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    Thread: MK4 front end alignment options

    1. Member redneckdzl's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 02:52 PM #1
      Just curious what you MK4 racers are doing for your front end alignment, i'm starting to be pretty competitive with my TDI, but i find i'm rolling my front tires too much

      First thing i'm getting camber plates to add some more negative camber, but i just thought i'd see what the rest of ya are doing, I've seen some MK4 with some crazy camber and wondered how you accomplished it

      If i add TT LCA will that allow me to get more camber, or is camber plates enough?

    2. Member 4ceFed4's Avatar
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      05-15-2012 08:49 AM #2
      What class are you running in? I ran in ST and DSP for a number of years, where you are restricted to an upper or lower method of adjustment, not both. I found that the best solution for these classes was either the fixed Shine Racing upper plates or the adjustable plates from Ground Control. I'm moving to SMF this year, and will be adding lower control arm extenders to get a little more negative camber out of the fronts, and use the ground control plates more for getting caster a little closer to stock. For the rears I used SPC toe shims to add a little bit of toe out.

    3. Member redneckdzl's Avatar
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      05-15-2012 03:26 PM #3
      i used to run FSP, but now with the street tire rules i'd like to run in there, but doesn't look like there is a boost modded happy ST class, our local clubs have added a STZ, unlimilted class, that fills any gap left by the other ST classes, otherwise i'd run SMF

      Our clubs aren't too fussy, until you start beating them, then they go over your car with a fine toothed cone

      Where can you get plates to get more camber out of the front that are just a bolt on?

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      05-15-2012 04:54 PM #4
      Ground Control sells one, but it's a solid mount (no rubber isolator) so it will likely add a lot of ride harshness. Whether or not that would toelrable is up to you. The Mk IV strut tower doesn't allow for much clearance for adjustment, so to get the most camber a full coil-over is required (otherwise the spring can hit the sheet metal).

      Another advantage of going to TSMF is that allows for going to an aftermarket LCA or the HSport spindle, which TSP rules do not.

      Send a message to DIAF. He and a few others put in a lot of time putting together a solid SP suspension package for the Mk IV. I've seen and ridden in the results and it's pretty amazing. Bombardius is currently trying to sell the car it's now with ('05 GTI). I would buy it if I wasn't stuck with too many cars, not enough room and a bunch of pending house repairs.

    5. Member 4ceFed4's Avatar
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      05-16-2012 09:20 AM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Ian F View Post
      Ground Control sells one, but it's a solid mount (no rubber isolator) so it will likely add a lot of ride harshness. Whether or not that would toelrable is up to you. The Mk IV strut tower doesn't allow for much clearance for adjustment, so to get the most camber a full coil-over is required (otherwise the spring can hit the sheet metal).

      Another advantage of going to TSMF is that allows for going to an aftermarket LCA or the HSport spindle, which TSP rules do not.

      Send a message to DIAF. He and a few others put in a lot of time putting together a solid SP suspension package for the Mk IV. I've seen and ridden in the results and it's pretty amazing. Bombardius is currently trying to sell the car it's now with ('05 GTI). I would buy it if I wasn't stuck with too many cars, not enough room and a bunch of pending house repairs.
      I was surprised when I put the ground control plates in 5 years ago that there was actually very little change in harshness. They do make a few extra clunks over some surfaces, but nothing that I have found to be objectionable.

      With the one thousandth of a pax point difference between DSP and SMF at the moment, there is really no good reason for a MK4 to be in DSP unless you have some friendly competition in that class at the local level. The free weight reductions that can be taken justify the switch alone, and in combination with the additional engine and suspension modifications that are allowed it is really a no-brainer.

      I'm good friends with Chris (DIAF) as well, and I would second getting in touch with him if you have additional questions. Besides supplying me with his original Shine kit and Peloquin-equipped 02J when he parted his car out a few years back, he always had a lot of good advice as far as car set up and driving habits were concerned.

    6. Member redneckdzl's Avatar
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      05-21-2012 05:22 PM #6
      Well I'm modded enough motor wise to put myself in SMF, I do it more for fun but I like to be somewhat competitive

      Between the h2sport plates and GC, what would you guys suggest

      How much front camber are you guys running, I'm looking at putting in some tt control arms and camber plates will that give me a decent amount of adjustment?

    7. 05-22-2012 02:42 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by redneckdzl View Post
      Well I'm modded enough motor wise to put myself in SMF, I do it more for fun but I like to be somewhat competitive

      Between the h2sport plates and GC, what would you guys suggest

      How much front camber are you guys running, I'm looking at putting in some tt control arms and camber plates will that give me a decent amount of adjustment?
      Without question, the GC plates. The GC plates allow for independent caster/camber adjustment, allowing you to get the caster right so the car drives straight and pulls in a straight line. You will also get the greatest amount of negative camber from the GC plates. In combination with the TT arms, you should be able to get about 3 degrees negative. Alternatively, if you are willing to cut up the towers, you could run the GC race plate, which allows for nearly 4 degrees of camber adjustment.

    8. Member redneckdzl's Avatar
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      05-22-2012 04:45 PM #8
      Gc plates it is then, going to get some tt lca and see if I can get my car more properly prepared

      Thanks for the input guys, I'll let ya know how I make out

    9. 05-24-2012 02:35 AM #9
      The TT arms aren't a straight bolt in affair, just an FYI.

    10. Member Light on Fuel's Avatar
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      05-30-2012 08:41 AM #10
      You could pick these up if you feel that you're not getting enough adjustment.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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      05-30-2012 04:43 PM #11
      My question about adjustible LCA's is how much adjustment can be done before too much strain is put on the CV joint? I've read that even sliding the LBJ to the outer-most setting in the OE LCA slots can have a negative affect on the CV joints.
      Last edited by Ian F; 05-30-2012 at 04:54 PM.

    12. Member Light on Fuel's Avatar
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      05-30-2012 05:43 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Ian F View Post
      My question about adjustible LCA's is how much adjustment can be done before too much strain is put on the CV joint? I've read that even sliding the LBJ to the outer-most setting in the OE LCA slots can have a negative affect on the CV joints.
      I'm not exactly sure. But I don't think that large adjustments should be made with these anyway. I believe that these are meant as a supplemental adjustment to be used in conjunction with other devices like the GC's.

      I've always heard (and experienced for myself) that lowering the car excessively (2" +) has a negative effect on the CV, but I can't say that I've heard the same for simply adjusting your camber.


      \X/
      Last edited by Light on Fuel; 05-30-2012 at 05:47 PM.

    13. 05-31-2012 12:56 AM #13
      The above mentioned control arms actually do not yield that much additional negative camber. They were meant to add a bit of negative camber and to remove a section of the arm so as to allow bagged cars to be dropped w/o interference.

      In my testing I have found that even the Ingalls arms led to undesireable effects on the CV joints. Soon after installation my cvs on both sides began to click. I was still able to put on tens of thousands of miles on the CVs, but they did make a bit of noise. Keep in mind the Ingalls plates only gave an additonal 1-1.5 degrees of negative camber. GC actually made their own set of adjustable arms that incorporated a larger ball joint adjustment as well as geometry correction, that allowed for a much more generous amount of negative camber adjustment, however they were not released to the general public.

      To the OP, if you are becoming competitive in your class, I think its important to note which class you are racing in. If you are following SCCA rules, combing plates with arms would not be a legal option in many classes.

    14. Member Light on Fuel's Avatar
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      05-31-2012 06:56 AM #14
      Not to jack the thread, but i have a quick question Rex: what do you mean by "bagged" and can you descricling at clicking noise from the axle? When did you hear it, etc. thx


      \X/

    15. Member 4ceFed4's Avatar
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      05-31-2012 08:52 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Light on Fuel View Post
      Not to jack the thread, but i have a quick question Rex: what do you mean by "bagged" and can you descricling at clicking noise from the axle? When did you hear it, etc. thx


      \X/
      Bagged refers to a car with an adjustable air bag suspension. You park the car, let the air out of the bags (which replace traditional coil springs), and like magic the wheels are tucked up in the fenders and the frame of the car is resting on the ground. This is becoming popular with show cars, not something you'll see on a weekend racer...

      The first time you'll hear CV clicking is usually at low speeds in reverse or 1st with the wheel turned a bit. Eventually as soon as you put any load on the CVs they'll pop in and out, then you know the joint failed completely.

      Rex- I recently picked up a set of Ingalls extenders, which I was planning on welding them fixed and installing on my mk4. Do you think that they would be tolerated any better by a set of Raxles, or should I just scrap the idea? You would think someone would CNC a nice 5mm spacer plate to go between the inner CV and the flange, so that you could just run longer bolts and not have this problem.

    16. Member Light on Fuel's Avatar
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      05-31-2012 09:24 AM #16
      ^Gotcha. I know what an air suspension is, I just never heard them being referred to like that.

      Apparently, 42DD will make anything you want so long as you send them something to measure.


      \X/

    17. 06-01-2012 11:43 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by 4ceFed4 View Post
      Rex- I recently picked up a set of Ingalls extenders, which I was planning on welding them fixed and installing on my mk4. Do you think that they would be tolerated any better by a set of Raxles, or should I just scrap the idea? You would think someone would CNC a nice 5mm spacer plate to go between the inner CV and the flange, so that you could just run longer bolts and not have this problem.
      I inserted a small piece of metal which I shaped to fit the slot of the camber plate. This allowed for a completely reversible installation and was much simpler than welding the plates together and possibly deforming them. You can get raxles speced out in custom sizes, when you consult with them to create custom axles, you'll also want to take into consideration your ride height as I believe lowering requires a shorter axle to prevent axle bind. Having a spacer fabbed shouldn't be much of an issue. A number of people have gone this route and should be relatively simple to CNC. I would size it according to the additional length the extenders provide.

      Keep in mind that although my CVs clicked, I put on tens of thousands of additional miles with a clutch type LSD, 285 wide R comp rubber and countless boosted launches, before I finally snapped an axle. At that time the axle had clear of 100,000 miles.

    18. Member redneckdzl's Avatar
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      06-03-2012 07:27 PM #18
      i know the tt lca aren't a complete replacement, you have to change the ball joints, anything else that i would need to know

      I can't say i'm competitive just yet, i'd just like to close the gap between me and the top of SMF, about 8-10 sec spread depends on the course type

      I do autox more for fun, but my jetta is really hard on the shoulders of the tires, so i figured if i added some camber it would help, i tried to drive for it, but that doesn't seem to help much

      As far as axles go i'm running raxles, so i'm not too worried about them, got 200k+ on them and they keep coming back for more

    19. 06-04-2012 03:42 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by redneckdzl View Post
      i know the tt lca aren't a complete replacement, you have to change the ball joints, anything else that i would need to know

      I can't say i'm competitive just yet, i'd just like to close the gap between me and the top of SMF, about 8-10 sec spread depends on the course type

      I do autox more for fun, but my jetta is really hard on the shoulders of the tires, so i figured if i added some camber it would help, i tried to drive for it, but that doesn't seem to help much

      As far as axles go i'm running raxles, so i'm not too worried about them, got 200k+ on them and they keep coming back for more
      The TT ball joints are also not compatible with the factory spindles. If you're just looking for more camber I would suggest the Ingalls arm extenders isntead. In conjunction w/ the GC camber plates you will have about 2.7 to 3 degrees of negative camber. I believe they also extend longer than the TT/R32 arms. Additionally the arms will try to level out the arm, though this does nothing for the geometry, same as the TT/R32 arms, they do put less stress on the rear control arm bushing and allow for a greater service life on that bushing.

      As a side note, you're going to need more than just a camber adjustment to fill a 8-10 second gap. Additional driving training and more car prep will likely be necessary.

    20. Member Light on Fuel's Avatar
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      06-04-2012 08:03 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by rex_racer View Post
      Additional driving training and more car prep will likely be necessary.
      I've read several racing books this past winter. Each book seemed to convey the same message: The best way to improve your lap times is to improve the driver.




      \X/

    21. Member 4ceFed4's Avatar
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      06-04-2012 08:37 AM #21
      Redneckdzl: what kind of weight reduction have you done to your car? I just made the change over to SMF for this year and I have been going crazy getting extra weight out of the car. Definitely one of the easiest ways to make your car faster.

      On a side note, I highly recommend Evolution Performance Driving School (evoschool.com) if you are interested in really improving your times and your driving habits. For a few hundred bucks, its one of the best investments you can make for autocross.

    22. Member redneckdzl's Avatar
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      06-04-2012 03:02 PM #22
      Yeah i don't think some camber is going to help me close the 8-10 gap, but i'm sure the tires will do more of what they are supposed to, and not roll over as much as they do

      the driver is most of the problem as much as i hate to admit it, mind you i'm chasing a civic that has a CRV motor swap and has been racing for a couple more years then myself, if i could get the gap down to 5 secs i'd be really happy

      i've done some weight reduction, but not gone too crazy, i thought in SMF there still had to be some interior stuff, not completely stripped

      I don't do too bad on the smaller courses, just gotta be braver on the bigger courses

      is the geometry off if i just use tt ball joints? if so i guess i better find someone to buy the LCA that i have

    23. 06-05-2012 12:28 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by redneckdzl View Post
      Yeah i don't think some camber is going to help me close the 8-10 gap, but i'm sure the tires will do more of what they are supposed to, and not roll over as much as they do

      is the geometry off if i just use tt ball joints? if so i guess i better find someone to buy the LCA that i have
      How is the rest of the car setup, spring rates, swaybars etc?

      The TT ball joints last I recall have a different shape on the taper as well as being larger dimensionally. I do not recall seeing that the TT arms could be matched w/ MKIV ball joints. Based on your modifications it sounds like you're setting up the car for SM. If so, why not put in the TT spindles as well to correct some of the geometry issues?

    24. Member redneckdzl's Avatar
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      06-11-2012 03:05 PM #24
      i guess i could, but i was trying to do stuff on the cheap, i guess racing just wasn't meant to be cheap, lol

      i had the 1.8T spindles so i put them in to run bigger brakes, now i decided to add more camber, maybe i'll get plates and the ingalls extenders

      running basic JOM coils right now, but maybe should get some koni yellows and GC coilovers

      it's the worst on bigger autox then the little ones, maybe i can make it thru this year without spending a bunch of money and save up for some good stuff next year

    25. 06-12-2012 03:10 AM #25
      You could try running stiffer springs in the rear. That will help with rotation. GC has a linear spring conversion kit. Contact reflexgti here on the boards for more details on the tender spring/main spring conversion kit and let him know I sent you his way. This will help significantly. This would be significantly cheaper than doing a GC/Koni upgrade and still yield decent results.

      In autox you really don't need bigger brakes to get the car slowed down. Better pads would have done more than enough to get the car slowed. If you want to race on PAX as well, you could swap back to the OE spindles put on the small brakes and use an aggressive pad and have a better PAX factor to compare and use to race against your civic buddy.

    26. Member redneckdzl's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 03:11 PM #26
      yeah i didn't really need them, but i had them and my brakes were done so i opted to go to bigger rotors, hummed and haad over GLI brakes, but 1.8t was all i figure i needed

      i have noticed since i went to stiffer front springs I've lost some over steer, should i try disconnecting the front sway, or get stiffer rears?

      got a Shine RSB in the rear

    27. 06-14-2012 12:52 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by redneckdzl View Post
      i have noticed since i went to stiffer front springs I've lost some over steer, should i try disconnecting the front sway, or get stiffer rears?

      got a Shine RSB in the rear
      More than likely your front spring rate is too soft to run with it disconnected. You need at minimum a 600lb spring to really control the front end with the front bar disconnected.

    28. Member redneckdzl's Avatar
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      06-16-2012 09:18 PM #28
      Dropped the rear pressure down a bit more and it steps out again

      Now to get some work done on the camber side

    29. Member 4ceFed4's Avatar
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      06-16-2012 10:21 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by redneckdzl View Post
      Dropped the rear pressure down a bit more and it steps out again

      Now to get some work done on the camber side
      Usually dropping pressure in the rear will reduce oversteer. The mk4 seems to like having rear springs that are 50-150# stiffer than the fronts, with a decent sized rear sway bar. I've tried running with the front disconnected a few times, and I always come back to running with the stock bar in place just for quicker steering response and smoother transitional shift.

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      06-21-2012 12:46 AM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by 4ceFed4 View Post
      Usually dropping pressure in the rear will reduce oversteer. The mk4 seems to like having rear springs that are 50-150# stiffer than the fronts, with a decent sized rear sway bar. I've tried running with the front disconnected a few times, and I always come back to running with the stock bar in place just for quicker steering response and smoother transitional shift.
      QFT

      most suspension set ups use softer rear springs and this is terrible for 2 reasons
      1) there is much more leverage on the rear springs then the front
      2) the rear springs need to be stiffer so they settle quicker
      Quote Originally Posted by G3T3I7 View Post
      because race springs
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