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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2002 8:43 am
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Location: Minnesota USA
Low buck way to align your own car. Got this from my Yahoo Group.

Mike


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 9:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:31 pm
Posts: 235
Location: Wayne, New Jersey 07470
Nice write-up. I have occasionally thought about lasers but I haven't followed through on it.

I use a simple setup with two tape measures that works pretty well. I use two aluminum straight edges, two tape measures, two binder clips from an office supply store, and two bricks. I rest the straight edges on the bricks and place them against the tires (the bricks move the straight edges up over the tire bulge). I clamp the tape measure to either end of the straight edge with the binder clips and run the tapes under the car to the other straight edge.

Zero toe is easy, the front tape should be the same measurement as the rear tape measurment. The rest is Trigonometry.

My kit is cheap, compact, and easy but it doesn't do a few things that your kit does.

Your kit does thrust angle on the rear suspension. That's very good.

I would make a small modification to your setup. You measure the rear toe against the front wheels. That's a great way to do thrust angle. I would measure the front toe against the rear wheels. I have used the string method for allignment and it's always a little finicky to get the strings perfectly alligned with the car. Lining up the cardboard targets will probably also be slightly finicky.

If you add a target plate to all of your wheel plates, you will be completely setup as soon as you clamp to the tires.

Of course you do need to know that the car you are going to allign has the same track between the front wheels as the rear wheels. My Rx7 does not. Just measure the difference and allow for it.

Now all you need to do is add a rotating bearing to your allignment plates to make them self leveling and you've really got something!

ed


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 07, 2002 10:55 am
Posts: 383
Location: Cobble Hill, B.C.
After installing Jardamuth's lower body brace, I realigned the front wheels using just a 4 foot straight edge.

The car had recently received a 4 wheel alignment after getting new rims and tires, so I knew the rears should still be aligned. After the lower body brace, the steering wheel was way off center when driving straight - almost 1/4 turn. This is mostly because the camber was changed after installing the brace and changing camber also affects toe-in.

Just by looking at the car, I could see that the passenger side front was toed in and that the camber was positive on that side (has the camber adjusting strut bolt). To check camber, I simply placed a 2-foot level upright across the lower and upper outside of the tire. This would not work with stock wheels because they don't stick out enough from the bodywork to do this (you would have to use something smaller to get in under the fenderwell). I was aiming for slight negative camber, so that the top of the wheel was in about 4 mm. This should give about 0.5 deg. After getting this, the toe-in was adjusted by sight with the straight-edge placed against the wheel at the 3-and-9 position and looking towards the back of the car. Afterwards, I checked the toe by marking a spot at the same height on the front of each front tire, dropping a plumb, marking the floor, rolling the car back, dropping a plumb again from the marks on the tires, marking the floor, and measuring the distances left-to-right. I measured a total of 1mm toe-in. Lasers would certainly make things easier. I'll never pay an alignment shop again :twisted:

One thing I could never understand is how people could adjust alignment with the car on the ground. With a lowered Swift and large wheels, I could not come close to finding the room to do it in the front, so I estimated the amount of adjustment needed, then jacked the car up and performed the adjustment, let the car down and rolled it back and forth in the garage with the hood up and bouncing on the upper crossbar to settle the suspension, then measured again. This worked pretty well but took awhile. A few test drives to check the steering wheel alignment and some small adjustments until it was straight. If I had not known the rear alignment was good (or at least even left-to-right) it wouldn't have been as easy.

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1991 Swift GT 140K, 780kg
2000 Esteem 1.8 GL wagon 140K


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:28 am
Posts: 220
Location: Frankfurt Germany
Very good wheel alignment method Mike, phenomenal!

May I correct a small flaw in the .pdf alignment procedure at the top of this thread:
According to specs the front wheels are nominally 1365mm apart, and the rear wheels 1340mm. Therefore the wheels stand 25mm wider in front, so the targets are really 12.5mm off on each wheel.

The targets mounted on the front wheels should be 12.5mm more inward on each wheel, because the rear wheels are that much less outward each. When targeting the other way looking backwards,that is illuminating rear wheel targets from the front, the rear targets should be 12.5mm more outward. If the difference is not observed, toe-in would be roughly +-4mm off on each axle.



May I seriously suggest checking and correcting camber first! Aim for zero camber. If it is more than half a degree off zero, you tires definitly will wear crooked, no matter how accurate toe-in is set. The manual says for camber plus/minus one degree off zero, but thats an aweful lot. Aim for zero!

Remember, just a little camber makes a hell of a lot more difference to tire wear pattern than a similar amount of toe-in!

I fixed the camber with the help of a normal spirit level held vertically on the rims in more or less the same fashion as with the laser spirit level for toe-in. Although it sounds primitive, it is exceedingly accurate on a level concrete floor.

Like mcguirk said, targeting the front wheels from the rear, and then the rear from the front is certainly an excellent modification. It worked great for me.

regards, Helmut


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:28 am
Posts: 220
Location: Frankfurt Germany
Maybe this should be sticky


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:31 pm
Posts: 235
Location: Wayne, New Jersey 07470
Zero camber is nice for tire wear if you do a lot of highway driving and very mild cornering.

If you like to do any spirited cornering, your tires will wear the outside edge.

If you want the car to handle, you want more camber. The correct camber is a compromise between tire wear and cornering traction. The right camber will balance outside tire wear and inside tire wear.

Factory settings are the compromise for the average driver. You will have to decide if more or less is right for you.

ed


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 5:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:10 am
Posts: 10
Location: Vancouver
Anyone know what happen to the documents for DIY wheel alignment?

My tires are pulling to one side - possibly from years of using a Club steering wheel lock.

Thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:37 am
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Location: Memphis, TN
yeah, where's the link?

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94 Swift GTi 5spd
94 3cyl automatic 4 door


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:35 pm
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Location: US
Anyone still have the pdf or link?


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:10 am
Posts: 540
Location: Kent
Anyone? :roll:

Please

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INCREASE THE PEACE


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 12:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:09 pm
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Location: Palm Springs: Too hot from June to Oct.!
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=42479

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DIY Broken Bolt Removal: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=41042
DIY Clutch Adjustment: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=48281
DIY Wheel Bearings: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=29003
DIY Shocks: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=45483
DIY Wheel Align: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=42479
Once you get the cars dialed-in (compression, leaks, bearings, alignment, brakes) swap in new rubber and glass, you've got something which should last for years!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:34 am 
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Location: china
Thanks for your awesome guide for laser pointer.


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