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How To: Alignment

Discussion in 'Wheels / Tires / Brakes / Suspension DIY How-To's' started by ekshowciv, Oct 3, 2005.

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  1. ekshowciv

    ekshowciv I'm in Japan Bitches!!! Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2004
    Sagamihara, kanagawa ken, Japan
    Okay - it actually cost me $17.94 becuase I already had the jack stands, tape measure, and one set of clamps.

    What you need:
    1) 2 pieces of 10' (that's feet) of 3/4" or 1" metal or PVC conduit
    2) Nylon string - at least 50 feet
    3) 4 medium size spring clamps
    4) 4 jack stands
    5) A drill and a selection of bits
    6) Tape measure
    7) A small metal ruler that goes down to at least 1/16th" and that is at least 6" long
    8) Pipe cutter or hack saw

    The concept - you are going to make a perfect box around the car using the conduit (up on jack stands) and the string.

    Cut each of the conduit to a length of 100" (that's inches). You need to be acurate here. I used a hack saw but I think I pipe cutter would be a better tool.

    Measure 12" from each end of the conduit and mark it with a small dot.

    Drill a small hole where you made the marks and let the hole continue to through the opposite side of the conduit so you end up with 2 holes - or a total of 8 holes (2 pieces of conduit with 2 holes on each side).

    Place the jack stands near all four corners of the car. Put the conduit across the jack stands. At this point you should have a piece of conduit resting on top of the jack stands spanning the width of the car both front and rear. Use the clamps to secure the conduit to the jack stands.

    Take the string and feed it through both holes on either side of the front conduit. Tie it in a knot - make sure the string has some abiltity to move around the conduit. take the other end of the stringand pull it down towards the rear piece of conduit. Feed it through both holes, pull it tight, and tie it into a knot. Repeat for the other side.

    You should now have a "box" aorund the car... Should look something like this:

    Now you need to "square the box" and make sure that the box is even on each wheel. Basically you use a tape measure, or a ruler as described above, and mesaure from the center cap of each wheel out to the string. You will need to slide the conduit around to acheive a perfect box... it needs to be an equal box unless the rear of the car has a different track than the front... if that is the case then the two front measurements should be equal and so should the rears.

    Now you are going to measure the tow by measuring from the front side of the rim out to the string and from the rear side. The difference will be the actual toe measurement in inches (or mm depending on what type of ruler you have). By the way your steering wheel should be straight before you start this process!

    You can reach under and adjust the front tie rod ends or the rear compensator arm to change the toe.... Here are a couple more pictures.

    With this method you can get your toe set to within 1/32" very accurately. The other advantage is that you can take the stuff with you to the track. Oh yeah and it cost me less than $20.

    Link to the actual article
  2. Blazed

    Blazed Fuck The Powers That B Registered VIP Registered OG 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 23, 2004
    with Mary Jane
    thats good shyt rigth there..
    the HT article has pics also...
    mayeb 1 day ill give it a try :thumbs up
  3. Genuine Rolla

    Genuine Rolla Its PETEY PETE, y0! Registered VIP Registered OG 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 1, 2004
    so is it just the tie rods in the front that i need to adjust to get my front wheels pointing straight when my wheel is straight also?? right now , i need to have my wheel pointed to the left a lil bit for my car to go straight, otherwise is veers right.
  4. shoemaker617

    shoemaker617 New Member Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2005
    Boston, MA
    How bout just getting a real alignment, yeah you could do this but.........................................it'll never be as accurate as an actual alignment.
  5. wetcmonkey

    wetcmonkey New Member Registered VIP 5+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2006
    san diego
    this is good when your at home and dont want to drive to the alignment store with squeeling tires hehe done it once its not fun


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