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Hand-Aligning a 200

From: mtwigg@fdpcorp-boston.com

>Well, I just got my front control arms re-replaced and I need an alignment.
>I know others are looking for a place to get such a car aligned in MA. just
>as I am (actually I am in Natick, same area too). I was going to give it a
>home-alignment like I did to my old Golfs. I was going to use a spirit
>level for the camber and measuring tape for the toe. Has anyone else done
>this??? I know it is a hack job, but I think I am going to trade it in for
>a Golf IV in Jan-Feb anyway. My biggest concern is the tie rod length on
>each side, unfortunately the Bentley doesn't tell me; only gives you the
>special tool number, arrggggghhhhhhhhhh

I aligned my 80q using a friends toe jig and a homemade camber jig.

First difficulty was finding some flat level ground.  I used wooden shims to
get the wheels level.  Then I used a homemade jig made up of a vertical
spirit level with a couple of steel rules clamped to it at 90 degrees.  The
ends of the rules were brought against the wheel, the clamping points having
been set to give the correct camber.

The toe was adjusted by using my friend's (Gunson?) tracking jig.  This
consisted of two steel C-cross-section pieces about 70cm long.  These were
fastened (using rubber bungee straps) to the outside of the two wheels of an
axle - there were two protruding bits from each steel piece to engage
securely against the wheel rather than the tyre.  You then used two
measuring tapes to measure the distance between the leading edges and the
trailing edges of the steel pieces.  The conversion was something like 1cm =
1 degree.

This is obviously not as good as a proper optical alignment, but in my case,
I noticed an immediate improvement in handling, less tyre squeaking going
round corners, and a dramatic increase in tyre life.

Good luck.