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Old 10-11-2004, 05:00 PM   #26
fliz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhluhr
Beyond simple camber and toe adjustments, you will also find another important adjustment in the rear thrust angle. If you can imagine that both rear wheels are turned 2 degrees to the right, the toe measurement will come out 0 (since it's the difference between front and rear distance on both wheels) but the wheels are pointing right, which will cause the rear end of your car to go to the right while driving.... the result is you will be going down the road sideways (with your wheel turned slightly to the right to compensate). This wears tires and is fairly easy to diagnose and adjust from the symptoms. If you camber, caster, and toe are all correct then it's probably thrust angle.
Great info...I've often wondered how I would adjust toe at home.

You mention adjusting thrust angle, how do you measure and adjust?
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Old 10-12-2004, 02:14 PM   #27
wrx2.0 555
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fliz
Great info...I've often wondered how I would adjust toe at home.

You mention adjusting thrust angle, how do you measure and adjust?
We string the car............

Right now, we are only using four jack stands.
Stretch the strings along both sides of the car.
Pick a number, like 12", to start with.
On our WRX, the rear track width is 5mm narrower than the front. So what we measure is 12" from the front center cap to the string on both front wheels. Then measure 12 1/8" from center cap to string on both rear wheels. You then measure the total from string to string in both the front and rear. Both numbers should be identical, confirming that you have your strings parallel to the car.
Now you can measure your toe---PER WHEEL---thus allowing you to keep your thrust angle in check.
We have some slip plates made of steel, two layers with grease in between, that we drive up on. These allow the tires/wheels to move as the adjustments are taking place.
You get your toe measurements from taking measurements from the front of the wheel to the string and the measurement from the back of the wheel to the string, then doing the math to determine if that wheel is toed in or out.

Camber is done with a digital gauge mounted to a homemade bracket.

If you dont know your track width, you can just measure 12" to all four, get your totals from front and back then adjust from there.

I hope this makes sense....

We've done probably a dozen alignments this way and they turn out great.
We also have a steering wheel lock I picked up off the net for $25.00. That is a necessity, IMO, when doing toe adjustments.

Scott
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Old 10-12-2004, 05:08 PM   #28
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Quote:
On our WRX, the rear track width is 5mm narrower than the front. So what we measure is 12" from the front center cap to the string on both front wheels. Then measure 12 1/8" from center cap to string on both rear wheels. You then measure the total from string to string in both the front and rear. Both numbers should be identical, confirming that you have your strings parallel to the car.
Aargh - why didn't I think of that! I've been doing trig to compensate for the fact that my strings may not be parallel to the car, only to each other. This will make things much easier.

Plus, I love the idea of the metal plates and grease. Very cool.
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Old 10-12-2004, 09:11 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leecea
Plus, I love the idea of the metal plates and grease. Very cool.

To keep it simple, you can actually use plexiglass. I started out using 1/8" thick pieces with the grease, but if you bounce the car on it too much they will crack, but it still worked quite well. The ONLY real problem with the steel is wait. Four of these must way 60lbs.

You MUST remember, which ever way you do it, you need to put some sort of pin, screw or something in the plates to keep them from moving while you drive up on them, then remove it when you're ready...

Scott
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Old 10-13-2004, 09:30 AM   #30
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The November issue of Hot Rod magazine has an article on how to do an alignment. It includes corner weights, toe, camber, caster, and bump steer.

Actually the article is mostly how to measure these things. Check it out.
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Old 10-13-2004, 09:12 PM   #31
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A cheap steering wheel lock can be made out of one of these:



You need the reversable kind as shown on the bottom. Just wedge one side under the bottom of your wheel, and push the other end against your seat (some kind of large flat object in between your seat and the vise pad helps spread out the load)

Don't go nuts on the tightening, it doesn't take much to lock your wheel down.

-Pete
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:20 AM   #32
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As for the rear toe adjustments, I know of autoxers that actually bring ramps with them to an event, back the car up, add some rear toe out to make the car rotate at an event, then change it back so their tires don't die on the way home. I wouldn't recommend this for the faint of heart either.

Nick's alignments work quite well. The best part is you don't have some dummy with an alignment rack telling you that he couldn't adjust camber because it's not adjustable on your car or something equally as silly. Careful measurements at home will ensure long tire life and a heavier wallet.
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Old 10-19-2004, 09:58 PM   #33
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Great thread.

I think I'm going to try a few things over the weekend. I'm not happy with my current alignment.
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Old 10-24-2004, 01:56 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBiggly
The best part is you don't have some dummy with an alignment rack telling you that he couldn't adjust camber because it's not adjustable on your car or something equally as silly. Careful measurements at home will ensure long tire life and a heavier wallet.
For a while in my last car(as you can tell im still learning) went to tires plus( they always did me right) and they always told me camber wasnt adjustable(maybe so on a 3rd gen eclipse) But I went there with the WRX and they told me the same thing.... I left, came back and got my money back and havent been there since.


Scott is da man for driveway alignments

Off topic, but thought about since I seen you mention it. More toe rotates better. positive or negative?

Had to get in on this thread, trying to soak in as much data as I can on an unknown subject.
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Old 11-13-2004, 08:27 PM   #35
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i'm going to revive this thread...

the answer the question above: toe OUT makes it rotate better, but be careful ...too much toe out is a recipe for understeer because you will be DRAGGING your inside tire rather than just giving it a tighter angle to grip.

anyway,

today I measured up my camber and had -1.2 deg on the left and -2.0 deg on the right.

i had toe out of 3/4 inch and corrected it to within 0-1/16th toe out. the car runs straight, despite worn out tie rod ends that cause some minor memory steer. overall, MUCH quieter after fixing the toe-out problem that has been bothering me.

I'm going to take it into the shop and see how accurate i am. i feel pretty confident using my homemade tools.

for camber, i made a pendulum device that i put on the rim. it had a fishing weight on some fishing line, and then i mesured its distance from zero'ed line. ...then i used sin^-1 to solve for the "opposite" so to speak.... see above for more trig info.

for toe-out. I cut two pieces of molding that were slightly larger than the diameter of the tire. Then I had a friend hold the molding to one tire parallel with the ground while I held the other one. Then we took a tape measure and measured the distance across. We then subtracted the distance of the REAR of the tire from the FRONT of the tire, thus giving the TOE-OUT measurement of 3/4"

I turned each tie-rod approx 1/4 turn until i attained an equilibrium between the front and rear measurements. To make it a little easier for me to get in there, I took off the wheels and measured the distances against the brake rotor. When I was confident, I put the tires back on and recompared the distances. Because the tires are bigger, you would tend to notice a greater change in the distances, if that makes any sense at all.

I'll let everyone know how it goes. I bet that it'll be accurate enough for me to feel good about saving 60 dollar in the future. ...this time around, i'm going to drop the 60 bucks just for the sake of science and discovery.

lemme know if you have questions..

-brett
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Old 11-13-2004, 10:05 PM   #36
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Went and got mine corrected today, wheel was off a bit and car was drifting left.

Went to -1.5 on all corner cept front left. that was .9 to try and correct the drift. Now it seems the car wants to pull right.
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Old 11-14-2004, 02:52 AM   #37
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you should save the change and try it out yourself... i can adjust camber in like 3 minutes a wheel if i have air tools.

-brett
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Old 11-30-2004, 10:52 AM   #38
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Default Toe Gauge

If anyone is interested I found an inexpensive toe gauge.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=30167
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:28 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rando
If anyone is interested I found an inexpensive toe gauge.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=30167

You must remember that the problem with any toe guage like this is that is only gives you a "total" toe in/out. You wont have a clue which wheel is actually off and which one to adjust.
It can, however, be used to set toe at zero to prevent tire wear until you can get it done correctly.
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:15 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrx2.0 555
You must remember that the problem with any toe guage like this is that is only gives you a "total" toe in/out. You wont have a clue which wheel is actually off and which one to adjust.
The toe gauge doesn't tell you that, your eyes do.

With the steering wheel centered, close one eye and sight along the inside (or outside) edge of each front tire, noting how much of the rear tire you can see on each side. Adjust the tie rods so that the toe is where you want it, and the "sight picture" looking past one front wheel is an exact mirror image of the other. Simple as that.
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Old 12-09-2004, 09:39 AM   #41
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Or measure the difference between the front and rear edges of the tires (across the track)
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Old 12-13-2004, 08:16 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forced4
Or measure the difference between the front and rear edges of the tires (across the track)
Same thing........a "total toe" number........will do you no good at all for keeping zero toe and straight steering wheel.


Apparently 2Stroke is Superman in disquise to be able to see that kind of detail by eye. Whats an acceptable margin of error with your "sight picture" method?

Its just as easy to string up the car and measure each wheel independently and know for sure which one is off.

Scott
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Old 12-14-2004, 03:29 PM   #43
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Hmm, this is great info. However, it seems like a lot of work to save "$60" by spending a bunch more on tools. You can just go to NTB and get a 3 or 5 year alignment job for $90 - $120. Once you pay for it, you can get them to check your alignment and adjust it for free whenever you go it. I have them check and adjust it with each tire rotation. I have no doubt that you can get reasonable accuracy doing it in the driveway, but if you are at all a novice, it's much easier to take it in, and stand around and watch what the guy is doing. NTB lets you walk around in the work area, so you can check it all out. Anyway, I already bought the 3 year deal a few months ago, so I'm going to stick with that, at least for a while. It's come in very handy so far. Good luck to all, just wanted to mention this option. $60 per alignment can rack up alot of costs very quickly. However $90 for 3 years of alignments every month seems like a good cost saver.
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Old 12-14-2004, 03:37 PM   #44
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NTB wouldn't play ball with me when I wanted specs not "OEM". Sure it will work for the masses but not all of us use stock specs.
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Old 12-14-2004, 04:57 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrx2.0 555
Apparently 2Stroke is Superman in disquise to be able to see that kind of detail by eye. Whats an acceptable margin of error with your "sight picture" method?
Actually, I have normal vision, and I still have to use a breaker bar sometimes. But thanks, nobody's compared me to Superman for quite some time.

The sight picture is used to center the steering wheel, and to tell you which wheel to move in which direction when the toe must be adjusted. The toe bar (or whatever you're using) is used to actually measure and then set the toe. So the margin of error for the actual toe-in is a function of the toe-bar and how you diligent you are with it. An error with your "sight picture' shows up as a steering wheel that's not properly centered, but it doesn't affect the total toe.

When using this method, its essential to sight exactly along the edge of the tire.

In the picture below, you would still have to move your head maybe ~1/4" to the left until the rear edge of the right front tire just disappeared from view. Then you would be looking right down the plane of the RF, but focused on the RR.



The yellow arrows denote the "measurement' you are making with your eye. Note that getting this measurement equal side to side will center the steering wheel, but will not tell you where the toe is set. Also note that the criteria for a straight steering wheel is "Does it seem straight to the driver?", and that that's a visual judgement.

Hope this made sense. I've used it on a hundred or more cars in my lifetime, and its always worked, except when bodywork blocks your view.

Last edited by 2Stroke; 12-16-2004 at 11:37 PM. Reason: change image host
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Old 12-18-2004, 06:23 PM   #46
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Help!!!!!! I installed AGX and eibach springs. Went to get alignment and they told me the struts don't have anyway to adjust the camber. I have a set of camber bolts for the rear but they were going to charge me to install them. Which holes, top or bottom do they go in? Can I use them in the front to get more camber? Again which holes.

Last edited by silver arrow; 12-18-2004 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 12-18-2004, 06:26 PM   #47
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Tires plus told me the same thing for a long time, you have to bust the knuckles loose to get the camber adjustment. Sorry bastards were too lazy to do it. Lat tiem I got an alignment there. .

Been a while but think i got my rears in the top.
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Old 12-18-2004, 06:30 PM   #48
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Camber bolts go in the top hole.
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Old 12-19-2004, 08:24 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver arrow
Help!!!!!! I installed AGX and eibach springs. Went to get alignment and they told me the struts don't have anyway to adjust the camber. I have a set of camber bolts for the rear but they were going to charge me to install them. Which holes, top or bottom do they go in? Can I use them in the front to get more camber? Again which holes.
Camber adjustment on the front is the TOP bolt of the two at the bottom of the strut. Just loosen and turn. (fronts are there stock)

Camber bolts for the rear will replace the TOP bolt in the rear, just like the one in the front and adjusts the same way.

Scott
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Old 12-22-2004, 01:04 AM   #50
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or with that toe guage 'eyeball' it get the total toe to zero and drive the car. see which direction it's going with the wheel centered. reset toe drive again. rinse and repeat.

though, i don't know how much time you'll spend getting the toe just right when doing it the strings way would amount to less guesswork and similiar(or less) time needed for an alignment.
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