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Discussion Starter #1
I've never really put this out there for the miata community, but I've kind of fallen into a niche market with supras and a couple other more expensive cars.

How many of you would spend money on a quality corner balancing, plus shock and alignment tuning at the race track? I've done this for a couple time attack cars, and have done my own cars and those of friends. This is real common in the EVO and M3 communities.

I'm not soliciting business, but I am more curious how much of this particular community would consider something like this.

Matt
 

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I'm very much involved in autocross and while I can't say if I would pay the extra money for corner balancing, I have had my car custom aligned a few times and it really pays off.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
interesting. So you wouldn't pay for corner balancing, but you have paid to have someone sort the rest of the car? Thats actually backwards compared to most people I have talked to. Most people like to grab someone else's alignment #'s, and give that to the cornerbalancer/aligner.
 

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Maybe I don't understand your deifinition of cornerbalancing, provided it's different.

I have my car custom aligned, but not "corner balanced", as far as I know.
 

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I've had mine corner balanced / aligned once per year since I've owned it (just aligned before I had the TEINs). It's part of my spring maintenance before the autocross season. The shop I use charges $80 per service, so $160 for the morning's work. To me, this isn't even a question. It's necessary to get the car turning well on the course.

I've never paid someone to take my car to a track, drive it, then tune the suspension. I leave that for myself. Depending on how a course is setup, I'll change shock and swaybar settings.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
timallen said:
Maybe I don't understand your deifinition of cornerbalancing, provided it's different.

I have my car custom aligned, but not "corner balanced", as far as I know.
maybe our definitions are different.

corner balancing - each 4 of the wheels are put on a scale and your coilovers are balanced to provide as close to equal cross wieghts as possible.

custom alignment - in my eyes means custom tailored to your car. So someone with some ability to drive your car and know that it needs more camber/caster/toe/compression or rebound dampening/ride hieght/ sway bar settings etc needs to be in the driver seat to help you find the last XX% of speed out of your car.

You may be suprised by the number of people that are fast in spite of thier cars. I drove a race winning Nissan SER cup car last weekend that when unsettled could fully compress the front suspension, which unsettled the rear, which bound the rear swaybar against other suspension pieces. The would bring on snap oversteer in a car that normally pushed on long sweepers. The guy could drive it fast, no doubt. But there is so much consistancy and time to be had by fixing these couple problems. A raise in the ride hieght, increase in front compression valving, and adjustment of the rear endlinks fixed these issues for him.

I think what you are defining as custom alignment is taking alignment numbers you have gotten from other people, the internet, or whatever, to a shop and having them dial the car in that way for you?
 

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I would not pay for it personally. I've always taken pride on setting up my car myself. I have paid big bucks for a good alignment because I understand how important that is, but If I really wanted to tweak my alignment further Id go buy a camber gauge and do it in my garage.

Sounds like a service for the european car owners with more money than desire or ability, IMO.

but If I was a real track nut, I'd pay for corner weigthing or buy some scales.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I can totally understand your feelings. My only retort would be that tuning suspension at the level I am refering to is beyond 95% of the people who track thier car. They understand thier limits and pay someone to find the extra second or so per lap in thier setup. Its not as simple as buying a camber gauge and messing with it in your garage. If you can tell which part of your suspension is bottoming out or doesn't have enough travel, or is binding, or what alignment spec is making your car act the way it is, then you can obviously handle this on your own. But its not just the european guys that throw money around. Its people who are serious about being fast.

This type of thing isn't for people who go to the track a handful of times a year. It definately for those that are more hardcore.
 

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timallen said:
Maybe I don't understand your deifinition of cornerbalancing, provided it's different.

I have my car custom aligned, but not "corner balanced", as far as I know.

Tim,

You need COILOVERS to do Corner Balancing. :twisted: hehehee That is probably why nobody in our club has had that done. How many cars in our club have Coilovers besides me? Not many, heheheh too many cheap old farts.


PhatMiata
 

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Yeah, that's what I thought Randy.

I have the stock '93LE suspension, which was the predecessor of the later R-package suspension:

Bilstein shocks
Sport springs in the rear
I think the front springs are the same?
Different sway bars to accomodate the Bilsteins' stiffer nature.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
yeah. that isn't really a very adjustable suspension set up. you really just have tires/tirepressure/alignment to work with.

You definately can get someone to work with just the alignment, but it doesn't sound like you are using the car in a manner which you would notice the difference...

as for flying to other countries? lol. I think you are better off finding a local resource. pm me if you're serious...
 

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Phatmiata said:
timallen said:
Maybe I don't understand your deifinition of cornerbalancing, provided it's different.

I have my car custom aligned, but not "corner balanced", as far as I know.

Tim,

You need COILOVERS to do Corner Balancing. :twisted: hehehee That is probably why nobody in our club has had that done. How many cars in our club have Coilovers besides me? Not many, heheheh too many cheap old farts.


PhatMiata
your right about the old farts... but i think thats more on the miata.net site... i can smell moth balls and cold cream through my wireless router/wireless adapter :lol: 8) :lol: 8) :p :twisted: :twisted:
 

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Last time I had it done was on my Cobra and it cost me 480.00 but it did include squaring up the front subframe to the rear. This was 3 years ago and Ive learned enough that I think I can do it myself.
 

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Phatmiata said:
Tim,

You need COILOVERS to do Corner Balancing. :twisted: hehehee That is probably why nobody in our club has had that done. How many cars in our club have Coilovers besides me? Not many, heheheh too many cheap old farts.


PhatMiata

Actually that is not the case, about needing coilovers to corner weight the car. Any Miata can be corner weighted, it just takes a little more work to do it without coilovers, but I just finished corner weighting an autocross miata with a "stock" suspension set-up an hour ago.

The real benefit of corner weighting is the predictability in handling the car takes on. When you have 60-100lbs of wedge in a Miata, it makes the car handle different turning left or right and out of balance. A good alignment does a lot for handling and is very important, but along with corner weighting a car, both work in sinergy to give the car balanced handling.

Take Care,
Dave
 

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How do you corner balance a car with any consistency without theaded spring perches? Do you preload the sway bars? Add/remove balast? Add spacers between the spring and its upper/lower mounts?

Edit: Stealth beat me to it.
 

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Come on guys, a race shop has to have some secrets :wink:






















Pretty easy, and its not to secret, just time consuming

Corner weight the car. Use shims between the upper shock mount and chassis to adjust wedge and ride height. Once you know what thickness total shims you need on each corner, walk over to your trusty machine shop and build proper spacers of the appropriate thickness for each corner. Install and enjoy!

Then do a good 4 wheel alignment to whatever specs you need and you have a happy car.

One little side note, make sure you have adjustable end links on the sway bars, otherwise you will likely add wedge back in the car when you re-attach the sway bars.

Take Care,
Dave
 
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