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Old 02-01-2012, 08:05 PM   #1
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Default How to tell if suspension is bent

Just got back from the alignment shop...the bad news is it seems I have something is bent as my front passenger camber can't get higher than 1.4*. Oddly enough my caster is fine (he was able to put in 6* there). I can't think of how anything got bent really, visually the subframe and the control arms look fine. I don't see any new rust spots or bends/dents. Anyone have a better way of checking for such things? or should I just say ---- it and buy a new LCA?

The good news, if any, is that I replaced all the eccentrics in an attempt to get this fixed.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:16 PM   #2
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Have you tried replacing the lower ball joint? That would be my first guess, otherwise pm me and I'll sell you a used lower control arm.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:47 PM   #3
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hmm thats an idea...at 68k miles, does it seem reasonable that that is the culprit? My has only been tracked on street tires, and like I said, never hit a curb, and other than a few offs on track, I haven't really abused it.

I feel like if I am going to take ---- apart to replace, then I might as well do them all. Is it possible the UCA is damaged also?

I have a track event on the 11th, so I am a bit short on time here.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:06 PM   #4
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What's the ride height?
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:33 PM   #5
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5.25"

I can easily get 2.2* on the left side. so I doubt ride height is it.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:55 PM   #6
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Gotcha. Like Nick said, start with the lower balljoint, then swap the LCA.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:59 PM   #7
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Just out of curiosity, do you guys replace this stuff with used or new? I can see control arms being fine used (as long as they aren't bent also), but what about ball joints and the such?
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:21 AM   #8
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On my car, I would do a new balljoint and a used arm. The balljoint is $41 from Comp. NA01-34-550A
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:58 AM   #9
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Im posting here for results. Im having very similar issues with the car. I cant tell specifics yet, but this weekend we will be aligning the car and I will be able to get more details. Ever since I bought the car it has been understeer city. I know that part of the issue is ride height, therefore we raised the car. I believe it is at 5.25 now as well.

Regardless of that, this car has always been impossible to get a decent alignment on.

Joe, tell me what comes out of your car asap. You may need the same stuff I need.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:34 PM   #10
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SO, I got the camber gauge and toe plates out among a few home depot tools and fucked with the alignment on the left side. I was about to get about 1.5* of camber and a total of maybe ~5.5* of caster. I checked the other side and it went up? Apparently I am at 2.5* camber on the right side and ~6* of caster. Is that normal? I adjusted the toe back to zero, so I am doubtful its stemming from that.

I am thinking it really might be the control arm. Andrew and Nick, have you guys experienced that the ball joint is usually what goes out?
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:04 AM   #11
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Just incase you need upper CA ball joints only - if the CAs are not bent, miataroadster sells new upper joints by the pair - $150 (made by V8roadsters). Only other NEW way is Maz upper CAs at $200+ each

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Old 02-03-2012, 11:35 AM   #12
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I am confused? I can buy a new upper CA from mazdaspeed dev. for $94 then $1.34+.68 for cotter pin and castle nut.
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:02 PM   #13
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Im also confused. I thought that the UCA and balljoint were one piece...
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryff View Post
Im also confused. I thought that the UCA and balljoint were one piece...
They are. I think you have to do a fair bit of machine work for the V8r joints to work.

Also, I had this issue a while back, new (used anyway) LCA fixed it for me. Visually, there was no difference in the arms, but the lower was tweaked in some way that was bad enough I couldnt get the alignment I was looking for.
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cucamelsmd15 View Post
They are. I think you have to do a fair bit of machine work for the V8r joints to work.
Using a press for 10 minutes = machine work?
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chpmnsws6 View Post
Using a press for 10 minutes = machine work?
I thought I read (back when I was looking at replacements, so its been a while obviously) that the V8r joints were tapered or shaped differently? Maybe not?
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chpmnsws6 View Post
Using a press for 10 minutes = machine work?
I don't have a press, but I do have jaw pullers, if those work, then I will consider this an option if an LCA doesn't fix it. I am really tempted to just pull the trigger on an LCA anyway, @$75 its not exactly a bank breaker, and I would rather have it in case the LBJ doesn't work...------ decisions man. Why don't I have a lady friend make them for me?!?...oh wait, nm that won't help.
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:30 PM   #18
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Learn something new every day:
http://miataroadster.com/v8_roadster.../i-409013.aspx

Quote:
Front upper ball joints are critical to accurate steering. Until now, the only way to get replacements for worn-out ball joints was to buy entire new control arms from Mazda for over $300 per pair.

V-8 Roadsters has finally solved this dilemma with their replacement ball joints. They are far higher quality than the factory ones as well as being adjustable, rebuildable, and lubricate-able.
While these look bauce, I'd probably just call Mazda Dev for $94 new CA w/joint, especially if you think the CA may be bent. Perfect time to install polly bushings too. How long are these things lasting for the Spec/turbo/ax track guys? They go something like 100k+mi on the street, sometimes OEM is hard to beat
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
Learn something new every day:
http://miataroadster.com/v8_roadster.../i-409013.aspx



While these look bauce, I'd probably just call Mazda Dev for $94 new CA w/joint, especially if you think the CA may be bent. Perfect time to install polly bushings too. How long are these things lasting for the Spec/turbo/ax track guys? They go something like 100k+mi on the street, sometimes OEM is hard to beat
Where the heck are you finding them for $94? Ive NEVER seen them that low.
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:45 PM   #20
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Rosenthal:
http://parts.arlingtonmazda.com/prod...52d250%29.html

Mazdaspeed dev. you need to have an account, but here is a screen shot:
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