Porsche Wheel Alignment
More Than Just a "4 Wheel Alignment"
MORE THAN JUST GETTING YOUR WHEELS STRAIGHT – Riegel Tuning Alignments
You may have just purchased a new set of performance tires for your Porsche 911, Cayman, Macan, Panamera, Boxster or Cayenne and you’re probably already educated in what it means to get a wheel alignment; you’re a Porsche driver after all. But there’s more to a wheel alignment than simply making an adjustment or two. A wheel alignment consists of adjusting three main angles, which contribute to proper wheel positioning. These are known as: camber, caster and toe.
• Camber is the measure of perpendicular offset of the wheels/tires from the road surface.
• Caster is the angle at which your wheels pivot. Your wheels are attached to the suspension, and when this angle is out of alignment, your ability to drive in a straight line is affected.
• Toe refers to the angle or directional difference between the tire and the center-line of the vehicle.
For day-to-day driving, you want your Porsche’s wheels and tires to be perpendicular to the ground, with the same adjustments on all four corners. Having a proper wheel alignment has the potential to save you money in the long run while promoting optimal Porsche performance. But when you’re on the race track or looking for some added grip, there’s also quite a bit you can do with your alignment to improve balance or vehicle appearance.
KINEMATIC ALIGNMENT – UNIQUE TO THE PORSCHE 993
When it comes to Porsche, you might have heard there’s a few nuances that service team needs to take into account, specifically with the enthusiast-admired 993 generation. Taking an example from the human body, the 993 generation’s rear suspension is a complex network of joints, featuring a system of links that correct the toe-out and toe-in depending on the cornering forces acting on the wheels at any given time. Kinematic suspension aids in the car’s overall stability and provides a certain amount of rear steer whilst attempting to minimize lift.
Setting the alignment on these cars can be tricky unless you’re dealing with a shop familiar with 993 Porsche models. Fortunately Riegel Tuning specializes in 993s. Our team is very passionate about the 993 generation of Porsche street machines and has the knowledge and tools to perform kinematic alignments on your 993. Our technicians use a specific set of tools, unique to the 993, to provide the correct amount of static toe and also the correct amount of toe to be developed over the length of the suspension travel. This all adds up to a well-balanced road machine that handles beautifully around those mountain corners.
When should you consider getting a kinematic alignment done?
Typically if you’re getting your Porsche lowered or if you’re going with an aggressive new set of wheels, you’ll want to have us look at the alignment as well. Because of the complexity of the suspension setup, it’s also a good idea to have your Riegel Tuning service team have a look during your next service appointment. If you’re noticing dramatic understeer or oversteer when cornering, that’s a sign that a kinematic alignment should be looked at by a Porsche expert like Riegel Tuning.
ALIGNMENT FOR YOUR PORSCHE 996/997
The Porsche 996 and 997 generation 911 models are known for their good handling and phenomenal suspension system. Of course, precise handling and cornering are nonexistent if the car is not aligned properly. There are five different specifications that must be within spec to properly align the chassis. These are front-end caster, camber, toe, and rear-end camber and toe.
If the alignment of the suspension is slightly off, then you might get some significant tire wear and a loss of power and fuel economy. The most common sign of a misaligned front suspension is the car pulling to one side of the road when driving straight. That’s when you’ll want to have your Riegel Tuning service team take a look at your 996/997 with our alignment rack and make the necessary adjustments. It’s nearly impossible to determine the correct angles and settings for your Porsche without the use of an alignment rack. You want to get the most out of your driving experience; you bought a Porsche after all!
On some older 996 models, the chassis may be deformed due to rust and age. This can sometimes lead to the camber adjustments and measurements being slightly off. If the car has been in an accident, then often times the resulting chassis damage will show up in an alignment that indicates values not within spec. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of ways we can keep your Porsche aligned and running straight as an arrow!
Installing aftermarket strut mounts can also be used to correct chassis camber when it falls out of factory specifications. In addition, you can install the GT3 lower control arms, which are a two-piece unit and allow you to shim the arm for additional camber adjustments. Lowering your 911 will also change your alignment specifications from the factory defaults and you’ll want to ensure your Porsche undergoes an alignment check.
Worn suspension bushings may also add to odd alignment measurements. As the bushings and suspension mounts age, they have a tendency to introduce some squishiness into the suspension system, which can result in poor alignment readings.
Riegel Tuning specializes in Porsche and can recommend factory or aftermarket suspension parts to help keep your Porsche in alignment and driving the way you want it to. How your Porsche should be set up isn’t a simple question to ask. There’s no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ alignment when you’re dealing with passionate Porsche owners! That’s what we’re here for! Let us help you identify the best alignment for your Porsche 993 based on your driving style and needs.
Going Into Those Corners Well-Balanced
Corner balancing is the process of shifting the carried weight of each tire by adjusting the suspension’s spring height. The goal is to get the diagonal weights even, meaning the Right Front and Left Rear corners will carry half of the vehicle’s total weight and the Left Front and Right Rear corners will carry the other half. If these cross weights are not adjusted correctly, you could think of it as a table with uneven legs. What does this mean for your Porsche? This translates to turning one direction better than the other. With corner balancing, the front/rear and left/right percentages stay constant and we can only shift the balance between the diagonal corners.
Have any questions about your Porsche service appointment? Call or Text Us and we’ll be happy to help you out.
Riegel Tuning is Calgary’s Porsche specialty centre for alignments on Cayenne, Macan, Panamera, 911, Cayman, and Boxster. Our team of skilled Porsche technicians know your vehicle better than anyone else. Why? We live and breathe Porsche! Learn more about our services and what we can offer you and your Porsche. Contact Us today!