Diy alignments

Started by 94touring, March 06, 2018, 07:06:34 AM

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94touring

In the coming months as I get cars back on the road with all my fancy adjustable suspension, I'll be doing a little explanation how to use tools for the job.  I've always set toe myself but have now bought a camber/caster tool. For toe I bought some metal plates with slots to pull a tape from to make the job easier.  For now here's a picture of what I'll be using for camber and caster. 

MPlayle

I will be needing to do the same very soon - have the fully adjustable suspensions front and rear on the Moke.

What plates did you get and where did you get the castor/camber gauge from?


MiniDave

Looks like he got it from Joe....   ;D
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

94touring

#3
Joes on eBay, $117 shipped.  There are others in the $200 plus range with electronic functions.  I watched some YouTube clips explaining how to do it with a protractor and painters tape marked out on the floor to set caster.  Alternately you can buy very expensive wheel plates that allow you to set the required 20 degree angles, but for the money a protractor is what I'm going with. The camber is very easy to set.  This also has magnets to mount to the wheels.  However I'm thinking I may fab up a piece of metal to adhere to the wheel center to mount this tool flush properly. Flat floors are important as well, at least not ridiculously unlevel.  For toe the plates were very basic and came with 2 tape measures. Each plate sits flush against the outer face of the wheels and the tapes are pulled and read.  I probably could have bought some plate and made my own but ebay was too easy. I will use these same plates in conjunction with the protractor to tape out 20 degree lines for the castor.  The main benefit being not having to find a place to set up our minis and being able to adjust and tweak several ways to suit your own taste.  I also have my rx7 to setup. All in all it pays for itself quickly and gives a lot of flexibility to try different setups.  As with all settings the car should be allowed to settle and rolled around to get accurate readings. 

Some instructions:
https://www.joesracing.com/rt-4621-joes-caster-camber-gauge-instructions.html

Rosebud

Quote from: 94touring on March 06, 2018, 07:06:34 AM
For toe I bought some metal plates with slots to pull a tape from to make the job easier.

Coincidentally, I'm adjusting toe angle tomorrow morning using the plate & measuring tape method. Question: How do I know if my wheels are pointed perfectly straight before I begin adjusting the toe angle? I was planing on simply making sure both left & right steering tie rods were of equal length. Is this foolproof? Is there an easer or better method?
Rosebud
...the sled, not the flower
https://www.facebook.com/PoserMotorSports

Willie_B

Center the steering rack/wheel using the locating hole in the rack. Then work out from there.

MPlayle

Ordered a complete kit (toe plates, tape measures, caster/camber gauge) from JEGS for about $171 shipped free.

For the Moke, I will try using the "string method" down each side to zero each wheel to center then use the plates to set toe equally between each side.  I plan to try using some cheap vinyl tiles with a little grease between them as the slide plates.


94touring

Guys on YouTube used trash bags folded over with wd40 sprayed between them.

Rosebud

Quote from: Willie_B on March 07, 2018, 06:36:56 AM
Center the steering rack/wheel using the locating hole in the rack. Then work out from there.

The locating hole would be behind the cover underneath the carpet, adhesive and Dynamat I'll bet. Dang.
Rosebud
...the sled, not the flower
https://www.facebook.com/PoserMotorSports

John Gervais

Sounds like a nice kit from JEG's - could you post a link?

I 'made' some turning plates from a couple of polycarbonate squares with grease between them.  They work ok, but the tires can 'walk' off-center.
- Pave the Bay -

MPlayle

Here is the link for the kit I ordered.  Kit is supposed to be delivered on Monday.

http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS-Performance-Products/555/81680K/10002/-1


Rosebud

#11
Quote from: MPlayle on March 09, 2018, 09:13:42 PM
Here is the link for the kit I ordered.  Kit is supposed to be delivered on Monday.

http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS-Performance-Products/555/81680K/10002/-1
I have that same kit and used it for the first time the other day to first, screw-up my alignment. Then, after taking my car to a Mini-Savvy alignment shop to set things right, I tried using the kit to replicate and verify the shop's settings. Seemed straightforward enough, especially for measuring toe adjustment. Yet, the readings I'm getting from the kit are nowhere near the settings printout from shop.

Perhaps there's some technique involved that I'm not understanding. I do know that the smaller the wheel, the greater degree of error inherent in the kit for toe adjustment. Our 10-inchers are about as small as it gets. Maybe that's where the problem lies.
Rosebud
...the sled, not the flower
https://www.facebook.com/PoserMotorSports

94touring

Did you allow the car to settle and roll it forward and backwards?

Rosebud

Quote from: 94touring on March 13, 2018, 07:39:49 PM
Did you allow the car to settle and roll it forward and backwards?
Yes, I did. Up, down, left, right and every which way. Settling didn't alter any of the readings, and floor level is not a factor. The method the kit uses for toe adjustment is very straightforward and seems like it would be foolproof. Alas, my readings were way off. I'll shoot and post a video of the procedure tomorrow. Maybe someone will notice what and if I'm doing wrong.[size=78%] [/size]
Rosebud
...the sled, not the flower
https://www.facebook.com/PoserMotorSports

MPlayle

I think part of the trick is to get the toe plates centered on the hub so that one end is not further from the hub than the other.

I also plan to "zero" each side relative to the body using a string running the total length of the Moke.  Then I will adjust each side relative to the string and compare across the car for confirmation of total toe.


94touring

I just played around with these plates. I tried several variations on plate and tape placement.  These plates have an indent in the center to align them up with the hub.  I used that initially with the tapes placed in their appropriated notches. I got it set to 1/16 toe out. Then I moved the tapes to the top of the plates and ran them as close to the tires as I could, and noted still 1/16 toe out. 

Rosebud

Quote from: 94touring on March 14, 2018, 11:17:34 AM
...then I moved the tapes to the top of the plates and ran them as close to the tires as I could, and noted still 1/16 toe out.
I did all that and was still way out on toe according to the alignment shop Seems pretty straightforward though, right? Although I understand that the smaller the wheel, even the tiniest of errors would be magnified. Sounds like you might have things dialed in correctly. Now that you've got the toe set, it would be interesting to have an alignment shop double check, but that would be defeating the reason we bought the plates in the first place; to save money by doing it ourselves. Good luck!
Rosebud
...the sled, not the flower
https://www.facebook.com/PoserMotorSports

94touring

How far out was your toe vs the alignment shop? I've always used a tape measure but this is the first time I've used plates.  This is way easier.

Here's some more fiddling to figure out a nice setup to do camber and caster.  These plates will be too long for me to turn the wheel in, but this is what I'm shooting for.  Bolted a piece of plate steel, used bungee cords to holds the main plate snug against the wheel face.  Drilled a sight hole to align with the hub, using a long bolt and spacer to feed the bolt through straight.  This should work pretty well once I get the proper sized plate. 

Shrimps

For toe I scribe a line down the middle of each tire all the way around then measure the distance between the two lines on the front of the tire and compare to the distance on the backside of the tire.  I have an old curtain rod screwed to a couple 2x4 blocks with screws attached to each end that have been ground to a point.  The curtain rod allows adjustment to get the tool to line up exactly with the scribed lines on one side to measure against the other side.

Sometimes I don't get things adjusted quite right to have the steering wheel centered when driving down the road so I'll have to go back and adjust.  Otherwise it seems to work pretty slick.

And I park each tire on essentially two squares of cereal boxes with the shiny sides facing each other to allow for easier rotation of the tires compared to being on concrete when making adjustments.

BruceK

Quote from: Shrimps on June 12, 2018, 11:42:19 AM

Sometimes I don't get things adjusted quite right to have the steering wheel centered when driving down the road so I'll have to go back and adjust.

Wait a minute.  Why wouldn't you just unbolt the steering wheel and center that?  Isn't that easier?   Or am I missing something?
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
1992 Toyota LiteAce (JDM)
1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Willie_B

If the rack & steering shaft are not centered the turn signal cancel cam will be out of position. Will not cancel in one direction if it too far out.

Shrimps

Quote from: Willie_B on June 12, 2018, 05:36:01 PM
If the rack & steering shaft are not centered the turn signal cancel cam will be out of position. Will not cancel in one direction if it too far out.

That and you can have a more finite control of centering the wheel vs moving one spline to another (which can end up being quite a bit depending on how close you want to get it centered).  I'm kinda OCD about some stuff.

BruceK

Makes sense.  Thanks for the explanation.
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
1992 Toyota LiteAce (JDM)
1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

John Gervais

Mr. Calver is sending this to me as soon as he can find a box and some bubble wrap:   4.gif
- Pave the Bay -

MiniDave

Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

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