Alignment in Denver/Boulder area? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-06-2014, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Alignment in Denver/Boulder area?

I'm looking to get my Elise aligned. I'm getting better at string alignment but would like to have a known good baseline to work off of (going to use it to make some marks to use with a laser level in the future).

I'm in Boulder. Obviously won't be going until later in the year when the weather's better. I miss Steve at Tire Source - they always had the best prices and could be trusted, but that ship sailed :/

I know about SCR and 3R, but both are expensive. Plus 3R don't seem to do much Lotus work?

Not particularly picky about a race shop since I'm not corner balancing yet and I have a setup in mind already - just someone I can trust to figure out how to align the car, try to get to my specs, actually pay attention, and not break it.

Anyone people here prefer?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-06-2014, 04:44 PM
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I took my Esprit to the Big O in Louisville, back in 2005 or so, because they had the laser rack.

Their software actually had several Esprits in there, including a Europe only rare Sport 300.

I chose my own settings and was allowed to be in the bay while the guy did the alignment. I had changed the suspension to be adjustable for camber, which is why I needed an alignment in the first place. He did adjust rear camber and front toe. Rear toe would have been out of my comfort zone to let him take my car apart to change shims, and it wasn't necessary to adjust anyway. Front camber wasn't adjustable, and also wasn't needed.

With the Elise, they would have to remove suspension bolts, and shim plates to change camber, which could be a risk....

I bought the laser level from Sears, not expensive, and you may be better off doing it yourself with APK919's method posted here, and then getting it verified on a laser rack, but don't let them adjust it (except for toe... that's easy on the Elise).

Travis
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-06-2014, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the ideas!

I think apk919's laser alignment needs a known-good alignment to make targets with. I'm absolutely going to use that method in the future once I have the car set to something I know is right.

Camber I'm comfortable doing myself anyway since on the Elise it's in known increments and has set limits. Toe is a bit harder since the extremes aren't known values, I can't use gravity as a reference, and it's a continuous measure.

Maybe I'll just get it as close as I can with my string rig, leave the diffuser off, and bring it into a "normal" tire shop with a good reputation. I'm just worried about a silly employee scraping the clamshell on the rack or getting excited or twitchy with the clutch and rolling off.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-20-2014, 04:53 AM
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Resurrecting, but figured I'd put .02c in on this one. There's a Les Schwab (relatively new) at the intersection of Bowles and C470 (SW metro area) that has a nice laser rack which you simply drive onto - no ramps at all. It is mounted in a giant hole in the floor, perfectly flat, no possibility of clam scrapes.

The gentleman who does the alignment is very nice, let me sit in driver's seat, aligned it the way I wanted - f/r toe only, not because I don't "trust" them to do shims, I did not feel like paying them to do shims - I was very happy with the results.

I brought it in on a Tuesday, they did a free "alignment check." I went home, changed rear camber, brought it back the next day, we did toe. $85.

I'm sure 3R would do a great job at it, at a cost. I don't think they have much Lotus specific experience, but a lot of Real Race Car experience - nothing about the Lotus would faze them. At the end of the day, the Elise is a very simple car to align. Caster shims are a hassle. Camber shims are nothing new - lots of cars use shims. I agree on SCR. One of the guys who used to work there is very smart & would do a great job - intelligence vs experience - but yeah, they're more of a BMW/Audi place.

I left my diffuser on, made the inner rear jam nuts snug, but not TIGHT, and brought the correct size crow's foot. With a 6" extension, the inner rear jam nuts are easily manipulated with diffuser on, since he can stand underneath the car. I only live a couple of miles from that Les Schwab, though.

They're not a "performance" place, by any stretch, but they're diligent, not opposed to "out of spec" alignments (autocross car), really nice to work with, inexpensive, shrug, I like (that) LS.


Iain
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mannix View Post
Resurrecting, but figured I'd put .02c in on this one. There's a Les Schwab (relatively new) at the intersection of Bowles and C470
Can you recommend this shop or another for mounting and balancing tires? I'm looking for a shop that has the equipment to avoid scarring my black anodized wheels and perform a balance with some accuracy.

Glen

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