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toe in, camber, and handling?


GuyWithCavalier
12-09-2011, 08:02 AM
I am looking to adjust my toe in and camber.

I came across this interesting note in another thread:


"Sloppy steering is probably the alignment. I aligned mine to the (factory) specs, and it was still not very good.

[factory= -ve .33 degrees camber (negative = top inward, bottom of tire out)
-ve .12 degrees toe in (positive = toe-in closer at front than rear)

I then adjusted the camber to -1.5 and
the toe to .4, night and day difference, '
and the tires wear completely normal.

I would actually say the handling is "good" with those numbers, I would give the factory alignment "below average". It handles better than most cars now.

Caster was whatever it was at before (around 4?), it doesn't affect handling so I didn't waste time adjusting it. "


And I also found this handy chart/quick instruction guide:



Take the difference between the measurements of the front and rear of the tires then divide by 2 and that is the toe in/out per wheel in inches.

NOTE: If the front dimension is smaller than the rear dimension you have toe in, otherwise it is toe out.
Refer to the chart below to convert to minutes or degrees of toe. There are 60 minutes to one degree. A good rule of thumb is 1/16 inch toe in per wheel front and 1/8 inch toe in per wheel rear for a car doing autocrosses/time trials.

NOTE: This chart is based on a toe gauge that is 24 inches wide and will NOT be accurate for other WIDTHs.

Toe measurement 1/16 inch or 0.0625 inch = Toe angle 8.95251minutes
Toe measurement 1/8 inch or 0.125 inch = Toe angle 17.9051 minutes
Toe measurement 3/16 inch or 0.1875 inch = Toe angle 26.8578 minutes
Toe measurement � inch or 0.25 inch = Toe angle 35.8106 minutes
Toe measurement 5/16 inch or 0.3125 inch = Toe angle 44.7638 minutes
Toe measurement 3/8 inch or 0.375 inch = Toe angle 53.7172 minutes
Toe measurement 7/16 inch or 0.4375 inch = Toe angle 1.04452 degrees
Toe measurement � inch or 0.5 inch = Toe angle 1.19375 degrees
Toe measurement 9/16 inch or 0.5625 inch = Toe angle 1.343 degrees
Toe measurement 5/8 inch or 0.625 inch = Toe angle 1.49225 degrees
Toe measurement 11/16 inch or 0.6875 inch = Toe angle 1.64152 degrees
Toe measurement � inch or 0.75 inch = Toe angle 1.79079 degrees
Toe measurement 13/16 inch or 0.8125 inch = Toe angle 1.94008 degrees
Toe measurement 7/8 inch or 0.875 inch = Toe angle 2.08938 degrees
Toe measurement 15/16 inch or 0.9375 inch = Toe angle 2.23869 degrees
Toe measurement 1 inch = Toe angle 2.38802 degrees


3. Camber measurement, perform after measurement of toe in.


Use a carpenter’s square and place against the wheel with small side on the floor.
Ensure the long side is vertical. (use a level?)

Measure the distance between the square and the lower rim edge in 32nds and record as shown in picture 7 (http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/home_toe_in/figure7.jpg).
Measure the distance between the square and the upper rim edge in 32nds and record as shown in figure 8 (http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/home_toe_in/figure8.jpg).
Subtract the lower reading from the upper reading and refer to the chart below to get the amount of negative camber.

NOTE: If the lower dimension is smaller than the upper dimension you have negative camber, otherwise it is positive camber. Refer to the chart below to convert to minutes or degrees of camber. There are 60 minutes to one degree. Camber settings will depend on what type of tire used and how the car is to be driven, but should probably never be positive!

NOTE: This chart is based on 15inch diameter wheels, the most common on 914’s it seems and will NOT be accurate for other diameters.


CAMBER MEASUREMENT BASED ON 15 INCH WHEELS
Camber measurement 1 - 32nds or 0.03125 inches = Camber angle 7.16201 minutes
Camber measurement 2 - 32nds or 0.0625 inches = Camber angle 14.324 minutes
Camber measurement 3 - 32nds or 0.09375 inches = Camber angle 21.4861 minutes
Camber measurement 4 - 32nds or 0.125 inches = Camber angle 28.6483 minutes
Camber measurement 5 - 32nds or 0.15625 inches = Camber angle 35.8106 minutes
Camber measurement 6 - 32nds or 0.1875 inches = Camber angle 42.9731 minutes
Camber measurement 7 - 32nds or 0.21875 inches = Camber angle 50.1358 minutes
Camber measurement 8 - 32nds or 0.25 inches = Camber angle 57.2987 minutes
Camber measurement 9 - 32nds or 0.28125 inches = Camber angle 1.07436 degrees
Camber measurement 10 - 32nds or 0.3125 inches = Camber angle 1.19375 degrees
Camber measurement 11 - 32nds or 0.34375 inches = Camber angle 1.31315 degrees
Camber measurement 12 - 32nds or 0.375 inches = Camber angle 1.43255 degrees
Camber measurement 13 - 32nds or 0.40625 inches = Camber angle 1.55196 degrees
Camber measurement 14 - 32nds or 0.4375 inches = Camber angle 1.67137 degrees
Camber measurement 15 - 32nds or 0.46875 inches = Camber angle 1.79079 degrees
Camber measurement 16 - 32nds or 0.5 inches = Camber angle 1.91022 degrees
Camber measurement 17 - 32nds or 0.53125 inches = Camber angle 2.02966 degrees
Camber measurement 18 - 32nds or 0.5625 inches = Camber angle 2.1491 degrees
Camber measurement 19 - 32nds or 0.59375 inches = Camber angle 2.26856 degrees
Camber measurement 20 - 32nds or 0.625 inches = Camber angle 2.38802 degrees
Camber measurement 21 - 32nds or 0.65625 inches = Camber angle 2.5075 degrees
Camber measurement 22 - 32nds or 0.6875 inches = Camber angle 2.62699 degrees
Camber measurement 23 - 32nds or 0.71875 inches = Camber angle 2.74649 degrees
Camber measurement 24 - 32nds or 0.75 inches = Camber angle 2.866 degrees
Camber measurement 25 - 32nds or 0.78125 inches = Camber angle 2.98552 degrees
Camber measurement 26 - 32nds or 0.8125 inches = Camber angle 3.10505 degrees
Camber measurement 27 - 32nds or 0.84375 inches = Camber angle 3.2246 degrees
Camber measurement 28 - 32nds or 0.875 inches = Camber angle 3.34417 degrees
Camber measurement 29 - 32nds or 0.90625 inches = Camber angle 3.46374 degrees
Camber measurement 30 - 32nds or 0.9375 inches = Camber angle 3.58334 degrees
Camber measurement 31 - 32nds or 0.96875 inches = Camber angle 3.70294 degrees
Camber measurement 32 - 32nds or 1 inches = Camber angle 3.82257 degrees


From the pictures on that page, it appears the toe-in measurements (in inches)
are done at front and rear of tire, i.e., the difference divided by 2.


(1) Is this the same way to measure the Camber?

(2) What do you think of the recommendations regarding going a bit outside factory spec to get better handling and tire wear?

Has anyone else experimented with camber/toe-in on a Cavalier,
with or without stabilizer-bar,
and also in snow (understeer/oversteer) vs. dry road conditions?

What do you recommend?

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