Friday, December 5, 2014

Tech Tip: Suspension Setup

We strongly believe that setting up your car is one of the most important improvements you can make to the performance of your vehicle. Light weight sports cars are very sensitive and respond well to changes in suspension setup. Ride heights, camber, and toe settings are all things that you can change for little to no cost (if you do the work yourself) that can lower lap times and make your car more enjoyable to drive. This post is not intended to be a comprehensive setup guide nor a claim that the setup we recommend is the best for every situation. What our setup will do, is make sure that you start out with a car that handles in a way that is considered good by the vast majority of drivers.  


The first step to getting your suspension setup is to make sure that everything you currently have on the car is in good working order. Inspect all your suspension pivot points, making sure nothing is worn or loose. Replace anything that is questionable. We recommend torqueing all bolts to spec then marking them with a paint marker. This will allow you to check the torques in the future with a quick visual inspection.  See our Sector111 60pt Prep.

Now you can setup your car following these steps:

1.      Set the ride height.  
2.      Set camber.
3.      Set toe.

Recommended settings for a Elsie/Exige street/track car with R-compound tires.

Front
Rear
Ride height
125 +/- 3mm
130 +/- 3mm
Camber
-2.2°
-2.4° to -2.7°
Toe (total)
0
3mm total toe in

Recommended settings for a track Elise/Exige car with slick tires.

Front
Rear
Ride height
120 +/- 3mm
125 +/- 3mm
Camber
-3°
-3°
Toe (total)
0 - 1mm toe out
3mm total toe in
  •  To set the camber, remove all your stock shims as well as the ABS shim. You may need to install V2 Arms or machine your stock steering arms to obtain optimal camber
  • While a lower ride height is possible, we find the suspension works best at these recommended heights and the chance of scraping the bottom of your car is less.  If you want to go lower, we suggest our raceUPRIGHTs.

Tips:

Write it down!
It is always a good idea to write down your alignment settings and then note how the car performs. Write down any changes you make and record the results. This is the best way to get the car dialed in exactly how you like it. 



How many turns?
If you are going to be adjusting your suspension or doing much tuning, it is a good idea to figure out how much toe changes with each ¼ turn of your tie rods, how much camber changes by adding or removing a shim, and how much ride height changes with each half turn of the spring perch. If you write this information down you can now make minor adjustments to your car without needing to measure anything. Of course once you are done tweaking, it would be a good idea to measure where everything is at.

Play with it.
We encourage you to play with suspension settings on your own and deviate from the recommended setup

There are many levels to setting up a car and the difficulties, as well as results, depend on how precise you want to get and the tools you have available.
For a more in depth explanation of the topic of alignment and setup, see the videos from our alignment seminar HERE

1 comment:

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