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Problem with my NSX, need help

31 May 2001
Brookfield, CT
So I take my NSX down to a tire shop to have my wheels mounted on. I got some 18"/19" Axis Se7ens, 225/35 in front and 275/30 in back. So they get the tires on the car on bring it down. We turned the wheels to see if they cleared. Strangely, the front left wheel was perfect, but the front right wheel was much further back... seemed like it was almost an inch. They said it was a caster problem and kept it for alignment. They use a high-end 1999 Hunter machine for alignment and have a good rep.

So they got the car on there today and could not get the caster corrected on that one wheel. They said it was way off and someone had already tried to fix it and suspected some sort of accident or frame damage.

My car had been drifting to the right since September. I was driving up to Vermont and ran over an unforeseen hugeass branch. It sounded like it may have been thrown up into the undercarriage. However, they doubt that would have been the cause of it since they suspect someone had already tried to adjust this problem before I got the car. Also, and this is just my observation, the car runs perfectly straight now that they did the alignment... so maybe they are unrelated issues. What they suggested to do was take it for a frame shop, which I am going to do.

Here are the stats that matter:

Left Front:

Actual: 4.7 (degrees)
Before: 4.8
Spec: 7.8
Range: 8.3

note: maxed to '+' side (back)

Right Front:

Actual: 2.6
Before: 2.5
Spec: 7.8
Range: 8.3

note: maxed to '-' side forward. something bent.

A few questions:

1. Must I haul my car to Greenwich to have the framework done? I know a couple excellent places in the area, one of which is a Porsche dealer and the other has an impeccible reputation as well as they best equipment.

2. Could that branch have done this damage? Could it be something I could replace(tie rod)?
3. If it was accident damage to the unibody, what kind of hit would cause this to happen? IOW, what would it take to do this? The dealer promised in writing it was never in an accident.

I see two outcomes to this, either it being my fault (branch) and me fixing it, or having to sue the dealer for lying to me about the car.

I am betting you have bent suspension components from the branch. any frame damage would have been preexisting, no way it could have come from a "branch", tree yes, but branch quite doubtful. The clue is when you say it has been pulling since hitting the branch.
It does sound like you have a bent suspension component. I ran over a cinder block that dropped off a truck infront of me and not only did I bend a BBS rim, but I also bent the tie rod. It was determined that it was damaged when they couldn't align the car properly due to the pull and vibration from the incident, and luckily the part only cost $85.

I suggest that you go to an Acura dealer and have them determine the damage. It doesn't sound like you have a bent frame or anything since you stated that you noticed the pull immediately after you hit the branch.

It is surprising at how fragile our cars are, but still very relaible.

-Good luck
For serious NSX-specific work - and I consider alignment (and of course the possibility of bent suspension components) to be both serious and NSX-specific - I only take my car to places that do a lot of work on NSX's. I don't care how many Porsches they've worked on; that doesn't teach them about the NSX.
Thanks for the info. Maybe I will take it to Acura of Greenwich to get it evaluated.

I should note, it was more of a small log than large branch.

Also, I should point out again that the reason the guy thought this was prior to the branch/log is because it seems as if someone had already tried to compensate for this problem.

[This message has been edited by nsx-808 (edited 08 December 2001).]
Sounds very like the problem I had with my 91. The left front was back 12mm when measured corner to corner on the chassis alignment bed.Not a lot I commented.About from Auckland to Taupo (250 miles)in our terms was the tech`s reply. That chassis is so strong it is virtually un straightenable..no the new suspension arms did not fully correct the error. Honda advised a new front chassis member.Six months later my car was back on the road having passed all very stringent and critical
inspections and tests.
I am more than happy with the job.
Good luck with yours, I hope you keep us posted with the outcome.