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Old 01-25-2011, 11:11 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Savington View Post
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**** like this is why I do my own alignments. I got tired of being questioned. Having access to an alignment machine is awesome.
I put a friends Miata on an alignment rack and was having the same problem as OP. There is slight visible damage to the control arm. Couldn't get more then -1 degree of camber. I'd check everything if I were you.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:20 PM   #22
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This is why I spent over $400 to get some basic alignment tools. Between the 3 Miatas I own/maintain it seems like I do an alignment on each one every year. The last time when they refused to get the settings the same left to right instead of just in the "green zone" , I just had it. It costs $80-100 for a job that I have no faith in. They also refused to provide me with a before and an after printout of the settings. So how do I know they did not just pull the car on the rack, take a smoke break and charge me $80 bucks an hour later.
About two years ago we went to a pretty respectable shop with my brothers FFR 65 Shelby Cobra kit car to get an alignment done before a weekend trip to Deals Gap. Well in 2 days driving non stop we ate the inside tires down to to the cords due to completely messed up toe angles. They refused to pay for new tires or even offer to re-align the car.
So needless to say I am now spending the time to learn how to do it right myself. It might take longer and I might not be able to set it with quite the precision that the can on a lazer table, but at least I will know it is right.
Best advice yet. Smart strings, a few pieces of angle iron, a digital level and a couple lasers worked real well. Once I win the lottery, we'll have a set of turntables. Until then, floor squares and wax paper do the trick.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:50 PM   #23
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Diy is they way to for alignment, I check mine every time I use the car, and can adjust at the track if something isn't right or I have an off road experience.
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:37 AM   #24
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Jay,

The three places I would recommend in the Seattle area are Doug Chase (Duvall) -- http://www.chaserace.com/, Fordahl Motorsports (Bellevue)-- Greg Fordahl really knows his stuff, the "service manager" type guy isn't that great though. I've also heard good things about Group 2 motorsports (Seattle).

It's my understanding that it's not unheard of for some Miatas to max out at relatively poor camber numbers on one side. I'm toying with the idea of the offset bushings myself.
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:38 AM   #25
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I sent you a message Jay.
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:39 AM   #26
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You should feel fortunate, I can only get -0.6 out of the Volvo.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:02 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Tim Irwin View Post
Jay,

The three places I would recommend in the Seattle area are Doug Chase (Duvall) -- http://www.chaserace.com/, Fordahl Motorsports (Bellevue)-- Greg Fordahl really knows his stuff, the "service manager" type guy isn't that great though. I've also heard good things about Group 2 motorsports (Seattle).

It's my understanding that it's not unheard of for some Miatas to max out at relatively poor camber numbers on one side. I'm toying with the idea of the offset bushings myself.
+1 on Fordahl... I've known him for around 30 years and he knows how to set up track cars.
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:47 PM   #28
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Ended up going with a new set of upper control arms with the ISC offset bushings. That should get me to where I want to be. Once they arrive and I install them it's going to get an alignment and we'll see if this fixes the problem. Will post a follow-up with new alignment numbers in couple weeks.
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:39 PM   #29
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Now the fun part will be choosing a shop. Should I go high end (Speedware) where the tech might feel he knows best or just go to Sear's where the tech will hit the numbers I want because he doesn't care how the car drives when he's done?
I've done it both ways. Sears couldn't get close to the numbers I wanted and managed to damage the finish on my wheels while they were at it.

Speedware did exactly as I asked. No muss, no fuss.


FWIW, YMMV, etc.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:21 PM   #30
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Got a box from ISC Racing today, can't wait to get these on the car.

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Old 02-16-2011, 01:35 AM   #31
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I'll be interested to see what you get for caster, with my offset bushings and -2.3 camber the least caster I can get is about 5 degrees. We found that more camber allowed for less caster but -2.3 was as much as I wanted on a street car.

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Ended up going with a new set of upper control arms with the ISC offset bushings. That should get me to where I want to be. Once they arrive and I install them it's going to get an alignment and we'll see if this fixes the problem. Will post a follow-up with new alignment numbers in couple weeks.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:48 AM   #32
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What alignment numbers should I be shooting for? The car is on Bilstein PSS coilovers that have 282/242 spring rates and the car isn't as low as many around here. I was going to use the 949 alignment specs for a car at this ride height, but I'm not sure that would be the best starting point for a car with springs this soft.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:48 PM   #33
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What keeps those from spinning in the control arm?
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:08 PM   #34
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There's a fitting screwed into the other side that's not visible in the pictures. According to ISC, it would still be fine without the fitting.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:53 PM   #35
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As you can see in my sig, my car isn't terribly low either but it's quite a lot stiffer than yours so I don't know that my setup would work particularly well on your car.

That being said here are my specs to give you a general idea...

Front
-2.3* front camber
5.3* front caster
0 toe

Rear
-2.0* camber
1/16 toe in

I drive the car fairly hard so camber wear hasn't been a problem. The track only guys run more camber, but my car sees mostly street duty.
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:50 PM   #36
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Got everything installed over the weekend. Played around a bit with the ride height and it's now at 4.5" in the front and 4.75" in the rear at the pinch welds. I have an appointment this afternoon at Speedware to get it aligned and I'm going with the 949 specs as the starting point. Have a few hours before it goes in so is there any last minute suggestions or something I'm overlooking?
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:17 PM   #37
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Unhook your sway bars so they are not preloading your suspension. I assume they have lead plates to simulate you in the drivers seat?

Will they be corner balancing the car at all?
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:06 PM   #38
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Just got home from getting it aligned and I'm very happy. Kelly at Speedware Motorsports walked me through the entire process. Not only learned a lot but ended up with a car that drives great. The faster the corner the better it feels, noticeably better than how it was before. The drivers side front still was a trouble spot so at some point I'll be replacing the lower control arm. That should be all it takes to get the front caster down a little more. Anyways, here's the final numbers.

Front
-2.5* front camber
4.6* front caster
0 toe

Rear
-2.0* camber
0 toe
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:18 PM   #39
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It was great to finally meet you today Jason. Thanks again for coming in and chatting cars with me while I worked.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:37 PM   #40
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For posterity's sake.

When the camber has been maxed out in the front, the lower control arm's inner-bushing, forward adjuster, will be positioned so that it pushes the A-arm out as far as it will go - that means a 3 o'clock or 9-o'clock position, depending on how you look at it.

If the shop says "it's maxed out", but the above isn't true, point it out.

The forward adjuster adjusts mainly camber.
The rear bushing adjuster, adjusts mainly caster.
There is only a bit of interaction between them.
Adjusting either camber or caster, will change toe, so toe needs to be adjusted last.


In the rears, turning the adjusters in the same direction, will change camber.
Turning them in opposite directions, will change toe.
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