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NSX alignment....please help!!

Joined
1 May 2001
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Point of No Return
Okay gang....here is my latest alignment specs. Is there anything here that looks like it can be fixed to give me more than 6,000 miles to a set of rear Pirelli P-Zero Nero's?? My car is lowered with Eibach springs and Bilsteins set on the upper perch. I have a 17/18 combo running 255/38-18 tires in the back. Thank you in advance for your help!! :)

447794_NSX_alignment_specs_6-10-04_.jpg
 
Not only is there a lot of neg. camber, the difference between rear left and right don't look good at all. Have you checked ride height for left and right sides being equal?

Measure the left side height front and rear at the jack points. Then do it again for the right side. The fronts should be close to each other, and the rears should be close to each other, say within 1/8" or better. Unload the car of anything weird before doing this.
 
I will check the measurements, but this was the alignment that the shop gave me, and I assumed it was the best they could do. Is it possible that this was all that they could adjust? What is the Comptech fix for this (or any other fix)?? I would like to get this corrected if I can because the tires are getting expensive to replace every 2 months!! :(

(** Recommendations for a shop in the Midwest to fix this??**)
 
From what I've read, the -2.3 camber on the left rear is typical of what happens with 1.5" lowering springs. But the -3.5 on the right looks like either a bad lowering spring or bent suspension, or bad alignment equipment attachment.

Something is definitely wrong with the right rear. They should be able to get toe within spec no matter what. If you can, have the shop make the rear toe somewhere between 0.20 to 0.00 TOTAL toe in. That will help them last quite a bit longer as well, at the expense of increasing rear instability.

Perhaps you have some really heavy metal CD's in the trunk changer?
 
the new numbers look pretty bad. The front toe for both side is still off, too much toe in. the right rear is really off, both the camber and toe.

I also have eibach and the camber is - 2.3 and - 2.2 (L & R). Toe settings are all within spec. for front and back.
 
I agree, something is funky with the right rear camber numbers. I am running Eibachs and Konis which should be lower than your set up on the upper perches, and I can get -2 degrees on both sides in the rear, you should be under -2 degrees if you want. I would check for bent suspension arms, but the amount you are looking for is about 10mm and will require some close inspection. You might try parking the car on a level spot, point the steereing wheel straight ahead, measure the distance from front to rear wheel on each side, this number should be with in 1-2mm when you compare both sides. If it is more than that, it could give a clue to what the problem is.

For tire wear, the issue is not camber, it is toe. The toe is scraping the tire as you drive down the highway and wearing the tread off. I am running -2 degrees of camber on the front, -2.4 degrees on the rear and I am getting good wear with 0.1 degree toe out on the front and 0.1 degree toe in on the rear, and my tires wear almost flat as long as I execise my car on the track at least once a month :wink: which is what it takes to keep the car happy :biggrin: .

Comptech only makes bushings for the front and they are designed to make it so you can get more camber on a lowered car. They can be installed backwards to make it so you get less camber, but your front is OK. There is no camber kit for the rear, to my knowledge.
 
I find it very hard to beleive this is the best they can do. Even if things are not perfect I have at least been able to equal out side to side. The basic issue here that I see is that the car is too low since the Eibachs have sagged. This is typical, mine are sagged, but my alignment is way closer with alot less rear camber. (my Eibachs have 22K miles, which is maybe less then yours:)

NSXT, you mentioned 1.5" which makes sense and is lower then new Eibachs would get you. I agree with you the car must be at least 1.5" low, maybe more. Your springs are tired, JMO.

I agree with Dave too about Toe, really eats them up. In additon NIS350 mentions toe in for the front which is totally wrong(not NIS350, rather the alighment). The front should have toe-out.

HTH,
LarryB
 
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Looking at this again, I recommend you find a different shop. It looks to me like the person who did this cannot read/follow the specs. For example, you now have front toe in, where before it was too much toe out. The tech ignored the specs and continued to screw the tie rods until it looked like a normal car.

Have you tried a Midas shop? The two here I am familiar with might not be intimately familiar with an NSX, but they will align one to spec.
 
Meeyatch1 said:
I will check the measurements, but this was the alignment that the shop gave me, and I assumed it was the best they could do. Is it possible that this was all that they could adjust? What is the Comptech fix for this (or any other fix)?? I would like to get this corrected if I can because the tires are getting expensive to replace every 2 months!! :(

(** Recommendations for a shop in the Midwest to fix this??**)

Having raced in the Speed World Challenge Touring class (2003), I will add my $0.02 even though it is a little off subject. I learned a heck of a lot of info that year on suspension setups.

To start off, before you do anything, you must make sure that you are taking measurements (and making adjustments) on level ground or else your measurements will be off. Driveways are not a good place to check (or make) adjustments.

For the race setup, we set our car up at 1/16 to 1/8 (driver's preference) of an inch toe out, up in the front. The rears stayed at zero toe. We did this on our Type R Integra and did the same setup on the BMW team that we partnered with. How do you measure this? You take a tape measure and measure the outermost groove of the front side (at the highest point before anything obstructs the full extension of the tape measure) of the tire and measure the same spot behind the tire, at the same height and groove. Do the same for front and rears. Remember that changing camber also affects toe. If anyone is interested, I'll show you guys how to square off a car using string if you ask me at any upcoming meets. The difference in the two numbers will tell you if you are toe out or in (ie: if the front measurement is a smaller # than the rear #, you are toe in and vice versa). A little toe in will slow the car minimally and you won't even feel it. It also keeps the car driving straight even if you take your hands off the wheel (I don't suggest doing that). Toe out will cause the car to feel a little loose and kind of unpredictable in which way it wants pull (either left or right) but once you carve a turn, get ready for some g forces.

NSXT is correct about checking ride height from the 4 jack points. If you make any adjustments to your suspension while the car is jacked up, roll the car a full tire's rotation back and forth (when the car is on the ground) so the wheels will correct itself to the adjusted settings.

Aggressive negative camber will affect wear on the inner part of your tires as will negative/positive toe. I guess you'd be safe up till -1 degree of camber but the specified range of -.2 till -.5 camber and zero toe (for the fronts) will give you the most delayed and even wear. My preference for the rear is -1 degree of camber and zero toe for my street car. There were some tracks that we ran -4.5 degrees of camber up front on the Type R (of course, we used adjustable camber kits).

Meeyatch, your back wheels have too much negative camber (is it noticeable from eyeballing it?). I don't see why your alignment guy didn't zero out the rear toe, it was the only adjustment they made back there. Seems like they didn't even spend 30 minutes trying to align your car. I probably could have done better with your car in my driveway. :biggrin: I'm j/k! I would take the car to someone who has experience aligning lowered cars. We use a shop out here in NYC who specializes in lowered cars with even an inch of clearance.

Contact Tommy at RPM NYC . We bought a lot of adjustable racing suspension parts from a company in Europe. This European company made quality racing parts that didn't exist on this side of the pond for our Type R and other car applications. I'm pretty sure I saw NSX parts listed but this was a few years back. They should have adjustable upper control arms for the front and rear of our cars. Good luck and I look forward to meeting you at Bridgewater Acura on 4/17. :smile:
 
What is so frustrating is that nobody in the area has any real experience with lowered NSX's and the suspension (considering mine is the only one for about 250 miles). I am thinking I may head up to Michigan or Chicago if there are places there that people have experience with getting lowered NSX's into alignment.

My tires wear evenly across on the back, and you can visually see the right rear tire with more negative camber than the left rear. If the toe is off considerably (which is what others have been saying I believe), would that allow the tires to wear evenly across, but just wear a lot more quickly??
 
NSXT said:
...Have you tried a Midas shop? The two here I am familiar with might not be intimately familiar with an NSX, but they will align one to spec.


Just called to see if Midas could even do it and they said, 'No...we cannot align a lowered car with anything larger than a 16.5 inch rim...,' and that was that. I really need to find someplace that can do this before I get new tires in two weeks. :frown:
 
Meeyatch1 said:
What is so frustrating is that nobody in the area has any real experience with lowered NSX's and the suspension (considering mine is the only one for about 250 miles). I am thinking I may head up to Michigan or Chicago if there are places there that people have experience with getting lowered NSX's into alignment.
I don't know; you'd have to call ahead and ask. The two dealers that do a lot of NSX service work both do alignments, but I don't know what their experience is with lowered NSXs. I know Acura of Brookfield can do it, but they're a hundred miles further. You might try searching recent posts about Payn Technologies in Detroit; even though Devin left there, he mentioned that some of his experienced mechanics are still in the area. Another option would be to ask your friends at the Tire Rack if they recommend anyone in the South Bend area for high-end alignment work.

Meeyatch1 said:
My tires wear evenly across on the back, and you can visually see the right rear tire with more negative camber than the left rear. If the toe is off considerably (which is what others have been saying I believe), would that allow the tires to wear evenly across, but just wear a lot more quickly??
Yes.

And it's not that the rear toe is OFF - it may be within spec - but you can reduce it (below spec) to improve tire wear. As Dave Hardy recommended, the closer you get to zero, the more it will extend the life of your tires. Honda's original recommendation for a lot of rear toe was intended to maximize the precision and responsiveness in handling, but at the expense of tire treadlife.

You have mail...
 
NSXT said:
Not only is there a lot of neg. camber, the difference between rear left and right don't look good at all. Have you checked ride height for left and right sides being equal?

Measure the left side height front and rear at the jack points. Then do it again for the right side. The fronts should be close to each other, and the rears should be close to each other, say within 1/8" or better. Unload the car of anything weird before doing this.


I just went out to my garage and measured. The two front jack points are within 2 mm of each other in terms of height, while the rear has about 5 mm difference between the two sides, with the right side rear being the lower of the two. Could this be the root of my problem?? Do Eibachs really 'go bad' like this?? :confused:
 
I don't know for sure, but 5 mm (about one fifth of an inch) sounds to me to be within the normal tolerances of the NSX and not a cause for worry... someone like Larry B can tell you for sure.
 
nsxtasy said:
I don't know for sure, but 5 mm (about one fifth of an inch) sounds to me to be within the normal tolerances of the NSX and not a cause for worry... someone like Larry B can tell you for sure.



Okay.....Larry B...are you out there?? :D
 
Meeyatch1 said:
Do Eibachs really 'go bad' like this?? :confused:

Yes :frown:

We are seeing quite a few NSX that are having one side sagging due to worn out Eibach's. We also have seen Eibachs with Konis or Bilsteins that suit about 0.5" or more lower than others. The more you track/autocross or use stiffer rated shocks the quicker these symptoms will apppear. In fact, years ago Comptech switched to making their own springs because of the variability in the Eibach's spring rates in a given set. And Dali now makes his own slightly, stiffer than Eibach. HTH.
 
First of all as Hrant confirms Eibachs do really sag.

In regard to the 5mm the factory spec is +/-10mm. However, this is not the place to measure it:). Page 18-6 in the online service manual shows you how. By measuring from the lower suspension pivots on a LEVEL surface.

With that said, the 5mm where you have measured it, will translate into a larger number at the actual measuring point, how much would take a little trig to figure out exactly, but my gut feel says it would not be doubled from 5mm to 10mm, could be half again from 5mm to 7.5mm is my guess. Still in spec. Obviously just remeasure to be sure.

FWIW this is the only way we ever measured a racecar. I also think that the "fender well height" check is NG, with the exception of using that for relative measurements.

Mitch,

Before you pull your hair out over this(I will assume you have more then me:)), go to another shop you have a recommendation for. The NSX is really an easy car to align(one of the easiest I have ever worked on), lowered or not. A good shop will tell you immediately if or what is bent, if they cannot align it. If not, they are not a good shop. If you are going to make the trip the BridgeWater Acura in NJ in April and you can wait, you could plan an additional day with Joe (pbassjo) at his shop for an alignment.

HTH,
LarryB
 
The ride height spec in the Service manual does not apply to a 1+inch lowered car. Although you could subtract the rough lowering spring spec from the Service manual spec to get some idea of what to expect at the a-arm pivot.

Measuring at the jack points allows you to determine if the car is even side to side, or, as Meeyatch as found, a spring is weak.

I agree with Larry when he say to find another shop before worrying about the springs too much. It is very obvious from the front numbers that your last shop was not the place to take it.
 
NSXT,

Funny I thought about it more today. It is interesting that the spec does not provide a side to side maximum variance. I used the spec for the +/-10mm variance only, and for sure the actual spec in the book would be lower by the amount lowered, as you mention.

Frankly your +/- 1/8" side to side I think is a good target. I think you can also do a side to side using the books measuring points.

Regards,
LarryB
 
Larry Bastanza said:
I find it very hard to beleive this is the best they can do.

Well, he does live in Indiana. (j/k)
 
Hrant said:
Yes :frown:

We are seeing quite a few NSX that are having one side sagging due to worn out Eibach's. We also have seen Eibachs with Konis or Bilsteins that suit about 0.5" or more lower than others. The more you track/autocross or use stiffer rated shocks the quicker these symptoms will apppear. In fact, years ago Comptech switched to making their own springs because of the variability in the Eibach's spring rates in a given set. And Dali now makes his own slightly, stiffer than Eibach. HTH.

We have established at least one of your springs is failing, why don't you start by replacing the springs with a set you know are good. Once those are replaced, take it car to a shop which is better suited to sports car and have the alignment done. The alignment will need to be redone once you change the springs anyway.

I use a Firestone in Hillsborrow OR(no hlep to you, I know), the manager used to race sports car before he had a family and he is very interested in making sure my car is 'right', I have a lifetime alignment with them. Best $129 I have spent, plus I keep sending him more business. He gets a kick out of working on something other than a family sedan, last time they took almost 2 hours tweaking to make sure the balance was within less than 0.01 degrees side to side. Granted, it took a long time because I just put in non-compliant bushings and toe links so things were really screwed up in the back, point was they took the time and took real pride in their work, see if you can find the same type of business locally.

I found this guy by calling around, most shop didn't know what an NSX was, so I knew to steer clear of them. This guy was very comfortable with the idea of the car, plus he did not freak out when I told him it was lowered, but he was aware it would take more time to work on the lowered car because of clearance issues on their alignment rack. This told me he had some experience with a least 'ricers', made me comfortable with giving him a try.
 
nsxtasy said:
Mitch, was my friend in Fort Wayne able to recommend a good nearby shop for an alignment?


I have not heard from him yet. I will check my email again though. Thank you.
 
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