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Motorsport Wheel Alignment: Introduction

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Introduction

06.06

00:00 - In this worked example, we're going to be applying the RaceCraft 7 Step Process to setting up, fitting and aligning some aftermarket suspension components that are going to be going into our Toyota 86 development car.
00:12 Now this 86 has been in our family for a fair while now and it's already gone through a variety of suspension upgrades.
00:20 However the components currently fitted to it are relatively budget spec products and more suited for road use rather than circuit racing, so we're taking this opportunity to fit some better quality products that are more suited specifically to circuit use.
00:35 The Toyota 86 chassis has already proven itself to be popular with enthusiasts looking to compete in either club level motorsport or even track days on the weekends.
00:46 However as with most late model production cars, there are some big shortcomings that we need to deal with.
00:52 In particular the factory suspension setup is designed for comfort on the open road and once we get it onto a racetrack it really doesn't perform as well as it could.
01:01 On top of this, there's basically no adjustability in the factory suspension geometry, making it very hard for us to dial in our desired camber and our toe.
01:11 This needs to be addressed with both aftermarket coilover suspension as well as some specific aftermarket control arms to allow us to get that adjustability into the car, so we're going to go over the components that we've selected.
01:24 We'll start with our MCA Red Series coilover suspension.
01:28 And the Red Series is intended for racetrack use.
01:31 MCA are also no stranger to the Toyota 86 chassis, given that they are the control suspension manufacturer for our local New Zealand TR86 Racing Series.
01:42 The MCA suspension comes as a drop in product, out of the box it's already set up and ready to go.
01:49 They come with seven kilogram per millimetre springs front and rear, and you can also see that there are some keeper springs just to make sure that everything stays captive at full droop.
01:59 The suspension should already be set to the desired or intended MCA ride height however we also have a specification sheet, giving us the recommended setups so if there's any need to make adjustments, we can do so to MCA's recommendations.
02:14 On top of this, all four coilovers have adjustable bump and rebound.
02:18 Now this is a single adjustment rather than an individual bump and rebound adjuster.
02:23 Again, this should be set straight out of the box to a setting that should give good results but there is the ability there to make adjustments to suit the driver's requirements or preferences as well as potentially adjusting the suspension to suit a specific track condition.
02:39 Given that the front of the Toyota 86 suspension system is a MacPherson strut, the MCA coilovers feature a camber adjustable strut top, allowing us to make easy and quick adjustments to our camber.
02:51 We also have the option of affecting our camber by adjusting the angle between the hub and the strut where the hub bolts to the bottom of the MCA strut.
03:00 Rather than using a cheap eccentric bolt to achieve this offset, MCA use machined offset washers.
03:08 Once you've selected your desired offset, these washers are fixed to the strut body meaning that there is no chance of these moving or slipping in use.
03:17 At the front of the car we've decided to replace the existing lower control arms with a set of SPL Parts adjustable lower control arms.
03:24 These particular arms are CNC machined from billet aluminium and they replace the factory rubber bushes with spherical bearings, meaning there is no distortion or flex when the car is heavily loaded under braking or in cornering.
03:39 With the amount of adjustability in these arms, we can easily affect both the caster as well as the track width.
03:45 Moving to the rear of the car, one of the limiting factors with the stock suspension components is that it's essentially impossible to get any meaningful negative camber.
03:54 We're going to be addressing this by fitting a set of SPL Parts adjustable lower control arms.
04:00 Just like the front arms, these are CNC machined from billet aluminium and they also feature a spherical bearing on the inner mounting point.
04:07 This, combined with the left and right hand threaded adjuster, makes it very easy for us to adjust the length of the lower control arm and in turn affect the negative camber.
04:16 We've chosen to team these up with a set of SPL Parts toe control arms as well as traction control or trailing arms as they're also known.
04:25 These again provide adjustability to the chassis and importantly they remove any factory bushes, replacing them with spherical bearings which is going to help reduce the amount of flex that we have in our suspension, making sure that our alignment is going to stay more rigid.
04:41 The last component that we're going to be fitting is MCA's traction mod bracket as they've referred to it.
04:48 Now this mounts to the chassis and it lowers the front mounting point for the traction control arm or trailing arm.
04:54 This helps reduce the anti squat properties in the chassis and improves traction particularly out of corners.
05:01 Now that we've covered all of the suspension components we're going to be fitting, I'll just briefly cover off our initial alignment settings that we're going to be putting into the car.
05:10 Given that we already have some experience with this chassis on a racetrack, we've got a reasonable idea what we're going to want in terms of toe and camber.
05:18 While this may change once we actually start testing the car on the track, this should prove to be a good starting point.
05:25 So at the front we're going to be setting ourselves up with 3.5 degrees negative camber left and right.
05:31 We're also going to be choosing a relatively standard one millimetre of toe out per side or two millimetres of total toe out at the front of the car.
05:39 Moving to the rear, we don't need quite as much negative camber and this time we're going to be choosing 2.5 degrees and we're going to be coupling this with one millimetre of toe in per side, or in other words two millimetres of total toe in at the rear of the car.