Lifting a 4WD truck or SUV provides more ground clearance for off-roading and makes it easier to install larger wheels and tires, plus there’s nothing like the imposing looks of a rugged, trail ready rig. Lowering a car reduces the center of gravity for less body roll in the turns and less front end dive when braking, makes handling more responsive, and provides a more aggressive stance and less gap between the tires for an awesome appearance.

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The suspension on every vehicle has designed in wheel alignment angles that ensure safe, predictable handling and even tire wear. However, OE wheel alignment specifications assume that the vehicle is at or near the standard ride height. These specs can be thrown way off when a vehicle is purposely lowered or lifted for performance, and factory components may not provide the range of adjustment needed to correct angles altered due to the change in ride height.

Although changing ride height can affect alignment angles whether the height is raised or lowered, a condition that’s common with lowered cars is excessive negative camber. Camber is the tilt of the tire from vertical when looking from the front of the vehicle. When a car is lowered, the top of the tire leans in toward the center of the vehicle. This adversely affects handling and traction because the contact patch of the tires is reduced, and causes accelerated tire wear. A wheel alignment kit will allow camber to be adjusted to factory specifications.

Driveline angle is another dimension that changes when ride height is altered. The angles between the driveshaft and the transmission tailshaft and differential pinion are designed for smooth operation and maximum U-joint life, but when a vehicle is lifted or lowered and these angles change, driveline vibration and U-joint failure can result. While both lowering and lifting can cause these problems, they’re much more prevalent on lifted trucks. A driveline alignment kit can change the position of components in the driveline like the differential and center carrier bearing to eliminate vibration and extend component life.

OE alignment specs also presuppose that the vehicle will be used for its intended purpose – as a street-driven car or truck. But on a vehicle that’s been modified for racing the alignment angles needed to provide optimal handling at speed can be much different than factory settings. Camber may intentionally be set much more negative because for racing traction is more important than tire life, and caster may be set more positive for greater high-speed stability. Toe can also be set in or out to optimize steering on front-wheel and rear-wheel drive vehicles. But just as with altered ride height, it may not be possible to attain the alignment angles desired for racing with original equipment components.

The content of the performance alignment kits you’ll find on our digital shelves will vary because each is designed to solve an alignment problem or increase the range of adjustment on a specific vehicle. Our kits include adjustable camber and camber plates for MacPherson struts; adjustable ball joints with offset housings or eccentric ball studs; eccentric cam bolts; adjustable control arms, links, and rods; alignment shims, and much more. These components not only allow alignment to be restored to factory specs, but also enable adjustments to alternative settings for optimized handling under high speed and racing conditions.

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    How Low Can You Go?
    Lowering is high on the list of many people who want to improve the appearance of their car. If you want to lower your car with the coil springs, then replacing them with lowering springs is the way to go. But what if you want to lower your car and also make it handle better? If that’s your goal then consider coil-over shocks.

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Performance Alignment Kits Reviews

Average rating:  5  4.9 - 12 reviews
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5 of 5
Dinan Camber Plates
Easy to install to current suspension.
MPosted by Mark (Mill Creek, WA) /
2008 BMW 1-Series
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