[200q20v] Re: DIY Alignment, was front suspension/replace

Bernie Benz b.m.benz at prodigy.net
Tue Jun 5 14:34:04 EDT 2001

I've started to write up my DIY alignment procedure for group critique and
publication, as I get aroundtoit.  In the meantime, just hang onto your


> From: "Derek Pulvino" <dbpulvino at hotmail.com>
> Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2001 09:33:10 -0700
> To: b.m.benz at prodigy.net
> Cc: 200q20v at audifans.com
> Subject: Re: [200q20v] Re: DIY Alignment, was front suspension/replace
> Thanks for the response, but there's still some questions that didn't get
> answered (ie has anybody seen slightly off alignment to make a big
> difference, any idea if front end geometry is different between t44 and
> C4/V8, was S4 associated with big tramlining issues).  Does anybody have any
> input?    Getting kind of frustrating babysitting the car to go strait down
> the road-tramlining is killing me.  The responsiveness and grip of 50 series
> tires is nice though.
> And yes Bernie, I agree, these car's do seem very strong in the high speed
> freeway machine arena.
> Derek P
>> From: Bernie Benz <b.m.benz at prodigy.net>
>> To: Derek Pulvino <dbpulvino at hotmail.com>
>> CC: 200q20V mailing list <200q20v at audifans.com>
>> Subject: Re: [200q20v] Re: DIY Alignment, was  front suspension/replace
>> Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2001 06:53:49 -0800
>> Hi Derek,  My further critique interlaced below.
>> Bernie
>>> From: "Derek Pulvino" <dbpulvino at hotmail.com>
>>> Date: Sat, 02 Jun 2001 09:51:08 -0700
>>> To: 200q20v at audifans.com
>>> Cc: b.m.benz at prodigy.net
>>> Subject: [200q20v] Re: DIY Alignment, was  front suspension/replace
>>> Howdy all,
>>> What are you guys using for alignment specs?  Are you setting to the
>> factory
>>> prescribed specs (ie .5 degree neg. camber, and .17 deg. toe in on
>> front,
>>> etc.).  Have you found that being slightly off that mark makes a
>> difference
>>> in the handling/tracking of the vehicle?
>> My specs in general are within the broad factory spec range, depending upon
>> the useage.  Example:  200-20V camber factory spec. -.5D +/- .5D.  For
>> freeway cruising, what the 200 was built for and best at, I use 0.0D camber
>> for max tire life.  For aggressive driving I would use -0.5D (with a
>> prestressed Benz Strut Brace) at some sacrifice in tire wear.  For track
>> (no
>> personal experience) I'd start with -1.0D, who cares about tire life?
>> Winning is everything!
>> But, IMO, the factory allowed camber side to side difference of 0.5D is
>> grose!  Should be zero, or as close to zero as possible.  DYI is about the
>> only to achieve this with certanity.
>>> As asked several months ago, still trying to sort out the front end
>> tracking
>>> on my vehicle.  Have had several alignments on the vehicle, and still
>> not
>>> there (only one of which I've had to pay for).  The funny thing is,
>> going
>>> from one shop to the next, I found the alignment readings where not the
>>> same.  Not much time between alignments, and don't think the car was
>> jolted
>>> to terribly in that time; makes me wonder about machine calibration.
>> As well as operator knowledge and care, or suspension parts problems.
>>> I'm guessing you're using the degree/bubble gauges for camber, but it
>> would
>>> seem a good t-square, engineers scale, and some math would also get you
>>> there.  What are you using to check toe?  String-box method?  I know the
>>> garage floor in my abode is not flat, so I guess to using a bubble gauge
>>> would require me to first find the angle of the garage floor, before
>> setting
>>> camber.  Once you get a camber reading, how are you physically moving
>> the
>>> strut housing-once you loosen the bolts on the camber plate, is hand
>>> pressure enough to move the strut housing's position?
>> Must unload the strut to tower interface by jacking the chassis, as the
>> shops do.
>>> How also would you suggest checking/setting the thrust angle.  I'd seen
>> one
>>> suggestion to use a plumb bob to check alignment of the front end
>>> componentry, but I guess I would once again have to compensate for the
>>> garage floor.  I'm pretty sure the subframe is not right in the middle.
>> I don't use the term thrust angle, but I do align such that the chassis
>> goes
>> down the road straight.  Will get into how in a forthcoming disclosure.
>>> Also, does anybody know if the 92-94 S4 had any issues with tracking
>> and/or
>>> twitchiness running it's stock wheels (star fish wheels)?  I remember
>>> discussion saying the strut housings, and control arms between the 200
>> and
>>> the S4/V8 are not the same, but I'm wondering if anybody knows if this
>>> changed the front end geometry at all, to make it more compatible with a
>>> 40mm offset wheel?  My logic is following that if the geometry hasn't
>>> changed between these vehicles, and the S4 didn't have problems with
>>> tracking in stock guise, then my car when correctly set up shouldn't
>>> either-I'm running the 16" star fish wheels on my car.  That's where the
>>> lion's share of my tracking problems arise.
>>> All right, enough said.  I leave this one to the floor for discussion.
>>> TIA
>>> Derek Pulvino.
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