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Discussion Starter #1
This topic has been touched on in other threads not dedicated to this topic, both here and other forums. So the questions I am posing are these:
  1. Should rear camber be higher or lower than front camber?
  2. By how much?
  3. Does how much it’s lowered play into the numbers?
  4. Does wheel stagger matter in the numbers?
  5. Driving type, does that change the numbers?
    1. Daily
    2. Street
    3. Track
    4. Strip
  6. Do suspension upgrades change the numbers do to tighter tolerances.
Please explain your reasoning for your answer for everyone’s enlightenment and if you don’t mind sharing your driving style, wheel and alignment specs that would be great!
 

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#1 concern is driving type -- yes that does really change the numbers.
I run -2.9* camber on the track, about -1.2* on the street.

My camber numbers are determined by the spring weight on each corner when in the middle of a transition ... i.e., corner. On the track that weight is 3x what it is on the street and so the camber will be much greater on the track. Also, the spring weight between front to back is much higher during high performance driving so the camber will be that much higher. The object is to get as much tread patch on the pavement as possible, and that means that the mean-camber wants to be as close to zero as possible when in transition.

Things I don't take into MY equation is how much it is lowered ... I have coils to perform the function of corner balancing, not lowering. I run a square set up with 315's on all corners, so I cannot address a staggered set up.

Suspension changes/upgrades will effect your settings because the harder the suspension is, the less the travel and so less camber is required to achieve 0* in the corner.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
@Squid ... And the rear camber numbers you run track and street? So many people dispute whether rear should be higher or lower than the front. I don’t track (yet), but do some very aggressive street and rally driving. I am a proponent of higher front camber over rear by about .25. I currently run 1.6 front and 1.3 rear with Sportlines and a 35mm front sway and GT350 rear sway. I came to these settings trial and error and found it to be the best for me to get through the corners, yet not eat my tires away for daily driving. These settings are as extreme as I want to get until I actually start tracking and obtain an extra set of wheels for race days. I appreciate your insights since I know you do track your car.
 

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And the rear camber numbers you run track and street? So many people dispute whether rear should be higher or lower than the front.
1.5* on the track 1.0* on the street. Most of the time I set it at 1.2* and leave it there. Your .25 difference is a good place to be ... it'll really depend on what you're doing with the car, but that is a great front-to-rear ratio.

Check my mid corner outside tire angle, vs James below. I have close to 0* and James is still under negative camber. At the yellow triangle I'm under full throttle so my weight is all on the outside wheels. Full grip with a large contact patch. I think I like my set up.


Again, I have an apparent camber of approx 0* in this turn.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Very nice @Squid. That is the info I'm looking for. Hopefully more people chime in here with setups and their reasoning. I never liked the Ford S550 alignment specifications because at speed it seemed unpredictable on variable surfaces and during cornering. Stiffening up the suspension helped, but it wasn't until I found the BMR spec sheet and used that as a starting point that things came together for me. Do you have any insights on why or when it would be better to have more rear camber? To me the geometry and physics seems against it, but maybe I'm missing something.
 

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I am really interested in this discussion, though I don't have a lot to offer at the moment. I know from both tire wear at autocross and photos that I need more negative front camber on track than I have at the moment. I'm running 1.6 in front and 1.5 out back, but only because that's as far over as the stock struts with my Eibach springs will push. This photo is my best example:



I'm on the throttle on this right turn after braking and you can see that all the weight has moved to the left front tire, giving me some positive camber. I need to get some things paid off, especially after the head gasket gets done, but I plan on adding in caster/camber plates so that I can put some more negative in for autocross days.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for your input @zhent. Your setup isn't much different than mine, other than having more rear camber. What is your reasoning for the higher rear camber that is within a point of the front? Are you compensating for an OEM or mild aftermarket rear swaybar?
 

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The only reason I have for the current rear camber setting is that it's within the specs for the pro kit springs. If I could I would have pushed the fronts in to -1.9 or -2 degrees while leaving the rears where they are. For autocross I'd like to be closer to -3, but I'm working with what I have at the moment.
 
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This thread is great info. Honestly, the only time I've ever played with Camber & Toe have been on Car simulator games like Gran Turismo. So I don't have much to offer, and am just trying to soak this up a bit. So here's a question. If you were to drop the car evenly (say in this example....one inch)....why would you not use the same camber adjustments in the rear as you do in the front. If seems to me, if the drop is symmetrical, than so should the adjustment. But maybe it has to do with weight distribution? Or is it simply just making a change so that a subjective benefit in handling would be gotten from it? From a mathematical/engineering standpoint, does it not make sense to make even camber adjustments on an even drop?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This thread is great info. Honestly, the only time I've ever played with Camber & Toe have been on Car simulator games like Gran Turismo. So I don't have much to offer, and am just trying to soak this up a bit. So here's a question. If you were to drop the car evenly (say in this example....one inch)....why would you not use the same camber adjustments in the rear as you do in the front. If seems to me, if the drop is symmetrical, than so should the adjustment. But maybe it has to do with weight distribution? Or is it simply just making a change so that a subjective benefit in handling would be gotten from it? From a mathematical/engineering standpoint, does it not make sense to make even camber adjustments on an even drop?

Thanks.
This is really a question in 2 parts.
First, in my opinion the OEM alignment specs leave a bit to be desired if you do anything beyond daily driving (and even then...). Their aim is to provide the best balance of tire wear and safe daily driving while masking the horrible compliance of the IRS. As I've mentioned in another thread, the stock IRS under heavy load can experience toe deflection in excess of 2 degrees. That toe deflection equates to tire wear and unpredictable handling. So, making even adjustments across the board from OEM isn't the answer, because garbage in garbage out. The starting point is flawed.

Secondly, suspension upgrades are no different from engine upgrades in that you are making improvements that increase performance and "tuning" to your specific requirements and goals. So how will the car be used the most, or to what driving style do you wish to "tune" if it isn't the most frequent mode? For some, eating tires on a monthly basis is acceptable, so tuning their daily driver suspension for track is what works for them. Me, I can't afford that, so I stick with 1.6 front/1.3 rear which works for daily with some rallying thrown in. As @Squid mentions earlier in this thread corner weight does factor in, especially when seeing the suspension heavily compressed toward the limit.

So far my take on all the varying factors when tuning for cornering is to look at spring rate, damping rate, and grip. Then try to achieve a balance whereby when the front corner suspension is at maximum compression and the car is at the maximum speed possible without losing grip, you achieve as close to 0 camber without going positive. Obviously this is a simplistic overview where each of those factors have many sub factors and this mostly addresses front. Rear is another animal to tame so you don't induce excessive under or over steer. My thought for rear camber is subtract 0.2 to 0.3 from the final front camber setting as a starting point, then start dialing in spring rate and sway bar to make it all predictable with your chosen driving style. I understand it will be a cycle of wash, rinse, repeat to get it dial in, since changes in the front or rear can affect the other, whether it be alignment settings or adjustments to sway bar end links, spring rates, or damping.
 

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Also, the spring weight between front to back is much higher during high performance driving so the camber will be that much higher.
Could you elaborate on this sentence? By "spring weight" are you talking about the actual "physical weight" of the metal springs?

On the track that weight is 3x what it is on the street and so the camber will be much greater on the track
After "spring weight" has been defined, how did you come up with "3x"? I imagine the force of the inertia at a 'transition' (the causal factor of any camber, no?) is strictly based on throttle and degree of turn, no? If that is true, wouldn't this number vary?


Thank you. Sorry if these are pollyana-ish.
 

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First, in my opinion the OEM alignment specs leave a bit to be desired if you do anything beyond daily driving (and even then...)

So how will the car be used the most, or to what driving style do you wish to "tune" if it isn't the most frequent mode?
The Eco PP's were advertised with a 'suspension tune' in the literature. I think this had to do with upgraded struts & sway bars. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong (I know there are other things involved in the PP, but I'm speaking just from a suspension perspective). Also, if you look at the literature for the FordPerformance "Track Handling Pack", they specifically say that the only thing different you have to do if you already have the PP, is add the 1 inch lowering springs. I wonder why they never make any mention of camber? Is it possible that the suspension 'tune' in the PP is already in place to absorb a one inch drop without touching anything?

Just thinking aloud. Very interesting concepts.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The PP gives you upgraded struts & sway bars and some changes in ABS with regards to brake bias (GT base brakes) and AdvanceTrac. The rest of the PP upgrades aren't really relevant to handling. The sway bars are slightly larger than base, but can use upgrading. The struts have better damping ability and are adequate, but again could use upgrading. Neither of those affect camber. Changing spring height will in addition to changing ride height, change the suspension geometry, resulting in camber and toe change. As to why alignment isn't called out as a requirement for lowering springs, that omission is extremely common in many of the manufacturer's instructions, not just Ford.
 

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#1 concern is driving type -- yes that does really change the numbers.
I run -2.9* camber on the track, about -1.2* on the street.

My camber numbers are determined by the spring weight on each corner when in the middle of a transition ... i.e., corner. On the track that weight is 3x what it is on the street and so the camber will be much greater on the track. Also, the spring weight between front to back is much higher during high performance driving so the camber will be that much higher. The object is to get as much tread patch on the pavement as possible, and that means that the mean-camber wants to be as close to zero as possible when in transition.

Things I don't take into MY equation is how much it is lowered ... I have coils to perform the function of corner balancing, not lowering. I run a square set up with 315's on all corners, so I cannot address a staggered set up.

Suspension changes/upgrades will effect your settings because the harder the suspension is, the less the travel and so less camber is required to achieve 0* in the corner.
Do you know what the stock rear camber specs are? On my 2018 non pp, when I look at the rear tires I can see a noticable amount of negative camber, but I don't see any noticable degree of positive or negative camber on the front tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Do you know what the stock rear camber specs are? On my 2018 non pp, when I look at the rear tires I can see a noticable amount of negative camber, but I don't see any noticable degree of positive or negative camber on the front tires.
Here are OEM specs. Where your car sits depends on whether you are PP or not, or have suspension upgrades that affect camber.
 

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You already know my views on this, but I'll mention it for others. I'm in the minority that I like more rear camber on these cars than front. I do not however track my car. If I did, I would run a conventional setup like Squid. I started with more front camber and I didn't like the way it felt on the street. Adding more rear camber made it more stable, plus I was trying to tuck 325's in the rear fenders. On your oem list, you'll notice the gt350's are the only ones running more front camber, I'm assuming because they are "dedicated" track cars and not "street" cars like ours. I split the difference between the oem numbers and the ford performance numbers. I love where its at right now. It works for me. It may not for everyone else though. This is speculation on my part, but I believe camber on these cars is not nearly as important as the toe figures are. Toe figures on these s550's is what will eat up your tires (to an extent). You can run some pretty aggressive cambers without a lot of tire wear (again to an extent). I think camber settings are a lot of personal preference. More front will give you quicker turn in (feel loose), more rear will give you less turn in (feels tight). For me, I like the tighter feeling, but again, I'm not on the track every weekend. Hope my dribble makes a little sense ha.

To answer the question, I'm at roughly -1.3 in the front and -1.7 in the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks @JAKE for your insights. I definitely want to hear all views on his topic as long as they are reasoned out, not just what falls in line with what I think. Like everyone else here, I still learn something new almost every day when I see old things presented in a way I never thought about. Keep it coming people.
 
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