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Discussion Starter #1
Help: Baseline Setup for 4dr Civic Solo1 Auto-X and Daily

Hey guys, I'm looking for some help from some guys w/ some experience setting up their cars for the track.

I'm basically looking for a decent baseline, the cars just getting finished being put together.

I have the camber kits for front and rear, height and spring preloadable coil-overs, front spring rate is 10k and rear is 8k.

I do not have sway bars on the car yet, I can add those later when the opportunity arises, but I do have cheap ass strut bars for front and back, top and bottom.

My chassis setup guru and I have talked about setting the car up for about a 4inch ride height, 1.5 degrees camber in the front and about 1 in the rear, with 0 toe for both.

I'm unsure of what kind of weight % a FWD drive car would like though....

If I'm completely off track, please someone tell me, but an idea of a proven baseline would be VERY beneficial!

Thanks
 

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Ugh. There's a lot more involved in this.

Assuming you have the '95 Civic listed in your profile, since you didn't mention anything about the car . . .

Keep the ride height around 4.5-5" from the jacking tabs.

I'd get rid of the front camber kit (I'm assuming Skunk2/Omni). See what sort of camber you end up with at the final ride height before you go messing with camber kits.

You're going to need a lot more static camber. Try starting with more like -2.5*f/-1.5*r, and add or subtract rear camber to adjust rear-end grip. Use a little bit of toe-out to improve turn-in. Start with -1/16" in front and 0 in the rear to see how it feels.

Sounds like you have those crappy Omnipower coilovers. Sell them and buy a set of Koni 8041 dampers, and a set of Ground Control coilovers with some custom rates. 475f/600r would be a start. A set of GC upper mounts for the front would be a good idea.

Sell the strut braces and use the money to buy sway bars.

As far as weight percentage goes, I'm not sure what you mean. If you're talking about corner-weighting, do it with sway bars disconnected, the driver in the seat, and whatever fuel level you intend to run. The purpose is to equalize the sum of LF+RR and RF+LR weights. Do this after setting ride height but before alignment.

And don't forget tire pressures - they're a quick and easy tool for adjustment.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry, yes, its a 1995 Honda Civic LX 4 dr

so what your saying for corner weights is to make the cross weights equal to one another... that the front to back and the left to right aren't what I'm working on...

and thanks for the suggestion on the susp. parts, but I will probably need to use this set for the summer, I'm over budget and under funded... :(

Unfortunately in Canada we have a lack of good performance parts for the same $$ as you guys pay... the border likes to double the price on anything that comes up...

as for sway bars, what would you suggest for a solid set up, so I don't spend my money i nthe wrong spot again...

and Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, I checked the prices for the Koni's and Ground Control, and it'll happen next year... they're nearly 3 times the price I paid for the Omni's :(
 

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Have you ever autocrossed before? If not, stop right here and just race the thing. No sense in modifying first and THEN learning to drive the thing. But I could be wrong since you didn't say. But you should really be making decisions on swaybars and the like AFTER you have actually had some seat time in the thing, otherwise we really can and should not give you any recommendations because it's going to depend on the rest of the setup, your driving style, and other factors.
Schwemmy said:
so what your saying for corner weights is to make the cross weights equal to one another... that the front to back and the left to right aren't what I'm working on...
You cannot, I repeat, cannot change your F/R or R/L weight distribution by adjusting coilovers, the only way to do that is to physically move weight around in the car. By making the cross-weights equal by corner-weighting however, you essentially make the car handle the same whether it's turning left or right.

As for the ideal F/R weight distribution in a FWD car, that's up for debate. The 60/40 number has been circulated as a decent goal, but I still have not seen any actual scientific or real-world data supporting this. I don't think it matters a whole lot frankly, so long as you don't try to do like 50/50 in a FWD car, which someone HAS tried and it turned out horribly. 67/33 surely isn't ideal either... 60/40 is a good balance (literally) but it's not like a number you need to religiously strive to attain IMO.
 

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hey white...

don't the european dtm touring cars have setups close to 50/50?
i recall reading that somewhere (could be road & track last month?)...

what happened in that instance where someone tried this setup and had a horrible result? i'm intrigued... please tell us more.
 

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theflipimage said:
hey white...

don't the european dtm touring cars have setups close to 50/50?
i recall reading that somewhere (could be road & track last month?)...

what happened in that instance where someone tried this setup and had a horrible result? i'm intrigued... please tell us more.
That is because they cut the firewall and move the engine back and the driver. Unless you have uber lots of money it's not practical or even allowed in most SCCA classes except for mod class. By then you should be making $200-300k annually.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the advice guys...

I have some racing experience, 3 yrs running a spec Sodi Kart program, and have run hot laps in a late model on both oval and road course, I know its not the same... but I want to start in an area where I can improve on...

My Dad sets up CASCAR Super Series racecars for both oval and road courses... I'm drawing off his knowledge and some of my own for the tweaking... but I need an idea of a baseline, this is the first FWD car we've had the opportunity to race/tweak etc.

As far as starting to race and then putting on better parts etc... well this is the car I have now, and the parts that are on it, I upgraded parts because the others were broken, and I didn't have a chance to run the car as a stock baseline... actually this was suppossed to be just a well handling street car until I found out we have Autocross 2 hrs away and a roadcourse Solo 1 program 4 hrs away...

So now that I have these new opportunities, I could really use a little bit of guidance, it would could really cut down on the guessing and time wasted on chasing poor ideas for these FWD cars...

I understand toe, camber, caster, sway bars, tire pressure, shock rates, and spring rates, load bolts, wedge, cross weight, etc. and have used all these to set up racecars before myself off of good baseline notes...

any help would greatly be appreciated.. even if you don't want to post it here in this forum because it can be a kind of specific information...

Thanks, John
 

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theflipimage said:
hey white...

don't the european dtm touring cars have setups close to 50/50?
i recall reading that somewhere (could be road & track last month?)...

what happened in that instance where someone tried this setup and had a horrible result? i'm intrigued... please tell us more.
Aren't most of those RWD or AWD? I think there are some that are FWD but I doubt they are 50/50, I could be wrong though.

Someone on H-T tried to set their FWD car up as close to 50/50 (it took a lot of work) and the result was a horrible-driving car... no traction coming out of corners, no cornering grip coming out of corners... when you're accelerating, less than half of the weight would be on the front wheels, which are steering and accelerating, and more than half the weight would be on the rears, which are doing nothing except hold the rear in line. Makes sense why it doesn't work.
 

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Schwemmy said:
Thanks for the advice guys...

I have some racing experience, 3 yrs running a spec Sodi Kart program, and have run hot laps in a late model on both oval and road course, I know its not the same... but I want to start in an area where I can improve on...

My Dad sets up CASCAR Super Series racecars for both oval and road courses... I'm drawing off his knowledge and some of my own for the tweaking... but I need an idea of a baseline, this is the first FWD car we've had the opportunity to race/tweak etc.

As far as starting to race and then putting on better parts etc... well this is the car I have now, and the parts that are on it, I upgraded parts because the others were broken, and I didn't have a chance to run the car as a stock baseline... actually this was suppossed to be just a well handling street car until I found out we have Autocross 2 hrs away and a roadcourse Solo 1 program 4 hrs away...

So now that I have these new opportunities, I could really use a little bit of guidance, it would could really cut down on the guessing and time wasted on chasing poor ideas for these FWD cars...

I understand toe, camber, caster, sway bars, tire pressure, shock rates, and spring rates, load bolts, wedge, cross weight, etc. and have used all these to set up racecars before myself off of good baseline notes...

any help would greatly be appreciated.. even if you don't want to post it here in this forum because it can be a kind of specific information...

Thanks, John
Cool stuff man. Well since you do know what different changes do in general and you are I presume a decently experienced race driver, I would do at least a couple/few events as it is, and then use your knowledge and our input to make a decision then. Reason being, if your car oversteers unpredictably out there but you don't know it yet, how are we going to make a valuable recommendation on, say, swaybars without knowing this? Get some "field data" first, then fiddle... it's far more effective and more fun that way.
 

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White98LS said:
Aren't most of those RWD or AWD? I think there are some that are FWD but I doubt they are 50/50, I could be wrong though.

Someone on H-T tried to set their FWD car up as close to 50/50 (it took a lot of work) and the result was a horrible-driving car... no traction coming out of corners, no cornering grip coming out of corners... when you're accelerating, less than half of the weight would be on the front wheels, which are steering and accelerating, and more than half the weight would be on the rears, which are doing nothing except hold the rear in line. Makes sense why it doesn't work.
oh...
i was thinking about the wrong series...
remember the toca series a couple years back (i think it's an ongoing series to this day - see toca games for ps1 and ps2)...
i recall some of the cars in that series too being a european honda accord, mixing it up with fwd audi a4 and opels, etc...

crap...
now i gotta google this and do some research...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks again guys.

I think I'll start off w/ somewhere around -2.0 camber in the front, and -1.0 in the rear, 0 toe and see how it turns in... I've set it up for 4.75 inches of ride height while I'm sitting in the car... I'll also balance the crossweights, w/ the preload.

I'll see how it works and go from there..

:)
 

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Sounds like a good place to start. Let us know how it goes!
 

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And actually a FWD car really likes (in my opinion) a little weight bias. For those who have seen me run my Civics you would also agree. Makes the car easier to turn and tossable.

My 1991 Civic Si had some FTDs and fastest PAXes last year. The thing only had 100 hp and 90ft/lbs of torque. ON STREET TIRES! It's not about the weight, mods or anything else but the driver.
 

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ive been running a 98 LX sedan for a little over a year now...i love my setup...OTS Koni Yellows, GC's coilovers (400 F 450R *still a little soft*) Skunk2 front camber kits, wicked tunning rear (-2.5F -1.5R) stock front bar, Progress 22mm rear bar on Azenis (bout to run the car in DSP with some R-compounds, should be fun) i usally run the rear on full stiff and the fronts on 3/4 stiff......ive played around with bars and whatnot, even removed the front swap bar at one point......i ended up putting the bar back on because, yes the rear end came around alot better and felt great, but it made the front end of the car feel VERY vage to me...i would recoment AT LEAST 450-500lbs springs in the front of that car if you plan to run no bar upfront
 
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