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Old 05-04-2008, 11:18 PM   #1
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Default My car feels like ****

Maybe someone can help me zero in on the cause of this.

I drove my friend's SVT focus again today and realized that the steering in that was 1000x better and more solid than mine, and I thought the same thing when I test drove an ae86. Everyone says miatas are meant to feel great but right now I think mine needs something desperately.

My first thought is bushings, has anyone done them and felt an amazing difference? This is almost my first and last thought because the chassis is at 130+k miles, and I don't think they have been changed.

Second thought is alignment. I remember the car feeling better after last time I got it aligned (this year), could I have really fucked the suspension so hard on local canyons that it is already out of whack?

And finally, maybe I need to raise the car up some. I think it sits around 12" or so in the front and closer to 13" in the rear with tein ss and NB topmounts. Maybe I don't have enough travel still. But the fact still remains that the steering feels horrid.

And I lied, that wasn't finally, this is: De-power the steering? The stock miata steering feels waaay overpowered compared to the ae86 I drove. Would this make the whole car feel better?

Maybe I should just drive a properly sorted miata and see if mine is actually bad, but this along with my **** brakes is pissing me off and adds to the immense list of **** I need for my car.
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Old 05-04-2008, 11:24 PM   #2
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The last choice is probably the best starting point. From my experience depowering greatly increased steering feel. Also I think a 1 inch rake is a bit much. 1/2 or less is usually recommended.
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Old 05-04-2008, 11:40 PM   #3
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Miata's don't need power steering. De-power your rack and you'll love how it feels.

Vash-
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:19 AM   #4
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ive found tire pressure can make a HUGE difference in a miata. my rear driver side has a slow leak and if i dont pay attention to it, my car feels like a total POS. once i re-inflate it returns to being totally awesome.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:50 AM   #5
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dunno if you've checked them out, but planetmiata.com has rotors and hawk hps pads for $99 front, $99 rear. I have that for my car (with the 1.8 bigger brakes that you have even) and they're great on the street, even better on the track, just thought I'd throw that in.

I've also depowered my rack and its pretty sweet, a little stiff at parking lot speeds, but after that you can't tell. that's with 225 tires too
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Old 05-05-2008, 02:33 AM   #6
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Well I guess I should look into de-powering, which from what I can tell is "looping" the lines. Whatever that means... I looked at a few threads but the information was hard for me to understand, but I think that is mainly because I have never looked at the ps lines on my car, or at least not in any great detail.

So nobody can vouch for the bushings?

And I pay pretty good attention to my tire pressure and keep it around 30psi all around, but I may try lowering it a tad.

The 1" rake was just my **** up, and me hastily adjusting the coilovers on the day of my alignment. I'll fix that when I raise my car up a tad more and get it re-aligned.

I can get a full set of axis ultimates and blank rotors locally for $160 after tax, I have just been putting it off for financial purposes. Plus I want to get ss lines and need to save up even more to do that at the same time. Right now the brakes feel like sponge ontop of sand, if that makes any sense.
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Old 05-05-2008, 04:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedf50 View Post
adds to the immense list of **** I need for my car.
God, i know EXACTLY how you feel. Not gonna rant, but i also have an very long list of **** to do to my car, and what seems like NO time. I also have PS and ive never disliked it.. until i drove a crx with no ps, its a bitch in the parking lots but i loved how it felt over the road. Im not sure if ill depower mine or not.. let me know how you like yours after you do it
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Old 05-05-2008, 04:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedf50 View Post
Well I guess I should look into de-powering, which from what I can tell is "looping" the lines. Whatever that means...
Just unhook the belt for starters, will make it feel depowered, but without the hassle of removing everything. If you like the feeling and it solves your problem, do it properly.
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentic View Post
Just unhook the belt for starters, will make it feel depowered, but without the hassle of removing everything. If you like the feeling and it solves your problem, do it properly.


No belt feels NOTHING like depowered. With the pump still in place the steering is way too difficult.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:36 PM   #10
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yeah I tried taking off the belt before I fully depowered it. it feels a little better I guess, but its so damn stiff its not a good way to figure out if you'd like a depowered miata.

flyin' miata used to have great step by step instructions for properly depowering a rack, which involves taking it out and actually removing the internal seal. but they also had a great picture in the beginning of the "looped lines" method, which is almost as good.

I can't seem to find those instructions anymore though.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:50 PM   #11
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both are still there. Here: http://flyinmiata.com/tech/depower.php?x=1
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:54 PM   #12
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What wheels and tires are you running? Steering and suspension feel completely different for me depending on what set of wheels and tires I have on. What's the wheel diameter, width and offset. What size, brand and condition are your tires?
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Old 05-07-2008, 03:19 AM   #13
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I am on Kosei K1 15x7" 32 offset i believe. I am on almost bald BFG G-force sports, but they have a few miles in them before they are done.

Hopefully new tires will also help, but from talking to people it seems like I should try raising my car to get some travel back(its a bit low), and get it re-aligned. From there I will De-power the PS and see what happens.
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:31 AM   #14
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I think your bushings and possibly lower ball joints are tired. I had a similar feeling and found all kinds of slop in the front end. Urethane bushings WILL make a 130k mile car feel new again in my experience.
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:51 PM   #15
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Well just to follow up...

I raised the front up from ~12" to 12.75 or so (it was actually a tiny bit below) and holy ****. The car's suspension now actually works. It must have been just chillin on the bumpstops most of the time because the car is completely transformed. I may now try and get some shorter bumpstops to further help this and get back travel.

I am also going to get a new steering wheel along with seat and harness come june, so hopefully that will give me back some of that missing feel. If it doesn't then I will go for looping the lines.

New tires and an alignment are also coming up so those should help even more (I just noticed that my front passenger side (the one which locks up first for me) is bald on the inside. I'll wait on the bushings until I have tried everything else, because that is quite a giant pain in the ***.

Now I just have to figure out what tires to get. These BFG g-force sports are cheap and cheerful, but I kind of want to try out some RS2, plus I don't think I will be commuting anywhere near as much during the summer. I may settle in between the two with some toyo T1R. Where are those cheap good long lasting miracle tires when you need them.
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Old 05-11-2008, 01:38 AM   #16
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I don't know what the hell you guys are always crying about with overpowered steering?

Personally I have around 5 hard driven seasons of auto-x and haven't had a single problem with steering. More than once the cars started to get away from me and I have no problem very quickly recovering it.

Had what equates to a professional SCCA driver ride with me my last lap to ask him a couple questions, who commented that I have perfect steering input, correction, and recovery skills... All the while I was completely convinced I was driving like total ****..
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