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Author Topic: Visit to Wheels in Motion Chesham- Full Geometry Set up  (Read 562 times)

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GrahamK

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Visit to Wheels in Motion Chesham- Full Geometry Set up
« on: 15 September 2021, 13:22:04 »

I finally managed to get the Mig down to WIM in Chesham for the full monty and I thought other members might be interested in the experience and thoughts following the work. I also think it might be helpful to give an update on personnel there and likely costs. Finally, did I think it was worth the 105 + VAT that I paid.

A bit of background first. I've had my current Omega (my third) for getting on for two years with the intention of running it as a modern classic. It drove rather sloppily when I first got it and I know that whilst not being a sports car, a well sorted one drives very well.
During my ownership I've done the usual recommended things on here for returning it to something like how a new car drives.
New springs and dampers all round, (Sachs/Monroe)(renewed strut bump stops, bearings and dust shields, new poly-bushed front wishbones, used and re-furbished 17" Elite wheels with new rubber. (Avons) renewed rear doughnuts (which I was dreading but was actually quite easy)   New discs and pads all round. I also flushed the brake fluid. I did buy a set of rear handbrake shoes, but the originals fitted by Vauxhall were so barely worn, I left them in.  I also did the front drop links and changed the front and rear track control arms. These were not particularly worn on my car but were seized solid. I figured if they should fail following a full geometry, it would be rather annoying. 
Arrived at WIM and met Joe who does the twiddly stuff on their Hunter rig. His predecessor Tony, often mentioned on here has now retired. Joe seemed knowledgeable and finished the job in just under an hour. He gave me an estimate when i booked of a maximum of 139 +VAT depending on what needed adjustment. They now charge on a per adjustment basis. I though this seemed a bit expensive, but decided to give it a go. They do not offer an OOF discount. I was interested to hear that they only do a couple of Omega's a year now.
Once connected up to the machine and the first readings were displayed, Joe said this must have been a bit lively on the way down! there was a lot of RED. Obviously I had tried to replace all the relevant items as carefully as I could to avoid changing settings, but It isn't an exact science.
Now on to the verdict, which is I would absolutely recommend this service. It really is a night and day difference. How so? On the way down to Chesham the car was driving OK. Tended to tramline a little bit, bump steer quite noticeable and I have found driving with one hand on the wheel and the elbow on the armrest was a little uncertain. One thing I didn't appreciate until after the work was the steering would load up and unload, depending on the steering angle selected. This was fairly subtle, but once it disappeared  it made a huge difference to how smooth the car turned and tracked. The tramlining and bump steer has totally disappeared. Vehicle positioning entering and exciting roundabouts and the like suddenly feels far more precise.

As a final comment, I thought about what changes during my ownership has reaped the most noticeable benefits.
I would say that for my car: -

1. WIM set up
2. Rear Do-nuts
3. Front Wishbones
4. 17" wheels and new rubber (no self levelling)

Of course the new springs and dampers made a big difference, but the better location of the front and rear suspension following the wishbones/do-nuts was a biggie.

Regards,

Graham.
« Last Edit: 15 September 2021, 13:27:54 by GrahamK »
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Jimbob

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Re: Visit to Wheels in Motion Chesham- Full Geometry Set up
« Reply #1 on: 15 September 2021, 13:27:32 »

Good to know that even in Tony's absence things are still good there.
I was very pleased with the results for my few trips there.

For those who know or met Tony, He is currently having a very bad run health wise.

GrahamK

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Re: Visit to Wheels in Motion Chesham- Full Geometry Set up
« Reply #2 on: 15 September 2021, 14:00:26 »

Hi,
Yes, very good.
Didn't know about Tony's situation. Sorry to hear that.
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Re: Visit to Wheels in Motion Chesham- Full Geometry Set up
« Reply #3 on: 15 September 2021, 14:32:01 »

I have done very similar to my Omega and it really is a lovely thing to drive.
They are worth spending some time / money on to get right because they reward the effort.  :y
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Re: Visit to Wheels in Motion Chesham- Full Geometry Set up
« Reply #4 on: 15 September 2021, 14:52:31 »

I have done very similar to my Omega and it really is a lovely thing to drive.
They are worth spending some time / money on to get right because they reward the effort.  :y
100%

People are reluctant to put the effort in because they cannot see how it could possibly make such a difference... It's a big sloppy Barge after all  ::)

If you want to justify the cost of a decent alignment, then you should consider that the savings in tyre wear will outweigh this. The way it transforms the car in how it drives is a massive bonus, even if you don't use the chassis to its potential, you will appreciate how much easier and nicer it is because you're no longer fighting it.

I am glad that you bit the bullet and understand/appreciate the significant improvement to the car, and have taken the time to report back. Hopefully other owners will read your comments and take them on board as the supposed lacklustre handling is one of the main reasons why the Omega has always been so underrated.  :y
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johnnydog

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Re: Visit to Wheels in Motion Chesham- Full Geometry Set up
« Reply #5 on: 15 September 2021, 15:13:14 »

Just one question Graham - did they use the recommended settings given on here (which I believe they also are aware of) relative to caster / camber/ toe etc, or did they just go off the red and green displays on the Hunter? It's just that I am proposing to use one of their agents in the North West, as Chesham us a fair way to go for me.
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Nick W

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Re: Visit to Wheels in Motion Chesham- Full Geometry Set up
« Reply #6 on: 15 September 2021, 15:46:07 »

Just one question Graham - did they use the recommended settings given on here (which I believe they also are aware of) relative to caster / camber/ toe etc, or did they just go off the red and green displays on the Hunter? It's just that I am proposing to use one of their agents in the North West, as Chesham us a fair way to go for me.


The settings recommended here were WIM's in the first place.
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GrahamK

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Re: Visit to Wheels in Motion Chesham- Full Geometry Set up
« Reply #7 on: 15 September 2021, 15:55:37 »

Hi Johnny,
Yes, good question. Before i booked I had a chat with Joe about what they do and he repeated a lot of the comments I'd first read here about a modified set-up. what he said was in essence, it's not the target settings that are the problem, but the allowed tolerance. They have tightened this in one or two areas and he said they have found this improves the resistance to front edge feathering.
I was particularly keen to ensure I was getting a premium service before booking as I have a decent journey too, I'm in Shropshire. As a bit of a test, i asked him does he adjust the front castor by slightly re-positioning the front subframe to suit. I understand that although not directly adjustable, castor can be optimised this way. He simply answered that though this was possible they have found that once the other adjustments have been made, the castor usually drops straight back on the nose. That was precisely what happened with my car. i was impressed and with the waiting room right next to the Hunter rig, I could watch how he carefully got the figures to be correct. He did not just get them in the green. That was what I was looking for.
Having said that, I would be pleased to hear how you get on the NW, that would be a lot closer to me too. Although i hope I won't have to do it again for a while.
regards,
Graham.
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Re: Visit to Wheels in Motion Chesham- Full Geometry Set up
« Reply #8 on: 15 September 2021, 16:02:59 »

Nigel Langs in Bolton were good too, and used the same settings, but been some years and I think there were some ownership changes so unsure if recommendation is current

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Re: Visit to Wheels in Motion Chesham- Full Geometry Set up
« Reply #9 on: 15 September 2021, 16:09:39 »

Difficult to do but I think folks would be staggered if they could compare a typical 100K miles saggy Omega with a newly fettled one.
As the work takes time and the improvements incremental, it is difficult to fully appreciate just how much has changed.
I'm certainly not disappointed.
Thanks for all the positive comments.
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Nick W

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Re: Visit to Wheels in Motion Chesham- Full Geometry Set up
« Reply #10 on: 15 September 2021, 19:07:27 »

Difficult to do but I think folks would be staggered if they could compare a typical 100K miles saggy Omega with a newly fettled one.
As the work takes time and the improvements incremental, it is difficult to fully appreciate just how much has changed.
I'm certainly not disappointed.
Thanks for all the positive comments.


Those are the same people that will only replace one part, and not pay the 100(the last one I had done was 69) for a good alignment.


Getting everything right - front camber and the rear drive axis in particular - can transform a car that drives OK into one that is excellent.


I've never felt the need to drive 100 miles to WIM for this, when I can get it done 2 miles away for less. All that's required is someone who will listen to what you want and can do the detail work to achieve that.
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Re: Visit to Wheels in Motion Chesham- Full Geometry Set up
« Reply #11 on: 15 September 2021, 20:22:15 »

Thanks for your positive comments and opinion Graham on the work you have had done. Nigel Langs have been talked about for geo set ups in the North West previously, so are definately worth sounding out beforehand to see if their opinions are same as they were in the past under previous ownership. Glad your car has been transformed.
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Re: Visit to Wheels in Motion Chesham- Full Geometry Set up
« Reply #12 on: 16 September 2021, 17:23:23 »

Yes agreed with the comments posted on here, having had seven Omegas (Still have three but that will be two by November) they have all gone through suspension / chassis rebuilds and upgrades followed by setups by WIM. It's amazing how much you can transform an Omega and the correct alignment is essential to achieve that. I have always just slowly accumulated all the required parts as offers and deals present themselves and then got the whole lot done in one go so you only need the alignment to be done once.
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Re: Visit to Wheels in Motion Chesham- Full Geometry Set up
« Reply #13 on: 16 September 2021, 17:27:22 »

It's the only approach that works :y

There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle, so the cost adds up especially if you inevitably aso need tyres, which is why there's no such thing as a cheap Omega when you buy one...
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GrahamK

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Re: Visit to Wheels in Motion Chesham- Full Geometry Set up
« Reply #14 on: 16 September 2021, 17:48:54 »

I have to say that since I only paid 450 for the car, close on 2 years ago it does take a bit of a leap to decide to commit the money to try and do this properly. Before i spent any money I got a new MOT for it at my local friendly garage who allowed me to have a bit of a look underneath. I didn't want to make a start on all of the above if it was rotten under the underseal. Fortunately it looks fairly good. The sill ends into the arch look like they may need a bit of work at some point and I will get on to that fairly soon.
I like the idea of preserving a car. It's my third Omega and I've always liked them so why not. I thought if I didn't grab one soon it might become increasingly difficult to find one in half decent condition.
Even in the last two years, I think prices have been firming up noticeably. Not that I'm doing this for the money obviously.
regards,

Graham.
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