Alignment and handling for autocross event.

Bernie Benz b.benz at
Tue Aug 10 00:42:30 EDT 2004


Obviously you know which end of the wrench is the handle, so why all the
heads in the sand Qs about alignment?   Get into DIY alignment and know
what's what, what you have going.  It's not complicated, just simple
geometry and you can do it much more accurately with simple tools than can
your min. wage alignment expert with a sophisticated machine that he knows

For minumium tire wear in highway driving you want zero camber.  In
track/autocross conditions you want slightly negative camber (and a good
strut brace) to resist transverse cornering forces.  Hiway toe should be
neutral to very slightly positive, because the average drive torque tends to
cause slight toe in relative to static alignment.  Track/autocross
conditions can be more agressive at the expense of tire wear.

See my posts on this subject on both 20V lists and my DIY alignment methods
on Chris Miller's 200-20V site.

> From: "Ben Swann" <benswann at>
> Organization: Swann
> Reply-To: Ben Swann <benswann at>
> Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2004 22:50:33 -0400
> To: <200q20v at>
> Cc: Ben Swann <benswann at>
> Subject: Alignment and handling for autocross event.
> 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.  Actually, I find it handles quite
> well even compared to some of the more nible vehicles - just power through the
> curves - anyhow..
> Currently I have H&R springs(about .75" lowere than stock) with Bilstien Sport
> in front and Koni Yellow in the rear.  I may swap out the slightlyu oversize
> Yokahama AVS db2 225 VR 60 tires on Stock BBS wheels for some TSW 16" wheels
> with some BFG 225 VR 50's I piked up recently - these are a little shorter
> than the 225/60VR15 setup.
> 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 -
> What would be a good optimal set of specs. for the alignment person to attempt
> for the use of combined autocrossing, but not wanting to be too darty on the
> highway?  I don't want to have to get the car re-aligned after the event, and
> would rather it do poorly in the autox than to lose it in the rain - very
> stable at highway speeds in inclement weather, but perhaps some impreovement
> could be had there too.
> If needing to deviate, should there be more tow in/out?  Front? Rear?  How
> about camber,  I'm willing to sacrifice the tires a little for payback in
> handling, but don't want to be eating tires either.
> 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.
> Ben
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