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Old 11-22-2004, 01:57 AM   #1
Scooby Guru
Member#: 25243
Join Date: Sep 2002
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: South Pasadena, CA
2006 Legacy Outback

Default Cheap alignment tool here

Link to Inexpensive Sears Laser Range Finder

This might be a relatively inexpensive Laser Range Finder alternative to my expensive Leica Disto ($350 to $500+) Laser Range Finder that I use to make fast TOE measurements. I use my range finder to measure the distance between the front and rear of boards (2' shelf boards) leaning up against the outside of my tires/wheels. The difference between the front and rear measurements is ones toe in/out. You can then adjust your toe using your steering arms in front, and your lateral link adjusters in the rear.

You can also check your thrust by leaning a board against your rear tire/wheel ... holding the laser against that board ... projecting the laser pointer forward onto a board leaning against the rear of your front fender well, sticking out to the side ... and measuring the distance between the laser dot and the car body. Compare that measurement with a measurement from the other side ... and adjust your rear lateral links so that the measurements are equal ... while maintaining the rear toe that you want.
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Old 11-22-2004, 06:20 AM   #2
wrx2.0 555
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Member#: 21383
Join Date: Jul 2002
Chapter/Region: South East
2010 Trek


When you measure your toe that way, how do you know if its the right or left thats needs the adjustment?

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Old 11-22-2004, 10:40 AM   #3
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Member#: 50646
Join Date: Dec 2003
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Bothell, WA
2004 WRX STi
Java Black


I thought you adjust left or right based on getting the steering wheel straight (at least for the front, haven't done a rear alignment), and if you adjust toe too much one one side it just averages out between the two sides (i.e., caster & camber are side-specific but toe isn't)? Google also offers many sites that give ways to do alignment yourself: http://www.google.com/search?q=car+a...arch&hl=en&lr=

Last edited by srf; 11-22-2004 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 11-22-2004, 11:00 AM   #4
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Member#: 55849
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Danbury, CT
2000 Impreza 2.5RS
'97 legacy GT wagon


I've not looked at my GC steering rack yet, so I don't know if this applies. The whole steering rack assembly would have to be center on the chassis, not offest to one side, for this to work.

When we did the toe on a Formula Ford, we first centered the steering rack relative to the steering rack tube. That is, we set the steering so that the rack stuck out the same distance on either side of the rack tube. Later we would adjust the steering wheel so that it was 'straight' when the rack was centered.

Steering rack tube: I'm sure that's not the correct name for it, but it's all I can think of now.
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Old 11-22-2004, 12:27 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2003
2003 WRX


They quote 99.5% accurate, which sounds good, but doesn't that equate to something like 1/4" error in 50"?
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Old 11-23-2004, 01:24 AM   #6
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Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: South Pasadena, CA
2006 Legacy Outback


hmmm ... 1/4" accuracy wouldn't be good enough. I guess that is why my Leica Laser Range finder is $500 ...

My Laser Range Finder is only suppose to be accurate to within 3 mm (1/8th inch) ... but when ever we've checked against a steel ruler ... my laser has been within a 1/16th inch ... which has to be good enough for me. Aren't factory specs plus or minus 2mm ?

One of my buddies was going to buy the Sears device to see how good it's practical accuracy was ...
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