Fwd: DIY generic Wheel Alignment, my tools, procedures, and specs.
b.benz at charter.net
Thu Dec 25 19:28:47 PST 2008
Begin forwarded message:
> From: Bernie Benz <b.benz at charter.net>
> Date: December 25, 2008 5:07:54 PM PST
> To: Kris Hansen <kris at audiworld.com>, tech at audiworld.com.
> Cc: Tim Jee <ocsheepdog at gmail.com>, Stephen Kendrish
> <skendrish at hotmail.com>
> Subject: DIY generic Wheel Alignment, my tools, procedures, and specs.
> For Camber measurements you’ll need a carpenter’s framing square
> and a level. Also a 5’ straight edge and a fairly level garage floor.
> For Total Toe measurements, two steel tape measures, and a pair of
> home made toe boards. I’ll describe mine as follows:
> Two flat and straight 1 x 6 x 24” pine boards. Saw slot the ends 1”
> deep, parallel with and ½” in from the edges, to accept the tape
> The DIY alignment procedure is an iterative process that can be
> very time intensive the first time if misalignment is gross and
> adjustments are frozen, but it is possible to better that of
> sophisticated equipment in the hands of the unknowing using gross
> factory tolerances.
> 1. Calibrate your level in degrees per bubble movement as follows:
> On a flat table surface, shim the low end of the level to center
> the bubble.
> Flip the level end for end on the shim. The bubble should remain
> centered. If not your level is NG!
> Now add a measured shim to move the bubble one division or one
> bubble length.
> This added shim thickness divided by the length of the level is the
> tangent of the level’s one bubble angle.
> Look up this angle in your trig tables and mark the level as such.
> X deg./ bubble.
> 2. Check the floor for level.
> Chalk scribe the tire contact patch areas where camber is to be
> With the 5’ straight edge across the two contact areas (shim
> equally if straight edge high centering is a problem) check the
> straightedge for level. Note what portion of a bubble it is off
> level and in what direction. This correction factor will be applied
> to subsequent camber measurement values.
> 3. Camber measurement, one axle.
> With the tires for the axle to be checked on the patch areas, hold
> the square edge vertical against the tire side wall, contact points
> just fore or aft of center to avoid the contact bulge, check bubble
> with level on horizontal leg of square. Apply the floor correction
> factor and you have Camber for that wheel in bubbles, which can be
> converted into degrees using your level calibration figure. Repeat
> for second wheel on that axle. If the camber angles of each wheel
> are not equal, equalize them by moving the subframe before
> attempting to adjust individual wheel camber. After any camber
> adjustment, back the car off of the contact patch areas and
> reposition prior to the next measurement. Make all necessary
> camber adjustments before proceeding to Toe measurement.
> 4. Total Toe measurement, one axle.
> Position car on contact patch areas with steering wheel in exact
> neutral position. Place toe boards edge on floor against and
> centered on wheels. Stretch tapes under the car fore and aft of
> wheels in the toe board slots. With tape ends hooked into the
> opposite toe board, pull tapes tight against measuring side toe
> board. The difference in tape lengths is the Total Toe angle in
> inches per 24”.
> This Total Toe angle must be centered on the chassis such that the
> car goes straight down the road, not crabbing. To check this, hold
> your straight edge horizontal at axle height across the tire side
> wall‘s two contact points and measure the distance between the
> straight edge and the base of the B pillar. Repeat for the other
> side. These two measurements should be equal.
> So, when correcting Total Toe angle make your adjustment on the
> side required to also center toe on the chassis. After each
> adjustment, the car must be backed off the alignment patches and
> the patch position reestablished for another measurement.
> After measuring and correcting the alignment for the first (front)
> axle, repeat the whole iterative process for the second (rear) axle.
> Alignment Specs for maximum tire life:
> Front and Rear:
> Camber: Zero. Identical L. to R. No tolerance.
> Total Toe: Zero, no tolerance, Centered on the chassis.
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