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Dear Ralph, My MXZ 440 likes to dart on hard pack and freshly groomed trails. I have the camber currently set to zero and...

Dear Ralph,
My MXZ 440 likes to dart on hard pack and freshly groomed trails. I have the camber currently set to zero and the toe out to 1/8″. Should the toe out setting be set with the skis on the ground or in the air (when I do it with the skis in the air and put it back on the ground the toe out is 3/4″)? Should I push down on the front and let rebound? Will the negative camber help the darting problem? Should it be set closer to 1 or 3 degrees? It seems like a wide range when the manual says zero +- 1/2 degrees.

Keith Russotto

I’m going to assume that this is a equal length radius rod front suspension (not a Zx). The ski alignment should be performed with the sled on the ground, not in the air, and there should be no need to push on the front end or anything fancy. The camber should be set at 0 degrees, although it could be slightly negative. The more negative you go with the camber, the more likely that it will dart. Be sure to set the camber first, then the alignment. I would also check for loose ball joints, bellcrank, and spindle bushings. The spindles themselves are pretty cheesey, and the bushings fit poorly so there can be excessive slop there too. If any of these are loose, the skis alignment could be all over the place as you’re motoring down the trail. It sounds like your adjustments are where they’re supposed to be, so let’s look at the more obvious and simple items. Are the wear bars straight? You could be fighting nothing more than the agressive bottom profile of the skis, which really carve through the corners but will dart a bit on straight line running. Try reducing the ski pressure (soften the ski shock springs, lengthen the limiter strap) or try installing a set of less agressive skis, or even less agressive wear bars.

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