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Old 03-12-2007, 05:30 AM   #1
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alignment- advice needed

I was inquiring about having an alignment done the dealership quoted me cha cha ching a wooping $448.00 and National Tire quoted me $139.99. What should I do? NTB, I asked if they have a hunter 9700 machine they said they have a hunter alignment machine something called DSP 4000 which they said can use my 00 box. Am I throwing my money away going to NTB?
Any advice will be most helpful.

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Old 03-12-2007, 06:39 AM   #2
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alignment on these cars is extrordinarily easy. if these guys will let you watch, i'd go to NTB. the dealer's price quote is obnoxious; aligning a boxster takes less than 45min. FYI, i get mine done (4-wheel) for $60. it's a small independant shop, but they let me watch and they print me before & after alignment sheets.
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Old 03-12-2007, 07:02 AM   #3
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Aligning the car is easy. The front takes no time at all. The rear is a bit more tricky because the two cam bolts on each side must be adjusted simultaneously to acheive the desired camber and toe settings.

With any alignment, make sure they do the final printout AFTER they tighten all the bolts. Alignment settings sometimes change slightly after all the nuts are snugged up.
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Old 03-12-2007, 07:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John V
Aligning the car is easy. The front takes no time at all. The rear is a bit more tricky because the two cam bolts on each side must be adjusted simultaneously to acheive the desired camber and toe settings.
with the NEW hunter machines, that's not even necessary. they reference the front tires & ackerman angle to set rear thrust angle at each individual wheel. very easy to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John V
With any alignment, make sure they do the final printout AFTER they tighten all the bolts. Alignment settings sometimes change slightly after all the nuts are snugged up.
true. if you are REALLY serious, have them set the alignment with you in the car so that the settings compensate for your weight.
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Old 03-12-2007, 07:43 AM   #5
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Wow... I can't believe they'd charge you that much (wait... yes I can, haha!)

I do all my adjusting myself because I like to test different toe in and cambers almost every weekend. A friend of mine made up a contraption that I can't even begin to describe that measures everything. He originally made it for his C06, but adapted it for both his Elise and my Boxster.
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Old 03-12-2007, 07:54 AM   #6
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I would pay $448 for alignment but only if they let me watch with the service manager also present as well so that afterwards he could explain to me that what I just witnessed was a highly specialized skill that only a few select highly trained Porsche techs in the world could perform.

Find a speed shop, one that is familiar with sports cars and have done there. They do allot of those probably and can do the job quickly. If you go to a regualr cars type place, ask for a print out of your alignment numbers before and after the alignment. If they look at you like you are from mars go somewhere else.
A factory spec aligment should not take anything close to an hour if your car is only a little off. So if the shops hourly labor rate is $140 per hour then something around that should be fine unless they are adding a surcharge to get back their money on the recently purchase alignment machine.
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:12 AM   #7
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I have used NTB in the past and they work fine. No problems.
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insite
with the NEW hunter machines, that's not even necessary. they reference the front tires & ackerman angle to set rear thrust angle at each individual wheel. very easy to do.
I think you misunderstood me. The machine used has nothing to do with it. What I'm referring to is that there are two cam bolts to adjust camber and toe on each rear wheel. On the Boxster, neither one of these bolts adjusts camber or toe independently. Adjust either bolt, and both camber and toe change. This can make alignments slightly finicky.

Typically a buddy and I have used strings (or something similar) to align cars with upper and lower A-arms since the camber and toe adjustments were pretty much independent. Not the case on the back of a Boxster.

I, too, plan on dialing in different toe settings for autocross. The "toe" link will adjust mostly toe, but you'll also change camber.
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John V
I think you misunderstood me. The machine used has nothing to do with it. What I'm referring to is that there are two cam bolts to adjust camber and toe on each rear wheel. On the Boxster, neither one of these bolts adjusts camber or toe independently. Adjust either bolt, and both camber and toe change. This can make alignments slightly finicky.

Typically a buddy and I have used strings (or something similar) to align cars with upper and lower A-arms since the camber and toe adjustments were pretty much independent. Not the case on the back of a Boxster.

I, too, plan on dialing in different toe settings for autocross. The "toe" link will adjust mostly toe, but you'll also change camber.
i did misunderstand you. you are absolutely correct that adjusting camber at one wheel will affect toe at that wheel. adding neg camber will toe the wheel out.
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Old 03-12-2007, 03:14 PM   #10
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Fab, not sure of your exact location, but if you're North or West of Boston, you might want to check out Auto Sport Engineering in Stow or Autobahn Performance in Peabody. I've used Auto Sport myself and really like them; I have only heard good things about Autobahn as well (from former forum members).
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Old 03-13-2007, 04:41 AM   #11
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Thanks Don. I placed a call with Autobahn Performance in Peabody.

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