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  View original topic: Setting ride height and camber on Baja Bug
wearymicrobe Wed Dec 23, 2020 2:41 pm

Might be a more unusual question but is there a given convention for how to set your ride height and camber for baja bug for street and dirt use.

My Baja is running fox shocks to 3 inch arms from a 91 weddle transmission with a ecotech swap. The body is basically just a pan and body welded onto a 90% tube frame. With the gearing I have 90-95mph is more then possible but for extended running on the street I like to keep it at ~55.

I also have power steering for the dirt but have it switchable on and off at the dash. Car is almost undrivable above 60 with the power steering due to the amount of assist it provides. I have not measure the toe in or out yet but I can do that. Is neutral the best option.

I have negative camber in the rear right now and positive in the front and its a beast to drive on the street at speed. I should be able to change this by adjusting the height of the shock in the front and rear but what exactly should I be looking for for more friendly street manners.





Looking for more street and dirt road then anything because currently I don't have a trailer wide enough to fit my car.

DHale_510 Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:46 am

There are no advantages to positive front camber that I can see. It gives more sensitive steering but even that is not needed.
In general you can use camber to set up the car for more cornering force, keep the tire flat when the car leans into a turn.
Probably much more to the cause of your problems is toe settings that you have not listed. Any toe in at the back will be bad for in line stability. Toe out in front is much the same. Unless you want a twitchy autocross setup that is....
Dennis

no1clyde Thu Dec 24, 2020 10:23 am

I would raise the rear with springs or preload until you get 0* camber and the front camber adjusts with shims, there are charts to tell you the shim setup you want. That said I shim my front for a little neg camber and my rear is 0* camber. I run 0 toe on the rear and about a 1/8 toe in on the front and my car drives well on both dirt and street. When I built my car I set it up for 1/3 the sag meaning say 4 inches of droop and 8 inches of up to the bump stops is where my ride height is set to be. I drive mine 75mph on the freeway often and some times 230 miles to SLC from here.



Ed

wearymicrobe Thu Dec 24, 2020 7:36 pm

DHale_510 wrote: There are no advantages to positive front camber that I can see. It gives more sensitive steering but even that is not needed.
In general you can use camber to set up the car for more cornering force, keep the tire flat when the car leans into a turn.
Probably much more to the cause of your problems is toe settings that you have not listed. Any toe in at the back will be bad for in line stability. Toe out in front is much the same. Unless you want a twitchy autocross setup that is....
Dennis

Thanks guys for the responses. I come from the track car world where even 1/5th of a degree can be detrimental. Never really owned a off road car, only driven them for other people where they were presetup.

I have leveled everything out like clyde suggested and will be test driving tomorrow once I do a quick string test for the front and rear toe. I have about 6 inches of up in the front and about 6 down if I have measured right. The rear I have about 10 up and about 4 in drop which seems rational based on what I have seen online.

dustymojave Thu Dec 24, 2020 7:43 pm

I'm gonna have to disagree with you two on those last. Not a whole lot though.

Link pin front camber should be close to zero except for extreme use like short course offroad racing or slalom.

Camber in a linkpin front end is NOT adjustable.The linkpin shims are NOT for adjustment of camber. They are for adjusting to the offset of upper to lower arms. Mis-installing linkpin shims might adjust camber, but it's not the right way to do things. It puts the linkpins at a bind.

Toe-in at the back is better than toe-out. Toe-out front and rear can be used in slalom conditions to help a car make turns quickly, but causes a car to be "twitchy" and unpredictable at speed. Toe at front should be 1/8" to 1/4" at ride height. Toe at rear should be zero to 1/4" in at ride height.

I agree with Ed (no1clyde) on setting the rear camber.

no1clyde Thu Dec 24, 2020 7:58 pm

Dusty is right on the front camber, my combo spindles are what give mine the neg. camber.

Ed

TDCTDI Fri Dec 25, 2020 6:32 pm

Caster angle also causes high speed instability. My car was downright dangerous over 50mph until I installed a set of caster shims.

dustymojave Fri Dec 25, 2020 7:16 pm

More like "LACK OF caster angle" is what was a problem. 8)

You r Ghia is ball joint, right? Lack of caster angle may have been down to the guy who set the camber etc.

TDCTDI Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:17 pm

dustymojave wrote: More like "LACK OF caster angle" is what was a problem. 8)

You r Ghia is ball joint, right? Lack of caster angle may have been down to the guy who set the camber etc.

Regardless of where the camber eccentrics are adjusted, the caster angle is determined by the relation of the upper & lower balljoints, this does not change when adjusting the camber.

dustymojave Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:49 pm

Because the camber and caster are adjusted together by rotating an eccentric in the round hole of the top of the spindle, moving that eccentric to change the camber also changes the caster. And vice-versa. It affects toe setting too.

Most ALL cars and trucks that use ball joints have an interplay in adjusting camber caster and toe together, even if the adjustment is via an eccentric at an inner pivot of the upper or lower a-arm, or if the cross-shaft for the upper a-arm is adjusted with shims between it and the frame brackets. Even on a race car with the a-arm adjusted by screwing heim joints into/out of the inner ends of the arm. ALL of those methods of adjustment affect all 3 factors at the same time. A race car with the camber adjusted by screwing a heim joint in and out of the outer end of the a-arm does NOT affect the caster, but still affects toe.

74 Thing Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:26 pm

Yes, the eccentrics in the front adjust both camber and a little caster.

Have you put caster shims in the front?

You really need to get that aligned by someone who knows what they are doing.

Camber/caster/toe for the front, then in the rear (IRS) toe (fwd or rear with the spring plate bolts and there is some camber adjustment up and down with the bolts), and then the thrust angle so the front wheels and rear wheels are heading in the right direction.

TDCTDI Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:35 am

dustymojave wrote: Because the camber and caster are adjusted together by rotating an eccentric in the round hole of the top of the spindle, moving that eccentric to change the camber also changes the caster. And vice-versa. It affects toe setting too.

The caster is only affected by a small fraction of a degree due to the fact that the center line of the ball joint has not changed. The spindle itself tilts forward & back but the caster angle itself barely moves (less than a tenth of a degree) I watched this on the screen as WE tried to adjust the eccentrics.

dustymojave wrote: Most ALL cars and trucks that use ball joints have an interplay in adjusting camber caster and toe together, even if the adjustment is via an eccentric at an inner pivot of the upper or lower a-arm, or if the cross-shaft for the upper a-arm is adjusted with shims between it and the frame brackets. Even on a race car with the a-arm adjusted by screwing heim joints into/out of the inner ends of the arm. ALL of those methods of adjustment affect all 3 factors at the same time. A race car with the camber adjusted by screwing a heim joint in and out of the outer end of the a-arm does NOT affect the caster, but still affects toe.

This interplay really only works IF the eccentric is on the axis point of the balljoint. This is not the case on the VW front end, the eccentric is on the spindle side so the caster angle is barely affected. Yes, toe is affected due to the spindle moving in & out.

dustymojave Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:43 pm

TDCTDI wrote: dustymojave wrote: Because the camber and caster are adjusted together by rotating an eccentric in the round hole of the top of the spindle, moving that eccentric to change the camber also changes the caster. And vice-versa. It affects toe setting too.

The caster is only affected by a small fraction of a degree due to the fact that the center line of the ball joint has not changed. The spindle itself tilts forward & back but the caster angle itself barely moves (less than a tenth of a degree) I watched this on the screen as WE tried to adjust the eccentrics.

dustymojave wrote: Most ALL cars and trucks that use ball joints have an interplay in adjusting camber caster and toe together, even if the adjustment is via an eccentric at an inner pivot of the upper or lower a-arm, or if the cross-shaft for the upper a-arm is adjusted with shims between it and the frame brackets. Even on a race car with the a-arm adjusted by screwing heim joints into/out of the inner ends of the arm. ALL of those methods of adjustment affect all 3 factors at the same time. A race car with the camber adjusted by screwing a heim joint in and out of the outer end of the a-arm does NOT affect the caster, but still affects toe.

This interplay really only works IF the eccentric is on the axis point of the balljoint. This is not the case on the VW front end, the eccentric is on the spindle side so the caster angle is barely affected. Yes, toe is affected due to the spindle moving in & out.

I agree that the upper ball joint itself does not move. Caster shims behind the bottom beam tube are far more effective at causing caster change than ball joint eccentric movement.

You and I are not far apart here. and we can argue the fine points for a long time without achieving much other than bickering.



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