The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling: Part Seven – Tuning your Toe

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The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling: Part Seven- Tuning your Toe
Rear toe out has limited use.  One of the times it sometimes works is on a FWD car being used for stock class in autocross.  It can help the car rotate in tight low speed turns where it would normally get grinding understeer and you are not allowed to do anything else in the way of mods to fix the issue.  Sometimes it can work surprisingly well.  It can make the car tricky to drive at high speeds so caution must be used.

Rear Toe Out

Rear toe out is not a very useful setting.  It hurts in almost all cases except for helping rotation on a FWD car when you are completely out of tuning options.  We have only used this successfully for Stock Class Autocross and Rally in FWD cars.

The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling: Part Seven- Tuning your Toe
Rear toe out works surprisingly well for FWD dirt autocross too.  This Mini looks like it could use some!

 Rear Toe Out

 

Just RightToo Much
Helps the car rotate in mid turn and get away from overloading the front tires with understeer.  Generally this is a FWD only trick usually for stock autocross classes or rally.Causes sudden onset of oversteer on throttle in RWD applications.  Causes violent oversteer all the time on anything other than a FWD car. Car feels unstable.
Generally you would not ever want to do this unless you had no other tuning option.Makes a car rotate violently when the throttle is lifted or when the car is trail braked into a turn.  Generally not good.

 

The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling: Part Seven- Tuning your Toe
Rear toe out can help FWD rally and rallycross cars rotate.  For high speed tarmac special stages, this might have to be dialed back.

 

7 comments

  1. Practical tip: after using toe plates double check your work by placing a toe plate on the front and rear wheel on the same side of the car with the steering wheel pointed straight ahead. Lie on the ground and sight along the toe plates. Do the same on the opposite side of the car. This will show up any large errors in your toe plate alignment. It’s easy to turn a turnbuckle in the wrong direction and not notice if you skip this step. Also, be aware that changes in camber may or may not change toe. And ride height changes can affect camber and toe. So after lowering your car off the jackstands you need to bounce it at all four corners or drive it a short distance to make sure the suspension has settled back to its normal ride height. This last step is especially important if you have poly bushings which tend to have some initial resistance to rotation (hint: poly bushings occasionally need to be taken apart and greased). One last tip: On your street car if you see feathering on your tires (tread blocks wear into a wedge shape) you have a toe problem. On your track car if you have tire chunking (pieces of tread break off the tire carcass) you may have a toe problem.

  2. when you refer to 1/8 or 1/4inch adjustments are you talking about just one side or the total amount of both left and right wheels?

  3. Hey Mike!
    I was reading your The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling for like three years without racing just dreaming of racing some day.
    This year was my first year of ice racing. And damn! The difference correct toe tuning makes!
    Just wanted to say how greatful I am for the guides.
    Thanks mate!

  4. Another thank you for Mike from me.

    After reducing front toe-in to the minimum the equipment could register (0.03degrees each side) and reducing the rear toe-in (0.06 degrees each) and camber (from 2.6 to 2.0 degrees) and nothing else, cornering G went from 0.8 to 1.0 on winter tyres. 0.8 was ok, but 1.0 is excellent for a street setup and i can keep the car there as long as the turn lasts. Above 1.0G understeer sets in but I think a slight increase in track width, caster and SAI might raise that.

    On good summer tyres the limit is higher but cant tell how high yet. With 215/50r17 Hankook Ventus prime2 on the rear and 225/45r17 Hankook ventus v12 evo2 up front the rear stepped out at 1.05G. Ordered wider wheels and 4 235/45r17 tyres, will see where we are after lockdown, but 1.15G or above i suspect.

    Just wanted to share those numbers for people who are wondering how much differernce toe can make, though the reduced camber in the back will also have helped to make the car turn.

  5. Hi from halfway across the world, Mike. I’m a big fan of your articles and this series in particular. What are your thoughts about using toe out to counter the toe in moment/effect caused by negative camber thrust? Assuming we don’t care about tire wear, of course.

    Hope to hear from you soon. Cheers

    Chez

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