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Old 04-30-2007, 06:00 AM   #11
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Has anyone else noticed this effect with high tire pressure?
Yeah, my car is quite a handful in a crosswind with its tires at the current 38 psi vs the recommended 32. The airdam has fixed 90% of that tendency, though.
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Old 05-01-2007, 07:55 AM   #12
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If you mess up the alignment on the rear wheels your car could end up going down the road slightly sideways.
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... my car is quite a handful in a crosswind ....
Hmm... I have an idea
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:19 AM   #13
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Here's a method I worked out that seems to work pretty well. I've tested other's methods and have made up a couple different methods myself...but am always looking for improvements.

"Actually, on FWD, the tendency on hard acceleration is to toe in. RWD vehicles want to toe out on hard acceleration and high speed cruising. FWD will tend to go to neutral on high speed cruising. FWD is best set dead ahead."

Is this correct????

Do know that toe is set at a certain place to offset the expected forces at work as you drive. In other words...with a rear wheel drive vehicle...you usually use some toe-in to negate the effect of the front wheels being dragged back some by contact with the road at cruise...and end up with zero toe. With FWD...the drive wheels are pulled forward some by being powered at cruise...negating this effect...thus a zero setting? Some cars specs are there to improve driveability..not for max mpg?



Wheel alignment 101:

http://www.familycar.com/alignment.htm


How to do it:

* Before starting: You need to be sure that your wheels do not have side to side runout…or your attempts to set the toe-in will likely be off. You can check this by rotating the front wheels and watching closely for any side to side movement…or you could use a dial indicator.

* If your toe specs are given in degrees…you will have to translate this into inches at the tread. You probably wouldn’t go wrong just shooting for zero toe or a slight toe-in with most cars.


* right click to see?







This method uses a level as a straight edge and uses a square tube taped to this level to take a more accurate reading from the wheel instead of from the tire.

The laser is used to translate the reading *accurately* down to a 2x6 laying on the ground.


How to do it:

* drive the vehicle straight forward on a level gravel surface and stop it gradually.

* I place a 2x6 behind the front wheels positioned so the hanging laser will project a dot on its surface at both ends.

* I then place a mark (MARK 1) on one end of the 2x6. Then hold the level and laser setup SOLIDLY** on the wheel at hub height...using the bubble in the level to level it out. Waiting for the laser to quit moving...I align the mark on the 2x6 with the laser dot.

** the square tube needs to be uniform and straight...it needs to be placed NOT on the rims edge (most easily bent?)...but on a flat area of the wheel if possible. Each time the tube is placed on a wheel...it needs to be placed in the same way.

* Without moving the 2x6...I then move the level and laser setup to the opposite wheel and make a new mark (MARK 2).

* Then the 2x6 is moved to a similar position in front of the tire. The level and laser setup is then held on the same wheel and (MARK 2) is aligned with the laser dot.

* Without moving the 2x6...the level and laser setup is moved to the opposite wheel and MARK 3 is made where the dot is projected on the 2x6.

* Then using a dial caliper...the distance from MARK 1 to MARK 3 is carefully measured...but ONLY along the LENGTH of the 2x6...ignoring any offset side to side on the 2x6. This can be done accurately by using a carpenters square to scribe a line at each mark.

* The difference between MARK 1 and MARK 3 is your toe in or toe out.

NOTE: This is only the case IF you have the laser set up to hang down right at the tread of the tire. If it is out further than this your reading will be exaggerated some.

This method is accurate only if the laser is hung from the level in such as way that it hangs the "same" when the laser is flipped over for use on the other wheel...pivots must be free.

Marks must be made very carefully. Don't try this on a windy day.

...

Adjusting the toe:

* It’s best to have hit BOTH tie rod adjusting threads with penetrant BEFORE starting this whole process.

* The process of dialing in to the correct toe-in can be frustrating IF you don’t make very small changes relative to your previous setting. Probably best to move the adjuster by no more than 1/8 to 1/4 turn at a time…unless your toe-in is way off. Do not try to guess or set it relative to the rear tires.

Centering the steering wheel:

The steering wheel needs to be reasonably close to center in order for your turn signals to be able to cancel correctly.

* IF your steering wheel is off to one side when driving straight down a road, then you would want to try and correct for this when you adjust the toe. You do this by turning one adjuster in or out on one side…which side…depending on where the steering wheel is driving straight ahead and whether the tie rod is in front or back of the axles.


Cautions: An inexpensive laser might not be very rugged…so you’d want to treat it carefully.

Obviously…DON’T look into the laser light…and don’t point it at people.

The main points to consider in order to do it right are:

Be consistent each time you place the laser and tube on a wheel…mark exactly in the center of the laser spot…measure carefully between marks (1) and (3).

If you have hit a curb or had an accident…you’ll likely need a professional alignment…since there are many other settings involved in a complete front alignment.
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Old 10-09-2007, 05:46 AM   #14
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Or use a plumb bob

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Old 10-09-2007, 02:02 PM   #15
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skewbie, that is a good idea. have to do in in a garage on level surface in a windless area tho...
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Old 10-10-2007, 02:08 AM   #16
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so much effort.

tape measure has always worked for me
The problem with tape measures and bars is that you are only measuring maybe 1/16" or less...too easy to have too much flex in a bar or inaccuracies when you measure...not to mention the chassis being in the way.

I tried the cheapo JCWhitney bar with springs...real flimsy...but the sprung reading lever or whatever might work.

The right kind of plumb bob would work as well as a laser...if you can get the point of it near enough to the floor to make an accurate mark?

You can find a pen type laser pointer for $10...my level laser cost $12.

My neighbors think I'm crazy (they might be right) when they see me out in the driveway testing various alignment methods...over and over and over. But it still beats setting up an appointment for an alignment...by the time I factor in the gas cost to get there...time wasted waiting...charge for the job...I can afford to diddle around in the driveway some.

I seem to notice the same thing with alignments as with dentistry...if they figure out that you can't DIY...they charge a lot.
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:02 AM   #17
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"k.i.s.s."
I agree.

skewbe, zugy, how longs does it take to check the alignment with your methods?
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:31 PM   #18
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"k.i.s.s."
I agree.

skewbe, zugy, how longs does it take to check the alignment with your methods?
15 minutes? Finally have a method I can live with...I should post the last one...or maybe I did.

Problem is....how often do I do an alignment? So I need to write instructions for myself so I remember how.
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:48 PM   #19
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7 minutes: kick crap out of the way in the garage and sweep a little, roll car in.

2 minutes: futs around looking for an appropriate sized block and pencil

16 minutes: futs around looking for the plumb bob you just bought

5 minutes: drop the marks to the floor (might as well do the rears too)

1 minute: move the car out of the way

10 minutes: measure distances between every mark carefully. Interpolate between the tape marks, that's your domain there. sketch the lines and associated lengths on a piece of paper. Helper helps with tape measure.

3 minutes: Dig up your old trig book, look up the cosine law.

5 minutes: figure out all the angles

10 minutes: Scratch your head for a while because the angles don't add up. wait for reducto-ad-absurdum to resurface in your memory.

5 minutes: figure out all the angles the other way.

3 seconds: compare the angles of the front wheels for toe in.

Total time: 64:03 minutes:seconds

Note, I'm sure there are better calculators and/or web sites that will do the trig for you.
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Old 10-12-2007, 08:55 PM   #20
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Dam, that's a lot of time!
It takes me about 15 minutes to check alignment, more if I adjust it. Add ten minutes to re-check alignment each time I make a change.

I have this page saved since I can't remember trig. http://www.regentsprep.org/regents/M...rig/LtrigA.htm
HTH
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