Custom rear camber shims to tune rear to match front agressive alignments, interested?

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Chassis Upgrades' started by raamaudio, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    Custom rear camber shims to tune rear to match front agressive alignments, interested?
    The ST factory alignment is engineered to allow the rear of the car to rotate more instead of plowing ahead, under steering, like most cars are setup as the average "driver" has no clue and is safer with under steer.

    In the ST case less negative rear camber and more positive front than the regular Fiesta settings induce some over steering fun and can benefit fast good drivers.

    When adding in serious front camber and we all need to if we want to really get the car to grip up front it can cause to much rotation in the rear at speed which can be harder to overcome, more dangerous for some, than under steering or neutral.

    (Note: BALANCE, in all things, is all that really matters, to much negative front camber can cause a lose of grip out of the corners)

    Optimally we want over steer at low speed and neutral or understeer at high speed which I was pretty easily able to do with my Vette but this car will take some effort and testing to get it right if we can at all.

    I have not done any testing yet on the ST so looking for a low cost method like the rotating plastic shims I have seen and when finding a sweet spot having metal shims made from a pattern already worked out for these cars.

    Looking at the numbers the ST is easily seen to be tuned to rotate and the regular cars to under steer like most cars are setup.

    (Any math errors please point them out:)

    Regular Fiesta stock front camber -0.70 ST-1.18 Proposed front camber for my application, -2.5
    Stock rear camber -1.52 ST-0.64 Add same amount to rear to match front -1.32
    Difference front to rear R-0.82 F 0.54

    Quite a significant difference, to keep the same balance front to rear, if indeed that would be best, we would need to add -1.32 degrees more negative rear camber.

    I might want as much as -3.0 degrees negative front camber which would mean adding -1.82 rear just to keep the factory front to rear angles on the same plane.

    For reference I went back to my very fast SM class 250WHP turbo Matrix I built back in late 2002. It was not a performance model and thus had stock alignments to induce understeer, always, it was a twist beam rear axle car, tall, close to same weight, longer wheel base.

    Stock front camber -0.77 Camber I setup, -2.50
    Stock rear camber -1.45 Stock rear -1.45
    Front to rear difference R-0.68 F-1.05

    The Matrix had just enough over steer at slow speed and pushed(under steer) a bit on high speed corners, especially when throttle enhanced by having
    -1.05 degrees more front camber than rear.

    If you lower the ST and tune the front camber to -2.5 degrees and leave the rear at the stock setting you end up with a difference of
    -1.86 degrees more negative than front camber which can lead to more rotation and higher speeds that you need, or want.

    On the Scion TC, another fast car I built, IRS came into play, I found the best setup was -3.0 front and -2.0 rear
    -1.0, a difference close to the Matrix that had
    -1.05 more in the front than rear.

    This does not give a final answer as to what is best but I imagine it is far from optimal with the stock rear setting and
    -2.5 to -3.0 in the front on the ST.

    Some have been using massive tire pressure changes, even trying different tires front to rear, etc....I think it is time to look at the root causes and fix them the best we can and then use spring rates, shock settings, sway bars and air pressures, in that order, to fine tune.

    For now it seems a rounded up to
    -1.0 shim would be a pretty good ball park change in the rear.

    It is time to study what successful racers with twist beam rear axles have done in various cars and types of racing.

    Anybody care to help?

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  3. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    Basically we want to keep the front/rear camber closer to the stock difference but optimized for the best overall handling, it will most likely be somewhere from:
    -.5 to -1.0 less rear camber than the front.
  4. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    Not much interest in seems in correcting the camber unbalanced issue of putting on coilovers, etc and dialing in more front camber, which the car needs if you track it????

    If this does not get going I will just modify the rear axle on my car to dial in the camber I want to run, which is a fair amount of work but only costs me a few bucks in consumables. I hoped to get some interest as there needs to be 10 sets made at $80 each which is cheap compared to having custom work done.

    I hope more chime in on this!

  5. moff3tt

    moff3tt Active Member

    I don't know enough about this stuff I came from 4th gen Hondas which were multilink rear which made camber adjustment really easy. I also don't know if I'll need these ever since my FiST is a DD, but if shims can be made that seems better than permanently modifying the beam.
  6. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    I would much rather have shims, a 15-20 minute install since I have a lift and air tools.

    Cutting, aligning, securing, tack weld, check alignment again, full welding, a very serious job I would spend many hours on to ensure it is absolutely perfect.
  7. wash

    wash Active Member

    I've heard there may be an ABS sensor alignment issue with shims.

    I haven't heard of a problem with rear grip that has been solved with camber adjustment.

    Every Fiesta ST I've driven has had plenty of rear grip although I haven't increased my front camber yet.

    If I find a problem after I get coilovers, I'll probably bend my axle or flycut the spindle (?).

    If you wait until people find a problem and then make a shim that corrects it, you will find takers.
  8. D1JL

    D1JL Well-Known Member

    The rear axle mount on the ST is much different then the non-ST.
    Shims can and have been done on the rear of the non-ST, without ABS issues.
    However the ST may not be as easy.

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  9. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    Shims, easiest by far to do.

    ABS, I have not taken the sensor back off to take a close look at it but I am quite sure a little work with a file could be done to get it to mount deeper and in alignment, it does not have to be perfect to work just fine, just very close.

    Not the spindle, that would not work, it sits in bearings and turns, the mount it goes into could be cut to add some camber.

    Cutting and welding the axle would be the lowest cost if you have the tools, I do, but far more time consuming and has to be done right the first time and welded exceptionally well.

    If you add more front camber and drive the car hard enough I am sure you will want more rear camber, I would be quite surprised if not.


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