Alignment shops?

nelsond003

Donny Nelson
Member
I did my 4 wheel alignment in my garage, I am sure im 90% there, but would like a shop to get me dialed in the rest of the way. Any suggestions in the NOVA area?
 

bmackrell

Bill MacKrell
Member
I just had my MK I aligned at Auto Stop Elite in Sterling. The owner Ben Bradley was great to work with. After I changed out the entire suspension, new wheels & tires I needed it. I also had my new Nittos road force balanced by him. After having NTB mount and balance my new tires something different feel right. I was concerned that NTB did a crappy job balancing the tires so I had Ben check. Two of them were way off.

Give him a call at (571) 313-1122. Web: https://autostopelite.com/ He's a real motorsports guy who understands performance and has a nice shop. I've been looking around this area for a while and I was happy to find him. He was recommended by a master mechanic I know who works at Audi HQ.

Good Luck,

BillMac
 

Scott Harrison

"Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional"
Staff member
Contributing Member
Member
Bill,
Thanks for the referral. It's always difficult to find honest and reliable auto shops.
You should also post that in the "local resources" for future reference.

What did you do to the suspension? As I recall it was pretty decent with tubular uppers, Coil overs and Cobra Brakes.DSC00026s.jpg6_G.jpg
 

bmackrell

Bill MacKrell
Member
Will do on the local resources page.

When I got the car I didn't feel like it was handling very well (as compared to ??) so I created a long check list of possible upgrades. Given the fact the car was 20 years old I figured some parts would need a refresh. As you know one thing leads to another.

First of all the tires were old and hard so they had to go. The wheels were the old 5 spoke chrome cobra wheels and I figured it was time for a refresh. I went with the FFR Halibrand replicas and a set of Nittos 555 G2s.

Next the shocks were original so I replaced them with the appropriate modern Koni set. I'm still messing with the settings on the rebound as I found it hard to tell where I was actually setting them. The adjustment detents were hard to discern and not as simple as the instructions I found on the Koni site. I did add some Eibach helper springs on the back. When I lifted the car the springs would sometimes unseat and become crooked in the unit.

The car already had a 3-link suspension installed so I replaced the original FFR rear fixed lower control arms with the adjustable ones from Breeze automotive. Those are really nice!

On the front, the lower control arms were from the original donor Mustang and although they were painted to match the car they were just heavy stamped OEMs. I replaced them with the FFR tubular lower control arms. The front upper control arms were OK but I replaced them with the new FFR version which seemed more adjustable.

All that done we set the ride height and eyeballed a basic alignment on my 4-post lift. I'd been searching for a local shop who could work on something like this but hadn't found any. One of my mechanic friends mentioned Auto Stop Elite so I called over and talked with the owner. He was great and said he had no issues tackling an alignment.

I left the brakes alone for now as they seem to work pretty well. I put some new pads on while I was at it.

Regards,

BillMac
 

Scott Harrison

"Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional"
Staff member
Contributing Member
Member
I agree with all your upgrades. Tires, wheels were a must. Front LCAs and adjustable uppers will make alignment easier.
Glad to see the Cobra is in good hands. I think I installed the 3 link. I have numerous photos of the car in my garage.
 

bmackrell

Bill MacKrell
Member
Well I'm glad I found this car. I appreciate all the work other have done on it. All it need was a little elbow grease and some $$$.

I've spoken with the original builder who I found on Facebook (the wonders of Social Media) and he filled in a lot of the blanks on the car's history and what donor parts were used.
 

nelsond003

Donny Nelson
Member
I just had my MK I aligned at Auto Stop Elite in Sterling. The owner Ben Bradley was great to work with. After I changed out the entire suspension, new wheels & tires I needed it. I also had my new Nittos road force balanced by him. After having NTB mount and balance my new tires something different feel right. I was concerned that NTB did a crappy job balancing the tires so I had Ben check. Two of them were way off.

Give him a call at (571) 313-1122. Web: https://autostopelite.com/ He's a real motorsports guy who understands performance and has a nice shop. I've been looking around this area for a while and I was happy to find him. He was recommended by a master mechanic I know who works at Audi HQ.

Good Luck,

BillMac
Thanks brother. My car is there now. A little pricy at $350 but you get what you pay for I guess.
 

bmackrell

Bill MacKrell
Member
yeah, I was going to mention that they aren't a discount shop but they do great work. One of my buddies has his 89 IROC-Z there right now for a problem that couldn't be resolved by several shops in Winchester.
 

nelsond003

Donny Nelson
Member
good guys, they said they dialed it in right. I couldn't tell from driving it whether it was off or not. Truth be told, I liked how it drove before spending the $350, but I'm sure my tires appreciate being aligned much better.
 

Scott Harrison

"Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional"
Staff member
Contributing Member
Member
good guys, they said they dialed it in right. I couldn't tell from driving it whether it was off or not. Truth be told, I liked how it drove before spending the $350, but I'm sure my tires appreciate being aligned much better.
They should have provided you with a printout showing before and after alignment specs.
 

bmackrell

Bill MacKrell
Member
When I did mine I noticed a pretty big difference right away but it might be your rough alignment was closer than mine.
 

Scott Harrison

"Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional"
Staff member
Contributing Member
Member
Donny, if you care to share, I'd like to see the before and after.
 
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