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Thinking of buying my own wheel alignment kit as I now have a few older cars to work on.

Anyone have any recommendations? I have seen the Sealey GA50 at about £500 and some cheaper ones at about £100

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Get the expensive one. When can I get booked in? Is your driveway level enough? Also, make sure it does camber please :D

Edited by Phill
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@SilverWT I get how this works as it was done on my car but where is the reference point for the string? There must be fixed points to ensure the string is parallel to then be able to measure off the rims? Also, I see you have the car on blocks. How much clearance do you need to comfortably get to the track rod ends for adjustment? 

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2 hours ago, SilverWT said:

Save your money, all you need is some string and a ruler!

DSCN4614.thumb.JPG.e6e6db713fc814ed7bebd04fbd3f764f.JPG

Results needed no correction when checked on this

IMAG0069.thumb.jpg.d7e51e47c9b3cc67c6d9a2d94794c562.jpg

 

 

 

Believe it or not, this is the best method for Geo. It's been done like this for ages. The string box sections the car and the distances from the rims to the string are set. A car is series of three boxes front middle and rear. The idea is to get the thrust line down the centre. If you equal the toe across both Axel's IE 0 toe,the box sections should be equal if not you have a chassis subframe or trailing arm / wishbone issue. You get the thrust line correct and then you adjust camber toe and caster . 

The geo is started at the rear and the front rack is centred turn to turn. A car should brake and accelerate in a straight line on a level surface it should Track straight to. The management of the the suspension travel and change in camber / contact patch of the wheels is then another aspect of spring rate bump and rebound. But strictly speaking getting the basics right (thrust line and toe ) will be the best starting point . 

 

String has been used in the pits for eons. It's a good system.

D

 

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1 hour ago, Phill said:

@SilverWT I get how this works as it was done on my car but where is the reference point for the string? There must be fixed points to ensure the string is parallel to then be able to measure off the rims?

The two pieces of wood to support the string were clamped to the car (rear to the exhaust pipes, front to the underside of the bumper) parallel to the ground such that the string would be centred on the wheels. String on each side is the same length and the distance from the two rear wheel centres equalised and equalised at the two front wheel centres.

1 hour ago, Phill said:

@SilverWT Also, I see you have the car on blocks. How much clearance do you need to comfortably get to the track rod ends for adjustment? 

In the picture, the car is up on blocks and slip plates (two sheets of metal with grease between them) to make camber and toe adjustments more accurate, not primarily for access.

Even with my significantly lowered car I can adjust the the front toe by laying next to the car and reaching under it.

To do the adjustment the car needs to sit at it's normal level, so if you raise it it needs to be the same front and rear. Also if you do not use slip plates you have movement in the tyres and suspension bushes to overcome.

If the strings are firmly attached to the car you can take the initial measurements, jack up the front to make some adjustment, drop it back down, roll it back and forth to settle things, take another measurement (allowing for the fact the front wheels may be at a slightly different orientation from the movement as well as adjustment) and repeat as necessary. 

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21 minutes ago, Peter Bull said:

 I made myself a toe-fork (tm). See last post in linked thread. It makes a very quick job of measuring toe, and has seen both garage and track-side duty.

/Peter

Is that then aligned with the centre of the car?

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https://sharkeyewheelaligners.com/

 

I have this little setup in the workshop. It's convenient if you have a ramp and the 1m tables can be levelled up and accept skid and corner weight scales. I believe they do a more basic setup but really this would be more than sufficient for the home garage. The tables are stackable do take up roughly a large tall table area.

If you're serious track guy it would be worth the investment but in my experience most people who get fancy 20 way adjustable suspension , never adjust it once it's been setup for the road. Total waste if money unless you are racing a car at different tracks in different conditions.

D

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12 minutes ago, Phill said:

Is that then aligned with the centre of the car?

No, it only measures relative toe angle. I've usually only checked the absolute toe angle by eye sight. With a little bit of practice the differences between the sides have been easy to spot.

/Peter

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The simplest way is four axle stands, a pair of builders string lines and two lengths of aluminium tube.  The trick is to have the tubes exactly the same length, with a groove at each end, exactly the same distance from each respective end for the strings to locate in.  The only downside is the possibility of knocking something, together with an inability to move the car easily to settle the suspension.  This is the way we do things trackside and it works.  There is a common misconception that wheels are always in the correct positions relative to the centre line of the car, which is often not the case and certainly rare in my experience where modified cars are concerned.  I have been told that some of the computer rigs don’t account for this, so the results you get aren’t always what they might be.

I built what you see in the photo and it cost me very little.  20mm aluminium box section is used to form two frames, one for each end of the car.  A three way boss ties everything together and some marks in the right places on the frames allow everything to go together in exactly the same position each time.  Being my car I’ve marked positions on the body front and rear as well, although I can get away with that because race car.  The hub stands are formed from 8mm steel plate, with a length of 8mm steel angle bolted to the bottom.  They are dual drilled, to suit both the race car PCD and the GT3.  I do use turn plates, although heavy duty conveyor type roller bearings are available on EBay that will go into the steel angle and negate the need for them.  Turn plates aren’t cheap and for relatively little use might not be everyone’s preference.  The likes of Metal Supermarket would supply you everything pre-cut, which makes it all a drill and bolt exercise.  If anyone needs dimensions, let me know.

9644E34F-7D13-421F-8519-C71AA8FF52C5.jpeg

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14 hours ago, oliverjamesthomas said:

The only downside is the possibility of knocking something, together with an inability to move the car easily to settle the suspension.

This is why I now go for something attached to the car. Many times I have spent ages setting up the axle stands and string, only to trip over it and having to start again!

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