Sharka Alignment 2015

To the alignment rack!

To the alignment rack!

Alignment time! There’s few happier times in a cone killer’s pre-season prep. Even as a reformed autocrosser, I still look forward to it. There’s really nothing finer in life than a freshly aligned MX-5.

Well… maybe a few things are finer. But go with me on this. A fresh alignment is fantastic.

Ready to go.

Ready to go.

That's a big sensor.

That’s a big sensor.

I wanted to give the Xidas a chance to settle after install. Seeing as how I installed them… what 5 months ago? Back in May before the repaint?

Damn, that seems like a lifetime ago. Thinking back, the repaint felt like it took a year or longer of subjective time. Time slows down when you’re learning new stuff…

Anyways. 5 months is long enough. It was time to visit Keith and get Sharka’s wheels aimed right.

Required alignment-rack shot.

Required alignment-rack shot.

I’ve known Keith for as long as I’ve been into Miatas. I’ve followed him around to the various shops he’s done alignments at. Now Keith owns his own place (Keith’s Wheel Alignment on Arno in ABQ). It’s an excellent little garage.

Keith is a great guy. And more than that, I trust him to work on anything. That’s the highest praise I can give to anyone. I’m extremely happy to have him still aligning Sharka after 15 years.

I am ballast.

I am ballast.

Onto the numbers!!!

Camber: -2.5F, -2.4R
Caster: 5.5F (maxed out)
Toe: -.2F, .1R (that’s like 1/8″ toe out!)

I lost some front camber and gained a bit in the rear since my last alignment. But it wasn’t a lot… the big thing was the front toe. That’s a whole ton of toe out. Holy crap. No wonder Sharka was annoying when hitting any little bumps and twitchy as f*** on the freeway. I didn’t realize this toe-out nonsense was going on.

Camber: -2.9F, -2.2R
Caster: 5.1F (still maxed out)
Toe: -.02F, .23R

A bit of front camber bias, zero front toe, and a bit more toe-in out back. Perfect.

I’ve covered around 150 miles since the alignment. Mostly mountain and freeway driving. It’s SO much better. Getting the wheels pointed correctly is as big an upgrade to drivability as the seat foam or the Xidas themselves. Sharka is a whole ton more enjoyable to drive now.

Shop dog.

Shop dog.

Thanks for the fantastic alignment Keith!! Always a pleasure.

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  • Chris B says:

    Kimi runs similar numbers. 2.25F/1.75R (roughly) and about the same toe that’s on Sharka. I agree it that it makes a WORLD of difference. Only thing I’m missing is decent rubber.

  • Brad says:

    I’ve wanted to have the Miata set up like my old one (all stock, so I just used FM’s recommended settings) since I got the 99. However, I always stop myself because it’s money I could spend on the Supra…

    So many pent up ideas for the Miata, so little funds to devote to it. An issue I’m sure we can all relate to.

  • zealious says:

    what I want to know is how to align a car by hand in your garage. do we not have the tech these days? I’m sure an iPhone gyrometer and gps can help. or use string. lol I think my dad told me thats how they used to do it. STRING. anything else going on with he suspension? I noticed you can buy tierods from FM that are better for being lowered.

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