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You're willing to accept almost -2 degrees of camber? I have a friend with a 2005 who some years ago installed Eibach sportlines. Despite my recommendations, he didn't bother getting camber correction because he heard that he didn't need it. 1.5 years later, the front tires LOOKED ok from the outside even with the wheels turned, but the insides had worn so much that he suffered a tire blowout.
Now, -1.2 isn't TOO bad, it could be that your factory alignment was closer to 0 than most given that there's a whopping 1.5 degree range that is considered 'acceptable.' You can slice this pie however you like to justify to yourself that you can cheap out. "Well, its within factory specs!" OK, that's cool, but the factory specs are pretty liberal, and is it ideal for how you drive? Are the factory strut mounts up to snuff for the increased spring rates of lowering springs? Maybe, maybe not, but I've always said that if its worth doing, its worth doing right. You could justify a $30,000 pony car + modifications, but can't cough up $300 to it right?
In the end, its your car and your money, and hey, it might even work out for ya, but this is just my way of looking at it.
2011 Mustang GT
Premium, Race Red, GT/CS Splitter and Spoiler, 3.73 Gears, Strut Tower Brace, Steeda Comp Springs, Tokico D-Specs, MM C/C Plates, UMI Dbl. Adjustable PHB, Barton Shifter, American Thunder Axleback, SVE 19x9.5 Drift Wheels, Hankook R-S3 275/35ZR19 tires all around.
The camber spec isn't new news. And frankly what better way for Ford (when they put springs on cars like the Shelby GT), and the aftermarket to get away with telling folks "it's fine" than by manipulating the specs?
-.75, no a bad number and more negative than most cars come with stock. But +/-.75? So anything from 0 to -1.5 is considered to be "normal", come on. -1.5 is a number I'd run, on my cars which I run the hell out of and autocross. No way would I recommend such a number for a car that runs many miles. -1.2 is about the max I'd call workable for a true street car and that's still pretty aggressive.
Strano Performance Parts www.stranoparts.com
7x SCCA Solo National Champion
I had H&R lowering springs installed on my 2011 V6. It needed an alignment after that (no surprise) and then I recently had 20mm spacers installed on the rear wheels (will likely go with 20 on the front and 25 on the rear eventually). I noticed that the rear passenger side wheel was more recessed than the drivers side rear. Took it back to the alignment shop and they said I need an adjustable lateral link in the rear to correct the off center issue I have now. Anyone hear of that? The shop that installed the lowering springs is perplexed.
Vehicle: 2006 Ford Mustang GT and 1985 Ford T-bird 302
Location: Baytown, TX
the panhard bar issue is due to the geometry of the rear
the panhard bar is ment to keep the axel centered but is a flawed design
it connects to the frame on one end and the axel on the other
as the rear axel goes through its up and down travel it moves side to side (iirc at the top most its to the driver's side to much and at the bottom most the passenger's side)
then when you lower the car the resting hight causes it to push to the driver's side a little
now some may say its not enough to care but imo if you lower you should get an adjustable panhard bar to correct this
there is another solution that costs more can be considered better but many don't think its worth the money and thats a watts link (that said I have one but I'm not lowered I just wanted to get rid of the side movment on hard launches and gain its other benefits)
There isn't a lot wrong with most of what you guys are saying. If I were working on a dedicated track car, I'd tune to a precise spec and go test. But in the real world of daily driving, the roads are far more variable than any other factor, hence the wide margins on factory specs. You can commute daily, 15 miles on the same road with a heavy crown that creates effective camber well beyond spec. Many will even spend years commuting on such a road with as much as a third of their total mileage being in that commute. They won't experience terribly bad tire wear, nor will their alignment shop tell them something must be wrong. They will just do it. Daily driving in the real world is a big question mark. You can make the race track spec as important as you want, you still won't have control of the enviroment away from the track.
Oh, and I don't cheap out on anything, I just spend my money wisely. It wasn't $30k, it was $20k. My prime utilization is local errands and occaisional cruise nights with a random road trip. No track plans, no racing career, no ego to support. I'm having fun and engineers with much more credibility than an amateur Mustang enthusiast say that +/- .75* of camber is acceptable. That's backed up by the manufacturer of the springs. Now why would I think I should second guess them if I'm not competing at Willow Springs?
Every type of hobby has enthusiast that preach perfection because they read it in a book somewhere. Mustangs are no different. I build suspension systems far more complex than a 3-link for a variety of cars. Each one gets tailored to it's primary use. Each one has trade offs. Each one has weaknesses and advantages.
In my case, I lowered my car using the product the OP asked about. I have found no technical reason to add on a lot more fancy parts or be concerned about the parts doing harm. A friendof 35 years road racing experience has looked it over and discussed all this and had no particular concerns either. Anyone already on this thread have 35 years on the track?
Factory specs pretty much have to be liberal if there is no simple means of adjusting it to within tighter tolerance provided. The issue is production costs saved in not having to provide any means of adjustment save for the occasional outlier (where Ford has their own "crash bolt" approach that is significantly different from the aftermarket varieties).
I would categorize -1.2° as being mildly aggressive, certainly not extreme, but very likely to the point where the driver should be starting to drive the corners regularly at least a little bit harder than most folks do.
BTW, thanks for posting the numbers, as it's a whole lot easier to make a judgment call from those than from what was originally a repeated opinion of unknown value. I wasn't (and am not) knocking it or the person originally providing it, only that I had no basis for interpreting it.
There really isn't any "perfect street alignment" setting that matches up "perfectly" with the specific driving of any driver taken at random. But there are some general rules of thumb, and some general assumptions that get made. Mostly, they have to be relative to the replier's own experience.
I don't think my car's cambers have ever been as low as -1.2°, and I strongly doubt even within the -1.5° "upper limit" for an '08 GT either. Not even when I drove it off the dealer's lot. But I have the treadwear evenness and projected life data to support the idea that they're a pretty darn good match for the abuse that I give them. That's my basis for expecting most drivers to need camber correction with that amount of 'drop'.
You just happened to end up with an unexpectedly low number - I was anticipating half a degree or so more. Well beyond what I'd ever suggest somebody "just leave alone" without knowing a lot more about their specific driving. Maybe a little beyond it even if I did.
Sorry, all I can claim is 40+ years as an engineer and the outlook that that either brings or attracts, off-and-on individual study about vehicle tech, 45+ years of consistently hard street driving with some autocrossing thrown in, and maybe 40 as a DIY mechanic. I know that for me, a lowering of 1.5" or more would involve quite a bit more than "springs, toe, and done" and I have a fairly good understanding why, both from the vehicle dynamics standpoint and from a few decades of getting to know myself.
'08 GT/5MT (mine)
'10 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT/6MT (hers)
'01 Maxima 20AE/5MT (spare, my occasional winter driver)
'95 626/V6/5MT (still in the family but not at this address)
Last edited by Norm Peterson; 06-25-2011 at 10:32 PM.
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