Alignment and handling for autocross event.

SuffolkD at SuffolkD at
Tue Aug 10 00:25:53 EDT 2004

Nut shell AutoX tips.  (But I've never done 
1. Turn OVER the cones....not at them.  Set up early for going around the 
cones and plan ahead two or more cones so that you've moved into decent jockeying 
position when you have to (usually) change direction after a string of cones.
1a.  Stay in 2nd or third gear to redline. (In otherwords) shift when needed, 
not all the time (speed related)  3rds good to 80 MPH or so. Forget fourth 
unless your at an MAY never get out of 2nd.
2.  Plan ahead of where you are..this getts incorporated into Number 1
3.  Avant Understeering?  If there is enough room lift throttle to 
(oversteer) after turn in / in Mid turn.....just applying throttle into a turn will push 
the front end out and away from your goal (over a certain tire traction speed 
like 25MPH).........that's understeering.  
To quantify # 3 (like 25MPH) take the Avant to a parking lot, do a constant 
radius circle of like 100ft or so and go around under light throttle 
(increasing speed slowly) until the tires squeal............Note the MPH mentally.
Then do 200ft radius "orbits"
then 300ft......match those mental squealing speeds to the turns your line 
will allow on the auto X course.
Speeds along those radius, higher than those parking lot "tests" will respond 
to lift throttle oversteering during the event........OTHERWISE, you'll have 
too much grip to break tires free.

4.  Smooth wheel transitions.  Turn in steering while lifting off the brakes.
5.  Since the AutoX areas are compact: abrupt braking to steering input will 
actually work well to a point before the lenghts of the course get 
Tell us how you do...........
Alignment for the road where 95% of you driving is.
HTH - Scott by BOSTON

> From: "Ben Swann" 
> I plan to Autocross the avant this weekend, as it is my most sorted car and 
> I think it would be interesting to see how well this typically understeering 
> beast can be made to get around the course. <<<<SNIP>>>
> After I rebuilt the front end - all new rubber bushings along with the strut 
> mounts and hardware, I never had it aligned and things have been well with 
> no tire wear and handling seems fair to good, and aliignment probably is in or 
> near spec. anyway, but ...  I'm contemplating getting it aligned just to be 
> sure, and so the question is -
> Since there is no tire wear, should I just let things be as they are, or is 
> it likely I'll get my $100 worth from the 4-wheel alignment job?  Any other 
> suggestions appreciated - this will be my first AutoX event.

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