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Old 12-09-2012, 08:07 PM   #1
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Default 80/20 Alignment

I have done some searching on here and now I would like your input before I call shops around here to get an alignment. I need an alignment because when I autocrossed my car a month ago, I started getting a pretty bad "clunk" everytime I turned hard and now my steering wheel does not sit straight when the car is actually going straight.

Here are the facts on my car:
1. 2004 Mazdaspeed that is 80% daily driver and 20% fun stuff
2. Completely stock suspension with 50k on it.
3. 17x7 wheels with 205/40/17 BFGoodrich Sport Comp 2s with 2k on them.

I also scrubbed the outer edge of my front tires pretty well on that autocross, so I intend on rotating them to keep the wear even. Heres the alignment I was considering, I got it from FM. Let me know if anything needs changing.

Caster +4.5
F Camber -1.0
F Toe 0
R Camber -1.5
R Toe 1/16 inch in total

Also, from reading Emilios experiences, the "clunk" I am getting is the eccentric bolts. Do I need to replace those before/after an alignment?
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:00 PM   #2
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Eccentric bolts will need replaced prior to the alignment. Pulling out the old ones, and then reinstalling the new ones is going to FUBAR your alignment. Ask the shop to do it. When I did mine I had 2.5* of POSITIVE camber, and the toe was totally wiped out. I wouldn't want to drive to a shop in that condition.


As for your proposed specs.....

Caster is fine. I prefer a bit more with a power steering car, but it's fine. Front camber isn't going to wear tires, I would move it up .1/.2 degrees out of personal preference. For street driving, I try to max out the front camber, the adjust the rear about .2/.3 above the front camber. 0 toe in the front is nice and responsive, and I prefer it as well in the rear, although the 1/16th in will help keep the rear end in check.


My specs would be.....

0 toe front and rear. Max front camber, then add .3ish to get the rear camber. As much caster as you can get without loosing camber.


Regardless, try to ask the shop if you can ballast the car while it's aligned. You can help the tech do the caster sweeps!
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilicharger665 View Post
Caster +4.5
F Camber -1.0
F Toe 0
R Camber -1.5
R Toe 1/16 inch in total
Nearly identical to what I ran on my turbocharged '92 with 318/233 springs. Good road manners, slightly understeerey with the ability to transition to oversteer with throttle.

As for caster, it's the least important aspect of the alignment. On an NA, we can never get much beyond 4 degreees anyway, so I just tell the shop "Give me as much positive camber as possible without sacrificing camber." NBs are usually a bit better in this regard.

Any idea what your previous alignment was?
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Chilicharger665 View Post
I have done some searching on here and now I would like your input before I call shops around here to get an alignment. I need an alignment because when I autocrossed my car a month ago, I started getting a pretty bad "clunk" everytime I turned hard and now my steering wheel does not sit straight when the car is actually going straight.

Here are the facts on my car:
1. 2004 Mazdaspeed that is 80% daily driver and 20% fun stuff
2. Completely stock suspension with 50k on it.
3. 17x7 wheels with 205/40/17 BFGoodrich Sport Comp 2s with 2k on them.

I also scrubbed the outer edge of my front tires pretty well on that autocross, so I intend on rotating them to keep the wear even. Heres the alignment I was considering, I got it from FM. Let me know if anything needs changing.

Caster +4.5
F Camber -1.0
F Toe 0
R Camber -1.5
R Toe 1/16 inch in total

Also, from reading Emilios experiences, the "clunk" I am getting is the eccentric bolts. Do I need to replace those before/after an alignment?

I'd flip the F/R camber numbers and keep toe at 0.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:48 AM   #5
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Since this is a stock suspension car.

Max out the front camber, then make it even to the size that has the least. Max out the caster until it starts to lower the camber and make it even. Zero toe.

Back camber 0.5 more negative than what you got at the front, 1/32 toe in. Adjust rear toe for driving style/balance. As long as you drive somewhat aggressively all the time you wont notice un-even wear with such little camber, though since you're only going to end up with around 1.5* in the front you're still going to nuke the outside shoulders at auto-x.

The clunk and wheel not straight might also be a tie rod end. I would check for that before going in for the alignment.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:00 AM   #6
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Ok everyone thanks for the replies. To tackle this in order it seems I need to get some eccentric bolts first, so I might as well forget about the alignment for now?

1. Where should I get the eccentrics?
2. How hard is it and what tools will I need?
3. Does the car need to be fully in the air or can I do one corner at a time?

I am brand new at working on cars, but It is my ambition to learn, so would it be better to do it myself or get a shop to do so? I live in the middle of nowhere so there aren't performance shops for at least 100 miles.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:04 AM   #7
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Unless you want to do a string alignment to "close enough" in your driveway after installing the eccentrics they need to be done at the shop doing the alignment.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilicharger665 View Post
Ok everyone thanks for the replies. To tackle this in order it seems I need to get some eccentric bolts first, so I might as well forget about the alignment for now?

1. Where should I get the eccentrics?
2. How hard is it and what tools will I need?
3. Does the car need to be fully in the air or can I do one corner at a time?

I am brand new at working on cars, but It is my ambition to learn, so would it be better to do it myself or get a shop to do so? I live in the middle of nowhere so there aren't performance shops for at least 100 miles.
949 sells all 8 bolts for $80 shipped. By far the best deal I've found.

You can do one corner at a time. Only remove 1 bolt at time from the lower control arm. Disconnecting the sway, or fully raising one axles at a time would be easiest (sans owning a lift). IIRC, the 949 replacements will use a 19mm (could be 17mm) bolt and nut. You'll want an open ended wrench, and a socket wrench, preferably long with 1/2 for leverage. Expect the OEM bolts to be fairly tight. The OEM are 14 and 17 IIRC. A 1/2 drive ratchet and sockets from harbor freight or sears are more than capable.

FWIW: You don't need a "performance" shop to do it. Anyone with an alignment machine will have the knowledge to: Remove bolts. Reinstall new bolts. Align the car. Just take it to a standard tire/repair shop, tell them what you want, and give them your specs. Give them plenty of time to do it (you're asking for something above and beyond, remember). I find a box of a dozen store bought donuts can get you on their good side at most shops. Remember, YOU are asking for a favor. They could charge you $100 a bolt to install or refuse to put them in. Keep them in the OE packaging, be nice, give them plenty of time, and bring a snack. It's worked for me from both sides of the counter.



EDIT: As I said before, your alignment will be wiped out after you replace the bolts. Unless you can get the toe close at home, do it at a shop.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:37 PM   #9
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I had a long reply typed out on my iphone and then when I submitted it, the damn site logged me out! So TL;DR now

1. I called. No one around here knows what eccentric bolts or control arms are, so I will install these myself.
2. I have a 38pc Kobalt Xtreme Access tool kit that has open-end wrenches and sockets up to 19 mm so I should be good on that end.
3. An alignment shop 4 blocks from my house agreed to align it how I wanted for $89. Driving 4 blocks should be plenty safe, even on a FUBAR alignment.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:27 PM   #10
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Indeed- there's no need to freak out about installing new adjuster bolts, or even new control arms or tie-rods.

Just mark where the old adjusters were, put the new ones in in the same orientation, and you will be fine. You tires aren't going to explode just from driving a few miles to get to the alignment shop no matter how out-of-whack it is.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:13 PM   #11
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Dont be scared to run bigger camber numbers, Toe/lack of camber is what kills tires on sporty cars not camber. If you autox I'd shoot for low 2's in camber. Those MS miatas respond very well to ebay coilovers and 15" wheels...
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:49 PM   #12
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I would like to run a lot of camber but isnt the level of camber you can get related to ride height? Its a stock suspension 04 MSM.

On an unrelated note, I went and bought some jackstands, a creeper, oil drain pan, and some oil. I already had the filter I needed. So I changed my oil for the first time so I feel proud! Lol time for build thread?? I also rotated my tires and cleaned my air filter.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:53 PM   #13
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Yes, max camber (and all other alignment figures) are affected by ride height. I've never aligned an MSM, but I'd be surprised if it could hit 2* of camber in the front.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:05 PM   #14
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Its real easy, the MSM actually rides softer on higher rate springs.

Order this
Mazda Miata 90 94 coilover lowering Spring Kit Silver | eBay

and this for the rear

Miata Suspension

read this

The Quintessential Ebay Coilover Thread - MX-5 Miata Forum
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:46 PM   #15
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I want XIDAs, or at least Vmaxxs. I dont want ebay coilovers.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:47 PM   #16
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less talk, more do.


should I quote Yoda here?
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:54 PM   #17
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I changed my oil and cleaned my air filter yesterday. Eccentric bolts have been ordered, so I kind of have to wait for them to come in.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilicharger665 View Post
I want XIDAs, or at least Vmaxxs. I dont want ebay coilovers.
I was the fastest Miata in TTE/MC street/mod last year in an NB2 with MSM Bilsteins and ebay coilovers. The car didn't even have aftermarket sway bars. I did have homemade top hats but thats a little over your head atm. The Xida's are freakin sweet but while your saving do yourself a favor and listen to what I'm telling you If we can double drive a car in NASA on ebay coilovers I bet they will hold up to your autox course

You


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I'm not just an ethug, I really could kill you
Attached Thumbnails
80/20 Alignment-6b27ce59-8304-45ee-9ac0-cd53ac9c7623-5210-00000b2decd01c3a.jpg   80/20 Alignment-4a201f48-0dcd-4a7d-970c-0d3f91989080-5210-00000b2de811b0af.jpg   80/20 Alignment-f0b2fcde-7e0f-4b9f-809e-94f7214f7a2d-5210-00000b2dec215e12.jpg  

Last edited by jacob300zx; 12-14-2012 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:26 PM   #19
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Lol
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:46 PM   #20
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I loled as well. Well hold up on the e thuggery and wait for me to install my eccentric bolts and then my life shall be forfeit, ok?
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