Camber adjustment
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Camber adjustment

    Hi all,
    anyone know how much camber a standard 17TL should run? I am looking to increase the amount of negative camber on mine by modifying the outboard end of the bottom A arm.

    I haven't done any calculations but one would imagine that by 'moving' the bottom ball joint out(making up heavy plates and welding them onto the A arm) say - 1 cm it may be create up to 1-2 degrees of negative camber? Anyone got any ideas on this? I don't want to modify the inboard end- seems to messy and easy for the warrant man to see you have messed around with it.

    Also I have been advised that the std R17Tl runs around 0.5-1 degree positive camber(approx) so going to 1-1.5 degrees negative would be too much of a jump, what do you guys reckon?

    Cheers Ben

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    ps does it start to throw out the rest of the suspension and steering geometry, if you go too 'far' with the camber?

  2. #2
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    Hi Ben,

    Believe it or not, we've discussed this before - and you were involved !
    http://www.aussiefrogs.com/cgi-bin/u...c&f=5&t=000133

    The R12 is specified at 1'30" positive plus or minus 30". I assume the sportier 17 would be less positive. Generally 1' negative sounds ideal I reckon. I think the positive camber is there to induce "safe" understeer, despite the Renault's long travel suspension (which becomes more negatively cambered under compression, but I don't know how much.) One thing - with your stiff setup, you may get a car that the rear tends to break away more unpredictably. You could tune this a bit with tyre pressures, by reducing the rear relative to the front.

    You could work out exactly how much you'd need to move the ball joint outwards by carefully measuring all of the dimensions and drawing a scale diagram (or a full sized one!) on paper.

    A good wheel alignment dude will be able to give you a printout in about 30 secs. of your current settings.

    One thing - you'd have to be careful your mods don't over extend the driveshaft sliding joint. When I was mulling it over, I was thinking of shortening the top arm.

    I'd love to have a go at my 12 in the same way - I hate the understeer (not to mention the look of positive cambered wheels). Keep me posted!

    PS I wonder how Mr Cavanagh's 12 Gordini handles and if it's different camber wise?

    Stuey


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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    G'day all, I fitted EA foulcan camber pins to the upper arms on my 15ts years ago. They were available through Ford dealers to solve some of their handling woes.They fitted like they were made for the Renault, although you do still have to elongate the holes in the bodywork to facilitate adjustment. I ran 2.5 degrees of camber and 4 degrees of caster with no driveshaft problems. Mostly, these cars need the rear springs upgraded from 50 pounds per inch to 200 to negate the understeer. Alan.
    '56 Renault 750 (16TS Power)
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  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! Reno17's Avatar
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    Hi

    I went into a local steering and suspension place the other day, to get my 17 dropped 2 or 3 inches, and found out he could do it for around $600 if not more, but thatís with new shocks and other bits n pieces.

    I can do it myself, but I like having ten fingers

    I forget what the exact Pos Deg is, but I have around 2-3 deg on mine.

    Think I'll put the lowering money towards the Clio.

    Ben how low did ya go when you lowered your 17 ?

    Ash
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  5. #5
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    Alan, my comments about the driveshaft problem only applies to the bottom wishbone, as to get negative this way, you make it longer, whereas with the top arm you make it shorter (the effective length). Interesting mod. with the Fowlcan bits - are you saying it was a straight fit other than the hole elongation?

    Stuey


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  6. #6
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Reno17:
    <STRONG>

    I can do it myself, but I like having ten fingers

    </STRONG>
    Ash,

    I sympathize with you. I have a fingernail which now grows at a slight angle, due to my little finger being crushed between two spring compressors when one of them slid around, when I was fitting my 505 GTi springs to my 504. It could have been much worse.

    I now fit hose clamps to the springs when using spring compressors (to stop them sliding around) and I always make sure that the spring is not facing me end on, because there is alot of potential energy in compressed springs. If your careless with springs, the worst case scenario could be death, not just lost fingers.

    Dave
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  7. #7
    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    The EA Falcon camber pins also require the side pieces to be welded in place for the eccentrics on the bolt to work. The slots are usually made using a die grinder. A cheap tool can be made to hold the spring up, thus allowing the upper arm and shock to be removed to make things easier. There is no point in lowering the car beyond four inches to the subframe as the lower arms go beyond being level, creating geometry problems and the shock to bottom out Have fun, Alan.
    '56 Renault 750 (16TS Power)
    '62 Renault Dauphine Gordini
    '89 Renault Alpine GTA V6 Turbo
    '08 Renault Megane sedan

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Hi guys thanks for the replies,

    yeah Stuey I realise I had talked about it before- but then I was tyring to use the inboard end to alter the camber- I am sure that the outer end with the ball joint is much easier to modify! Mind you with that suggestion from Alan I'll be sussing out the falcon camber pins first....

    As far as the fact that it will draw the driveshafts out- that is an expected bonus- as I have put a five spd from a Fuego into the car I need shorter shafts- something Dave Cavanagh is helping me with at the moment. Even so they will still be a 'tight' fit so an extra room will be gladly welcomed!!

    I had figured that around 1.5 degrees negative would be pretty good- would look pretty mean too!!

    I hear what you are saying about the springs and being careful etc- reno make them so bloody long that you have to have special spring compressors etc etc, anyway to answer Ashs question yes it did handle a bit better with the reset springs - about an inch- but I wonder if you couldn't do it at home- if you are trying to keep things fairly cheap?
    I have been told that by keeping the spring compressors on them and throwing them in the oven!! for a while that it repitches them- anyone had any experience with this? You'd have to be pretty careful to get them exactly the same height I guess. Mind you the drivers side should be a little higher as it always has the weight of the driver in there....

    As for the thing that made the most difference I'd have to say the extra swaybar on the rear (see another thread on this site)- I pinched one from an 18 turbo- stopped body roll - there is none now! Mind you as Stuey has pointed out it may make it twitchier in the wet.

    Seeya Ben

  9. #9
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    I don't know what they started with, but when EA Foolcoons ran in production car races (where they had to use standard suspension wishbones etc.) they had 3 degrees negative. Should be a bit of adjustment there.

    Ben, after our last discussion on rear suspension, I looked at my 12 and couldn't quite picture how the second bar fitted. Does it use the same retaining brackets or do you add more?

    Just another point...a Renault mech. in Perth said that he's seen the fender of a 12 completely ripped off the car from a spring releasing from the compressor. This was in the process of (successfully) warning me off of doing it myself...

    Stuey

    [ 19 October 2001: Message edited by: Stuey ]


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  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Hi Stuey,

    if the 12 is anything like the 17 it has a couple of small swaybar 'holders' that are bolted to that swingarm? that hold the swaybar against the inside edge of it.

    All I did was put slightly longer bolts in there and a piece of steel with holes in either end, about 8-10cm long- to enable another swaybar to be bolted; using large-ish diameter lock nuts(only attached to the other bar not the body work in any way) underneath that one.

    They were slightly different widths(the std 17 one vs the 18 turbo one- about twice the diameter tho'!!) but bugger all difference really- just used a few thick washers to ensure they weren't stressed when done up tight.

    I realise this may be a bit hard to visualise- I should take some b-y pictures I guess!!If you still aren't sure let me know and I'll try and locate some pictures.


    Cheers Ben

    ps something that has puzzled me- since mucking around with the sway bars one rear brake drum has been prone to binding/catching whatever. Would this be because someone may have put the brake shoe in the wrong way around? its the only thing I can come up with - but I've never had any work done on the brakes (since I have had it) and the rear brake pistons were replaced about 3 years ago.....

  11. #11
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    Ben,

    Thanks for that. Can't picture it, but I'm pretty versatile (Read - good at bodging solutions).

    First thing that springs to mind with your brakes is that one side of the rear handbrake cable is being pulled somehow, or has changed position so it's binding.

    BTW I think the 17 rear end is practically identical to the 12 (except for spring/roll bar sizes/settings) - I'm sure I'll be corrected if not.

    Stuey


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  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Hi Stuey,

    yeah the special spring compressors required for Reno's mean that most suspension places like to 'steer' clear of them, which is a bugger for you and I. My brother is getting an engineer friend of ours to make one of these special spring compressors up- sowe can change them fairly easily. I think you maybe right about the 17 and 12 being identical- they tend to transfer the underpinnings between cars to keep the costs of production down.

    Even if you could get hold of a swaybar off a std R18 (a turbo one is best tho') it is likely to be thicker and would do a better job than the 12 one. I priced up getting one made here and the cost was prohibitive- $2-300NZ- maybe.

    I am going to lubricate all the hand brake lines and back everything off and try to readjust everything too as the handbrake was never too flash either....


    Seeya Ben

    ps i am gonna take some pics of the rear suspension for posterity anyway, I'll let you knwo when I stick them on here- or perhaps someone else already has some pics of 'piggybacked' swaybars?

  13. #13
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    Ben,

    Look forward to the pics if you get them up.

    BTW I dismantled my handbrake mechanism and greased it all with copper/graphite anti-sieze grease about 7 years ago. It has been faultless ever since, and is the most positive acting handbrake on any car I've owned. Note that the wagon rear brakes are larger than standard 12, don't know about 17. I think they're the same as 18's. Very good around wet roundabouts and for going sideways into parking spots at speed

    Stuey


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  14. #14
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Hey,
    thought some of you might be interested to know that I eventually got around to putting more negative camber on the 17. We decided to weld on plates (after grinding off the originals)out on the ball joint end- we did some calcs first and figured we'd be getting around 1.5-2 degrees negative.

    What we could figure out was once it was done that one side measured 4!!! degrees and the other 1.5 (negative)- that was until we started measuring all the heights around the car. Then we found approx 4cm (6 wth driver) difference in the front end and around 2cm in the back (side to side). So the so-called expert lowering specialist has taken the springs out and got them around the wrong way- ie the drivers side he told me would be 'pitched' slightly higher so that when sitting in it, it was level- silly bugger put the high one in the passenger side

    So I'll try and take it back once it has a WOF and get him to solve it- as I don't have the proper spring compressors and feel like living a bit longer yet....

    Seeya Ben

    ps looks pretty mean with the negative camber tho'!!

  15. #15
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    Good one Ben. Keep us posted. While we're on alignment, how much difference does the caster bar make to the caster? Any idea? I'm getting a pro wheel alignment done before I buy tyres (rather than a tyre shop alignment) and was going to get them to adjust the caster within tolerance, as I've put new bushes in the bar.

    Dave C reckons it makes a difference, but how much????

    Cheers

    Stuey


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  16. #16
    Simon's Avatar
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    The caster angle basically affects the directional stability of the car. With a front drive car it is probably more important to have it set correctly due to the power on/off nature of drive going through the front axle.

    Simon
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  17. #17
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    Simon, cheers, but I know what effect caster has, but what I want to know is how much difference the adjustment on that bar makes? Like, is there half a degree adjustment, or 5 degrees? I like to be forewarned before the alignment 'expert' tells me there's no adjustment or limited adjustment.

    Cripes, I'm getting my money's worth lately...

    Stuey


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  18. #18
    Simon's Avatar
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    Sorry Stuey, I must have misread your query. Now for a bit of a non-answer, the thread on the caster bar is quite long so I guess there would be a fair range of adjustment :-)

    But if the expert says there is no adjustment question his judgement, the only non adjustable on a stock 12 front end is the camber. If the caster is way out and cannot be adjusted within tolerance check the wishbone bushes, these rarely go on 12's but it is not unknown.

    The last wheel alignment on my 12 was carried out by a bikie type with a big spanner who "hates Renault's" it didn't inspire confidence. But the place was a dedicated wheel alignment shop and approved by the RAA, I figured I'd at least have some sort of redress if things went wrong. It ended up being the best wheel alignment ever!

    Simon
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    1964 Renault R4
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