E-bmw

Hunter alignment, what to expect

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I use the same independant tyre bloke for all my tyres, preferring to buy at the right price online & go to him.

He now has a Hunter 4 wheel alignment set up & I have asked him if he can do it for me, what he said next surprised me. He said, (talking about my e36 track car) you know your car & what you want better than me, come down when I am quiet, I will get it set up & you can play with it yourself!

What can they do, are they easy to use, the car is fully adjustable for track & camber at least, so what advice would you give me in my ignorance, as I do not know what to expect?

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Google someone else's track settings and start from there?

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Without having a track to test each adjustment on, it'll just be a case of setting up to whatever measurements you can find.

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The alignment machine simply tells you what the current setup is - x degrees of camber, y degrees of toe at the front, etc etc.  You then need to adjust the car to what you want.  Give it to a garage without specific instructions and they will look up the manufacturer's factory settings and dial it back to there.  That may or may not be what you want.  For a track car, it probably isn't.

 

Ideally, you'd have the machine set up at a circuit and you can go and play, iterating until you're happy, then read off the settings and keep them safe for next time. 

 

The alternative is to talk to race teams and get them to divulge what can sometimes be one of their most closely-guarded secrets.  If you can do that they you can copy their settings and have a car that is undriveable except when at 10-tenths on a circuit... :unsure:

 

If you can find an expert on that model - possibly a race team willing to set your car up to a fast road/track setup - then the cunning plan is to drive from there to your mate and read off the settings for future reference.  For an example of a car on settings like that, think back to my 911 at Blyton.  It had almost literally just driven away from a team HQ on new suspension settings and was properly :eclipse:

 

Or use Google, as previously suggested :cool:+++

 

If you want to do it the hard way, then the general rules are:

  • Increasing camber gives you more bite in the corners but less on the straights.
  • Increasing toe-out makes the car twitchy on the straight but more willing to dive into corners
  • Increasing castor increases the steering effort required but gives "roll-on camber", i.e. an effective increase in front camber but only when you have steering angle applied, not down the straights

Then you have the roll bar settings to think about, if they are adjustable as well. 

 

So in fact, the perfect setup varies from circuit to circuit.  Brands or Cadwell call for a twitchy car that will dive into corners.  Silverstone, Snetterton, Zandvoort need a car that is quick in a straight line but stable in fast corners. 

 

But you knew all that already :coffee:

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Just buy a new car then it'll have the settings done.

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Thanks Mr P, you have just confirmed exactly what I thought, I will spend lots of time googling before going.

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Perfect LD, new Cayenne with collapsible? Spare it is then!

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LD, that is where I came across my original settings too, I just had to get them somewhere near without proper measurement equipment, now I hope to quantify it better with the correct gear available at long last.

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I was lucky in that the settings for Porsche's 944 Turbo Cup cars were published online so I just used those as a baseline. I had my car set up by an MX-5 raceteam so they could advise what to do and ask me about how the car responded to my clumsy inputs.

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