Best Caster / Camber / Toe setup for Auto-X Alfa Spider S3? - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Best Caster / Camber / Toe setup for Auto-X Alfa Spider S3?

Hi Alfabb community,

I'm wondering what caster / camber and toe setup I should be running for Auto-X? I'm 'eating up' my tyres fairly quickly so any ideas would be much appreciated!

Best,
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 09:20 PM
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do you know your current alignment specs?

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 04:48 AM
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It depends on a lot of things. But you might try this as a starting point. -2.5 degrees camber, as much caster as you can get. Tiny bit of tow in.

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'66 GTV racecar, '71 Spider racecar, '74 GTV street car, '71 GTV project
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 04:56 AM
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It depends on what tires you are running. Tire Rack https://www.tirerack.com has manufacturer recommendations for some high performance tires (ex: Hoosier A7: 3 degrees negative camber). Caster can provide additional negative camber on the outside tire when cornering, but can be over done and result in the tire contact patch moving to the inside of the tire and the outside loosing grip. Especially for very wide tires, ask me how I know. For serious work, consider buying and using a tire pyrometer.

There are other suspension modifications available but this depends on what class & preparation rules you need to follow.

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Originally Posted by sporting View Post
Hi Alfabb community,

I'm wondering what caster / camber and toe setup I should be running for Auto-X? I'm 'eating up' my tyres fairly quickly so any ideas would be much appreciated!

Best,


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George Schweikle

1976 Spider (Dedicated Autocrosser, "SPICA, No Carbs")
1991 Spider Veloce (Retirement cruiser)
Scuderia Non Originale
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowcreek View Post
do you know your current alignment specs?
Slowcreek, I think I'm running -0.9 camber right now, and unsure of what caster and toe (probably standard)

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genericwood View Post
It depends on a lot of things. But you might try this as a starting point. -2.5 degrees camber, as much caster as you can get. Tiny bit of tow in.
Thanks genericwood - would too much caster hurt regular drive-ability tho?

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conedriver View Post
It depends on what tires you are running. Tire Rack https://www.tirerack.com has manufacturer recommendations for some high performance tires (ex: Hoosier A7: 3 degrees negative camber). Caster can provide additional negative camber on the outside tire when cornering, but can be over done and result in the tire contact patch moving to the inside of the tire and the outside loosing grip. Especially for very wide tires, ask me how I know. For serious work, consider buying and using a tire pyrometer.

There are other suspension modifications available but this depends on what class & preparation rules you need to follow.
Currently on BFGoodrich G-force comp 2 - I've considered getting some really sticky Hoosier's too just haven't pulled the trigger yet. I've also thought of getting some wheel spacers for the back wheels yet unsure how large the spacers should be (5mm, 10mm?). I have approx 19mm of gap from the top of my tire to the inside ledge of the fender. Would playing with camber/caster/and toe affect this? It seems that I should be definitely be having more than -2.0 camber and a large amount of caster (any ballpark ideas to start with?) in complements to a slight bit of tow-in.

Haha, sounds like you have had a couple 'exciting' turn-ins with too much caster...

The car has a few modifications (I won't list them all here) but for suspension mod wise it is sitting on Koni Yellow springs and shocks, sway bars, and a chassis stiffener all from Centerline.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 01:45 PM
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Back when I ran a mostly stock '71 Spider, a friend suggested adding as much caster as possible, as also suggested by Eric Wood. This can be done by lengthening the upper front locating arm until it's inner end just touches the outer edge of the recessed mounting "box". When I did this, it increased the front grip sufficiently that I disconnected the rear sway bar to reduce the resulting oversteer. Such a change really helps but, as I said earlier, can be too much with really wide tires like my current 275/35x15 Hoosiers. Another side effect of lots of caster is really strong centering steering. On my car I can let loose of the wheel and the wheels will point straight ahead faster than I can move my hands. Of course, it's also harder to turn; turning the wheel raises the front while the weight wants to make the wheels point straight.

I occasionally use the steering wheel release to counter a little oversteer. And, some serous autocrossers run some toe out. Good for turn in, but darty on the street.

Quote:
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... It seems that I should be definitely be having more than -2.0 camber and a large amount of caster (any ballpark ideas to start with?) in complements to a slight bit of tow-in......


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George Schweikle

1976 Spider (Dedicated Autocrosser, "SPICA, No Carbs")
1991 Spider Veloce (Retirement cruiser)
Scuderia Non Originale
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conedriver View Post
Another side effect of lots of caster is really strong centering steering. On my car I can let loose of the wheel and the wheels will point straight ahead faster than I can move my hands. Of course, it's also harder to turn; turning the wheel raises the front while the weight wants to make the wheels point straight.

I occasionally use the steering wheel release to counter a little oversteer. And, some serous autocrossers run some toe out. Good for turn in, but darty on the street.
I was about to ask this - I thought I read that some use neutral or a hair of toe-OUT. Makes it twitchier and faster reaction to steering input. Then when I read toe-in above I wondered if that was wives tale. The self-centering is interesting to hear.

Agreed - I would never run toe out on the street.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conedriver View Post
Back when I ran a mostly stock '71 Spider, a friend suggested adding as much caster as possible, as also suggested by Eric Wood. This can be done by lengthening the upper front locating arm until it's inner end just touches the outer edge of the recessed mounting "box". When I did this, it increased the...
If I add as much caster as possible will this ruin and have some wear and tear my front bushings? I've had to replace 2 sets of bushings from Centerline now in under a year and a half and I'm curious if the caster/camber layout has any effect on this?

What measurement is 'as much caster as possible' in rough terms - approximately?

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 10:10 AM
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If you don't want to change for race weekends, you need to decide which is more important to you, street or Auto-x spec. Either will compromise the other.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 10:25 AM
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I run 2.5* negative camber, zero toe, and max caster on my Spider (fast road type suspension setup currently). However, ideal alignment is going to be greatly dependent on your modifications. You may need to play with a few different settings before it handles like you want.

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