Monday, March 28, 2011

Alignment & Corner Balance @ Winning Formula

With < 9 hrs of sleep in 2 days and about 830 miles logged - I'm freakin exhausted!

Part 1 of 2.  Alignment trip & Test Day.

Part 1 takes us down to Louisville, KY and to The Winning Formula.  The shop consists basically of 2 people; Aaron who I know from the track and have been dealing directly with - and the owner, Mike. It's pretty much just them 2. They primarily setup SM's (Spec Miata's) along with various other street/track car alignments and maintenance I believe.  I made it to the shop about 8:40am my time (9:40am ET local) on Friday.  I unloaded the car as we started mounting tires and noticed some spitting snow which wasn't a good outlook for our testday on Saturday.
First check on the scales showed 3266 lbs with driver!  That was a great start as it's damn close to my post-race required weight.  After verifying the suspension installation, next up was the actual alignment.  We found the rear of the car no longer had the eccentric bolts for toe adjustment! Fortunately for me, I had stripped a front suspension bolt with my install earlier in the week and I dug through my spare box of crap downstairs and while I didn't have a spare front bolt I did find some interesting other bolts (including the rear toe eccentric adjusters) that I threw in for the trip just in case. Lucky us. So we switched those back in. 

All-in-all it took a lot longer than we had planned. We had to redo a few things that had been done incorrectly by other shops over the years. We also had to deal with some rubbing caused by the longer springs from the new setup. We have a plan 'B' coming down the road for that one.  But Aaron stuck with it and took his time. He talked me through everything and answered all my questions and we joked through it all.

A few other people stopped by the shop in the mid-afternoon that were headed to the testday too. We didn't leave the shop until about 9pm that night. We had to help some other guys pack up, install some Miata hard tops, pack extra tires, grab dinner, etc. 4 of us caravaned the ~2.5hr drive to Indianopolis to our 2 different hotels for the next days event.

2am...bedtime. 6:15am alarm for Saturday testday...

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