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at Carl's Famous Lotus Garage. Carl is the best!

Since a picture is worth a 1000 words, here are a few. :)

I'll let Carl chime in on some of the technical stuff.
 

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Absolutely gorgeous car! looks like you guys are having fun. If you ever need help or moral support, please let me know. I'd love to hang with you guys.
 

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The car came with no toe in the rear the picture shoes measuring each side. Its' very important to get both sides even or 0 thrust angle. The strings use spacers off the rims to square the car before you take measurements. The picture also shows a laser toe gauge that I use that's accurate to 1 minute .006". You can also use a toe bar that measures the difference between the front and rear of the rims. It's also important to have the car on slip plates . The down side of my set up is its slow about 3 hours and you can add a hour if you want to set the ride height. Jack came up at noon and left at 7pm but we took a break to go to lunch with Richard(code red) the car stuff was 5 hours. The real bitch was trying how to figure out how to turn Jacks trailer around on my one lane down hill street with out killing ourselves, ..carl
 

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Could you provide some info on the scissor jack under the CO car? Does it need to be bolted down to the floor? Thanks.
 

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Do you change the ride height of the car? As it is a track-only car the ride height should be optimized for the suspension from the factory. Are you just checking the car out to make sure it was optimized, or is this a recommended periodic maintenance item? Can Carl change the ride height of the Elise/Exige to increase the performance of cars used mainly on the track?

Why are turn plates (slip plates?) a necessary alignment tool, or do they just make the job easier? Can the suspension be set up or at least checked with a caster/camber guage (usually accurate only to a 0.1 degree), tire scribe and toe in guage by an amateur? What specs are you using for caster, camber and toe in on your daily driver and on the Cup Car? Can you make the car turn in (even) better without sacrificing high speed stability?

Have you found it useful to scale/cornerweight the car with the driver in it? Maybe push the trunk carpet :) over to one side or the other to compensate for driver weight changes?

Do you plan to race it? Seems too pretty to race.

What is the price on the used one? Should it be called used, or are you the official Lotus Cup Car "break in period" driver? :bow:
 

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it's a old rotary low rise floor lift. it lifts about 36" i have it bolted down but you dont have to, i bought it for $1800 in 1987. now you can get better one that lifts 48" for less like everything else
 

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you can check the settings on a level surface. the reason you want to have the car on slip plates for the adjustment is so there is no friction between the tire and the ground that loads the suspension a digital smart camber gauge works well. for total toe front or rear you need to take the readings off the rims to be accurate. the tricky part is to get the rear toe even. for example you could have total rear toe of .125" one rear wheel could have 0 and the other .125" toe in you would have total of .125 but the car will dog track. that's why you square the car as you see in the picture with the strings. first you center the front wheels then you can measure the rear toe on each rear wheel. if any body is interested I'd be happy to do a alignment session at my place and have some one publish step by step DIY. remember they set up Indy cars with strings ..carl
 

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thanks, carl. beautiful pix, saved them for later use.
i already scored a set of turnplates for later.
 

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4carl said:
you can check the settings on a level surface. the reason you want to have the car on slip plates for the adjustment is so there is no friction between the tire and the ground that loads the suspension a digital smart camber gauge works well. for total toe front or rear you need to take the readings off the rims to be accurate. the tricky part is to get the rear toe even. for example you could have total rear toe of .125" one rear wheel could have 0 and the other .125" toe in you would have total of .125 but the car will dog track. that's why you square the car as you see in the picture with the strings. first you center the front wheels then you can measure the rear toe on each rear wheel. if any body is interested I'd be happy to do a alignment session at my place and have some one publish step by step DIY. remember they set up Indy cars with strings ..carl
Thanks. The turn plates are by far the most expensive alignment tool item. $569 at Longacre. Are you weighting the driver seat before setting up the car? Are you going to do the 7 hour process over again after changing the tires, as everything will change again? Lots of work, does it make that big a difference for track days?
 

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the tires don't change the alignment setting,. these cars are really sensitive to camber and rear toe. set the rear @ -2.3 to -2.5 and set total rear toe @ .125"or.40deg or 27minutes. max out the front camber you will get -.8 to -1.1.. front toe I like 0 Jack and some of the other guys like a little toe out .030 or .10 deg or 6 minutes. Toe out in the front turns in quick but gets darty under hard braking. the 7 hours included going out to lunch(Jack picked up the check) and trying not to kill ourselves turning the trailer around by hand. real work 4-5 hours.carl
 

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Car pulls to drivers left

I am concerned that I have an alignment problem in that my car will pull to the left if you take your hands off the wheel or if you put on the brakes with your hands off the wheel. I live in the Orlando area so to my knowledge I don't know of any specialty place to have the car checked out. Is this something that I can take to Goodyear for a wheel alignment? I need some advise. I did check the tires and there isn't any excessive wear, but this car is only used for track events and minimal street use. It has never been in any accidents that would have bumped out the alignment. The tires are AO48's, my second set and they are about 50% worn. I did lift the car to spin the wheels and the brakes don't allow the wheels to spin freely, and the grip/resistance is tighter on the driver's side than the passenger side. :shrug:
 

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Hey Carl where are you located? I''ve been looking for someone to align my Exige but I don't trust normal shops to do it right.
 

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OverRevLimiter said:
I am concerned that I have an alignment problem in that my car will pull to the left if you take your hands off the wheel or if you put on the brakes with your hands off the wheel. I live in the Orlando area so to my knowledge I don't know of any specialty place to have the car checked out. Is this something that I can take to Goodyear for a wheel alignment? I need some advise. I did check the tires and there isn't any excessive wear, but this car is only used for track events and minimal street use. It has never been in any accidents that would have bumped out the alignment. The tires are AO48's, my second set and they are about 50% worn. I did lift the car to spin the wheels and the brakes don't allow the wheels to spin freely, and the grip/resistance is tighter on the driver's side than the passenger side. :shrug:
*** *** *** *** WARNING WARNING WARNING *** *** *** ***

Do not, I repeat DO NOT allow any Goodyear employee to get your Lotus within one hundred feet of any type of lift.

Hey, if your mostly tracking your car, you should easily meet somebody who can do the job right.

xtn
 

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OverRevLimiter said:
I am concerned that I have an alignment problem in that my car will pull to the left if you take your hands off the wheel or if you put on the brakes with your hands off the wheel. I live in the Orlando area so to my knowledge I don't know of any specialty place to have the car checked out. Is this something that I can take to Goodyear for a wheel alignment? I need some advise. I did check the tires and there isn't any excessive wear, but this car is only used for track events and minimal street use. It has never been in any accidents that would have bumped out the alignment. The tires are AO48's, my second set and they are about 50% worn. I did lift the car to spin the wheels and the brakes don't allow the wheels to spin freely, and the grip/resistance is tighter on the driver's side than the passenger side. :shrug:

If you haven't already. You should make sure your Cold tire pressure F/R are to spec. If your car still pulls to one side. Then go get an alignment.
 

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great references for setting up your car

There are many good references for setting up your car and especially for doing a string alignment. I highly recommend both of these:

Prepare to Win by Carroll Smith. The books by Smith were the bibles for many years and are still great references. (Get also Tune, Engineer and Drive to Win books.)

The bible for many years was How to Make Your Car Handle by Fred Puhn. Some of his stuff is a bit antiquated with the advances in tire technology. But in general he takes a beginner and makes them knowledgeable in most of what is going on in our cars.

Michael
 
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