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How to do an Alignment at Home

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by jberry813, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Mar 1, 2014 at 11:16 AM
    #81
    lotsoftoys

    lotsoftoys pavement is boring....

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    bunch of crap


    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
     
  2. Mar 2, 2014 at 12:39 PM
    #82
    jimbo33l

    jimbo33l Tacodile.... Supreme

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    Anyone have an answer for this?
     
  3. Mar 3, 2014 at 12:11 AM
    #83
    Guerrilla

    Guerrilla Smurf it.

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    Good write up:thumbsup:
     
  4. Sep 27, 2014 at 2:02 PM
    #84
    Callipygous

    Callipygous New Member

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    I am not a car person, so forgive me if I'm missing some information, but as a math person, this particular bit jumped out at me:

    "First, true spec is measured midway up the tires. If for any reason you cannot measure half way up because of bumpers or skid plates or whatever, take the front and rear measurements 1/4 of the way up the tires, then double that to get the true toe as it would be in the center of the tires."

    This seems to be off due to the geometry of a circle. By the time you reach "1/4 of the way up the tires" you would have covered (sqrt3)/2 of the horizontal distance, which is about 86%. If you then multiply by 2 you are finding 172% of the number you are looking for.

    If instead you measure 1/4 of the diameter toward front/back from the center of the tire, that would yield a number which you can simply multiply by 2.
     
  5. Sep 29, 2014 at 4:10 PM
    #85
    jberry813

    jberry813 [OP] The Mad Scientist

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    You're right, it's 1/4 of the way along the radius. However, even that's not going to be exact. Tires are not a perfect circle when they are loaded by the weight of the truck. My tires flatten over 1" on the loaded side of the tire. I have always taken toe measurements based on the center of the hub to the ground and made my marks on the tires at whatever I measured (typically around 15-16" depending on how much tread I have left and tire inflation psi).

    More importantly, the goal is to have total toe at 0 (if your driving habits are like mine). At most, alignment shops will do 1/16" toe in. If you set your total toe at 0, it's not going to matter where you take your measurement from. If your goal is 1/16" total toe in, and you measured 1/32" (and then "double" it as I mentioned) at 1/4 of the way up the vertical distance, you're only going to be off by about 1/32"..and still minimally toe'd in. At such fractions of an inch, it's not really going to matter. There's a larger variance by just not putting the tape measure in the same spot.

    Along the same note, I originally drafted this such that anyone who had basic tools in their garage could do it. Since then I've stopped measuring toe with this manual method. I bought a set of Toe plates about a year ago and have been using those since. Way faster and definitely more accurate.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  6. Sep 29, 2014 at 6:00 PM
    #86
    Callipygous

    Callipygous New Member

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    Flattening would cause an error if you measured based on the stated diameter of your tire. However, if you loaded the tire then measured how wide it is in its flattened state and measured at a quarter of that, horizontally, you could end up with a very precise answer.

    So you say the greatest alteration they might aim for is 1/16 toe in. This seems interesting to me, do they do it by a set measurement like that, as opposed to a degree, or a measurement relative to the tire size? That is, 1/16 in is a different angle on a small tire than it is on a larger one right? I guess on that scale it doesn't make much difference.
     
  7. Sep 29, 2014 at 6:06 PM
    #87
    jberry813

    jberry813 [OP] The Mad Scientist

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    That's what I was insinuating.
    As for degrees vs inches...it depends on the shop. Some machines go by inches, some go by degree. Easy to calculate the other based on tire diameter. In the end...it doesn't matter. You're not going to get perfect with a manual method....but you can get close.

    I got new meat on my tundra last week (my grocery getter) so I did my home alignment right after. Took it in to Les Schwab just to make sure (i hate buying tires), and they didn't charge me anything. Put it on the machine, read the numbers and didn't change a thing. I did use toe plates tho.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Jan 16, 2015 at 5:44 AM
    #88
    shavens

    shavens Member

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    Want to lift front 1.75 back 1.5.I have new wheels and tires to be installed.do I lift first then wheels and tires or wheels,tires,then lift.Thanks for any help.
     
  9. Jan 16, 2015 at 6:54 AM
    #89
    JLink

    JLink Well-Known Member

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    lift first. otherwise your new tires might not fit, plus you need an alignment after the lift so get that done when you get the tires mounted and balanced.
     
  10. Jan 16, 2015 at 7:11 AM
    #90
    !TacoTaco!

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  11. Jan 19, 2015 at 7:56 AM
    #91
    tacomawhite

    tacomawhite Active Member

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    sub'd.

    Anyone know where to find the original pics?
     
  12. Jan 19, 2015 at 8:25 AM
    #92
    SconnieHailer

    SconnieHailer PutterClutch

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    Been using an iteration of this method for a while now with good results Jason. Was looking at making a set of toe plates and came accross the possibility of using something like these:

    [​IMG]

    You ever used a set? It would be super nice for caster and toe as well I think.

    Something to add to your method maybe that i've been doing is for caster just zero out your angle finder when youre 20* in then when you go 20* out it will read your caster value directly, no math necessary.
     
  13. Jan 20, 2015 at 7:57 AM
    #93
    tacomawhite

    tacomawhite Active Member

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    scratch that. Looks like stupid new content filtering system at work is filtering them out.
     
  14. Jan 20, 2015 at 8:50 AM
    #94
    jberry813

    jberry813 [OP] The Mad Scientist

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    I've seen them. Never used them though.
     
  15. Jan 25, 2015 at 8:28 AM
    #95
    Wpg07TRD

    Wpg07TRD Canadian Member

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    +1
    Gonna give it a shot after my lift goes in!
     
  16. Mar 15, 2015 at 8:03 AM
    #96
    FlightLevelZero

    FlightLevelZero Member

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    Great write up and please forgive me if this has been answered elsewhere, but if my tacoma is pulling slightly with the crown in the road then I need to adjust the caster correct? How much should you begin with?
     
  17. Apr 10, 2015 at 8:21 PM
    #97
    skygear

    skygear           

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    I need to read.
     
  18. Apr 13, 2015 at 11:20 AM
    #98
    Bengt18T

    Bengt18T Active Member

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    I have a quick question about adjustments. Can you or should you adjust the alignment cams while the vehicle is on the ground or should it be measured, jacked up, adjusted and set down to avoid stress? I will also be getting the LR UCA. Can the upper ball joint camber setting be adjusted while on the ground as well?
     
  19. Apr 20, 2015 at 6:19 PM
    #99
    ckeene9

    ckeene9 Well-Known Member

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    Great write-up! Sub'd for future use.
     
  20. Apr 21, 2015 at 10:50 AM
    #100
    jberry813

    jberry813 [OP] The Mad Scientist

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    Most people will correct for road crown by adding more positive camber, (like 1/4 of a degree), on the left/drivers side.

    Absolutely you can do it on the ground. It makes it a little bit easier if you have the tires resting on something with less resistance than tire to asphalt/concrete contact. Park each of the front tires on top of a simple piece of paper and it makes adjustments easier.

    As for the LR UCA's, I have no experience with them personally. From looking at them I would adjust those first (prior to doing the actual eccentric bolt adjustment) and do it by jacking up the truck to remove load on the UCA. Once you drop the truck down from adjusting the UCA, drive the truck around the block a couple times to load the suspension.
     
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