new suspension

Ken Keith auditude at
Tue Oct 19 12:32:06 EDT 2004

Hi Bernie,

That's an idea.  I'll think about doing that after I exhaust the other
options.  I'm going to first try to get what I paid for.

As for the camber/caster plate adjustments, I did receive a printout
of all the adjustment specs.  I was a bit disappointed initially
because the guy didn't do any caster adjustment at all from what I had
it initially installed with.  However, both the guy that did the
actual work and the guy that rang me up said that the caster setting
was good.

Actually, what they said was that they like to see the caster set
unequally, "to compensate for the crown in the road".  That must be
shop policy, since both guys said the same thing separately.  I was
very suspicious because the guy didn't adjust caster at all on either
plate, having paid for that type of adjustability with the plates.

I was all over them the whole time, because I overheard one of
the guys telling the other, "I don't care if you can't do it, just
make it look like you did something," regarding loosening and
retightening my transverse links in the rear like he said he'd have
the guy do.  This is supposedly a shop that specializes in alignments.
The guy who said that had like two teeth in front, but I was trying
not to judge.

They "explained" that more caster is good as it makes the car more
stable at speed.

Anyway, I just went out to the car and grabbed the Visualiner 3-D
printout.  Here's what happened:

Front specs:
Min. Camber: -1.00 degrees
Min. Caster: +0.31 degrees
Min. Cross Caster: -.-- degrees
Min. Toe: 0.00"
Min. Total Toe: 0.00"
Preferred Camber: -0.50 degrees
Preferred Caster: +1.00 degrees
Preferred Cross Caster: -.-- degrees
Preferred Toe: +0.02"
Preferred Total Toe: +0.04"
Max. Camber: 0.00 degrees
Max. Caster: +1.69 degrees
Max. Cross Caster: -.--
Max. Toe: +0.04"
Max. Total Toe: +0.08"

Left front:
Before Camber: -0.60 degrees
Before Caster: +2.50 degrees
Before Toe: +0.59"
After Camber: -0.60 degrees
After Caster: +2.40 degrees
After Toe: +0.02"

Right Front:
Before Camber: -0.70 degrees
Before Caster: +2.10 degrees
Before Toe: +0.40"
After Camber: -0.40 degrees
After Caster: +1.90 degrees
After Toe: +0.02"

Front Totals:
Before Total Toe: +0.99"
After Total Toe: +0.04"
Before Cross Camber: -1.30 degrees
After Cross Camber: -0.20 degrees
Before Cross Caster: +0.40 degrees
After Cross Caster: +0.50 degrees

Rear Specs:
Min. Camber: -0.50 degrees
Min. Toe: 0.00"
Min. Total Toe: 0.00"
Preferred Camber: -0.25 degrees
Preferred Toe: +0.03"
Preferred Total Toe: +0.06"
Max. Camber: 0.00 degrees
Max. Toe: +0.06"
Max. Total Toe: +0.12"

Left Rear:
Before Camber: -0.10 degrees
Before Toe: -0.09"
After Camber: -0.30 degrees
After Toe: +0.07

Right Rear:
Before Camber: -1.20 degrees
Before Toe: -0.04"
After Camber: -0.40 degrees
After Toe: +0.03

Rear Totals:
Before Total Toe: -0.13"
Before Cross Camber: +1.10 degrees
After Total Toe: +0.10"
After Cross Camber: +0.10 degrees

Other stuff on the printinout:
Left Max Steering Angle: -.--
Right Max Steering Angle: -.--
Front Setback: -0.10 degrees
Left S.A.I.: +13.50 degrees
Left Included Angle: +13.10 degrees
Right S.A.I.: +13.20 degrees
Right Included Angle: +12.70 degrees
Toe Out on Turns Left: -.--
Toe Out on Turns Right: -.--
Thrust Angle: 0.00 degrees
Rear Setback: -0.10 degrees

So I guess after having typed that, I'm concerned about two things. 
One is that the camber is unequal in the front.  My driver side
camber/caster plate was maxed out toward positive which measured out
to -0.60 degrees, and my passenger side plate was just about centered
and measured -0.40 degree.  My inclination is to think that the
passenger side should have also been set to -0.60 degrees since it
seems like it could have been.  The other concern is that the caster
is set beyond both maximum recommendations as well as unequal between
the sides.  But like I wrote, they responded to that concern twice and
since I didn't know otherwise I could only accept it.

The car seems to ride and handle well.  I have no complaints yet,
based on driving it.  I suppose if I end up going back after adjusting
my rear height and possibly subframe alignment, I can specify that
they try harder in certain areas if there is something specific I
should be asking for.



On Tue, 19 Oct 2004 07:16:17 -0700, Bernie Benz <b.benz at> wrote:
> Ken,
> Why don't you just put the stock rear springs back in?
> As you may know, using the 2B camber plates the camber and caster
> adjustments are not independent.  Do you know exactly what the camber and
> caster on each side were adjusted to?  They should be exactly equal, side to
> side.  Zero tolerence, my spec.
> Bernie
> > From: Ken Keith <auditude at>
> > Hi,
> >
> > I finished the suspension on my 200q20v (mostly).  I went in the last
> > time to replace the control arms.  That's a fun job!  Those in
> > addition to Bilstein/Eibach's, 2B plates, S-car strut mount/spring
> > seat/strut bearings, dust boots, and tie rod ends.
> >
> > I got it aligned and used up all the camber plate adjustment on one
> > side, while the other side was pretty much in the middle.  I'm
> > wondering if there's enough room in the subframe mounting area to move
> > it over and split the difference somehow.  I have heard the answer is
> > no.
> >
> > I have the 1529.140 springs, and the rear is pretty low compared to
> > the front.  Of course the fender cutout is part of that, but the body
> > itself is either level or even lower in the back.  For example, I have
> > "half a finger" gap in the rear and "four fingers" in the front.  When
> > it is going down the road, it looks as if it is accelerating and
> > squatting, when it really isn't.
> >
> > If it wasn't for the lack of further camber adjustment, I might cut a
> > coil off the fronts, but I want my tire wear to be decent so I'm not.
> > I'm aware of the ECS spacers for the rear, and heard of some from
> > too.  I would prefer to reserve the use of spacers for when I
> > have a speaker box in the trunk, and I think the 20mm spacers might
> > not even be enough to make it sit right.
> >
> > I left a message with Eibach to see what they have to say about it, in
> > case they want to swap my rears for different springs, or offer
> > spacers.   I'm a bit surprised that it is so low in the back, because
> > I checked the part numbers on the springs themselves and they were
> > supposedly the longer of the different variations.  I don't remember
> > the numbers right now tho'.
> >
> > Anyway, as far as how I like the suspension itself, how it handles and
> > rides, I have to say I like it.  When I first drove around the
> > neighborhood, I felt I had ruined my car.  All the ups and downs in
> > the road that were previously imperceptible moved the car, and the
> > texture of the surface itself seemed to be transmitted as well.  This
> > is even with the stock tires and wheels.
> >
> > However, after driving it more and getting used to it, I have to say
> > I'm very pleased with the setup.  Shifting, launching, changing lanes,
> > and "emergency maneuvers" are much tighter and under control.  It does
> > transmit the undulations of the road surface, but I can't say it
> > bothers me as much as the initial shock of how dramatically the cars
> > personality changed.
> >
> > Now I have to just deal with the low rear suspension issue, or accept
> > it, and then I will focus on getting some adequate braking in place.
> > I'll work on getting some pics posted somewhere so someone can tell me
> > if its stance is normal for one of the 3 versions of 1529.140 kits.
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > Ken
> > _______________________________________________
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