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2005 Forester XT SOLD
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145 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am up early and probably over thinking things. I am sure that I am the only guy the that does that here. I have been reading posts on site since around 3am.

First goals - daily driver, no racing, fun but comfortable, tire wear
Mods all this week - Swift springs, Perrin rear sway with mounts, New tires

Numbers

Front
-.6 Camber -.6 (both sides are "maxed out")
2.8 Caster 3.3
-.01 Toe -.01 Total Toe .02 Steer Ahead 0.0

Rear
-1.7 Camber -1.6
.02 Toe .10 Total Toe .12 Thrust angle -.04

I brought it back for a re alignment and the guy walked me through as he was doing it. The front camber is maxed out. He added a new camber bolt to the drivers rear to get "within specs". I dont think the car has been wrecked and it has 27K miles. There was more adjustment to the drivers rear but he matched it to the right rear that does not have a camber bolt.

For what I am doing are these numbers good?
Can I get something to make the Castor numbers better? Should I?
Should I add a camber bolt to the Passenger side to bring the rear in more?
Should I get the HR-TC114 camber bolts all around and dial it in better?

Thanks in advance from a Noob.
 

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27 car gear
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First off, the toe needs work... Not -.02 or .01.. You want .00 up front. If you want to rotate a little more, you can leave your rear toe as is or a little more toe out.. But generally for a daily driver, strive for .00 all around.

You should have more camber up front for better handling... -1.5 to -2 is about right, anymore more than -2 and you'll have some quick tire wear. Of course you will rotate tires with ever oil change or two... I like the rear to be about 1 less than the front..

Whats the best way to achieve that at this point? I would recommend Whiteline's KCA335... or a normal camber plate. I'm not a fan of camber bolts at all, especially over the factory one up front. The factory unit is very beefy and strong. Aftermarket units not so much and do slip on occasion, pretty obvious when you look at em compared to stock...

Which leaves caster... The more the better, period. The above plates assist with that... Or you can add the whiteline caster bushing (not to be confused with an ALK which a forester does NOT need)
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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FWIW, here is my alignment sheet when I was on Swifts, this was after the car was re-aligned due to me bending the driver-side tierods, understeering into a rock on some ice. Stock alignment bolts.



Stan
 

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2005 Forester XT SOLD
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Discussion Starter #4
Looking at the last two posts. First Thanks!

Stan T were you happy with that or should I be looking at the Whiteline mounts? I can order them if I need them. I want it set up right and then I want to forget about it. I dont want to add a new mount that needs care and feeding adding to the problem.

Did you like the way it drove and was the tire wear OK?

It looks like our numbers are close. As for accuracy the technician at Schwab would just tap the tire with one finger and he could get a .02 change.
 

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More than anything, get at least another degree of camber up front. How you do that is up to you...

Get that toe fixed to be .00

After that, you can decide if you want more caster... Personally having 4+ degrees now, I wouldnt mind having 5. ;)
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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Stan T were you happy with that or should I be looking at the Whiteline mounts? I can order them if I need them. I want it set up right and then I want to forget about it. I dont want to add a new mount that needs care and feeding adding to the problem.

Did you like the way it drove and was the tire wear OK?

It looks like our numbers are close. As for accuracy the technician at Schwab would just tap the tire with one finger and he could get a .02 change.
No. I never got it sorted out around the Swifts and stock struts. It never felt solid close to the limit, and like I mentioned in your other thread, I oversteered a couple of times lifting off, and understeered a few times while on the throttle at good speed. After doing the track day I decided I needed to compensate for my poor driving skills :icon_biggrin: and go with a better strut, which meant lower and stiffer springs.

After what I've learned poking at different spring combos, I think I would try the following to build around Swifts. Try to get more negative camber upfront, maybe less in the rear (you'll need camber bolts for the rear at Swift height). I'd try a 24mm or 25mm adjustable front bar on lowest setting and Whiteline steering rack bushings -- that should tighten up the front. In the rear, I'd do Kartboy botox subframe locking bolts and move the bar to middle setting. Kartboy endlinks all around. That's what I'm at now basically, except with different struts/springs, and the rear and front both feel tight. I'm still running stock alignment bolts all around.

FWIW, last time I got an alignment, I went with the alignment guys' recommendation vs. bringing him a printout from the Interwebz. I am running barely -1 camber in front and rear. I am very happy with the handling now, a few people on this board have driven/ridden in my car and did not find the handling unsafe :icon_biggrin: I can keep up with certain people in the twisties now, where before they pulled away at higher speed turns.

Stan
 

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^That's about where I am at too.. felt planted while doing hairpins in Marin.

Alignment is -1.4 camber up front, -1.0 in the rear, 0 toe all around. Didn't check the rest of my values.

Going soon to D-Specs with Crucials (from WRX sedan with Crucials) [257f/217r] with Cobb 25mm RSB in middle + subframe bolts + kartboy endlinks + SuperPro rack bushings.

Maybe I should pull back my front camber a bit closer to -1.0? Bet it would probably feel more stable.
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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The two shops I've talked to about alignments said 0 toe will cause your car to track funny and it will dart around real easy. They said having a very mininal toe in keeps the car more stable.

I had mine set to 0 toe anyway, but I thought it was interested what they said.
 

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The two shops I've talked to about alignments said 0 toe will cause your car to track funny and it will dart around real easy. They said having a very mininal toe in keeps the car more stable.

I had mine set to 0 toe anyway, but I thought it was interested what they said.
It's true that a little toe in will aid in stability. As will a little toe out will aid in turn-in...

But twitchy I do not not have. There is too much play in the suspension from rubber bushings, and tires for it to be an issue...
 

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2007 Forester XT 4EAT-VTD
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The reason for the excess cross camber in the rear - and the need for a camber bolt on one side - is subframe misalignment. Get a set of subframe locking bolts and the rear cross camber will be greatly reduced.

To get more camber in the front, put the car up and losen the two bolts on each side. Also, losen the three strut nuts under the hood. Max out the camber bolt and then pull out on the bottom of the rotor and tighten the bolts/nuts. There's enough play in the tolerances to gain some camber. Do the same in the rear but push in on the bottom of the rotor to pull in the camber.

When you get aligned, on the front have the side with the most camber pulled in to match the other side.

Using this method, with Swift springs on stock struts I ended up with negative 1.5 degrees on all four corners and had just a touch of toe-in dialed in for the front.
 

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i still think you need to find a more competant alignment shop. no1 else here had a problem getting the desired negative camber in front w/ swifts... and the rear has too much...
 

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2006 Forester XT
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It's not always the alignment shop to blame. I have -.35 degrees of camber in front and that's the maximum even camber I can have with stock struts and bolts. It's normal to have more camber in the rear on most production cars.

I have ordered KCA335 and KCA375M. They'll go on in the spring with the Spec-C struts (my06). I'll report on the alignment then.

edit: Here is the full story ("ennen" = before, "jalkeen" = after)
 

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First off, the toe needs work... Not -.02 or .01.. You want .00 up front. If you want to rotate a little more, you can leave your rear toe as is or a little more toe out.. But generally for a daily driver, strive for .00 all around.

You should have more camber up front for better handling... -1.5 to -2 is about right, anymore more than -2 and you'll have some quick tire wear. Of course you will rotate tires with ever oil change or two... I like the rear to be about 1 less than the front..

Whats the best way to achieve that at this point? I would recommend Whiteline's KCA335... or a normal camber plate. I'm not a fan of camber bolts at all, especially over the factory one up front. The factory unit is very beefy and strong. Aftermarket units not so much and do slip on occasion, pretty obvious when you look at em compared to stock...

Which leaves caster... The more the better, period. The above plates assist with that... Or you can add the whiteline caster bushing (not to be confused with an ALK which a forester does NOT need)
Have to agree with all this. Most cars come from the factory with more rear camber than front, but this is to get it to handle "safely" ie: lots of understeer (and it is usually done on FWD vehicles).

It seems the ideal general "spirited" daily driver alignment is about -1.5F and -1R with close to 0 toe all around (maybe some front toe in for stability, might have to play with toe and camber as toe in will give some outside shoulder wear).

It seems most foresters have issues with rear cross camber, this is all due to the "downgraded" rear subframe the forester gets and the less than perfect alignment of it on the car, loosen it up and install subframe lock bolts and tighten it all back up.

The only thing I would be worried about is the odd cross caster in the front of the OP's ride. The only thing I can think of that would cause this is if someone crashed (even lightly) into a curb with that side and possibly damaged the rear pickup point for the control arm or something.
 
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