Alignment issues, FYI

Bernie Benz b.benz at
Thu Oct 18 12:57:02 PDT 2007

OK, Dave.

Here is my current procedure for total toe adjustment, and other  
comments about my previously published DIY alignment.

Total Toe measurement.
I use toe boards, two flat 1” x 6” x 2’ pine boards the ends of which  
have 1” deep saw slots parallel to and located ½” from the board  
edges. In use, these boards rest on an edge and touch the outside  
side walls of the two opposite tires. Two tape measures are hooked  
into the top slots, one either side of the wheel on the fixed side  
board. With the tapes pulled taught thru the slots on the other side,  
the difference in the two measurements is the total toe over that  
board length. A simple, one man measurement.
One still must use a 5’ straight edge to center this total toe on the  
chassis, as I describe in my DIY Alignment. This tells one which side  
to adjust to both correct toe and center toe on the chassis.

After freeing tie rod adjustments, sometimes requiring a torch, I  
have greased them up well and found a rubber tubing of just the right  
diameter to act as a water excluding boot that can be slid over this  
adjustment area.

I don’t use slip or swivel plates, I do the measurements right on the  
floor and back the car out of the garage and back in after an  
adjustment for a remeasure.The first time alignment is a slow,  
iterative process but follow on checks require few and far between  
adjustments, if any. And the accuracy can far exceed that of  
alignment machine acceptable tolerences.

Have fun, guys.


Tramlining? Try higher tire pressure. I don’t see it.

On Oct 17, 2007, at 3:12 PM, Dave Defferding wrote:

> More info for me too, Bernie.  I made some adjustments when I  
> replaced strut inserts a few years ago, but an update on how did  
> your car will help me check/tweak ours.  In general behaves well,  
> but there is some tendency to follow the worn areas of the blacktop  
> around here, common I guess, tramlining??
> Dave D
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Bernie Benz" <b.benz at>
> To: "Nathan Winters" <natewin at>
> Cc: "200q20V mailing list" <200q20v at>
> Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 2:39 PM
> Subject: Re: Alignment issues, FYI
> Hi Nathan,
> I wrote and published my procedure to this list in ’01 and I believe
> that it is still on Cris Miller’s 200-20V site.
> Since then I have modified and simplified the total toe measurement
> considerably, as follows:
> Rather than projecting measurement points to the floor for
> measurement, I now use toe measuring boards and dual tape measures
> for a more direct reading and eliminating the plumb bob razzmatazz.
> More if you wish, Bernie
> On Oct 17, 2007, at 12:48 PM, Nathan Winters wrote:
>> Bernie,
>> I am in need of some DIY alignment.  I'd like to know more about
>> your process.
>> Thanks,
>> Nathan
>> ----- Original Message ----
>> From: Bernie Benz <b.benz at>
>> To: 200q20V mailing list <200q20v at>
>> Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 1:38:58 PM
>> Subject: Alignment issues, FYI
>> Found and corrected the problem of pulling to the right. It was
>> caster adjustment, or slop in this adjustment.
>> In spite of a perfectly symmetrical DYI camber (-0.2deg), zero total
>> toe, and chassis centering adjustments, car has pulled right for some
>> time now. I had forgotten about my years ago added caster adjustment,
>> the slotted holes in the sway bar bushing to sub frame brackets.These
>> mounting bolts were not quite tight enough and the brackets had been
>> moving on the subframe. Adjusted caster for maximum and equal on both
>> sides. Car now tracks absolutely straight.
>> Caster is a great final tweak adjustment for an otherwise perfect
>> alignment.
>> Bernie
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