I decided to keep the stock diff angle for now so the custom 4-links were set to have the same lengths as the stock ones. With the Dog now lower than stock height, a diff angle adjustment should be in order.
Here's a comparison of the stock and custom link. The red Prothane bushings were only a few kilometers old but i'm swapping them anyway.
Here's the lower link installed.
Verdict? Except for the extra noise in the cabin, can't say that i notice any difference on normal driving. My previous polyurethane bushings were still new so that's expected. I wasn't surprised with the extra noise as metal is worse than rubber in damping differential noise. Anyway, albeit small, improvements are improvements. Let's see how long those rod-ends last.
Next was the pending wheel alignment. I changed my steering links months ago so i've been driving without proper wheel alignment ever since.
Usually, we can only adjust the toe and caster on Charmants but with the T3 plates, cambers are also adjustable on mine. I did a search on wheel alignments settings used by most AE86 owners and based on that decided to have mine something like this:
Front Toe: 0 deg
Front Camber: -2 deg
Front Caster: 3.5 deg
I left the rears as they were although with the 4 links, i can at least adjust the toe.
I learned later that i can only get to 2 deg of caster on the front. I already ran out of the threads on my strut rods so it couldn't be shifted further for more caster. I don't know why but maybe my RCA prevents the extra Caster.
Confused with the terms? Here's good depiction taken from Hayne's manual.
So why did i choose the preferred settings? A zero toe would guarantee my tires last longer, a moderate negative camber would help on cornering while minimizing impact on inner tire wear and finally maximum caster helps on straight highway drive as it stabilizes the steering better. Compare a Harley Davidson with Suzuki Hayabusa. The extra rake angle on the Harley helps to minimize move on straight roads compared to the sporty Hayabusa right? Well that's just about what extra caster do on your steering.
Here's the comparison before and after the alignment.
Notice what it says on the upper right corner? Yup AE86 P/S. The wheel alignment computer had no database for Charmants so i told the aligner to set it as Power Steering equipped AE86. Should be the same right?
Other than those, finally found the culprit of my cranking problem. It was the battery all along. Changed to new battery and starting the engine has never been easier. With this solved, i am confident that i can take The Dog to my workplace so i'll get to see her everyday.
Other than that, i also get to install some Hella horns in and fixed the door lock. It's the small things that makes the car more enjoyable to drive. The more minor problems you fix compared to the major ones, the more it tells you that your car's doing great.
Last thing, how about a new look on my OG Axis Oldskool wheels? Yeah, the Equip cap certainly helped to improve the looks, i'd say!