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Lowered Alignment Spec Recommendations

anotero

Drag Race Newbie
Location
SoCal
Going in for an alignment this Friday. I'm lowered 1"-1.5". Should I go with stock alignment specs or ask for something else? If the latter, what specs? Alignment to be done at a dealership.

Car used for dd, spirited driving, and canyon runs.
 

Sc629

Ready to race!
Location
IN
Front camber won’t be adjustable (unless you have the parts for it) but subframe shift can even it out. I recommend 0 toe front and rear for the street. My front camber was -1.55 after lowering and alignment. I personally decided rear should be somewhere between -1.2 to -1.45 (or about .1-.3 difference between front and rear) to make it more or less even. For spirited driving, more camber front than rear is ideal on a FWD car and I figured they should be somewhat close for aesthetics. I think rear camber does improve turn behavior but not sure how much is best
 

GTIfan99

Go Kart Newbie
Location
FL
I have the Eurosport camber kit, lowered 1", and a 26mm rear bar. I also track and autocross, so I'd say if you push the car, there are gains to be had in the alignment. If it's just a daily driver, then get as close to stock as possible and call it a day.

If you decide you want to play with the alignment, a little toe out up front really helps turn in, but you don't want too much, or eats tires and can create mid turn understeer. I'm at .2 degrees toe out with a 245mm width tire. You can't adjust front camber unless you have camber plates up front, but you likely gained some negative camber by lowering. If you have stock rear sway bar, I'd say you want 0 to .2 toe in in the rear with -1.5 camber. If you have a big rear bar, you can add up to -1.8 camber and go towards the higher end of the toe in of my recommendation.
 

GTIfan99

Go Kart Newbie
Location
FL
Front camber won’t be adjustable (unless you have the parts for it) but subframe shift can even it out. I recommend 0 toe front and rear for the street. My front camber was -1.55 after lowering and alignment. I personally decided rear should be somewhere between -1.2 to -1.45 (or about .1-.3 difference between front and rear) to make it more or less even. For spirited driving, more camber front than rear is ideal on a FWD car and I figured they should be somewhat close for aesthetics. I think rear camber does improve turn behavior but not sure how much is best
My general rule is I use rear negative camber to control the slower speed transitions and oversteer under braking and toe to dial in higher speed rotation and lift throttle overrsteer.
 

avenali312

Go Kart Champion
Location
Smyrna, GA
Ride
2015 VW GTI
My EMD springs lowered me about 1.20 - 1.25" all around. Went with factory alignment specs and haven't had any weird tire wear or handling issues. I could use a slight subframe shift next time, but we'll see if I feel like paying for it haha.
 

anotero

Drag Race Newbie
Location
SoCal
Front camber won’t be adjustable (unless you have the parts for it) but subframe shift can even it out. I recommend 0 toe front and rear for the street. My front camber was -1.55 after lowering and alignment. I personally decided rear should be somewhere between -1.2 to -1.45 (or about .1-.3 difference between front and rear) to make it more or less even. For spirited driving, more camber front than rear is ideal on a FWD car and I figured they should be somewhat close for aesthetics. I think rear camber does improve turn behavior but not sure how much is best
So since you have non-zero front camber, i assume you run camber plates?
 

anotero

Drag Race Newbie
Location
SoCal
My EMD springs lowered me about 1.20 - 1.25" all around. Went with factory alignment specs and haven't had any weird tire wear or handling issues. I could use a slight subframe shift next time, but we'll see if I feel like paying for it haha.
Is subframe shifting something that is not done without an explucit request?
 

avenali312

Go Kart Champion
Location
Smyrna, GA
Ride
2015 VW GTI
Is subframe shifting something that is not done without an explucit request?
Not to my knowledge. Some places may include it, but I'd assume that would be with a more performance-minded shop and the alignment will probably cost more.

There's extra labor required. They can usually get it within spec without the shifting, but sometimes they can't and will just tell you "we got it as close as we could."
 

anotero

Drag Race Newbie
Location
SoCal
Not to my knowledge. Some places may include it, but I'd assume that would be with a more performance-minded shop and the alignment will probably cost more.

There's extra labor required. They can usually get it within spec without the shifting, but sometimes they can't and will just tell you "we got it as close as we could."
I understand. Thanks.
 

Sc629

Ready to race!
Location
IN
So since you have non-zero front camber, i assume you run camber plates?
I do not. Lowering will naturally make your camber more negative. To answer your other question, a good shop should do the subframe shift automatically but reminding them helps to make sure it’s done properly.
 

flipflp

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Ride
'16 Golf R DSG
I've used the rule on my alignments to request the rear set ~0.5 degree less than the front, but I have camber plates so that leaves me at 2.3 front and 1.8 rear. Without camber plates, I'd go with SC629s recommendation of -1.2 to -1.5, but you may not get -1.55 up front.

Here's my alignment from springs only (~25" FTG):
IMG_20161008_155941 by Jon Collier, on Flickr
I was running pretty aggressive rear spacers so I opted for more camber for fender-tire clearance.

That said if the dealership is doing it I wouldn't expect a custom spec alignment, but as long as the rear camber is even and more than -1 you should be pretty happy.
 

anotero

Drag Race Newbie
Location
SoCal
I've used the rule on my alignments to request the rear set ~0.5 degree less than the front, but I have camber plates so that leaves me at 2.3 front and 1.8 rear. Without camber plates, I'd go with SC629s recommendation of -1.2 to -1.5, but you may not get -1.55 up front.

Here's my alignment from springs only (~25" FTG):
IMG_20161008_155941 by Jon Collier, on Flickr
I was running pretty aggressive rear spacers so I opted for more camber for fender-tire clearance.

That said if the dealership is doing it I wouldn't expect a custom spec alignment, but as long as the rear camber is even and more than -1 you should be pretty happy.
Thanks. I'll show them this "printout" and ask them to set my rear the same, depending on what my front is.
What's FTG?
 

flipflp

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Ride
'16 Golf R DSG
Thanks. I'll show them this "printout" and ask them to set my rear the same, depending on what my front is.
What's FTG?
Have them set you to near enough zero toe F/R though, not sure why mine was set toe in front and rear but it's still within specs I suppose. Your rear camber doesn't have to be -1.8 either, like I said that was just because of spacers.

Fender to Ground, so the highest point of the fender straight through the hub. It's an easy enough way to note how lowered you are, since not all Golfs start with the same fender to tire gap.
 
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