In this article, we will be providing you with a basic understanding of the what will happen when you change various settings on your car and how to adjust such settings!
Below is a “Cheat-Sheet” where you can save to your phone or print and brink to the track incase you get a bit lost fixing your car:
Before you start, you will be requiring several tools which will help you take/adjust each setting that we will be explaining.
The following setup changes are recommended in this order as mixing the order may change other settings:
First, set up the downstop on the car, place the droop blocks underneath the chassis and measure the plastic right underneath the arm. A good starting setup for touring cars is 6 in the front and 5 on the rear. The most commonly used spot to take the measurement is the plastic right underneath the outer kingpin.
In a front to back sense, the droop controls the weight transfer of the car. By having more droop (Lower number on droop blocks, confusing I know) it allows for the lower suspension arms to have more upward movement. Which in turn is fine tuning for the weight transfer off and on throttle! For bumpy tracks, this allows the wheels on your car to “dip” into any holes that may appear on the track.
Ride height is set by adjusting the spring pre-load, on your Shocks (Or can be called Dampers). This is commonly mistaken by newcomers to set the hardness of your spring. Hardness is set by swapping to a harder spring which commonly has less coils. However on some entry-level cars, the ride height will be adjusted by adding or removing spacers. A common starting point would be to have 5mm front and rear. Ride height, whilst dis-regarding the need to tune for bumpy tracks affect your center of gravity which then affects how much or less your car will roll throughout cornering!
Camber: the angle at which the top of the car wheel sits further or away from the chassis. Negative angle, which means having the top of the wheel leaning towards your chassis will be what you’re running 99% (If not all) the time. The reason for this is that it allows your car to grip in the corners when your car inevitably rolls into the corner and we compensate and allow the tires to be at full contact during cornering by leaning the wheels inwards.
Last but not least is your toe-in and toe-out and general setup on your front end of your car! This is adjusted by using a setup station, before installing the setup station onto your car use a set of calipers to make sure both steering linkages are exactly the same length. This is important as the following steering angle adjustments will be a basis off of that your chassis’s steering is equal both sides.
After you have made sure that both steering linkages are equal length, I recommend turning on your radio and reset the trim and take off the servo saver/horn and reinstalling in a position closest to the middle. This will allow for the greatest freedom for adjustment later on.
You can now center your steering by trimming your radio until both toe angles are same on the front end, we can be certain that this will be the center because both steering linkages are equal! Then you can now adjust the toe-in/out angle, we recommend a toe-out of 1 angle to start. This means that your wheels will face towards the outside when looking at the wheels from the back, you take for reference from the photo below which is around 4 degrees of toe-out. Also, a lot of new comers ask if toe angle is the sum of both wheels’ toe angle, we need to clarify here that it is NOT! When someone tells you a toe angle number it is the angle of each individual wheel.
And now you have it! We will do a more advanced article in the following future for more in-depth settings when you’ve become familiarized with these ones.