Suspension Sherlock

  1. My model of MX-5 is: 2009 NC1 2.0ltr Sport
  2. I’m based near: Birmingham
  3. I’m looking for technical help or recommendations on: Understanding my cars suspension set up

Hi All, I bought a 2009 NC1 on Friday and love it. The guy i bought it from only had it a short time so didnt know much about it, but a previous owner has lowered it. It’s still got the original Bilstein’s but appears to have H&R (they’re bright blue?!) lowering springs.

Ride height is set to 340mm at the front, 345mm at the rear. Almost everything I’ve read on here this eve suggests people normally set the front higher, is there any reason why you’d set the front lower? The car handles brilliantly, but is just a little skittish at around 60mph if the roads a little bumpy - is that characteristic of the car, or can it be overcome with damper setting changes? A decent of tyres would probably help too…

Thanks in advance for any help!

340 front 345 rear is not a bad height. Slight Rake is of benefit to weight transfer. If you feel the car is unsettled the first thing to check is if the anti roll bars have been changed to RX8 red, yellow or orange.
Increased bar rates for road use reduces grip over road sufaces that apply bump to a single wheel. This may be the cause of the nervous feel. I have yellow dots and I had the same issue.
If you have green or blue dot bars then the next thing could be toe and castor settings. After that I would investigate a change of dampers.

Thanks very much for your reply - really helpful. I’ll have a dig about and see what ARBs I’ve got at the moment. A few people have suggested getting a full alignment done, any idea what that typically costs?

Proper geometry that is carried out by a specialist is around £100 - £150. This should include measurements and adjustment of camber, castor and f/r toe. It is a good investment but if you are thinking of changing components best to do those before having it done. Just check the state of your alignment bolts and trackrod ends as well before you go as these can ruin your setup session.

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