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#1
OrangeCrush86

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After my first year of SM I'm ready to get into car setup. I already have a scale setup, what are some cost effective tools to get started.

 

So far the only thing on my list is:

http://miatacage.com/alignment-system

 

What else do I need? Just toe plates and a camber gauge?

 

I have seen many people say to buy hub stands, but the "cheap ones" are $900. The nice ones are 25% of the cost of my car... Are they really necessary?

 

Thanks for the effort!


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#2
Bench Racer

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Click on "Downloads" in the header bar and then click on "Spec Miata Setup Guide".

 

Use the same setup tools in your garage and at the track.

 

A bubble level to set each scale level. A GOOD water level to set all four scales at a single plane to each other. 

 

To make string box setup easier, cut a hole in your front grease caps which is large enough to insert a 6 inch long x .473 wide machinist scale, plug hole with rubber snap cap. I'll measure my scale and the hole diameter (grease cap hole .500) later today and post. Pop snap cap and measure from end of axle to string. Use toe plates for quick check only. String box is easy setup with holes in grease caps and you'll know the dimensions from end of axles to string. If string box doesn't come back to exact dimensions at all four axle ends, somethings changed.


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#3
OrangeCrush86

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Do you have a picture of this string box? I can't quite visualize what you are describing. Thanks.


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#4
Bench Racer

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You have a message, provide phone number through private message and I'll forward picture. I don't have the knowledge to post picture on this site.


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#5
Steve Scheifler

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No need for diagrams, a string box is what you create using the iron canyon string jigs as shown at the MC link. Bench is just trying to say that once you get the strings set up the first time and note the measurements from spindle to string, you can then use those measurements the next time to setup the strings more quickly. If those measurements change then something has moved or bent. (Bench’s description above should not be interpreted as saying that all four measurements should be the same as every other. Fronts will differ from rears when setting up the strings) Of course if you make a camber change your box will no longer be perfectly square because we are moving the lower arms in and out, and even raising/lowering the car changes track slightly. Once you are dialed into your baseline the changes are small enough you probably won’t measure much change in the box, but I tend to check it frequently throughout the setup process just to be sure I haven’t bumped the jig or otherwise f’d something up.

If you don’t already, you need turn/slip plates (or equivalent home-made) on top of the scales to avoid suspension bind. Ideally you need a way to measure caster, at least once to establish a baseline even if you then employ popular shortcuts (or ask someone roughly how much camber change per 1/4 turn of steering translates to what caster).

I like using a toe stick (search ART dream stick) but with the iron canyon jigs you probably need to make your own shorty tips for it.

Come up with a way to measure ride height with good repeatability, and/or figure out how to measure bumpstop gap. How you do those depends on things such as the condition of pinch welds, the size of you hands & digits, etc. I have an aluminum beam that I place between front & rear tires on the scales so I can measure accurately from the bottom of it to the pinch welds.
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#6
Steve Scheifler

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Bench, where do the rules say that you can make a hole in your grease caps? :)
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#7
FTodaro

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I have the Iron canyon string set up with the steel plates that you bolt on to the hubs. I use a longacer magnetic digital camber gauge.  I use one gallon zip lock bags with a bit of oil in them for skid plates and I do my alignment on the scale pads. it has worked for me. 

 

Personally, i do not like the Hub stands as i could not reproduce the same camber numbers i would get with the tires on the car so I just just good fresh rubber on the car when i align it.


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#8
Bench Racer

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Bench, where do the rules say that you can make a hole in your grease caps? :)

Call it a grease cap manufactured by aftermarket company, Dewey. The function of a grease cap is to be a sealing component to keep grease within the hub and to keep external contaminants out of the internal hub. Seal on the inside of hub, grease cap (sealing component) on the outside of hub.

 

r. Miscellaneous

1. The use of the following non-standard replacement parts are permitted provided the use does not result in any unauthorized  

modification of any other component.

b. Gaskets and seals, except those specified in the above rules

 

Glossary Definition:

Gasket – A sealing component of unspecified composition which is intended to prevent the leakage of a fluid (air, water, oil, etc.) at the interface between two demountable assemblies.

 

:bigsquaregrin:


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#9
Jim Drago

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Call it a grease cap manufactured by aftermarket company, Dewey. The function of a grease cap is to be a sealing component to keep grease within the hub and to keep external contaminants out of the internal hub. Seal on the inside of hub, grease cap (sealing component) on the outside of hub.

 

r. Miscellaneous

1. The use of the following non-standard replacement parts are permitted provided the use does not result in any unauthorized  

modification of any other component.

b. Gaskets and seals, except those specified in the above rules

 

Glossary Definition:

Gasket – A sealing component of unspecified composition which is intended to prevent the leakage of a fluid (air, water, oil, etc.) at the interface between two demountable assemblies.

 

:bigsquaregrin:

wow, and you complained about my duct tape windshield banner that covered the hard top seam :) 


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#10
Jim Drago

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btw, throw the string in the garbage and but a laser level :)


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#11
Bench Racer

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wow, and you complained about my duct tape windshield banner that covered the hard top seam :)

WOW, ya had to dig back in memory for that one ^. Yours was an aerodynamic improvement. I believe mine is very winnable upon a protest. :bigsquaregrin:

 

I love it when y'all want to pick on my process for setup time reduction and no one has the stones to comment on the picture of the half window net which is clearly a SAFETY issue.  :rolleyes:

 

Happy Sunday 


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#12
Bench Racer

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btw, throw the string in the garbage and but a laser level :)

Please post a manufactures name and item number for your laser level.


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#13
Steve Scheifler

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Please explain in what way, exactly, the smaller net is a safety issue.
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#14
Bench Racer

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PM forwarded.


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#15
Alberto

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The Iron Canyon string box is awesome, as previously mentioned.  I don't use a toe stick as the 2 rulers it comes with work well.

 

For camber, I like the Longacre digital camber/caster gauge.  I also have the SmartCamber gauge but I find the Longacre easier to use. 

 

I personally find hub stands very useful but not useful enough that I'd pay $900 for them.  I use the hub stands to dial everything in then mount the wheels towards the end of the process to validate and finalize.  It saved me a ton of time during the process.  I also found that the camber measured differently when comparing numbers measured at the hub stands vs the wheels but that is a non-issue once I factor that into the equation.  The difference was 0.3 degrees for me.  I'm still learning this but this is my experience to date.

 

I use a Longacre laser level to ensure that all 4 scales are at the same height.  I also have Scale Pad Levelers (not these - some cheaper ones) that are used to ensure that the individual pads themselves are level.  The scale pad needs to be level when you place the laser level on it to try to get the pads at the same height relative to each other.

 

Hope that helps.


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#16
Jim Drago

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Please post a manufactures name and item number for your laser level.

Mine is one I bought at Sears like 8-10 years ago, since discontinued.  I ordered one the other day on Ebay that looks similar. When it comes in I will compare. 

HERE IS ONE THAT WILL WORK WELL :) 

https://www.globalin...evel-blue-tooth

Jim


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#17
Steve Scheifler

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Mine is one I bought at Sears like 8-10 years ago, since discontinued. I ordered one the other day on Ebay that looks similar. When it comes in I will compare.
HERE IS ONE THAT WILL WORK WELL :)
https://www.globalin...evel-blue-tooth
Jim


Adequate, but may as well order two so you can work both sides at once.
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#18
tLinder

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Sent you a PM


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#19
Richard Astacio

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Mine is one I bought at Sears like 8-10 years ago, since discontinued.  I ordered one the other day on Ebay that looks similar. When it comes in I will compare. 

HERE IS ONE THAT WILL WORK WELL :)

https://www.globalin...evel-blue-tooth

Jim

 

Freaking 3K!!! must be a joke. 


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#20
Bench Racer

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Freaking 3K!!! must be a joke. 

The Big boy is loose, but not that loose. You can bet his e-bay deal was 3-400ish.


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