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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I've searched here and want to get a definative thread on various alignment specs. Let start with the Z0K specs. Post these here please! Maybe a sticky of this thread would help the forum.

DO GXP VERSUS BASE SOLSTICE MODELS MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SPECS? Please let us know.

And then personal specs and list your reasons for deviating from stock or Z0K. Bring back old post concepts if you feel this would be helpful.

Please share what you can. I have kw v3's going on and want to get an alignment to my preferences, based this thread, experiences and preferences.

In my searches I note that a Digital Angle Gauge CH-47960 is needed for rear caster measurement. Can this be rented from any GM dealership? I'd assume I want do to this... correct?

Any other suggestions? http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f12/alignment-specs-windface-9023/. This is a great start.

thx so much

thx
 

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There is no one way to align your car.
Hoosier and Kumho's, which front bar, what are your shock specs, etc all have a bearing on your settings.
Your driving style and/or preference(s) will affect your settings.
GXP, ZOK's etc all want a little different settings.
How cold or hot it is along with course designs will affect your settings since we sometimes change rear toe on the fly.
Asphalt or concrete?
Etc.

All that said, go for 2.5 neg front with middle of the range in caster and zero toe and 1.6ish rear camber with middle of the range caster with zero toe.
Oversteer too much? Increase rear toe in.
I have not had to do the rear toe out thing or front toe out thing with this car.

FM
 

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That's about as definitive as it can get! There is no such thing as THE perfect setting for every car and driver. Mike's specs are a good basic ballpark starting point for autocrossing on race tires. I have no idea how it will work with your Kw V3s, I'm not even sure what those are, but they definitely aren't race tires. You will have to do what the rest of us have done when dialing in a new setup, make a best guess then test and adjust from there. Make one change at a time and learn what happens. We had our car major realigned 5 times last season, and are still dialing it in.
Yes you do need the gauge or something similar to set/check the rear caster, as well as someone experienced in using it. Dealer rent it to whom and why? Unless you have access to an alignment rack the gauge would be useless. I know very few people capable of doing a proper alignment in their garage, and only a few alignment techs at dealers versed in the correct use of the gauge. oint thru that at our dealership at the moment, the previous tech left and I need to train another in the use of the gauge. The worse is the old school tech who assumes he already knows how to use it without carefully following the directions.
 

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Make one change at a time and learn what happens. We had our car major realigned 5 times last season, and are still dialing it in.
You are chasing something that is not there. You are not getting to know the car before you are changing it again.
 

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You are chasing something that is not there. You are not getting to know the car before you are changing it again.
???
Alignment 1: just after we got the car.
Alignment 2: found alignment 1 to be too conservative, wore edges off new A6s
Alignment 3: revised alignment 2 based on input from "very knowlegable source" and more info on using caster gauge as well as installing new shocks.
Alignment 4: installed ZOK pkg.
Alignment 5: tweaked for nationals based on tire temps and as part of NC prep after ZOK settled.
There were other changes made that also impacted handling and alignment balance.
 

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???
Alignment 1: just after we got the car.
Alignment 2: found alignment 1 to be too conservative, wore edges off new A6s
Alignment 3: revised alignment 2 based on input from "very knowlegable source" and more info on using caster gauge as well as installing new shocks.
Alignment 4: installed ZOK pkg.
Alignment 5: tweaked for nationals based on tire temps and as part of NC prep after ZOK settled.
There were other changes made that also impacted handling and alignment balance.
Changes 2,3,4, and 5 - should not have been "Major realignments." I don't know what you consider major - it sounds like you touched the alignment 5 times. Even on alignment #5, you say it was tweaked... tweaked =/= major. When we installed our Z0K package, all we did was move the toe back to our pre-Z0K number.
 

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Changes 2,3,4, and 5 - should not have been "Major realignments." I don't know what you consider major - it sounds like you touched the alignment 5 times. Even on alignment #5, you say it was tweaked... tweaked =/= major. When we installed our Z0K package, all we did was move the toe back to our pre-Z0K number.
Major = any time the car goes on the rack.
Each to their own, if you were satisfied just resetting the toe then who am I to tell you you need to do something different? Same with sitting in the car when it's aligned or doing it with strings and a level rather than a laser alignment machine, or buying custom built shocks or data recorder.
I'm probably more anal than most, but I like to be sure the car is as well prepared as I can make it (especially when my sponsor is footing the bills).
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thx for the help so far. As mentioned in the OP, this thread is about collating info on alignments, not a definitive alignment per se. That was why it asked for any reasons with variances. :yesnod:

Please give full info. Middle of the range caster isn't going to help me get an alignment if I'm not going to a dealer. I don't know what stock is, and I have to dig out what Z0K is on this site. Front and rear specs please 2. Something like this:

It is my understanding these are the Z0K spec's.

Camber
Front -1.75 +/- .75 deg.
Rear -1.5 +/- .75 deg.

Caster
Front 7.75 +/- .5 deg.
Rear -4.0 +/- .5 deg.

Toe
Front .10 +/- .2 deg.
Rear .10 +/- .2 deg.
What I can figure out of Mikes post.
Camber
Front -2.5
Rear -1.6

Caster
Front ??
Rear ??

Toe
Front 0
Rear 0

My GXP is a 2nd vehicle for the good weather months and days here. It can be driven daily, but a lower miler for fun. And KW V3's are high end coil overs for the car. Independently adjustable for compression/rebound and ride height variable. I'm signing up for an AX school at the end of the month.

I still would like to know if a GXP and NA have different alignment specs, and if it is possible to rent a rear caster tool from the dealer. Do all dealers automatically have this tool??

thx

kw........
 

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I still would like to know if a GXP and NA have different alignment specs,
Yes and no. They can run the same numbers and be very close.

However... The rear camber on a GXP can be less than an NA in order to get more forward grip on corner exit. You can run more relative toe-in in the rear to control power on oversteer. The GXP Z0K seems to sit lower in the front so you can get a little more camber there (to the point of actually running too much camber!).

You have to understand that once you are in the ballpark, alignment settings are personal preference. I'm a bit ham-fisted on the wheel but have great footwork. So I tend to run (relative) a little more toe-in in the front and more neutral to toe out in the back. My co-driver is better with his hands so he likes a little more toe-out in the front.
 

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Caster:
Front- sacrifice caster to get the camber, anything over 6 is good if same on both sides.
rear 4.0 or same on both sides.
Now throwing in the coilovers??? Depends on where you set the perches, the spring rates and heights, and the shock settings...
Now you've thrown in a whole new set of variables! Most of us serious racers here are running in SCCA stock class and are using the stock ZOK suspension bits except shocks. My shocks have adjustable spring perches, but are locked at stock height per the rules. I'm afraid you are on your own now.
Andy Hollis once said every change you make is a rope you can hang yourself with. Coilovers are a whole basket of ropes.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I got the alignment done now with KW V3 coilovers installed. The drop is around 1.5 inches.

I picked -2 camber for the front based on all the suggestions and research I did on this forum.

Here are my specs.

Front
Camber -2
Caster 9.5
Toe 0

Rear
Camber -1.5
Caster (unknown, no CH47960 gauge)
Toe 0

They could not get front caster to change much from 9.5 on the car with the KW V3's.

Any comments/input?

kw..........
 

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Went with a fairly road friendly alignment. Got these suggested specs from someone pretty knowledgeable with the Kappa suspensions. Since I had my diff replaced I haven't gotten to push it yet but I can already feel a good bit of improvement.

Camber
Front: -1.5
Back: -1.0

Caster
Front: 8.0
Back: -4.0

Toe
0

Values before alignment
Camber
Front: -0.8/-0.9
Back: -0.7/-0.7

Caster
Front: 7.6/7.4
Back: ?/?

Toe
Front: 0.13/0.18
Back: -0.13/-0.10
 

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Hi Brentil,

Your alignment is fine for the street IMO and conservative for hard driving. Post how it goes for you. I'm liking the -2 degrees front camber on the street. I'll go more if I do autocross.

kw.....
Even with my primarily street alignment I've noticed a fairly decent increase in grip when cornering while driving on the stock tires. Looking forward to see how it does on the track on my better race tires.
 

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With race tires, that -1.5 camber is going to burn the outer edges off the tires in nothing flat. I know, I corded the outside edges of the first set of Hoosiers in one event with -2.0 front camber. Doesn't the stock specs call for more than that? (I can't recall, I've never paid stock specs that much mind.)
Almost anything would help the stock tires, with replacing them at the top of the list.
 

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Does anybody know the range of the adjustment for the rear caster? and What effect does it have? and How much do adjustments affect handling?

Talking to a local guy about doing the alignment... he says the only other car he's adjusted the rear caster on is a Viper, he didn't have a tool for that one either, but after he was done the dealership verified that the caster was 'spot on'... we're trying to figure out if getting the tool is going to be a necessity... also, is there any workaround?
 

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With race tires, that -1.5 camber is going to burn the outer edges off the tires in nothing flat. I know, I corded the outside edges of the first set of Hoosiers in one event with -2.0 front camber. Doesn't the stock specs call for more than that? (I can't recall, I've never paid stock specs that much mind.)
Almost anything would help the stock tires, with replacing them at the top of the list.
I only have the RT-615s still.

Stock camber up front is below -1.0. Everyone else racing on Hoosiers is saying they're running like -2 to -2.5 up front, and I'm not hearing them cording them that quickly. I have my stock values from the factory listed below my aligned specs.
 

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I only have the RT-615s still.

Stock camber up front is below -1.0. Everyone else racing on Hoosiers is saying they're running like -2 to -2.5 up front, and I'm not hearing them cording them that quickly. I have my stock values from the factory listed below my aligned specs.
They checked front camber at impound at the National Championships and posted them for all to see, so I can say definitively there was no one running <-2.5 there.

There is way to homebrew a workable rear caster gauge with two lengths of drill rod and a digital level module, my advice tho is if you don't have the proper gauge and/or you are not competing nationally, just forget about setting the rear caster. It is one of those adjustments that is very subtle and only comes into play at suspension travel extremes.
 

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I've been running -2.0 front camber on street tires with no problem on trips shorter than 100 miles. But I found out that its too much for 8 hour Highway trips to MECCA ...almost scary, especially on exit ramps with hard rain.:willy: I run -1.0 in rear. I'm going to try Brentil's specs to see how that works. Might even have to go a little more conservative?

Does anyone know if it's possible to correctly check front caster with digital tool specified for the rear or Krazed Kanary's home brew method? Seems to me it should work if you have the wheels pointing straight ahead? Just wondering if anyone see any fault with that.
 

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I've been running -2.0 front camber on street tires with no problem on trips shorter than 100 miles. But I found out that its too much for 8 hour Highway trips to MECCA ...almost scary, especially on exit ramps with hard rain.:willy: I run -1.0 in rear. I'm going to try Brentil's specs to see how that works. Might even have to go a little more conservative?

Does anyone know if it's possible to correctly check front caster with digital tool specified for the rear or Krazed Kanary's home brew method? Seems to me it should work if you have the wheels pointing straight ahead? Just wondering if anyone see any fault with that.
Yes, you can use the factory specified gauge to measure front caster. After putting in the correction factor and doing the rear, when you do the front you need to select PASSENGER side when measuring the DRIVER side and vice versa.
 
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