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Interesting experience.

I took it to some people I have been using a long time, Miramar Performance.

Funny note... they said "Hey, this is the second Elise in two days! We had a guy in here with a black (or dark something or other) car in here. Brand new but a wheel was leaking. They had Lotus replace the wheel so he brought it to us to swap over the tire."

Anyway, they drove the car up on the ramps. They use a laser sighted machine. Pretty cool. The car had about 1/2" clearance on driving up. That is if you move the moveable jack portion in. By the way, when we drove the car off the ramp... everyone forgot about that jack thing. And the car hit it. No damage, but something to keep in mind. They told me that the machine they use means that the lifting points is not an issue.
This shop is very competent and knew what needed to be done.

I first wanted to know what the present measurements were.

We had already taken out all the camber shims, so camber was maxed out.


BEFORE
CAMBER TOE CASTER
FRONT L -.8 1/16" IN 3.5 degrees
FRONT R -.7 1/16" IN 3.9 degrees

REAR L -2.8 1/8" IN
REAR R -2.4 1/16" IN

My plan was to get as much negative camber in the front I could and be legal per SCCA specs. Since I had already remove the shims, it was maxed and nothing else can be done. Second point was to get the rear camber closer to the front. I was thinking -1.8, maybe even a little less.

Then set front toe to zero and add some more rear toe to try to tame the looseness.

It was determined the easiest way to replace the rear camber shims was to remove the diffuser, so they allowed me to get under the lift and take it off. We only had the shims that came with the car, 2 from the right and 3 from the left. It turns out each shim in the rear is worth about .14 of a degree. So the best we could do with the rear camber was to put all the shims back in. So we did.

AFTER

CAMBER TOE CASTER
FRONT L -.8 0 3.0 degrees
FRONT R -.6 0 3.5 degrees

REAR L -2.4 3/16" IN
REAR R -2.1 3/16" IN

Is caster adjustable or is it just what you get?

It looks like if I want to reduce camber more in the rear I will need to get some shims. If possible, I would like more camber in the front, but we will have to tune around what it is.
 

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So: if/when the aggressive autocross set-up is finally realized, what will be the effect on the street ride? I ask because Lotus has made such a big deal about tuning the car to the Nth degree, building the perfect package for its chassis and rubber.
 

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Well... yeah.

Perhaps they protest a little bit too much. :)

ALL setups are compromises realized. You can't have the ultimate track set up and have the ultimate street car too.

It is my experience, that a car that is set up to handle well on an autocross course (handles well under hard braking, can turn on a dime, etc)...is all good things for the street.

Plus we have some things they don't have to contend with. SCCA class rules for example. I can modify the swaybar. I can align within the range available. I can swap tires to Hoosiers. I can use different shocks.
 

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Just curious: before your first season competition, how many testing/tweaking cycles will you do? Or do you do all set-up adjustments between races? (I've done track schools, but don't autocross).
 

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I think to do it right, you test and tune every event. Having said that, it is not always possible.

I am trying hard to not do a lot of things at once. That makes the results hard to understand with what you changed.

We will test this out with some new Hoosiers if they arrive tomorrow (doubtful). If not, we have to play on street tires and test again at our next event.

Then we will test either a swaybar mod, or a custom bar.

On the batter's circle of things this fall/early winter... double adjustable shocks and custom tuning.

Always while considering toe and camber changes.

Then changing shocks settings, swaybar settings, tire pressures.

By early spring I expect we will add LSD to the mix.

Our real (national) season starts in March.
 

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Where the settings with you in the car with a typical autox load of fuel?

Greg
 

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Unfortunately, I was not thinking about that, and it was with a full tank.
 

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>>>Is caster adjustable or is it just what you get?<<<

Yes the caster is adjustable...it's set by moving the various washers located at the inner end of the upper a-arm to frame mounts. Moving the a-arm rearward will increase caster.
 

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It sounds like for a quick and dirty improvement for autoXing, I should remove all unattached shims in the front and leave the back alone. Is that a reasonable statement, Randy?

I just want to get it as good as possible as quickly as possible and be within SCCA spec. Today I swap out my springs and want to make the camber adjustments at the same time. Over the winter I'll have the camber checked and potentially evened out/adjusted up front.
 

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I'm surprised that the caster values did change, it doesn't sound like they touched those shims. :confused:
 

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If you follow Stan's recommendation for shimming to increase caster this will give you a little gain in negative camber during dynamic conditions.
I'm disappointed at the small range of camber adjustment available at the front, especially as the Porsche 956/962 used the same method to adjust camber with generously sized shim thicknesses. Of course Lotus went out of their way to take away front bite to keep the masses from suing and suicide.
Many Elises were bought by young people stepping up from front drive hatches.
m
 

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Randy-I did not pull any rear shims. Are they the same as the front shims? If so, you could transplant the front to the back to reduce the negative camber...
 

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They have to be cheap cheap cheap to order. I got extra diffuser bolts for next to nothing....
 

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Randy,
Did you notice any difference in handling after these changes?
 

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The car behaved very nicely today with the new alignment.
We were on the A048's because the new rear Hoosiers didn't arrive in time...
 

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>>I'm disappointed at the small range of camber adjustment available at the front, especially as the Porsche 956/962 used the same method to adjust camber with generously sized shim thicknesses. <<<

Well the 956 and 962 were not exactly street cars and were set up for the track.

If you lower an Elise (can't do this if you are racing in stock class though..) you will gain additional negative camber. Due to camber gain from the suspension.


 

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I'm amazed how little the static camber at the front was.

A couple of questions. What units have you given? I would expect to be able to get up to about -1.8 degrees of front camber on an Elise. It depends on the car, ride height etc but some can get up to -2 degrees.

Did you load the car? To do Geo settings you should put a weight in the seats. If you want the Geo set for only the driver then put a weight the same as your weight in the drivers seat, if you normally have a passenger put approx double this spread between the two seats. If you don't then the ride height will be higher than when in use and will reduce the static camber. You should also have half a tank of fuel in the car.

I suggest you check on Seloc for geo settings as there are some real experts there.
 

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Bill Swizz said:
A couple of questions. What units have you given? I would expect to be able to get up to about -1.8 degrees of front camber on an Elise. It depends on the car, ride height etc but some can get up to -2 degrees.
On an S1, yes.. But not on an S2... On the S2 you can usually just manage -1 degree at the front before you need to start shaving the mounting plinth..

Bye, Arno.
 
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