This guide was written and produced by Whiteline and is provided here with their permission. All relevant products in this guide are available upon our website at www.scoobyparts.com E&OE
ACTIVATE MORE GRIP
WHITELINE has humble roots in Australia’s motorsport venues. Originally focused on delivering ‘bang for your buck’ handling gains with simple sway bars and bushing kits; WHITELINE has since, pioneered innovative real world solutions for drivers of all levels around the globe.
With over 20 years in chassis tuning experience WHITELINE boasts a worldwide reputation as a leading anufacturer of replacement, enhancement, and performance suspension components that deliver significant gains in vehicle balance, steering precision, grip levels and driving performance. WHITELINE has been on the forefront of bushing technologies by challenging the limits of the bushing. Originally designed to replace solid bushings in hill climb vehicles, our bushing formulation has evolved over the years to a formulation we call Synthetic Elastomer.
The next time you pick up a set of WHITELINE bushings, pay attention to the bushing design. Through advancements in material technology and design, WHITELINE has advanced beyond market standards with the application of grease retention systems, voidings, pin-holing, pocket knurling, and many other features to help eliminate unnecessary NVH and promote improved performance.
What is Oversteer and Understeer?
A car is said to oversteer when the rear wheels do not track behind the front wheels but slide out towards the outside of the turn. Oversteer can throw the car into a spin. RWD cars are more prone to oversteer, in particular when applying power in a tight corner. The opposite effect is understeer.
Understeer is the condition in which the front tires do not so follow the intended trajectory the driver is trying to impose while taking the corner, instead following a more straight line trajectory. It is common practice among auto manufacturers to configure production cars deliberately to have slight linear range understeer by default, as a car that understeers slightly, tends to be more stable and predictable to drive than one that oversteers.
Alignment Settings – What are the Best Settings?
There is NO SUCH THING!!!
The most important thing you need to realize, is that alignment settings are NOT an “absolute truth” that can be held as an undisputed rule. It truly is a dynamic process with the “correct values” varying from driver to driver, car to car and driving environment.
If you think of alignment geometry as a means by which to prevent dynamic changes to the tires attitude, it will be easier to understand what is appropriate. Maximizing’ tire contact patch while driving and cornering is the object of the exercise. So, in deciding the optimal static alignment angle we strive to make predictions as to what angle the tire will take under dynamic conditions so we can prevent these changes. For example, we use some negative camber in the front to prevent body roll while cornering which tends to tilt the outside tire towards vertical. Having lots of negative camber on a general purpose vehicle is often a trade off between conflicting functions.
The use of a pyrometer to measure the temperature across the face of a tire after use and a good physical examination of the tire will reveal information that will determine the accuracy of your predictions.
WHITELINE has no agenda in publishing alignment settings or recommendations as part of its suspension packages. It is not copyright property that we profit from. It is done to help people get the most out of our products and their cars. These settings are the result of a lot of time and effort on our behalf and represent an optimum starting point for enthusiastic driving though we strongly encourage people to then monitor tire wear and balance to fine tune the absolute numbers for each vehicle and individual.
Dynamic and Static – What are we talking about?
Typically used when discussing wheel alignment and suspension geometry. By this, WHITELINE is referring to the difference in alignment angles between a stationary vehicle and moving vehicle. That is the same vehicle will have different caster, camber, and toe readings when it is moving compared to when the alignment was done in static form in the workshop.
In an ideal world, all wheel alignments would be done on a dynamic aligner, but these are expensive and quite rare. This concept is very important, as the only suspension that really matters are those present while the vehicle is moving (dynamic). What is done to the vehicle’s alignment while the vehicle is stationary (static), is a process of trying to predict the levels of change while the vehicle is moving and setting the geometry accordingly to these predictions.
WHITELINE places a great deal of emphasis on dynamic geometry so rigorous road testing is essential to ensure that the predictions are valid.
Tyres – What have they got to do with your suspension systems?
The job of the suspension system is to maximize grip from tires while maintaining acceptable ride quality for passengers. Our philosophy revolves around making the best of what the tire has available, regardless of the individual tire brand, quality, or size. Therefore, the aim of the suspension is to keep as much of the tire on the road as
possible when turning, braking, and even driving in a straight line.
WHITELINE products are specifically designed to improve handling through better tire contact patch.
Whiteline General Guide to Tuning Oversteer and Understeer
Grip Series – Stages Handling Packages
WHITELINE now boast high performance handling packages known as the Grip Series which are staged options of complementary product designed to Activate More Grip to your vehicle.
GS1 kits comprise of WHITELINE signature adjustable swaybars, drop links and performance lowering springs
Performance Springs – Lower that Centre of Gravity
WHITELINE performance lowering springs deliver improved vehicle performance whilst maintaining safety and ride quality characteristics. By lowering the vehicles centre of gravity the unique and progressive rate coil design not only improves performance but enhances overall appearance. Developed and manufactured in Europe from the highest quality materials, coating and to the finest tolerances guaranteeing exact fitment.
Adjustable Swaybars, Stabilizer Bars or Anti-roll Bars
Sway bars dramatically improve the grip, handling and performance of your vehicle. WHITELINE adjustable sway bars offer from 2 up to 4 points of adjustment allowing in some cases 10 distinct stiffness settings for precise handling bias adjustment.
Adjustable Swaybars – Anti-sway Bar Blade
Adjustable Sway Bars, Stabilizer Bars or Anti Roll Bars. Sway bars dramatically improve the grip, handling and performance of your vehicle. WHITELINE adjustable sway bars offer from 2 up to 4 points of adjustment allowing in some cases 10 distinct stiffness settings for precise handling bias adjustment.
Bushings – What is it and why is it important?
Originally developed to replace solid metal bushings in hill climb vehicles and many of Australia’s most extreme outback environments, WHITELINE has over the years led the industry in bushing design and material technology.
Synthetic Elastomer is a long-chained polymer with many urethane constituents. Over the years the formulation has evolved to yield stronger, yet softer compounds ideal for off-road and on-road applications. As the compound advanced to yield higher tensile strength, elasticity, and dynamic load capacity, WHITELINE used the bushing to help aid and tune suspension geometry with camber correction, caster kits, and anti-lift kits.
Whiteline Essential Kits
By matching key bushing, alignment and geomotry products into one solution, WHITELINE Essential Kits provide bang for your buck handling upgrades that simply Activate More Grip. Match with a WHITELINE sway bar vehicle kit for superior grip levels.
Roll Centre Kits
WHITELINE roll center correction kits are designed to raise the front roll center geometry using new specially engineered ball-joints, while still maintaining original bump-steer using the supplied steering rack spacer kit. Contrary to popular belief, most vehicles front roll geometry actually encourages roll the lower you go. Testing showed that the raising the front roll center resulted in a substantial increase to front roll resistance and a significant reduction in suspension compression of the outside front wheel during cornering. This improves weight distribution, better camber angle, and overall grip levels. The reduced front wheel compression improves steering response and stability with significantly less understeer.
Strut and Chassis Bracing
Most vehicles on the road would benefit greatly from increased chassis stiffening. The body is designed to flex to a certain degree but due to cost cutting measures the body flex compromises suspension effectiveness. Chassis bracing can be used to reduce that unwanted flex. It is also one of the reasons why race cars have such complex roll cages and why professional race teams change their chassis regularly. Strut braces also help to ensure that the camber stays the way you set it while driving hard.
Camber – What is it?
Camber is the inclination of the wheel from the vertical when viewed from the front/rear. When the top of the wheel leans outward you have positive camber, and when it leans in towards the of the car it is called negative camber.
Negative Camber increases cornering grip but too much negative camber increases wear on the inside of the tire and could lead to handling imbalances.
Neutral Camber provides optimal acceleration and braking; however, the trade off is typically decreased traction under hard cornering as the inside wheel begins to lift and the outside tire rolls under itself Positive camber is typically desired during off-road conditions or for circle and oval track vehicles where turns are isolated thus grip of inside tire can be increased during cornering loads.
It is important to highlight the fact that camber settings are ultimately a personal thing. WHITELINE can provide an indicative range to start from, but the final number will depend on your drivingstyle, driving conditions, tire size and many other factors. You need to start with the relevant number, monitor tire wear and compensate as required. WHITELINE has a large range of camber adjusting products available to fine tune to your optimal settings. These include eccentric camber bolts, dual angle shims, adjustable arms, and strut tops.
Camber Kits and Toe Kits
Proper camber adjustment is essential for tire wear and performance. WHITELINE Camber bolt kits, Com-C strut-tops, Adjustable arms, or adjustable bushing kits can help overcome the shortcomings of OE parts. Another tire wear issue and an undervalued performance tuning resource. Proper toe adjustment can transform turn-in from “limp” to “alive”. WHITELINE’s unique range of adjustable control arms and eccentric bushing camber/toe kits provide the optimum performance settings for your driving style or requirements.
Caster – What is it? Why is it Important?
Caster is the backward/forward tilt of the steering axis. As Car manufacturers use more positive caster settings, the disadvantages of high caster have been overcome. For example, the Impreza has more than doubled the amount of positive caster for improved grip. Rack and pinion steering means less play, lower Ackerman levels, smaller scrub radius (levels of zero are now very common), better and lower profile radial tires (means less sidewall deflection and higher tolerance to greater slip angles). But the greatest obstacle – heavy steering effort, has all but disappeared with the universal acceptance of power steering on new vehicles. This is why WHITELINE develops a wide range of products to increase caster. High levels of positive caster equate to more dynamic negative camber as you turn the wheel for improved grip levels when you need it the most. Improving high speed cornering ability. WHITELINE continues to put heavy emphasis on additional positive caster when designing new suspension packages to improve suspension attitude and superior traction.
Anti-Lift and Caster Kits
The WHITELINE Anti-Lift Kit (WALK) mounts to the front lower control arm and helps remove the factory Anti Lift/Dive geometry allowing the front suspension to better track over rough surfaces. This allows the tires to maintain contact with the ground. The benefits of a WALK fitted to your vehicle include:
• Markedly reduced front end lift when launching the car from a stand still.
• Caster gains resulting in a sharper, more precise steering feel.
• More compliant suspension will be induced during braking and acceleration.
• This will benefit traction, as the wheel will be able to track the tarmac more precisely.
• In terms of balance, the front end will have a proportionally lower roll resistance during traction or braking.
• Aids in reducing the power understeer effect resulting in a greater handling vehicle.
WHEN TOO MUCH CASTER IS NEVER ENOUGH
• Maximize tire contact patch during roll.
• Improve turn in response.
• Increase directional stability.
• Maximize tire contact patch during braking and acceleration.
• Improved steering feel and self center.
• Increased dynamic negative camber (on turn).
CASTER VS CAMBER – TRY CASTER FIRST
• Camber doesn’t improve turn in, caster does.
• Camber is not good for tire wear.
• Camber does not improve directional stability.
• Camber adversely effects braking and acceleration.
Toe – IN or Toe – OUT?
Toe is the difference in distance between the front and rear of the tires.
• Excessive amounts of either will adversely affect tire wear.
• Excessive toe-in makes the car unresponsive and doughy.
• Minor values are useful for improving turn-in,steering response and masking torque steer.