps your straight line stability, right? I'll have some added next time around...what's your camber set at?
post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-15-2003, 12:18 PM
SSSSnyder
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Pretty straight up - less than 1/4 degree each side. I've had no noticable wear on the insides and I'm also thinking about adding some more camber, even if it costs me a little wear. Frankly, I have been thinking that the stock BFG's suck (original style on the back and KDWS on the front), so I'm figuring that if I can gain some handling improvements and it wears the fronts out a little faster at the same time, all the better. Then I can look around for something else in tires.
post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-07-2004, 01:52 AM
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I thought I'd bring this post back to life. A few months ago I got a wild hair and on my break at work, I added shims to give me more pos caster and more neg camber (It was set to IGBA specs before I messed with it). I didn't have my alignment tools but I just moved the shims to see how the ride would be. I noticed right away on my way home, I could go about 3 mph faster on my two favorite turns (about 35 mph turns). It still tracked straight as an arrow and generally feels good. I definitely like it better. This was during the summer and I never bothered to check what my #s were until tonight. Found out I now have 4.5* caster both sides, -1.6* camber left, -1.4* camber right. I love it. I'm curious to see how fast the tires will wear with that camber. I don't care, I'm leaving it! BTW suspension is stock other than what's in my sig.
post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-07-2004, 02:20 AM
FUN 9C1
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin Moore:
...excessive inside tire wear is NOT the only downside to negative camber
So what are the other downsides?
post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-07-2004, 01:00 PM
AutocroSSer
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Other downside to excessive negative camber is longer braking distance

With reasonable toe (i.e. 1/16" toe IN.....and yes, your toe did change when you changed camber/caster) you should do OK on tire life (reduced life, but not horrendous) with that much neg camber. But if the car is toe out right now, your tires will be short for this world. It'll be a FUN tire life, but a short one
post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-07-2004, 11:48 PM
FUN 9C1
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Thanks Ed. I will check the toe soon.
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