I was speaking to our sponsor and driver Gene Bird about some stands for the race car that would allow us to easily do alignments in the shop or at the track. It needs to be safe and easy to use. Then it was mentioned that having something that would also allow us to easily set ride height and corner balance the race car would make life really easy. I made a plan up and Gene made a few suggestions and then set off to his mad laboratory at Bird Manufacturing.
Soon he presented this sweet stand to us at the VIR ChumpCar 12-Hour enduro. We did a quick test and it worked well. We then tried it out a couple of weeks ago on Mike Helm’s EP MK1 MR2 at the SCCA Majors Tour when they visited VIR. It worked great on his 4×100 lug pattern as it did on my 5×114.3 of my MK2 MR2. The design idea was that it should work with all versions of the Toyota MR2.
The design allows the camber, toe and caster to easily be set. There is no need for slip plates as the stand is on heavy duty casters that allow it to twist and turn as you adjust the setting of the toe. The camber is set as the stand has built in tilt.
Simple installation. Jack the chassis up. Remove the wheels. Attach all four stands to the wheel hub, torquing the lug nuts in place. Put the plate under the stand, and slowly drop the car onto the plate, adjusting the plate as the suspension compresses. Let the car settle for a few minutes. I pushed down on the chassis to test how stable the system is. and it is just like the chassis sitting on jack stands.
The simple design allows the use of either high dollar camber /caster gauges or something as simple as you iPhone or Android with a angle finder app.
I am going to make a set of aluminum plates with adjustable feet that this can sit on to allow us to make a level platform to do alignments on. This will also allow us to get the correct rake as we use larger diameter tires in the rear, which are taller than the fronts.
We will also be able to put the scales on the platforms, with the stands on top of the scales. We can then corner weight the car when we start using coil over dampers. Having easy access to the springs and suspension will make alignments a breeze, either at the shop, or at the track.
For more info contact Gene at:
Bird Manufacturing & Design
51 Station Street
Johnstown, PA 15905