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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, dropping my GTR off Tuesday (at my local high performance shop) to install the ID injectors and 3" got boost intakes. I figured I would have them check the alignment as just put on new tires and they have a top-spec Hunter alignment rack that has the GT-R specs in it. I had my alignment done at my 2 year POS a few weeks ago but then had the tranny enhanced by Shep. I figured since it was there I would have them check the alignment as with the tranny out I figured that could affect things. Questions:

1) Is it necessary to check alignment after tranny in and out?
2) There alignment rack shows a choice of "normal" and "max driving" settings for the chassis. I recall that my dealer recommended normal as even though I track the car often, the downsides of max driving settings for daily driving is not worth it (ie ride etc).
3) They also said, the rack specs recommend having the stability control system reprogrammed at the dealer after an alignment.

My thought on item 3) is that is only necessary if moving between the settings or a major alignment problem. Let me know your thoughts.
 

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3) They also said, the rack specs recommend having the stability control system reprogrammed at the dealer after an alignment.
I have not heard of that., but I would have to check with our service department to see what is required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sean, thanks! How much does the max driving increase tire wear (ie is it half etc), I burn through tires as it is. What is the advantage to that max setting on the track? What downside in daily driving? Lastly, please check on that stability control question, appreciate it!
 

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How much does the max driving increase tire wear (ie is it half etc), I burn through tires as it is. What is the advantage to that max setting on the track? What downside in daily driving? Lastly, please check on that stability control question, appreciate it!
Its a tough question. The track settings are more camber. More camber means you are riding the inside edge of the tire in normal driving. The more camber, the smaller the actual patch of rubber you are riding on. At the track, two sets of tires a weekend means you are running hard. On the street, maybe 8k, but if you rotate them around you will get some more life out of them.

This is part of the reason I like going square with the rubber on a GT-R. 285 all around. You have to dismount, but then you can take the left front tire off and move it to the back of the car, and make the tires last longer. Most US tracks are clockwise, so that left front takes a beating.

The alignment machine does talk about stability control, it says the same thing about 350 and 370 Z's.

I looked though the R35 service manual. I looked though the manuals for other cars. I think what Hunter is doing, is covering themselves if the alignment causes any issues. I can't find anything on resetting the stability control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sean, thanks so much, its guys like you that make this forum awesome! So it sounds like going with the max driving would be a great option, heck I really don't care about burning more tires if there is some upside. Let me ask the question differently, what benefits will I see (or feel) at the track from running the max driving setting. I am an intermediate driver. It sounds like there is limited downside to the street performance or harshness of ride.
 

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Steve, there's no ride quality difference at all. Also, if you check, the difference between the 2 camber/caster settings is really quite minimal. MC has the specs. Definitely go with the more aggressive settings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
At the better setting what is the track diff? Easier to corner etc?
 

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At the better setting what is the track diff? Easier to corner etc?
Two main alignment settings that mean much. Camber and Toe.
http://www.2009gtr.c...label/alignment

Camber is the tires tilt vs vertical. More negative camber, means the tire is tilted more in at the top. When cornering the loaded tire is going to want to move towards positive camber. More static camber means less move towards positive when cornering hard.





Toe is the inward or outward direction the tires point.



At the race track, we use tire temps, tire wear, and tire pressure as inputs to setup the alignment on the car.

THERE IS NO BEST NUMBER.

There is a number for this driver, for this day, for this track, this condition. Many many variables that come to play. The wrong alignment can make a car undriveable. The right one can make you a hero.
 

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Just a thought. I used to use Nissan't "track" alignment specs. I don't recall the specific parameters, however, but I think max negative camber is 1.8 degrees. After going to a 285 square setup and installing the KW coilover sleeve kit, I had the car aligned to specs similar to those used by Top Speed for Leh Keen's OLOA GT-R. He also ran a square setup (315 Michelins, I believe), but the alignment specs were more aggressive than Nissan's "track" spec. IIRC, Top Speed used 2.4 degrees negative camber in front and 2.2 degrees in the rear. I think they had 1.5 mm toe in on each side in front and 1 mm toe out in the rear (on each side). They were able to get the extent of negative camber after lowering the car with the KW sleeve kit. After installing mine, we didn't lower it initially as much as they did to allow the springs to settle, so I was only able to get 2 degrees negative camber in front. Based on that, I went with 1.8 degrees in the rear, and used their toe settings. Now that the springs have had time to settle, I plan at some point to take the car back in and have it lowered a bit more to mimic Top Speeds suspension geometry. After that, I *should* be able to get the 2.4 degrees in front and can then go to 2.2 degrees in the rear.

As Sean was saying, negative camber will increase the wear on the inner aspect of the tires during daily driving, but this negative camber will help the car to corner better on the track. Too much negative camber would be a detriment, however. It is always looking for that fine line that optimizes performance without overshooting the adjustment. Like Sean was saying with his comment about tire temps, your optimal negative camber will lead to equal tire temps across the width of the tires. I have yet to measure mine, but I plan to use Top Speed's specs as a starting point, and then adjust from there based upon tire temps.

One other point: I also have the Stillen sways and have them adjusted as Top Speed did. That is medium stiff in front and full soft rear. Just with what I have done so far with these adjustments has really transformed the way the car corners on the track. The car is very neutral-handling now. Mid corner push is gone and power-on oversteer is also gone. High speed straight line stability is still very much present, as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So bottom line if I step up from the "normal" spec to the max driving spec from Nissan it is a good starting point then as I get better i can further dial in. Just curious how much should an alignment cost (or how much time should it take) on a top-spec Hunter alignment rack? I know the dealer will hit me up big time, it seems like my guy is anticipating an hour or two. He is just a time and materials shop.
 

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So bottom line if I step up from the "normal" spec to the max driving spec from Nissan it is a good starting point then as I get better i can further dial in. Just curious how much should an alignment cost (or how much time should it take) on a top-spec Hunter alignment rack? I know the dealer will hit me up big time, it seems like my guy is anticipating an hour or two. He is just a time and materials shop.
At STILLEN alignment for a GTR is $175. Its a Hunter alignment machine also. The GT-R is a little more expensive because of the undertrays. Makes it harder to get at everything. The alignment is only as good as the guy using the machine.



Personally I don't really like aligning cars. I don't do it for a living, but when I am the only guy at the track, I end up doing them. I can put a better alignment on a car with some string and some tools, than I would trust from 99% of the places with the best most updated equipment out there.

At the track we use "hopefully a flat surface" strings, toe plates, and camber gauges to get the alignment on. And if it takes us a lot of time to get it right, we take that time.

There are some odd things with alignments. Some things to think about. Weight of the driver. If you have some weird tire wear, the alignment and weight of the driver should be looked at. Most of the time, unloaded is fine, but I have seen a few cars that had tire wear issues, but once the driver was added, the tire wear got much better. (300 lb driver, and a 270 lb driver, and 270 passenger).

When we corner balance, its always with driver weight, but I will have to admit, adding driver weight with alignment was not something that I really thought about much until some weird tire issues on street cars. Some cars call for it, others do not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This thread has been great for me, thanks so much again! Now onto corner balancing. I am a bigger guy (205 lbs) would you recommend corner balancing and can that be done with an stock suspension or does that require coilovers. What type of machine is used for that? Sorry for the newbie question! Lastly, I wish Stillen was local to me (I'm in Michigan, I would be there in a heartbeat!)
 

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3) They also said, the rack specs recommend having the stability control system reprogrammed at the dealer after an alignment.
Based on this recommendation, just walk away from this shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Based on this recommendation, just walk away from this shop.
They said that was the rack disclosure, having said that they didn't believe it needed to be done unless there was a major problem, they also stated it was most likely a legal disclosure thing of the rack manufacturer.
 

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This thread has been great for me, thanks so much again! Now onto corner balancing. I am a bigger guy (205 lbs) would you recommend corner balancing and can that be done with an stock suspension or does that require coilovers. What type of machine is used for that? Sorry for the newbie question! Lastly, I wish Stillen was local to me (I'm in Michigan, I would be there in a heartbeat!)
 

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Oops double post. No u can't corner balance w stock suspension. Takes coilovers.
You can actually corner balance with stock suspension. It just requires a lot more creativity, and a lot more time to get it close. Its not really worth it. Its much easier to put a good set of coil overs, or a set of sleeves.

Corner balancing is done on a set of scales.

http://www.longacrer...sp?id=1&catid=1



Remember what we are trying to do, is control the movement of the tire. Balance everything out, make the car easier for the driver to control and drive. It makes a difference. The more predictable the car, the faster the driver. A very fast car should look very smooth. It shouldn't scare the driver. It should be easy to drive fast. If the driver is sawing at the wheel, it might be quick, but its really not fast.

A good set of coil overs allow you to control that tire. The stock suspension does an OK job, but like power, like tire, you can do much, much better.

 

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More tools if you really care about alignment and your $1600 set of tires.

Data is king. Bring a note book. Take as many notes as you need. Make checklists. Check things twice/three times. Get video. Save logs.

http://www.longacreracing.com/catalog/index.asp

Tire Pyrometer - $108.



2 1/2" tire pressure gauge. I carry one of these with me everywhere. The larger the face, the more accurate it will be. If you want they have 3" gauges. - $48.50


Toe Plates - $61.95 Takes two people, and a little bit of an eye to work.


Camber gauge - $279


With these tools, you can check your alignment yourself, or get the data so you have an idea what is going on. It all requires a little bit of a thought process, but every single time the race car comes off the track, we check camber and toe. On that car, banging curbs, and banging cars, we often find an issue before its too late.
 

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FYI - I've had the aggressive track alignment since the 1000 POS (what's the alignment setting from the factory?) and my allseason Dunlops look and grip like new after 18k miles.
 
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