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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to baseline the suspension settings of my 2006 Elise with the base suspension. The first shop that I took it to when I had the Proxes R888Rs mounted said they couldn't do the Lotus. So I took it to another place today to just get the measurements checked against the baseline Lotus Factory specs.

The car has 60,000 miles and there were no unusual wear patterns on the AD07 tires that I took off (the rears were below the wear limits). I have noticed no unusual handling characteristics but I'm new to driving an Elise (3 months).

The shop told me my specifications are outside the limits to what Lotus recommends. I watched them check the alignment and I noticed they did not add any ballast in the drivers or passengers seat when doing the alignment.

I am a 95% road driver and only plan 1 or 2 track days a year but I mainly want the car set up for spirited canyon driving.

Here are my questions:
1) Are the numbers shown below the correct lotus specifications for alignment?
2) How important is adding ballast when checking the alignment?
3) With no handling issues or tire wear issues should I bring it into the lotus specifications listed?
4) Do you have any suggestions for modifying the base Lotus recommended setup for road driving?

Shop Provided Lotus Specs (see second picture):
Front Left Camber: minus 0.10 Tolerance minus 0 plus 0.20
Front Right Camber: minus 0.10 Tolerance minus 0 plus 0.20
Front Left Caster: plus 3.80 Tolerance minus 0.30 plus 0.30
Front Right Caster: plus 3.80 Tolerance minus 0.30 plus 0.30
Front Total Toe: 0.00 Tolerance minus 0.07 plus 0.07
Rear Left Camber: minus 1.80 Tolerance minus 0 plus 0.10
Rear Right Camber: minus 1.80 Tolerance minus 0 plus 0.10
Rear Total Toe: plus 0.32 Tolerance minus 0.02 plus 0.08

Actual Car as Measured (see first picture):
Front Left Camber: minus 0.4 which is minus 0.3 out of spec
Front Right Camber: minus 0.7 which is minus 0.6 out of spec
Front Left Caster: plus 3.20 which is minus 0.3 out of spec
Front Right Caster: plus 3.60 which meets spec
Front Left Toe: plus 0.02 - not in the specs
Front Right Toe: plus 0.02 - not in the specs
Front Total Toe: 0.03 which meets spec
Rear Left Camber: minus 1.80 which meets specs
Rear Right Camber: minus 1.80 which meets specs
Rear Total Toe: plus 0.72 which is 0.40 above spec
Rear Left toe: plus 0.35
Rear Right Toe: Plus .43
Thrust Angle: minus -.04

I've attached pictures of the alignment printout and the screenshots I took as they were doing the alignment.

Help appreciated.

Product Font Parallel Circle Design
Computer Output device Personal computer Computer monitor accessory Audio equipment
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Cheers,

Airfix
 

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Most pull all the front camber shims out to get the max that the OEM steering arms will allow. Switching to [email protected] arms can give you additional -camber but if you're street only you'll be fine.
Next level would be the V2 arms and with some 200TW tires Inokinetics suggested settings will up your game.
 

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Sure it should be, but also its a stock car with rubber bushings so it's not nearly as important as you are thinking to set the toe with a driver in the car (if you were corner balancing then its a different story, but as you said you cant on stock suspension)

The important things to do are take out all the front shims including the ABS shim. Then put a bit more camber then that in the rear (unless you care more about tire life then performance, then put a bit less). max caster always, zero front toe, some rear toe in (depending on driving skill, from 1/16 to 1/4 per side, more toe = easier to drive).
 

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Cattail,

With the base suspension I don't think I can set ride height.

Am I correct in thinking that the suspension should be set with ballast in the driver's seat?
Depends if you street drive with two Lotus recommends 150# each seat. If track only then driver weight in driver seat. kfennell suggestions are good!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is the direction of turn in this diagram correct? I guess it is important for the diagram above to know if we are looking from the back of the car to the front or the front of the car to the back. It seems to me the outside wheel is where the roll occurs compressing the suspension components thus squaring out the tire to the pavement on the outside generating the maximum grip on the tire that needs it the most. Meanwhile the inside tire with negative camber in a corner will have less grip (smaller contact patch) than while driving straight.

So for street driving I'll likely see wear to the inside of the tires by increasing the camber?

I'm a little concerned about the mid engine aspect of the Lotus. I know if the back end slides it can be quick to go arse about tit so I'd hate to change the setup to create more over steer. I guess I'd like to feel a bit of understeer first to know I'm approaching the limits before the back end turns around on me.

I'm sure after a track day I'll get a better feel for the balance and driving a mid engine car closer to the limits.

Airfix
 

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Sure it should be, but also its a stock car with rubber bushings so it's not nearly as important as you are thinking to set the toe with a driver in the car (if you were corner balancing then its a different story, but as you said you cant on stock suspension)

The important things to do are take out all the front shims including the ABS shim. Then put a bit more camber then that in the rear (unless you care more about tire life then performance, then put a bit less). max caster always, zero front toe, some rear toe in (depending on driving skill, from 1/16 to 1/4 per side, more toe = easier to drive).
Getting an alignment today and was flirting with the idea of 1/16 toe out in the rear to help with some very tight canyon runs (tail of the dragon). Will rear toe out make these cars too loose in the rear?
 

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Getting an alignment today and was flirting with the idea of 1/16 toe out in the rear to help with some very tight canyon runs (tail of the dragon). Will rear toe out make these cars too loose in the rear?
I am not going to guess at your experience or skill level, but with the short wheelbase of these cars, the general consensus is DON'T add any rear toe out in these cars, you are asking for trouble.
 

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Is the direction of turn in this diagram correct? I guess it is important for the diagram above to know if we are looking from the back of the car to the front or the front of the car to the back. It seems to me the outside wheel is where the roll occurs compressing the suspension components thus squaring out the tire to the pavement on the outside generating the maximum grip on the tire that needs it the most. Meanwhile the inside tire with negative camber in a corner will have less grip (smaller contact patch) than while driving straight.

So for street driving I'll likely see wear to the inside of the tires by increasing the camber?

I'm a little concerned about the mid engine aspect of the Lotus. I know if the back end slides it can be quick to go arse about tit so I'd hate to change the setup to create more over steer. I guess I'd like to feel a bit of understeer first to know I'm approaching the limits before the back end turns around on me.

I'm sure after a track day I'll get a better feel for the balance and driving a mid engine car closer to the limits.

Airfix
1. yes you are right the arrow denotes the forces and not the direction.
2. The car isn't going to try to kill you on any reasonable setup, though if you put 20% too stiff springs in by accident it turns into a handfull!


Getting an alignment today and was flirting with the idea of 1/16 toe out in the rear to help with some very tight canyon runs (tail of the dragon). Will rear toe out make these cars too loose in the rear?
Noooooo would not advise this, start with disconnecting the front sway bar, or stiffer rear springs, or a brake balance setup.
 

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@kfennell sorry for off topic, but could you please share your brake and bias setup?
Planning to install brake bias kit and would like to see what kind of dial setup people are using.
I have oem 4p front and 2p rear with gloc 10F/8R.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@kfennell Looks like she is a handful. I'm assuming that's you with the stiffer springs? I'm no where near that level of driver to be able to cope with that kind of setup! I'm just looking for something road safe and fun with an occasional track day.

Do most Elise guys do their own alignments? I'm not very trusting of others working on my cars but I usually have a local shop do any alignments. I've never owned a car before where I wanted to track the alignment and any handling changes before/after alignments.

I know you need slip plates and a couple of jigs and alignment gauges but it is not out of the question for home tinkerers to do I think.
 

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@kfennell Looks like she is a handful. I'm assuming that's you with the stiffer springs? I'm no where near that level of driver to be able to cope with that kind of setup! I'm just looking for something road safe and fun with an occasional track day.

Do most Elise guys do their own alignments? I'm not very trusting of others working on my cars but I usually have a local shop do any alignments. I've never owned a car before where I wanted to track the alignment and any handling changes before/after alignments.

I know you need slip plates and a couple of jigs and alignment gauges but it is not out of the question for home tinkerers to do I think.
Easy to do string alignment use G search and end with lotustalk. Plenty of suspension and alignment threads. Personally I bring in for alignment at race shop to confirm and tweak my initial settings.His car may look like handful but that because it's in his hands. That's why he holds course records....
 

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Easy to do string alignment use G search and end with lotustalk. Plenty of suspension and alignment threads. Personally I bring in for alignment at race shop to confirm and tweak my initial settings.His car may look like handful but that because it's in his hands. That's why he holds course records....
Not that weekend, it was completely out of control on those springs on that pavement, can't believe what a difference it made.
 

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@kfennell sorry for off topic, but could you please share your brake and bias setup?
Planning to install brake bias kit and would like to see what kind of dial setup people are using.
I have oem 4p front and 2p rear with gloc 10F/8R.
Tilton underfoot with 2 piston all arround with cobalt xr1. I can sell and drop ship all of this email [email protected]
 
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