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    Re: Front end alignment

    That's a quick way I measure toe but what about caster and camber?



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    Re: Front end alignment

    That get more technical and run the string measuring the top and bottom. A set of ramps makes it easier to get under and make measurements and you can use a level as long as your on a level surface. There's lots of different ways to deal with lots of different cars. Once you get to see the concept it all comes together. Most garage floors are level. Need to check but most are close enough to even use a square to check C&C.




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    Re: Front end alignment

    Years ago I worked with a guy that built racecar frame rail on a gig and taped out reference points taped out on the floor of his shop. It all works of centerline. That what measured on the left must measure on the right or it was just wrong. Now C&C adjustment really don't play much in a daily driver. But in a track car it is a must be right for the pitch to be right to enter and exit every corner or the tires will run out before the end of the race.




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    Re: Front end alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Bomber Z View Post
    Years ago I worked with a guy that built racecar frame rail on a gig and taped out reference points taped out on the floor of his shop. It all works of centerline. That what measured on the left must measure on the right or it was just wrong. Now C&C adjustment really don't play much in a daily driver. But in a track car it is a must be right for the pitch to be right to enter and exit every corner or the tires will run out before the end of the race.
    I used to build dirt track cars. Been thinking about getting back into it. I think there are a couple of pics in the Random Picture thread.



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    Re: Front end alignment

    I do the toe by eye. Centre the steering wheel. Crouch down in front of the car and visually line up the front tire with the rear. The edges should go to the outside of the rear slightly. That way you will have a bit of toe in. Every time you make an adjustment to one side you have to re centre the steering wheel before visually checking again. You could put a straight edge up to the wheel or tire also to help see the line. It doesn't have to be perfect. As long as you have a bit of toe in. Take for a quick drive to see if the wheel is straight and if it's out a bit just take a bit of adjustment out of one side or the other. Whatever side is going to get you closer to perfect. I've been dropping cars and aligning like this for years and it does take a bit of practise because part of it is done by feel(the drive). For camber I just use a level.




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    Re: Front end alignment

    Love dirt track to. Hell I love just about any racing. If I had the backing I would be in any race I can. I spend more time fixing things now then braking them. It is more fun braking stuff. I need to have my garage that I can fit everything into. Like a lift and all my other tool. Right now my garage is to small and using a back room for my car audio stuff and it is a PITA to do my audio stuff out front going back and forth. Hopefully this will change in the next year. It is all possible so I will be doing what I can to make it happen. Hopefully we all have some good change in this country soon.




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    Re: Front end alignment

    Around $35-55. 4 wheel should be $55 if it's a sedan. Not sure about trucks. You can always compare and contrast afterward by rolling through a dealership's 'greeting service' bay for a quick check to see if you're aligned. Play it off like your car has many problems.




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    Re: Front end alignment

    There's no way you can do a good wheel alignment by hand. If it comes out right, it will be purely accidental. You can't just eye things up. If that were true, I would never have bought a 50k alignment machine, and a matching lift. Here's a few problems you may run into.

    You must first do a runout compensation. Without that, all your measurements will be off. If you set tow and are off by just a few mm's, your tires will wear out a lot faster than normal. Then there's camber. Like toe, you can't just eye it up with no runout.

    Alignment adjustments are not isolated. When you make a change to one angle, the others change as well. If you change caster, camber or sai, toe moves a lot. The amounts vary from vehicle to vehicle, but on some cars you have to adjust caster, camber and tow at the same time. Without some type of machine, its impossible. But you can't even get that far without doing a caster sweep. Caster sweep is necessary to get caster, sai, included angle, toe out on turns and sometimes camber. So, just to be clear, if you do a string and board job to adjust toe, at the very least, you changed camber as well. I almost forgot, in order to do a caster sweep, you need to have the front tires on slip plates. If not, you'll have too much friction to do an accurate caster sweep. Also, slip plates have marks that are used to measure how many degrees you are turning the wheel. You need those readings as well.

    Its good practice to have heads on the rear wheels, as well. Even if you have a solid rear axl. The rear heads allow you to measure thrust angle. You need to know where your rear wheels are pointed in order to get a straight steering wheel. Technically, having a straight steering wheel is cosmetic, and its not part of an alignment, but if you give a car back to someone with an off center steering wheel, they usually flip out.

    I know that I'm new to this website, and no one knows me, but I've been doing wheel alignments since I was 14, and I was a wheel alignment instructor for over 10 years. I've owned or used every machine on the market. If anyone is going to have an alignment done, post and I'll be happy to tell you what adjustments are on your car. if you're watching the mechanic, I can list every step he needs to take, in order to do a good job. And you should watch while its being done. If a car comes in with a straight steering wheel, there's no way to tell if it was even done. The before and after printouts they give you can be faked in a matter of seconds. I could put your car on the rack, and instead of taking the time to do the job, I could fool with the heads and put everything in the green, and hit the print button. I can say, at the very least, 75% of all mechanics do this on an daily basis.




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    Re: Front end alignment

    Race car builders have been doing alignments spot on by eye for ever.




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    Re: Front end alignment

    @adulbrich , must be thread ressurection day.



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    Re: Front end alignment

    Must be.

    I didn't get the memo



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    Re: Front end alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by Bomber Z View Post
    Race car builders have been doing alignments spot on by eye for ever.
    I guess they're OK with 2nd place.




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    Re: Front end alignment

    ****...wish I can pay 39 bucks to get an alignment done. Here in WA, must be more because around here, it's 70-100 bucks tops. Gotta get the Jetta aligned so I'm interested in this as well.



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    Re: Front end alignment

    "Gotta get the Jetta aligned so I'm interested in this as well."

    The answer is simple. Take it to a place that will do it right, and pay them whatever they get. If you can't do that, then just don't do it. If you're off just a little bit, it won't take long to ruin your tires. You can listen to the mouth wrenchers with they're strings, eyeball's and all the rest of it. I'm sure they mean well, but they talk out of ignorance. The adjustments are too fine to do by eye. Like I said in my first post, if you can't do a run out compensation on the heads, and perform a caster sweep, you can't line the car. Its not debatable. Also, no one has mentioned alignment specs. You need the specs from the auto maker to know your cars requirements. You can't just set toe to 0 on every car. Different specs for different cars.




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    Re: Front end alignment

    Quote Originally Posted by sfall View Post
    "Gotta get the Jetta aligned so I'm interested in this as well."

    The answer is simple. Take it to a place that will do it right, and pay them whatever they get. If you can't do that, then just don't do it. If you're off just a little bit, it won't take long to ruin your tires. You can listen to the mouth wrenchers with they're strings, eyeball's and all the rest of it. I'm sure they mean well, but they talk out of ignorance. The adjustments are too fine to do by eye. Like I said in my first post, if you can't do a run out compensation on the heads, and perform a caster sweep, you can't line the car. Its not debatable. Also, no one has mentioned alignment specs. You need the specs from the auto maker to know your cars requirements. You can't just set toe to 0 on every car. Different specs for different cars.
    Dude shut the 'f' up bro.

    "Take it to a place that will do it right and pay them whatever they want" makes you sound like a complete D-Bag




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