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Discussion Starter #1
I have been driving around since I put the car back together back in 2014 without a formal wheel alignment check. I merely replaced the same number/size of shims as I took out. And that is an approximate replacement because I measured the old rusty things and tried to get new replacements in approximately the correct sizes. Plus, who knows whether I interpreted my scribble notes that I took when I dis assembled stuff approximately 2 years before I reinserted the new shims.

The car tracks straight on the highway and seems to steer just fine and does not wander; but, I thought I should probably check the alignment. Maybe my camber is excessive and I am going to be shredding my tires. Also, since I installed the EPS the car is sensitive to steering inputs on the highway and I thought that experimenting with a little more caster might increase the self aligning tendency and reduce sensitivity to steering inputs. With the Covid 19 shutdown looking like its going to last for a significant period of time, I thought why not experiment with the alignment myself. Its not like I am going to be going anywhere soon or have a lot of other things to do. To that end, has anybody tried any of the do it your self alignment tools and have any words of wisdom on what is good and what is crap?
 

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142G;

You can check a lot with a couple of cement blocks, string, rulers, level, tape measure and a laser pointer if you want to make some fixturing and get fancy...we used to align formula Fords with those tools...and they raced like that, and never saw an alignment machine!

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ron:

I know that you can fabricate home alignment tools. Toe-in measurement is quite doable with some mild home fabrication. Camber and caster measurements are not so easy to do accurately - particularly since I am pretty sure that the 35 year old concrete pad in my detached garage is not level. The claimed ability of some tools to correct for this is appealing. The levels with the magnetic adapter that fastens to the hub looks appealing except that it relies on a flat surface on the hub and even if the 140's hubs were at one time flat, the combination of nicks and corrosion probably means they are no longer flat. That means the type off adapter that mounts to the wheel rim might be a better choice. My ATS alloy wheels do have beads on the rim lip so theoretically it should be easier to fit the rim mount style tools. I am just wondering about any experience that others may have with different tools.

In order to do a caster measurement, you need to be able to measure rim inclination with the wheels steered 20 deg left and right. I am curious as to whether anybody has devised an ability to do a good steering angle measurement without the use of turn plates (which more than doubles the cost of dong it at home).
 

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142G;

"Turn Plates " are as simple as two pieces of sheetmetal with grease between them under each (front) tire...not prohibitive either...!

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #5
142G;

"Turn Plates " are as simple as two pieces of sheetmetal with grease between them under each (front) tire...not prohibitive either...!

Cheers
I was thinking about that. A couple of pieces of 1/8 or 3/16 steel would probably suffice. I was originally thinking about some Teflon sheet for a bearing surface between the plates. Two sheets of 12"x12" Teflon would be about $75. I have searched and 4 plates of 12x12x1/8 cold rolled, are probably around $60 with cutting fees if I can source locally. If I just want the plates to reduce turning friction then the plates with grease between them would do the trick. However, my tires are only 185 so reducing turning friction is not that big of a deal. I was more interested in plates with angle calibration in which case the plates need a fixed pivot which requires a more solid bearing material. Now we are into the $150 range with the Teflon and a pivot and bits. Quick trick has some ready to go for about $260 US$ by the time they are shipped.

I think the no turn plates budget approach of tape or sharpie marks on the garage floor marked at 0 and +/- 20 deg with some kind of guide fabricated from some aluminum angle to make getting the horizontal center of the hub location marked on the floor easier may be the solution.
 

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142G;

$200!!! I would like to suggest your over-thinking it and are unnecessarily putting yourself in that price range...I suggest two foot square 14ga steel pieces with a blob of grease between them, to put you at the other end of the price scale...

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #8
All of the wheel alignment tools use those digital inclinometers / protractors or a bubble gauge equivalent for angle measurement and the complete tool (even the digital versions) sells for the same or less than the cost of the one that you linked. I don't know whether that is a reflection of build quality or marketing by that particular vendor. Bubble versus digital is less of an issue for me. The gauges either use a magnetic hub attachment which requires a nice flat and square surface on the hub which I am pretty sure my 142 no longer has, or some method of attaching to the rim. My question is more about any experience with the tools, what works well and what is garbage. I am inclined to go with the tools that attach to the rim in part because the rim is probably a more accurate indication of camber and caster angle - providing its not bent. If experience with a particular brand(s) indicates that the attachment mechanism is not reliable and keeps falling off during the alignment forcing you to start all over, that would be nice to know. Conversely, any experience indicating ease of use would be equally good.
 
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