Fast road alignment, what to expect.

Last year i took my car to a local 4 wheel alignment specialist.

(Turned out to be the son of an old mate, but that’s another tale)

 

Anyhow, the car wasn’t far out, everything was within the green areas.

A slight adjustment to the front tracking to bring the steering wheel back in to alignment, and a small tracking adjustment on one of the rears.

In fact I looked at the before and after results only the other day and had to double check to see where any changes had been made.

Needless to say, the car drove the same coming out of the garage as it did going in, only £40 lighter.

 

I read recently, one member was super impressed with a WIM fast road alignment, so I started looking at what these setting are, and concluded that the difference between the info i could find and what I currently have is front and rear camber, everything else is about the same.

However, of the info I could find, there are many many peoples differing variations, there doesn’t appear to be anything definitive. (stands to reason really)

 

If I were to take the car again, for a fast road, what could one honestly expect, bearing in mind i tend to drive sensibly, with maybe only the occasional mad head moment, and does anyone have a definitive set of numbers.

 

2005 NC 2.0 sport on standard setup etc.

 

 

The best person to answer your question is Paul Roddison just down the M1 near Meadowhall.

I did speak to Paul last year, but he couldn’t get me in for 3 weeks or more.

At the time, i assumed a 4 wheel alignment was just that, a set of predetermined numbers to work to.

The car was within the Hunter numbers, but I’m now guessing this is a standard set of numbers.

 

So with the car setup as standard and all correct, i don’t particularly want to spend £100 having a fast road setup for me to come out and think ‘nope, it feels the same’

Hi, what you may currently notice with the standard alignment settings, is the need to constantly correct the steering when driving on a fast road, for example , a dual carriageway or motorway, at speeds in excess of 40mph. The steering will feel comparatively light and will require 100% attention, a slight error in concentration, maybe to talk to your passenger or fiddle with the audio controls, will result in unconscious  movement of the steering sending the car off center. 

Fast road alignment settings are designed to assist the driver in taming this unwanted character of the mx5. The small camber, toe and caster adjustments increase the weight of the steering, sometimes making you think “do i actually  have power steering!”. But the constant wandering is not so evident so a good thing as it also increases driving enjoyment.

However, although all MX5s will benefit greatly, if you have a standard height mk3 mx5, the camber adjustment cannot be optimized, so the gain is less than the lowered car. Between 340mm and 350mm measuring from center of the hub and the wheel arch is the best height for the fast road settings. 

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Hi

sorry I couldn’t fit you in when you rang…

alignment isn’t all about the equipment, its  the operator than can make the difference.

A few things that need to be taken into account…

is the car a daily, high milage resulting in requiring tyre longevity? Is it a Sunday car? Tyres would probably crack due to age before wearing out…

is it used on motorways? Requiring high speed stability…or is it a B’ road car.

what power does it have? You won’t get a 250bhp car off the line with 3deg camber lol

what tyres? T1r’s??? ( I’ve given better away) or something good???

 

just a few things a good alignment centre will take into account.

 

burton maybe we should do another evening class on suspension ?

Working in Leeds, I can only really get to you on Saturday, and I believe you were racing with a few saturdays booked up.

 

The car is a standard 2.0 in every respect.

She is a summer car covering about 3k per year, however, this can be anything from me taking her to work (motorway) during the week, to twisty dales B roads at the weekend, and maybe an A road to the coast the weekend after. Basically an all rounder.

 

Tyres are mickey mouse budget tyres for the reason you highlighted, they will have gone off before I wear them out.

Having never raced or been on a track, I don’t think that i’ve ever neared the limits of grip from a tyre, I guess even a budget tyre can outperform my limitations.

 

I tend to drive within limits, with consideration for my own safety and that of others, however I do feel that the car is missing something, but I don’t know what.

Maybe it’s the tyres :slight_smile:

Tyres WILL make a massive difference!

but I’m also sure it would be worth you having a day’s holiday to get it set correctly 

My holiday days are precious, usually spent in warmer climes. Cool

 

This our 3rd MX5. The previous car was an NC 2 litre Option purchased new including 30mm Mazda springs. Serviced and maintained by a Mazda Dealer. Despite having 4 wheel alignment carried out 3 times over 7 years the car never inspired.

After a gap of 4 years we purchased a 6 year old NC 3.5 2 litre Sport which again has Mazda 30mm lower springs.

The car was obviously out of warranty so we decided to look for an independent MX5 Specialist and by chance found Paul Roddison. The car had only done 14000 miles but the original tyres were cracked and needed replacing. On Paul’s recommendation Kumho Ecsta Le Sport tyres were fitted and he carried out a 4 wheel alignment based on the type of driving we do. It transformed the car, It feels planted on the motorway with little input needed and on country roads it feels poised. It is a pleasure to drive!

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My weekends are pretty much booked up now until early September, and the car will be back under wraps from the end of October, so maybe something for next spring, only i’ll call Paul a few weeks in advance.

Glad you like what we do

 

Isn’t this part of the fun of the MX5 that the steering is a little bit ‘lively’? I don’t find the standard set up problematic on fast roads. Actually, mine did used to wander a little bit but then I got new tyres and since then it’s been spot on. I was going to get the fast road set up after I had the suspension lowered but was so happy with the provident from that with just the standard suspension set up I didn’t see the point. of course, I’m saying that without having driven a car with the fast road set up so I may be missing out on something but I’m not sure I want to bother spending the money to find out.  Horses for courses!  

 

 

+1 + MeisterR’s

Yes Pete. New recommend,  tyres are definitely the major factor in our mx5’s road capabilities.  I’ve been on both sides of having brand new cheap budget rubber to changing to a recommended set from the forum. It’s a revelation for sure…

Allignments are just fine tuning to our preferences but sadly my preferences could not be dialed in until I went LOW. 

 

 

 

August 7th 's TEK night is Compare and Contract the Spider with the MK4, so subject to your racing commitments ‘Suspension’ could be September or October’s subject, I will add a post later this week