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Old 09-06-2012, 12:47 PM
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diy alignment ?

so sometime here in the near future i might be getting new 35" offroad tires for my desert truck and started thinking about if i were do this with a bad alignment it might not be a good investment =[

i know a few places here in town who do great jobs for transport companies but figured if theres a better way to DIY it id be interested.


soo is there an amazing way to get a perfect alignment at home ?
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:14 PM
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Isn't it only like 60 bucks for an alignment? Just bring it to a shop
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:08 PM
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yeah,

i figured that was gonna be the answer lol

never hurts to ask
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:49 PM
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Its just not worth the time and cost of tools to do it yourself when its so inexpensive to have a shop do
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:42 AM
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Being a gearhead alignments is part of what we do;;Here is an article from Hot Rod on it..

Sam

Wheel Alignment Guide - How To Align Your Car At Home - Hot Rod Magazine
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:43 AM
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A couple things about alignments on hot rods.
1) the published alignment specs for older cars MAY be for using bias ply tires (obviously depends on the age of the vehicle). There was a gentleman in my neck of the woods who only did alignments on older cars and he used a string, plumb bob and witchcraft. He even took into account the type of tire. I had a relative that was a regional manager for Firestone, and my dad had a set of Potenza G-009's put on his car. Apparently the laser alignment 'pad' wouldnt fit under the unique shape of the 55 chevy quarter panel. Hence having to go to the Resident Curmudgeon. I also seem to remember that some shops wont cater to trucks with oversized tires and lifted suspensions

2) If you want to use your car for performance use (ie drag racing or serious track use), your adjustment for that might be outside the range of what a chain store alignment shop will let out of the barn

3) I live in pothole hell (northern NY) and I need an alignment often, even on my summer car its once a year. So if you drive your car a lot and rotate the tires, pony up for the lifetime alignment as they usually come with free rotation

4) Its good to know how an alignment actually works; then you can understand caster, camber, toe in, toe out and basic geometry.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:50 AM
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For basic toe in I use a Harbor Freight laser strapped to the rim (Not the rubber which can be uneven). Laser is excellent for measuring bump steer as well.


Simple metal angle for camber. Caster can be measured with a metal angle as well.


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Old 09-07-2012, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreTime View Post
Being a gearhead alignments is part of what we do;;Here is an article from Hot Rod on it..

Sam

Wheel Alignment Guide - How To Align Your Car At Home - Hot Rod Magazine
Nice link, very informative. I'm too lazy to do all that though! lol
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:26 PM
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Guess I am the resident curmudgen..What ever that is..??

Sam
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:47 PM
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I do my '31 A with IFS - simple, regular hand tools including a couple of homemade gadgets. I don't/wont do my F350 4x4 - special and BIG metric tools. Plus - as said above $60 - $70 bucks and my tires are ~34" on 18" wheels
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:01 PM
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String and a level

A friend is the retired head of Ford Racing, He used the string and level to align his 427 Cobra, then used a tire temp gage at various tracks, Broke the course up into segments, and compared tire temps then made changes, compared times, When he set the road course record he had all 4 wheels pointing different directions. PS, he did not trust the kids at a shop to get close to the aluminum body.
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:06 PM
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'Senior Curmudgeon' is a term used around here to describe the guy who prefers the books/ catalogs to the computers and actually knows how these things work. they can usually look up parts by number without resorting to the catalog. Usually they have a few grey hairs and tend to grumble a lot at the punk kids who work there and think their Stratus is a 'hot rod'. Im only 30, but I have most of these qualities. Its not an insult at my shop and between my friends.
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