DIY Corner Balance And Ride Height Adjustment - Page 4 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #61 of 140 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by choi0706 View Post
DSP 400?

talk to your service rep and ask him to get you some tireclamps..

they look like this, you put the condoms over the spades and use them to center you on..

but... fwiw, the hawkeyes+ wheel off adapter saves you a TON of time adjusting measurements..
Thanks for the input. I wish my machine was new enough to use the new WinAlign camera system, but it has the old DSP 100 heads. The tire clamps would work though. Do you have any idea of what they cost? My local Hunter rep. isn't too excited about selling me anything seeing as I am doing all my work at my home garage.

Edit: Never mind, I just found out those tire clamps go for $1,350 EACH!

Last edited by tesprit; 03-30-2010 at 12:09 PM.
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post #62 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 10:19 AM
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I was at Andy and Carl's seminar at Sector 111 recently and it was a wealth of information.

I made my alignment rig and did my alignment this weekend after fitting an RTD brace.

My most difficult issue by far was getting repeatable readings using a digital caliper. I finally started using a metric tape to get me in the ball park and then just did the best I could to get consistent readings.

I was trying to sight down directly on the string/caliper end with the caliper held flat to allow me to tell if I was right angles to the string, I have excellent near vision (bad for far) so could see clearly. Even then. it was difficult, but not impossible, to get consistent to the tenth mm and impossible to hit hundredth the same.

In the end, I would just measure six or seven times until a tight pattern evolved. I found the angle of the caliper horizontally as well as vertically made a big difference. I was finally marking the wheels to be sure I was exactly the same floor distance as the string.

Any tips on what am I doing wrong. Should I just round to tenths?

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post #63 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 12:28 PM
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Confused, you were measuring to within 1/10th mm and were hoping to measure to within 1/100th mm?? If so, I bow and worship you!

"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan
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post #64 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 04:28 PM
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Confused, you were measuring to within 1/10th mm and were hoping to measure to within 1/100th mm?? If so, I bow and worship you!
Actually, I was struggling to get tenths consistent. I was surprised how much difference not holding the caliper at right angles in every direction made. It turns out that what I was doing was ok. But this is sure not a quickie job. I was surprised how much time was involved. Glad I did it though!


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post #65 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 05:12 PM
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I was at Andy and Carl's seminar at Sector 111 recently and it was a wealth of information.

I made my alignment rig and did my alignment this weekend after fitting an RTD brace.

My most difficult issue by far was getting repeatable readings using a digital caliper. I finally started using a metric tape to get me in the ball park and then just did the best I could to get consistent readings.

I was trying to sight down directly on the string/caliper end with the caliper held flat to allow me to tell if I was right angles to the string, I have excellent near vision (bad for far) so could see clearly. Even then. it was difficult, but not impossible, to get consistent to the tenth mm and impossible to hit hundredth the same.

In the end, I would just measure six or seven times until a tight pattern evolved. I found the angle of the caliper horizontally as well as vertically made a big difference. I was finally marking the wheels to be sure I was exactly the same floor distance as the string.

Any tips on what am I doing wrong. Should I just round to tenths?
turbo phil had pointed out on another thread about this a product called the dreamstick, by ART.

A.R.T.Dream Stick String Toe Gauge-SafeRacer

I just got one and it was super easy to use.
use fluorescent orange fishing line and its even easier to read.
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post #66 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-18-2010, 02:38 PM
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Great stuff. Learning this myself and am having trouble seeing how one can get ideal 50% cross weighting and matching ride heights!

Just had this done recently My weight #'s are with 190lbs ballast for driver and full fuel load
LF 451 RF 410
LR 679 RR 636
Cross weighting is 1087/1089 or 50.0% that is ideal but
ride heights are
LF 126 RF 130
LR 130 RR 136
How do we keep the corner balance and adjust the ride height to be even? Is that possible or is the corner balance more important than the ride height as was explained to me?? If I can correct this, do I need to redo alignment? In a perfect world I'd like fronts at ~125mm and rears at 129mm (4mmrake as suggested)

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post #67 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-18-2010, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by brgelise View Post
Great stuff. Learning this myself and am having trouble seeing how one can get ideal 50% cross weighting and matching ride heights!

Just had this done recently My weight #'s are with 190lbs ballast for driver and full fuel load
LF 451 RF 410
LR 679 RR 636
Cross weighting is 1087/1089 or 50.0% that is ideal but
ride heights are
LF 126 RF 130
LR 130 RR 136
How do we keep the corner balance and adjust the ride height to be even? Is that possible or is the corner balance more important than the ride height as was explained to me?? If I can correct this, do I need to redo alignment? In a perfect world I'd like fronts at ~125mm and rears at 129mm (4mmrake as suggested)
Since your LF height is low and your RR height is high, you need to increase preload on the LF shock and decrease the preload on the RR shock in equal amounts... in theory, that will not change the corner balance, but will only affect ride height.

Adjustments that don't (in theory) affect corner balance:

1) increasing/decreasing ride height equally across the car (i.e. LF + RF)
2) increasing/decreasing ride height equally on one side of the car (i.e LF + LR)
3) increasing a corner and decreasing the diagonally opposite corner equally (i.e. LF up and RR down)

EDIT: Once you've got equal height across the car (i.e. LF=RF and LR=RR) and good corner balance, it's pretty easy to make ride height adjustments without changing corner balance... just stick with step 1) above. If you change front ride height by more than 2mm or so, I'd check the front toe... it is sensitive to ride height changes.

Last edited by apk919; 07-18-2010 at 02:59 PM.
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post #68 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-18-2010, 02:59 PM
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Seeing these numbers, what would you recommend for a fairly skilled advanced level HPDE driver.
Option 1: I understand I could effectively raise LF 4mm and lower RR 4mm and not affect the corner balance correct? that would make both fronts ~130mm which is street height
Option 2: Wouldn't it be better if I lowered the RF and RR 4mm? and got the right side to 126 and 132. Then I could lower all 4 sides equally to make final ride ht adjustments? Go to shop to get alignment rechecked. Necessary? Not ready to DIY an alignment yet. Next year!!

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post #69 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-18-2010, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Seeing these numbers, what would you recommend for a fairly skilled advanced level HPDE driver.
Option 1: I understand I could effectively raise LF 4mm and lower RR 4mm and not affect the corner balance correct? that would make both fronts ~130mm which is street height
Option 2: Wouldn't it be better if I lowered the RF and RR 4mm? and got the right side to 126 and 132. Then I could lower all 4 sides equally to make final ride ht adjustments? Go to shop to get alignment rechecked. Necessary? Not ready to DIY an alignment yet. Next year!!
As a first step I'd recommend getting the corner balance right first... it's easier to change ride height after that (you probably responded just as I was editing my post to reflect that).

For a stock suspension (i.e. stock steering arms), I wouldn't go below 120mm in the front, and it's usually a good idea to keep around 10mm of rake (rear height 10mm higher than front height) to optimize aero.
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post #70 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-18-2010, 03:12 PM
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Corner balance , as stated, is 50% within 2 lbs! So its just the ride height that needs to be tweeked!! I am content with 126mm front. Once we get ride heights to desired state of side top side evenness, I could lower front a bit more but that would just be equal turns on all perches. If I go with a 10mm rake, I lose caster and that is already maxed out and at 3.89left and 3.74 right. I went with ~4mm cuz I heard the Lotus does well with this!

Will you be at Monticello on 7/26?? with SCDA

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post #71 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-18-2010, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Corner balance , as stated, is 50% within 2 lbs! So its just the ride height that needs to be tweeked!! I am content with 126mm front. Once we get ride heights to desired state of side top side evenness, I could lower front a bit more but that would just be equal turns on all perches. If I go with a 10mm rake, I lose caster and that is already maxed out and at 3.89left and 3.74 right. I went with ~4mm cuz I heard the Lotus does well with this!
Yeah, sorry... I should have been more specific. I usually tweak corner balance and ride height in the following order:

1) Set corner balance to 50% (you're already there)
2) Set LF=RF and LR=RR (this is what I'd do next)
3) Make final front and rear height adjustments by changing left and right side equally

There's nothing magic about that sequence; it's just the order that I like best. You can certainly try to combine all 3 steps to shorten the number of iterations you need to do.

The proper amount of rake is a personal choice... I like 8-10mm, some like less...

Caster is only slightly affected by rake... a full 10mm on a 2300mm wheelbase is only 0.25 degrees of body inclination

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Will you be at Monticello on 7/26?? with SCDA
No, all my track cars are in SoCal...
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post #72 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-18-2010, 03:25 PM
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If I lower the right sides, what will need to be corrected in alignment? Everything, right?

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post #73 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-18-2010, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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If I lower the right sides, whwill need to be corrected in alignment? Everything, right?
Yes, if you're lowering your front ride height from 130mm to 125mm, it's likely to affect the front toe. Rear toe is not as sensitive to ride height, and camber will actually increase (become more negative) with lower ride height (a good thing).
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post #74 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-18-2010, 03:39 PM
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Huge help Thank you! I have a sheet that tells me the number of turns per MM so My goal is to get ride height pretty close, take back in and get alignment tweaked! This put it all together in my head. I'm one of those guys that needs to talk it out for it to "get in there" Thank you again and have a great season!!

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post #75 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-18-2010, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Huge help Thank you! I have a sheet that tells me the number of turns per MM so My goal is to get ride height pretty close, take back in and get alignment tweaked! This put it all together in my head. I'm one of those guys that needs to talk it out for it to "get in there" Thank you again and have a great season!!
You're welcome!
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post #76 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 04:28 AM
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Last night I lowered the right side of the car 5mm but lowering the RF 3mm on the perch and the rear 5mm on the perch. Car looks level again, and of course, I did it with proper ballast in driver's seat. To limits of measuring with a tape, its close now. Alignment seems fine (will of course, get checked) I have a recently repoured garage that has no puddles when wet and is dead level (with a level placed at 90's at all 4 corners of car. They have you measure under car flat surface to flat surface. Last night, I did final measurement off edge of front lip and double checked by center of rim of fender directly over center cap.

What do you think of the ART Digital Ride Height Gauge as holding a tape at the zero mark and using your nail to mark the measurement isn't exactly ideal to me.? I like cool little toys and this fits that model. Need a gauge with dial in middle that extends from each end.

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post #77 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 04:55 AM
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I use a lazer level and a scale. Not a cheapy put a good quality one.

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post #78 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 07:32 AM
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Last night I lowered the right side of the car 5mm but lowering the RF 3mm on the perch and the rear 5mm on the perch. Car looks level again, and of course, I did it with proper ballast in driver's seat. To limits of measuring with a tape, its close now. Alignment seems fine (will of course, get checked) I have a recently repoured garage that has no puddles when wet and is dead level (with a level placed at 90's at all 4 corners of car. They have you measure under car flat surface to flat surface. Last night, I did final measurement off edge of front lip and double checked by center of rim of fender directly over center cap.

What do you think of the ART Digital Ride Height Gauge as holding a tape at the zero mark and using your nail to mark the measurement isn't exactly ideal to me.? I like cool little toys and this fits that model. Need a gauge with dial in middle that extends from each end.
I just ordered one of the ART gauges last night, i can let you know what i think of it in a few days when it arrives. I own the ART dreamstick, and its a very nice tool to use, so i assume the other tools from this company will be good as well. Hold onto your $ for a bit and i will let you know how this tool is before you buy it. I am trying to replace a gauge that just doesnt feel as precise as i would like it to be for my formula car.

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post #79 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 08:56 AM
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Looking for recommendation on if I should purchase my own digital scales

I already had installed the Sector 111 RTD2Brace and just installed Nitron Doubles, V2 Arms, have V2 Shim kit, and the V2 Linx. (Love the quality of V2 parts) My Lotus is still up on stands and my plan was to do my own alignment. (I have my own Longacre turn plates, toe in kit and Longacre Digital caster/camber gauge with quickset kit) I was then planning to take and have corner balance alignment done by a professional then myself

I am now debating buying my own scales and doing all myself and learn in the process. I found some used Longacre scales for sale for around $800 that I could buy(Retail over $1,100, told only used once). But the budget is really at the limit with my new parts

I do plan on taking my Lotus to at most 5-8 open track days a year. I also am having a hard time scheduling my car at shop should I go the professional balancing route, but that's a result of my lack of weekday availablity

Should I buy my own scales or is balancing a car more of a onetime deal with the novice amount of track events I will be in?

I do like having my own tools but even at around $800 I would like to know I would use the tool more than once. But with this my first time doing the work I would hate to buy the scales and then end up taking to a shop to check my work.......
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post #80 of 140 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 10:47 AM
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Fishguy, if you kike the new ART and want to get rid of your current device, I'm interested as anything has got to be more accurate than folding the edge of a tape. Couldn't reproduce the number twice with the tape. Always seemed 1-3 mm different. tape stretch, nail mark different, was it truly vertical,etc? We'll see if those premises hold true about adjusting one side not affecting cross weight much!

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