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      12-06-2011, 06:05 PM   #1
VictorH
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Review: Ground Control street plates (short)

I just had a set of Ground control adjustable camber plates installed. These are the street plates for stock springs/suspension.
Was installed at European Road and Race in Charleston, SC who I would recommend. I can only comment on the ride since these won't be track tested until next year. I put approximately 175 miles on them so far, including city and highway miles.

Noise: Just as I hoped and expected. Just as quiet as stock. No thumps, bumps or other noise.
Fit: No issues, the only design change I would make would be to make the pointer needle a bit longer and move the camber markings more toward the middle of the plate. With the hardware and strut plate in place it's a bit hard to see the markings, but they are visible.
Adjustment: Don't know the range yet as the guy who did their race and DE alignments has left the shop (an outside shop) so they only measured and placed things as close as they could to stock. The needle is currently at the small GC marking (I had -1.3 degrees stock) with the full range of adjustment to the negative side available.

Pending a full alignment I won't know the complete range of camber nor the change in toe from street to full negative, but hope to find out in the next few weeks. However, so far so good.
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      12-07-2011, 06:13 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing! Is the remainder of your suspension setup completely stock?
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      12-07-2011, 07:09 PM   #3
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Yes, I'm otherwise all stock. I drive my car daily so not quite ready to try heavier springs yet or coil overs.

I was pondering a set of front and rear sway bars, but was discouraged from considering this by Ground Control. Stock bars are approx 1" in diameter which is pretty huge as is, but they've installed 4 sets of bars (they don't make any for the E9x) and removed 2 sets because they just didn't help the car any or the owner didn't care for the ride.
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      12-07-2011, 07:18 PM   #4
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i don't think theres a point for the camber markings in the first place. when you get an alignment done the mechanic reads the values off of the computer anyways, and even if he manages to get the camber markings to correspond with the real camber angle you probably don't want to be changing the camber angle by yourself because it will mess up your toe angle.
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      12-08-2011, 07:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JS11 View Post
i don't think theres a point for the camber markings in the first place. when you get an alignment done the mechanic reads the values off of the computer anyways, and even if he manages to get the camber markings to correspond with the real camber angle you probably don't want to be changing the camber angle by yourself because it will mess up your toe angle.
That's not my understanding of the utility of this. Yes, it's doubtful that the markings correspond to the exact camber value, however, the markings help you set the camber where you want it. So here's how it works.
1) Take it to a good alignment shop and have them set up alignment for stock street settings (toe, camber, caster). Have the alignment shop then set the camber for each of, -2, -3, -4 degrees and note where they are on the plate or make new marks.
2) Note change in toe with each camber setting and how many turns on tie rods to get back to "stock" setting. For example at -3 degrees negative camber turn tie rod 3/4 turn clockwise.
3) Return to stock alignment and then when you are ready for track adjust camber to predetermined setting (by plate and a camber measuring tool) and if necessary make toe adjustments. When done with track go back to previous stock setting.

I've been told the toe changes with adjustment of the plate are not very significant and are favorable for the track as more negative camber will give slight toe out. I agree it would be silly if you had to go to an alignment shop every time you adjusted your camber plates, but that's the utility of adjustable ones, once you set the camber and you know the toe change you can make the adjustments yourself at home. That's what I intend. No it won't be as precise as a race shop alignment but it will still be better than 90% of the tire shop (and probably dealer) alignments we've all gotten in the past.
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      12-08-2011, 07:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorH View Post
Pending a full alignment I won't know the complete range of camber nor the change in toe from street to full negative, but hope to find out in the next few weeks. However, so far so good.
I took the liberty of putting a car on the rack, and measuring this for you.

The entire change in total toe, over the entire sweep of 26mm camber sliding from all the way positive to all the way negative is................

7mm, or a hair less than 5/16 inch.

This particular car is set a bit in to 1.8 negative camber (not all the way positive) at 2mm toe-in. When the plate is adjusted all way negative, for example at the start of a track day, the toe changes to 4mm out, which is perfect for most tracks.

If you are confused about toe-out on race tracks, I recommend books instead of websites. There is some BAD just plain wrong info out there.

If you have to buy one book, probably "Tune to Win" by Carroll Smith. Although dated, there are discussions about toe-in vs toe-out, and ackerman, just enough info to make you appreciate how complicated this stuff gets. But....if you pay attention to details, you will make your car faster than someone else not paying attention.

Last edited by JM3; 12-08-2011 at 07:57 PM. Reason: 156
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      12-11-2011, 11:14 AM   #7
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Very useful information, thank you.
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      12-12-2011, 02:10 AM   #8
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Thanks for the detailed review! Let me know if you ever want to pick up a set of V3 to add onto those camber plates
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      12-12-2011, 11:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JS11 View Post
i don't think theres a point for the camber markings in the first place. when you get an alignment done the mechanic reads the values off of the computer anyways, and even if he manages to get the camber markings to correspond with the real camber angle you probably don't want to be changing the camber angle by yourself because it will mess up your toe angle.
The purpose of the markings is so you can set your front end with the alignment computer at a street and track setting. Then you use the markings at the track to go from street to track settings and back without needing an alignment or toe plates.
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      12-16-2011, 06:04 PM   #10
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Great thread, Victor. I am going to do the same thing with GC camber plates next month. Going to combine it with a BBK and dedicated track wheels/R-comps. This is my DD, too. Keep us posted. Thanks.
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      02-19-2012, 01:09 PM   #11
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Hi Everyone, quick update on the GC street plates. I have now had them on since Dec and adjusted them for the first time today. I'm all stock in terms of suspension and have EDC. Front camber was set to -1.2L and -1.4R at the time of install (at least that's what I had today prior to the adjustment).

Couple of things that I noticed are really nice. The milled slots in the top of the camber plate are to insert your wide blade screwdriver, and lever against the strut tower opening (gently), and adjust the camber without lifting and pulling on your wheel. Works really great and easy to get precise adjustment.

So, what is the range of adjustment on a stock suspension? It's huge (well at least it's pretty big). I went from -1.2 on the left to -3.5, and on the right I went from -1.4 to -3.2. I have a sensitive eye for camber and just looking at my car now the amount of camber looks ridiculous. The markings on the plate itself are not quite to -2.5 mark, the needle is just pointing at the top of the 2.
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      02-19-2012, 01:18 PM   #12
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I didn't know they had different versions. I better check what mines are before putting them on my KW.
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      02-19-2012, 02:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorH View Post
Hi Everyone, quick update on the GC street plates. I have now had them on since Dec and adjusted them for the first time today. I'm all stock in terms of suspension and have EDC. Front camber was set to -1.2L and -1.4R at the time of install (at least that's what I had today prior to the adjustment).

Couple of things that I noticed are really nice. The milled slots in the top of the camber plate are to insert your wide blade screwdriver, and lever against the strut tower opening (gently), and adjust the camber without lifting and pulling on your wheel. Works really great and easy to get precise adjustment.

So, what is the range of adjustment on a stock suspension? It's huge (well at least it's pretty big). I went from -1.2 on the left to -3.5, and on the right I went from -1.4 to -3.2. I have a sensitive eye for camber and just looking at my car now the amount of camber looks ridiculous. The markings on the plate itself are not quite to -2.5 mark, the needle is just pointing at the top of the 2.
Awesome and thanks! You've answered every question I had.
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      02-26-2012, 08:23 PM   #14
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Took my car to a good alignment shop on Thursday. Camber confirmed by Hunter alignment rack was -3.35 on the left and -3.30 on the right. This was the max I could achieve adjusting at home without forcing anything (note I thought I had -3.5 by my tools). I requested a track alignment and though I think they are a bit conservative shop they dialed back camber to -2.5 in front and added another 1/4 degree in back (couldn't get any more) to -1.75 to each rear wheel. Spent the last 2 days at VIR and really liked the added camber up front and the alignment was spot on in terms of tracking and response.
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      02-27-2012, 01:11 AM   #15
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Thanks for this very useful info. Pushed me over the edge to buy them
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      02-28-2012, 05:57 PM   #16
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Just spent this last whole *week* getting my plates installed, has been a fiasco. Not happy with Ground Control at the moment (on my *3rd* plate right now). Will post fully on separate thread.
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      02-29-2012, 12:03 PM   #17
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In for more info...
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      02-29-2012, 07:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper519 View Post
Just spent this last whole *week* getting my plates installed, has been a fiasco. Not happy with Ground Control at the moment (on my *3rd* plate right now). Will post fully on separate thread.
Well, that's a bummer. No problems with mine, sorry you've had issues.
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      02-29-2012, 10:04 PM   #19
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I went to pick up my car today after the 3rd separate install and one of the 3 main bolts broke (again) after driving it around the block. Unbelievable. It's been a total friggin nightmare...

I'm still talking to GC RE: warranty, and will wait to post my full write up (w/ pics) pending the final outcome here.
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      02-29-2012, 11:45 PM   #20
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What bolt is breaking? Is it one of the three bolts that mate up to the frame on the GC unit itself? I've installed the GC sleeve over kit with the camber plate and just moved down to the stock spring camber plate without issue so it sucks to hear you're having trouble.

I like the kit itself but it seems to have a fair amount of slop between the plate with the markings and the plate with the pointer.
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      03-01-2012, 01:42 AM   #21
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There's 3 main threaded vertical bolts---the one that slides under a lower plate is merely tack welded with one small bead of metal. Its bolt head is shaved off so it can slide out to give more camber. This is the weak link and is an obvious design flaw. It snaps off with a fraction of the torque spec that is needed to seat it. Others on this forum have reported this problem as well.

Unfortunately there are not many other options out there for E92 M3.
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Last edited by Sleeper519; 03-01-2012 at 01:45 AM. Reason: felt like it.
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      03-01-2012, 05:19 PM   #22
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I wonder how many people have had this issue...this is the first I've seen.
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