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Project Nissan 370Z- Kinetix Racing Suspension, Enkei Wheels and Continental Tires

By Mike Kojima

 

In our last edition of Project Nissan 370Z, we installed a basic suspension with KW V3 coilovers and Whiteline sway bars.  To continue to develop our car into a dual purpose track/daily driver we needed to add some more adjustability to the suspension, we had to get more negative camber in the front and less in the rear.  We also had to get more rubber on the road.

To achieve this were added some adjustable suspension links from Kinetix and some super light Enkei PF01 wheels with Continental Extreme Contact DW Tires.

 

Read more about Project 370Z Here!

 

We did everything in our friends driveway, not the normal palatial MotoIQ super shop.

 

On the 370Z the camber is not adjustable.  Since we wanted to add a lot more front negative camber for track work, we used this adjustable front upper link by Kinetix Racing.  The Kinetix part is fabricated from tubular stainless steel for rust resistance and has hard urethane bushings.  Camber is adjustable via screwing the spherical bearing that contains the tapered stub for the spindle in place in and out.

 

We also added Kinetix Racing camber and traction links.  Like the front upper control arm, the rear Kinetix parts are also constructed of stainless steel and feature urethane bushings in addition to being length adjustable.  We want to reduce our rear negative camber more than the stock adjustment will allow on our lowered car to help improve corner exit traction.

 

Here is the stock camber link vs the adjustable Kinetix part.  The solid urethane bushing has less compliance.

 

The adjustable Kinetix traction link affects toe steer.  Adjusting the link shorter than stock causes the rear suspension to toe in more under roll.  Making it longer reduces toe in under roll.  We left ours the stock end to end length.

 

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Comments
JDMized
JDMizedlink
Friday, September 14, 2012 10:54 AM
So bottom line is the Kinetic links aren't that great?
Whoever did the R&D on those didn't spend too much time making sure they fit and work properly?
In a shitty economy like we're experiencing these days, if you don't supply AT LEAST the hardware in the kit, you can't expect to survive long; even more so when the instruction don't mention that fact that you have to modify this and that.
I wonder why you guys didn't stick with the White Line products.....
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Friday, September 14, 2012 11:03 AM
Currently Kinetics is the only company making 370 links that we could find. SPLs links are coming soon.
bigBcraig
bigBcraiglink
Friday, September 14, 2012 11:16 AM
I'm a little confused. You went through a lot of trouble to get a nearly track-only setup in the front (3deg camber sounds like a LOT on wide tires and a car with a decent camber curve) but then selected a highly compromised tire.

Did you get a really good deal on the tires? Or did you just decide that there is enough track time on the car that any camber wear on the street would be balanced out?

I understand wanting wet traction - I'm frustrated that the tires I currently autocross my WRX on love to hydroplane, and it sucks to change wheel/tire sets back and forth, but I feel like there are more aggressive tires out there that would be happier on the street.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Friday, September 14, 2012 11:25 AM
We actually need more negative camber. We had to run these tires for Import Tuner magazines FR challenge as the events spec tire. The car is being set up for street class so we have to run a UTQG of 140 so we will switching to some dry UHP tires when these wear out.
bigBcraig
bigBcraiglink
Friday, September 14, 2012 11:37 AM
It being a spec tire makes a lot of sense.

I was under the impression the 370 built negative camber in bump pretty well - is there enough roll to overcome the 3deg static?

Clearly different tires want different amounts of camber - but it seems to be more than I'd expect.

Granted, I've been playing with FSAE chassis/suspension design all summer which is a whole different ball game. I realize there's a lot less design freedom and entirely different tires between y'all and me.
Clint Boisdeau
Clint Boisdeaulink
Friday, September 14, 2012 11:45 AM
JDMized/ theirs a severe lack of options when it comes to 370 alignment control arms. expecially for the front upper camber arm. The Kinetix arms off the shelf did not have enough negative range, that is why we modified them. But like it states in the article, the arm is more so a street oriented product, allowing a range of both positive and negative adjustment to correct lowered vehicles for street use. A big reason we went with this arm was the fact that the camber setting cannot slip by design(unlike other 370 front upper camber arms on the market currently)

as for the rears, yes their are some design flaws for maximum track potential, and we discovered that. But for a street car looking to havea proper alignment after lowering these arms will be more then sufficent.

SPL's complete line for front and rear alignment arms will be out soon, which will be testing next to extract help maximum potential out of the chassis during track use.
Clint Boisdeau
Clint Boisdeaulink
Friday, September 14, 2012 11:52 AM
bigBcraig/ we tried up front both -2 and -2.5 camber on track and it wasnt enough, the tire temp data and ware were obvious we still needed more static. -3 was the next logical step. Like mike said out next tire will be a extreme performance summer tire commonly used for track days and street class time attack. the article Import tuner's FR shootout will be out soon, so you will see just how good(or bad) a whole field of cars did on the spec Continental tire
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Friday, September 14, 2012 12:31 PM
DOT tire trick, lots of negative camber and low tire pressures.
EB Turbo
EB Turbolink
Friday, September 14, 2012 3:45 PM
Guldstrand/Byczniki/Hotchkis (early 80's) testing with Paul VanValkenburg behind the wheel(80's Vette) on a skid pad found -7° to be the best on street radials. That was as much negative camber they could put in it. They ran out of room on the tie rod to get the toe correct. I think my dad(Bycznski) said they were close to 2g average in both directions.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Friday, September 14, 2012 4:29 PM
Can you share any of your dad's data?
EB Turbo
EB Turbolink
Friday, September 14, 2012 7:32 PM
He currently resides in Ohio so you'd have to have a phone conversation. I'll ask if he is interested.
SixCylinders
SixCylinderslink
Saturday, September 15, 2012 5:02 AM
Holy hell 7 degrees of camber? That's a hell of a lot of camber and I can't imagine that working too well. Not that I am qualified to disagree with your dad's findings but it just blows my mind that tires could be functional at 7 degrees.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Saturday, September 15, 2012 7:31 AM
I believe it in older tires. Even most modern DOT radials makes the most steady state lateral grip at 4-7 degrees negative.

That doesn't mean you should set your car that negative as they are other factors involved (race cars don't corner steady state).

Once I sometimes started to be able to get tire data from the manufactures, I have been running more and more negative camber.
Nick
Nicklink
Saturday, September 15, 2012 8:37 AM
Mike, can you shed some light on the camber profiles of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Saturday, September 15, 2012 8:58 AM
I don't have data on that tire. You can make your own charts by backwards testing.
EB Turbo
EB Turbolink
Saturday, September 15, 2012 11:13 AM
Engeneering cars back then was way different. Cars were setup on skid pads. Data acquisition was not readily available. Shocks were not adjustable(production based club racing). It was a real black art. Nothing like it is today. Things are so complicated today. Without a good engineer things get lost really quickly.
bigBcraig
bigBcraiglink
Sunday, September 16, 2012 9:39 AM
Mike -

Are you actually able to get printouts from manufacturers, or do you use a third party such as Calspan?

I would expect that at such extreme camber, straight-line performance (braking) and instability from camber thrust would become big issues - is that true or do low tire pressures and toe mitigate that mostly?
EB Turbo
EB Turbolink
Sunday, September 16, 2012 10:04 AM
You are correct about braking and acceleration. The tests were just from steady state cornering to find where the performance would fall off. You can't realistically run that much camber.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Sunday, September 16, 2012 11:08 AM
Sometimes I can get the data from the manufacture, although this stuff is usually very secret.

Like EB says, race cars just don't do steady state cornering so that's why we don't run that much camber. I typically run a lot more negative camber than most grass roots guys think works, at least on the front wheels.
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