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Old 01-13-2011, 03:23 AM   #1
dicer
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How many do their own alinements?

Just curious if anyone does there own back yard front end alinement?
Especially if its the straight axle, there is not much that can be done other than the wedges for caster, axle has to be bent for camber. Toe in using a laser and board ?
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:21 AM   #2
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Re: How many do their own alinements?

I did a complete front end rebuild and I had to set my tie rod adjustment to drive it to the alignment shop.

i used a long piece of string and four jack stands. I placed a jack stand behind each rear wheel and in front of the front wheels. next I tied string between the front and back jackstands. the rear jackstands will need to be tucked under the truck so the string is forced against the back edge of the rear tire. you then take the front jack and position it such that the string just touches the front edge of the rear tire, remember that the front jack should be in front of the front tires.

At this point, the string is positioned in plane with the rear tires. you should easily see how out your tie rod adjustment is at this point. repeat for the opposite side of vehicle.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:47 PM   #3
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Re: How many do their own alinements?

i race a imca /nascar dirt stock car , so i better understand alignment . i do all my own . i have a rebco camber/caster guage with the magnetic adapter , toe plates as well as a toe stick . whats important is the specsification manuals and how to measure the heighth so you can properly adjust caster on our trucks .
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:52 AM   #4
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Re: How many do their own alinements?

I do all my own on everything.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:21 AM   #5
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Re: How many do their own alinements?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dicer View Post
axle has to be bent for camber.
That is not so, there are tapered shims that go between the spindle and knuckle for that....but if you need that, the axle is already bent or you have a bad ball-joint.
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:07 PM   #6
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Re: How many do their own alinements?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dicer View Post
Just curious if anyone does there own back yard front end alinement?
Especially if its the straight axle, there is not much that can be done other than the wedges for caster, axle has to be bent for camber. Toe in using a laser and board ?
I do the alignments on my hot rods and race cars...I use a mechanical toe-in gauge, a tape measure, and a bubble caster/camber gauge.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:18 PM   #7
dicer
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Re: How many do their own alinements?

So with the string set up how close was it?

Last edited by dicer; 01-14-2011 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:16 PM   #8
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Re: How many do their own alinements?

I own an auto repair shop. When my ' car guys ' bring me their cars, it is nice that they have it 'CLOSE' iT MAKES OUR JOB EASIER. Without a camber/caster gauge IMO you could get close, but still could have a pull or a pending tire wear problem. I would try and get it close and take it to a traditional repair shop to get it aligned, just to make sure you were where you need to be. If you go to the mass merchandiser ( tire store chains ) you probably will get the " we do not know how to do your old truck" remark.


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So with the string set up how close was it?
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:59 AM   #9
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Re: How many do their own alinements?

The string trick was not a complete alignment fix. It was to get it "good enough" to get it to the alignement shop after a complete front end rebuild.

It drove very striaght and didnt pull at all. I painted the new tie rods and adjuster sleeves, before the alignment. I was able to tell how much they adjsuted it, which wasnt more than a full rotation of the adjuster sleeve on either side.

in doing this, i also noticed that my drivers side rear tire wasnt straight, but the passenger rear tire was. This wouldnt have been caught at the alignment shop since they dont (usually) check the rear wheels.
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:49 AM   #10
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Re: How many do their own alinements?

how does the rear tires get not straight? maybe thats something i need to look out for..
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