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I have only just started playing with camber changes, but here's what I think
Stock: -0.9 to -1.3
Aggressive street: -1.3 to -2.5
Track (road course): -1.8 to -3.0
AutoX (tight course): -3.0 to -4.0

But some say you should not run more negative than -2.5 degrees front camber on the street or you will wear your inner tires. Usually those who are running -3.5 degrees front camber at AutoX are trailering their cars to the event or adjusting the camber to -3.5 before the event and back to -2.0 before driving home. I have fixed camber plates so just run -2.5 up front all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have only just started playing with camber changes, but here's what I think
Stock: -0.9 to -1.3
Aggressive street: -1.3 to -2.5
Track (road course): -1.8 to -3.0
AutoX (tight course): -3.0 to -4.0

But some say you should not run more negative than -2.5 degrees front camber on the street or you will wear your inner tires. Usually those who are running -3.5 degrees front camber at AutoX are trailering their cars to the event or adjusting the camber to -3.5 before the event and back to -2.0 before driving home. I have fixed camber plates so just run -2.5 up front all the time.
sounds good :woot:

how does the -2.5 feel? does the car understeer bad?

you shouldnt get too much tire wear if your toe is set to zero
 

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Alignment is not the way to correct understeer. You'll just destroy the tires and could make handling worse! You need to address the real understeer culprits = sway bars and springs. My alignment is .7 front and 1.5 rear and I have zero understeer. But, I also have Bilstein sports and H&R sports with 21 mm H & R rear bar.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
25/20 sway bars
stock sport springs
Koni STR.T struts and shocks.

alignment is definetely a main culprit to handling...

that and tires haha

because i have softer springs my car suffers from poor camber gain.

how hard do you push your car because at the limit my car likes to slide in the front.
 

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I'm not saying it's the only or best way to reduce understeer, but I don't see any problem with more negative front camber to reduce understeer. Yes it will wear the insides of the tires faster if you drive mostly in a straight line, and at extreme levels more front camber will hurt straight line braking too. The OP could also go to a square tire setup (if he has staggered now). More spring rate and stiffer swaybars (which effectively give you more spring rate in turns) can do it. Though I'm curious why did you upgrade your rear bar but not your front bar? I hear a lot of E36 and E46 Autocrossers upgrade both bars, or if they have stiff enough springs, upgrade the front bar only, or een upgrade the front and remove the stock rear bar.

Irocthe325: I think -2.6 (I'm actually at -2.6, not -2.5) in front feels good. Perhaps a little less stable (more darty, more tramlining) in straight line driving on the freeway than the stock camber setting. Too early to say if I'm getting uneven tire wear. Probably depends how much time I spend cornering hard (which will wear the outside edges) vs. straight line driving (wears inside edges). I drive like grandma on the street (except freeway offramps) and corner hard in the parking lot (AutoX).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Alignment is not the way to correct understeer. You'll just destroy the tires and could make handling worse! You need to address the real understeer culprits = sway bars and springs. My alignment is .7 front and 1.5 rear and I have zero understeer. But, I also have Bilstein sports and H&R sports with 21 mm H & R rear bar.
How did they H&Rs feel compared to stock btw?

Im looking for a set actually...

does it have that nice rake?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm not saying it's the only or best way to reduce understeer, but I don't see any problem with more negative front camber to reduce understeer. Yes it will wear the insides of the tires faster if you drive mostly in a straight line, and at extreme levels more front camber will hurt straight line braking too. The OP could also go to a square tire setup (if he has staggered now). More spring rate and stiffer swaybars (which effectively give you more spring rate in turns) can do it. Though I'm curious why did you upgrade your rear bar but not your front bar? I hear a lot of E36 and E46 Autocrossers upgrade both bars, or if they have stiff enough springs, upgrade the front bar only, or een upgrade the front and remove the stock rear bar.

Irocthe325: I think -2.6 (I'm actually at -2.6, not -2.5) in front feels good. Perhaps a little less stable (more darty, more tramlining) in straight line driving on the freeway than the stock camber setting. Too early to say if I'm getting uneven tire wear. Probably depends how much time I spend cornering hard (which will wear the outside edges) vs. straight line driving (wears inside edges). I drive like grandma on the street (except freeway offramps) and corner hard in the parking lot (AutoX).
hahah. Im a huge fan of backroads. Like Road Rally kinda driving. Some scandanavians flicks, bumpy turns and banked and counter camber turns.

I'm thinking -1.5 to -2.0 area sounds good. and keep the stock -1.4ish in the back. sounds like a very stable setup in the corners
 

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I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree because handling is springs then shocks then sways and lastly tires and alignment for a street car. My first BMW 320i had Bilstein sports, H&R sports and bars with tiny by todays stds 185-70-13 tires. That thing was on rails! Of course it was a lot lighter than an E46. The 330ci is slightly raked on my setup which means the tire gap is fairly equal front to rear depending on fuel load. I have a stock sport front bar and H&R 21mm rear bar with 235-45-17 tires. I don't race the car but it is on rails almost as well as the lighter 320i. Pushed to the limit it 4 wheel drifts and is very controllable at this point. Just the way I like it! A local mech told me years ago and it may still apply - 1X chamber front and 2X rear. Hum, exactly where Turner put my car .7-.8/1.5.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree because handling is springs then shocks then sways and lastly tires and alignment for a street car. My first BMW 320i had Bilstein sports, H&R sports and bars with tiny by todays stds 185-70-13 tires. That thing was on rails! Of course it was a lot lighter than an E46. The 330ci is slightly raked on my setup which means the tire gap is fairly equal front to rear depending on fuel load. I have a stock sport front bar and H&R 21mm rear bar with 235-45-17 tires. I don't race the car but it is on rails almost as well as the lighter 320i. Pushed to the limit it 4 wheel drifts and is very controllable at this point. Just the way I like it! A local mech told me years ago and it may still apply - 1X chamber front and 2X rear. Hum, exactly where Turner put my car .7-.8/1.5.
ill let you know how my car feels after alignment.

looking for H&R springs tho first soo it may wait
 

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I'm not really disagreeing with you, just am just not ready to change springs yet. Might change my shocks/struts soon, and maybe upgrade to a thicker/stiffer front swabar next year. My statement about camber was more an answer to the following question:

"If I won't change or have already changed my shocks and springs and am getting too much understeer, how would I change tires and camber to fix it?"

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree because handling is springs then shocks then sways and lastly tires and alignment for a street car. My first BMW 320i had Bilstein sports, H&R sports and bars with tiny by todays stds 185-70-13 tires. That thing was on rails! Of course it was a lot lighter than an E46. The 330ci is slightly raked on my setup which means the tire gap is fairly equal front to rear depending on fuel load. I have a stock sport front bar and H&R 21mm rear bar with 235-45-17 tires. I don't race the car but it is on rails almost as well as the lighter 320i. Pushed to the limit it 4 wheel drifts and is very controllable at this point. Just the way I like it! A local mech told me years ago and it may still apply - 1X chamber front and 2X rear. Hum, exactly where Turner put my car .7-.8/1.5.
 

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You want to reduce understeer but will go to a larger front bar? That's backwards. Reduce understeer with a larger rear bar. No matter what you end up with for springs and shocks, UUC or Dinan offer the best understeer reducing sway bar sets. H&R and Eibach are 27/21 which preserves the factory balance=understeer. I had 27/24 with stock sport suspension which worked fine for me. After Bilstein and H&R sports I didn't need all that bar. So, I went back to stock front and 21mm rear. This is very simiar to the UUC/Dinan sets and I would say that they know what they are doing when it comes to suspension! If you have staggered tires, loose them and leave your alignment alone.
 

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Suspension and alignment wont solve a thing if your hands and feet dont know how to work together :p
 

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You want to reduce understeer but will go to a larger front bar? That's backwards. Reduce understeer with a larger rear bar. No matter what you end up with for springs and shocks, UUC or Dinan offer the best understeer reducing sway bar sets. H&R and Eibach are 27/21 which preserves the factory balance=understeer. I had 27/24 with stock sport suspension which worked fine for me. After Bilstein and H&R sports I didn't need all that bar. So, I went back to stock front and 21mm rear. This is very simiar to the UUC/Dinan sets and I would say that they know what they are doing when it comes to suspension! If you have staggered tires, loose them and leave your alignment alone.
Uuc is garbage. Dinan is WAY overpriced, and affordable. Hotchkis, h&r, and turner are great. They are all at least 3 way adjustable in front, and 2-3 way in rear to adjust to your likings.
 

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You want to reduce understeer but will go to a larger front bar? That's backwards. Reduce understeer with a larger rear bar.
In theory, you are correct. In practice, the e46 chassis doesn't typically respond this way (although I'm sure that some rather atypical setups may) and your recommendation is completely backwards from what most people find actually works. The reason people run a stiffer front bar to reduce understeer has to do with how the front suspension loses camber during hard cornering. In a nutshell, it's better to maximize front grip via reduced camber loss than to reduce rear grip to promote rotation. If there were no more front grip to be gained by keeping the front suspension in the more favorable range of the camber curve, then your advice would be more generally applicable.
 

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Yo, are YOU talking to ME? :idea:

I am not very fast, but I do try to practice. Will ll be at the CCA AutoX at Qualcomm Stadium tomorrow. You going? I will be in 6-mod because of camber plates, but normally compare my times to 6-stock, where I typically am in the middle of the pack, meaning at least half the drivers there are better than I am.

If you're an instructor, you can help me out. Look for the silver E46 sedan with a roof rack.

Suspension and alignment wont solve a thing if your hands and feet dont know how to work together :p
 

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I believe the UUC front swaybars are thicker than stock, and stiffer than stock even on the softest setting. You may be right that H&R and Eibach preserve the front/rear bar stiffness ratio, but you can also reduce understeer on the E46 with a square setup and more front camber, or as you did with shocks and springs.

You are right that the stock camber spec calls for almost double the camber in rear than front (example, -0.9 front, -1.8 rear), but the serious E36/E46 AutoX and track guys seem to put one extra degree negative camber in front over rear, such as -2.5 front, -1.5 rear, or -3.5 front, -2.0 rear. But that's not recommended for the street.

You want to reduce understeer but will go to a larger front bar? That's backwards. Reduce understeer with a larger rear bar. No matter what you end up with for springs and shocks, UUC or Dinan offer the best understeer reducing sway bar sets. H&R and Eibach are 27/21 which preserves the factory balance=understeer. I had 27/24 with stock sport suspension which worked fine for me. After Bilstein and H&R sports I didn't need all that bar. So, I went back to stock front and 21mm rear. This is very simiar to the UUC/Dinan sets and I would say that they know what they are doing when it comes to suspension! If you have staggered tires, loose them and leave your alignment alone.
 

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all of all of you are wrong wrong. Trust me. I have an M3 pretty seriously set up for track. Yes, fooling with the sway bar will help. But in the M3's case and most likley any E46, the BEST way for more precsie steering is changing the TOE. Go Zero toe in the rear and slight toe OUT in the front. Yes, toe OUT. That will hurt stright line high speed tracking, but not so much that it is a huge deal on track day.
Your turn ins will be so much crisper, faster and more neutral you wont believe it.

Warning! Toe out is worse than a lot of camber as far as tire wear. Toe out will scrub your tiures pretty nicely and casue a fair amount of pre amture wear IF you dont re adjust the Toe IMMEDIATELY after the event. I am talking the very next day, you better be on the rack.

I found this to be a major PITA and stopped doing it. But boy did it work. Now, I just live with my understeer.
 
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