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Home String Alignment

496
318
sfo
It really depends on how you work. No one here is a pro race team. The thread title is home string alignment. That means amateurs not even at the level of teams of amateurs that show up at Runoffs with multi-man crews. A serious amateur team and all race teams are going to have scales, rigged string set-up, slip plates, and hubstands. Conservatively that's $3000 That same pro team is probably racing a real car. I bet those porsches mentioned above and real racecars are monoball suspension. Home racer amateurs mostly on rubber bushings and we don't get out of Delrin bushing until SCCA T1

Bushing are important just because we need to make an attempt to settle the suspension with car on the slip plates. That means rocking it shaking it and guess what is in the way and not really securely attached? The bar string holder things. That monoball porsche will settle on the slip plates under its own weight. There is inconvenience of strings #1.

Sometimes you need to open the door for something or move some weight around or run 2 classes add more ballast. Strings in the way that's #2.

I'm not a porsche guy so how do you reach the link nuts to make adjustments for say rear toe? I know I could not make adjustments on the mustang without hitting the strings. The strings are in the way. There's #3.

Strings are a total pain.
1- attach string bars to car (it is a lot of work to fabricate a rig plus you have to store and transport it) I have yet to see a string rig that can be considered universal for many different cars. If just using the jackstand rectangle string method that's even more a pain to set-up.

2- setup rectangle. Measuring and making sure perfect is critical and is probably 10 measurements or more. Then 1 accidental misstep moving something means you start over.

3- Thrusting car 4 measurements just to see if you are zero and more if you need to make change

4- rear toe 4 measures then more if you need to change

5- front toe 4 measures then more if you need to change


lazer pointer method you need laser pointer like the ones that are laser level $20 bucks a 12" ruler, an L rule sized to rear wheel.

1- no set up

2-Thrusting 12" ruler on front hub. L rule on rear wheel shoot laser to the ruler measure and compare to other side. That's 2 measures more if you make change

3- rear toe using toe plates $40bucks 2 tape measures 20 bucks. 2 measures more if you make change

4-front toe same 2 measures more if make change

Nothing attached to car so I can jump on it all I want to settle it. If no slip plates you can roll to settle suspension doable with attached string rig but not with a jackstand string rectangle. I work on a lift so I can comfortably lift car make adjustments and lower back down on scale pad/slip plates and check measures.

I do ghetto flat floor. I use a $3 home depot bucket some water, 10ft of aquarium tubing, and a ruler. then 1/8" flooring tiles to level. For ghetto camber I use the same "L" rule from above on the wheel and the same laser level on the L rule and the level reads out the angle. Finally, every measure is a chance to make an error. Did I break $100 bucks yet?

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81
49
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
So Cal
That's a lot of writing to say you don't want to do the job the right way. Set toe any way you please, but none of your criticisms really hold much water.

This gets you going: https://smart-racing-products.mysho...ducts/products/smartstring-kit-bundle-testing. This is about as easy to store and universal as you're going to find. I've used them on all sorts of cars. It rolls with the car, but, yes, you must mind the string.

Once you've done it a time or 3, it's a 2-person/30 minute job. If you're doing it alone, it'll be over an hour, but just because you have to walk around the car a lot. It's still a completely manageable task. The greater number of measurements is a thing, but it reduces the reliance on any one measurement. With toe strings, there is redundancy. That's not a flaw. It's necessary to achieve the desired accuracy and precision. There is a very good reason why this is the preferred method among those who race professionally.

Most of getting the setup right on a car is patience and attention to detail. If you go in with that mindset, you'll drive out with a better car.
 
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TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
6,287
3,319
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Illinois
TeeLew

Do you know of a video which shows how to use this kit or anything similar? I am a visual learner and a video along with a manual is usually all I need to do work the first time.

This kit is awfully interesting. A “Skilled” alignment shop is getting harder to find. The closest one I trust is an hour away. If it takes me 1-2 hours to do the job, I’ll be money ahead in no time.

Thanks
 
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this is not a bad video, the one thing I notice is that I take 4 toe in measurements, 2 from the center of the hubs to make sure the steering wheel is dead nuts straight, then I do front and rear of the front tires. Same with the rear, to make sure the car is straight on the jig and also to make sure the wheel is straight.
The road race guys really have it made, try lining up an asphalt circle track car that uses 2 wheelbases. You have to align everything from the right rear because that's the most important tire on the car.


 
496
318
sfo
That's a lot of writing to say you don't want to do the job the right way. Set toe any way you please, but none of your criticisms really hold much water.
The right way is understanding the goals not whether you are using strings. There are many ways to skin a cat.
 
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I perform my own string alignments, I took the alignment course offered by high performance academy.

I don't have a lift, so it's all performed on the floor without the use of hub stands, just the string, a ruler and a camber gauge. It's a real biznitch to get done right... I've done it a couple times now and I'm getting faster, but it's still a couple hours of work. Rear toe is tricky on a stock S550 toe arm with the bushing deflection. It isn't as fun as other "automotive" work, it feels like real work!

If I had access to a shop that did banger alignments and wasn't $300 per alignment, I'd just go that route, but I don't, so here I am.
 
1,011
947
In the V6L
The right way is understanding the goals not whether you are using strings. There are many ways to skin a cat.
The problem is that, if you're not measuring the setup after the alignment is finished and you've done a test drive, you don't know what you have, regardless of the whatever the printed report says.
 
81
49
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
So Cal
The right way is understanding the goals not whether you are using strings. There are many ways to skin a cat.

That's what I was refereeing. Your method does 2 - two wheel alignments instead of one alignment for 4. Yes, it's easier, but it does not produce the same results.
 
81
49
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
So Cal
I perform my own string alignments, I took the alignment course offered by high performance academy.

How did it work for you? Is it pretty comprehensive?

As far as far toe goes, it's completely worth it to get aftermarket toe links, like from J&M. It makes the adjustment _so_ much easier.
 
496
318
sfo
That's what I was refereeing. Your method does 2 - two wheel alignments instead of one alignment for 4. Yes, it's easier, but it does not produce the same results.

You you are not understanding my method. I do all the same things you do with strings just more efficiently.
 
How did it work for you? Is it pretty comprehensive?

As far as far toe goes, it's completely worth it to get aftermarket toe links, like from J&M. It makes the adjustment _so_ much easier.
The course is comprehensive, it starts with the basic theory of alignment settings and then goes through the applications. The course assumes you're working without a lift, using a basic string alignment kit or you're using jack stands with a metal bar and string. Everything they teach you can find online/YouTube, but the course houses all the content in one place that's easy to access.
 

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