DIY Front End Alignment: Aligning the wheels.

Now that we have a trammel bar we can actually do the alignment.  First you need to set the camber.  For the SuperStalker that is very simple, if you are reading this for a different type of car, especially strut based suspensions, it may not be possible.Start with the trammel at the back of the wheel.  Fold the left pointer down and slide the trammel beneath the car.

The left pointer is folded down to allow the trammel to slide beneath the car.

The left pointer is folded down to allow the trammel to slide beneath the car.

Lift the pointer and align it with a feature on the tire that is easy to repeat.  In my case the tires are very new and have a tiny bit of molding flash running around the center-line of the tire.

Pointer to a repeatable feature on the tire.

Pointer aligned to a repeatable feature on the tire.

Now move to the right tire and align the pointer with the same feature on the right tire. In this case I align the “1” mark on the ruler with the same mold flash.  Now fold the left pointer back down and slide the trammel from beneath the car, be careful not to disturb the right pointer.

place the trammel in front of the tire and align the fixed pointer with the chosen feature on the front of the right tire. Now look at the right pointer (in front of the left tire now) and measure where the chosen feature is. In this case I measured 0.5 inches of toe OUT.  So much for “eyeball” alignment.

The mold flashing is .5 inches to the right of the "1" marker.  I "eyeballed" 0.5 inches of TOE OUT!!!

The mold flashing is .5 inches to the right of the "1" marker. I "eyeballed" 0.5 inches of TOE OUT!!!

Now adjust the toe by tightening or loosening the ties rods.  Keep rechecking the toe as often as you need in order to set the desired toe.  When I was finally done I had 1/8″ of toe IN:

"1" mark on pointer to feature on right tire. Indicates 1/8" toe IN.

"1" mark on pointer aligned to feature on right tire. Indicates 1/8" toe IN.

Once the toe is adjusted make sure every thing is tight and go for a test drive.  If the steering wheel is not centered you have the choice of realigning, and moving each tie rod in the opposite direction, or just pulling the steering shaft and moving the shaft a few spline teeth.

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3 Responses to DIY Front End Alignment: Aligning the wheels.

  1. Ted says:

    Nice, but you have not allowed for wheel and tire runout which can be 1/8 inch or more, making a fine adjustment of say + or —
    1/16 inch (which is needed for highway driven cars), impossible.
    Jack up and support car so front tires clear floor and spray white paint lightly around center tread bar while rotating tire. Scribe a line by rotating tire against a fixed sharp point like a nail through a board. Drop car to floor and push forward 2 feet to settle suspension. Do NOT backup! Now measure distance between scribed lines at front and rear of wheels==toe in or out. Adjust.

    • enderw88 says:

      That’s a very good point. I didn’t realized the runout was that bad on some tires. I usually rotate the wheel around one to check runout, but I didn’t mention that here.

  2. Tessa says:

    Masz rację w tym, co napisałaś. Ja jestem w tej niefajnej sytuacji, że będę pierwszym magistrem (i pierwszą osobą, która idzie do szkoły muzycznej) w rodzinie, więc mentalność moich rodziców, dziadków itd, wciąż jeszcze jest taka, jak większości kooertatmnów na Onecie.:( I tak, nie mogę się doczekać tej chwili, kiedy odbiorę dyplom.:) Warto więc czekać i uczyć się. A Tobie gratuluję z całego serca, bo wiem, ile Cię to kosztowało siły i energii. Możesz być z siebie dumna!:)

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