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Discussion Starter #1
I just installed some AGX's with the Tein s-tech springs and so I figured I would take the next step and get an alignment. So the shop keeps my car all day and calls me 30 minutes before they close to say they cant align the camber or caster because with the set up I have it wont allow for adjustment AT ALL! SO now what, it is other than the struts and springs a complete factory suspension setup. Are they just full of B*llsh*t? I thought the miata had alot of room for adjustment when it came to this area.
 

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I am running AGX shocks and H&R springs lowering my miata and then needing an alignment. I took mine to my local mazda dealer Morries Mazda and they had no problem doing the job. I would call and talk to the service manager at your shop and they should be able to show you on your car what makes it unable to be aligned. You didn't say you took it to a dealer. You did take to a mazda dealer didn't you? #-o If not I wouldn't take to a "toe and go" alignment hack job shops out there without a referal from someone you know who has had a positive experience with them. I work for a dealership and talk to the car-x's, precision tune's, and tires plus's, ect., and not to hack on them, but they are more commonly than not hacks. A couple of out technicians also used to work at such places and confirm that you should never have your car worked on there. FYI Beware.
Good luck.
 

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I call BS. They should be able to align the car just fine. I don't see how your setup would be different from any other lowered miata, and I am sure that all the lowered cars on this fourm are not riding around without an alignment.

I would find a shop in your area that will do the alignment and give them the business. Call first or ask others with modified cas who they use.

I used Sears, as funny as that sounds. They had no problems with aligning the car, and even let me sit in the car when they set it, just so I was right with my fat ass behind the wheel :D
 

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When I went to get an alignment last time they told me they couldnt do the rear. It was such B.S. Later, I decided to see what they were talking about....I ended up aligning it myself. Alot of places that I have gone to for work to be done are liars unfortunately. You can always just do it yourself... :)
 

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The shop is full of it. The first time I had my car aligned many shops said they would do it over the phone, but when I showed up, they would take one look at the car, and find out I knew what specs I wanted they'd turn me away.

I ended up going to a race shop that went out of their way and spent all day to hit my specs. Ended up spending $150 but I could not believe the difference. The miata deserves a precision alignment.
 

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munit thats a great sig youve got there
looks like your ccar (well its lower then your car ;) )

also that shop is bs just go somewhere else no problem
 

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The shop is full of it. The first time I had my car aligned many shops said they would do it over the phone, but when I showed up, they would take one look at the car, and find out I knew what specs I wanted they'd turn me away.

I ended up going to a race shop that went out of their way and spent all day to hit my specs. Ended up spending $150 but I could not believe the difference. The miata deserves a precision alignment.
Sometimes you get what you pay for. One shouldn't skimp on an alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys for the info, I was hoping this place could do it because they were close to my work and easy to get to. I did try to get them to use my own specs and they shot me down for that :( but I decided to go ahead and do the "usual" alignment. I guess I will hunt down a performance place around that will spend a little more time on it and do it to my specs. P.S. it was a Firestone place so yea I now understand the whole dont go to a "toe and go" place. Well, I guess Ill try next week, in the mean time does anyone have any recommendations on what specs I should try. I read in one of the miata enthusiast book that they recommended for the front a camber of -1.2 and a toe of 1/16 total and for the rear a caster of -5.0, camber of 0.7 and a toe of 1/16 total. These to me seem to be a little to much but I dont really know as I have never have thought about getting special specs as my last car was a FWD MX6 and personally it didnt really all matter that much at the time. Once again thank you for all the info and I will start a search in my local area for a performance shop that will do it right for me. I think there is one about 30 miles away that might be about to do it and I can just take off work that day. (Who doesnt love a whole day off work?!)
 

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Sometimes a lowered car can't be aligned at shops with older equipment. If they still use systems that aren't using LED Panels... they'll have problems.

I have lifetime at my local firestone... they know me and spec the car however I like... before they got their newer LED panel system... we were borderline having problems doing my car when it was lowered some.
 

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yeah, my car is too low to even get the car on the lift, which is why i asked around, for alignment shops that make you drive over a pit, and they walk down under ur car, but of course they do the whole process by hand, rather then the machine, and the lazer beeeeems
 

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I took my car to a precision alignment shop the first time. They charged me $80, nailed all my numbers, and were done in 45 minutes. My setup is FAR more extreme than yours. Your shop is full of ****.

I hope you didn't pay them.
 

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I decided to go ahead and do the "usual" alignment.
The first shop you mentioned are idiots for wasting your time and for being incompetent or lazy mechanics. They don't deserve your business. Let them know how you feel by not ever going back there for any type of service of any kind. You need to find a Miata specialist or a race car chassis/suspension specialist that can read and follow written instructions if you want a Miata that performs to its optimum.

The Miata is very easy to align. However, it is very sensitive to alignment. If all you got was the "usual" alignment by the idiot shop then you just wasted good money and you should really have it done all over again the "right" way. A Miata with a good alignment on worn out shocks and stock springs will handle better than a car with brand new Tein Flex and a crappy alignment. Simply getting the idiot box on the computer display to light up green might be good enough for Sally Soccer Mom in her pos SUV but it's no good for a Miata owner who cares about performance and driving enjoyment. The actual measurements must be verified and balanced side to side. If your mechanic won't at least try to achieve your custom specs you need to find a new shop.

The front camber/caster is adjusted via eccentric bolts on the lower control arms (the two adjustments are dependent on each other and you will eventually get to a point where you have to trade off some caster to achieve more camber and vice versa). Front toe is adjusted via tie rods. Rear camber is adjusted via eccentrics on the lower control arm. There is no rear caster adjustment. Rear toe is adjusted using the rear eccentric on the lower control arm. Be sure to really tighten the eccentric bolts to 120lb-ft or greater to ensure they don't slip the first time you hit a bump in the road.

Remember that alignment is most often measured at static equilibrium but that actual alignment changes as the suspension moves up and down. The Miata can be aligned with fancy laser tools or something as simple as some string, some jack stands, some wooden blocks, a plum bob, a bubble level, a tape measure and a yard stick. Whatever tools are being used it is important the mechanic knows how to use them and calibrate them. Consistency is key if you want good measurements.

Miata Suspension 102: Alignment
Lanny Chamber's original Miata alignment page
OceanRagtop's alignment page
Icehawk's alignment page
Sheldon's alignment page
Flyin' Miata's alignment settings
 

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Here is a sample you can take with you to your next alignment. These settings are a good baseline for a mostly stock Miata that has minor shock/spring upgrades (such as KYB AGX and Tein S.Tech springs) that is driven mostly on the street and the occasional auto-x. If you've got a more advanced suspension setup with ride height adjustment you will likely find different settings may work better depending on your sway bar setup, height, intended use, etc. Icehawk's page has good info on Tein Flex setups. Play around until you find the balance that suits you and your car best.

Rear
Toe: 1/32 inch (0°4.5' or 0.075°) IN per side
Camber: -1.5 degrees

Front
Camber: -1.0 degrees
Caster: 5.0 degrees
Toe: 1/32 inch IN per side

The parameters are listed in the order they should be set, starting with rear toe, which may constrain the other settings but is the single most important parameter for safe, predictable handling.

Left and right sides must match. If a spec is unattainable on both sides, do the best you can then match the worse side. Maintain at least 0.5 degree front/rear camber bias.

Sacrifice rear camber to get the correct rear toe.
Sacrifice caster to get the correct front camber, maintaining the 0.5 degree F/R bias.

Sometimes target values can only be achieved when all 3 values (caster, camber, toe) are massaged simultaneously.
 

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The shop is full of it. The first time I had my car aligned many shops said they would do it over the phone, but when I showed up, they would take one look at the car, and find out I knew what specs I wanted they'd turn me away.

I ended up going to a race shop that went out of their way and spent all day to hit my specs. Ended up spending $150 but I could not believe the difference. The miata deserves a precision alignment.
Sometimes you get what you pay for. One shouldn't skimp on an alignment.
 

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Thanks guys for the info, I was hoping this place could do it because they were close to my work and easy to get to. I did try to get them to use my own specs and they shot me down for that :( but I decided to go ahead and do the "usual" alignment. I guess I will hunt down a performance place around that will spend a little more time on it and do it to my specs. P.S. it was a Firestone place so yea I now understand the whole dont go to a "toe and go" place. Well, I guess Ill try next week, in the mean time does anyone have any recommendations on what specs I should try. I read in one of the miata enthusiast book that they recommended for the front a camber of -1.2 and a toe of 1/16 total and for the rear a caster of -5.0, camber of 0.7 and a toe of 1/16 total. These to me seem to be a little to much but I dont really know as I have never have thought about getting special specs as my last car was a FWD MX6 and personally it didnt really all matter that much at the time. Once again thank you for all the info and I will start a search in my local area for a performance shop that will do it right for me. I think there is one about 30 miles away that might be about to do it and I can just take off work that day. (Who doesnt love a whole day off work?!)
My suggestion is this;

Decide how you want your car to handle and behave. What part of the corner your like understeer/oversteer, that sort of thing.

Find a shop that does a lot of spec miatas, and is well known for doing good work.

Go there and tell them how you want the car to work.

If they aren't receptive find a different shop.


I suggest that you don't use other peoples alignment specs unless you drive your car exactly the same way they drive theirs.
 

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I don't know if PR motorsports does alignment, never been there. But if they do, cmon thats a no brainer. go there. but then again im not sure if they do alignments.
 

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I don't know if PR motorsports does alignment, never been there. But if they do, cmon thats a no brainer. go there. but then again im not sure if they do alignments.
If you are anywhere near Milpitas, I must highly recommend Auto Innovations in Milpitas. Orlando nailed my specs, and didn't even bat an eye when I told him what I wanted (2.3F/2.5R Camber, maxed caster). He did it for $80 and was done in 45 minutes. Very nice, even let me chill in the shop while they did the work. HIGHLY recommended.
 
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