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best geometry setup? 4 wheel alignment?


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I want to get the tracking setup on my 1981 S3 Esprit and was wondering if any one has had a 4 wheel alignment done? cost? recommendations? would like some one local in Dorset but may travel further if pushed (Pun intended!)
 
 
 
 
 
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checked the tracking today myself and the front left was a good 10mm toe out! so have screwed back into having 4mm toe in (2mm each side) my Lotus service book has 1.6mm each side toe in so better tha

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I did phone 'Back on Track' in Guildford after a recommendation by Bibs. They said they would need to speak to Lotus about the availability of shims, and could I call back in a day or so? Fair enough, so I did. They were still waiting to hear, but took my number and said they would call back. That's the last I heard of it.

 

I spoke to Maidstone Sports Cars, who said they could do it, but when I asked about availability of shims they said it wasn't a problem, they could make any shims. I've not bothered thus far, as I feel they'd struggle to make the front camber shims, and I know I need some adjustment in that area.

 

The question is, is there any specialist who can set the Esprit suspension up, and has the shims to do it? I haven't found anyone as yet, and I'd be grateful for any information, just as Rob and some others here would.

Margate Exotics.

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I just googled hunter alignment and Kwik-Fit has one which is very close to me, I phoned them and asked if they had shims if needed and they also don't stock them, but he said they do a free check and if you need them you can order them and come back to have it setup? which is handy! they charge around £50 +vat for a basic setting up of the front and if its all out and all 4 need doing then its £124 +vat. My car should be drivable soon so I am going to have it checked out as I know my tracking is way out of whack.
 
so the next question what settings should I use? my car is a lot lower then a stock 1981 Esprit! Do I still go for the factory settings or a latter setup? I also have the rear adjustable camber arms which I have not fitted yet so could get it all done in one go.
 
 
 
 
 
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You really need to take it to someone who knows how to set a cars suspension up. Factory settings will be way off and you can't just guess at it... 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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I think I will still take it and get the tracking done as it needs doing, and I can then see how it all looks on the screen and what looks like it needs adjustment? You can get a print off of the whole 4 wheel alignment before and after so you could just go in a get a free check and print off?
 
I must also check and make sure Jakub is not still on hire or the extra ballast may effect the readout!
(if you have read my build thread it will make sense)
 
sample of a print off (nothing to do with a Lotus just a sample)
 
18767248399_446e3c14df_o.jpg
Edited by V8-ESPRITS3
 
 
 
 
 
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With what you've done to your car, just tracking the fronts is of zero value and could make things worse.  You need to go straight into a 4-wheel alignment with a true professional.

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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With what you've done to your car, just tracking the fronts is of zero value and could make things worse.  You need to go straight into a 4-wheel alignment with a true professional.

I don`t agree? if the tracking is out then it needs adjustment regardless of other settings so having it done does have value. I will also have a printout of the car as it is and can see what needs changes.

 
 
 
 
 
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Nope. You need to know the car's straight on all 4 wheels first. If that's being done, then fair enough.

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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I agree with the Sparkmeister, Rob. Your tracking might well be out, but if you set it correctly now, as soon as the camber and caster settings are changed it'll need doing all over again. It should be the last thing to do before re-measuring, if I recall rightly.

 

Also, when I had the self-same Hunter alignment done (same as the sheet you've posted) the guy told me the same. He said it was a waste of time altering it because the other settings, front and rear, were also out of spec.

 

As you say, the check needs to be done first, and then see where you go from there. But if you're planning on driving it to get it checked, it might be worth getting it somewhere near parallel, or you'll have worn out the front tyres before you get to the end of the road!

Margate Exotics.

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I understand all of the above but my tracking is way out and needs to be done, the left front is toeing out and the steering is horrible above 60mph.
 
Having this done on the hunter system is worth doing because I can see what I have? and compare it with what might need changing?
 
I can change my 3 ride heights on the fly in less than a few seconds and see the affect it has on the alignment, and with some luck get a printout of all 3. They are very local and its worth paying the £60 for this data alone. If they only set the front tracking and it drives ok above 60mph I fail to see how you can say this has no value? If it still drives crap but the hunter print out clearly shows something else being out this again has value? another area to work on.
 
If the tracking is out and you get it set it makes a difference! regardless of whether caster or camber is also slightly out, or if the rear camber is out or 2% toe out etc, having it set closer to the value it needs to be has merit and is worth doing. Having the attitude its all or nothing has never made any sense to me? and never will.
 
If I do take it back again and change settings and if again they have to redo the tracking? so what? do it again!
 
As far as I can see the camber is non adjustable on the front and rear of my Esprit. I can fit the rear adjustable top arms (and I have some) but the front is still non adjustable?
 
The rear toe in/out will be easy to sort I will find what size diameter the front rubber arm bolt is and get a good collection of different thickness washers. Or if you want to sound professional lets call them shims! Front caster is done by spacing the front anti-roll bar closer or further away from the chassis mount so again a good collection of different thickness washers (shims). Canley Classics did sell a camber adjustable top arm for the GT6 and this looked like a good chance of being a possibility in also fitting the Esprit will have to check and compare clearance with my air spring.
 
At the end of the day I still need the front tracking done as the left front is toeing out and the steering is horrible above 60mph.
I need to see what I have at the current suspension setup and look to see what needs adjustment/work. (if any?)
I need a readout to work with and compare to other setups as its an unknown what will work with my car.
 
Having that print out and driving my car with the front tracking set (regardless if other items have not been set up) and seeing if it fixes or does not the above 60 mph issue has a lot of value.
 
 
 
 
 
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checked the tracking today myself and the front left was a good 10mm toe out! so have screwed back into having 4mm toe in (2mm each side) my Lotus service book has 1.6mm each side toe in so better than I had but not perfect. I used a telescopic rod to measure inside front of the wheel vs inside rear of wheel.

 

so when the hunter system is put on your car do they program the car model in first or after?

 

if I wanted my rear end setup as a latter V8 Esprit is this possible?

 

or do the whole setup as a late V8 Esprit?

 

Which model had the lowest suspension and widest wheels?

Edited by V8-ESPRITS3
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My local place use 'supertracker' which looks pretty similar to Hunter - Car is programmed in first as it runs through preliminary castor checks etc.   The machine then checks against pre-programmed parameters, which I was pleasantly surprised were model specific and matched the manual.   You can of course then choose whatever settings you prefer, but as Mr B suggests you are unlikely to 'guess' it correctly.   I suppose if it was mine I'd start with getting your thrust centre 100% accurate and then go for an average toe front & rear and see what it drives like.

Edited by 910Esprit
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Hey Rob ...keeping with the geometary ....I see you have loaded air suspension .Did you make the trail arms floating when you did it ?

I have done a few air suspension mods on other vehicles but the Lotus must be real smooth with it .Which kit and shocks did you use ?

Technically sound ...Theoretically poked !

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Using the Hunter machine at KwikFit, they punch in the car details, and it tells them what it should be.

image.jpg1_zpswwvi0czu.jpg

At the moment, I'm trying to decipher whether their machine settings are what Lotus intended, but struggling a bit.

Margate Exotics.

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I really need to get mine done so will be looking at somewhere in the SW London/Surrey area.

 

The previous owner had a full check and set up done at Kelvedon Motors but they failed to notice that the front ns axle was bent so they set it all up with the bent axle. Now I have replaced the axle its miles out.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Wheel Alignment Centre in Southampton.

Alignment is all they do and the guy there clearly knows his stuff. Charged me £40 a couple of weeks ago for a 4 wheel check and some minor adjustments. Bang on the money.

He's had some tasty cars in there and when I mentioned shims (although mine didn't need any) he said no problem, he'd have some he could use if required.

Not worth starting anything now...🍺

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  • 1 month later...

Ian, are the guys at Kwikfit serious, that's to say, ready to insert and remove shims if required or are they only going to adjust that which can be done "on the fly" (toe and rear camber?)

Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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Not sure Vanya. I only asked them to check it, not alter it?

Hopefully even the monkeys at KwikFit can manage that! Especially since the kit is doing all the measuring for them...

Not worth starting anything now...🍺

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  • 2 years later...

FYI:  Importance of the thrust angle measurement:

A vehicle's thrust angle affects its steering wheel position. The thrust line should line up with the vehicle’s geometric center line. Check this angle if the vehicle has been in a collision. There’s a difference in repair procedures depending on the vehicle's suspension system. A solid axle is checked for axle offset. Independent suspensions are adjustable and require rear toe adjustments to correct an incorrect thrust angle.

Since front wheel drive cars are more prominent than rear wheel drive, four wheel alignments have become the norm. When performing a four wheel alignment, the thrust angle must be checked and corrected before the front end alignment can be performed. Inspect the vehicle for collision damage and rear toe.

Axle offset occurs when the rear axle cocks sideways, causing both rear tires to point in the wrong direction. Like a forklift, if the rear tires point to the left, the vehicle will steer to the right. This condition is typically caused by a broken leaf spring center bolt or problems with the shackle. On vehicle’s with trailing arm suspension, worn or damaged bushings, or a bent arm can cause a noticeable pull in the steering wheel.

Hunter Hawkeye, DSP 600 and some other modern jigs are able to measure it. Older, mirror-type jigs WON'T!

 

Hawk DSP 600 at Monrovia Alignment.jpg

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