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Alignment: Follow up of "simply amazing... tires worn out already "

12 May 2000
Redmond, WA
This is a follow up of a discussion that was started awhile ago, which can be found below: http://www.nsxprime.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001892.html

Anyhow, I got the alignment work done and found the alignment to be way "out of whack". You'd be amazed at how much it's off(see below). The dealership's master technician also inspected everything else and everything seemed to be good, with the exception to the alignment.

I'm only posting the "nominal" numbers and not including the "tolerances". Meaning, even if the actual doesn't match the nominal, it could still be within specs, due to the tolerances. Numbers w/a ** means it was out of tolerance. Also, the results were in inches, but I have conversioned it into mm. If anybody's interested, let me know and I'll post the exact tolerances as well.

LEFT FRONT(Nominal/Actual)
Camber(deg): -0.33/-0.20
Caster(deg): 8.00/7.50** <--- off by 0.25deg
Toe(mm): -1.778/-6.604** <--- off by 4.318mm WOW!!

RIGHT FRONT(Nominal/Actual)
Camber(deg): -0.33/-0.60** <--- off by 0.1deg
Caster(deg): 8.00/8.00
Toe(mm): -1.778/+1.27** <--- off by 2.54mm

FRONT TOTAL TOE(mm): -3.556/-5.334** <--- off by 0.762mm

Here's where it gets really interesting...

LEFT REAR(Nominal/Actual)
Camber(deg): -1.50/-1.00** <--- off by 0.33deg
Toe(mm): 2.032/16.51** <--- off by 13.97mm WOW!! Look at that TOE OUT!!

RIGHT REAR(Nominal/Actual)
Camber(deg): -1.50/-1.60
Toe(mm): 2.032/3.81** <--- off by 1.27mm

REAR TOTAL TOE(mm): 4.064/20.32** <--- off by 15.24mm WOW again!

Based on the Nominal #s and to clarify any confusion regarding TOE IN/OUT, the fronts should be toe in(wear out inside faster) and rears be toe out(wear out outside faster). This is based on if you were to drive your car in a straight line. Of course, taking corners aggressively will even out the wear.

The only thing I can attribute for my alignment being off so much is hitting a pot hole a long time ago. The alignment could also have been off from the factory. Other than these 2 things, I don't have a clue. Out of curiosity, could changing tires from the shop affect alignment? Anyhow, let's hope the alignment fixed my tirewear problem. Guess I'll find out in the next couple of months.

As for how the car handles now? Clear as night and day! I thought my NSX handled awesome, but now it's so much more tighter and sticks like glue when cornering. The backend is much less 'squirreley' and more confidence inspiring(this could be a mental thing though).

[This message has been edited by johndoh (edited 24 May 2001).]
Wow, the car was radically out of alignment! It would have been easy to spot just looking at the car if someone knew what they were looking for. It must have handled like crap.

So many settings are so wrong that it almost certainly had bad alignment when you took delivery. The pothole may have made one or two wheels worse but it would have to be a really serious pothole or perhaps something wasn't tightened correctly.

Correction on your description though. The fronts should be toe OUT and the rears should be toe IN.

Also, the toe setting is not the primary cause of uneven inside/outside edge wear, that is more related to camber. Excessive toe will basically increase whatever your wear pattern would have been to start with. Obviously alignment and tire wear are complex subjects and it's not really that cut and dry but that's the gist.

To answer your question, no, changing tires doesn't affect the alignment.

[This message has been edited by Lud (edited 24 May 2001).]
My guess is that the alignment was off from the factory. I also bought mine new and the front was way out of spec. and wore out my front tires in 7K miles. I would suggest to anyone buying a new one, to have the alignment check before you start driving the car - in fact, I think this should be a dealer item to inspect prior to delivery - they are not doing a good job at the factory.