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Will be interesting.

I've left the Abarth's alignment stock, but I've tweaked the alignment on my MX5 RF such that I'm running 1.7 degrees of negative camber front/rear (MX5 stock setting is pretty much zero) and 8.5 degrees of caster (stock is about 6). Toe In is per stock setting, very slightly toed in front/rear
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Will be interesting.

I've left the Abarth's alignment stock, but I've tweaked the alignment on my MX5 RF such that I'm running 1.7 degrees of negative camber front/rear (MX5 stock setting is pretty much zero) and 8.5 degrees of caster (stock is about 6). Toe In is per stock setting, very slightly toed in front/rear
Going to run similar numbers to what you are running...are you happy with your setup??
 

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Can anyone post the stock alignment specs for the 124...thanks...
Once the snow is gone I will be taking it down to my tried and true Wheel & Suspension guy, he's a 10 minute drive from my childhood house but 2 hours away now, but totally worth the drive because they do such a great job.
... anyway I will be taking the car down to get hard numbers on the Factory set up (I've heard rumors that the factory tolerances are quite wide) and then they will work with me on a custom alignment. All for the standard $80 alignment and they do custom works all the time, so it's right in their wheel house.
...So in summation, sometime in April I will post my factory alignment stats and the final alignment. I hope a lot of other chime in and post too!
 

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Going to run similar numbers to what you are running...are you happy with your setup??
Yes...I am. It's funny, the MX5 has very different steering feel to the Abarth. Neither are what I'd call "feelsome" (honestly the 86/BRZ has far better steering than both the 124 or MX5) but the Abarth has a bit more weight in it and is more linear (which I actually prefer) and it seems to have a little more self-centering. The MX5 is initially very light but feels like a faster rack (even though it may not be) and then it starts to load up. I think it's artificial ('cause it feels it), and even with my caster at 8.5 (which should improve the self-centering effect) it still not what I'd call strong self-centering. So....in summation, I don't know what the same changes will do to the Abarth because the general suspension tune and steering tune is so different that I don't think you can extrapolate the MX5 experience to the 124. So when you do it, let me know! LOL
 

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BTW...I'm not suggesting that the 124 or MX5 have terrible steering. It's just that the 86/BRZ is pretty much the gold standard for a modern electric steering system. Mazda need to study it harder.
 

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SPECIFICATIONS

FRONT SPECIFICATIONS

RIDE HEIGHT

Measurement

Value

Ride Height

368 – 376 mm (14.49 – 14.80 in.)


FRONT TOE

Measurement

Value

Total Toe

1.1 ± 2.8 mm (0.15° ± 0.33°)


FRONT CAMBER

Measure

Value (Degrees)

Camber Front Wheels, Vehicle Height 350 - 358 mm (13.78 – 14.09 in.)

- 0.50°

Camber Front Wheels, Vehicle Height 359 - 367 mm (14.13 – 14.45 in.)

- 0.30°

Camber Front Wheels, Vehicle Height 368 - 376 mm (14.49 – 14.80 in.)

- 0.12°

Camber Front Wheels, Vehicle Height 377 - 385 mm (14.84 – 15.16 in.)

0.03°

Camber Front Wheels, Vehicle Height 386 - 394 mm (15.20 – 15.51 in.)

0.13°


FRONT CASTER

Measure

Value (Degrees)

Caster Front Wheels, Vehicle Height 350 - 358 mm (13.78 – 14.09 in.)

8.30°

Caster Front Wheels, Vehicle Height 359 - 367 mm (14.13 – 14.45 in.)

8.07°

Caster Front Wheels, Vehicle Height 368 - 376 mm (14.49 – 14.80 in.)

7.85°

Caster Front Wheels, Vehicle Height 377 - 385 mm (14.84 – 15.16 in.)

7.63°

Caster Front Wheels, Vehicle Height 386 - 394 mm (15.20 – 15.51 in.)

7.40°

REAR SPECIFICATIONS


RIDE HEIGHT

Measurement

Value

Ride Height

366 – 374 mm (14.41 – 14.72 in.)


REAR TOE

Measurement

Value

Total Toe 16 in. Wheels

2.0 ± 2.8 mm (0.28° ± 0.33°)

Total Toe 17 in. Wheels

2.1 ± 2.8 mm (0.28° ± 0.33°)


REAR CAMBER

Measure

Value (Degrees)

Camber Rear Wheels, Vehicle Height 348 - 356 mm (13.70 – 14.02 in.)

- 1.38°

Camber Rear Wheels, Vehicle Height 357 - 365 mm (14.06 – 14.37 in.)

- 1.15°

Camber Rear Wheels, Vehicle Height 366 - 374 mm (14.41 – 14.72 in.)

- 0.95°

Camber Rear Wheels, Vehicle Height 375 - 383 mm (14.76 – 15.08 in.)

- 0.77°

Camber Rear Wheels, Vehicle Height 384 - 392 mm (15.12 – 15.43 in.)

- 0.62°
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks John...getting my car done on Monday...curious to see where it is at before I put it where I want it...really surprised at how much caster it has from the factory...but not complaining...;)
 

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The general rule from the MX5 guys is give it as much caster as you can.
 

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Hi Guys

I have been racing Miatas forever. On the EARLY generations we take max caster. On the current generation we often give up max caster to get more camber if autocrossing a stock height car.

Stock alignment is essentially no alignment at all, the spec is so wide as to be near meaningless and we see cars with 100 miles show up here and every wheel has a different camber and toe setting.

Here are my general tips on alignment.

Alignment depends much on what you do with the car. Assuming no autocross or track use, for pure street driving my suggestion is:

Front Camber -1.2
Toe IN 1/32nd per side (some shops call this 1/16th 'total' toe in).
Caster 6

Rear Camber -1.2
Toe IN 1/32nd per side
Racers will take much more camber and zero toe all corners (and usually full coilovers). Autocross customers will usually toe OUT the front, track users usually toe ZERO front and either toe zero or very slight toe in the rear.

Note that much past 1.5 negative camber on a car lowered enough to get that range we usually start to take less at the rear than we do the front. For example, our Fiat 124 is currently lowered on our OHLINS coilovers and does autocross and track, current camber front is -2.8 and rear is -2.2. Why do we do that? One reason is that the rear multi-link suspension has a much more aggressive camber curve than the front A arm setup. Thus, as you lean on it, rear is gaining camber faster and these settings get us a little in front of that process.
 

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And for a road car?
 

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Brian, do these cars start to toe out in the rear as it gets leaned over?

Like, is there a cross over point near hitting the jounce bumpers or similar?
Great question. The prior generation 'NC' Miata chassis was famous, or perhaps we should say infamous, for the fact it does Toe out under compression. That would result in novice drivers having a bit more handful at the limit than they needed as the rear would step out and keep moving out.

They fixed that for ND Miata, which is now same chassis in Fiat 124.....rear goes very slight toe in under compression.
Thus, lean hard on it and rear will toe in just a bit to help drivers keep control at the limit.

This has changed what we do with alignment. On NC we consistently did rear toe in at the rear.
On ND/Fiat we do less rear toe in, because it will gain some under load, or even toe zero for track/autocross...depending on experience of the driver.
 

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That explains why these cars are developing a reputation for docility at the limit.

My old, really early AP1 S2000 was downright evil at the limit. Everyone that drove it in anger at the limit spun it at least once going around the track. A real handful even for experienced drivers.

I swapped the rear sub-frame for a AP2 unit and stiffened it up but it was still way from docile but at least drivable. 275s in the rear (6ULs), bars, and ~2.2 degrees of rear camber helped but was still non-optimal.

I'm looking forward to working on these cars. It will be good to do an alignment that didn't require heroic specs to get unremarkable handling.

Zero toe in the rear for the 124/ND must be quite entertaining under trail braking - in a good way if it is as docile as it sounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Alignment Complete

Here is the alignment I have right now...he wanted to put a little more toe in so I agreed...you will notice that the toe is well within specs still...I will drive it for a little while and if I don't like it he will change it at his expense...the caster(7.4) I did not change as it was the same on both sides and it was also within specs...the camber was put at -1.5 on all four corners....actually a pretty simple alignment...the car acts like it is on rails...never faltering no matter how hard I push it...I need to get on the track so I can push it harder to find out where it comes unglued...>:)
 

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My old, really early AP1 S2000 was downright evil at the limit. Everyone that drove it in anger at the limit spun it at least once going around the track. A real handful even for experienced drivers.
Haha. First time I drove one I spun it within 5 minutes of getting in the drivers seat. A combination of meeting wet tram tracks and finding the VTEC cam simultaneously. This particular car was written off 6 months later (off the road backwards) and another friend who had one spun his into the armco on a race track. I always thought that they were not for the inexperienced.
 

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Hi Guys

I have been racing Miatas forever. On the EARLY generations we take max caster. On the current generation we often give up max caster to get more camber if autocrossing a stock height car.

Stock alignment is essentially no alignment at all, the spec is so wide as to be near meaningless and we see cars with 100 miles show up here and every wheel has a different camber and toe setting.

Here are my general tips on alignment.

Alignment depends much on what you do with the car. Assuming no autocross or track use, for pure street driving my suggestion is:

Front Camber -1.2
Toe IN 1/32nd per side (some shops call this 1/16th 'total' toe in).
Caster 6

Rear Camber -1.2
Toe IN 1/32nd per side
Racers will take much more camber and zero toe all corners (and usually full coilovers). Autocross customers will usually toe OUT the front, track users usually toe ZERO front and either toe zero or very slight toe in the rear.

Note that much past 1.5 negative camber on a car lowered enough to get that range we usually start to take less at the rear than we do the front. For example, our Fiat 124 is currently lowered on our OHLINS coilovers and does autocross and track, current camber front is -2.8 and rear is -2.2. Why do we do that? One reason is that the rear multi-link suspension has a much more aggressive camber curve than the front A arm setup. Thus, as you lean on it, rear is gaining camber faster and these settings get us a little in front of that process.
Brian's recommendations here for street driving are LEGIT. My car handles so much better now. Very fun.
 

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Please excuse my lack of knowledge in terms of alignment, but I would really appreciate some advice. When I took delivery of my 124 Lusso, the car tracked perfectly straight ahead and the steering felt pretty good, however when tracking straight, the steering wheel was a little off center. I took it in to my Fiat dealer and they did a realignment. This fixed the off-center steering wheel issue, but now the car has very little self-centering effect. In other words, if I point the wheel straight ahead and let go, it goes straight, but if I steer left or right and let go, it continues going in that direction with just a slight bit of turn back to center. Before the new alignment, if I let go of the wheel while turning, it would snap back towards center. How is the steering supposed to behave in regards to self-centering on this car? I preferred the more self-centering feel to what it is now, because I find I have to make a lot more minute adjustments while driving to keep it tracking straight. Should I take it back and have them set it to Brian's specs?
 

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Hi Guys

I have been racing Miatas forever. On the EARLY generations we take max caster. On the current generation we often give up max caster to get more camber if autocrossing a stock height car.

Stock alignment is essentially no alignment at all, the spec is so wide as to be near meaningless and we see cars with 100 miles show up here and every wheel has a different camber and toe setting.

Here are my general tips on alignment.

Alignment depends much on what you do with the car. Assuming no autocross or track use, for pure street driving my suggestion is:

Front Camber -1.2
Toe IN 1/32nd per side (some shops call this 1/16th 'total' toe in).
Caster 6

Rear Camber -1.2
Toe IN 1/32nd per side
Racers will take much more camber and zero toe all corners (and usually full coilovers). Autocross customers will usually toe OUT the front, track users usually toe ZERO front and either toe zero or very slight toe in the rear.

Note that much past 1.5 negative camber on a car lowered enough to get that range we usually start to take less at the rear than we do the front. For example, our Fiat 124 is currently lowered on our OHLINS coilovers and does autocross and track, current camber front is -2.8 and rear is -2.2. Why do we do that? One reason is that the rear multi-link suspension has a much more aggressive camber curve than the front A arm setup. Thus, as you lean on it, rear is gaining camber faster and these settings get us a little in front of that process.
Brian, would these same numbers work with the stock Classica (factory everything, only street use), or are these numbers more suited for the Abarth? I may have an alignment this spring and if these are good numbers for the Classica, I'll use them.

Thanks,
Steve.
 
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