NC Alignment System
RaceStrings has collaborated with Iron Canyon Motorsports to create a new Alignment System for the 2006 to 2015 MX5 Mazda Miata’s.
This alignment system is designed specifically for the NC Mazda MX5 unlike the one size fits all devices that have been around for many years. The precise fit and 'right sizing' make performing race quality alignments faster, more repeatable. more efficient, and more accurate, than a one size fits all system.
The concept behind the system is simple - create a reference box around the car allowing precise measurements and adjustments to be made to each wheel to ensure that all four wheels are pointing in the same direction.
This cannot be done with alignment tools like toe plates that only work on one axle at a time. We use string to form the reference box rather than lasers for several reasons. String visibility is not affected by ambient light. The diameter of the string is consistent along its entire length, light disperses. Lasers can be a safety hazard, string are not.
Design goals included the following criteria:
- Create a system that allows the user to perform professional quality race alignments at the track or in the shop.
- Simple to use for the end user.
- The system must be able to be set up quickly at the track or in the shop.
- The system must be compact when deployed on the car so that it is easy to make adjustments and work around the car without impacting the reference box and forcing a reset of the system.
- The car must be able to be jacked up, rolled around, or otherwise manipulated in order to work on the car, verify measurements without resetting, and make adjustments.
- Easily stored and transported.
- Durable for years of use.
The concept is simple but the implementation was challenging. Building on the successful Iron Canyon Motorsports foundation we were able to make several improvements and enhancements.
The foundation of the system are front and rear fixtures that are laser cut and CNC bent from a single piece of 3/16 5052 aluminum. The material and construction of these fixtures makes for a rigid foundation for positioning the horizontal bars that ultimately position the reference strings.
The alignment fixtures index on the centerline of the car making setup faster using existing factory pickup points. In the rear of the vehicle, the arms index the factory unibody so it is centered on the car every time without any need to adjust them side to side.
The front fixture can either hang on the bumper cover or you can purchase the optional stud kit which replaces (2) of the factory M6x1 bolts that hold the bumper cover in place with a stud and nut. The stud/nut combo secures the front bumper cover the same way the bolts did, but leaves a 1/2 inch of stud exposed that allows you to simply place the front fixture over the studs to center it on the car. The optional stud kit comes with wing nuts, so you can secure it even further if you wish by installing the wing nuts.
The horizontal bars are made from solid aluminum bar stock in 3 pieces. The middle piece has female threaded holes on each end and has a machined groove in the center that is a reference point to the corresponding vertical alignment marks on the fixture.
The 2 end pieces have male threads on one end and have string grooves every 1/2” indexed on the other end to allow precise positioning of the reference strings. Keep in mind that the closer the string is to the wheel face the smaller the possibility of measurement error. Multiple locating grooves allow for compensation for wheelsize, offset, and different track widths. This feature is unique to the RaceStrings system.
Each front and rear fixture has alignment marks on a placard that helps facilitate faster and more accurate setup. On each end of the fixture where the bars live there are 28 vertical marks as reference points and in the center of the fixture there are 5 horizontal marks as reference points for the centerline of the fixture/car.
- 3/16" 5052 Aluminum construction.
- Solid 3 piece bars that thread together like a pool cue.
- Fixtures index on true centerline of car every time regardless of bumper damage.
- Holes for additional bar clamps in case you want to break down the bars for transportation or storage. If you install the optional bar clamps and break down the bars into 3 pieces, then you can store the bars on the fixture making them easier to transport or store in the trailer.
- Hole in the center of the fixture to add a bolt on rubber bumper to protect the paint. Another option would be to stick some soft side of velcro to the fixture.
- 5 center line horizontal alignment marks on each fixture
- 28 vertical alignment marks on each end of each fixture
- Optional 2 bar setup to keep the left side of the car and right side of the car independent from one another. With the single bar setup if you make a vertical adjustment to the right side of the car then it effects the left side so you have to keep going around the car and adjusting until both sides are where you want them. The 2 bar option eliminates the need to keep going around the car and simply set one side height and then the other.
The alignment system comes with the following:
(1) Front Fixture
(1) Rear Fixture
(4) Bar Clips, bolts and wing nuts
(6) bar pieces to make 2 complete bars.
(2) 16 ft Lengths of yellow high visibility string.
(2) Stainless steel rulers
- 2 M6x1 studs
- 2 M6 locknuts
- 2 M6 wing nuts
- 8 bar clamps
- 8 bolts
- 8 wingnuts
2 Piece Bar Kit
- 4 11.6" short bars with female threads on one end.
- 4 bar clamps
- 4 bolts
- 4 wing nuts
- 2 Aluminum string reels
- 2 O-rings
- 2 indexing pins to index the string reel to the fixture.
Optional String Reel Description
This string reel allows you to wind up your alignment system string quickly and easily. Made from Aluminum they were designed to be large enough diameter to not have to do 100's of revolutions to wind it up and also heavy enough to also be used as the counterweight.
Hook the O-ring end of the string to the bar on one end of the car and then use the quick disconnect pin as a handle to quickly release all of the string as you walk to the front of the car. Simply drop the reel over the bar and it will keep your string taught.
Once you are ready to wind it back up, you can hold the reel by the pin and then just spin the reel and the line will wind itself back around the reel or there is a hole around the perimeter that you can put a pen or bolt in to act as a handle to reel it in.
IMPORTANT - Superficial scratches
Working with aluminum plate material will inevitably put some marks, scratches and surface imperfections on the parts. All versions of these fixtures will experience some surface blemishes that have no impact on the performance of the product. We do not accept returns on race products, so carefully look at all the pictures on the site and understand that there will be minor surface imperfections that will not impact the usability or accuracy of the alignment fixture.
For those concerned about the surface finish, you could DA the fixtures and then have them hard anodized.