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4 Wheel Alignment - Any Point? - Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Hubs/Steering/Geo - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
eeyoreish

4 Wheel Alignment - Any Point?

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I've just re-bushed the front suspension and replaced a couple of components on the rear of my 1990 N/A so now I'm thinking I need to get the wheel alignment checked out and reset.

 

My question is whether there is any point in having (and paying for!) full 4 wheel alignment done as I can't see that there is any possibility of adjustment on the rear. Everything just bolts on, with no adjusters or (as far as I can see) places for any shims to be fitted if required.

 

Should I just go for front wheel alignment/tracking? Even on the fronts I can only see that there are shims either side of the upper ball joints and the track rod adjustment to twiddle with.

 

I don't want to pay for a full 4 wheel set up if there's no point and no adjustments possible.

 

Thoughts/experiences anyone...?

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The rear trailing arms have adjustable toe-in, via shims, on the front bush of the trailing arm.

 

Sheet 31.03A, # 27 of the '88 - '92 Parts List. 

 

From the factory they come in widths of 0.9mm, 1.5mm, and 6.0mm. They can be "stacked" to achieve the spec you desire.

 

 

Furthermore, later Esprits have adjustable upper rear links (# 40) for camber.   Many owners have retrofitted or fabricated these links on earlier cars. This is important if wider wheels are fitted.

Edited by CarBuff

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My thoughts:-

 

First ask yourself this: 'Do I want my car to drive as Lotus intended?"

 

If the answer is "Yes", then you may want to consider having your suspension set-up and aligned properly.

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There's no question that I want it to be right. My question was more about whether there is anything they can do if it's not already correct (specifically at the back)...

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One they get it on the machine, they'll be able to measure it and tell you if it needs any adjustment on the rear. 

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Yes, as long as I know there's some scope for adjustments on the rear if something is awry then it's worth getting the rears checked too rather than 'simple' front only tracking.

 

I'll see who I can find local to me (Chichester) who's classic friendly and has the kit.

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Ask if they've got a Hunter machine, that's what Lotus use and they're very good. Try Analogue Automotive in Petersfield, they're not too far away or Snows Lotus in Hedge End. 

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Looks like these guys get great reviews on Pistonheads so will probably be booking in there soon. Apparently the guy there is a real expert and they've worked on some expensive cars so the Esprit will be in good hands...

 

http://www.wheelalignmentcentre.co.uk/index.htm

 

I'll check Snows HE for a comparison as they're handy for me too.

Edited by eeyoreish

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You might want to ask them if they have the correct adjustment shims for your car beforehand? If not, they'll have to order up any that might be required before they can do any correction that might be necessary. I know it's not a deal-breaker, but just something to be aware of.

+1 on the Hunter machine. Very good kit!

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 Kwick fit advertise they use the hunter wheel alignment system.  They obviously wont have the shims and I wouldn't want them doing anything to the car but they might be closest to just get it checked.

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You might want to ask them if they have the correct adjustment shims for your car beforehand?

 

Many shops just use washers or other spacers on the trailing arm bush. :2guns:

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The only adjustments possible on your '90 are front toe, rear toe, and front caster....

 

The reason for a 4 wheel alignment is that you do need to verify thrust angle between front and rear.  However there really would be almost nothing you can do to fix it without modification, other than adjusting rear toe...

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KwikFit did my geo check for about £40 on the Hunter machine. And the bloke knew what he was doing, too.

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And the bloke knew what he was doing, too

 

 

Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt.

 

I'm still grinding my teeth over my last wheel alignment (including rear) at (supposedly) the best suspension place in town... Not just the cost of having the rear re-aligned, but the fact that the operator refused to humour me by setting up the correct chassis height before measurements were made (as per the Lotus Service Notes). He said if the measurements were different for different heights, the car would be uncontrollable when driving over uneven surfaces. He seemed to think he knew more than Lotus.

 

I assume the point of setting up the chassis height is to find a mid point where variations in ride height result in less misalignment.

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If the back can be altered in any way then you need to do a 4 way alignment. Why don't you call Lotus and ask their opinion?

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Since the car is relatively new to me and I've had a good part of the suspension in pieces for re-bushing I think it makes sense to take it down to a specialist and get it checked out to find out what's what. Now that I've established that there is some potential for tweaks on the rear, 4 wheel seems the sensible way to go.

 

I've no reason to believe there's a problem, just that I'd like to know everything is as it should be.

 

At the moment I'm favouring this place http://www.wheelalig...co.uk/index.htm as they specialize only in alignment, have good reviews and the guy there is said to know what he's doing. They're local to where I work so I just need to find a day when I can take the car down there.

 

I'll report back here when I do and on how the experience was...

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 Kwick fit advertise they use the hunter wheel alignment system.  They obviously wont have the shims and I wouldn't want them doing anything to the car but they might be closest to just get it checked.

the check is also free of charge

Since the car is relatively new to me and I've had a good part of the suspension in pieces for re-bushing I think it makes sense to take it down to a specialist and get it checked out to find out what's what. Now that I've established that there is some potential for tweaks on the rear, 4 wheel seems the sensible way to go.

 

I've no reason to believe there's a problem, just that I'd like to know everything is as it should be.

 

At the moment I'm favouring this place http://www.wheelalig...co.uk/index.htm as they specialize only in alignment, have good reviews and the guy there is said to know what he's doing. They're local to where I work so I just need to find a day when I can take the car down there.

 

I'll report back here when I do and on how the experience was...

update please?

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Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt.

 

I'm still grinding my teeth over my last wheel alignment (including rear) at (supposedly) the best suspension place in town... Not just the cost of having the rear re-aligned, but the fact that the operator refused to humour me by setting up the correct chassis height before measurements were made (as per the Lotus Service Notes). He said if the measurements were different for different heights, the car would be uncontrollable when driving over uneven surfaces. He seemed to think he knew more than Lotus.

 

I assume the point of setting up the chassis height is to find a mid point where variations in ride height result in less misalignment.

I agree, take off the damper/spring and raise and lower the suspension with your hand and see how much it changes

any one got a link to the data on setup settings? I would like to compare models and changes made over the years

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my experience (5 alignments) is that you have to stay with the car and intercede before they remove the reflectors.

the last guy handed me printouts stating that only front toe can be done (Tire Kingdom).  i showed him the rear adjustable links, he argued that the computer states only the front toe can be adjusted...it went on like that for a while.  

same experience with the previous shop.

the Lotus dealer was worse.  the guy wouldnt even look at the front control arm shim disbursment instructions, only added shims to top ball joint and bound up the top pivot such that the bushes got destroyed after a couple of thousand miles (when i took it apart to find what he did wrong)

people are scary lazy.

i secretly hope their medical care professionals are equally as lazy...

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At the moment I'm favouring this place http://www.wheelalig...co.uk/index.htm as they specialize only in alignment, have good reviews and the guy there is said to know what he's doing. They're local to where I work so I just need to find a day when I can take the car down there.

I'll report back here when I do and on how the experience was...

Took the Esprit down to The Wheel Alignment Centre today and I can thoroughly recommend their services. The guy down there clearly knows his stuff and alignment is all they do.

Mine turned out to be not too bad. Back was OK and front was toeing out slightly, causing it to feel a bit 'unsettled'. All 4 corners checked and adjustments made for £40 so I'm happy and now I know everything is set correctly.

post-17537-0-79563300-1436546221.jpgpost-17537-0-13523400-1436546241.jpgpost-17537-0-14526200-1436546277.jpg

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