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Old 02-22-2008, 09:16 AM   #11
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Ok. The tools you will need are inexpensive and readily available, if you don't have them already. The great thing is that you can't really break anything, so if something you do doesn't work like you would like, then you can do something else.

On your car, did it pull to one side or the other, before you replaced the tie rods? If it didn't pull before, then you will just have to get the toe in set correctly and it should track straight.

On your wife's car, if it's wearing evenly on both of the inside edges, then their is a very high likihood that the toe alignment on her car is off.

I will have to find some tool to draw a picture of the tool's and how to build them, so I will have to post that back, as soon as I can get to it. Hopefully, sometime today.

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Old 02-22-2008, 11:31 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gary Palmer View Post
On your wife's car, if it's wearing evenly on both of the inside edges, then their is a very high likihood that the toe alignment on her car is off.
agreed. this is a toe issue. I've seen (modded) cars with enough camber to lift the outer edge of the tire from the ground that didn't wear like that. camber will wear the tire to the same angle as the camber. one of my previous cars (1985-88 toyota cressida, suspension borrowed from 1982-86 celica-supra MKII, which the suspension was designed by lotus) shad a very ingenious rear suspension that articulated in such a way that you gained about 2-3 degrees of oversteer without slipping. this results in a VERY stable cornering ability stock BUT the downside is that if you articulate BOTH sides (like loading 600lbs in the car with blown shocks) both sides toe out several degrees (it's visible and obvious) and I put a few k miles cross country like that on already nearly bald tires and the inner 1.5" was worn at a 45* angle and the rest of the tire was perfectly fine. (new tires) new shocks and no weight and it works like a dream.

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Old 02-22-2008, 02:45 PM   #13
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Front End Alignment Tool's and Instructions

I am going to try to be brief. I have attached a couple of PDF files which show the items I am going to describe and explain how to use.

1. You need to find a piece of ground or driveway which is relatively flat. You can use a regular leveling tool, like you would use for a house construction, with a bubble. I have a very uneven driveway, but if I put the hood up, I can use the camber tool and the level, to make sure the car is level.

2. Their are three tools you need to make. I used 1 1/2 inch pvc pipe, pipe elbows and pipe tees.
a. The camber tool is just a U shaped made from 3 pieces of pvc and 2 elbows. The distance from the outside of the top of the U, to the outside top of the other side of the U should be 1 inch greater than your wheel diameter. So, if you have 13 inch rims, this distance should be 14 inches. You need to make the uprights the same distance, so if you turn the U upside down, put it on a level surface, the bottom of the U should be parallel to the surface.
b. The other two tools are basically the same, but you need 2 of them to do the toe in measurement. The straight pieces are all cut from the 1 1/2 inch stock. The length of the long leg should be the width of your car, approximately. The length of the two shorter legs should be exactly the same. The distance between the two shorter legs should be 1 inch greater than the wheel diameter, just like for the camber tool.

3. After you have the car level, you can use the camber tool and the construction level to check to see if the front wheels are perfectly vertical. The two top pieces go against the lip on the edge of the wheel rims, for measurements.
If they are, or they are pretty close, I would leave them alone, unless you have some pulling or something. Typically, the only time I have had to make this adjustment is after I have replaced the front struts. The rest of the time, if these are set right, they seem to stay right.

4. Once you have checked the camber, then you can do the toe in. This is easiest to do, with a couple of people to help.
You take one of the tools, have a person hold it with the two short pieces against the wheel rim, on one side of the car, with the long piece in front of the wheels.
You take the second tool and have a second person hold it in a similar fashion, on the other wheel, on the other side of the car.
The long pieces will overlap. Take a piece of tape and mark where the end of one of the long pieces is, on the other long piece of pipe.
Have the two people change their tool around, so that the long part is behind the front wheels, under the car.
Check where the end of the long piece you marked is, relative to the tape. You want to have it so that it's about 1/8 to 3/16 of an inch short of the tape mark when you measured the front.
5. If you have to adjust the toe in, you will need to figure out which side to extend or which to shorten. This depends on how straight the steering wheel is, which direction it is turned when your driving down a straight road, whether you need to add or subtract toe in and whether the steering tie rods are in front of the axle line, or behind the axle line.
For now, this is a additional level of difficulty which it is not essential to know, or fiddle with, unless you wish to.
Once you get the camber and toe in set properly, you should give the car a road test to see if you are getting much or any pulling. Typically cars are set up to have just a small amount of pull to the right, but then some are adjusted for the crown in the road, which requires a small amount of pull to the left. Ultimately, what you want to have it do, largely is steer straight, without undue pulling, but if push comes to shove, the car may eventually pull off to the side of the road, instead of into oncoming traffic.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Camber Alignment Tool.pdf (13.8 KB, 39 views)
File Type: pdf Front End Toe Alignment Tool.pdf (11.4 KB, 34 views)
File Type: doc Front End Alignment Instructions.doc (69.5 KB, 23 views)
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:53 PM   #14
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Gary- thanks! Great description and great diagrams. I'll have time next weekend to check the alignment- especially the toe.

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