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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have always wanted to do my own alignments and have tried on several occasions with minimal success. I finally invested in some toe plates and now it has all come together for me. I thought I would share my experiences with everyone. The first thing you need to do is read this article. It explains what you will be doing in great detail. I tried his method but eventually spent the $55 dollars on toe plates to avoid using the fishing line as a reference. Here is a picture of the tools I use to do my own alignments.


I made a camber gauge for about $4 using a tap/screw/and aluminum angle iron.



This is how you check you camber



The website gives the info on how to use all the tools I have listed. Here are some links for toe plates and instructions on how to use toe plates. Just don’t forget to roll the car back and forward after every change. Other then that it is pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

http://www.pitstopusa.com/TOEPLATESANDGAUGES.asp

http://www.longacreracing.com/instructions/inst.asp?INSTID=23

See post 58 for a update on all this.
 

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I was wondering about the camber measurement, until I read the first article. I had some toe plates made at work. We have a factory south of here that makes stainless sinks and stuff, and I had them made in 16 gauge stainless. The problem I have is measuring the wheels at 3 and 9 o'clock. The tape measure hits the floor board, so its not straight anymore. I'll take pics of my plates tonight. Thanks Steve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you mean camber or caster? I think you are talking about caster because to the measuring at the two points.
 

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I was talking about toe. The site said to measure toe on the wheels at 3 and 9 o'clock. I have no way of changing caster anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Toe is easy. You just string two tape measure between the two cutouts in the toe plates. Pull gently on the tapes to have them under even tension and read the numbers. When I dont have a helper I use a bag of seed or charcoal to hold the oppisite plate tight against the tire. Lets say the front tape says 66 3/8 and the rear says 66 1/2 then you have a total of 1/8 of toe in (wheels pointing in). In the pictures of toe plates you can see the cuts made to provide a place for the tape measure to hook on one side and slide thru on the other. Most people I know set the front up with Zero toe or just a little bit of toe in. Toe out is great for handling but will eat your tires. I have checked many cars and they all have about 1/8 to 3/16 toe in using my plates which are a bit longer then most plates on the market.
 

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eric96ser said:
I was talking about toe. The site said to measure toe on the wheels at 3 and 9 o'clock. I have no way of changing caster anyway.
Just cut the slits lower on the plates. You want to measure the toe near the front and back of the tires (3 and 9 o'clock) to compare your numbers to other peoples. I.E., don't make really long toe plates and measure toe 2 feet in front of the tire and 2 feet to the rear of the tire, cause your 1" toe in would be 1/4" of toe in with shorter toe plates.
 

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I know how to measure the toe. I was just wondering about the 3 and 9 o'clock deal. Here are my toe plates:







The cut outs in mine are more like 4 and 8 and 5 and 7. I mainly use the bottom cuts, and put the tape measure to the inside. To make sure I have them in the same place, I let the plate touch the splash guard. To see what side is off, I measure from the back bracket for the control arm, to the plate.
 

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eric96ser said:
I was talking about toe. The site said to measure toe on the wheels at 3 and 9 o'clock. I have no way of changing caster anyway.
Don't worry about 3 & 9. That would be ideal, but it won't matter enough to make that big of a difference. Remember, you're just taking a comparison of measurements. The actual measurements themselves don't matter - only the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have a new way to measure thrust that is soo much easier then the string method. You need a good laser level (look at the accuracy over 50 feet and compare) and the toe plates you already have. It is important to get the camber set front and back and the toe at least close in the front. You then take the laser level and rest it on the rear toe plate at the same height as the rear ball joint and point it to the front of the car. Put the toe plate on the front wheel and put a laser measuring tool (or a square) at the ball joint heigth. Point the laser at your marks and you will get a measurement. Compare this measurement on the right and left. This will give you the thrust difference on each side.
On another note. I have never mentioned this in my post but it is important to measure your toe and then roll the car 180 degrees to see if you wheels are straight. If you measurement is not the same then the wheel or tire is out of round. Mark the tire and subtract the difference between the two. Measure your toe with the tire in the same location every time.
 

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Do you have these pictures anymore steve? I remember seeing them and was wanting to refer back. This should probably be in the Tech Info Lib.
 

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www.FAIRTAX.org
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Yeah this should be a permaneant tech article for sure.
 

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It'd be awesome if Steve or someone else who knows how to do it would do an alignment seminar at the convention.

C
 

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I would even pay (in $$$ or beer) to attend a seminar like that! ////H
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Updating the thread with the camber chart incase the other link goes dead.


deg....tan......17.......16.......15......14......13
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
0.1 | .0017 0.0297 0.0279 0.0262 0.0244 0.0227
0.2 | .0035 0.0593 0.0559 0.0524 0.0489 0.0454
0.3 | .0052 0.0890 0.0838 0.0785 0.0733 0.0681
0.4 | .0070 0.1187 0.1117 0.1047 0.0977 0.0908
0.5 | .0087 0.1484 0.1396 0.1309 0.1222 0.1134
0.6 | .0105 0.1780 0.1676 0.1571 0.1466 0.1361
0.7 | .0122 0.2077 0.1955 0.1833 0.1711 0.1588
0.8 | .0140 0.2374 0.2234 0.2095 0.1955 0.1815
0.9 | .0157 0.2671 0.2513 0.2356 0.2199 0.2042
1.0 | .0175 0.2967 0.2793 0.2618 0.2444 0.2269
1.1 | .0192 0.3264 0.3072 0.2880 0.2688 0.2496
1.2 | .0209 0.3561 0.3352 0.3142 0.2933 0.2723
1.3 | .0227 0.3858 0.3631 0.3404 0.3177 0.2950
1.4 | .0244 0.4155 0.3910 0.3666 0.3422 0.3177
1.5 | .0262 0.4452 0.4190 0.3928 0.3666 0.3404
1.6 | .0279 0.4749 0.4469 0.4190 0.3911 0.3631
1.7 | .0297 0.5045 0.4749 0.4452 0.4155 0.3858
1.8 | .0314 0.5342 0.5028 0.4714 0.4400 0.4085
1.9 | .0332 0.5639 0.5308 0.4976 0.4644 0.4313
2.0 | .0349 0.5937 0.5587 0.5238 0.4889 0.4540
2.1 | .0367 0.6234 0.5867 0.5500 0.5134 0.4767
2.2 | .0384 0.6531 0.6147 0.5762 0.5378 0.4994
2.3 | .0402 0.6828 0.6426 0.6025 0.5623 0.5221
2.4 | .0419 0.7125 0.6706 0.6287 0.5868 0.5449
2.5 | .0437 0.7422 0.6986 0.6549 0.6113 0.5676
2.6 | .0454 0.7720 0.7266 0.6811 0.6357 0.5903
2.7 | .0472 0.8017 0.7545 0.7074 0.6602 0.6131
2.8 | .0489 0.8314 0.7825 0.7336 0.6847 0.6358
2.9 | .0507 0.8612 0.8105 0.7599 0.7092 0.6586
3.0 | .0524 0.8909 0.8385 0.7861 0.7337 0.6813
3.1 | .0542 0.9207 0.8665 0.8124 0.7582 0.7041
3.2 | .0559 0.9504 0.8945 0.8386 0.7827 0.7268
3.3 | .0577 0.9802 0.9226 0.8649 0.8072 0.7496
3.4 | .0594 1.0100 0.9506 0.8912 0.8318 0.7723
3.5 | .0612 1.0398 0.9786 0.9174 0.8563 0.7951
3.6 | .0629 1.0695 1.0066 0.9437 0.8808 0.8179
3.7 | .0647 1.0993 1.0347 0.9700 0.9053 0.8407
3.8 | .0664 1.1291 1.0627 0.9963 0.9299 0.8635
3.9 | .0682 1.1589 1.0908 1.0226 0.9544 0.8863
4.0 | .0699 1.1888 1.1188 1.0489 0.9790 0.9090
4.1 | .0717 1.2186 1.1469 1.0752 1.0035 0.9319
4.2 | .0734 1.2484 1.1750 1.1015 1.0281 0.9547
4.3 | .0752 1.2782 1.2030 1.1279 1.0527 0.9775
4.4 | .0769 1.3081 1.2311 1.1542 1.0772 1.0003
4.5 | .0787 1.3379 1.2592 1.1805 1.1018 1.0231
4.6 | .0805 1.3678 1.2873 1.2069 1.1264 1.0460
4.7 | .0822 1.3977 1.3154 1.2332 1.1510 1.0688
4.8 | .0840 1.4275 1.3436 1.2596 1.1756 1.0916
4.9 | .0857 1.4574 1.3717 1.2860 1.2002 1.1145
5.0 | .0875 1.4873 1.3998 1.3123 1.2248 1.1374
5.1 | .0892 1.5172 1.4280 1.3387 1.2495 1.1602
5.2 | .0910 1.5471 1.4561 1.3651 1.2741 1.1831
5.3 | .0928 1.5770 1.4843 1.3915 1.2987 1.2060
5.4 | .0945 1.6070 1.5124 1.4179 1.3234 1.2289
5.5 | .0963 1.6369 1.5406 1.4443 1.3480 1.2518
5.6 | .0981 1.6669 1.5688 1.4708 1.3727 1.2747
5.7 | .0998 1.6968 1.5970 1.4972 1.3974 1.2976
5.8 | .1016 1.7268 1.6252 1.5236 1.4221 1.3205
5.9 | .1033 1.7568 1.6534 1.5501 1.4468 1.3434
6.0 | .1051 1.7868 1.6817 1.5766 1.4715 1.3664

Also, remember to roll the car after every change. One full rotation will do it for most smaller changes in toe. Also, check your wheels for true by rolling and measuring toe 180 degrees apart. They should be the same.
 

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I always wanted to do my own alignments; pretty informative thread but kinda sux I wasn't able to get to this article before the pictures went down. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
sonny said:
I always wanted to do my own alignments; pretty informative thread but kinda sux I wasn't able to get to this article before the pictures went down. :(

I am going to redo the pictures. I was reminded of this thread and decided to update it. It will get better.
 
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