Suspension Brakes 1st Gen Alignment DIYers: tips, hints, tricks?

Discussion in 'Tuning and Performance' started by andyroo, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. andyroo

    andyroo New Member
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    Sep 8, 2009
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    So I've been lucky and never needed to do my own alignments in the past, but times change and I think I'll be giving it a go for my R53. I will have a camber gauge shortly and toe plates (courtesy of Home Depot racing), as well as a method for dialing in thrust angle.

    I have adjustable rear control arms and fixed front camber plates. I'll be shooting for 0 toe front and rear for now, maybe -1.3 ish rear camber.

    For the old-school homemade alginment people, any hints for someone that will be attempting this soon? Mini-sepcific things that will make it go easier? I am a suspension person and understand alignments quite well, just never had to do one myself and it's about time.

    - Andrew
     
  2. beaner

    beaner New Member

    May 5, 2009
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    I suspect that Onasled will chime in here soon. He made his own, simple alignment jigs. It really isn't too difficult once you have an accurate way of measuring.
     
  3. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Oh yes....
    I would be extremely interested in knowing the details of making the alignment jigs.
     
  4. Onasled Racing

    Onasled Racing New Member

    Jul 19, 2010
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    I'll try and dig up some pictures.
    My jigs are for the race cars and not that easy to attach to a stock street car being the bumper coveres need to be removed.
    Nothing like a good string alignment! I think one done properly has better results then any machine out there. Just takes more setup time and procedure patients, but there is nothing better then knowing that you personally are doing the work and getting it right.
    Hardest part of aligning is having the car all strung up and being able to GET to the tie rods, trailing arm pickup, and rear adjustable control arms to make the adjustments. Some here may have seen my setup and the wheel elimination plates I made.

    Is this something that you all would want for your Minis? It's certainly something that I want to offer the Mini community for sure. A kit that would have everything needed to to a complete race alignment on you cars at a decent price.
     
  5. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Would your MINI alignment kit still require removal of the bumper covers? I just did the install of the front aero bumper cover on my R56 and it's not something I would relish having always to deal with to get an alignment.
     
  6. Onasled Racing

    Onasled Racing New Member

    Jul 19, 2010
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    NO. I would make it way easier then that. It's why I just dont offer what I have already designed for myself.
     
  7. beaner

    beaner New Member

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    You didn't disappoint, Greg.
     
  8. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Mark me down Greg as being interested in your kit.
     
  9. Onasled Racing

    Onasled Racing New Member

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    With your talents I might feel funny selling you what you might be able to build better! Haaa. Being you do what you do I would feel fine sharing what I come up with if you want to build it yourself. :Thumbsup:
     
  10. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    From what I've seen of your work, it's pretty impressive. And I've never had a problem paying for expertise.
     
  11. andyroo

    andyroo New Member
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    Thats really what I'm concerned about. That and my patience. :lol:

    I'd certainly be interested. After I make my attempt I may be even more interested.

    - Andrew
     
  12. BThayer23

    BThayer23 Well-Known Member

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    Greg, I've seen your alignment plates in the garages at NHMS on the maroon MINI. Definitely cool. Definitely well designed and well executed. Definitely not for everyone. Anyone who brings a MINI to the track with a pit crew should have a set. From what I could see, it's easy with two people but tough with one, but that was just my impression. So not sure what the market is for that. But yes, I was extremely impressed with your ability to diagnose tire temperature deltas and adjust camber and toe between run sessions. Who knows, I'll bet you might sell a couple dozen sets.

    I wish I'd taken pictures, but I was too busy holding my jaw up. The engineer in me was awestruck at just how elegant and effective they were.
     
  13. goaljnky

    goaljnky New Member

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    I'd like to know more.
     
  14. putterfarm

    putterfarm New Member

    May 18, 2009
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    I am interested in what specs you suggest for a street and track day MINI :D

    Mark
     
  15. Onasled Racing

    Onasled Racing New Member

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    Mark, How is your car set up and do you use a dedicated track tire?
     
  16. putterfarm

    putterfarm New Member

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    I'm trying to find the suspension mod list for "Shadow". I just got him about two months ago after "Chili" was finished. I do know there are adjustable rear control arms, purple springs, Koni shocks, strut tower braces (defenders), 22mm rear bar set in the middle hole and Kuhmo 215/45/17 (SRT or something, don't know for sure as he's at the body shop).
    No I do not have track tires. Lend me the $$$ to get'em, I promise to pay you back some day :D

    Mark

    p.s. due to get the alignment on Monday
     
  17. Onasled Racing

    Onasled Racing New Member

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    So no camber plates up front?
     
  18. putterfarm

    putterfarm New Member

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    Correct, no camber plates yet. Just lowered.

    What do you suggest ?

    Mark
     
  19. Dr Obnxs

    Dr Obnxs New Member

    Jun 11, 2009
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    I put

    camber plates at the top of the list! Before lowering and all the rest of the stuff. There's not a lot you can do with the geometery of the suspension, but do what you can there first, then tune to suite.

    While more front camber won't get the car to neutral handling, it gets the car a lot closer than factory AND it means that you can maximize the use of the contact patch on the front wheels, something that's really, really important for for a front heavy FWD car.

    Matt
     
  20. putterfarm

    putterfarm New Member

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    This is the way "Shadow" was set up when I got him a couple of months ago. He needs aligned before I have to buy new tires with $$$ I don't have.

    Mark
     

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