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Background:

Since buying our insight, we have battled what I would term "marginal stability". I often say that driving this car is like trying to fly an arrow backwards...it wants to go any direction but straight. It always seemed like the steering was balanced on a knife edge and any slight deviation in the road would send the car dodging right or left. (great for a race car, but not for 700 mile cross country journeys!) The problem would get worse (to the point of being nearly dangerous) with poor (rutted) roads or cross winds.

After reading the forums and others posts, I assumed that the issue was "just the way the car handles"...a result of light weight, small LRR tires, and other factors for ultimate mileage.

Recently a co-worker was inspired by my tales of fuel efficiency and purchased an insight for himself. He test-drove mine and after purchasing his (02 CVT) remarked "You gotta drive mine...it handles so much better" After barely a mile behind the wheel, I could tell that there was a substantial difference...his car actually felt like it wanted to track straight and took a slight nudge of the wheel to make it veer right or left.

I suspected the main issue may be with the toe-in setting of the front wheels as others had mentioned. But I also decided that even if it cost a few mpg, the increase in stability and safety, reduction in my hear rate, and being able to get blood to flow back to my white knuckles would be worth it.

Solution:

I popped open the hood, loosened the nuts on the tie rod turn-buckles, and gave each one half of a turn to lengthen the tie rod...effectively giving the car a slight amount of toe in. The difference was immediate and astonishing...the car felt MUCH better on the road. It seemed to substantially reduce the effect of ruts and cross winds. Although not totally eliminated, they are reduced to tollerable levels.

I would eventually like to get the car on an allignment rack to see what the toe setting is now...I guess it is possible that it had a slight toe-out condition before the adjustment.

Anyway, if your insight seems to have poor stability, definitely look at the allignment...have it checked out professionally, or try this free adjustment and see if it helps...you can always mark the nuts so you can return the adjustment to stock if it doesn't help or seems to scrub too much mileage.

Also - for the careful reader, all these adjustments were made before the tires were changed as listed in my other post.
 

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Hi Corey and WB :!:

I was fortunate enough to "help" during my recent alignment check. Given the double ended thread of the adjusters I'd say that 1/2 turn each has pushed toe well beyond spec. And that with such a huge amount you may have rapid outside edge tire wear.
Of course if you were toed-out the wrong amount then this correction _could_ put you spot on.
If this turns out to be the case its your lucky day :!: Rush out and buy the winning power ball ticket too :!: (and don't forget to share with the one that helped you win ;) :p )

I tried that same "self" adjustment after replacing my steering wheel last Christmas (S2000 factory leather stitched ;) ) The different spline position caused the wheel to be off center. IMO the adjusters are too sensitive for even the old "tweaking" trick of turning each toe adjustment opposite to center the steering wheel. After 3 attempts (and missing the target) I didn't believe the alignment could still be in spec, and I was right.

Get the car put on a machine ASAP :!:

Also remember to "center" the tie rod end ball joint while locking down the adjusters as per the Service Manual's recommendation. (don't leave it cocked to one side and "pinching" the rubber boot seal else expect sooner than otherwise needed tie rod end replacement).

HTH! :)
 
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