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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Sun, Sep-07-2014, 06:01:23 PM   #41
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Default Re: Ultimate Alignment Specs?

-2.2 camber front with 0 toe

-1.7 rear with 0.15 toe

Lowered on KWV2's. My convertible feels just right now. I had tried many settings in the past with various E46 M3's and this is probably my favorite setup so far. 19x9 and 19x10
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Old Mon, Sep-08-2014, 03:41:09 AM   #42
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Default Re: Ultimate Alignment Specs?

First let me say car setup is going to change a ton depending on what parts you have and what you can achieve in terms of numbers because of those parts. A prime example of this is on a 128I you cannot get enough caster over 5 in the car and maintain -2.5 or more negative camber very easily. However, I have found that 90%+ of all people on track run far to much Camber when I see numbers like -4.5 or even -4 for real track use. Note, I am not talking about AutoX. AutoX has a completely different setup from track racing or DE driving.

I would have replied to sticky and maybe I will go ahead and post there as well but I feel like there is far to much detailed information in this post to simply in the format required. Also, keep in mind that I am a mechanic not an English professor so forgive me for spelling/grammar errors.

Let me say that I have done track setup on everything from Grass Roots to Professional racing and unless its a time-attack car setup for BMW cars (E36/E46/E8x/E9x) always has a general profile that will benefit 95% of you but certainly changes on venue/conditions/etc but I want to give a few general guidelines and things I see all the time that keep people from getting that extra edge. This is the way I think about it in my own head when I get a new car to setup.

First, I want to tell you that everything is a compromise and I am talking about generalities here. I could counter my own way of thinking very easily. So to talk about tires and a few general guidelines. The very first being that the grip level of the tires you are using is going to effect setup. So if your running a very sticky compound (Short life) generally speaking your going to be more on a harder setup and if your running on street tires your going to be running a softer setup. I generally error on the side of soft vs hard as when you get to hard in your setup mechanical grip suffers and things like curbs can really start unsettling a car.

Second, I want to talk about Camber and how it is going to change depending on situation. I can tell you right now that an acceptable range is from -3.5 to -2.2 front and -2.5 to -1.5 rear. I have not ran into a situation yet that has required a higher rear camber then front camber.

How do you determine what is the right setup for you? First, lets talk about tire wear. What you find in racing is that as you push cambers in excess of of around -3 the front and -2 in the rear is you tend to burn off the inside edge of the tire faster then the rest of the tire. This means over the long run 15+ laps your going to start seeing your times drop as tires start to run off and less laps as you increase camber beyond that point. A lot of this wear comes under braking where the tires will pitch to a more negative number.

Taking this into account if your running any sort of endurance event 25+ laps on a set of tires your going to find your much faster with cambers below the threshold on the length of your run. The same goes for people who do DE events because your not out there to turn the fastest time or qualify your likely on a budget. So if you can keep your tires working better over a longer period of time your budget and fun factor thank you. This is actually one of the main reasons we saw in implementation of camber limits at different levels of racing. It allows people on a budget to at least have a better chance of qualifying vs top spenders who can burn a set of tires off in qualifying then change setups and tires for the race. There are very few people who should be running above this level. I would say high budget local racers with some serious tire money or people who are running for national championships in shorter sprint style races.

Third, Caster because it goes hand in hand with camber.
I have found that around 6-8 degrees of caster is a good range on these cars I tend to run a little more caster on E36 cars because of the reduced track to keep tires squared up during cornering. Since camber changes to negative on the loaded wheel and positive on the unloaded wheel. I tend to keep Caster consistent until I can get good tire data. Also, if your one of those guys running crazy amounts of camber because that is what your seeing right now from data. It might be time to think about making a drastic caster change to reduce the need for crazy camber numbers. I have also noticed if you are seeing increased front grip with larger front sway bars its highly likely its time to increase front caster or simply reduce camber.

Fourth, lets talk about toe as its one of the best ways to make changes to your car. Rear toe is going to depend some on parts you have in your car but for most poly RTABs are what is fitted to the car. I personally think these are great for the people who are both street/track users. There might be a few running mono-balls that don't deflect. Anyways, when it come to rear toe you want to have toe-in on the rear and depending on bushing its going to make a difference as to how much. As many of you know if your RTABs fail your car wants to go all over the place under acceleration because it will transition to toe-out but the same thing happens normally but to a far less degree. So we find that toe-in will help negate this small amount of Toe-out under acceleration and keep the rear in line on power out. The same is true under braking but its far less noticeable on a BMW that pretty much defaults to Toe-in under braking but it helps keep the rear end stable. This is why people with Mono-balls should still be running Toe-in on the rear so you can keep stability under braking. I have found personally that a good range for rear toe on an alignment machine is +.06 to +.12 per side. On strings I think it equates to around +2 to +3mm per side but I could be wrong. On Front toe its going to depend far more on your cars application. If you are doing both street and track and tend to do far more street driving then I suggest a small amount of toe-in around +.05 per side. If you are doing a decent amount of track driving then I would move to a zero toe up front. If your car is mainly for DE events then generally go a bit toe-out around -.05 per side and all out racing -.05 to -.1 up front per side. On strings again I think its like -1.5mm to -2.5mm up front.

Onto a second part here I am going to switch gears.

When it comes to springs/swaybar/shock setting/ride height everyone is going to be different from car to car equipment is different and even driver to driver in the same car is going to have different thought on settings. I would like to take this time to say that comparing ride height from car to car is almost worthless.

First, Ride Height is the very first thing I take into consideration. I run cars as low as I can with the parts I have to work with unless I have basically a full custom suspension there will be a limitation. This means if I am lowering a car down to the ground as far as I can without sacrificing geometry. I think most BMW's I end up around 3" to 3.5" off the ground at the lowest point not including ground effects/splitters.

When it comes to ride height front to rear balance is a big thing as this will change the way the car handles. I almost always find that at the lowest point of the car its pretty even. However, compared to most people I tend to run my rear lower on BMWs and I will try to make it so you can follow along on my goal as we go along.

The reason I want to run the rear lower is because I want to push the weight of the car backwards as much as possible. I do this for a few reasons but when you look at a BMW you will find the front wheels are really pushed forward in the design and this is to create a better weight distribution onto the tires. However, its polar weight on the axle favors the front wheels meaning the rear wheels run light in a dynamic situation. So by lowering the rear end we get more weight on the rear of the car. This rear weight will help with braking into the corner and acceleration out of the corner.

Second, I think spring rate is incredibly important but so often I see guys that have found balance in there particular setup but are missing major improvements as a result of swaybar setup and I think the two are very much linked but I want to start on springs.

When it comes to springs Its a crap shoot on what spring rates your going to want to run. Every track is going to require different spring rates and experience is going to help make this decision easier for you but what I try to do is run the softest rear spring possible with being able to keep my balance in the car with my rear swaybar.

Spring rates will help determine weight transfer front and rear. The spring rates front and rear will determine squat under acceleration and dive under braking. If you run a stiff front spring rate you get less dive in the front end and as a result less weight transfer onto the front axle you get better braking for a few reasons. The first being as you increase dive on the front end you increase camber making tire wear higher as more load is going on less contact area. Also, you increase braking power to the rear tires because the weight shifts less dramatically. In the rear we need more weight transfer onto the tires on corner exit for increased traction out of the corner. Since your front wheels cannot add forward traction its better to have more squat on exit to get more weight onto the rear tires.

Third, swaybars as I have mentioned above I tend to run bigger rear swaybars and set to them pretty stiff and a pretty normal front swaybar setting. I do this to try to offset a softer rear spring rate. The reason behind this is that if I can keep the rear on a lighter spring rate I can increase grip from apex out as a result of weight transfer onto the rear tires.

Also, This week was the first time I had ever seen this from a legitimate site but Stillen on their 370z swaybar mentioned running staggered holes. Do me a favor and never do this unless you have a reason to do so. If you run staggered holes the bar will react different from side to side as a result of unequal leverage across the bar.

Forth, Shocks! If you are running a full remote res setup with the ability to adjust pressures do me a favor and please buy yourself a nitrogen bottle/reg and a dry-break or whatever it is called tool. Keeping shock pressures at a constant pressure from weekend to weekend will help you. I can't tell you how many times I have seen very nice aftermarket shocks that were way uneven or way low on pressure. I tend to run lower pressures on AST/Motons then most but even so I always keep an eye on the pressure inside the shocks before the start of a weekend.

Fifth, Corner weighting your car. I always suggest this be the very last thing you worry about in your setup and I would only start to mess with it after you get a general handle on your car. If you do decide to get a corner balance then remember that you need to have at a minimum adjustable ride height, adjustable swaybar endlinks. When I do corner weighting the individual numbers are not important. The important numbers to me are the cross weights so what is the split from RF/LR or LF/RR

Anyways, like I said before everything is going to depend on what feels right to you but maybe a few things in what I wrote will help you find a few seconds at the track.
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Old Mon, Sep-08-2014, 06:33:53 AM   #43
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Default Re: Ultimate Alignment Specs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishey View Post
First let me say car setup is going to change a ton depending on what parts you have and what you can achieve in terms of numbers because of those parts. A prime example of this is on a 128I you cannot get enough caster over 5 in the car and maintain -2.5 or more negative camber very easily. However, I have found that 90%+ of all people on track run far to much Camber when I see numbers like -4.5 or even -4 for real track use. Note, I am not talking about AutoX. AutoX has a completely different setup from track racing or DE driving.

I would have replied to sticky and maybe I will go ahead and post there as well but I feel like there is far to much detailed information in this post to simply in the format required. Also, keep in mind that I am a mechanic not an English professor so forgive me for spelling/grammar errors.

Let me say that I have done track setup on everything from Grass Roots to Professional racing and unless its a time-attack car setup for BMW cars (E36/E46/E8x/E9x) always has a general profile that will benefit 95% of you but certainly changes on venue/conditions/etc but I want to give a few general guidelines and things I see all the time that keep people from getting that extra edge. This is the way I think about it in my own head when I get a new car to setup.

First, I want to tell you that everything is a compromise and I am talking about generalities here. I could counter my own way of thinking very easily. So to talk about tires and a few general guidelines. The very first being that the grip level of the tires you are using is going to effect setup. So if your running a very sticky compound (Short life) generally speaking your going to be more on a harder setup and if your running on street tires your going to be running a softer setup. I generally error on the side of soft vs hard as when you get to hard in your setup mechanical grip suffers and things like curbs can really start unsettling a car.

Second, I want to talk about Camber and how it is going to change depending on situation. I can tell you right now that an acceptable range is from -3.5 to -2.2 front and -2.5 to -1.5 rear. I have not ran into a situation yet that has required a higher rear camber then front camber.

How do you determine what is the right setup for you? First, lets talk about tire wear. What you find in racing is that as you push cambers in excess of of around -3 the front and -2 in the rear is you tend to burn off the inside edge of the tire faster then the rest of the tire. This means over the long run 15+ laps your going to start seeing your times drop as tires start to run off and less laps as you increase camber beyond that point. A lot of this wear comes under braking where the tires will pitch to a more negative number.

Taking this into account if your running any sort of endurance event 25+ laps on a set of tires your going to find your much faster with cambers below the threshold on the length of your run. The same goes for people who do DE events because your not out there to turn the fastest time or qualify your likely on a budget. So if you can keep your tires working better over a longer period of time your budget and fun factor thank you. This is actually one of the main reasons we saw in implementation of camber limits at different levels of racing. It allows people on a budget to at least have a better chance of qualifying vs top spenders who can burn a set of tires off in qualifying then change setups and tires for the race. There are very few people who should be running above this level. I would say high budget local racers with some serious tire money or people who are running for national championships in shorter sprint style races.

Third, Caster because it goes hand in hand with camber.
I have found that around 6-8 degrees of caster is a good range on these cars I tend to run a little more caster on E36 cars because of the reduced track to keep tires squared up during cornering. Since camber changes to negative on the loaded wheel and positive on the unloaded wheel. I tend to keep Caster consistent until I can get good tire data. Also, if your one of those guys running crazy amounts of camber because that is what your seeing right now from data. It might be time to think about making a drastic caster change to reduce the need for crazy camber numbers. I have also noticed if you are seeing increased front grip with larger front sway bars its highly likely its time to increase front caster or simply reduce camber.

Fourth, lets talk about toe as its one of the best ways to make changes to your car. Rear toe is going to depend some on parts you have in your car but for most poly RTABs are what is fitted to the car. I personally think these are great for the people who are both street/track users. There might be a few running mono-balls that don't deflect. Anyways, when it come to rear toe you want to have toe-in on the rear and depending on bushing its going to make a difference as to how much. As many of you know if your RTABs fail your car wants to go all over the place under acceleration because it will transition to toe-out but the same thing happens normally but to a far less degree. So we find that toe-in will help negate this small amount of Toe-out under acceleration and keep the rear in line on power out. The same is true under braking but its far less noticeable on a BMW that pretty much defaults to Toe-in under braking but it helps keep the rear end stable. This is why people with Mono-balls should still be running Toe-in on the rear so you can keep stability under braking. I have found personally that a good range for rear toe on an alignment machine is +.06 to +.12 per side. On strings I think it equates to around +2 to +3mm per side but I could be wrong. On Front toe its going to depend far more on your cars application. If you are doing both street and track and tend to do far more street driving then I suggest a small amount of toe-in around +.05 per side. If you are doing a decent amount of track driving then I would move to a zero toe up front. If your car is mainly for DE events then generally go a bit toe-out around -.05 per side and all out racing -.05 to -.1 up front per side. On strings again I think its like -1.5mm to -2.5mm up front.

Onto a second part here I am going to switch gears.

When it comes to springs/swaybar/shock setting/ride height everyone is going to be different from car to car equipment is different and even driver to driver in the same car is going to have different thought on settings. I would like to take this time to say that comparing ride height from car to car is almost worthless.

First, Ride Height is the very first thing I take into consideration. I run cars as low as I can with the parts I have to work with unless I have basically a full custom suspension there will be a limitation. This means if I am lowering a car down to the ground as far as I can without sacrificing geometry. I think most BMW's I end up around 3" to 3.5" off the ground at the lowest point not including ground effects/splitters.

When it comes to ride height front to rear balance is a big thing as this will change the way the car handles. I almost always find that at the lowest point of the car its pretty even. However, compared to most people I tend to run my rear lower on BMWs and I will try to make it so you can follow along on my goal as we go along.

The reason I want to run the rear lower is because I want to push the weight of the car backwards as much as possible. I do this for a few reasons but when you look at a BMW you will find the front wheels are really pushed forward in the design and this is to create a better weight distribution onto the tires. However, its polar weight on the axle favors the front wheels meaning the rear wheels run light in a dynamic situation. So by lowering the rear end we get more weight on the rear of the car. This rear weight will help with braking into the corner and acceleration out of the corner.

Second, I think spring rate is incredibly important but so often I see guys that have found balance in there particular setup but are missing major improvements as a result of swaybar setup and I think the two are very much linked but I want to start on springs.

When it comes to springs Its a crap shoot on what spring rates your going to want to run. Every track is going to require different spring rates and experience is going to help make this decision easier for you but what I try to do is run the softest rear spring possible with being able to keep my balance in the car with my rear swaybar.

Spring rates will help determine weight transfer front and rear. The spring rates front and rear will determine squat under acceleration and dive under braking. If you run a stiff front spring rate you get less dive in the front end and as a result less weight transfer onto the front axle you get better braking for a few reasons. The first being as you increase dive on the front end you increase camber making tire wear higher as more load is going on less contact area. Also, you increase braking power to the rear tires because the weight shifts less dramatically. In the rear we need more weight transfer onto the tires on corner exit for increased traction out of the corner. Since your front wheels cannot add forward traction its better to have more squat on exit to get more weight onto the rear tires.

Third, swaybars as I have mentioned above I tend to run bigger rear swaybars and set to them pretty stiff and a pretty normal front swaybar setting. I do this to try to offset a softer rear spring rate. The reason behind this is that if I can keep the rear on a lighter spring rate I can increase grip from apex out as a result of weight transfer onto the rear tires.

Also, This week was the first time I had ever seen this from a legitimate site but Stillen on their 370z swaybar mentioned running staggered holes. Do me a favor and never do this unless you have a reason to do so. If you run staggered holes the bar will react different from side to side as a result of unequal leverage across the bar.

Forth, Shocks! If you are running a full remote res setup with the ability to adjust pressures do me a favor and please buy yourself a nitrogen bottle/reg and a dry-break or whatever it is called tool. Keeping shock pressures at a constant pressure from weekend to weekend will help you. I can't tell you how many times I have seen very nice aftermarket shocks that were way uneven or way low on pressure. I tend to run lower pressures on AST/Motons then most but even so I always keep an eye on the pressure inside the shocks before the start of a weekend.

Fifth, Corner weighting your car. I always suggest this be the very last thing you worry about in your setup and I would only start to mess with it after you get a general handle on your car. If you do decide to get a corner balance then remember that you need to have at a minimum adjustable ride height, adjustable swaybar endlinks. When I do corner weighting the individual numbers are not important. The important numbers to me are the cross weights so what is the split from RF/LR or LF/RR

Anyways, like I said before everything is going to depend on what feels right to you but maybe a few things in what I wrote will help you find a few seconds at the track.
I read this whole entire thing and holy chitttt!

You covered everything but compression and rebound adjustments.....i need help on that for sure I have kw v3 's and I'm more than confused!!

so far I have poly fcab poly rtab poly subframe poly everything pretty much.....

Now already you pointed out a huge issue already in my setup !!

My Eibach Sways idk where I read it but they suggested I use the staggered holes as a happy medium.....according to you that's the wrong answer.....

The bars themselves have 2 holes per side up front and no adjustment in the rear....do you recommend me go full stiff up front or go soft ?



As far as ride height how much lower do you recommend I drop the front or rear ?
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Old Mon, Sep-08-2014, 02:42:12 PM   #44
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Default Re: Ultimate Alignment Specs?

STREET SETTINGS

Front:
- Camber -1.5
- Toe 0

Rear:
- Camber -1.6
- Toe 0.13


Hunter Engineering 811 computerized alignment system, Hunter TC3700, Hunter TC3500 tire mounting machines, Longacre scales and Hunter engineering tire balancers.








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Old Mon, Sep-08-2014, 02:44:35 PM   #45
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Default Re: Ultimate Alignment Specs?

FISHEY, great post. any suggestion on a good compression/ rebound on KW V3 for an E36 M3? currently running what KW recommends which is:

FRONT: rebound (9 clicks open) bump (6 clicks open)
REAR: rebound (12 clicks open) bump (6 clicks open)

i m running
front:camber 2.5 toe 0.
rear: camber 1.5 toe 2mm total
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Old Mon, Sep-08-2014, 04:22:17 PM   #46
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Default Re: Ultimate Alignment Specs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajvosa View Post
FISHEY, great post. any suggestion on a good compression/ rebound on KW V3 for an E36 M3? currently running what KW recommends which is:

FRONT: rebound (9 clicks open) bump (6 clicks open)
REAR: rebound (12 clicks open) bump (6 clicks open)

i m running
front:camber 2.5 toe 0.
rear: camber 1.5 toe 2mm total
Haha sounds kinda like my setup lol
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Old Mon, Sep-08-2014, 09:32:21 PM   #47
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Default Re: Ultimate Alignment Specs?

OP, I set my car up as a slightly less aggressive track car since my track setup worked really well on the street.

Front:
-2.7 camber
0 toe

Rear:
-2.3 Camber
3/16 toe in

I've taken multiple highway trips to Banff and 1 to Jasper with little tire wear. I know this because I actually measured my tread depth with a tread depth indicator BEFORE and AFTER. I had new PSS on my car as of last summer and they still have plenty of tread left, however my car is not a dd but I did drive it quite often this summer

The only tramlining I get is on roads with obvious grooves from the traffic. I recommend that alignment setup to everyone who's looking for something they can drive to work and the track
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Old Mon, Sep-08-2014, 09:47:59 PM   #48
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Default Re: Ultimate Alignment Specs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Black View Post
OP, I set my car up as a slightly less aggressive track car since my track setup worked really well on the street.

Front:
-2.7 camber
0 toe

Rear:
-2.3 Camber
3/16 toe in

I've taken multiple highway trips to Banff and 1 to Jasper with little tire wear. I know this because I actually measured my tread depth with a tread depth indicator BEFORE and AFTER. I had new PSS on my car as of last summer and they still have plenty of tread left, however my car is not a dd but I did drive it quite often this summer

The only tramlining I get is on roads with obvious grooves from the traffic. I recommend that alignment setup to everyone who's looking for something they can drive to work and the track
i will give this a try after rtab install this week. thanks!
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Old Tue, Sep-09-2014, 12:12:45 AM   #49
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Default Re: Ultimate Alignment Specs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Black View Post
OP, I set my car up as a slightly less aggressive track car since my track setup worked really well on the street.

Front:
-2.7 camber
0 toe

Rear:
-2.3 Camber
3/16 toe in

I've taken multiple highway trips to Banff and 1 to Jasper with little tire wear. I know this because I actually measured my tread depth with a tread depth indicator BEFORE and AFTER. I had new PSS on my car as of last summer and they still have plenty of tread left, however my car is not a dd but I did drive it quite often this summer

The only tramlining I get is on roads with obvious grooves from the traffic. I recommend that alignment setup to everyone who's looking for something they can drive to work and the track
Thanks everyone for posting your specs.

Mr. Black, could you tell me what suspension you are running? Camber plates, etc.

Mr. Wolfe
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Old Tue, Sep-09-2014, 02:08:31 AM   #50
Mr. Black
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Default Re: Ultimate Alignment Specs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Wolfe View Post
Thanks everyone for posting your specs.

Mr. Black, could you tell me what suspension you are running? Camber plates, etc.

Mr. Wolfe
I'm on the KW Clubsport which includes kw camber plates and TMS sway bars
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