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My alignment is a bit off, looks to be too much toe-in from what my tires are showing... anyway, my question is as follows:

For you members that autocross or goto track events, do you go as far as getting your car aligned with the actual rims & tire setup (correct tire pressure) before getting an alignment?

I'm currently running snow tires and need an alignment, but the weather is not showing signs up letting up yet so I do not want to put my other rims & tires on. But my snow tires are really getting chewed up.

Should I just get the alignment with my 14" snow tires w/185s or put my 15's with 205s on for the alignment (the appropriate profile tire is used to keep my gauge cluster as accurate as possible).
 

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I'm not a tracker or A-X'er, but this is the way I would go about it. In your case, it'll be 2 requisites..:

1) Go with whatever setup you ideally* plan on using

2) Then use whichever wheels you need that will endure it

#1 is my answer to actual rim and tire selection with ideal running tire pressure

#2 is weather-permitting

If you plan on getting your alignment before the weather lets up, I would just wait - unless like it becomes inconvenient for ya' to not get one before the day of the A-X or track day.


~P2P
 

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GunNam on Feb/09/06 said:
For you members that autocross or goto track events, do you go as far as getting your car aligned with the actual rims & tire setup (correct tire pressure) before getting an alignment?

Should I just get the alignment with my 14" snow tires w/185s or put my 15's with 205s on for the alignment (the appropriate profile tire is used to keep my gauge cluster as accurate as possible).
1.) yes, I use the actual tire/wheel package that I run on track.

2.) personal preference really, an alignment w/ the snow tire package will be better than nothing if the tires are getting chewed up that bad....but it won't be to the exact specs you'll want for your track setup.
 

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If you're setting the toe to zero, then it's usually fine to use alternate wheels/tires as long as they are properly inflated and straight.

You can tweak the car's performance with non-zero toe, in which case you should use the same wheels and tires as you'll be on the track with. However, I don't do this on my car because it's a waste of tires... non-zero toe increases wear and heat. It might be worth it on the rear though (since FWD cars don't work the rears too hard at all), but I've been able to do exceptionally well with zero toe all around.
 

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What I'm going to be doing starting the next event is adjusting camber when I get to the autocross location. I have Omnipower Upper Control Arm Camber Kits, basically identical to the Skunk2 style. I took some of my mom's nail polish and marked where my street camber settings are, and when I find the right camber for the autocross track, I'm going to make that location as well. That way it shouldn't be too hard to switch back and forth.
 

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steveyenisch on Feb/21/06 said:
What I'm going to be doing starting the next event is adjusting camber when I get to the autocross location. I have Omnipower Upper Control Arm Camber Kits, basically identical to the Skunk2 style. I took some of my mom's nail polish and marked where my street camber settings are, and when I find the right camber for the autocross track, I'm going to make that location as well. That way it shouldn't be too hard to switch back and forth.
You know you're supposed to set the toe after you change the camber, right?
 

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yeah.. cast the camel's toe for the front..
 

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As far as the alignment goes...

As long as the snow tires/wheels are of the same overall diameter, and of course your ride height is the same, then it wouldn't really matter what wheels/tires you used. Assuming the offsets are pretty close, you won't see any difference. The key point here is the ride height is going to be the major factor concerning your alignment readings. The wheel width and offset really won't change your readings.

The alignment heads are mounted to the flange or outer lip of the wheel. The alignment heads read off of each other to give you the various readings. Altering the ride height changes the suspension geometry, and therefore the alignment readings. Going to a different offset wheel or simply a wider wheel will not affect your static suspension geometry to alter your alignment readings. (Notice I said static suspension geometry)

Also to note is that its pointless to have your alignment done on unevenly worn or bald tires, since the uneven tire wear will alter the readings.
 

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I don't get it gsr.. I don't recall him mentioning anything about his ride height.. a static overview of the suspension geomety is the easier method to aligning, but it's only good if we tweak from it. yes we know it'll be static because calculating it dynamically would be a nice thing
now wouldn't it

I can see as to why the question could have been risen from a differing alignment reading.. but he hasn't supplied us with that info.. if you change the ride height at all that is different from O.E.M spec's.. obviously a thousand other things are going to alter as well. some more than others, some less than others.. so ofcourse, wheels have a small effect on any change to the chassis unless you have unproperly increased the wheel (rim + tire) size, or have unmatching wheels..
 

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All I was saying Brian is that as long as the overall diameter of the winter wheel/tire combo is the same as his track combo, then it really doesn't matter as far as the alignment goes. The ride height goes along with the wheel/tire overall diameter.

I added the wheel offset/width statement because in most instances, that's what we change when we upgrade our wheels, and it kinda pre-answers the question, should it arise.
 
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