Questions for the DIY alignment gurus

Discussion in 'How To Forum' started by Nvrfinished, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. Grant 302

    Grant 302 OPM Spent: $665,833 Moderator

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    Why use any of it? My calibrated eyeball is better. :rolleyes:
     
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  2. racer47

    racer47 All I got left is fast

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    Why the smartass response? I was trying to help. I've raced for over 25 years, SCCA GT1, IMSA GTO, Super Late Models touring series, many wins, track championships, regional championships and a track record. I know what I'm doing. Just because you post the most does not mean you know the most.
     
  3. Grant 302

    Grant 302 OPM Spent: $665,833 Moderator

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    So rhetorical questions and criticism are helpful?

    You're criticizing everyone who uses string and 'makes it harder than necessary'.

    You're calling use of bubble levels and plump bobs 'a bother'.

    We have race professionals here who actually help. But thanks for setting me straight.
     
  4. Fabman

    Fabman Project: "Frankenstang"

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    I think the message here is that there is more than one way to skin a cat.
    It's nice that we have a place to share our experiences.
     
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  5. racer47

    racer47 All I got left is fast

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    I didn't criticize anyone. You just get pissy when I disagree with you. It started with the shim thing and now this bs. My point was digital levels are easier than plumb bobs and bubble levels, (both of which I used before digital levels). And toe boards work very well and are also easier and faster. It is just toe. Its not that hard so why make it harder than it needs to be? That is not criticizing. That is my opinion based on doing my own alignments for a very long time.
     
  6. ArizonaBOSS

    ArizonaBOSS Because racecar. Moderator

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    Pretty bad ass but probably far more money than they are worth for the majority of our members.
    I am about to make a string rack setup from extruded aluminum tube that I can hard-mount to points in the trunk as well as the hood pin locations.
    Have a set of toe plates as well (use a couple smooth, thin boards on top of each other for turn-plates/sliders on the front)...that set @racer47 posted is about half the price of what I paid for mine so I'd suggest getting those if you want some toe plates!

    Unrelated note: Everybody calm down. You are arguing with each other on the internet. Post what you want to post and keep it objective.
     
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  7. Grant 302

    Grant 302 OPM Spent: $665,833 Moderator

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    That's not the way I see it. JAJ put up a nice detailed post that included the use of a plumb bob. You called use of a plumb bob 'a bother'. To be clear, I get very defensive over our membership. Seems more like a dig to me than just an opinion.

    I wasn't aware you were disagreeing with me in your first post.

    Strike two in my book. Thanks for the reminder.
     
  8. racer47

    racer47 All I got left is fast

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    Strike two in my book. Thanks for the reminder. - flower off
     
  9. TMSBOSS

    TMSBOSS TMO Addict

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    Reading through the thin skinned rants. Nice....Not really.

    Racer47 You may want to take your own advice. Or just grow a thicker skin.

    I don't really care how many trophies you have, how long you have been on track etc... Comments like yours take this from being a hobby, you know, something that is enjoyable to something that is not.
    It appears you have something to contribute. Great. Then contribute in a positive manner.
    From where I was sitting, you took something out of context, likely said in humor, and blew it up into something it was not.
    This is just not one of those sites where guys cut each other down. Just does not happen here....or at least not for long.
    Advice from me to you. Assume the comments are positive or at the least said with a bit of humor. If not, Send me a PM and I can send you a whole list of other sites where its common for folks to tell others to F*** Off. Thats just not done here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
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  10. Nvrfinished

    Nvrfinished TMO Race

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    Just ordered some Longacre toe plates and a digital angle gauge. Thanks for all the tips everyone. :)
     
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  11. Norm Peterson

    Norm Peterson Corner Barstool Sitter

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    Couple of comments I should have posted a long time ago but never got any notices of other replies. Still not sure I'm going to even now - I've had other problems using XenForo elsewhere.

    Anyway,

    If the floor is flat and doesn't slope much, you can "adjust" your camber readings by the amount of pavement slope. IOW, there's no need to be 1/16" fussy here. Or even 1/8" fussy.


    There's an easier way once you've determined where the strut tops need to be for either your track or street time. Make up a set of physical gauge blocks that you use as hard stops to strut top movement. Loosen fasteners, move strut shaft until it runs into your stop, tighten. Since you aren't measuring angles (or anything else) any more, jacking the wheel clear of the ground will make this physically easier.

    This is about as close as you can get to the "alignment with shims" method you might have used on older SLA-suspended cars, where you either added or subtracted known amounts of shimming.

    That said, it doesn't hurt to occasionally check cambers with the measuring apparatus of your choice . . . when you aren't under other time constraints.


    Norm
     
  12. docs302

    docs302 TMO Race

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    I used the Longacre toe plates and Smart Camber gauge this weekend for the first time prior to my first track day. I had an alignment scheduled with the tire store down the street but decided to try the new tools first. It was the best money I spent. I set camber at 4.0 then toe out at 1/16 after about an hour of careful measuring and adjusting. The beauty was at the track when my tire temps indicated I had too much negative camber. I pulled out the Smart Camber tool, reduced camber to 3.5 and went out on track. The car was transformed and I was literally catching and passing everything in front of me. As Norm said, I don't think you need to be super worried about leveling the gauge as they recommend to get the desired effect. I did that in my garage but I can tell you that I just whipped the gauge out at the track, hit my number and it worked like a charm.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
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  13. Duane Black

    Duane Black TMO Race

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    Keep in mind @docs302 that adjusting camber will change toe out.
     
  14. docs302

    docs302 TMO Race

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    Yeah I didn't have the toe plates with me at the track so I had to hope for the best. Luckily the car still worked great.
     
  15. Drlee50

    Drlee50 TMO Race

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    I'll post up my print outs but from -3.5 , and changing to -1.5, my toe did not change while on the hunter alignment rack. I have bump steer correction and perhaps that made a difference.

    Sent from my LG-H932 using Tapatalk
     
  16. Grant 302

    Grant 302 OPM Spent: $665,833 Moderator

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    That's certainly possible if the caster angle matches the side view angle between the ball joint and the tie rod end from horizontal.
     
  17. strengthrehab

    strengthrehab TMO Race

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    Bringing this back from the dead.

    I set my front alignment at home with Longacre digital camber gauge and toe plates. Toe is right at 0.

    measuring camber is giving me fits, though. In the instructions for the removable level on the guage, it states to measure on unlevel surfaces, to put digital level by the tire (lined up with centerline of wheel) and zero the gauge. Then move to the other side and do the same.

    I've taken the readings several times following the above procedure and I can repeat the same readings, but as soon as I move the car, those readings change despite following the procedure for compensating for uneven ground.

    Very frustrating.

    Last night, I measured in my garage got one set of numbers. Measured again this morning at work in parking lot and got another set.

    Any clues what I could be doing wrong?
     
  18. JAJ

    JAJ TMO Addict

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    If you're following this instruction: Before checking camber remove AccuLevel™ and place on ground parallel to axle centerline. If it does not read 0.0º push “ZERO” then the problem is that the ground you're checking isn't flat. That little camber gauge only has to be off the actual level by a tenth of an inch end-to-end to be wrong by a full degree. In other words, putting it on the ground by the wheel is almost guaranteed to create an error.

    The goal of resetting "zero" is to take any bias out of the reading if the car is sitting at a cross angle. The best place to check that is the middle of the strut tower brace. Put the AccuLevel on the middle and set it to 0.00, then turn it around so it faces back (read it with your phone in selfie mode) and see if it's still 0.00. Keep moving it from side to side until you get 0.00 both ways. Now the gauge is truly "zero'd" for the location and you'll get more accurate readings on the wheels.

    That all said, it's really best to actually level the car side to side at both the front and the rear. I do it by using a laser level to create four pads (using stacked 1/8" floor tiles) that are level at the front and the rear. They don't have to be level front-to-back unless you're measuring caster. Once I have my four level pads, I check the tire pressures so they're equal, then pull the car onto the pads and get on with the alignment.

    The reason I do that - the perfect level across the car at both ends - is because if the suspension is "twisted" because the back end is uneven in a different way than the front, the only way for the suspension to compensate is to have each wheel at a different extension point from the rest. If one front wheel is slightly compressed and the other is slightly extended to compensate for uneven terrain at the rear wheels, they will inherently have different camber and toe measurements than they would if the whole car was on a perfectly level surface. I actually saw this effect when I first started doing my own alignments - in my garage, the spots where my rear tires sit takes 3/8" on the right rear and 1/8" on the right front to get it perfectly level. It doesn't sound like much but I couldn't get repeatable front camber measurements until I started doing the leveling. Now I can set them up and recheck any time and the readings simply never change unless I change them.
     
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  19. strengthrehab

    strengthrehab TMO Race

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    IF GROUND IS NOT LEVEL: Before checking camber remove AccuLevel™ and place on ground parallel to axle centerline. If it does not read 0.0° push “ZERO”. Replace AccuLevel™ in gauge and proceed as above. This must be done on each side of the car and will compensate for non-level ground. Push “ZERO” again to go back to normal (absolute) operation.

    This is what I'm using for an instruction. Taken right from the instructions. If this isn't correct, why did they put this in the instructions?

    Based on your reply, you are saying the instructions as stated above aren't worth the paper they are printed on.
     
  20. JAJ

    JAJ TMO Addict

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    Well, their instructions will set the camber relative to the little piece of ground that the individual wheel is standing on at the time you're measuring it, but the reading is unlikely to show camber relative to the chassis. The standard for most conditions is "relative to the chassis" and that's what Ford publishes in their documentation. It's a mystery to me why Longacre would do it that way, but they must have had a reason. Maybe send their customer service an email and ask them.
     

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