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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

pic for height
I got the FK coilovers installed and the alignment has been off since (obviously).
First of all, I've tried 8 places in my area and either they don't want to do it, they can't get it on the hoist (I took my whole front bumper off, too), or the beams don't clear the fender to get an ccurate measurement (or something, I don't really know how an alignment machine thing works). Besides the fact that the alignment is so bad, that the car wanders wherever the hell it wants too, I've noticed that AFTER the suspension has been installed, the car handles worse. Example, the car pushes harder into corners. I'll take a corner at a slightly high speed (nothing that the car couldn't handle before), and the outter fron wheel will start to slip/bounce. I can take a similar corner at the same speed turning the other way and it won't do it, but the steering wheel feels very loose in my hand. I have a feeling that it's alignment matched with garbage tires, but I honestly don't know. Would the alignment affect the actual handling of the car, or the ability to track in a straight line?
EDIT -- Also, if the car is too low and the control arms aren't level, would it force the car to do this? Can anyone judge by the picture (thats a juice box), if the car is too low and the control arms aren't level?
Thanks for any help. Sorry about the long post.


[Modified by Mooz!, 1:56 AM 1-30-2003]
 

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Re: question about my suspension/alignment and how it affects handling. (Mooz!)

to answer your two questions simply YES. alignment will definately affect handling a lil and it also affects the ability of the car to track straight. have u noticed that you have to hold the wheel in a set place in order to keep it straight, or like the car is fighting you. if the suspension is installed correctly then i would suggest getting a set of the camber bolts (skinnier bolts that allow adjustment on bottom of shock for adjustment) you can get them from techtonics....autotech...and i think possibly your VW stealership. as far as gettin the car aligned....try a custom shop or a 4x4 shop that would have the special equipment. most places see a lowered car and send you away. happened wit my 94golf with 60/40 kit. a local 4x4 shop did it with no problem....they do alot of customization. good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: question about my suspension/alignment and how it affects handling. (VWsuperhero)

No to the adjustable dampening.
I was told that these cars are pretty good as far as camber adjustment goes and you really don't need the kit. Is any of this true?
A 4x4 shop will do it, you say?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: question about my suspension/alignment and how it affects handling. (ProjectCriminal)

Damn. I don't know a place short of a 1 hour drive that will do alignments on lowered cars.
 

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Re: question about my suspension/alignment and how it affects handling. (Mooz!)

Both CAMBER & TOE settings will affect the handling of the car. By lowering the car, the amount of TOE will change due to the fact that the length of the steering tie rods have not changed. With the lower control arms inclined, the geometry of the front suspension has changed.
The biggest problem with radically inclined lower control arms is that the front Roll Center (some point in space about which the car body rotates in a corner) goes below ground level, causing a longer front moment arm from the Center of Gravity to the front Roll Center. Effectively causing more body lean and the handling of the car becomes worse than when the lower control arms were level.
Setting the TOE is easy. You will need two tape measures and two rectangular bars that are long enough to span the front tires. Cut slots on the ends of the rectangular bars so the ends of the tape measures will slide through. Place the bars, one per side, on the lower portions of the front tires (have a friend hold one side), and measure the amount of distance at the front of the tires in respect to the distance at the rear of the tires. The difference in the measurements is the amount of TOE. Ideally you want about 1/16 inch total TOE OUT for a FWD car. Good luck, WWR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: question about my suspension/alignment and how it affects handling. (WackyWabbitRacer)

ttt
 

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Re: question about my suspension/alignment and how it affects handling. (Mooz!)

IIRC Shine Racing Suspensions drops the car half an inch. That puts the car at optimum height. PM 16v, he's running the SRS setup.
 

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Re: question about my suspension/alignment and how it affects handling. (Mooz!)

this might sound half assed but . . . back in Mississauga, I remember a Crappy Tire billboard saying "Alignments - Lowered Cars". Maybe check with a Newer CDN tire. But, IIRC, with coilovers, each time you lower/raise it, you need to get it re-aligned.
- dac
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: question about my suspension/alignment and how it affects handling. (bpfoley)

Thanks.
I know about re-aligning whenever the car is raised or lowered, which is why I want to align it now, because the height is proably the lowest height I can drive on a daily basis. I won't go lower and I dont want to go much higher.
 

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Re: question about my suspension/alignment and how it affects handling. (Mooz!)

that car looks really good - i dont see many lowered cars on what look like stock steel wheels - makes me think my car has losts of potential.....very nice
 
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