Q – I want my 08 Cayman to corner like it is on rails but when I really push it, it plows and under steers. I would also like it to be easy on tires in between track sessions. I already had the camber adjusted to maximum on the front. What alignment do you recommend that will do both. – Art
A – There is no single correct answer to this question. Your car is engineered to under steer since it is a safer condition than over steer. That is the way the lawyers like it, but not the engineers. Who doesn’t like to hang the tail out occasionally? For the track, my suggestion is to increase the front camber and decrease the front toe-in measurements. These settings will chew the tires faster than a 2 stroke blender can stir a margarita but it will stick like Velcro. An excellent resource of information on the topic is the Michelin web site, (Kudos to Jim Long, the club’s Michelin man.)
What you really want is two alignments that you can toggle back and forth between track and street settings and this can be done. To get the front camber that you need on this model, you will need camber plates. There is simply not enough adjustment available from the factory. You will also discover that, just like the older Carreras, both sides are different when the alignment is optimal. How odd.
Start with an alignment measured on a level alignment rack and get a printout. Most shops can show you how the car measured at the start and how the finished alignment came out at end. Since repeatable alignment results are critical, the car cannot be jacked up during this process. Unloading the suspension changes the alignment angles!
Have the alignment adjusted first to the street settings and make witness marks on the adjuster components. With your street alignment printout in hand, then have the car adjusted to the track settings and print out the results. Make your witness marks on the adjusters for this setting and in theory, when you put the car back to the original witness marks (street setting), the car should be back in alignment. To prove it, have it re-measured and print out the results.
When you get ready for the track, install your track pads, adjust camber and toe to your track settings and have a ball. Now I assume that if you are contemplating this, you have access to a lift, a helper and torque wrenches. If you fail to tighten any components you can lose parts (and control!). It is critical to check torques on wheels and components both before and after stressing the car on the track. – MC