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Late Apexer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just posted this on EPhatch, but it seems as it would apply to the RSX

I Figure its about time this is discussed, as it saddens me to see so many people put so much money in to trying to make their cars handle better, be it for the street or compitition, and yet constaly go back to the craptackular OEM alignment spec's... its a Travisty! So, this threads purpose it to talk about alignments and how they help or hinder your cars performance.

First off, I'm going to assume every one allready knows the difference between Camber, Caster and Toe. If not, there are a multitude of resourses online that can explain them.


So why is the OEM alignment Crap? Simply because its designed to do two things. A, Maximize tire life and B, Make the car understeer, and thus keep JQ public safe from their own inablility to drive properly. So you can see how it may be hampering your cars enthusiasm for turning

We're interested in, as far as street cars go, in Fixing B with out Killing A. How do we go about doing that?

Well, If you look at the OEM spec's, camber wise Honda allows for up to -1.5 deg camber on the rear (part of that "make you understeer thing") where as the front is limited to -.75 or so... Why not reverse them? Run -1.5 on the nose and -.75 on the rear? Your still Technically within OEM Spec's so tire wear should not noticably increase, and you now have more favorable spec's for turning.

As far as toe... Toe can greatly influence the cars stability and cornering, so getting it right can make or brake a cars enthusiasim for turning. However, Toe has the side effect of Eating Tires, ya you thought it was Camber that ate tires... So, running excessive amounts of toe in an effort to make the car turn better has two downsides that may not be wanted in a street car. 1. Instability under brakeing as well as possibly makeing the car tend to wander while driving in straight lines and 2. Eating tires substantually quicker then just about any amount of negitive camber...

Given this, it may be best to keep "OEM" toe settings, but if you're adventurous you may want to tweak them a bit to get the car to turn better. Try this, Toe out on the front will tend to make the car turn in quicker, toe in on the nose will make the car understeer more. Given this, Runining 1/32 to 1/16th toe out on the nose will improve turn in responce with a nominal amount of extra tire wear. For the rear, Toe out will increase the cars tendency to oversteer, where toe in will decrease it. So, initally you may want to run 1/32nd toe IN on the back of the car. just untill you get use to the cars new found handling balance. From there you can tweak the rear toe to adjust the cars balance to meet your needs. More toe in to make it understeer more (less oversteer) More twards toe out to make it rotate more.

Caster... Caster is not adjustible with the stock equipment, and very few companys make Camber + caster plates. But if you are able, Adjusting caster is a great way to improve your cars handling, with only increased steering effort as the con (not a problem on cars with power steering). Stock adjustment calls for up to 2 deg positive Caster, I'd go so far as to double that (4 deg positive caster). because after all its free negitive camber as you turn the wheels (yippie!)


So, My opinion on a good High Performance Street Alignment...
Camber Front = -1.5
Camber Rear = -.75
Toe front = 1/32nd toe out
Toe Rear = 1/32nd toe in
Caster = as much positive caster as you can get...


Now, Compititon alignments will be more Extream, as tire wear is less and less an inssue incomparison to making the car handle as well as possible.


Opinions? Comments? Dissagrements?
 

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Good points! I agree. I currently run -1.9 front (the most I can currently get and keep toe close to zero), -0.9 rear (close to zero toe also). I run as much front camber as possible for my once a month autoxing. I would probably run closer to your recommendations if i did not autox. I still would like to tweak the tie rods (run the new flat steering arms that Megan has, etc) to help the bump steer issue and/or add more front camber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
PeaZs said:
That's your opinion on a good "High Performance Street Alignment", but would these settings be good if I was to go auto-x once or 2x a month only as well?

Well... I run -2.5 deg camber on the nose and -1 on the rear. Toe about 1/16 th toe out on the nose and close to 0 on the rear.

You'll start cutting in to tire life on the front end, but you've got to pay to play. :p
 

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Swift and Spurious
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As far as caster, I know that Ground Control makes caster + camber plates for the RSX, and they appear to be of a decent quality. I haven't seen too many who own them yet, but I fully intend to install them on my upcoming Koni + GC setup. I'm interested in any additional caster that can be gained due to the benefits mentioned above. Does anyone else know of other caster options for the RSX? I think it would be helpful for some people to know what options do exist at present. Wasn't there another Aussie company called K-Mac that made caster/camber plates for the Type-R? Those might work, too...

Also, I've noticed that a lot of people have taken the general rule of thumb with the RSX that you should run twice as much neg. camber up front as in the rear. What's the justification for that number exactly? I know the struts can often lose camber rapidly in turning, so dialing more negative camber can be beneficial. Granted it'll still depend on other suspension modifications and driver preferences...

My personal opinion for a street alignment was to zero the toe all around and then run about -1.5 camber up front (maybe more) and -.5 or so in back. I'd rather take the extra camber wear than eat up the tires with toe. And with a good tire rotation pattern, the extra wear up front should be offset a bit when those tires rotate rearward. Anyway, just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
FullEffect256 said:
-2.5 in the front?? are you even generating enuf grip while cornering to flatten that tire out? seems like that is too extreme unless u are running slicks

I think I might be....



Thats with a set of Falken Azenis RT-215's
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sikboy said:
the 215's arn't even a real R compound either :)
No they are not... But they are Very fun tires. :p
 

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Zzyzx I have to compliment you since it is about time we had a serious thread about alignment, we have had too many fluff threads about it. Now if only other people who were quick at auto-x would post their alignments as well! Obviously Auto-x requires the most extreme alignments, since twitchyness is rewarded as opposed to stability.
 

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I have had bad experiences with shops in my area and getting my car's alignment done to what I want (but now that I've tried AutoX I'm not sure what specs I should have). My car's main use is to be daily driven, occasional AutoX.

I started AutoX for the first time this past weekend and will continue to AutoX ever so often, maybe once a month, maybe more, maybe less. So giving this...what do you guys think of my current alignment specs? I hate the fact that they are uneven from Left to Right side. I'm glad I got my full refund back from Firestone!

BuddyClub N+ dampers (2" ride height all around) + Ingalls Rear camber kit on stockies!

Front Left
Camber -1.36
Toe .02

Front Right
Camber -1.80
Toe .01

Rear Left
Camber -.55
Toe .07

Rear Right
Camber -.80
Toe .11
 

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RyoHazuki said:
As far as caster, I know that Ground Control makes caster + camber plates for the RSX, and they appear to be of a decent quality. I haven't seen too many who own them yet, but I fully intend to install them on my upcoming Koni + GC setup. I'm interested in any additional caster that can be gained due to the benefits mentioned above. Does anyone else know of other caster options for the RSX? I think it would be helpful for some people to know what options do exist at present. Wasn't there another Aussie company called K-Mac that made caster/camber plates for the Type-R? Those might work, too...

Also, I've noticed that a lot of people have taken the general rule of thumb with the RSX that you should run twice as much neg. camber up front as in the rear. What's the justification for that number exactly? I know the struts can often lose camber rapidly in turning, so dialing more negative camber can be beneficial. Granted it'll still depend on other suspension modifications and driver preferences...

My personal opinion for a street alignment was to zero the toe all around and then run about -1.5 camber up front (maybe more) and -.5 or so in back. I'd rather take the extra camber wear than eat up the tires with toe. And with a good tire rotation pattern, the extra wear up front should be offset a bit when those tires rotate rearward. Anyway, just a thought.
I just gave GC a call and the man said the plates are actually only camber-only adjustable, despite the description on their website. :/
 

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Autox/Track whore?
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Ragin69er said:
Zzyzx I have to compliment you since it is about time we had a serious thread about alignment, we have had too many fluff threads about it. Now if only other people who were quick at auto-x would post their alignments as well! Obviously Auto-x requires the most extreme alignments, since twitchyness is rewarded as opposed to stability.
I wouldn't call myself "quick" just yet but I can hold my own. I've noticed significant (I mean big smile on my face kind of significant) changes in handling since I changed to my most recent alignment spects.

Front: -2.2 camber, 1/8" toe out
Rear: -1.0 camber, 0 toe

Dropped to where I just barely have wheel gap and run on 245/40/17 tires. With this setup, the handling was night and day. I can honestly say, I've never felt my car handle as well as it has recently. I will say though that tire wear is a concern which is why I have 2 sets of wheels so I don't waste my autox tires for regular street driving.
 

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This' a very resourcefull thread. Perfect for those who haven't read up on the topic or who are just entering the scene. I'm glad you posted this, for it'll give people a general guideline as to what they should be tuning for and why.

I never thought of toe out in the rear to make it rotate! :eek:
 

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FullEffect256 said:
-2.5 in the front?? are you even generating enuf grip while cornering to flatten that tire out? seems like that is too extreme unless u are running slicks
+1 for Zzyzx, -2.6 degrees camber + 225 Hankooks + 200lb springs + 27mm progress bar = 4 degrees roll. I'd be happier with 3+ degrees in front and more spring but the ride and tire wear are good on the street and I'm not sure how far to push the compromise yet...

Chris
 

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Late Apexer
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
One of the more important things with getting good amounts of negitive camber is to not lower the car much... Unless you intend on swapping out the steering arms to shorter ones. Other wise you end up running out of toe adjustments and the car ends up toeing in excessively.

As far as camber plates... Hotchkis makes a set, Ground control makes a set and A company called K-Mac out of Australia makes a set (which are also Caster adjustible). For a quick fix... Double up on your Camber bolts, or run a set of OEM camber bolts for one and an essentric lobe camber bolt for the other. That should give you enough adjustment to get -2 to -3 deg.

My cars only lowered 1 inch and I'm running one set of Essentric lobe camber bolts... though this is soon to be replaced with a set of fabricated camber/caster plates.
 

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Swift and Spurious
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Hotchkis unfortunately seems to have stopped making their camber plates for the RSX. You might still be able to find a few around on closeout, but TireRack stopped carrying them, and there is a faint hint on Hotchkis' site that they aren't in production any longer. I've seen one or two online stores still list them, but I'd bet supplies are quite limited if they're still available.

Does anyone know of anyone who's tried the K-Mac plates? I've heard of them, and for all intents and purposes it seems like a viable option. But, I've never heard of anyone purchasing their stuff given the geography of it.
 
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