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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, you must take your FSVT to Custom Alignment in Mountain View. They took an already fun car with all that twitchy excitement and turned it into a completely dialed track weapon. It's $120 per front and back so expect to part with $240. You will not regret it. Oh, and if you want fast corner turn-in and stable mid-corner tracking have them dial a little negative camber into the rear. Just my .02 cents worth.
 

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umm, i hate to rain on your parade but...

240 bucks for an alignment is getting ripped off my friend. I dont care how good of a job they do, that is a ridiculous price.

Another thing i have to add, is unless you have aftermarket camber bolts/plates or rear upper camber arms, the camber on a stock focus cannot be adjusted. If you do not have these items, please go back to this business and claim some sort of compensation, cause they are just filling you with B.S.


But on a side note, a properly done alignment does completely transform your car into something else. Either way, im glad you are happy with the setup.
 

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Jetsetter
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yeah bowersdaazian is right you got had, sorry my friend

and your alignment must have been really screwed up for it to feel like a new car, cuz unless your a professional driver your not gonna feel any changes
 

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Supercharged
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The rear camber cannot be adjusted from the factory. Just backing up what bowers stated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, what a dubious bunch. Yes, I got the adjustable rear camber bolts and they were swapped out at the same time. Included in the $240.00 price was high-end wheel balancing and fitment of each wheel to the best match point on the car.

bowersdaazian - I agree $240 is a lot, but it was well worth it. Also, I would advise you to research someone's business before you publicly accuse them of 'BS-ing'. This shop came highly recommended, has a great reputation, was thoroughly researched by me, and their customer service was above anything I have ever received from similar service vendors. Moreover, the fact that the work was 'balls on' accurate on the first time made it well worth it.

focusman6297 - I appreciate that both you and bowerdazzian are simply trying to look out for me, but you sir do not know what you are talking about. You take any car off of the showroom floor (the exception being purpose-built and/or race inspired sport models), take it to a high quality suspension shop, have it dialed-in specifically for you (did I mention that they spent 30 minutes interviewing me as to my driving and handling characteristic preferences?), and you will soon find out that it makes a very, very noticeable difference.

Guys, all of this is just my .02 cents worth. I only posted this tip for those of us who may not have a lot of time to find the least cost supplier, and most importantly, wants the job done right on the first try. I do not feel ripped off. Moreover, I have referred this shop to at least six others. Two of whom have actually followed through and report similar results. And interestingly, not one of them feels ripped off either. Last note... one of them used to build and race roadracing motorcycles and the other is an ex-SCCA racer. So, experience and knowledge is not in question here either.

Hope this clarifies things.
 

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Focus "Sleeper"
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I paid $50 for both of my alignments (got aligned, next day bashed into a curb and got another lol)

You got ripped my friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cap'n Moonpie - Next time you and your ZX3 are anywhere near San Francisco, please let me know. We'll run head-to-head (you off of the bottle of course) on a 15 mile route in the Oakland Hills along Skyline. By the time we are done, you will CLEARLY comprehend and appreciate the difference between a $25 alignment and what I'm describing in this post. Until then let's just agree to disagree. Hope to see you soon.
 

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Jetsetter
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focusman6297 - I appreciate that both you and bowerdazzian are simply trying to look out for me, but you sir do not know what you are talking about.
i have no idea what im talking about? ok whatever ive PERSONALLY done alignments but yeah sure i have no idea what im talking about.

and yes i have done alignments on a car that has adjustable camber plates, with a sport suspension ect ect ect.

so next time you call someone out on not knowing what they are talking about, maybe you should know a little bit about them first.
 

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Im sorry if i came off abrasive towards the shop in question, but really you didnt mention the 240 bucks included a wheel balance and "fitment of each wheel to the best match point on the car". Im not sure what exactly that means though.

And i was not accusing them of BS unless
If you do not have these items, please go back to this business and claim some sort of compensation, cause they are just filling you with B.S.
You did post that you did have camber adjustable pieces, so there is no accusations being formed.

So how much is just the regular alignment? Did the shop give you a print-out of your current alignment specs as well as the adjusted values? I really hate to sound tough and possibly argue over this shop, but a performance alignment is something that any shop can do. Will they know more about the characteristics of a performance setup? Sure, but if you know what you want, you can do what ive done and ask a regular alignment shop to dial the toe (i dont have camber plates/arms) to precisely the specs you want.

I dont have the print out off hand, but my specs are as follows with a 1.25" dropped FRPP suspension.

Front - Right toe: .01 Left toe: .01 Both just slightly toe'd out
Front - Right camber: .53 degrees Left camber: .57 degrees Both negative obviously and since i do not have camber plates, it cannot be adjusted
Rear toe was set to the minimum factory specified amount of toe-in which is .15 degree's total
and Rear camber was something like .3 degree's of negative camber on both sides.

From what many people say, the setup i have is great for a performance based daily driver. I may get some LCR camber plates and SPC camber arms to get around 1.0-1.5 degree's of negative camber down the line.

whew, that was long winded.
 

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un1corn
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Yikes i dont know why you guys are ripping into this guy so hard...

I can't tell you how many threads i've read about people who can't get their focus to stop chewing up tires/pulling etc. We all know that belle tire/whoever does NOT do a very good job aligning cars. I've never had a car aligned properly from any of those places. And i've honestly not seen a focus that had their alignment done at those places have a very good alignment. Most of the time you can SEE that the alignment is still off. Most of the people doing the alignments at those retarded places dont even completely understand what they're doing.

So that being said. It seems like they probably spent a lot of time aligning your carproperly. If your car really is aligned properly i dont feel as if you got hosed. That's expensive and i wouldn't spend that much, but it's not a ripoff if it's done properly!
 

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Listen i am not "ripping" into this guy. Im simply trying to help people understand that a quality alignment doesnt have to cost an arm and a leg (or in the case 240 bucks).

It is very likely that he had a professional alignment done and it is exactly fitted to his needs, but i still feel like he overpaid and do not want unsuspecting customers to feel like they have to pay this much.

Ive spent my fair share of money on useless items and services, and i want people to listen and learn from others experiences so that they dont have to do the same.
 

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Im sorry if i came off abrasive towards the shop in question, but really you didnt mention the 240 bucks included a wheel balance and "fitment of each wheel to the best match point on the car". Im not sure what exactly that means though.
I'm thinking this might mean mounting the tire to the wheel so the lightest point of the wheel is aligned with the heaviest point of the tire. I forget the full name of the process, but its something I was reading the other day when I was bored while tire shopping online. But I dunno?
 

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Shot me 3 deer!!!
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I paid 69.99 for my alignment. And I was able to customize it too!!! to my exact specs!!
 

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A Focus is not going to be properly aligned unless you give them the appropriate specs. Let the shop do it and I can also assure you that you'll get something in the middle of the "green" allowable spec range which will still result in tire wear.

And tmGolden you deserved to be dumped on a little because you initial post said nothing about the services provided. 240.00 is still a lot of money for an alignment (even to custom specs) and a dynamic tire balance. High performance alignments aren't always best for the street either because they do rely on aggressive camber and toe settings which don't always equate to good tire life. Most of our members are looking for a happy middle ground as we can't afford a new set of tires every 10 to 12K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This has turned into a very interesting thread with a wide diversity of opinions expressed. Not sure how to wrap things up but I would like to offer some notes in relation to the last several comments:

(1) focusman6297 - I wasn't commenting on your personal skills, was responding to your claim, "unless your a professional driver your not gonna feel any changes". Sorry if I pissed you off. Didn't mean to; I just disagreed with your assertion.

(2) Please keep in mind that I am in the San Francisco Bay Area and prices for services here are probably higher than in many areas. In any event, I called around today and the cheapest front end only alignment I could find was $69.99. For a front AND rear alignment (and many shops said they do not do rear end alignments unless it is a four wheel drive vehicle) the cost is double at $139.98. So, I am not sure how some of you managed to find shops that would do a front AND rear end alignment for $50 (Captain Moonpie) and $69.99 (mlbbaseball)? That's just not doable in my neck of the woods.

(3) Geezer - Couldn't agree with you more and that is sort of my whole point. This is a professional custom alignment shop - not a volume services location. As such, they had the factory specs already in their computer and after interviewing me with respect to my driving preferences, they set the specifications that the tech should strive to achieve. They have also done sereral ZX3s already so they have the benefit of customer feedback that allows them to tailor their suggestions to compensate for the fact that I am not Tanner Foust or Colin McCrae and I need a general, all puspose sporty ride that doesn't wll not simply chew up tires. In fact, I am at 3,500 miles on new General UHP Exclaims and so far they are barely showing any wear at all. But, I guess the proof will lie in how the tires look at 10K. The most amazing difference with this particular setup is the car's initial turn in and mid-cornering characteristics. Turn in is increasing rate until the fully body weights itself and then steering turns absolutely neutral allowing the car to tracks precisely and aggressively though mid-corner. I have driven a few ZX3s, so I can honestly say, this appears to be a radical difference.

(4) bowersdaazian - yes the shop provided me with a printout and took the time to explain specifications, each setting's vaule (before and after), and the impact of certain settings in response to my stated preferences. If you are interested, I can scan into a PDF and post.

In closing, while I may not agree with all stated herein, I really do appreciate all of you taking the time to offer your opinions - even your focusman6297! LOL
 

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If you got a printout of your alignment numbers it would be great if you could share them with us. PS I got a custom alignment to my specific specs front and rear for $48.00 in a Denver suburb. This was for my Miata on which everything is adjustable (camber, caster, toe, etc.) They did the Focus (with camber bolts) for 38.00 with their 10.00 off coupon. Deals are out there if you hunt but I hear what you mean by bay area prices having visited there.
 

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San Fransisco is very expensive for everything , so the price is right. I wish there were shops around here with that kind of service. I had sears do my alignment for 69$ and 19$ to balance the wheels. so 19 X 4 + 69 = $145. And this is like 25 min away from San Fran.
Can anyone offer specs for a better then stock alignment?
 

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Can anyone offer specs for a better then stock alignment?
x2 My last set of tires got chewed to hell being re-aligned once a month (90 bucks for a six month warranty.....tires were wearing fine before the alignment [???:)] and the place refused to do anything but re-align it each time to "proper" specs which means in the green....NEVER GO TO TK PERFORMANCE (Tire Kingdom Performance))
 

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Hmmm, and TK is one of the installers partnered with TireRack, and they've got decent prices for mounting and balancing. Maybe I'll use them for that, and get my alignment elsewhere.
 
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