Best Front End Alignment Tool for the Home Mechanic? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
Hotrodders.com -- Hot Rod Forum



Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Unanswered Posts Auto Escrow Insurance Auto Loans Advertise
Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Suspension - Brakes - Steering
User Name
Password
lost password?   |   register now

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-13-2018, 02:04 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SW Missouri
Posts: 9
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Best Front End Alignment Tool for the Home Mechanic?

When it comes to my vehicles, I do all of the maintenance and service on them….except alignments. I’ve done simple toe adjustments before on vehicles with solid front axles by setting up lines on each side and lots of measuring, but when it comes to vehicles with top and bottom a-arms where you are adjusting toe/camber/caster all at the same time, I just don’t have the equipment to do it right.

I’m at the point where I would like to invest some money in some good equipment that will let me set camber and caster pretty easily. Setting toe is the easy part.

Most of the jigs/tools I’ve seen out there only fit up to an 18” wheel….but my truck has 20” wheels on it, my wife’s Touareg has 19” wheels….so whatever I get, it needs to fit those wheel sizes.

Maybe something like this?


    Advertisement
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-16-2018, 08:55 PM
BigMo's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Tennessee, near Smokey Mtns.
Posts: 368
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 11
Thanked 38 Times in 38 Posts
That looks pretty good, im interested too....what brand is that in the pic

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12-17-2018, 05:53 AM
poncho62's Avatar
Hotrodders.com Moderator
 
Last wiki edit: Streetbeasts links
Last journal entry: 77 Ford
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 18,187
Wiki Edits: 5

Thanks: 69
Thanked 762 Times in 576 Posts
Fancy....But would a large carpenter's square and a level not do the same thing?
__________________
I wonder if common sense will ever make a comeback?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 12-17-2018, 08:37 AM
BigMo's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Tennessee, near Smokey Mtns.
Posts: 368
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 11
Thanked 38 Times in 38 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62 View Post
Fancy....But would a large carpenter's square and a level not do the same thing?
Not for a one man operation

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12-17-2018, 09:31 PM
John long's Avatar
Slow but willing learner
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Chattanooga, Tn
Age: 74
Posts: 4,745
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 5,623
Thanked 8,056 Times in 4,123 Posts
For a disc brake car I have heard people talk about sticking a magnetic angle finder on the rotor. That would work reasonably well for camber but castor would take a little more thought.

There are bunches of inexpensive bubble tools on Ebay. I would love to watch a really good video on using one.

John
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 12-18-2018, 08:09 AM
55 Tony's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Cocke County, TN
Posts: 1,143
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 135
Thanked 196 Times in 175 Posts
Without proper turntables under the tires that setup will have to come off and on again after every adjustment so you can roll the car back and forth a few times. I used a cheap (around $19) tool to do the castor, a plain level cut to the length of the wheel to do the camber, and I am getting or making toe plates ... for the toe.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 12-18-2018, 08:16 AM
Fang16's Avatar
Registered User
 

Last journal entry: Project change
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Rogers, Ar.
Posts: 794
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 32
Thanked 57 Times in 55 Posts
Recently saw a set of turntables in the Fayetteville Ar. craigslist.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 12-18-2018, 08:17 AM
johnsongrass1's Avatar
Race it, Don't rice it!
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Columbia, Mo
Age: 43
Posts: 7,072
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 111
Thanked 746 Times in 612 Posts
Two sheets of tiles, plastic, steel, aluminum, etc with grease between them work just fine.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to johnsongrass1 For This Useful Post:
55 Tony (12-18-2018), Tim C (12-18-2018)
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 12-18-2018, 09:17 AM
Tim C's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Fayetteville, NC, USA
Age: 39
Posts: 379
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 47
Thanked 110 Times in 99 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsongrass1 View Post
Two sheets of tiles, plastic, steel, aluminum, etc with grease between them work just fine.
Yep. I went to Lowe's and bought 4 sheets of acrylic plastic 1/8” thick 8 x 8 inches square. Put grease or Vaseline between two each and roll the car onto them. I made some ramps from stacked 2x12s so I can get under the car for adjustment and left the ramps long enough that I can still roll it onto the plastic turn plates.

I cut a level too to fit against the wheel and a digital angle finder for camber. Caster uses the same tool but needs two people. Turn wheels, not steering wheel it's more like 3/4 turn, 20 degrees, zero camber/angle gauge, turn opposite direction past straight the same amount measure on gauge plus a little math equals caster (I can't remember the math equation right now). Repeat on both sides to get castor on each side.

For toe I bought two identical brand tape measures and compared the reading in the store. Plus a couple of pieces of aluminum angle. Got the aluminum angle blocked up high enough to get over the tire bulge and cut slots to pass the tape through.

I've got less than $150 in everything including the 2x12 ramps and I verified it with the computer alignment machine at work one day it was really close. I built my own stuff because it is hard to put my lowered Fairlane on the machine at work, the hunter machine needs to clamp to the tire tread to hold the sensors, and with the Fairlanes built in rear fender skirts and the front tires filling up the wheel well opening it interferes with the sensors clamps.

Sent from my E6910 using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 12-18-2018, 02:57 PM
55 Tony's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Cocke County, TN
Posts: 1,143
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 135
Thanked 196 Times in 175 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsongrass1 View Post
Two sheets of tiles, plastic, steel, aluminum, etc with grease between them work just fine.

I suppose you are correct. For some reason I always thought of the two sheets of whatever only good for turning, but I guess if you turn them before/after caster/camber adjustments the wheels will move in/out/front/back at the same time.


Didn't see it mentioned but of course make sure the whole car is level, left to right anyway. Mine took an extra 3 tiles on the left side front, rear was OK.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Recent Suspension - Brakes - Steering posts with photos

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name (usually not your first and last name), your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Insurance
Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
front end alignment for 79 t-bird Heidts front sus jenajean Suspension - Brakes - Steering 4 09-16-2014 09:58 AM
Home Mechanic's Tool Guide bigbird Hotrodders' Lounge 3 08-24-2004 11:06 PM
home mechanic + rearend=??? layinitdown Transmission - Rearend 9 06-22-2003 10:11 PM
is there any front end alignment people out there? IHAVECHEVYPARTS Suspension - Brakes - Steering 5 11-26-2002 08:10 PM
front end alignment specs drag racing snakejake Suspension - Brakes - Steering 3 04-27-2002 12:05 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright Hotrodders.com 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.