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Prepping Suspension for Street / Track.

Old 02-18-2019, 06:07 AM
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Franknbeans
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Thumbs up Prepping Suspension for Street / Track.

Well, After two years of having my 350z my daily summer car and HPDE car it's time to upgrade the suspension.

This is what I bought as of now.
Extra set of rims. Running 8.5" rear rims on all 4 corners with a 245 RE71 square setup.
B12 Pro Kit - I am a set it and forget it guy, thus no coilovers.
SPC Front Camber arms with shim kit. (Not sure if I need the shim kit. Have a email into SPC)
SPC Rear Camber arms

I am not sure if I should pick up some sway bars now, or just wait until I get all the new stuff installed first.

I take the Z to the track (road coarse) about 1-3 times a month during the summer. I have a dedicated set of track tires but I am still unsure how much camber / toe I should put on the front or rear for Street/Track driving. I do NOT want to change it every time I head to a HPDE event.

So the big questions:

1. Anyone familiar with the SPC front control arm kit? I can't find the +,- camber angles that can be achieved with out the shim kit.
*edit This is the only info on the shim kit I found. I haven't found how much neg camber I can get without it.
"The hub and caliper shims extend out the center of the wheel making it possible for our arm to make up to 5 degrees total camber change and +/- 1 degree of caster change."

2. Street / Track camber/tow settings? I'm not out to make killer track laps, looking to prolong the life of the RE71.

3. I read the B12 kit lowers the car about 1-1.5". Do I need adjustable sway bar end links? Are these needed when getting adjustable sway bars?

Last edited by Franknbeans; 02-18-2019 at 06:30 AM.
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:28 AM
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Ok, found a great video online.

For anyone that is reading this in the future. Looks like the shim kit is only installed if you are looking for more positive camber.

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Old 02-18-2019, 09:21 AM
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Just a quick comment on your camber settings: -3 degrees up front will serve you well at the racetrack. The rears don't benefit from as much negative camber, so shoot for -1.5 on both sides. These are pretty conservative settings, as you may want to reduce the amount of negative camber up front for street driving. The problem is that toe-in will be affected by the amount of camber you dial in.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by dkmura View Post
Just a quick comment on your camber settings: -3 degrees up front will serve you well at the racetrack. The rears don't benefit from as much negative camber, so shoot for -1.5 on both sides. These are pretty conservative settings, as you may want to reduce the amount of negative camber up front for street driving. The problem is that toe-in will be affected by the amount of camber you dial in.
I really don't want to swap the camber for street and track. I know the best of both words in this situation doesn't exist. But with -3 being on the conservative setting, I assume it will be ok for the street driving/ tires also. I was going to have them set the toe to zero.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:39 AM
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Negative camber is a tricky thing and -3 degrees will wear out the inside of your tires if you put in a lot of street miles. For the track, it's conservative but the FM chassis seems to like a lot of camber. If you drive a lot on the street, a -2.5 setting will help keep wear down. For toe settings, I like to run just a bit of toe out (1/8") front and a smidge toe in (1/16") rear.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:47 AM
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Thanks so much for your advice, it's really appreciated.

Should I do sway bars soon too or dial the suspension in first then go there? I'm afraid if I do to many things at once, I won't know what to change if I don't like the feel..
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Franknbeans View Post
Should I do sway bars soon too or dial the suspension in first then go there? I'm afraid if I do to many things at once, I won't know what to change if I don't like the feel..
Swaybars are still one of the biggest upgrades you can make to handling. While it may be difficult to discern all the changes, I'd suggest doing a hard look at what swaybars you want BEFORE you get an alignment or try to dial in the suspension. In fact, sways are so big a change, that you might try them FIRST, before you change shocks/springs, to feel the difference.

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Old 02-19-2019, 07:10 AM
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Don't forget to inspect and if needed replace your compression arm and front lower arm bushings. They way the suspension is setup any major deflection in those areas (in particular the compression arms) will wreak havoc on your alignment when under load, negating the positive effect of the upgrades.

I also track my car and cannot overstate the difference the compression arm bushing upgrade made for me, also the lower arm, but those were literally torn apart.
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:45 AM
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Can you point me in the direction on what ones you used to replace them with. I assume not OEM?
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:22 AM
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Sure thing:

For my front lowers I used the Whiteline LCA bushings, a good compromise between track and road imo, I liked the design.
https://www.z1motorsports.com/suspen...ng-p-5100.html

For compression I used the not often mentioned Armstrong bushings as they were closest to what I was looking for, 1-piece design urethane. The two piece bushing tend to have issues due to movement of the joint, while I did not want to go with the SPL alu version, as I've heard them clunk about and due to having longevity and fitment concerns. However, if you it is biased towards being a track car they may be an option for you.

https://www.armstrongdistributors.co...-bushing-03-09

So far they are holding up well and this is with plenty of track action, including Moto GP and Formula 1 tracks.

Just be forewarned the compression arm bushing change can turn into a nightmare job. :I
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:38 AM
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Yeah tell me about it when I did the passenger comp rod on my G on jack stands in my garage the stud snapped off when I tried to torque the nut to spec, and I was forced to drive the car with the compression rod barely attached to the nearest good reputation fab shop to have them weld a chopped up grade 12.9 bolt in its place. Make sure you use plenty of anti seize all over that stud when reinstalling to avoid this issue. Good find on the Armstrong bushings, I have white line and they definitely separate from the arm a little, don't know if that causes any issues but could definitely be improved on.

Last edited by GEveryday; 02-19-2019 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:02 PM
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Yeah, it took a weak of fire, anti-rust and a whole lot of cursing to get my passenger bushing. The damn bushing sleeve literally welded itself to the damn stud...had to surgically cut it up, continue to douse it in anti-rush, and even then I had to torque the holy hell out of it with a massive pipe-wrench to get it to barely move. What a pain in my *** that bushing was.



Yeah so far I am liking the armstrongs, seem to be holding up ok, actually found out about them from a post over on the G35 forums.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:26 AM
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Nice, who are you on there? I'm cswlightning.
Since we're posting pics:

Ground both down for more weld surface area and filled the spaces with weld, been a year of autocross and daily beatings and its held up fine
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:56 AM
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No vhandle on the G35 forum just a lurker/reader. I always search both 350Z/G35 forums for answers, the only mention of the Armstrong bushing was on the G35 forum, so far they are holding up.

Sounds like you got a good weld/machine shop, glad to hear its holding up, must've been painful when the sucker snapped though!
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:11 AM
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All right guys I'm installing the SPC front camber arms. I'm wondering what I should set the Caster at. Negative, zero or positive?
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:39 PM
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The camber settings should be done on the alignment rack, unless you have the skills to set toe and the rest of the four wheel alignment. I've already given you my suggestions for camber...
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:51 PM
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Understand that about the camber, I'm asking about the CASTER.
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Old 03-02-2019, 02:07 PM
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You have to pull the ball joint off to set the caster. Was trying to figure out what to set it at so when I get it aligned the shop doesnt have to pull the ball joint. Right now I redid them and set the CASTER at 0. Unsure if it should be 0, or via the paper I posted above, negative/positive.
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Old 03-02-2019, 02:52 PM
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None of the racing classes I've competed in SCCA or NASA allow any change in caster, so I always left it at the factory setting. Haven't too badly with the OEM setting, and who has more R&D into it than Nissan?
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Old 03-02-2019, 02:55 PM
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I assume stock setting is 0?
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