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Alignments for the track and the street


mcolangelo2005

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I just got my Mustang aligned today to the previous owner's track specs (almost 6 deg caster, -3 deg camber, and 1/8th inch toe-OUT). I realize that this is not a good alignment for the street as it will cause uneven wear on the front tires but it only cost $34 and I get to try it out at Willow Springs tomorrow. The car is a second car to me and I can always bring it back to something more street-friendly if I choose. I'm sure the alignment place will love the repeat business.

 

Having said that, does anyone here have experience running a track alignment on the street for a significant length of time? Will it be as bad on the tires as I've been told or will rotating the tires frequently (say, every 1000 miles or so) mitigate much of the uneven wear? I'm interested in hearing anyone's stories. I'm running Sumitomo HTR Z tires and am not familiar with their wear characteristics.

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With that much camber your gonna burn up tires on the street regardless of rotation procedures. From what I've seen done, and what seems to work best (and what I'm gonna do with my BMW) for dual purpose cars is to get a set of adj camber plates, and have you alignment shop do two alignments on the car, your street alignment and track alignment. while your doing this you have them mark/score you plates where both alignments are so all you have to do is line up the marks and you're set (provided you don't bend anything, of course )

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I don't have much experience with Mustangs, but in my experience with FWD sedans it also depends on the car, what wheel/tire combos are being used, and the type of driving done.

 

I do my own alignments for both track and street, and my old track car was street legal and saw a fair amount of street time (with the track alignment). In that case even having a lot of camber and some agressive caster and toe didn't result in any substantial adverse wear on the street tires when on the road, but I know other people with the same type of car and similar alignments (but different wheels/tires) that DID experience accelerated uneven wear.

 

So you might just try driving it on the street and see what happens. It's possible that things might not be very bad on the street. IMHO the biggest noticeable difference for me in using track alignments on the street is the additional dartiness on uneven pavement and need to stay on top of the driving more than a more stable street alignment.

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I have the MM "street" settings on my Mustangs. My car has 7.2* caster, -.75* camber and 1/16" toe-in. It works on the track too, but unlike you, this is my only car.

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back the toe off a bit and it'll certianly help. I'm able to get faily ok wear out of my Kumho711s on the street (to the point where the outsides go bald about the time the center hits the wear bars.... which isn't tooooooo bad)

 

- Ken, who runs -3.1* front and -1.9* rear camber daily

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