boon

Macbilt Engineering - Wellington

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I took my car (V7 STI) to Macbilt for some custom suspension fabrication and a performance wheel alignment including corner weighting.

The work was completed quickly and to a high standard. The price was very reasonable - wheel alignment and corner weighting costing only slightly more than getting a plain old wheel alignment done at a generic tyre place.

I doubt there is another workshop in New Zealand that knows as much about making Subarus go fast around tarmac corners.

The difference in handling from just the alignment and suspension setup on the car was incredible. Particularly the balance of the car - it is a little hard to describe but it felt absolutely spot on.

A generic tyre place will dial your car to whatever the spec sheet says, Al will set it up to go fast. You might eat tyres up a little quicker but it is so, so worth it.

I highly recommend taking your car to Macbilt next time you need an alignment.

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 boon said:
I took my car (V7 STI) to Macbilt for some custom suspension fabrication and a performance wheel alignment including corner weighting.

The work was completed quickly and to a high standard. The price was very reasonable - wheel alignment and corner weighting costing only slightly more than getting a plain old wheel alignment done at a generic tyre place.

I doubt there is another workshop in New Zealand that knows as much about making Subarus go fast around tarmac corners.

The difference in handling from just the alignment and suspension setup on the car was incredible. Particularly the balance of the car - it is a little hard to describe but it felt absolutely spot on.

A generic tyre place will dial your car to whatever the spec sheet says, Al will set it up to go fast. You might eat tyres up a little quicker but it is so, so worth it.

I highly recommend taking your car to Macbilt next time you need an alignment.

Oh they're in Welly. Well damn. I was hoping it was up in Auckland. Would be really nice to have a top notch setup

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Damn wish they were up in Aucks. I enquired about getting my suspension setup inc corner balancing with Suspension Tech and it was going to cost an arm and leg so decided against it.

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Al & Co built my current motor with rods and pistons pinched from one of San's motors and it has taken an absolute thrashing (and I really mean that) for ~40,000kms. It has sounded like a tractor since day one but I can't fault the workmanship, or advice.

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 B4 I was 250T said:
Can you tell me more about this. I would consider going up to Welly just to get it done if it was worth doing...

Do you have both clevis and spring-perch adjustable suspension?

If not, you can't do it.

Essentially, after setting the ride height via clevis adjustment they put the car on 4 scales and then adjust the preload on the springs, via the spring perches, until the weighting is balanced left-right. They can also shift the weight fore-aft to some degree but it's not huge.

They even put the approximate weight of the driver in the driver's seat so that is factored into it.

If you have adjustable swaybar links they can get the balance even better.

The result is that the car feels more balanced, grip is better distributed, I'm sure tyre wear would be more even, lots of factors.

Combined with the wheel alignment it really transformed my car, but it's more like the icing on the cake of a good suspension setup. Without adjustable spring perches you can't even start to adjust it, and you really need the adjustable clevises or you can't level out the ride height without affecting the spring preload.

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I understand the idea behind getting weight distribution even but doing it via ride height / pre load would cause each corner of the car to react differently to bumps etc no? I.e front left has more tension in coilover vs front right etc?

 

I've sort of had enough playing around with my suspension settings so I would be tempted to drive across the country (Hamilton based) to have someone else do it for me haha

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Posted (edited)

It's done via ride height, not preload... nothing should be unevenly loaded up when the car is sitting on a flat surface...

in fact aside from maybe the springs... no suspension components should be loaded at all.

The amount of height difference from corner to corner is minimal... the resulting even weight distribution means the car

is more predictable and balanced... not less.

Edited by Loren

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26 minutes ago, Loren said:

It's done via ride height, not preload... nothing should be unevenly loaded up when the car is sitting on a flat surface...

in fact aside from maybe the springs... no suspension components should be loaded at all.

The amount of height difference from corner to corner is minimal... the resulting even weight distribution means the car

is more predictable and balanced... not less.

Yeah that's what I thought, boon mentioned adjusting the preload which would be a no no as that changes tension on the spring.

 

I had asked for recommendations on where to go a while back on another thread but didn't get any answers as to where to go... :(

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There will be somewhere closer than Wellington... you're not asking on the right forum really... this is not a motorsport forum.

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59 minutes ago, Omsin said:

Yeah that's what I thought, boon mentioned adjusting the preload which would be a no no as that changes tension on the spring.

 

I had asked for recommendations on where to go a while back on another thread but didn't get any answers as to where to go... :(

 

Unless you have a non-linear spring, in my brain changing the preload doesn't change a thing? If a spring is, say, 10kg/mm, it's 10kg/mm whether it's 0% compressed or 50% compressed, so compressing the spring more doesn't require any difference in force? It does mean the spring pushes against the perch a bit harder though.

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As a side note just re-reading this thread, is it even important to have each corner of the car react the same to a bump? I dare say it's almost an impossible thing to achieve outside the confines of something like Formula 1, just the distribution of weight in the car, different stiffness, and the frankly probably enormous variance in the tolerances and construction of the car means you're never going to get even close. But it's all moot anyway, because when is your car ever going to experience exactly the same "bump" on all four wheels?

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, boon said:

 

Unless you have a non-linear spring, in my brain changing the preload doesn't change a thing? If a spring is, say, 10kg/mm, it's 10kg/mm whether it's 0% compressed or 50% compressed, so compressing the spring more doesn't require any difference in force? It does mean the spring pushes against the perch a bit harder though.

 

Yeah you'll just end up with f**k all spring travel if you compress the spring too much or it'll come unseated under full droop if you don't have enough (assuming no helper spring). Doesn't change the actual rate. If you just use the base height adjustment to lower it you'll hit the bumpstops all the time. You have to first set the bump with the base height perch then everything else with the spring perch if that makes sense

Edited by YoungOne

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