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MASTER THREAD: Comprehensive Road-Course Modification Guide — Optimizing the 3 for the track

Yeah, the risk comes if the ground isn’t as level as I think. However, I have tried parking my car in different areas of my garage (3-car garage) and gotten the same result, so I know it is close.

But yes, even a 3mm surface undulation, which would be difficult to detect, would result in about a half-degree error on actual camber. So, while this method does require the ground around the wheel to be pretty smooth the flip side is this method does not require the ground to be perfectly level, which is probably even less common.

The other home camber method would be using a good ($100+) bubble camber gauge arguably capable of <.25 degree resolution and precision, but it would be difficult to confirm that you haven’t inadvertently parked on a 0.25-degree slope, which would also drive a half degree of total camber error.
Another way to confirm would be to measure, then rotate the car 180 degrees and re-measure. Level would be halfway between the two measurements.
 
If you’ve got access to a construction laser level, you could quickly confirm garage is straight and level.

Not so handy at the track 🤣

Have you got a link to the toe plates you’re using?
Tenhulzen Automotive Toe Plates Wheel Alignment Tool - Most Accurate Toe Plates on The Market - Made in USA https://a.co/d/fZU3L5X

I bought these. There are cheaper ones available, but these actually included links to their website with helpful usage videos, whereas I doubt the cheaper copies do.

I ended up buying a cheap set of metric tapes, though, because using 1/32nds was kind of a pain versus just reading in mm.

SALI Tape Measure Metric with... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09NN42N4K?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
 
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Tenhulzen Automotive Toe Plates Wheel Alignment Tool - Most Accurate Toe Plates on The Market - Made in USA https://a.co/d/fZU3L5X

I bought these. There are cheaper ones available, but these actually included links to their website with helpful usage videos, whereas I doubt the cheaper copies do.

I ended up buying a cheap set of metric tapes, though, because using 1/32nds was kind of a pain versus just reading in mm.

SALI Tape Measure Metric with... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09NN42N4K?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

There's also this camber gauge I saw recommended on that page.


Screenshot_20220724-073708.png
 
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There's also this camber gauge I saw recommended on that page.


View attachment 832203
Yeah, I was really tempted to grab one, but they are only graduated in half-degree increments and the bubbles are at least that large. They would be fine for reassembling a car and getting it road-worthy, but not for finely-tuning each side within even a few tenths, I think.
 
Those are actually pretty neat, and honestly pretty reasonably priced if you couldn’t build such things yourself.

Though, I am not sure it would be worth the hassle, since we can adjust the fronts without removing the wheels (and with large enough spoke gaps the the rear as well). Those would certainly be a bit more useful for FUCAs that don’t have the rapidly-removable shim plates since those require removing the wheels, which also means you could adjust camber and caster together, if desired.
 
Those are actually pretty neat, and honestly pretty reasonably priced if you couldn’t build such things yourself.

Though, I am not sure it would be worth the hassle, since we can adjust the fronts without removing the wheels (and with large enough spoke gaps the the rear as well). Those would certainly be a bit more useful for FUCAs that don’t have the rapidly-removable shim plates since those require removing the wheels, which also means you could adjust camber and caster together, if desired.
My FUCAs are of that kind.
I'm basically looking for a set of tools to do reasonably accurate DIY alignments, with a twist that the tools need to have a way to adjust for non-level floors. The ones I linked should take some spacers, so that I could level them once and keep using after. But they are only rated up to 4000lbs.

An upgrade to the string method would also be a welcome one, since the latter gets annoying once you startmessing with camber (and as a result front/rear track widths are no longer fixed). So, if anyone has any leads on decent alignment tools that don't cost arm and leg, I'd love to hear those.
 
My FUCAs are of that kind.
I'm basically looking for a set of tools to do reasonably accurate DIY alignments, with a twist that the tools need to have a way to adjust for non-level floors. The ones I linked should take some spacers, so that I could level them once and keep using after. But they are only rated up to 4000lbs.

An upgrade to the string method would also be a welcome one, since the latter gets annoying once you startmessing with camber (and as a result front/rear track widths are no longer fixed). So, if anyone has any leads on decent alignment tools that don't cost arm and leg, I'd love to hear those.
I guess I am overall saying, for example, after a race day (where I already know the current alignment specs),
—20 minutes to lift the vehicle for a coarse adjustment(including removing the rear wheels).
—5 minutes to drive around the block (or to the event location)
—10 minutes to re-measure
—20 minutes for final adjustments (including removing the rear wheels).

Thus, I am looking at about an hour for the whole process. I have even done the first round (20min) of coarse adjustments at the Supercharger, meaning I only need a half hour to polish after reaching the track or home.

For these alignment rigs, I would expect at least 15 minutes for setup and another 15 for tear-down, plus another 15-20 minutes for measuring and adjusting. Additionally, one would still need to test drive the vehicle to confirm the wheels are also correctly aligned relative to vehicle, and not just each other (i.e. confirming a straight steering wheel with no pulling). So, I am not seeing a lot of benefit, with two caveats:

1) if also deliberately adjusting caster, that would add a lot of time to the simpler iterative process, and it would be very difficult to get everything done in two rounds of adjustment (potentially meaning an extra couple 35-minute adjustment cycles).

2) similarly, my ~1-hour timeline assumes adjustments are complete after the second round. That was definitely not the case the first few attempts, and still isn’t something I could guarantee this early in the game (especially for the rear).
 

Those fit nicely in the frunk.

And yes I got a couple of looks when using a rattle gun at the supercharger :p .
Most all of us at the track use this jack, gotta love the strange looks when I am swaping to my track tires at the charger. Looks like a pit stop lol
 
Btw, I’ve seen some folks running the Scroth 4-pt harness. I always understood harnesses to add some risk in street cars, especially when not paired with head-stabilizing equipment or not mounted to a shoulder-height bar behind the seat.

At what point do the benefits of these harnesses (and what are they, specifically) outweigh the risks?
 
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Btw, I’ve seen some folks running the Scroth 4-pt harness. I always understood harnesses to add some risk in street cars, especially when not paired with head-stabilizing equipment or not mounted to a shoulder-height bar behind the seat.

At what point do the benefits of these harnesses (and what are they, specifically) outweigh the risks?
I use HANS with the 4pt QuickFit Pro. Because it plugs into the OEM buckle, the airbags are still active, but I feel the HANS is needed too, but I don't know. The harness key benefit is that I feel more stable. The strength of the seatback has not been tested by Schroth, so the key safety concern is that it would not hold up to the forces. Apparently the BMW seat back was tested and deemed strong enough. NASA tech let me use it, but certainly there's still risk. Hope I never find out.
 

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