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Old 12-30-2007, 02:38 PM
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Alignment tool

Anybody here use this thing? How close can you get with it? By paying attention to detail could a person do an acceptable alignment with this thing or would it just end up causing a lot of tire wear? Thoughts?


http://www.autobodytoolmart.com/p-12...ber-gauge.aspx

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Old 12-30-2007, 03:13 PM
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That should work fine. It just takes a little longer than with modern computerized systems. I think you still need turntables, however, since you typically need to turn the wheels +/- 20 degrees to get the camber reading. I remember using a similar system to do an alignment in my high school auto shop class in the early 1970s, Keep on the lookout, however. I scored a complete 1950s vintage front end alignment set, including a similar clamp-on fitting and turntables (and a cool rolling storage cart) for $45 at Carlisle a year ago.
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Old 12-30-2007, 03:26 PM
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Speedway motors has one of those that is a little bit cheaper, and a couple more expensive ones too. They have turntables as well.


http://www.speedwaymotors.com/p/2699...ber-Gauge.html

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Old 12-30-2007, 03:36 PM
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So I take it these do a good job and I can do it myself without going to the shop? Those guys really groan when I show up with one of those old Mustangs with the shim adjustment and every single time when they finish it's "we got it close but not perfect". When I went in this past week the guy refused to even work on mine because of the rack&pinion conversion so I decided it was time to do it myself if I could get the equipment, didn't realize it was so simple and inexpensive. I will check out Speedway because they have a neat looking bumpsteer gauge I want anyway so I guess I will give them a call.

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Old 12-30-2007, 03:55 PM
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That one has the advantage of being able to clamp to the outer rim. The old magnetic heads needed to fit to the hub after you took the grease cap off. Then they later devised an adapter to do the rim clamp with an old magnetic head.

I did not read that ad. It would need to be adjustable to compensate for a bent wheel (or slight run-out).

There is no reason a backyarder can't align a car at home and have it be 100% correct. You need a level floor or if not level, properly measured blocks to fit under each tire to simulate a 100% flat floor. The turntables are a must;like was said.

Accurate toe can be done by making a device to add a scribe line on the tread face while spinning the tire. That's 100% accurate, compared to just measuring to an existing line on the tread.
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Old 12-30-2007, 04:03 PM
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I bought one magnetic head at a swap from a circle track racer guy. It was about $50. Then I found a really old pair of turntables from the 30s for $10, and a "BEAR" brand tire scribing tool for $5.

I would like to find the "stand" thingy that has adjustable pointers on a long bar to check the toe. Right now I use 4 one quart cans in front & back of each tire, and then set a long 1"x1" oak stick on top of the cans and make a mark on the stick to compare front & back scribed lines.
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Old 12-30-2007, 05:13 PM
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years ago I bought an alignment tool from a guy in New York, it was called "HitMan". It uses a scope type held on with magnets and has targets set up at some distance. Very accurate for toe. Has a bubble gauge for camber and castor. Worked fine on my 36 Plymouth with Mustang 2 when alignment shops would not even talk to me! 59EC PS, I am a certified alignment tech. Can't beat modern equipment if you hace it.
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Old 12-30-2007, 05:16 PM
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i used this type for many years, very accurate:

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/p/2698...er-Gauges.html

as mentioned, turntables make the caster check easyas you have to go in/out 20* to get the reading. a level surface is necessary.
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:53 AM
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I bought the same type at a swap meet a few years ago, and I put the car on the lift with two pieces of linoleum under each front tire,to take the place of turning plates,this allows them to turn freely with a shot of pledge between them. I had the last alignment checked with a bear computor alignment system,because the customer was having a "pull" to one side. the alignment was dead on,the power rack had a dead spot!
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:02 PM
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If you can't find cheap turntables and have a decently stocked junk pile, cut out four steel squares- two per tire. 1/8" plate works good. Sandwich a little grease between the sheets, and put the sheets under the front tires. Greased plates makes turning wheels easy.
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:37 PM
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Oldred, I have used exactly the item you're asking about for about two years. Good item - I feel it is accurate enough for what I do and it is easy to use. When I bought mine, the toe adapter was separate. I see it is included with yours and it is worth it. I am not seeing any alignment issues or tire wear on my T.

I use a little different technique when checking toe with this tool. I put the tool on one wheel,making sure the base of the tool is level, drop the toe plates on the tool to the floor, slightly snug the toe plate knob to eliminate slack, then put a mark (on the floor) at the end of each toe plate. Then repeat with the other wheel. Then measure the distances between the marks left to right. This way you don't 'pull' the toe plate with a tape measure like you would if you followed their directions.

You will need to turn the wheels 15 degrees with this tool to check caster. I took two 1-foot-square pieces of cheap floor tile and sandwiched in a little wheel bearing grease between them and use that as a turntable. You will need two of those 'sandwiches' obviously.

When checking camber, a nearly perfect level floor is nice to park the car on, but the tool will compensate for this if you follow the directions.

Last edited by cucumber1949; 01-01-2008 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:02 AM
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years ago, i was a certified alignment tech. i loved it when hot rods would come in.

one day, a guy brought in his 454 4spd 70 vette. when i was pulling out of the shop, to test drive my alignment, the guy said to hammer on it and i did. i was layin rubber down main steet . when i gave him his keys, he said "bad a** the first time i seen my car in action"
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:01 AM
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As has been said one can do his own alignment with some simple tools..and in the pits at a race or in the garage at home..lots of good ideas in this thread..

Found this in my archives: http://www.familycar.com/alignment.htm
good article on alignment..

Another one:
http://www.longacreracing.com/articles/art.asp?ARTID=13

There was another good article I read it seems to be missing..I will need to go searching ..what I have here is a good start..

Sam

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Old 01-01-2008, 10:44 AM
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Yahoo found it

http://www.nationaltbucketalliance.c...ment/index.asp this is the string fling method..this works and is very accurate..can be a bit time consuming the first time around bu once you know it it works very well..

Sam
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vortech 4.3
years ago, i was a certified alignment tech. i loved it when hot rods would come in.
I'm with you. I am the alignment tech at our body shop (well now I just tell people what to do on the rack ) and look forward to the fun jobs like rods or old cars that aren't in the software of the alignment equipment. You have a little challenge, you have to think a little.

I have found that most alignment racks are in tire stores and most tire stores don't have a "tech" on the alignment rack, they have a kid who has a lot to learn. He looks at what is on the screen and that is it. I know, because I have a couple of kids who now do the alignments where I work. And even after many many alignments they don't get it. I give them literature to read, I tell them, I show them, they still don't get into it as much as they should.

To fully understand alignment you have to have a little passion for it. Most of these guys just don't.

And what really blows me away is our rack has been down for a number of months while the owner figures out what he wants to do, buy new or just farm them out. Well, he better get the darn thing fixed or what ever he is going to do because farming them out is killing us. Nearly every single car or truck sent out the bas tards tell us they need ball joints or tie rod ends! These are a few year old cars and they are trying to sell parts! Drives me crazy!

As far as this tool, I have never used it. But I have used very old Hunter stuff that was basically the same thing. Sure it worked, and worked well. NASCARS and the like don't get put up on an alignment rack, they get done on the floor using something like this. This is from what I understand, I have no first hand knowledge of it.

Brian
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